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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dr. D - Good, Bad and the Ugly #5

Dr. D is back after a one week hiatus. For my millions of disappointed fans, all I can say is that I’m sorry--I was unable to contribute last week do to circumstances beyond my direct control that prevented me from viewing the KU game. I ultimately determined that, unlike beat writers for the Lincoln Urinal Star, I would not weigh in without having a clue as to what actually transpired on the field. At least in my case, I can fall back on the excuse that I didn’t watch the game.

The Good

What? We actually won a conference road game somewhere other than Boulder? We hadn’t beaten the Clones in Ames in 6 years. I almost forgot what it feels like to win at Jack Trice Stadium (did I actually type that??). Anyway, I think those formerly critical of Callahan for his conservative playcalling on the road will now see some value in controlling the clock and therefore the game in a hostile environment. When you have superior talent, it works. When you don’t, it won’t.

The more I watch us, the more I like Callahan’s strategizing. It should tell you something when none of the pundits, die-hard fans, or even opposing coaches have a clue what our offensive package and playcalling will look like prior to the game. How many reps do you think the ISU defense honestly took in practice last week with an emphasis on stopping Glenn’s power rushing? At the same time, the complete unpredictability can be frustrating for fans and, when things don’t work out, it definitely opens the gameplan up to serious criticism. However, in the case of our RB’s, I think all of them now understand that on any given day, every one of them has to be ready to contribute when called upon. I thought that the running back formerly known as Number 1 on the depth chart, Marlon Lucky, had a solid game Saturday. He caught 3 key passes and offered a nice change of pace to the pounding issued by the big ugly’s up front with his receptions out of the backfield. So maybe we should start a new weekly poll: Who can accurately predict the number of carries each of the 4 backs will get each week (margin of error +/- 10 carries)? Not easy to do. Best of luck to Coach Princess and KSU.

The Bad

Instant replay. There comes a time when we have to face the simple fact that some ideas, however great in concept, just don’t work in reality. Like socialism, Dennis Miller doing play by play and Paris Hilton trying to do anything not involving lying on her back, the college football replay system is painfully bad. I’m not saying it couldn’t ever work—but the current replay-based system has resulted in MORE controversial calls than any year in recent memory! ISU had 7 points stolen from them Saturday night, and if the call had gone the other way and we had lost, I think the reaction from Nebraska fans would have been somewhere close to the apoplexy expressed by OU fans after the debacle in Oregon. As bad as the Pac 10 officials obviously are (did anyone catch the officials’ clock management at the end of the USC/Washington game?), every conference has been plagued by bad calls. I don’t know how to fix it, but I’m not sure the current system would pass if subjected to a coaches’ referendum. It’s the first year of a new system—obviously it needs tweaking prior to year 2.

So that’s where the Pac 10 officials keep the replay monitor!

The Ugly

Matt Slauson (with apologies to his mother). I’m glad he’s on our side.

If any parents are interested, I hear Matt is now offering his services as a babysitter.

Paging Mr. Harvey...paging Mr. Harvey

Hey Dan Fouts: You have 1 job - call the game accurately. You have a week to prepare. Let’s try to go ahead and get the names of the starting lineup down. How many times did we have to silently groan Saturday night while Fouts referred to WR Frantz Hardy as Frantz Harvey? How does this guy have a job?

One hack’s ranking of the pecking order within each of the BCS conferences based on overall play up to the season’s midpoint:

Big 12

1. Texas
2. Mizzou
4. Nebraska
5. Texas Tech
6. Texas A&M
7. Iowa State
8. Kansas
9. Oklahoma St.
10. Baylor
11. Coach Princess All Stars

Big 10

1. OSU
2. Michigan
3. Iowa
4. Penn St.
5. Wisconsin
6. Purdue
7. Michigan St.
8. Minnesota
9. Northwestern
10. Indiana
11. Illinois


1. Florida
2. Tennessee
3. Arkansas
4. Auburn
5. Georgia
6. LSU
7. South Carolina
8. Bama
9. Kentucky
10. Mississippi
11. Vandy
12. Miss. St

Pac 10

1. USC
2. Cal
4. Washington
5. Oregon
6. Washington St.
7. Arizona
8. ASU
9. Oregon St.
10. Stanford


1. Clemson
2. Ga. Tech
3. Va. Tech
4. FSU
5. Miami
6. BC
7. Wake Forest
8. Maryland
9. NC St.
10. Virginia
11. UNC
12. Duke

Big East

1. West Virginia
2. Louisville
3. Pitt
4. Rutgers...ahh, who cares