w We'll try to avoid 15 yards for piling on with a late hit, but the University of Toledo's Tom Amstutz may be the first football coach in history to say he isn't worried about penalties. This from the coach of a team that brings out more hankies than a High Mass wedding.
Well, friends, the most talented team in the Mid-American Conference has been penalized 24 times in the last two games, barely beating a 1-4 Ohio team and losing to a 2-4 Ball State team. Somebody sure as heck had better start worrying about it.
w True story. In one of the eight BCS computer polls, Division II Grand Valley State was ranked 18th this week, ahead of No. 20 South Carolina, No. 24 BYU (undefeated), No. 26 Auburn and No. 32 Ohio State, just to name a few. What an embarrassment for the BCS.
The pollster is named David Rothman and he runs something called the Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments (FACT). In a recent interview, he said his main interests include the reform of the U.S. constitution, genealogy and the Marx family, referring to Groucho, Harpo and the rest of the clan. Can we all say “Division I-A playoffs” in unison?
w The Chicago Bears' defense has been awesome. It has allowed 43 points, the fewest in the NFL, and as a result the Bears lead the NFC Central with a 4-1 mark. Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is threatening to become the next Butkus and/or Singletary.
Stopping the run has been the most significant improvement - just ask Corey Dillon of the Bengals, who got 30 yards on 16 carries - and much of the credit for that goes to tackles Ted Washington and Keith Traylor, formerly of Buffalo and Denver, respectively. Washington has been immovable and Traylor, who owns two Super Bowl rings, is quick enough to pursue.
w What a special night. No fewer than seven NW Ohio high school leagues are featuring head-to-head championship games and it's hard to recall any Week 10 when so many titles, and so many computer points, were up for grabs. Makes a fellow want to rent a chopper.
tOur good friend Norm Wamer, that round mound of radio sound at The Ticket, plays in a weekly prediction league that is far too complicated to explain here. Regardless, reports have it that Stormin' Norman ran up a tidy little 0-13 mark last week in his NFL picks. An 0-fer. The dreaded doughnut. A bagel. Did we mention that those picks were straight up, no point spread? Zero-and-13, straight up! Good grief, man.
Maumee 24, Perrysburg 20 (Ding dong, upset calling).
Fostoria 28, Findlay 21.
St. Francis 20, Central Catholic 17, OT (A Knight win could set up rematch in state playoffs).
Liberty Center 27, Archbold 17.
Woodmore 20, Lake 10 (Wildcats' passing game is difference in SLL title game).
Mohawk 28, Tiffin Calvert 17.
Northwood 28, Cardinal Stritch 24 (TAAC's two best teams slug it out for championship).
Scott 12, Bowsher 6.
Northview 6, Southview 3 (Sylvania football on a downer as winner gets first NLL victory).
Morenci 17, Whiteford 7.
Last week: 7-3.
Toledo 42, Navy 13 (Rockets' ground game grinds up Middie defense).
Tennessee 22, South Carolina 16.
Iowa 21, Michigan 17 (Big Ten has several good teams, but no great ones).
Florida State 38, Maryland 21.
Penn State 24, Ohio State 13 (JoePa passes Bear as Buckeyes' offense fires blanks).
Texas 28, Missouri 10.
Nebraska 27, Oklahoma 17 (None of the polls have it right; Huskers are best in the land).
UCLA 30, Stanford 21.
Florida 34, Georgia 28 (Gators should win, but take Georgia and the 19 points).
Boston College 13, Notre Dame 10.
Last week: 5-5.
Detroit 24, Cincinnati 14 (There are a Batch of reasons why Lions pick up first of very few wins).
Minnesota 21, Tampa Bay 9.
St. Louis 35, New Orleans 13 (Rams have a score to settle with Saints' declining defense).
Miami 24, Seattle 17.
San Diego 28, Buffalo 6 (Even Bills fans are cheering for Doug Flutie to best Rob Johnson).
Oakland 10, Philadelphia 9.
Chicago 17, San Francisco 14 (Bears' defense passes test against Jeff Garcia and Niners).
Denver 30, New England 24.
Baltimore 14, Jacksonville 10 (If Elvis isn't in the house for Ravens, all bets are off).
Pittsburgh 17, Tennessee 10.
Last week: N/A (OK, Norm, since you insist, it was a very mediocre 4-6).