Big East predictions brought to you by Marginally Applicable Moments From the Halcyon Third Season of The Simpsons. "The third season of The Simpsons: driving blockbuster ticket sales 15 years later. Where's our money?"
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Well, fool me once, shame on you, etc. I was right about Louisville winning the conference, but I have eyes. And once they saw Maryland reamed for 38 points in the first half, and Louisville's defense tagged for 540 yards with Slaton regularly on the bench, and Slaton and White dice up Pittsburgh (again) for 639 total yards and six touchdowns in one night - running, throwing, whatever, just the two of them and a superbly disciplined line - resistance, as they say, was futile:
Those were only the Thursday night games, and the Mountaineers' persistent presence on week nights is a symptom of their biggest obstacle to a mythical championship run, even bigger than the departure of o-line coach Rick Trickett or a sometimes sketchy defense - I'm sold on the invincibility of the offense, as long as its stars are healthy, but the Big East still isn't likely to command enough respect from voters to overcome an undefeated Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan or any team from the SEC, should it come down to that. But I like this team's track, and it has a great opportunity (the toughest non-conference game is at Maryland) to put itself in prime BCS position. With respects to McFadden/Jones and Davis/Spiller, White and Slaton are the most fearsome combo in the country, running a perfect system for their huge talents, and they're going to get another shot at bigger game than Louisville before they move on. As long as UL is adjusting to a new coach and visiting Morgantown, it might as well be now.
"Well, Bart, what did you learn in karate class today?"
"Well, um... today we learned how to rip out a man's heart and show it to him before he died."
"Heh heh heh, that'll learn him!" - (Homer and Bart, "When Flanders Failed")
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2004 Recruiting rankings say: "At least we were right about one elite quarterback."
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"Come on boys, break it up. That belly ain't getting any pinker." - (Bart to bullies, "Separate Vocations")
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"Magic Johnson!? [picks up the phone] Y'ello?"
"Is this really Homer Simpson?"
"Wow. Homer, I just used our last time-out to call and congratulate you on averting that nuclear holocaust."
"Uh Magic, What if people think a guy's a hero, but he was really just lucky?"
"Don't worry. Sooner or later, people like that are exposed as the frauds they are."
"Oh. Thanks, Magic." - (Homer and Earvin "Magic" Johnson, "Homer Defined")
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"First, let me assure you that this is not one of those shady pyramid schemes you've been hearing about. No sir. Our model is the trapezoid!" - (Seminar speaker, "I Married Marge")
And the rest...
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Just don’t blame me when it flickers and dies where it left off last year, at seven wins, none of them likely to match the Rutgers game for raised eyebrows (measured in terms of total inches removed from the top of the eyelid). The difference in making a little noise during a run at the polls and in settling in for the International Bowl after a season of predictable frustration is finding some success against at least one or two of the best teams on the schedule. For Cincinnati, that means Louisville, West Virginia and Rutgers, a collective it’s managed to beat only once in six tries its first two years here; South Florida, on the other hand, is 3-3 against the league’s upper echelon since the move from C-USA.
That can change, but why should it? Cincinnati is a great bowl bet because it plays Miami (Ohio), San Diego State, Southeast Missouri State and Syracuse, but the season’s decisive game in the end – does UC make a bowl? Finish above .500? – is likely to be against Pitt in October.
"Maybe it's the Champale talking, but I think you're pretty sexy."
"Really? It must be the champale talking." – (Marge and Homer, "I Married Marge")
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Last ride of the Wannstache?
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"How could this happen? We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy." – (Milhouse, "Bart’s Friend Falls In Love")
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The Huskies can hold their breath for a bowl run on the merits of a) reversion to mean defensively (last year’s atrocities set back three years of steady, significant improvement), b) sustainable health (44 starts lost to injury in ‘06, according to Steele) and c) Donald Brown, who had almost 700 yards in the last five games as a redshirt freshman, including 200-yard games against Pittsburgh and, much more impressively, Rutgers. But the Huskies still lost four of those five, and only beat Pitt on a gutsy two-point attempt in double overtime.
"Your superior intellect is no match for our puny weapons!" – (Alien overlords Kang and Kodos, "Treehouse of Horror II")
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Something nice, per respect for my mother: the margin of defeat in Big East games last year was better by about a field goal than in Robinson’s first season (only 15 points, down from 17.5, thanks to the shocking upset of UConn) and young receivers Mike Williams and Taj Smith are viable big play threats (19 per catch between them, seven touchdowns, and Smith had a 48-yard run at Illinois before missing the last seven games), if Robinson has any time to get them the ball.
"The worm has turned, has it not, my tin-plated friend? Look at you! You were once so proud. Now feel the wrath of the left hand of Burns!" – (Mr. Burns, using a left-handed can-opener at the mall, "When Flanders Failed")
"All the years I've lobbied to be treated like an adult have blown up in my face." – (Lisa, "Lisa’s Pony")