LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It's 10-11-12, which sounds like the 'Book's overall record against the spread this season -- but we already digress. College football has reached the midway point, Phil Steele has published his four preseason All-American teams, and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have as many players on those four teams (2 - Quanterus Smith, Antonio Andrews) as the Universities of Louisville (Calvin Pryor) and Kentucky (Larry Warford) have combined. But that's not the only unusual twist. There are lots more in this week's edition of the WDRB College Football Notebook . . .
FACEBOOK DOES NOT 'LIKE' THE CARDS IN TOP 25
Facebook is everywhere and touches all things, including the distribution of news. It's a good thing for the U of L football team that it doesn't have a voice in picking the Top 25.
The web site Mashable.com used a quality that it labeled "Facebook buzz," to pick the Top 25 in college football.
Neither Louisville nor Kentucky nor Indiana nor Western Kentucky made the list.
The top five teams? Florida, followed by Georgia, South Carolina, Stanford and Texas. Florida and South Carolina are unbeaten. The other three are not.
So what is Facebook buzz?
As you might've gathered, Mashable says it doesn't have anything to do with how many games a team wins or margin of victory. Facebook "counts and weights total mentions and percentage increase for key terms associated with college football teams to produce its power rankings."
So if you're really a big fan, get on Facebook and kick up a controversy about your favorite team – after you're finished reading 'Book, of course.
ARE THE HILLTOPPERS HOT? BET ON IT
Western Kentucky will try to move to 5-1 and 2-0 in the Sun Belt Conference Thursday night at Troy. Willie Taggart has the Hilltoppers on the move.
But that's not all of the story. The folks at Covers.com have been charting the performance of the Hilltoppers – for entertainment purposes only, of course.
Western has covered the point spread in all five of its games against FBS opponents this season. The Hilltoppers also covered the number in their final nine games last season.
The 'Book isn't a wiz at math, but that's 14 straight games where the folks who have backed Western Kentucky have been rewarded.
The number for the Troy game is WKU by two. Now if you'll give us a moment, the 'Book needs to make a quick phone call.
THEY ORDERED PEPPERONI ON THAT, NOT DEFENSIVE ANALYSIS
If you deliver pizza or other deliverables in Columbus, Ohio, you'd best keep your opinions on the Buckeyes to yourself. A delivery guy from Iacono's in Columbus, Ohio, (who didn't want to be identified by name) was taking a pizza order over the phone from the wife of OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, and couldn't resist saying, "We really need to tackle better and play better defense." He then said both he and the woman laughed.
He wasn't laughing the next day, however, when he was fired.
The student at Columbus State College said he begged the restaurant's owner to keep his job, "But he just said she called in and complained and said she was never going to order pizza and said she felt belittled."
Luke Fickell declined comment and OSU said it's unfortunate that the student lost his job, but it's not the fault of the Fickells.
Of course not. Clearly, it's the fault of the OSU defense.
MIKE LEACH SAYS HE IS COACHING ACTUAL ZOMBIES. NO, REALLY
You're bound to hear anything in a Mike Leach news conference, so when they asked him about student leadership on his Washington State football team, he was colorful to say the least.
"Some of them have been great and some of them have been very poor," Leach said, as quoted in a transcript printed by the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash. "Some of them have had kind of this zombie-like, go through the motions, everything is like how it's always been, that's how it'll always be. Some of them quite honestly have an empty corpse quality. That's not pleasant to say or pleasant to think about, but that's a fact. That's why it's been necessary for us to have the youth moment that we've had."
Nothing will force you to burn some redshirts like a bunch of zombie upperclassmen, but say this for them -- they may be walking dead, but at least they're walking.
READY FOR SOME WVU NATIONAL TITLE TALK? TOO BAD
A year ago West Virginia won five of its first six games, scoring a ton of points, losing only to Louisiana State. The Mountaineers were ranked 13th in the AP poll and not considered a threat to contend for much national recognition. Too much Big East baggage.
Now West Virginia has a new home (the Big 12), a perfect record (5-0), a high-powered offense, a Heisman Trophy candidate (QB Geno Smith) and a No. 5 national ranking. And after WVU dusted Baylor and Texas, there is definitely national title talk about the Mountaineers.
John Harris wrote his pitch for WVU in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, outlining all of the Mountaineers' outrageous offensive numbers and crediting them with a solid win in a hostile environment at Texas last Saturday.
He also raised the national title question with Dana Holgorsen, WVU's swaggering coach.
"We set a goal at the beginning of the season to win the (Big 12) conference," Holgorsen said. "We're two games into that. The next challenge is Texas Tech (on Saturday). That's what we talk about.
"I've got some guys that believe. I said it last week and at the end of this game (Texas), I like the way this team plays together. I feel like we had to play together in all three sides of the ball to win, which we did. We had to overcome adversity on all three sides, which we did. Those are some qualities of a good team, no question."
Harris interpreted that as a "Yes."
The 'Book wonders how many people would be talking up the same Mountaineers team if it were still playing in the Big East. Especially if it had put up 70 points on somebody.
A FOOTBALL TEAM COACH K CAN BE PROUD OF
Guess who's playing for bowl eligibility Saturday at Virginia Tech or the following Saturday against North Carolina?
Mike Krzyzewski University.
Duke football fever, catch it. The Blue Devils have won five of their first six, with conference wins against Wake Forest and Virginia. Before you shrug at that news, remember that the Blue Devils beat Florida International by 20 several weeks before Louisville beat FIU by seven.
Credit David Cutcliffe, the former Tennessee offensive coordinator who had a nice run at Ole Miss before he was fired. Cutcliffe is the Duke coach.
Duke has not played in a bowl game since 1994. Cutcliffe hasn't encouraged the bowl talk, but he also hasn't squashed it. The 'Book likes that.
"I told my wife, 'I don't want to spoil a good party,'" Cutcliffe told Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press. "That's not the only reason you're playing the game, but that's just human nature. How are you going to fool them?
"They're starving. Why wouldn't they feel that way? To ruin their party? I'm not going to do that. But I don't want to hear a bunch about it in the locker room before the ball game. Better start thinking about what you've got to do to win a game, period."
Duke has played eight games against Virginia Tech. Don't ask how many times the Blue Devils have won. The 'Book doesn't want to spoil the story either.
From the weekly SportsPage Live webcast come this week's predictions. Last week Rick Bozich went 4-1 and Eric Crawford was 2-3. The season totals now stand at Rick 24-6, Eric 22-8.
WESTERN KENTUCKY at TROY (Thursday night) Rick says WKU 24, Troy 22 Eric says WKU 21, Troy 17
LOUISVILLE at PITTSBURGH Rick says U of L 24, Pitt 17 Eric says U of L 31, Pitt 28
KENTUCKY at ARKANSAS Rick says Arkansas 31, UK 21 Eric says Arkansas 28, UK 14
STANFORD at NOTRE DAME Rick says Notre Dame 25, Stanford 10 Eric says Notre Dame 28, Stanford 17
TEXAS vs. OKLAHOMA Rick says Texas 24, Oklahoma 21 Eric says Oklahoma 24, Texas 21
The website LostLettermen.com is one of The 'Book's favorites, a regular read for all things college football and men's college basketball. The subject they tackled this week could inspire a lengthy debate: Which teams have worn the ugliest helmets in college football?
5. The Michigan State cauliflower logo (1973-75) 4. Maryland State Pride 2011-to-present 3. Pittsburgh dinocat (1997-2004) 2. Colorado powder blue Buffalo (1981-84) 1. Florida State grade school Seminole (1962)
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