It’d be impossible to discuss college football this week without discussing the sex abuse scandal at Penn State. There are still many more details that need to be made public, but this much seems clear: former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing and raping children for at least a decade. Even worse, he used his position as a prominent member of the Penn State family to gain access to potential victims and it appears that numerous officials at Penn State (including Joe Paterno) did practically nothing to stop Sandusky even after becoming aware of his actions.
I’m not a Penn State fan, but I am a college football fan. So I couldn’t help but feel some embarrassment and shame this week, because it was an unhealthy culture of obsession surrounding the Penn State football program that contributed to the failure to act by so many at Penn State. It was also that culture that contributed to the ugly reaction to Joe Paterno’s firing Wednesday night. While some aspects of that culture are unique to Penn State, many are universal to the college football landscape.
This Saturday I’m still going to spend several hours watching college football. I’m going to pound on the table in celebration when something goes well, and be warned about my language when things don’t go well. Business as usual. I think it is worthwhile, though, to remind ourselves about having the right priorities in life. If you’re an obsessive sports fan like me, you don’t have to change. But always remember where sports fall in the grand scheme of things. When it comes to protecting children vs. having a good football program, there shouldn’t be a contest. And now, to transition out of this very special episode diatribe, here is an offensive picture:
Annnnnd we’re back! All lines courtesy of covers.com
Auburn at Georgia: If Georgia wins this game they are essentially assured of getting the opportunity to lose to LSU in the SEC title game. Auburn has struggled on the road, though all of its losses are to teams that are better than Georgia. Nevertheless, I think the Dawgs win this one going away. Georgia -12.
Tennessee at Arkansas: Tennessee has a terrible record, but they have played one of the toughest schedules in the country. Arkansas won a tough victory over South Carolina last week, but I still think they’re a little overrated. Tennessee will hang around in this one. Tennessee +14.
Texas A&M at Kansas State: K-State hung in there admirably against Oklahoma State last week. While LSU and Alabama were trading defensive stops, the Wildcats and the Cowboys couldn’t stay out of the end zones. While Kansas State was exposed as not being a legitimate Big 12 contender a few weeks ago, last week’s game showed that they still have enough talent to take down good teams. A&M rolls into Manhattan this week as a favorite, and I think Kansas State isn’t getting enough credit. Kansas State +5.5.
Oregon at Stanford: This is going to be a great game. Despite their week 1 loss to LSU, Oregon is still one of the best teams in the country. Stanford is undefeated and is right in the thick of things for the BCS title game. I’m honestly not sure who will win this game, but I’m positive there will be plenty of points. OVER 68.
Michigan at Illinois: This game is the opposite of Oregon-Stanford in almost every way. UNDER 49.5.
FREE MONEY LOCK OF THE WEEK: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech: Oklahoma State is on a seemingly unstoppable streak of hitting the over. Until Vegas puts the total at 160 I am going to keep pounding it. Oklahoma State is Oklahoma State, Texas Tech has allowed at least 34 points for SEVEN consecutive weeks. OVER 78.5
I’m also officially on the Oklahoma State bandwagon. I’ve been flirting with it, but it’s official now. We’ll see if my long streak of bandwagon jinxes continues.
Last week: 2-4
Season Total: 28-31-1