Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday live blog, Vol. 5

This college football live blog won't complain about your driving at all today. But it will update continually throughout the day.

12:50 a.m. Arizona State has closed out Washington to end yet another day of a season where the wacky has become the blasé. I'll take that as my cue to close out yet another edition of the live blog. As always, thanks for reading, and Roll Tide.

12:40 a.m. Argument for the transitive property of college football: Troy beat Oklahoma State last month, and the Cowboys beat Nebraska today. This suggests Troy would beat Nebraska by a huge margin, which seems not so implausible given the way the Cornhuskers played today. Argument against the transitive property of college football: LSU beat South Carolina, which beat Kentucky, which beat LSU. This suggests a sports world at the precipice of an infinite vortex, or perhaps an event horizon, both of which seem truer to life, or at least truthier.

12:18 a.m. It looks like Arizona State will dodge the Undefeated Club's eviction notice for another week. The Sun Devils lead by 14 with under 10 minutes to go. Welcome to the top 10, unbeaten team that's anywhere from best to fourth best in the Pac-10.

12:01 a.m. Somewhere in the desert night, Lou Holtz's son's merry band of Pirates has bested Mike Price's Miners. And the cosmos are moved by the ultimate rightness -- and wrongness -- of it all.

11:55 p.m. Once again, the game-changing performance of the week should come from the LSU game. This time, the Bayou Bengals will find themselves on the wrong side of it.

11:43 p.m. Lou Holtz's son and Mike Price will continue their duel for C-USA supremacy in overtime. Why isn't this on TV?

11:34 p.m. The Power Towels are having their desired effect in the other Manhattan. K-State has rebounded nicely from a loss to its in-state rival to double-up Colorado in the fourth quarter.

11:16 p.m. Ohio State will move to No. 1 for no particular reason Sunday. South Florida arguably has the best résumé of the remaining unbeaten teams, but it'll probably be no higher than third behind the Buckeyes and Boston College, because it didn't even exist a dozen years ago, and it would weird everyone out to see that kind of team in line for a national title shot at this point in the season. Meanwhile, Steve Spurrier may head back to the top five and could have the best team in the entire SEC this year. When Spurrier gets anywhere near the top of the polls, watch out.

11:05 p.m. College Football Final is on? With two nationally televised games still ongoing? Well, all right then. Let's do it.

10:43 p.m. Washington's not-so-secret weapon, quarterback Jake Locker, barrels into the end zone to give the Huskies a 17-10 edge with four minutes to go before the half. Twenty seconds ago, they trailed 10-7. None of this is allowed to surprise you anymore.

10:33 p.m. Mid-major round-up: For what's surely the first time ever, Buffalo and Temple both won on the same day for the second straight week. Wyoming, the only team to conquer Virginia thus far, coughed up the Mountain West lead with a 17-point home loss to New Mexico. And Air Force continued quietly putting together a nice season, moving to 5-2 after a blowout win in Fort Collins.

10:21 p.m. Lou Holtz's son's team is beating Mike Price's team near the Mexican border. Wait, why is everyone snickering? Care to tell the rest of the class what's so funny?

10:13 p.m. And the Undefeated Club may not be done trimming its rolls. The Sun Devils trail Washington in the second quarter out in the desert. And with the year we've had, why wouldn't they? It's official: I no longer should be surprised by any college football result short of Duke beating the New England Patriots.

10:02 p.m. Louisville may have gotten embarrassed by Utah and humiliated by Syracuse, but it sure hasn't forgotten how to beat the Bearcats. Cincinnati is the latest to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, 28-24. The Undefeated Club, which began the day with 11 members, is down to six: Arizona State, Boston College, Hawaii, Kansas, Ohio State, and South Florida. File the paperwork to found your own psychic agency if you called that one in August.

9:57 p.m. Auburn picks it off to close out the victory. Sometimes you don't need touchdowns to win, especially when you can hold your opponent's high-octane running game to 67 yards. It's a three-way tie atop the SEC West, and for some reason, I'm feeling a lot better about Alabama's tight win over Ole Miss earlier today. Mainly because it wasn't a loss.

9:54 p.m. Byrum knocks it home from extra point range. Auburn, 9-7. Only 21 seconds separate Arkansas from another emotionally draining loss. The crowd is absolutely dead silent.

9:53 p.m. Fourth-and-inches. Unless Tuberville just has an overwhelming desire to do something crazy, it's chip-shot time.

9:49 p.m. Brandon Cox becomes a field general at just the right time for the Tigers. Auburn is inside the Arkansas 10 with under a minute left. This would be a crippling loss for the Hogs.

9:44 p.m. Good news: UAB has sealed the deal at Legion Field. That's the most heartening win over a one-win team that I've seen all day. And yes, Boston College, that includes you.

9:40 p.m. Touchdown, Arkansas! Touchdowns are still legal in this game! And so are extra points! Hogs, 7-6, with 1:36 left.

9:38 p.m. The Cal quarterback inexplicably decides to scramble with no timeouts on the board. Game over. Ohio State is your new football overlord. At least for a week, anyway.

9:36 p.m. DeSean Jackson draws a pass interference flag on third down. Cal is deep inside the red zone with 14 seconds remaining.

9:35 p.m. Huge completion to the OSU 27. Versus is getting its money's worth from this Pac-10 package.

9:34 p.m. And miraculously, Cal converts. Hope is alive.

9:32 p.m. Cal gives up a devastating sack, has to waste another down clocking it, then overthrows everyone. Fourth-and-forever.

9:29 p.m. The Beavers pin the Golden Bears inside the 5. Out of a football context, that sentence would be very confusing indeed.

9:27 p.m. Cal is down only 31-28 now and about to get the ball back with about 90 seconds to go. Not sure if it'll help, but that stadium is getting really, really loud. Here comes the punt.

9:22 p.m. And as soon as I brag on them a little, the Blazers let Tulane cut it to five. Under a minute left. Hang on, UAB.

9:20 p.m. Auburn 6, Arkansas 0. In the fourth quarter. Yes, that's a real score. In the branch of reality that I occupy, anyway.

9:15 p.m. With two minutes remaining, UAB leads Tulane, 26-14. The Blazers have had a tendency in recent years to lose when they shouldn't, so it's good to see them taking care of business in a very winnable Conference USA game tonight.

9:10 p.m. It's Oregon State by 10 with six minutes left by the Frisco Bay. And Louisville by seven with 10 and change left in the Queen City. And Oklahoma by 10 with no time whatsoever left in Norman. Would anyone like to stay undefeated today?

9:07 p.m. Auburn's Wes Byrum pushes a field goal attempt wide right to end a brutal third quarter in Fayetteville. This game realistically could end without a single touchdown.

9:03 p.m. So, um, Oregon State just went up again midway through the fourth in Berkeley. And then capped it off with a two-point conversion. And then recovered a Cal fumble on the ensuing kickoff. The other OSU thanks you kindly, Beavers.

8:56 p.m. Auburn thus far has absolutely shut down Arkansas' all-world tailback, Darren McFadden. But the bad news for the Tigers is that they haven't been able to get much of anything going against a defense that surrendered 41 points to Alabama's offense, which isn't quite a well-oiled machine. It's still 3-0.

8:51 p.m. After a minute or two of Todd Blackledge and Mike Patrick's light-hearted banter about fried pies, we return to see injured Auburn lineman Ryan Pugh about to be carted off the field. The word awkward was invented for moments like these.

8:41 p.m. And just like that, Oklahoma rolls off 12 unanswered points. With LSU's loss and Cal down against Oregon State as the third quarter ends, the Sooners are absolutely back in the mix for the national title, and they're playing like they know it.

8:20 p.m. Missouri leads at Oklahoma as they head into the fourth quarter. Why don't I check Fox Sports Net more often?

8:15 p.m. Around the South: Georgia decides it'd be a really bad idea to lose to Vanderbilt, so it doesn't. Auburn goes to the locker room up 3-0 on Arkansas in a game where both teams thus far have a combined total of 217 yards of offense. And UAB leads Tulane, 20-14, on homecoming night at Legion Field.

8:02 p.m. Cal clings to a one-point home lead over the Beavers at the half. At this rate, the Buckeyes are going to return to the mountaintop Sunday. Maybe the Bearcats, who demolished Oregon State last month, should join them there. Assuming they don't go down tonight, too. What a season.

7:58 p.m. FYI: Bearcats are real. From Wikipedia, the repository of human knowledge, we get an explanation: "The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is neither a bear nor a cat, and the real meaning of the original name is lost, as the local language that gave it is extinct." So there you go.

7:52 p.m. Tommy Tuberville, up only 3-0, goes for it on fourth down at his own 31 and gets it. I wouldn't have done that. I'm also not paid as much as Tommy Tuberville. Perhaps there's a reason.

7:41 p.m. Cardinal program-related activities update: The singular Cardinal of Stanford has lost a heartbreaker to the Horned Frogs. The plural Cardinals of Ball State have beaten Western Kentucky handily. And the plural Cardinals of Louisville have decided not to risk trailing the Bearcats at halftime, especially since no one is quite sure what a bearcat is. It's 14-14 in Cincinnati.

7:24 p.m. The TV football smorgsabord overflows. California is taking advantage of its shot at No. 1 by trailing at home to Oregon State. Vandy still leads Georgia in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati is contributing to the downward spiral for Louisville. And Auburn is up by three in a grueling battle at Arkansas.

7:02 p.m. No. 1 has gone down -- again. The Wildcats straight-up beat LSU and make a name for themselves. The SEC is suddenly up for grabs. California and Ohio State will slug it out for the top spot. Alabama is tied for first place in the SEC West after barely edging Ole Miss. And Vanderbilt controls its destiny for the SEC title. Hi, space-time hole. Good to see you back again.

7 p.m. Fourth-and-2 for LSU. The season is on the line -- again.

6:58 p.m. The two-point pass falls incomplete. LSU's turn.

6:56 p.m. Woodson connects with a wide-open Steve Johnson to put Kentucky ahead, 43-37, with the mandatory two-point conversion attempt pending. Great execution. Unreal game.

6:45 p.m. Three incompletions and a field goal later, it's time for overtime No. 3. This game may last all night. I'm fine with that.

6:42 p.m. LSU has to settle for a field goal. Tigers, 37-34. And now Kentucky gets a chance to win it at home.

6:39 p.m. A quick look around the country: Georgia, still trying to recover from the brutal beating that Tennessee administered last week, is down 10 at Vanderbilt at halftime. Oklahoma leads Missouri, 10-7, in what would have been the game of the day if not for LSU-Kentucky. And Stanford hasn't forgotten to keep playing after that Upset of the Century last week; the singular Cardinal are up 31-24 on TCU late in the third quarter.

6:33 p.m. The Tigers stroll into the end zone to force overtime No. 2. It's 34-34. This is a strong game of the year candidate.

6:28 p.m. Forget the past. Touchdown, Kentucky. The Wildcats have their first lead since mere seconds into the second quarter.

6:23 p.m. LSU wins the toss. CBS says Kentucky is 1-2 all-time in overtime, meaning its first and only OT victory was against football genius Mike DuBose. Gotta love trivia. Even when it hurts.

6:18 p.m. LSU's kicker misses a field goal from 57 yards, which is what most humans, even those who spend years training to kick field goals, would do. Overtime in Lexington.

6:16 p.m. Win or lose, Kentucky may have played its way into another CBS broadcast next week when it takes on Florida. That would leave the Third Saturday in October to the Daves and their Daughtry promos. I'm not sure if that gives me a rooting interest in this game, but perhaps it should. Two seconds left.

6:09 p.m. Jacob Hester is a bayou bulldozer with legs. That is all.

6:06 p.m. Late in the fourth quarter in the Battle of Space City, it's Houston 49, Rice 48. Video game football is real after all.

6:04 p.m. Losing to Vanderbilt? Really, Georgia? Where was that when you came to Bryant-Denny Stadium, huh? Answer me that.

6 p.m. LSU stuffs Kentucky on third-and-1 inside the Tigers' 10. The Wildcats settle for the tie. It's 27-27 in another classic battle.

5:56 p.m. USC squeaks by Arizona, 20-13, to avoid a second straight home loss to a Pac-10 cellar dweller. Arizona State, California, and Oregon have to be licking their chops right now.

5:52 p.m. Spurrier answers a question about the second half in the post-game interview: "What happened? They kicked our butts; I don't know what else to say." His team survives, though, 21-15.

5:50 p.m. How did North Carolina get back in it? The Gamecocks have added nothing whatsoever to the scoreboard since halftime. UNC trails by six and almost came down with a jump ball in the end zone. One play left in Chapel Hill, where the Butch Davis Effect is already in plain sight.

5:48 p.m. Did you know Connecticut is no longer undefeated? Well, Virginia does. We're down to 10 unbeaten teams.

5:45 p.m. LSU's defense stiffens and holds Kentucky to a field goal. The Bayou Bengals' lead now mirrors the Alabama score, 27-24. Unfortunately for LSU, the Wildcats are quite a bit better than Ole Miss. Eight minutes remain in a very tight one.

5:40 p.m. Sometimes Rich Brooks likes to gamble on fourth down, too, you know. Not all the hot action happens down on the bayou, thank you very much. It works, and Kentucky is 15 yards from the lead. That Kansas-South Florida national title game is getting closer to reality every single day.

5:30 p.m. Avast, ye landlubber, we have exclusive insider VIP information: Mike the Pirate is making Texas A&M walk the plank. It's 35-7 in the fourth quarter as Coach Fran's career record against the Red Raiders is about to drop to 1-6. Yarr, matey!

5:20 p.m. Did you realize Connecticut is undefeated and leading at Virginia midway through the fourth quarter? Me neither. Do you care? Well, if this keeps up, maybe we should start.

5:16 p.m. I was wrong. Kentucky is still very much in this one. Woodson connects with Jacob Tamme to cut LSU's lead to 27-21. It's the second straight game of the week for the Bayou Bengals.

5:03 p.m. Is it too late to talk about a Wednesday game? Yes, but I'll do it anyway. Navy pulled off a huge win over Pittsburgh in a very entertaining contest that ended too soon when Dave Wannstedt (1) inexplicably went for a touchdown in the second overtime at home instead of kicking a sure field goal to tie and then (2) inexplicably called a fade route instead of a power run with the ball at the Navy 2. Considering the Panthers went to the Fiesta Bowl just three years ago, their fans can't be too happy with silliness like that. For Navy, meanwhile, the win locked up a fifth straight bowl berth, a true testament to Paul Johnson's work.

4:57 p.m. Woodson lofts his second interception of the day. Good first half for Kentucky, but the game has turned around, and it's probably not going back the Wildcats' way.

4:53 p.m. LSU decides it likes a double-digit lead better than a single-digit one and behaves accordingly. Tigers, 24-14. It's not quite time for the words "sense of inevitability," but it's close.

4:48 p.m. Around the old Southwest Conference: Baylor is losing to Kansas, 44-10, in a game that started about six hours ago and may never end. Rice has racked up more points on Houston in the first half than Alabama scored in the entire game last week. And TCU now trails the singular Cardinal, 7-0. Why, oh why, did we have to get rid of the Southwest Conference?

4:45 p.m. Don't even bother making LSU go through the motions of going for it on fourth down. Just put the ball at the first-down marker and save everyone some time and effort.

4:39 p.m. Third quarter update from the L.A. Coliseum: Arizona 13, USC 10. I'm not saying; I'm just saying. Elsewhere in the Pac-10, the Ducks are clinging to a 40-0 lead over Washington State, and the singular Cardinal is scoreless at home against TCU in the first letdown alert that Stanford has had in a long time.

4:31 p.m. It wasn't enough for Dennis Franchione to lose his website and get publicly admonished for that exclusive VIP insider newsletter. Now he's down 21-7 to Mike the Pirate in the third quarter. Yep, enjoy your shiny new coach, Aggies.

4:23 p.m. Chris Smelley has three first-half touchdown passes. Steve Spurrier has an all-star quarterback again. Watch out. His team leads the battle of the Carolinas at halftime, 21-3.

4:17 p.m. Tennessee leads 27-21 in the fourth quarter in another quintessential trap game. The Vols have only suffered one turnover, so it's not so much that they're playing poorly as it is that Mississippi State has improved a lot this year.

4:11 p.m. No quit in the Wildcats. Andre Woodson scrambles untouched into the end zone to cap off a swift drive. LSU, 17-14. This could be another wild day of football after all.

4:04 p.m. LSU capitalizes on a Kentucky turnover to break the game open a little before halftime. It's 17-7 on the bluegrass.

4:02 p.m. Did you realize Connecticut is still undefeated? Me neither. Is that still going to be the case after today? I don't care. Are the Huskies trailing Virginia at halftime? Yes. Should Virginia be 5-1 right now? Probably not, especially after losing badly to Wyoming, but the facts (and the ACC) are what they are.

3:55 p.m. LSU is playing in a textbook example of a trap game, which, considering the opponent is ranked in the top 20, really says something about the strength of the SEC. Like the Trojans, the Tigers lead 10-7 before half. Unlike the Trojans, they're playing on the road, and against a team that's remotely as good as them.

3:49 p.m. USC is struggling again. It's only up 10-7 late in the second quarter against Arizona. Remember that one time when Kirk Herbstreit said the Trojans should stay at No. 1 because they hadn't played anyone yet? Yeah, that sounds even sillier now.

3:26 p.m. Ah, welcome back, normal heart rate. Time to scope out some mid-afternoon action. LSU scored moments ago to tie Kentucky at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Penn State is jumping around on Wisconsin early, 17-7. Tennessee is in a dogfight in Starkville, leading Mississippi State by only three in the second half. And Boston College has a 6-0 second-quarter edge on Notre Dame, which doesn't quite have 40 yards of total offense yet.

3:10 p.m. At last, the officials do the right thing. Wilson hits a knee as cups and bottles rain down from the stands into the end zone. Alabama wins, 27-24. I'll need a few minutes to recover.

3:04 p.m. The Rebels' receiver steals an interception away from Lionel Mitchell inside the Alabama 10 on a fourth-down prayer, but he was clearly out of bounds before he made the catch. Here's the most important instant replay of the game. Overturn it!

3:01 p.m. These short-yardage passes are killing Alabama. The Rebels are in field goal range now. Not. Good. At. All.

2:59 p.m. Ole Miss keeps it alive. A minute and a half left.

2:57 p.m. Two and a half minutes left. Fourth down for the Rebels deep inside their own territory. Please, defense, end it now.

2:53 p.m. The fake field goal does not, in fact, work. Ole Miss gets the ball back, still down only three. This isn't good for my heart.

2:52 p.m. The good news: Alabama is inside the Rebels' 10. The bad news: It's fourth down, and more than three minutes remain.

2:48 p.m. The defense does its job, and Ole Miss' wide-open receiver drops a third-down pass that would have kept it alive. With four minutes and change left, all the Tide has to do is hold on to the ball and milk the clock. Time to see if Alabama can finish.

2:44 p.m. But of course, it isn't. The Rebels make themselves at home in the Tide backfield and limit the damage to a field goal. Alabama, 27-24. Really wish that had been a touchdown.

2:41 p.m. YES, YES, YES! Ezekial Knight picks it off and returns it to the Ole Miss 5. Addendum to the 2:24 p.m. update: Now the Tide gets the ball there. This needs to be a touchdown.

2:36 p.m. Touchdown, Alabama! The Tide goes back to the ground with Grant and makes good things happen. Tiffin hits the PAT to tie the game, 24-24. It's going down to the wire -- again.

2:34 p.m. Terry Grant to the 3. Punch it in, guys. Do it.

2:33 p.m. JAVY! Arenas slices and dices his way to the Ole Miss 21 on the punt return. There's the spark that Alabama has needed.

2:24 p.m. Wilson is annihilated after a coverage breakdown. The good news is that Ole Miss will have to start from its own 5. The bad news is that Alabama doesn't have the ball there instead.

2:21 p.m. After several minutes of instant replay, the officials finally recognize a touchback for what it is. Alabama gets the ball at the 20, and Upchurch promptly darts ahead for a first down.

2:16 p.m. Elsewhere in the college football world: Illinois, already weary of the top 25, has left the party with a loss at Iowa. Georgia Tech has upheld its reputation as the world's most erratic team with a victory at Miami. South Florida, nearing its destruction of Central Florida, will not fall prey to the curse of the No. 5 ranking. And maybe if Michigan obliterates Purdue hard enough, you'll forget about that little Appalachian State problem. Will 48-7 wipe that smirk off your face? Huh? Cease your laughter at once!

2:11 p.m. The third quarter is over, and not a second too soon. Ole Miss dominated. I'm not sure what it'll take to get Alabama to play a complete game, but whatever it is, it's missing again today.

2:09 p.m. More pressure in Wilson's face leads to yet another underthrown pass by Wilson. And then it leads to a monster sack. Everything's coming up Orgeron right now.

2:04 p.m. And it doesn't matter at all. Michael Hicks snares a jump ball over Simeon Castille to put Ole Miss ahead, 24-17. It's disappointing after the last couple of plays, but that's what happens when you allow a punt block deep in your own territory. Time to do something to regain the momentum.

2:03 p.m. Ole Miss falls prey to a silly penalty and a near-fumble. It's third-and-goal for the Rebels from the 17.

1:56 p.m. Well, um, on the upside, there still hasn't been a punt today. On the downside, Ole Miss just blocked Alabama's attempt at one. It's first-and-goal after a game-changing kind of play.

1:48 p.m. Rashad Johnson gives Adams a piece of that INT pie. Alabama ball when the Daves return from commercial.

1:45 p.m. Look, an interception! And Wilson throws it! Oh, well.

1:44 p.m. Look, a wide-open receiver! And Wilson sees him! D.J. Hall breaks one for 36 yards to set Alabama up in Rebel territory.

1:41 p.m. The defense bends but doesn't break, holding Ole Miss to a field goal try that sails wide left. I still haven't seen any punters. Both teams may have sent them home.

1:36 p.m. And then they burn the heart of the Tide secondary for 42 yards. No, sir, I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

1:35 p.m. Alabama's first big mistake of the day comes at a really inconvenient time. The Rebels strip the ball from Glen Coffee as he's heading to the end zone to preserve the tie.

1:33 p.m. There's Terry Grant! The best freshman running back around gains 22. Then D.J. Hall snags one inside the 10.

1:31 p.m. Javier Arenas returns it to midfield. That'll work.

1:27 p.m. Dammit. Ole Miss destroys the Tide defense, sending BenJarvus Green-Ellis up the middle for 57 yards. Adams scrambles for the tying score on the next play. It's 17-17. The Orgeron got his guys ready for this half. Now, Alabama's turn.

1:23 p.m. The second half approaches in Oxford. Alabama has played solid football for 30 minutes. Let's see if that can continue for the rest of the game for a change.

1:15 p.m. OK, seriously, Mike Gundy is a man. It's 38-0 at halftime in Lincoln. This year probably won't end well for Bill Callahan.

1:10 p.m. The $2.8 Million Man can rebuild the Hawkeyes. He has the technology. Just before the third quarter ends, Iowa scores the first touchdown of the game to go up 10-6 on Illinois. It's unfamiliar territory, so the Illini may be a bit confused over what exactly this "being ranked" thing entails. To clarify, losing to Iowa State's only victim this season is not among the duties.

1:02 p.m. The timeouts worked. Tiffin hooks it wide right from 35 yards away. But Alabama still leads at halftime, 17-10.

1 p.m. Tiffin lines up for the field goal attempt. The Orgeron does the trendy thing and calls timeout just before the kick to give the Daves a chance to update us on Daughtry's whereabouts.

12:58 p.m. Alabama catches a break on a fumble that isn't called. The Daves have spent the last three minutes telling us about it.

12:52 p.m. Don't worry, Ole Miss, you won't need to use your punter, either. Simeon Castille will drop by to pick up that package himself. Alabama gets it at midfield with a minute and change.

12:45 p.m. Wilson sneaks it in on third-and-goal. Alabama goes back up, 17-10. I haven't seen a punter once today.

12:42 p.m. Wilson ignores intense pressure to loft a great corner pass to Keith Brown. On the whole, Alabama's quarterback play has been noticeably better today than in the last few weeks.

12:40 p.m. Two Upchurch runs and a completion to the tight end later, Alabama is at the Rebels' 30. Good execution by the Tide.

12:38 p.m. Javier Arenas' huge kickoff return comes back due to an unnecessary penalty. Alabama still gets it at its own 30, though. Looks like it's time for some Roy Upchurch now.

12:35 p.m. With under seven minutes left in the half, we've only seen four drives combined. Fortunately, Ole Miss stalls out around the 5 and has to settle for the field goal. It's tied at 10 in Oxford.

12:28 p.m. Mike Gundy is a man! He's up 17-0! And he won't choke away that huge lead like last week! So get your facts straight!

12:25 p.m. Ole Miss converts on a fourth down when it really shouldn't. Seth Adams is not your garden-variety walk-on QB.

12:16 p.m. I'll take that Coffee with some touchdown. Alabama retakes the lead, 10-7. Great drive to give the defense a long rest.

12:14 p.m. Back in the red zone again for Alabama. John Parker Wilson bounces a pass at the feet of Will Oakley, who is incredibly wide open. Maybe this pass interference call will make it better.

12:05 p.m. Alabama mounts a slow, steady drive in response. This is shaping up as an old-fashioned, smash-mouth kind of game.

11:56 a.m. The Orgeron insists on giving me what he wants to see, not what I want. Touchdown, Rebels. Ole Miss takes an early 7-3 lead. Time for some defensive adjustments.

11:54 a.m. I really could do without watching Ole Miss march right down the field this morning. Honestly, I could.

11:45 a.m. Ah, bogging down in the red zone. I haven't missed that. Still, points are points, and Leigh Tiffin just scored three of them for the good guys. Alabama, 3-0.

11:40 a.m. Ah, a long drive to open the game. I've missed that.

11:30 a.m. Other games have begun, but they matter not to me, for Alabama is about to kick off at Ole Miss. Once again, I'm cautiously optimistic. Alabama is better than Ole Miss. Alabama should beat Ole Miss. But the last time Alabama had a morning kickoff against a Mississippi school that it should have beaten, we had to add a new verb to the English language. As long as the Crimson Tide can avoid letting The Orgeron beat it comatose with its own arm, I'll be satisfied.

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