Points Over Pints: BCS Contenders Get Angry
By Joe Jenkins
This Week’s Beer
Very Angry Beast.
We all have that friend who has a mean streak.
You know the type: The guy or girl that’s a blast to be with 95 percent of the time, but you know to steer clear when they have a bad day.
The type of guy who can be the most entertaining person at the bar at 10 p.m., but is willing to clear the place out around midnight if if the mood — or the right amount of whiskey — strikes.
We saw a number of BCS contenders unleash their bar stool-throwing, muscle-flexing angry beast in week 11. One ranked team that left its bad temper in the Pacific Northwest, if they even have one at all.
In honor of our ill-tempered friends and the teams that got downright ornery in week 11, we’ll be enjoying a fresh pint of Very Angry Beast, a limited-edition double imperial stout from Clown Shoes Beer out of Ipswich, Mass.
The First Sip
One of the angriest beasts of all time, Mike Tyson, will be remembered for saying a lot of crazy things. Talking about eating a man's children is the most prominent for most people.
But one of the most accurate things the former heavyweight champ ever said was “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
The answer came to me later that night: For all the freakish athletes and stellar football talent compiled in Eugene, Ore., the team isn’t designed to take a solid shot to the mush without losing their plan.
Stanford knew it. They learned it last year. And they had this game won before they walked out on the field.
The Cardinal physical style of play dominated Oregon’s defense, allowing them to control the ball for a soul-crushing 42:34.
More importantly, Stanford’s physical defense took the Ducks out of their element early. On multiple occasions, Marcus Mariota was given running lanes on critical down-and-distance plays, but instead of taking the yards, he made ill-advised throws to covered targets.
It wasn’t until the game was out of hand that Oregon got comfortable and made the score look interesting.
Score one for old-school football. Oregon’s inability to cope with a physical style of play cost it a shot at the BCS Championship for two consecutive years.
We should be thanking Stanford. I’d rather see Oregon exposed in a November conference matchup than against Alabama in January.
• The Crimson Tide doesn’t have a mean streak. They’re just plain mean and they’ve turned all of college football into their personal punching bag in the process. Quarterback AJ McCarron was once again dominant in ‘Bama’s 38-17 win over LSU without posting numbers that scream Heisman. Bottom line is, McCarron is the Tim Duncan of college quarterbacks: He’s not exciting to watch, but he does everything right, which makes him as good or better than any other quarterback in the country.
• Baylor proved there’s a bigger angry meathead in Waco, Texas, than any of us believed by beating up Oklahoma, 41-12. But even with the huge win, Baylor still essentially lost half a game with Texas Tech losing to Kansas State. Without the Red Raiders as a ranked opponent, the Bears’ strength of schedule takes a hit. Even if Art Briles’ boys run the table, the lack of a championship game in the Big 12 likely will keep a one-loss Stanford team ahead of them in the BCS standings, provided the Cardinal win out. It’s BCS logic, people. Questioning it will only make you start bleeding out of your eyes.
• We can all agree that Florida State QB Jameis Winston is a prolific BCS Championship game away from reaching Chuck Norris levels of amazing, but he isn’t the only reason the Seminoles are winning. FSU’s defense is forcing teams to turn the ball over at an amazing rate. The ‘Noles defense is averaging 2.1 interceptions per game, including six interceptions in a dominating 59-3 win over Wake Forest.
• How much does a coach mean? Eastern Michigan won a total of 11 games in almost five years under former head coach Ron English. They won the first game without him, beating Western Michigan 35-32 in overtime. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he was canned after his tirade. It would have earned him a spot in the last-gulp toast, but...
The Last Gulp
Ordinarily I reserve this space for a coach, player or official that makes a bone-headed decision hoping we can all get a little chuckle out of it.
Not this week. Not on Veterans Day.
My older brother was born while my father was 800 feet or so under the Atlantic Ocean on a nuclear submarine helping protect this country. It was his first-born child.
Many veterans make incredible sacrifices without giving their lives and they walk among us more often than not without anyone ever knowing.
With the last gulp of our Very Angry Beast, I’d like for all of us to toast — in earnest this week — to the great men and women who have made sacrifices both great and small to help protect the rights we hold sacred in this country.
So here’s to the greatest man I’ve ever known, my dad, and every other person who has or still is serving this county. You possess a courage that I lack. I’m forever in your debt.
If you ever find me in a bar, your next one is on me.
To our veterans…
The O’Doul's “What’s The Friggin' Point?” Award
No big injuries this week, so in lieu of The Hangover, we’ll keep watch on the race for winless teams in the FBS ranks.
Forget about the crowd at the top. Let’s address the teams at the bottom. Who’s the worst? Is it even one of these teams?
Leave your comments below.