This is a new, groundbreaking feature on Seth Curry Saves Duke! Using a secret scientific formula which combines mathematical elements from such established sporting standards as Sabermetrics, BCS, Quarterback Rating, ERA, and the opinions of former NFL superstar Troy Aikman, I've ranked ten events from the weekend on a scale of awesomeness. We'll begin with the least awesome:
1 - As Awesome as Watching Dick Cheney Spit on my Grandmother
Texas defeats Nebraska, 13-12. There were a ton of good reasons to root for Nebraska to win this game:
a) Texas is a paper tiger. They haven't topped anyone decent in the crappy Big 12 all year, and they don't deserve a national title shot.
b) A Nebraska win would have thrown the BCS into chaos, which is one step closer to the whole ridiculous system being abolished.
c) It would open the national title game to a team like TCU, which would be interesting and exciting, as opposed to the last three title games, which have featured an awesome SEC school beating the hell out of a so-so team from a weak 'power' conference, which will sound really familiar in about a month.
But despite the unbelievable talent of Ndamukong Suh and the Nebraska front four, Husker coach Bo Pellini called the most frustratingly conservative game of anyone's life, repeatedly running the ball into the line and refusing to take a single risk. Watching this game, I was irate. Nebraska is a program trying to rise to their old prominence, and they had a golden chance to play spoiler to a perennial powerhouse and earn an unlikely BCS bid. That would open the recruiting trail, foment national interest, and bring money to the program. AND THEY DIDN'T FUCKING GO BALLS OUT TO WIN. I am so, so sick of college football coaches playing not to lose. You saw it with Jim Tressel in the OSU-Iowa game, and you saw it with Pellini Saturday night.
The most glaring example came after Nebraksa, down 10-6, returned a punt to the ten yard line early in the fourth quarter. Instead of trying to score a go-ahead touchdown, they called two runs into the line (0 yards), and then a desperation pass that had no chance. They kicked the field goal for 10-9. Cowardly. Then, with 5 minutes left, same score, they drove 40 yards to the Nebraska 30. Instead of continuing to drive, run out clock, and take a commanding lead that would force Texas to respond with a touchdown (which they'd only managed once all game), it was back to the run. Three straight dives, this time, for 4 total yards. Henery nailed the go-ahead field goal, but at this point they were begging to lose.
The rest is history; a moronic kicker did the one thing you can never, never do late in the game, which is kick the ball out of bounds, an unfortunate defender horse-collared a Longhorn receiver, and within thirty seconds Texas was in field goal range. Colt McCoy still almost managed to blow the game by lofting a pass out of bounds that left only one second, but the field goal was good, and Nebraska's fearful approach to offense cost them everything.
So un-awesome, Cornhuskers. Boo.
2 - As Awesome as Watching Dick Cheney Seduce my Grandmother
Boise State vs. TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. This is just a self-serving, bullshit move by the BCS. "Hey, instead of letting two small conference undefeated teams take a crack at the big dogs and prove themselves as national powers, let's just have them play each other. That way, nobody can say there's anything wrong with the BCS, or that a playoff is necessary to give the Boise States and TCUs of the world a title shot. We'll just keep them confined to each other, safe from the hallowed world of POWER CONFERENCE FOOTBALL."
This is such nonsense. It actually makes me furious. Last year, Utah beat Alabama. Boise State beat Oklahoma in 2007. Utah beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl in 2004. These teams can, and do, win the big game. That's why they play all season, for this chance; the big schools dodge them from week 1, because they don't want an early loss and would rather play a local cupcake. This is literally their only opportunity to take a shot at the top, and the BCS has them play each other? Fuck. That. I'd fight every single person in the BCS on principle. Of course, since I don't work for a major media outlet, they probably wouldn't let me. I'd have to fight another blogger.
3 - As Awesome as Watching Dick Cheney Make Fun of my Grandmother on an Alaska Cruise for Senior Citizens
Michael Vick scores two touchdowns in his first game back at Atlanta. I'm not sure how much I really care about this, but we can all agree that Vick probably deserves less. It was especially annoying to see the Falcons fans wearing their old #7 jerseys and cheering for him. At that point, you're basically cheering for dogs to die. But please don't hold me to this standard if Plaxico ever returns to the Giants; I would never root for human beings to get self-shot in the thigh. That's just sick.
4 - As Awesome as Watching Dick Cheney Tip his Cap to my Grandmother at Church
Arizona beats USC, the Trojans have their worst Pac-10 finish in a hundred years or something. I include this because I like Pete Carroll. A lot. Not only is he a great college coach, but he seems like the kind of dude who would be really fun to play for. Which I can't say about any other coach I can think of right now. He also does a lot of charity work in South Central LA. And I friggin' loved when he went deep on Neuheisel and UCLA at the end of the game two weeks ago. If you didn't see it, here was the situation: the game was out of hand, and USC only had to down the ball and run out the clock. The two teams (and coaches) had been exchanging barbs all year, so Neuheisel, UCLA's coach, decided to be a pain in the ass and call a timeout. Again, he had no chance to win; he was antagonizing. So on the next play, Carroll called a play action bomb, and scored a fifty yard touchdown. It was hilarious and awesome, and it's just what UCLA deserved. Pete Carroll has my vote of approval. I hope to see USC back in the high life next year.
5 - Dick Cheney's Life Path Continues not to Cross with my Grandmother's
Kentucky beats North Carolina, basketball. The Wildcats ran out to a huge lead, but UNC chipped away and eventually got back to within 2 before time ran out. An interesting game which I caught only part of, but it's a nice early season indication of what we can expect from Kentucky. They looked good, but possibly not great. What it indicates is that we can probably cross them off the list of teams who are head-and-shoulders above the competition. That list is now down to 4: Kansas, Villanova, Syracuse and Texas. And I think Texas will fall off the podium sometime soon. So the Jayhawks, Orange, and Wildcats are the only teams keeping this college basketball season from being extremely wide open, or, in other words, undermining my secret wish that Duke wins a fluke national title.
6 - My Grandmother Cracks up her Senior Citizen Computer Class with a Well-Timed Barb about Dick Cheney
Cincinnati defeats Pittsburgh for the Big East Championship. This was the early game Saturday, and a perfect way to start off an awesome day in sports. A friend of mine went to Cincinnati, and I've been loosely following them all year. I love Tony Pike; he's a pure, pure passer. And this game had everything (except defense)- a phenomenal running back (Pitt's Dion Lewis), momentum swings, bad weather, great offense, and an unbelievable finish. With less than two minutes left, Pitt scored the go-ahead touchdown. Then their holder, poor soul, dropped a perfect snap and had to run headlong into the line, where he was stopped. Instead of being up 7, Pitt took a 6-point lead. And because life is cruel, this error cost them the game when Pike led Cincy to the winning score.
7 - My Grandmother Sees Dick Cheney on a Sidewalk, and Veers Over in her Dodge Minivan to Splash him with a Mud Puddle
New Orleans Saints defeat the Washington Redskins in OT. Redskins up by 7, 1 minute to play, and the ball on the New Orleands 10-yard line. That was honestly where they found themselves. There are a lot of bad teams in the NFL, but I like to think there's only one who could fuck up that situation. And they did! A missed 23-yard field goal gave the Saints the ball, and they drove to tie the game, and then won in OT. Hilarious, and it keeps an undefeated season alive, which is always fun.
8 - My Grandmother Does that Trick where You Tell Someone they can Look up through a Coat Sleeve While Lying Down to see the Moon, but then you Pour Water through the Sleeve and onto their Face, and the Person she does it to is Dick Cheney
Duke defeats St. John's. Any Duke win is at least a 7 on this awesome scale, and this one climbed up to an 8 because St. John's is actually decent this year, and we needed a nice bounce-back win after the Wisconsin loss. The bad news is that Scheyer's shooting woes continued and Mason Plumlee is still in poor form. The good news is that Lance Thomas looks better with every game, and Singler is still a pressure-time gamer. I'd mention something about Zoubek playing well, but I just don't believe in him. The Dukies are off until the 15th, and are entering a boring part of their schedule; January can't come fast enough.
9 - My Grandmother Totally Owns Dick Cheney in a Spontaneous Rap-Off at the Mall of America
BAMA! Just a perfect game. Nick Saban is the anti-Pellini, the anti-Tressel. From the moment he took the ball to start the game, to the beautiful playcalling, to the refusal to take his foot off the gas, this was an exhibition in great coaching. And great execution, too; Ingram earned himself the Heisman, in my book, and McElroy was spectacular. I'm so, so happy about this result. I've been pulling for them all year, and now the horrible reign of Tim Tebow is over. Should I give him credit for handling himself well with the media afterward, despite his tears, when I was pretty sure he'd whine and pout and either refuse to talk or be snippy? Fine: you are not a phony, Tim Tebow. Congrats.
10 - My Grandmother Races Dick Cheney in a Soapbox Derby and Despite the Fact that his Cart has that Screwdriver thing that tries to Damage her Cart, and he Tries to Spill Oil to Make her Slip and All That, She Triumphs in the End Without Cheating and Dick Cheney can't Shut Down the Local Children's Hospital
GIANTS OVER COWBOYS, BABY! Man oh man, we needed this win, and the G-Men came through. I had like zero faith that this would happen after the beat-down in Denver last week, but we seem to own the Cowboys the last few years, and nothing changed on Sunday. I spent the whole game texting my friend Kyle and my cousin Mike and talking with my brother Thomas, and it reminded me why I love the NFL and the Giants in particular; every game, no matter your team's circumstances, is huge. This is especially true when the Cowboys are in town. Now we're 7-5, and if Green Bay loses tonight we'll be tied for the last Wild Card spot. Hope springs eternal, baby.