by John Walters
1. “When The Saints Go Marching In…”
Overtime goes under its allotted time as Drew Brees connects with C.J. Spiller (related: it was a good weekend for Clemson football) on a swing pass that goes for 80 yards and a touchdown on the first play of the fifth quarter. Officially, it took :13 as the Saints beat the Cowboys 26-20.
The victory kept the Saints from becoming the league’s only 0-4 team. Meanwhile, two of the NFL’s eight divisions (AFC South and Dallas’s NFC East) have cumulative sub-.500 records.
2. 2 Little, Too Late
Once again, the Fighting Irish whiffed on a road opportunity against a ranked opponent in prime time (Hello Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Tallahassee and now Death Valley during the Kelly era; yes, we see you, Norman and Los Angeles).
Four crucial dropped pass. A killer fumble, caused by the kicker, at the opening of the second half. Notre Dame’s theme song was penned by Lit (“My Own Worst Enemy”) for three quarters during an historic deluge in Clemson and they trailed 21-3. That the Irish came back and came within 3 yards of forcing overtime is a testament to both their talent and grit (related; DeShone Kizer is already a pretty good quarterback and he’s got a chance to be great).
That they failed to play smart, tough football through three quarters (or at least that their offense did; the defense was sound after the first seven minutes) is partly on them, partly on their coach.
As to the final play (“Kizer rolls…”), it’s not WHY the Irish lost, but here’s why I don’t like it: It’s raining squirrels and monkeys, so use the conditions to your advantage. Anything that is misdirection forces a defense that is already at peak intensity (and liable to over pursue) to change direction. And that works to your advantage.
A great video showing the 2-point conversion here, and how Carlos Watkins of the Tigers simply blew it up.
Also: “Senior advisor,” Coach Kelly? It’s arithmetic.
An outstanding slate of Saturday games:
Heroes: Arizona State upsetting UCLA in the Rose Bowl with one of those season-defining plays around which a program may rally. I’ve never seen a 20-yard bulldozing for a touchdown in football at any level. “You get the sense that all the frustration from a disappointing first four weeks of the season was taken out on that one run.” You nailed it, Mr. Announcer.
Goats: Wisconsin. First and goal and victory against Iowa on your one or two-yard line and you not only fail to run a simple counter handoff, but lose the football and the game.
Redeemed: Alabama, who slapped down Georgia 38-10 in a momentum-defining game for both programs.
Spared: Ohio State (and Michigan State), who yet again failed to demonstrate why they are ranked in the Top 3 in the nation with seven- (and three-) point victories over middle-of-the-pack at best B1G foes.
Scary: Look out for Stanford, who mopped up at home versus Arizona, 55-17, two weeks after taking down USC. Right now the Cardinal are the class of the Pac-12 and their opening day loss against a Northwestern team that currently has the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense doesn’t look so bad.
Underrated: Michigan at 21 in the Coaches poll and 18 in the AP poll.
Overrated: Florida State at No. 8 in the Coaches poll. The AP has them at No. 12, which is about right.
3. First Lady of 42 Helps Open SNL Season 41
The sketch your co-workers will be discussing around the Keurig machine involved Kate McKinnon as presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton having a chat with a bartender played by the actual Hillary Clinton. Smart idea.
The best moment comes when McKinnon, who is gay, chides herself (as Hillary) for taking so long to acknowledge gay marriage rights while the real Hillary tries to assuage her. Also: Darrell Hammond’s cameo is awesome.
4. Jacko is Backo
One of Twitter’s co-founders, Jack Dorsey, returns to become the company’s CEO (Dorsey had been interim-CEO’ing since July, but unlike Pat Murphy and the San Diego Padres, the two decided to stop living together “in sin” and make it official). This on the anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, the original prodigal son of tech monolith founders.
Does this mean the stock will eventually, some day, rise above $40 per share again (asking for a friend; no, seriously)?
5. Where In The World?
Friday: Bibliotheque National de France
The Way You Look Tonight
We’re going old school today. The Billboard chart made its debut in 1936, and no song spent more weeks (17) at No. 1 that year than this one, crooned by Fred Astaire (singing wasn’t even his top talent). This appeared in the film Swing Time and one the Oscar that year for Best Original Song.
“The Man With the 80-Pound Groin”
TLC 9 p.m.
“The Man With No Penis”
TLC 10 p.m.
Honestly, I’m afraid to even search for what is on at 11 p.m.