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The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Pac-(1)2 football weekend

Let’s look at how the footballing went!

NCAA Football: Southern California at Colorado Chet Strange-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, and happy “the government is still sort of open!” day. It is certainly at least a temporary relief for Team Kendall.

As you know, your Washington State Cougars were off this past weekend, hopefully getting healthy and gearing up for what will be a tough test in Pasadena next Saturday. It’s also been a quiet weekend elsewhere on Planet Coug, as both the soccer team and volleyball team play on Sunday afternoon.

So with not much to talk about in Pullman, let’s take a quick look at the weekend’s Pac-12 happenings, even though it wasn’t the most exciting of weekends.

The Good

  • WSU’s resumé! Huh? Yes, even though the Cougs didn’t play, they still managed to look pretty good! Colorado State picked up a win (against an FCS team, but still). But in bigger news, Oregon State manhandled Utah on Friday night, 21-7, making WSU’s win over the Beavers look even better.
  • The goings-on Saturday brought more good news Sunday, as WSU moved from 16th to 13th in the AP Poll. Pretty good!
  • After WSU’s offense sliced and diced the Beaver defense last week, OSU was flat out nasty against a shorthanded Utah offense. The Beavers allowed just 198 total yards and held Utah scoreless for nearly 55 minutes.
  • USC’s first 27 minutes were pretty good, as it stormed out to a 34-7 lead and made it clear that the Trojan effort in Tempe last week wasn’t up to snuff.
  • This run was very good.
  • Credit to Colorado for battling back in the second half. Despite the aforementioned gigantic deficit, the Buffs didn’t pack it in, and that reflects rather well upon Deion Sanders and those players. Colorado outscored USC 34-14 in the game’s final 33 minutes.
  • BREAKING: Caleb Williams is really good! 75% completions with a YPA north of 10 and six touchdowns. The Bears are absolutely going to ruin him.
  • Colorado amassed 371 yards through the air. Freshman receiver Omarion Miller had 196 of them. Pretty good!
  • The closest game of the day took place in Berkeley, so that was good, I guess? Notice I wrote “closest” and not “best.”
  • Credit to ASU for battling despite a rash of injuries. Despite being a 13-point underdog, the Devils outgained Cal by over 100 yards, and had the ball with a chance to even the score late. Didn’t quite work out.
  • Cal may be largely bereft of playmakers, but running back Jadyn Ott is one bright spot. It seemed like Cal’s entire offense was, “Ott between the tackles every play and we’re good.” Ott finished the game with 165 yards on 29 carries.
  • Despite being a near four-touchdown dog, Stanford sure battled Oregon, at least for a while. The Cardinal led 6-0 into the second quarter, and it was a one-point margin for much of the first half.
  • Oregon’s third quarter. Oh my. The Ducks had the ball three times. The Ducks scored three touchdowns.
  • Oregon running back Jordan James carried the ball six times and gained 88 yards. Sheesh!
  • Bo Nix had four touchdown passes. That’s one fewer TD pass than Bo Nix incompletions. Cam Ward-like!
  • With Jayden de Laura out due to injury, backup quarterback Noah Fifita filled in rather admirably, and I think there will be a competition once de Laura is healthy enough to go.
  • The Wildcats battled the heavily-favored Huskies, never falling too far behind and defending Washington better than anyone else has this season.
  • That Devin Culp catch. Mercy.

The Bad

  • Anyone know why those video tweets aren’t in landscape? Seems dumb.
  • Joel Klatt called USC’s defensive line one of the best in the nation. I had to remind the broadcast to make sure I heard it correctly.
  • If you learned tomorrow that Gus Johnson was leaving Fox Sports to take a job as Deion’s personal hype man, would you be surprised even a little?
  • As long a DJ Uiagalelei’s first read is open, things are ok. If he has to go to the second read, just flip the down marker.
  • I don’t know what Stanford is doing at quarterback, but man is it a dicey situation back there.
  • Oregon, I know you were coming off a big game and all, and I know that stadium is in permanent hibernation, but that start in Palo Alto was rather terrible.
  • Deion, you have your offense in fast forward nearly the whole game, but when you actually need to hurry down the stretch, you take your sweet time? Why?
  • When was the last time Cal had a legitimate passing game? 2015? On Saturday, the Cal QB was 12/29, 4.5 YPA with a QBR of 15.1. And his team won!
  • How on earth did Utah win its first four games with that offense? Ghastly.
  • RIP to Colorado’s TV ratings, which have been tremendous. Looking like a lot of Pac-12 Nets in your near future, Deion. Not sure if Lil Young Tiny Peep Cube Jeezy et al are gonna be too excited about that.

The Ugly

  • Alex Grinch’s defenses, in terms of yards-per-pay and the associated national ranking: 2018 (Ohio State): 5.8/T-72nd; 2019 (Oklahoma): 5.6/T-56th; 2020 (Oklahoma): 5.2/T-27th; 2021 (Oklahoma): 5.8/T-79th; 2022 (USC): 6.5/T-120th; 2023 after five games (USC): 5.5/T-65th.

So, in 5+ seasons as the head of defenses that have access to the best talent recruiting dollars can buy, Grinch-led defenses have finished below 70th three times, and better than 30th once in terms of yards-per-play. You can keep the Peter Principle. I’m now calling it the Alex Assumption.

For real, though, the amount of kompromat that Grinch has on Lincoln Riley must be staggering in scope and scale.

  • Not gonna waste much time on Pat McAfee other than to point out that he’s a piece of shit person with a piece of shit act whose most notable sports moment came when he missed field goals of 20 yards and 32 yards in a 13-9 Backyard Brawl loss, costing his team a chance to win the national championship. So you can stand around in a tanktop and pretend you have big arms (you don’t), you can cut wrestling promos and surrender your professionalism in exchange for on-air hangovers and empty applause, and you can play dress up like a Vegas lounge lizard from here to eternity, Pat. But the fact of the matter is that in the biggest moment of your sports career, you shit down your leg and all over the field. Twice. I’d tell you to go fuck yourself, but I’m afraid you’d catch something that modern science hasn’t discovered yet.

Fun Tweets from the CFB Saturday that was

Sun dress and heels ain’t no match for rent-a-cop in neon. Gotta have your head on a swivel.

I found the one tackle that took place in LSU-Ole Miss! And man was is a doozy.

I mean, he did hit the open man. Not sure what more you can ask.

My nearly 30 years as an Iowa fan, in one tweet.



Anyone who remembers the High Fivin’ White Guys from Almost Live will appreciated this.


Dortmund Fan Since Forever

The mighty Black and Yellows went on the road Friday and came away with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim. But that was secondary to the scene as the second half began.

I have so many questions. How is this organized? How do fans gain access with a sun’s worth of flares in their pockets? HOW DID THE ENTIRE ARENA NOT BURN DOWN???

I’ll just file it under life as a European soccer fan and move on.

This Week in Parenting

Yours truly had to burn a couple final days of leave this past week, so I was home alone Monday and Tuesday, mostly doing yard work because why would I make the boys do it? Anyhoo, I don’t usually eat until about 1 p.m., so I came in for lunch a little after that. Since I eat so late, some sort of lunch option is usually on the menu, but on this day, I figured I’d eat cereal for the first time in several weeks.

“Ooh, look at that. Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Yes, please! Hmm, this box feels a little light.”

“God. Dammit. Ok, well I guess I’ll snag a bowl of brown sugar oatmeal squares instead. Weird, this one weighs about the same as the last one.”

“I am going to murder those bastards.”

I mean, who looks at the remainder at the bottom of the bag and thinks, “yeah, I shouldn’t just empty this thing”? Well, besides dumbass kids I mean. Serenity now.

I mentioned last week that the JV Dolphins had evened their record at 2-2, but the, uh, interesting part came after the game. We headed back to the school and waited to pick up the kiddo when he got off the bus (it was a road game). And waited. Aaaaand waited. After about 15 minutes, I decided to take Mrs. Kendall and the 11 year-old home and turn back around, because it was already after 9 p.m. I get back to the school and the teenager is waiting. He sits in the car, and I ask what took the bus so long. “We’ve been here the whole time. Coach ran us for 20 minutes because somebody threw a water bottle off the bus but nobody would admit to it.” So needless to say, he wasn’t super happy, despite the win.

And here’s where I explain the difference between strategy and tactics. I am 100% behind the coach’s strategy to hold the entire team accountable for one kid’s stupid decision, especially since the offender didn’t come forward. However, the tactics were poor. It was after 9 p.m. on a school night. The players hadn’t eaten in hours, and nearly all of them (mine included) still had a lot of homework to do. If you want to send a message, hold a “conditioning only” practice the next day. Don’t suck up another 30 minutes of kid (and parent!) time on a Monday night.

On the 11 year-old baseball front, tournament #2 wasn’t as kind to the Wave as the first one. On Saturday, the Wave rallied twice in a row to tie in the last inning. On Saturday, the other team scored in the bottom of the inning twice in a row to win. Sunday was a quick one-and-done, and it didn’t feel like the energy was quite there. I’m no expert, but it was possible that the kids were drained after spending like four straight hours in the hotel pool Saturday night.

Finally, we had to have a couple dad-type lessons Saturday. The teenager was invited to a birthday party Saturday night, so I asked him around noon if he had a present for the birthday girl. “No, I was gonna get her a keychain or something.” Do you have a card? “Uh, no.” So I dropped him at Walmart to remedy the issue. He comes back with a pack of eight Hotwheels cars, along with a single Hotwheels car package. I requested context. “Well she said she wanted a car for her birthday, so I told her I’d get her one.” Ok, that’s a fun idea. So why did you get her nine? “Uh, I don’t know.” I told him the gag would work better if he just went with the one car, so that’s what he did.

Later on, I asked him what time I had to drop him off, understanding it was about an eight minute drive. “The party starts at 7:30 so we’ll leave at 7:15.” Time for another lesson. I told him that nobody arrives to a party at the designated start time. And under no circumstances does one arrive early. Hopefully it sinks in. I’m dubious.


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