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Friday, November 20, 2009
DJ Gallo's Varsity Tailgate, Week 12

By DJ Gallo
Page 2

Week 12 of the college football season is upon us. It's time to forget all those mean things Mark Mangino said to you with some tailgate fun.

    

Game of the Week

No. 11 Oregon at Arizona -- 8 p.m. ET on ABC


If Oregon wins out, they go to the Rose Bowl and play Ohio State. If Arizona wins out, they go to the Rose Bowl to play Ohio State. Either way, someone is going to get to play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. There are no losers here.

    

One More Game of the Week

No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan -- noon ET on ABC


How can I not have Ohio State-Michigan as the Game of the Week? Well, Michigan has lost six of seven. They're 5-6. Historic rivalry or not, this game just doesn't have as much juice this year. Although there is a case to be made that Michigan is undefeated. Perhaps they don't bother to log their losses as well as practice time. Game of the Century?

Cupcake of the Week

Chattanooga: The 6-4 Mocs of the FCS head to Alabama this week to take on the undefeated Crimson Tide (12:21 p.m. ET on ESPN360). Says Nick Saban: "We respect the team. They've got good players. Their coach has done a great job there. They are 6-4 this year, and they have made a tremendous amount of improvement from last year. Every game is significant, and this is the most important game that we are playing, and it's the only game that we are going to talk about. So that's the way it is." Jeez, Nick. Stop playing with your food and just eat it.

Cupcake Recipe of the Week: Popcorn Cupcakes

This week's Cupcake of the Week decision was a tough call. Because while the No. 2 team in the country is playing a 6-4 FCS team, Florida -- the No. 1 team in our fair land -- is playing 3-7 Florida International. So many cupcakes, so little space (the SEC nonconference schedule excluded). I think Alabama and Florida deserve special recognition for feasting on cupcakes in late November. So while Chattanooga gets the nod above, this week's cupcake recipe is in honor of FIU and their popcorn-loving basketball coach, Isiah Thomas.

    

Rivalry Game of the Week

No. 25 Cal at No. 17 Stanford -- 7:30 p.m. ET on Versus


Ohio State-Michigan was mentioned above, so Cal-Stanford goes here. And this year's game is a rare treat because both teams enter ranked in the Top 25. In fact, it's the first time since 1991 that both teams enter the game with at least seven wins. I've always felt this rivalry is best when members of the band are not more athletic than members of the football teams.

Heisman Candidate in the Crosshairs

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Gerhart is third nationally in rushing (139.5 yards per game) and is second in the nation with 19 rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, he was about 100th in the nation in the preseason Heisman rankings, so all that other stuff means nothing. Sorry, Toby!


Tim Tebow Fact of the Week


Tim Tebow estimates that he watches more than 20 hours of film every week. Big deal. The rest of us have a continuous loop of Tim Tebow footage on 24 hours a day.


Mascot Fact of the Week


Uga VII is dead. This just 17 months after Uga VI died. Georgia, I know this is a sad time for you. But you may want to consider switching to a hardier breed so you can spare your fans this repeated heartache. Did you know that Chihuahuas are the longest-living dog breed? It's true. Unfortunately. Let's see … the Georgia Chihuahuas. Hmm. I'm not sure I like the sound of that. But at least your punter will have motivation, I guess.

Tailgate Tip of the Week


Buy a Freedom Grill: Seriously, guy? I'm not so into tailgating that I want to buy a special grill that attaches to my truck's hitch ball. I don't even have a truck. Understood. But you're not thinking this through. A) The Freedom Grill is as American as … freedom. B) The Freedom Grill is as American as … grilling meats out of the back of your pickup truck before a football game. C) Remember Spy Hunter? You can bring it to life on the way home by taking out opposing team cars with a spray of uneaten hamburgers and hot dogs.


Quote of the Week


"Some of these guys are bitter. They are bitter."
-- Mark Mangino, on former Kansas players complaining about him.

You know what cuts bitterness? A little lemon and butter.


Stat of the Week


134: If Nevada running back Luke Lippincott rushes for 134 or more yards against New Mexico State this week, or reaches that total next week against Boise State, the Wolf Pack will become the first FBS team in history to have three 1,000-yard rushers in the same season. Ah, but do they have a 1,000-yard passer? They do? Dah! These guys have thought of everything. They're good. Real good.


Charlie Weis' Hot Seat Temperature


Like the interior of a Hot Pocket if said Hot Pocket were cooked by a volcano on the sun.

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick on what will influence his decision on retaining Charlie Weis: "It's more art than science. It's an overall impression. Every situation is different." For more art analogies, please enjoy Notre Dame's season on canvas.


Lane Kiffin NCAA Violation of the Week


None. But another Tennessee player got arrested this week. So while you won't pump gas for a living if you go to Tennessee, you may make the license plate for a car that has its gas tank filled by a South Carolina alum.

    

Worst Game of the Week

Purdue at Indiana -- 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big 10 Network


It's two 4-7 Big Ten teams just playing out their schedules. If the Big 10 Network wants to boost ratings for this game, maybe it should scroll Charlie Weis jokes across the bottom of the screen. Fans of these Indiana schools would love that.

Name of the Week

Myles Caragein, DE, Pitt: The eighth-ranked Panthers have the week off. I hope that allows Caragein time to finish his jazz album.

Stone Cold Lock of the Week

Tim Tebow will win the Heisman. Follow the math: Heisman ballots were mailed out this week + Florida is playing FIU + Tebow will have big numbers + voters have no memory = A TWO-TIME HEISMAN WINNER! ZOMG!

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.