For the majority of yesterday, I splayed myself on the leather IKEA couch my roommates and I keep in our living room, feet propped up in hotel slippers with a full stadium cup of coffee at hand.
Two screens flashed before me for seven straight hours, one from my laptop and the other from our 32-inch monitor. Every game came courtesy of a source that wasn’t cable. I realized I am cable’s millenial nightmare: I watched games courtesy of Aereo and pirated streams. Knowing that I had two top-25 tilts always at the ready without severing my right arm to pay for cable was glorious.
It was also a good choice, too, despite the gorgeous early fall weather in Brooklyn, because we–meaning “college football fans”–finally got a weekend chock-full of upsets.
Now, these weekends are rare, but only in the sense that they happen about one weekend during every college football season. It’s an oxymoron, a routine anomaly: a number of teams across the top-25 will all encounter trap games on the same afternoon, ranging from top-10 unbeatens to one- and two-loss BCS contenders. Yesterday was it. Fans saw Stanford, Georgia, Oklahoma, Northwestern and Michigan all fall, with nearly every other team outside Alabama and South Carolina experiencing difficulty.
When people ask me why I enjoy college football more than its professional counterpart, I usually point to these weekends. The NFL–God love it–can have some truly dominant teams, but an undefeated Packers side is always just as vulnerable against a ten-loss (or whatever) Chiefs squad as they are a one-loss Saints team. Parity grounds the NFL. In college football in most seasons, it doesn’t. So a college football upset feels more truly like an upset. I also recognize that I’m biased since I grew up in a city with a major college football program that treats it like a professional organization.
That program also was idle this week, so between drags of Trader Joe’s Joe I had the full comfort of knowing I could witness other teams get thwacked down like California redwoods. It’s a great feeling to have. College fans know what I’m talking about.
Now, the games.
– Oh, hey, remember how Longhorns fans were pitching in to buy Mack Brown a big ol’ comfy chair for his impending post-firing gig on the Longhorn Network? They probably still are, but that momentum to oust Brown hit an impasse after the Longhorns upset rivals Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry, 36-20. Texas quarterback Case McCoy (younger brother of Longhorns folk hero, Colt) actually looked not bad, throwing for 190 yards and two scores*.
The game also included two fat guy touchdowns (touchdowns scored by defensive lineman) and lots of angry-face Bob Stoops. It was everything you could ever want from that game, and marks the first time since 1992 that an un-ranked Texas team bested a ranked Sooners squad.
– The Georgia-Missouri game was on at the same time as Red River and sort of took second billing for whatever reason. This game was a closer shoe-in for an upset than Oklahoma-Texas and for good reason: the Bulldogs were coming off an emotionally draining win in Knoxville and are essentially fielding third-stringers in certain skill positions.
Appropriately, the Tigers won, 41-26, going to 6-0 (!) on the year and 2-0 (!!@#) within the SEC East. But don’t forget to qualify this win with the fact that the Tigers lost starting quarterback James Franklin for the year to a separated shoulder.
– There were murmurings on ESPN’s “College Gameday” that if USC weren’t the post-Kiffin garbage fire that it is right now, the Pac-12 could make its case for being the best conference in college football. Personally, I find that argument completely ridiculous, but I do agree that because of its late-night games (at least on the east coast) people don’t know much about it. Saturday saw several Pac-12 contests that were on while the LIBERAL SOCIALIST EAST COAST MEDIA ELITE were still awake, with a still scary-good Oregon fending off a potential upset against Washington in Seattle and Stanford, well, not doing that against Utah.
The usually stingy Stanford defense bent and broke against Utes in Salt Lake City, falling victim to end-arounds, screen passes and other sorts of previous mid-major trickery. The Cardinal did see wide receiver Ty Montgomery go for 131 yards on eight receptions (not to mention a 100-yard kick-off return for a touchdown), but a productive final drive yielded no points as Utah broke up a pass on 4th-and-2 to end the game. It was Utah’s first victory ever against an AP Top-5 team.
– Obligatory Johnny Manziel “f*ck you, pay me” GIF. The Aggies narrowly escaped Ole Miss 41-38. Manziel passed for 346 yards, ran for two scores and threw an interception. He also did this celebration against Ole Miss. Of course.
– The Big Ten’s not really doing itself any favors in debunking its perceived weakness. Michigan and Northwestern–the only two other ranked teams besides Ohio State from the conference–both lost yesterday, essentially guaranteeing they won’t be in any poll this week [CORRECTION: Wisconsin clocks in at no. 25 this week]. For the millions or billions of people who lap up the sweaty tears of Buckeyes fans’ misery, this is all f*cking gravy. Ohio State has become the new Boise State, and if it remains undefeated while a few other powerhouses do, too, well Ohio State’s looking at a January spent in, sigh, Pasadena.
Buckeyes fans, if you need a shoulder to cry on, your neighbors just downstream the Ohio, Louisville, are there with a box of tissues and a Simon & Garfunkel greatest hits album, but only until basketball season. Then you can *fart noise* “jog on!”
Spurrier: "I do feel badly for Arkansas. That’s no fun getting your butt beat at home, homecoming and all that."
— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) October 12, 2013
Heh, Steve Spurrier.
* – Although, he had one horrible interception that was returned for a pick-six.
GIFs: SB Nation, The Big Lead