College Football Week 5 PreviewSeptember 30th, 2010
I saw a T-shirt this morning that advertised the following message: "Stuck Fanford". I wasn't so much mad as I was impressed. Just like the time Ron Burgundy's Border terrier ate a whole wheel of cheese. It's just plain difficult to begrudge such brilliant innovation.
The Stuck Fanford shirt belongs to a long line of clever, barely appropriate fanwear. There is also a rich history behind barely clever, overtly inappropriate sports apparel. Fortunately, when USC fans sport "Fucla" logos when the Bruins are in town, or when Stanford students don "I have one more testicle than Cal. Sincerely, Lance Armstrong" shirts for the annual Big Game, it's all in the spirit of hating your rival even though you don't really hate them.
What is so interesting about the upcoming clash of the Pac-10 titans (#9 Stanford at #4 Oregon - Oct. 2, 8PM ET), is that Stanford fans can't engage in Oregon's wordplay. What would we yell at them? Ouck Foregon? Sounds too much to me like a Finnish version of Justin Bieber. Since the only other possibility is Duck the F...'s, Stanford will have to cling to their integrity and settle the dispute by stucking it to Oregon on the football field.
It's not an impossibility. Though Oregon's offense has averaged 58.1 pts/game this season, they haven't yet faced the likes of Stanford's iron curtain (13.8 pts allowed/game). If Oregon running back LaMichael James hopes to maintain his 8 yd/carry average, he will have to run around, not through Stanford's D. Stanford's offense has averaged a respectable 48 pts/game (better than every team in the league except Oregon, Ohio St., Oklahoma St., and O my god I've uncovered a conspiracy), not to mention they shocked the Ducks 51-42 last year with a far weaker roster. If their defense can contain the Ducks, who have so far overpowered New Mexico 72-0 and Portland St. 69-0, the Cardinal will pull off another upset and enter the National Championship conversation.
#7 Florida at #1 Alabama
Oct. 2, 8PM ET
The fact that the sports world considers a Pac-10 game this week's main event, even though Florida visits Alabama, speaks volumes about the Pac-10's resurgence. Don't be so quick to forget that three different SEC teams have combined to win the past four National Titles. Two of those teams, Florida and Alabama, have won their past 52 regular season games straight. The last two times they met, the winner has gone on to win it all. Alabama came from behind last week to avoid an Arkansas upset and hopes to do so again against a Florida team that won't have forgotten their loss to Alabama in the last year's SEC Championship game.