Turkey, Dressing, and Football: The Week 13 Beauty Contest Standings

Beauty Contest Standings – Week 13 2011

Thanksgiving. It’s time for turkey and dressing and Texas versus the school formerly known as Texas A&M.

This year, our Agricultural and Mechanical subsidiary decided to defect to the SEC, a conference that the University of Texas had attempted to keep out of the fertile recruiting grounds of the state of Texas for many years. For those of you residing in a more naïve portion of the country, that’s because the SEC has a history of player payola that would make Craig James blink.

College Station A&M dominated the local headlines from summer through early October with a team touted as their best since their glory days in the old SWC pay-for-play NCAA sanctions days. At the end of the year, the Aggies are 6-6. But let’s talk about the number that matters:

27-25.

That’s the number on the scoreboard of the last game. And the last game is really the last game. Case McCoy may never have another meaningful moment in Burnt Orange. Justin Tucker will not, unless a bowl requires it. Both are heroes for the ages, for they will be the names remembered for chiseling the final pithy epitaph on A&M’s tombstone for dead dogs, which will forever read “76-37-5.”

What? You want to hear about games that involved good teams? OK.

Let’s jump to the Top Ten.

1. LSU toyed with Arkansas, letting the Pigs jump out to a 14-0 lead before Tiger vs. Hog resembled its natural conclusion. 41-17.

2. Alabama toyed with Auburn before Trent Richardson ran for 203 yards and the Heisman trophy in a 42-14 win.

3. Oklahoma State didn’t play. One note here. How ready to play football do you think you’d be after a plane crash that killed your women’s basketball coaches, people you knew? Would that be bad enough to drop a game to Iowa State a day later? I think OSU should get a pass on last week’s loss. The voters don’t agree but, strangely, the computers seem to side with me.

4. Stanford beat Notre Dame 28-14 and the Luck was with the Tree.

5. Houston rolled it up on Tulsa late for a 48-16 final. What does that mean? All we have is the comparative. Tulsa also lost to OU by 33, to OSU by 26, and to Boise State by 20. So a 32-point loss to UH means what? You tell me.

6. Oklahoma beat Iowa State 26-6. It really wasn’t that close, but OU has reverted to bowl form.

7. Wisconsin rolled over poor Penn State 45-7. Do I believe they’d have done that without the horrible distractions at PSU? Yes.

8. Boise State defeated Wyoming 36-14. This is Boise’s second most impressive win of the year.

9. Georgia beat Tech 31-17 and it wasn’t as close as the score makes it sound. This is not the Georgia team that you saw earlier in the year, and if LSU beats them in the SEC championship game, LSU deserves some serious credit.

10. Kansas State took the week off.

Close?

Virginia Tech ran Virginia ragged 38-0 for their most impressive win of the year, and the BCS has them ranked in the 5 slot. Are they as good as Kansas State? I doubt it.

Oregon has a much better argument, and the judges buy it, ranking Nike number 7 in the human polls. Oregon beat Oregon State 49-21 and will host UCLA in the first PAC-12 championship game. UCLA lost to USC late Saturday 50-0, prompting the firing of Coach Rick Neuheisel. What a historic game this promises to be! Has anyone ever finished 6-8 after their bowl game?

Michigan hung on to beat Ohio State 40-34. Blue is now 10-2 and headed to a BCS bowl, I hear, so long as Georgia doesn’t spring an upset next weekend.

Michigan State defeated Northwestern 31-17 and will play Wisconsin in the first B1G championship game.

Baylor easily outscored Texas Tech 66-42 in Waco, but RG III most likely lost the Heisman when he was knocked out of the game before halftime with a concussion. It made no difference to the defenseless Raiders, who finished 5-7 and won’t be going bowling for the first time since Bill Clinton’s first term.

Not close at all.

Illinois earned the unique distinction of starting the season 6-0 and finishing 6-6 with a 27-7 loss at – take a deep breath – Minnesota. This unprecedented feat earned Ron Zook his walking papers.

Joining Zook and Mike Stoops from Arizona will be Arizona State coach Dennis Erikson, whose 47-38 loss to Cal will leave the Done Devils at 6-6.

Kansas’ Turner Gill will be replaced after a 24-10 loss in Kansas last game against longtime rival Missouri. The Kansas/Missouri game, and the t-shirts saying “We burned your town,” will be missed. Gill will not. Kansas finished 2-10.

Memphis and UAB also fired their coaches.

Mike Sherman, who somehow managed to go 6-6 with A&M’s best team since 1998, is safe. With a huge Big 12 exit fee looming, the Aggies simply cannot afford the buyout on Sherman’s contract. Poor Aggies.

So how does the Beauty Contest shake out? Simple. LSU will play Alabama – again – for the national championship. What if Georgia beats LSU in the SEC championship game? It doesn’t matter. Like that 9-6 “Game of the Century” a few weeks ago, it simply doesn’t matter.

But who needs a playoff when you have a Beauty Contest to keep all the games meaningful and exciting? Right? Who cares what Oklahoma State might do if matched against Tide or Tiger?

Me.

But that’s just me.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics

 
 
 

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