The Fraud Five by Mike Kern – Week Four Edition

September 22, 2019

Bigger and better than ever. And the season hasn’t even reached your midway point yet. Actually, we’re not even close.

Michigan – Just when you thought nothing could be as bad as that loss at Ohio State last November. The Wolves got torched at Wisconsin. Silly me. I figured this was supposed to finally be their year. Probably need to re-think that. Good thing they at least scored the last two touchdowns, after falling behind by 35. So much for those khaki pants. And whatever happened to Gary Moeller?

Washington State – Let’s see. The Cougars were beating hapless UCLA 49-17 at home. And wound up losing, 67-63. Which of course is historically impossible. No further explanation necessary. Mike Leach has to be way better than that.

Temple – This one was almost predictable. I mean, Buffalo did win in South Philly last year. And the Owls were coming off a second straight upset of Maryland. So naturally, they fell behind by 24. Good thing they scored the first seven. But first-year coach Rod Carey, who came from Northern Illinois, made it worse when he didn’t allow his players to talk after the game. Yo, they talked last week. He said he was trying to protect them, because they were really hurting. I get it. Losing stinks. But they’re big boys. I can only hope it’s a one-time offense. I’ll give him that. But he isn’t in DeKalb anymore. If he never wants them to talk, I wouldn’t like it but at least that’s being consistent. Picking and choosing your spots isn’t a good look. Especially on North Broad, where the previous two coaches were pretty media savvy. And that never can hurt.

Utah – It’s OK to lose at Southern Cal, even as a slight favorite. But maybe not when the Trojans were down to their third-string quarterback, and you represent perhaps the final shot the Pac-12 really has to avoid missing the playoffs for the third time in four years. Just hard to see a one-loss team from that coast getting in unless some other stuff happens around the country. And that’s assuming Oregon or Utah can win out from here, certainly no minor detail.

Arizona State – I love Herm Edwards, but you probably shouldn’t be losing at home to Colorado after you just beat Michigan State on the road to move into the Top 25. But again, this was pretty predictable. Just because that’s the way these journeys often work.

Dishonorable Mention, since there’s plenty of blame to go around:

Houston – Not because it lost at Tulane, as a slight underdog. But these Cougs did blow a 28-7 lead, and lost on a last-second 53-yard pass after the Green Wave faked a kneel-down. I wonder if the players were allowed to talk about it. Just saying.

Central Florida – Can’t knock the Knights too badly for finally losing a regular-season game after so much time. Still, they were double-digit favorites at Pitt, and they lost on the Panthers’ version of the “Philly Special” right near the end. Apparently the only thing missing was a Nick Foles sighting.

Florida State – Oops, never mind. Force of habit. But I was ready, just in case. Because you probably shouldn’t almost be losing to Louisville at home. Then again, I could say the same thing about Miami at home against Central Michigan. Good thing I don’t usually penalize for close calls. If I did, Nebraska at Illinois might also qualify. But I have my guidelines.

Arkansas – It’s not OK to lose at home to San Jose State, at least not if you’re an SEC team. I guess everyone in that West Division can’t be Alabama, LSU or Auburn.

TCU – Maybe shouldn’t be losing, at home, to SMU, for the first time in eight meetings, to end the longest such streak in the 99-game series. Especially when you’re in the Top 25 (barely) and favored by 10. The Mustangs, by the way, hadn’t beaten a ranked Power Five opponent since 1986. That’s not the way for the Horned Frogs to come off their three-TD win at Purdue. Geez, there appears to be a recurring theme in all this. Imagine that.

See you next week. Please remind your favorite rooting interest that I’m constantly lurking.

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