Dr. Saturday - NCAAF

A weekly look at conquered favorites and other notables picking up the pieces of shattered ambition.

Be it ever so humble ... Missouri's still in the running for the Big 12 North title and still a top 20 team according to the polls, far from the obscurity the Tigers have toiled in for most of the last 40 years. Surely the locals can appreciate progress and refrain from jumping to harsh conclusions after one bad half, on the road, against the No. 1 team in the country. Right?

Maybe not. The levelheaded Tiger partisans at Rock M Nation are trying to keep things in perspective with Positivity Week. But, yeah, that's really not off to a very good start:

We will not be winning a national title this year. With all the seniors (and players who won't be in Tiger uniforms next year...cough Maclin cough), I know there was a bit of desperation toward this--we're Mizzou and we don't [get] many chances to win a national title. We missed out last year, and it turns out that was the closest look we were going to get. That, for lack of a better term, sucks. Hard.

Indeed, although it can't help that the mythical championship meme really died last week, with the loss to Oklahoma State, and carrying it around after that is not healthy, emotionally. It's that much more traumatic when you coddle the Hope and hold it closer to your chest for another week before you realize it's really gone, instead of just abandoning it on the side of the road and moving on with a deadened, steely resolve as Hope's cries fade into the distance. Anyway, at least Chase Daniel is getting some love -- maybe more than he wants, actually:

Classy gesture by ESPN’s Chris Fowler after the game. Between live interviews with McCoy and Texas Coach Mack Brown, Fowler ran halfway across the field during a commercial break to give Daniel a hug as the Tigers filed into the locker room. He probably needed it.

You know Fowler's motto: leave no losing quarterback un-hugged. I'm sure Kirk Herbstreit didn't make fun of him at all for this, or casually bring it up later to a gaggle of sorority sisters on Sixth Street as Fowler silently nursed his merlot. No, Herbie's got his boy's back.

Thus ends the Bielema honeymoon. As Brian Cook helpfully notes, every coach of any note whatsoever has a "FIre [Insert Coach]" site these days -- literally every coach; just Google them -- but Fire Bret Bielema is getting much busier after Wisconsin was rolled by Iowa to cement an 0-4 Big Ten start. I was very much on the Badger bandwagon before the season, but it's easy for me to just take an objective step back and say, "Whoa, these guys are actually terrible" as the losses get progressively worse; for the Badger partisans, it's time to start hacking the wagon into torches and calling for a long-overdue Bielema hunger strike:

Who exactly is at fault that we can't get into the endzone? Erin Andrews stops Bret at the goalline. It is also not his fault that he has spent the past three years shoving his egotistical piehole making his team as fat and lazy as his helium blimp big man on campus bloated persona.
[...]
All the slack has been let out of his slacks and unfortunately they can not be tailored further. He has done irreparable harm to this program. Unfortunately, it is time to buy a new pair. The next stop is the grey buffet elastic drawers while he waits in line for his unemployment check.

Actually, on the heels of Shonn Green's physical, 217-yard domination of the Badger defense, the premature (yes, they are) calls for Bielema's head and waistline only tickles a little compared to what the Hawkeyes did to the Badger defense, according to Jay Valai:

“Our manhood was took today,” the sophomore strong safety said. “As a team, we backed down.”

Well, in that case, who wouldn't? I don't think Shonn Greene is certified for that sort of thing. For officially putting a rival's agonizing season out of its misery, though, he's your guy.

Touché, sirs. Michigan State had lost under Mark Dantonio -- seven times in a year-and-a-half -- but never by more than seven points before the start-to-finish beatdown Ohio State laid on the Spartans in East Lansing. In fact, the margins of defeat in MSU's previous seven losses under Dantonio combined added up to 38 points, the exact margin of the Buckeyes' 45-7 rout Saturday. Dantonio wasn't making excuses after loss like that to his old boss: he told the Lansing State Journal, "I feel like we were physically beaten and mentally beaten and outcoached," which seems about right, according to the score. But blogger Joe Rexrode isn't missing any opportunities to remind Michiganders who the state's real loser is for a change:

Dantonio made special mention of the impressive performance by [backup quarterback] Kirk Cousins and said his No. 1 concern is getting the players to recover quickly from the first blowout loss they've experienced on his watch.

In that regard, Michigan is probably coming at a perfect time.

At least Ohio State and Michigan State can come together in their taunting hatred of the Wolverines in their Year of Pain! No, seriously, it was pretty ugly out there.

Elsewhere in Disillusion ... They're fed up with the offense in Blacksburg. ... Losing to Virginia was a sadly familiar feeling for North Carolina fans. ... And Cal blogger TwinstNHook didn't miss anything Saturday night, did he?

Dr. Saturday

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