The character of Fredo Corleone is highly underrated in the Godfather Saga.  Aptly played by the late John Cazale, Fredo is far from a force in the first film while his betrayal of Michael is the centerpiece of II.  In a pivotal scene late in the film, Fredo complains that he isn’t given the necessary “respect”– not long after asking “what’s Spanish for Pina Colada?”.  Closing month begins with one-loss teams complaining they aren’t getting the necessary respect…only to show why it wasn’t given in the first place.   Arizona State undervalued at #7?  The Sun Devils fall at Oregon State.  Nebraska not getting enough love at #11?  The Cornhuskers get crushed by Melvin Gordon’s record 408 yards rushing and Wisconsin.   Duke was only ranked 21st despite an 8-1 start?  The Blue Devils respond with a home loss to Virginia Tech.  The herd thins a bit…while other one-loss teams hope they’re not going fishing without Anthony.


Is Math a Major at Notre Dame?  Evidently not.  The Fighting Irish while leading Northwestern 34-29 scored a fourth quarter touchdown.  Instead of taking the 12 point lead the Irish attempted to stretch the lead to 13 by going for two…which they failed to do.  College Football Karma can be an unforgiving beast, as the Wildcats proved that 29 + 8 + 3 = 40 by scoring a late TD, going for two and then kicking a last-second field goal.  By the way, Northwestern won the game in overtime.


Maryland missed a chance to move into second place of the Big Ten East by losing 37-15 to Michigan State.  Unfortunately the “Blackout at Byrd” coincided with the loss of offensive power against the Spartans.  Terrapin Triumphs– the defense held out as long as they could, limiting Michigan State to 6 of 18 on third down and forcing 4 first half field goal attempts (3 after MSU reached the red zone), Cole Farrand leading the way with 18 tackles…Juwann Winfree and Daniel Adams stepped in for the injured Stefon Diggs by combining for 6 catches, 119 yards and both Maryland touchdowns.  Terrapin Troubles– the running game netted just six yards (even accounting for sacks they would have gained 22 yards on 14 tries)…with the runningbacks gaining 11 yards on 11 carries.  CJ Brown threw 3 interceptions (although one was a late first half hail-mary), the first leading to a Spartan field goal and the last being a pick six.  The fans at Byrd Stadium despite trailing by only 16 points at the end of the third quarter departed the stadium en masse–way to come up small in your first Big Ten prime time game.  Next:  Saturday at Michigan.


Virginia Tech instead of pulling a Fredo gave us Godfather III’s line “just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in”:  who wasn’t ready to call it a season with the Hokies having lost three straight going into the Coastal Division leader’s den?  I didn’t see a 17-16 win at #21 Duke.  I guess the pollsters were right to keep the Blue Devils out of the top 20 despite an 8-1 start.  Hokie Highlights– JC Coleman powered the suddenly awakening running game with 95 yards rushing… Dadi Nicholas led the pass rush with 2 of the team’s 4 sacks (he also had 5 hurries) as the defense held Anthony Boone to under 50% completions and intercepted the Blue Devils QB twice:  the first came at the VT 2 yard line and jumpstarted the Hokies first TD drive, second one returned by Derek DiNardo 51 yards to set up a field goal.  Hokie Humblings– 2 for 15 on third down?  Six sacks allowed? Minus nine yards on five punt returns?  Oh my– when do they play Virginia?  Next:  Wake Forest is worse–and the Hokies head to Winston-Salem Saturday.


Navy put itself in great position to return to the postseason…blasting Georgia Southern 52-19.  Now all they need is a split of their final two regular season games– South Alabama and Army– to secure a spot on the bowl calendar.  Midshipmen Medals–  Keenan Reynolds ran for 277 yards and 6 touchdowns– did Georgia Southern not know that the quarterback keeper was one of the options?  The defense tallied three takeaways– twice giving the offense the ball on the GS side of the field in the fourth quarter.  NO PENALTIES– where is the gold star for that?  Midshipmen Miscues– the offense converted just 3 of 7 third downs…while the defense gave up 375 yards rushing on 8 yards per carry.  Next:  Friday November 28th at South Alabama.