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Friday, October 2, 2009
DJ Gallo's Varsity Tailgate, Week 5

By DJ Gallo
Page 2

Week 5 of the college football season is here. I hope you ate some starchy foods this morning because it's time for another Varsity Tailgate.


    

Game of the Week

No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 17 Miami -- 8 p.m. ET on ABC


Oklahoma and Miami were two of the nation's premier programs back in the 1980s and met three times between '85-87. It's exciting to see them playing each other again. Only something seems to be missing. Hmm, what is it? What could it be? Oh, right. The crime.


    

One More Game of the Week

No. 4 LSU at No. 18 Georgia -- 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS


LSU is one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the nation. But they are not without their problems. The biggest one is their offense -- ranked 105th in the nation. It might be time for Les Miles to ban his players from watching former Tigers star JaMarcus Russell on Sundays. That has to be where they're learning their bad habits.


Cupcake of the Week

Miami (Ohio)


Undefeated Cincinnati is trying to make the case that it belongs in the national title discussion. But this week they are playing 0-4 Miami (Ohio). Did you know that Miami (Ohio) was given that "(Ohio)" designation to prevent the typical reaction to seeing them on a team's schedule? "Wow, you are playing Miami?" "Not that one." "Oh."

It's true! (Maybe.)


Cupcake Recipe of the Week

Chocolate cupcakes (low-fat)

These are the Miami (Ohio) of cupcakes. For a split second you think they might be really good (but they're not).


    

Rivalry Game of the Week

No. 22 Michigan at Michigan State --
Noon ET on Big Ten Network


The in-state rivals will battle it out for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. This is the Paul Bunyan Trophy. At least I think it is. It actually kind of looks like a Michigan State player holding Tate Forcier up in the air. Put him down, Brian Hoyer! That's rude!


Heisman Candidate in the Crosshairs

Everyone. And no one: Hey, is there anyone out there who wants to win the Heisman? Anyone at all? If so, and if you can manage to put up some decent stats and not get injured in the process, there's a small bronze statue, a large portrait and a disappointing pro career awaiting you on Dec. 12 at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square. Any takers? A quarterback perhaps?


Tim Tebow Fact of the Week

It is speculated that Tim Tebow received a Grade II concussion last week against Kentucky. That should keep him out for a week. Whereas concussion's career is probably over.


Mascot Fact of the Week

West Virginia has a female Mountaineer for the second time in school history. The first female Mountaineer is now serving as West Virginia's Secretary of State. Why must this woman continually embarrass her parents?


Tailgate Tip of the Week

Bring some games: It's Week 5. And because college football refuses to have a playoff system, the dream of a national title is already over for approximately 97.8 percent of us. So fight those tailgate doldrums by bringing a game along. Cornhole, for example. Just please, for your own good, don't call it cornhole. I beg you.


H1N1 Tip of the Week

Talk infectious trash: Urban Meyer has talked like H1N1 hurt his team. He's just not using it right. People are terrified to get this flu. You have to use that to your advantage on the field. Open the game by running the ball. Create a big pile. Now have your sick players breathe all over their opponents. The other team will be psyched out the rest of the game. Breathing on people at the bottom of a pile is the new biting fingers.


Quote of the Week

"Watching film, that just wasn't our team, it wasn't our identity. There's no doubt in my mind that nobody [on our team] is doubting what we can do here at Cal. I definitely feel like everybody is ready to respond to show America what we're really about."
-- Cal DE Tyson Alualu on losing to Oregon last week and playing USC this week

Note: That "[on our team]" bracket was added for inference about what Alualu was saying. At least I hope that's what he was inferring. Because if he really doesn't think anyone is doubting Cal right now, well ... I was under the impression that smart people went to Cal.


Stat of the Week

161-33: Miami takes on No. 8 Oklahoma this week. The Hurricanes have lost their past four games to Top 10 teams by a combined score of 161-33. The U! (G-L-Y).


Charlie Weis hot seat temperature

Warm, but cooling: This week Mr. Strategic Advantage gets Washington at home. And while Weis still has many detractors at Notre Dame, the Huskies are a timely reminder for them that Weis was probably an improvement over the coach who preceded him in South Bend. He will be looking to escape with another win on Saturday, just as the Irish did last week against Purdue. Notre Dame still isn't back to the level of an elite program, but at least it's in the top two in Indiana again.


Lane Kiffin NCAA violation of the week

None, yet again: Not only is Kiffin not breaking the rules (as far as we know), he is putting together quite a recruiting class. It will be on him to coach them up and make them a good college football team. But he has players who don't want to pump gas for a living. That's all any coach can ask.


Twitter News of the Week

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has banned his players from using Twitter. Says the coach: "It's just a bunch of narcissists that want to sit and type stuff about themselves all the time. We'll put mirrors in some of their lockers if that's necessary, but they don't have to Twitter." Actually, coach, as you know, one of the Tweets that caused you to take this action was from a player who posted that you were late to a team meeting. So it actually appears they want to sit and type stuff about YOU all the time. Maybe instead of banning Twitter you should stop playing dress-up pirate in your office when you're supposed to be at meetings.


    

Worst Game of the Week

Temple at Eastern Michigan


Combined, these teams are 1-5. And I propose it's time Temple gets a name befitting the quality of the program. They need a direction. And a "State." From now on they are East Temple State. There, that sounds better. Please order your new uniforms, signage and letterhead, East Temple State.


Worst Conference Ever of the Week

The ACC has the worst out-of-conference record among BCS automatic-qualifying conferences. But wait! There's more! It's also currently below .500 against the rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision. And the conference lost three games to Colonial Athletic Association teams.

(Oh ... what? No, I don't have a joke here at the end on this one. Sorry for the confusion. I put the joke up top after "Worst Conference Ever of the Week".)


Name of the Week

Dom DeCicco, S, Pitt: That's a fine Italian name. And Pitt is playing at Louisville on Friday night. If DeCicco is looking for a good Italian restaurant, perhaps he can ask Rick Pitino for a suggestion.


Player of the Week

Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Sam Bradford is still out, so it will be on Jones to guide the Sooners to victory over Miami and keep them in national title contention. It will be tough for the freshman to play on the road against a ranked opponent, but he needs to just play his game and keep a stiff upper lip. Perhaps he can put some hairspray in his mustache before the game.


Stone Cold Lock of the Week

LeGarrette Blount will be reinstated to the Oregon team. His punishment will now be having to wear an Oregon Ducks uniform every day, in public. Ouch. I'd take the suspension.


DJ Gallo is the founder of and sole writer for the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.