Trash Talk: Fourth Best Team In the Country Visits The Trojans

Okay, that’s right, I said it. Notre Dame is the fourth best team in the country. Behind Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State. Quite frankly, I think Texas A&M and Johnny Football could take the Irish. But, they won’t get the chance.

The Irish play USC today to try to complete a perfect regular season and get a spot in the BCS Championship game. And in spite of the Trojans having to play without Matt Barkley, if the Irish win out, they do deserve a trip to the BCS as they played a pretty tough schedule and beat them all. Saying it has been a disappointing year for the Trojans is an understatement, but they have a ton of weapons on offense, so the game should be worth watching. If the not as good as usual USC defense can gain some life and contain emerging star Everett Golson they will have a shot. But, I don’t see it, I think the magical season for the Irish rolls on.

The other giant grudge match today is an early game, and has Michigan going to the Horseshoe to visit with the Buckeyes. Is Denard Robinson the quarterback or a running back? It doesn’t really matter. Saying nice things about Ohio State and Urban Meyer is every bit as hard as doing so for Notre Dame, but credit where due. It may be against an uncommonly weak Big-10.X, but the Bucks have had a heck of a year. It will continue in a big way today.

There are huge games everywhere today. And one last night, where the ASU Sun Devils put on a second half clinic and whipped the Mildkittens of Arizona. I feel bad for Rich Rod. Okay, no I don’t. But the rivalry games continue today with some epic battles. The Civil War renews between Oregon and Oregon State. Don’t kid yourself, OSU is a very solid team, and it should be a good game, but the Ducks will take care of business after the Stanford debacle.

Also on tap: Georgia Tech at Georgia, Dawgs will take it. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma is a pick em, but leaning Sooners. Stanford at UCLA could be a sleeper, the Bruins are really coming on. Mizzou at Texas A&M will be another showcase, and win, for Johnny Football. south Carolina at Clemson could be a great game, and is a pickem.

But the one that really interests me is Florida at Florida State. Both are great teams with only one random let down loss. And they DO NOT like each other one bit. If it was in the Swamp, you would have to pick the Gators, but it is in Tallahassee. It should be a balls out bloodbath.

That is it for now, have to run my daughter to the science museum for her internship; be back later with some tunes and the NFL rundown.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
74 replies
  1. masaccio says:

    I’ll just note that Notre Dame won all it’s random let down games. Unlike Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State. Not to mention Johnny Football and the T&Aggies.

  2. rosalind says:

    (ONe for the GrAssley file: “St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese is OK after crashing his SUV while trying to avoid a deer.”)

  3. Bay State Librul says:


    Death, Destruction, Pestilence snd Famine shall rain down on Bmaz’s prediction…

    The great Grantland Rice

    “Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But those are aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below…”

  4. Peterr says:

    @bmaz: Leave it to a Domer to get Ohio State and Kansas State confused. And last week notwithstanding, I’d still pick the Wildkittehs of the Little Apple over the Domers.

    Ohio State has its hands full with Michigan right now, but their real luck was that with the Big 10.x and its unbalanced schedule, the Buckeyes didn’t have to go up against the Fighting Journalists this year.

  5. What Constitution says:

    I have a degree from UCLA; the Other Half has a degree from ND. That makes us particularly skilled at disrespecting the University of Serial Cheaters, and I wish the Domers (that’s “The Number One Ranked University of Notre Dame Football Team”) well against the Rubbers today. I’ve only seen one football game in South Bend, and it was the one where Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone for a temporary victory, subsequently to be forfeited not just because you can’t push a quarterback into the end zone but because you’re not supposed to be getting paid to do it. And the ball was probably underinflated, too. So today, my Plucky Little Bruins will try to outsmart the Guys From That Place That Hired Condoleeza Rice, and the Domers can humiliate the team whose quarterback wishes he had opted for the NFL draft. Much may be right with the world.

  6. John Casper says:


    Swarbrick’s an old Patent attorney. Might be a good anonymous source.

    My Dad (RIP) never recovered from Marquette giving up football (1963?). He never had any love for ND, until he went up to Camp Randall in 1964 and saw Alan Page spend the afternoon in the Badgers’ backfield. It was especially sweet, because he had made many prior trips to Camp Randall, all but four being Marquette losses. The Badgers would never come to Milwaukee to play Marquette.

  7. bmaz says:

    Wow, the Fighting Journalists laid one on Illinois. 50-14. I think the Journalists could take the Irish too.

  8. Bob Schacht says:

    @Peterr: Michigan is having a truly awful second half on the offensive side of the football, and a very good defense that has kept them in the game. To cite a few particulars,
    * Fumbles
    * Offensive predictability– e.g., if Denard Robinson in the game, they run. When Gardner is at QB, they pass. Did the EVER use Robinson as a decoy?
    * A really stupid call by Brady Hoke early in the second half to try a 4th and 2 run that turned bad and gave Ohio great field position.
    * Ohio State made a really good defensive adjustment after the half. I’m not sure what it was, but I suspect that it involved a safety keying on Robinson whenever he was in the game.

    I think this must be the worst half of Brady Hoke’s entire career.

    Bob in AZ

  9. emptywheel says:

    @Peterr: Well, the first half was better than I expected. The second half closer to what I expected, and a good chunk was on Brady.

    Ah well.

  10. phred says:

    Just got back from a bit of holiday traveling, so want to take a minute to wish the Mistress of the Blog and all its denizens a very Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure thankful you are all here : )

    But on to the more important issue… the Kittehs got screwed. If I were in Detroit, I would be most displeased. Maybe the regular refs took the day off and let the replacements have one more crack at it. Unbelievable. Houston has reason for a little extra gratitude this holiday season.

  11. masaccio says:

    @bmaz: In my defense, we don’t watch US football in France. ChrisinParis tells me that Ohio State, who invented modern football cheating, is also 11-0. He tells me they play in the Midwestern version of the PacWhatever.

    He also points out that the emptywheel alma mater lost again.

  12. rosalind says:

    and we’re back to regular So Cal weather for the UCLA/Stanford meet-up – 85 & without a cloud in the sky.


  13. jo6pac says:

    Well everything in F-1 world is normal as Ferrari takes another step backwards and don’t think Alonso will get the miracle he will need to be Champ. LH will win his last race for a long time to come. Go 9ers still no word on whom starting.

  14. masaccio says:

    @Peterr: ah yes, the cheese. Tonight we had a cabecou, a runny goat cheese; a brie selected by a fast-talking merchant in rue Montorgueil, a bit salty and also runny; and for a slight change, a firm but fairly young pecorino, an Italian sheep cheese. With medjul dates as sweet as candy. And a baguette.

  15. emptywheel says:

    @phred: Well, Schwartz took responsibility. They ARE the rules. Sort of like the tuck rule. Stupid rules win you games, lose you games, over live. Like karma.

  16. emptywheel says:

    @masaccio: Again? emptywheel alma mater won last year. I think we might be back to the default, home game wins, like it should be.

    Also, did he mention that not only are they cheatenist (after USC and Miami, I guess), but they also paid tribute to the Cheatin’ Tressel at the game?

  17. emptywheel says:

    @rosalind: Did you see all those short sleeves in Columbus? It feels like the first real weekend of winter here in the Big 10.2+2ex2 land. Blustery, grey, cold.

    That’s football weather.

  18. masaccio says:

    @emptywheel: amazingly enough, he didn’t mention the blatant cheating. I believe I might have mentioned it. Or maybe Gaius Publius did. Or maybe it was both of us and our wives. But he was enjoying the victory regardless.

  19. Peterr says:

    @masaccio: “And a baguette”?!?

    Please. Show a little respect. A good baguette is not an afterthought, tossed on at the end. A good baguette is a foundation, upon which magic can happen.

  20. rosalind says:

    aaand Stanford Band is banned from road games due to a little incident at the Fiesta Bowl last year.


  21. bmaz says:

    @jo6pac: His equipment does not measure up to the Red Bulls, and what Aolonso has pulled off this year is nothing short of incredible. Still the inability to get a better grid spot in Brazil is really disconcerting. Crap, Massa bested him. I don’t think next year and the new car can come soon enough for the Scuderia.

  22. Peterr says:

    @rosalind: They’re just trying to keep up with the Tree. So far, though, all they’ve managed is to get kept off of road games, but they’ll keep trying to get the university fined by the NCAA. That’s the bar that the Tree has set.

    But what do you expect from a school whose nickname is a color that has nothing whatsoever to do with their mascot . . .

  23. Jim White says:

    Okay, after a massive win by the Gators and relentless hassling on Twitter by that EW person, here I am.

    I was worried about the Gators going into this game, but took great heart in how tough they were in the first half. Then they gave up 17 quick points to start the third quarter and could have been left for dead, down a TD and the Tallahassee crowd going nuts. But then serious toughness took over and the Gators smacked the ‘Noles harder than I’ve seen them get beaten down in their own home when ranked so highly. The touchdown for Manual on the final play looked like the Gators deciding that since the game was over, they didn’t want to hurt him again since he really shouldn’t have been sent back into the game after suffering what looked (and sounded from the ABC sideline report) like a concussion.

    As for the “key throwing”, Gaius Publius needs to know that was just a friendly toss of keys to my daughter since I wasn’t hungry and wasn’t about to leave the TV in the middle of the game. I didn’t even eat a slice of the pizza until after the game.

    Now I find myself in the awkward position of pulling for the Domers because our family really wants to go to New Orleans for New Years and the Sugar Bowl. Miami just isn’t nearly as much fun and National Championship tickets will be a much tougher buy.

    And after ducking the horse show all day, it’s my understanding that trail practice for our group is planned for about 10 pm after the damn live band finally leaves the arena where trail will be held. I don’t see how I can avoid that really cold trip. It’s already 38F, with an expected overnight low of 28F.

  24. Jim White says:

    @bmaz: Last I checked, no SEC teams were under suspension and the two top Big Tennish teams were ineligible for bowls while one of the teams that would be in the ACC Championship is on a self-imposed ban while they negotiate behind the scenes a way to avoid the death penalty. SEC is doing it now with superior athletes and coaches. They don’t need to cheat any more.

  25. emptywheel says:

    @Jim White: Yep. You should have taken the early shift with the 45 degree temperatures rather than the 28 degree trail practice.

    That said, this McElweeWhite Tweep has a way with Twitter.

  26. bmaz says:

    The discussion of who the Coach Of The Year is in the NCAA. People like Saban, Brian Kelly at ND and Urban Meyer are getting all the talk. But some consideration ought to be given to Bill O’Brien at Penn State who led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record and could easily have been 10-2 but for a couple of breaks. With everything they were facing, that is good work.

  27. JohnT says:

    Even though they’re playing against a Pac 12 team …

    Go Irish!!!

    I want Oregon in the championship (well, Stanford actually). But the problem with their offense is that it’s based on rhythm. And you lose all that, with delay from the end of the season until the bowl games. I’d love to see the trees in the BCS, but that’s not gonna happen unless the Alabama Inbreds lose to Jauwja

    (think it’s some federal law that George the Moran got passed when he was presnident, that says an SEC team has to play in the BCS every. single. year. That, and the ESPN hypapalooza kissing anything and everything SEC in the rear end 24 / 7)

  28. JohnT says:


    Last I heard, it’ll be Kaep. It looks good for him to go off. Saints* Defense is MIA, and they’re playing in a dome, which helps an athletic QB. Brees is Brees, but the Niners Defense is brutal

    Niners – 31
    Saints* – 20


  29. Mauimom says:

    @Peterr @ 41:

    When Stanford dropped “the Indian” as its mascot, the student body voted for what should replace it. As I recall, “robber barons” was the overwhelming favorite. [For those shy on their history, Leland Stanford was a robber baron.]

    Surprisingly, the SU trustees did not go for that. No idea which orifice they pulled “Cardinal” out of.

  30. Mauimom says:

    Y’know, I hate the SEC with all my being, but I hate Notre Dame more. I am especially pissed that no one has “evaluated their schedule” the way they pick apart the slender “wins” by other teams.

    ND’s wins include one that required overtime to defeat no-account Pitt, a win over Stanford due to a bad ref’s call re a TD, and some other monstrosities. And yet they’re going to play in the BCS game?

    I hope whoever stumbles in from the SEC kicks their ass but good.

  31. Bob Schacht says:

    Hey, 60 comments and no one noticed that Michigan BB won the early NIT and is ranked #4 in the country? Most of the starters are sons of athletic Wolverines, and Bielein is pleased as punch because they’re all so eager to learn! Well, it’s nice to know that Big Blue has a functioning BB team again.

    Bob in AZ

  32. Larue says:

    May my Nor Cal Stanford Cardinal trample all your sissy shit NOT west coast football programs and all their supposed glory.

    Yer all goin down. Let us play!!!!!!

  33. masaccio says:

    @Mauimom: That kind of irrational hatred for the Irish is bad for your heart. Which the Irish showed a lot of. Unlike the Rolling Tide which got beat by some guy with a nickname out of the 40’s.

  34. What Constitution says:

    Yes, the Irish. And the Gutty Little Bruins wisely let Stanford win so that the Pac-X title game wouldn’t have to be played against Oregon, eh? But what about the cannon on that “in the wings” USC freshman quarterback, though? Kind of scary. The kid hit a guy in the hands in the endzone — 60 yards in the air! In front of 90,000 in his first series.

  35. bmaz says:

    So Vettel squeaks out the championship with a 6th place finish while Alonso drove his ass off to finish second. The Brazilian, and the season, ends ingloriously under the safety car. Not particularly satisfying, but congratulations to Sebastial Vettel, now a three time champ.

    Hell of a good show by Jenson Button to take the race win today, and that should not be lost.

  36. jo6pac says:

    @bmaz: Yep a real fun race for fans except the very end and Seb the youngest to win the WC 3 times in a row. I am sad to see the guys a Speed going away I wonder what NBC has enstore for us fans. I need to get outside to split some kindling so I can watch the 9ers. They did announce the starter for today. It makes sense to me he needs to start against a top tier team.

  37. quebecois says:

    Alonso can blame Ferrari, the whole wind tunnel results not translating into real world performance is the main culprit. It’s obvious Vettel had the best car for a few races this year, but the alternator problems almost killed his championship. Superb drive by Button once again. Webber was a dick on lap ten and at the restart around lap 30, the guy does not deserve that team. What a season, see you next year

  38. JohnLopresti says:

    When 9ers face Ain’ts, who is Aints’ coach? Parcels decided to unretire to cover, the coaching spot for his friend. Next stop, Giants, but at Candlestick. Parcels then reretired, fast.
    Semper erat in principium.

  39. jo6pac says:

    @JohnLopresti: Yep, Go 9ers

    Yes WTF was Webber thinking and heads should roll at Ferrari for this season. I was glad to hear David Hobbs and Steve M. were moving over to NBC. I love Hobbs sense of humor and on to the 9er game.

  40. Bob Schacht says:

    Los Packadores de la Baya Verde aka Las Cabezas de Queso ain’t doing so hot tonight in the first half. And the “good” Eli showed up.

    Bob in AZ

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