Notre Lamed: Irish Lose at Stanford And Other Rivalry Week tales

We've got a lot to talk about in a little time, bearing in mind that's we've been watching football all day and we're a little tired.

This couldn't be a better rivalry week - or more's the case, rivalry evening.

At the end of it, the only coach crying was Charlie Weis (well, he probably wasn't, but there we go). On fourth-and-job, Jimmy Clausen's Hail Mary was batted down by a Stanford secondary that had done its best to hand the Irish the game, and the Cardinal beat the Catholics 45-38. If Stanford running back superstar Toby Gerhart (dear God did I take a long time to get that name right!) doesn't go to the NFL, then we're pretty sure he'd be a good minor league baseball player, or any college should take him about as future running backs coach or head coach. He's all heart baby.

We also got to see some redemption, which is always nice on a rivalry week where smack is talked from start to finish.


So here's the list:


LSU coach Les Miles With over a minute on the clock in regulation, needed a minute to tie to the game against Arkansas, and instead of royally screwing up like he did against Ole Miss, the Tigers coaching staff and offense managed to get its head together and force overtime. They then played poorly in OT, but thanks to the closest 'wide right' field goal miss you'll ever see by Arkansas, the Tigers won, much to the joy of around 92,000 people, some of whom were seen (to my laughter) using the 'F' word opening in front of ESPN cameras to question Miles' coaching efforts. I only wish we'd been there.

Georgia's Reshad Jones: The talented safety missed a tackle in the 2008 home loss to Georgia Tech that essentially gave the nerds a rare victory in Good Old Fashioned Hate. Jones was brilliant on Saturday night, making a last-gasp tackle to force a player out-of-bounds with seconds on the clock to essentially save Georgia's 30-24 victory over 15th-ranked Georgia Tech at the high school stadium known as Bobby Dodd. Best sign goes to the Tech fans though: "And The Nerds Shall Take Over The World".

South Carolina: No-one could have given South Carolina more crap than we did throughout the year - especially quarterback Stephen Garcia. Don't get me wrong, we still think he's one of the SEC's poorer quarterbacks, but he - and a tremendous defense - helped to engineer an upset of hated rival Clemson.

Georgia defensive co-ordinator Willie Martinez: He might well be out of Athens by Monday, but boy, his 'D' battled today - especially against Georgia Tech's tremendous running game, which was stifled all night long.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.
For all intents and purposes, Mississippi State had been a laughing matter when talked about as a possible SEC West destination for good recruits. At the start of the season, we didn't expect MSU, with their new head coach, to beat Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl this year. They did, and we can shut up now.

And a quick bit of love for Mississippi State's band, who may just get into the VFA's top ten cheerleading squads for 2009 - if a band is indeed cheerleading (which we think it is). I love the copy of "Rammer Jammer". It's not been sung very often.