November 20, 2022 –
Mike Kern’s Fraud Five
Tennessee, Tennessee, Tennessee, Tennessee and, oh yeah, Tennessee — Have to love what Josh Heupel’s Vols did this season. But … they were favored by three touchdowns at South Carolina, which had lost the previous week at Florida, 38-6. The final was 63-38. As far as anyone can tell, it’s the most points EVER scored by an unranked team against a top five opponent in the 84 years since the first Associated Press (media) poll. That’s hard to do. So much for those wins over Alabama and by 27 at LSU. And so much for the playoffs. Vols never led. But it was 35-31 with 10 minutes to go in the third quarter. USC scored the next 28. Good thing the visitors got a TD with 1:14 left. I know their big-time quarterback left in the fourth quarter with an injury, but by then it wasn’t going to make a difference.
Florida — Lost by seven at Vanderbilt, which the week before had snapped a 26-game SEC losing streak. Good thing the Gators scored last, with just over three minutes to play.
Central Florida — Can’t be losing at home to Navy when you’re ranked 20th, and only scoring 14 points in the process.
North Carolina — Can’t be losing to Georgia Tech, when you’re ranked 13th. Especially at home. But maybe anywhere.
East Carolina — Can’t be losing at home 42-6 to Houston, which had just given up 36 points to Temple and 77 against SMU before that.
Toledo — OK, so it happened Tuesday. You thought maybe I’d forgotten? That’s not the way this works. Rockets were home, favored by a bunch over Bowling Green, their rival. They fell behind 21-0, then finally went ahead by one with 51 seconds showing. But no. The Falcons scored on a 42-yard pass at 0:09 to lose by seven, which of course can’t and shouldn’t happen. But if it didn’t there would be no Fraud Five.
Delaware — You know I rarely pick on FCS teams, but the Hens, who always lose to Villanova, were leading the Cats on the Main Line (not that the location has seemed to matter much in this series) by nine midway through the third period. Then two blocked punts happened, one late. And the final was 29-26 Nova, on a TD with 1:11 showing. The Cats played without a handful of starters. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to ask why. Delaware did get an FCS bid and will host Saint Francis. The winner meets top-seeded South Dakota State.
Along those same lines, you know I hate to pick on the crowds at Temple games. Hey, I lived through that for the longest time. But seriously there couldn’t have been more than 5,000 brave people at the Linc to watch the Owls lose in a 4 p.m. start in really chilly weather to No. 25 Cincinnati, 23-3. I wasn’t surprised. But still, I feel bad. And the Owls had actually played well the last few weeks. Wish I had an answer, but I’m not sure there really is one unless maybe you’re playing Penn State or Notre Dame. And unfortunately I’m not sure that’s going to be happening again any time soon.
To everyone and anyone out there, have a Gobble Gobble. Spend some quality time with your loved ones and try not to put on five pounds. OK, if you insist. Put on three and do a little extra work out on Black Friday. Works for me.