Corporate didn't get it.
"Okaaay, interesting," the Dunkin' Donuts p.r. flak said hesitantly.
|You got your first loss under your belt, Jimmy ... how about a second? (US Presswire)|
0-2 vs. 0-2. A combined 0-8, considering both heavyweights have gone anorexic -- each losing their last four. No wins equals zeroes which equals nothing in the middle, which symbolizes the perfect breakfast pastry. The Irish and Wolverines have never been 0-2 at the same time much less 0-2 across the field from each other.
Games have been sponsored before. AT&T wrapped its coaxial cables around the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry. Lord knows that bowl execs would run naked through the streets in a banana hammock if it meant a new title sponsor.
Might we suggest the following marketing slogans for Saturday's Battle of the Bad:
Doughnut Bowl I: Someone is going to get creamed.
Crullers and crummy football: Dunkin' Donuts presents Notre Dame-Michigan
Free jelly rolls for the fans of the first team to 10.
Our coffee will keep you awake, even if the teams put you to sleep.
Our cream puffs aren't the only ones in Ann Arbor.
It's game day at Michigan: After you gasp "Egads!", try our éclairs
Let's just say that someone in Canton is dropping the beignet, er, ball. After WWL suggested the marketing plan for the p.r. flak, there was a pause on the line while her corporate-trained brain tried to process it.
"Let me think about this one," she said. "I will get back to you."
WWL operators are standing by ...
Scouting the Nation
• Pete Carroll is so darn upbeat you want to slap him.
"What a great matchup this is this time. I mean, you can't imagine -- I mean, none of us could imagine how hungry those two teams are, the coaching staff, their fans as well," USC's coach said.
He was talking about Notre Dame-Michigan.
What about USC-Nebraska? The feeling is that the Men of Husk need this more than the Men of Troy. Carroll has been in L.A. only seven seasons. He's had his national titles. Nebraska hasn't won so much as a Big 12 title since 1999. That's centuries in Herbie Husker years.
The program is at the corner but hasn't turned it. Bill Callahan has made steady progress, winning a watered-down Big 12 North last season before being flicked aside by Oklahoma in the conference title game.
The suspicion is that the Trojans will be out to prove something of their own. They've been lapped, perception-wise, by Oklahoma and LSU early in the season.
Unless Nebraska can suddenly run the ball and Sam Keller starts throwing darts downfield, this will be death by slow strangulation. USC pulls away in the fourth quarter, say, 30-10.
|Pete Carroll is rallying the troops, because USC has something to prove. (US Presswire)|
• Nebraska linebacker Cory McKeon on turning that corner: "We knocked on the door a lot ... We just need that one big game where we just push over and we become one of the big dogs. It takes one quick game like that to do that."
• The last time a No. 1 visited Lincoln, Oklahoma lost to Nebraska 17-14 in 1978. The teams then met again in the Orange Bowl with OU winning 31-24.
• We are witnessing the return of Washington football. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Locker is the charismatic Huskies leader who has become the West Coast version of Tim Tebow. Run, pass, date cheerleaders. Jake can do it all.
The dude hasn't lost since his junior year at Ferndale (Wash.) High School. No. 10 jerseys are selling faster than half-caf, double-whip lattes at Starbucks. This is the recruit Ty Willingham had to have, the kid to lead U-Dub back to prominence. It's happening before our eyes and, on Saturday, over, through and around Ohio State.
• This Pac-10 thing is getting legs -- If USC and Washington win this week that solidifies the Pac-10's No. 1 status.
Not counting USC, the Pac-10 is 4-2 against other BCS conferences. Minus LSU, the SEC is 2-3 against BCS leagues and doesn't have a road win against those teams.
Sorry Les Miles, but a case can be made, at this point, for LSU having an easier road to the national championship game. It has Florida, Arkansas and South Carolina left at home. USC must go on the road to play No. 8 Cal, No. 19 Oregon and (currently unbeaten) Arizona State and Washington.
The SEC has to play a conference title game but the Pac-10 plays an extra conference game (nine total).
• Or we could just let the Oregon mascot settle things.
• Does anyone give Tennessee a chance at Florida? WWL does. This space fell in love with tailback Arian Foster a couple of weeks ago. No, not in the biblical sense. And now that LaMarcus Coker is back from his suspension, the Vols have hope. But they also have a secondary with only one veteran left in it.
Mr. Tebow, dinner is served.
The trends (which are a big deal ever since Steve Spurrier started dominating this series):
• The winner of this game has won the SEC East in 10 of the 15 years of SEC divisional play.
• Only Danny Wuerffel (1993) and Doug Johnson (1997) have won their first game as a starter against Tennessee. Tebow comes in as the nation's No. 2 passer and the Gators' No. 2 rusher.
• The winner in 15 of the last 17 meetings has outrushed the loser. In the last two meetings, Tennessee has a combined 55 rushing yards.
• Fifth-year senior receiver Andre Caldwell is out for Florida with a sprained MCL. In two games Caldwell touched the ball eight times and averaged 16.3 yards per touch. Urban Meyer might not be in bad shape. Jarred Fayson, Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, Cornelius Ingram and Riley Cooper combined for 17 of the team's 18 receptions last week.
|Remember Andre' Woodson. He just might be the best QB this season. (Getty Images)|
The Cardinals have won four in a row and seven of the last eight in this rivalry that is suddenly a big deal nationally. Hard to call it a rivalry, though, with the Cards winning those last four by an average 20 1/2 points. That's what is causing mouths to froth in Lexington.
Depending on which way the wind blows in Gainesville, Woodson is the best SEC quarterback. Brohm has bigger things in mind, a Big East title, national championship and the NFL.
"On my calendar it's a circle, a star, an asterisk," Kentucky tailback Alfonso Smith said. "I'm tired of hearing about how great Louisville is. I'm going to come out with fire in my heart for this game."
• Alabama is looking at a 7-0 start. It gets Arkansas (Saturday) and Georgia in back-to-back home games, followed by Florida State in Jacksonville, Houston and Ole Miss. That's one true road game in the first six.
Look out if 'Bama comes in undefeated for the Tennessee game on Oct. 20.
• WWWWL Do? (Or What Would Weekend Watch List Do?) Forget quarterback Casey Dick at Arkansas. Line up Darren McFadden or Felix Jones in the Wildcat formation on every play. Leading receiver Marcus Monk is out with a knee injury. Why risk Dick's scatter-shooting at 'Bama? At least you know what you're getting with D-Mac and Jones.
• You once were the fun, cuddly newcomers, Rutgers. Then your fans dropped multiple f-bombs on Navy last week. Navy? These guys are serving their country so you can hit the Manhattan bars on weekends Mr. and Ms. Piscataway Slacker. WWL is really wavering on lending its further support to the program. Recommendation: Stay the heck off of big, bad Norfolk State.
• Florida State travels to Colorado with defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews in tow. Andrews is recovering from pneumonia and will coach from the coaches' booth. Watch for peeling paint.
• Considering all the lies that have been uttered since (Vick, Saban, Bonds, etc.), George O'Leary's resume fib doesn't seem like that big a deal. O'Leary was the perfect guy for Central Florida. Another perk comes his way Saturday when Texas comes to town to open new Bright House Networks Stadium.
Since arriving on campus O'Leary has gotten new offices, an indoor facility, weight room and stadium. Now he's locked in a death race with South Florida to see who will become the next power in the state.
|You can't stop the 'haka,' you can only hope to contain it. (AP)|
Before each game Hawaii traditionally performs the "haka," a Polynesian warrior dance. The enlightened folks at Louisiana Tech apparently got a little testy last week when the Warriors went into their pregame routine. They were not near the Bulldogs, nor taunting their fans. Still, WAC officials threw a flag and promise to again this week in Las Vegas.
June Jones promises his team will keep on dancin', flags be damned.
• Who leads the Pac-10 in scoring, total defense and penalties? Woops, the penalties probably gave it away if you've seen certain Miami and Oregon State teams.
Answer: Dennis Erickson's Arizona State (vs. San Diego State) which has been flagged 18 times in two games. Last week against Colorado there were eight ASU personal fouls including one against the punter.
• So you can aim your satellite transponders at the Southwestern sky just right, we provide this public service:
The Big Ten Network will feature The Citadel, Buffalo, Akron and Duke on its Saturday airwaves. Oh, and some Big Ten teams will be involved too. Where else do you get that kind of coverage?
• So Michael Hart is guaranteeing a victory. Two games late, my man. Besides the last guarantee to mean anything was the one Joe Namath made in Miami 40 years ago. The Jets were in the Super Bowl. Michigan is in the basement.