Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bye Week Blues

I feel your pain. An agonizing 14-day marathon known as the Bye Week. Some of you will take advantage of this strange gap in your Saturday routine to take care of all those things you've been putting off since kickoff day, such as clean your house, take your ferret for a walk, shred evidence, or feed the guy chained up in your basement. I, however, will be pacing back and forth, wringing my hands, and muttering to myself.

But have no fear, because this is a perfect opportunity to spread your horizons and drink deeply from the moonshine jug of college football. Believe it or not, there are some killer matchups out there that might keep you entertained enough to make you forget about the numbness inside for a brief while. So put that case of Beast Ice in the cooler and pull up a padded chair. If you follow my reader's guide in exacting detail, there's a chance you'll live through the weekend.

SMU Mustangs (1-4) vs. UAB Blazers (3-1)
  • Matchup Known As: The World's Largest Outdoor Car Wash
  • What's At Stake: The Jeweled Steering Wheel, a travelling trophy that goes to the best school whose mascot is a type of car. The trophy is also put up for grabs if either of these schools squares off against the University of Virginia
  • Key Matchup: UAB's fuel economy (15 city, 19 highway) hasn't matched up to SMU's this season (17-23). The experts are also pointing out that UAB doesn't have the horses to hang with SMU, which appears to be the case (190 vs. 300). If the Mustangs come fast out the gate, it could turn into a real track meet.

Boise State Broncos (2-2) vs. Portland State Vikings (3-2)
  • Matchup Known As: The Battle for Ratification
  • What's At Stake: Statehood. The winner of this matchup becomes the 51st State.
  • Key Matchup: Boise State has won 11 straight Ratification matchups, their last loss coming in 1996 against Fresno State. During this streak, they have crushed the statehood dreams of Portland, Weber, Fresno, and San Jose. Senator Boog McLaine (D - Boise State) has made a friendly wager with the Portland mayor, and will deliver 230 pounds of famous Boise beef should the Broncos fall on Saturday.

Oklahoma Sooners (2-2) vs. Texas Longhorns (4-0)
  • Matchup Known As: The Norman Austin Bowl
  • What's At Stake: While not too many people have much of a rooting interest in this game, this is the biggest day of the year for University of Arizona Classics Professor Norman Austin. For one day a year, Professor Norman Austin takes a break from probing the mysteries of Poetic Problems in Homer's Oddyssey and watches anxiously to see if his first name or last name is superior.
  • Key Matchup: It's been a pretty lopsided tilt recently, but this might just be the year that Norman Austin's last name turns the tide.