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  • 08/26/13--12:50: T-MART 500
  • For best results, play this in the background.


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  • 08/27/13--08:18: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/27/2013
  • MICK JAGGER CAN SING. Please note that every step in Warren St. John's profile of Nick Saban happens on the run, in the car, or moving between two different points of football interest for Nick Saban. But hey, we know he does play golf every now and then, and WHY AREN'T YOU IN THE FILM ROOM, NICK, IT AIN'T LIKE YOU WENT UNDEFEATED LAST YEAR. He is also a fan of the Rolling Stones, and you are now imagining him singing "Bitch" at the top of his lungs while letting the dogs out in the morning and downing some oatmeal cream pies with his coffee.

    Oh, yeah, there's a little old man arm-pumping going on when he does this, and a solid head bob, and good hip movement because he's a former DB, and has demonstrable rhythm. This is the time to remind you Nick Saban did the Cupid Shuffle once, and did it competently.

    THIS WEEK IN BULLSHIT. Manziel denied everything to the NCAA, and may be headed for a speedy ruling on any possible suspensions for taking money he's legally entitled to anyway, and to hell with this story in eighty different directions.

    EVERY SINGLE DAMN PREVIEW. The CFB Index is up at last, and whoooo, it's amazing.

    WELL, THAT'S ALWAYS GOOD NEWS AGAINST AN SEC DEFENSIVE LINE. Oklahoma State's starting left tackle is out for the season with an ACL injury, and that's cool because Mike Gundy has 27 identical gifted quarterbacks on the roster thanks to T. Boone Pickens' solar-powered cloning machine located beneath the stadium. They'll need no more than five of them to get through the game.

    DOES NOTRE DAME EVEN NEED A QUARTERBACK, REALLY? It's an academic question, but if you're going to put Tommy Rees at QB for your team, it is one you should ask, if only for science's sake.

    JAZZMAR CLAX. Should you need a name for the gallivanting intergalactic bounty hunter of your unpublished space opera/novel, UConn football is happy to provide one.

    ETC: "I think people can’t just go around shooting things they don’t understand," now come on lady this is America love it or leave it.


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    Fine, Saban. You wanna start this war, the rest of college football is happy to return fire. Texas A&M is getting One Direction because Johnny Football is for the kids. Georgia gets Plus One because of Mark Richt's churchness, while Florida gets 98 Degrees because like Will Muschamp they do not dance, and spend most of their time flexing and staring into the camera.

    A confused O-Town will be told that UCF football exists. LFO is Tennessee's band thanks to being on hiatus since 2003 and having a failed reboot in 2009. 'N Sync is the Big 12 because Timberlake/Texas does still play with his bandmates, but he takes most of the money and isn't that serious about his primary job. Cal-Berkley is F4, because F4 is a Taiwanese boy band. The Jonas Brothers opt for Rutgers because both are from New Jersey, and were unheard of prior to 2005.

    Ohio State is All 4 One, while Michigan is Another Bad Creation, because come on stop pretending to be different we're not stupid.

    Illinois is Menudo because GODDANG THAT RON ZOOK COULD RECRUIT 'EM. Indiana are the Moffatts because they are terrible, and have been for some time. Notre Dame is Westlife, because they are Irish and you know no one who actually likes them, and Miami is Take That because of cocaine. BYU is Hanson. You know this is true in your heart.


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  • 08/28/13--13:38: JUST A GOOD AG BOY
  • [banjo, bass, and kick drum]

    [Waylon:]

    Just a good Ag boy

    Got an arm and good feet

    From here to Arkansas

    Signs everything you ever saw

    Without checks or receipts

    Beatin' the Tide

    With signature skills

    Someday you might get him but Joe Schad never will...

    A_252526m_252520dukes_jpg_medium

    CHECKIN' EBAYYYYYYYY

    THE PRICES MAKE YOU FEEL ILL

    THAT'S GONNA DIVE WHEN HE'S PICKED BY THE BUFFALO BILLS

    Just a good Ag boy

    Oil mafia dude

    N-C-A-A's missed him, DDT'd the dang system like his name was Rick Ruuuuude....

    [lyrics by @captainannoying)


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  • 08/28/13--21:04: OVERTURE/CANNONS/BOOM
  • It is 12:04 a.m. on August 29th, 2013, and it is college football season. All cannonades, crescendoes, and outbreaks of ball lighting are real and unsimulated, and will continue unabated for the next four months or so. All noise complaints will be thrown in the trash. All disconnect notices will be ignored, and utilities pirated as needed. Meetings will be placed on hold indefinitely; all non-essential family interactions will be redirected towards a 45 minute window at an awkward Christmas party on December 24th.

    This house is now on fire, and you are instructed to let that motherfucker burn.


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  • 08/29/13--07:56: THE BUSINESS OF PROTECTION
  • You should know this about offensive line coaches: they are large, demanding men with Falstaffian appetites, jutting jaws, and no governors on their speech engines. They eat titanic portions. They cram their lips full of dip in film study like they are loading a mortar. They drink bottled water like parched camels, and in their leisure time would consider a suitcase of beer to be a personal carry-on item for them, and them alone. They are terrifyingly disciplined in the moment, and nap like large breed dogs when allowed.

    They can be vicious and exacting to the point of near-cruelty. One currently employed and well-regarded offensive line coach was so demanding of one player that finally, at the point where rage exceeded restraint, the player picked him up and shook him like a rag doll demanding to know: can I do anything right for you? Anything? The player had him pressed overhead and could have snapped him like a twig. The coach considered it a success: the player now cared, and was properly motivated.

    They are deeply profane, blunt, and intolerant of pain. More perversely, they are often beloved for exactly these things.

    They are also creatures of fear. At every step, an offensive line coach has to be concerned with threats. The left tackle must hold his own against a defensive end, or the quarterback is broken in half in an instant. Read an inside shade the wrong way, and risk letting a 300 pound man bellyflop onto your 180 pound running back. During the 2013 Outback Bowl, Michigan made one crucial missed call on a run blocking assignment between the tight end and left tackle. Vincent Smith's helmet is still in orbit somewhere over Tampa.

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    Kurt Vonnegut said that his chief objection to life in general was that it was "too easy, when alive, to make horrible mistakes." This is what offensive line coaches live with: the notion that for every five simple circles drawn on a board, there are a nearly infinite number of possible threats looming out in the theoretical white space. Offensive plays give skill players arrows. Those arrows point down the field toward an endzone, a stopping point, a celebration. Those five simple circles stay on the board in the same place, and are on duty forever.

    They are rough men in the business of protection.


    Herb Hand is an offensive line coach at Vanderbilt University, where he might not even be were it not for a long line of random events. Hand got a job at Glenville State under Rich Rodriguez in 1994, a team whose base offense--the spread option that redefined modern football--depended on a play that in itself was the result of an accident, the zone read. A quarterback simply pulled the handoff from the running back, read the defensive end, and turned a mistake into deliberate and deadly strategy. Other coaches might have dismissed it entirely. Rodriguez did not, and now it is run at every level of the game from Pop Warner to the NFL.

    Hand would work under Rodriguez at Clemson, and then followed him to West Virginia when Rodriguez was hired to replace Don Nehlen. Hand would recruit, coach tight ends, and recruit, and do all of that in exactly that order, because recruiting is an important activity that sometimes is interrupted by bouts of college football. One of the places Hand recruited was the talent-glutted state of Florida, including Orlando, where on Aprlil 27th, 2006 something would hit him in the back of the head with an axe.


    The axe blow to the back of the head was a different kind of pain than normal. Offensive linemen have an intimate relationship with pain. Herb Hand has the grinding knees of a former lineman, and once tore a pec in a bench press contest with former West Virginia offensive coordinator Calvin Magee. Hand hadn't touched a weight in years, but he couldn't say no to a dare. On the way up he felt something rip in his chest. The torn pectoral left black bruises all the way down his arms to the tips of his fingers. He did what he did whenever pain was involved: he took some Advil, and went back to work.

    His work on April 27th, 2006 involved recruiting in Orlando. Breakfast would be the universal sad prefab buffet of the American business hotel: a spit shield covering some powdered eggs and link sausages, a few bushels full of tiny muffins, an open waffle iron hissing and surrounded by spots of splattered batter. He worked his way down the line when he felt the sudden urge to sneeze. He turned quickly to avoid sneezing on the man next to him, and when he did something went terribly wrong in his brain.

    That was the first sign something was awry: he did not want to eat. A splitting headache bloomed in his skull, and crept down his neck. Hand could barely hold his head up. He tried to get in his car and get on with his day, but for some reason remembered something he'd read in the in-flight magazine about cardiac incidents. You'd sweat profusely if you were having a stroke or heart attack, it said. He checked the mirror. He was drenched.

    Herb called his wife Debbie, and then tried to explain to the people behind the desk that he needed an ambulance. The hotel clerks did not speak English. He handed the phone to them. 900 miles away in Morgantown, Deb Hand sat in her car with her three kids on the way to daycare, trying to tell total strangers that something was very wrong with her husband. She told him to stay on the phone. He did, thinking about how much ridicule he'd get when he got back to the football offices.

    They got to the hospital. Nothing happened for a while. Then, nurses and techs began to shuffle equipment and move things in a way that suggested something was happening, and in a serious fashion.

    An E.R. doctor came into the room.

    "We got the results of your CAT scan. They're not good. You're having a subarachnoid hemorrhage, probably as a result of an aneurysm."

    "Am I gonna die?"

    "We're gonna do everything we can for you."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I mean that we're gonna do everything we can for you."

    "I thought you were gonna say no!"

    "..."

    "Should I call my wife and kids?"

    "You should probably do that."

    She was in the parking lot of the day care, in her work clothes. Herb wanted to talk to the kids. He did. He then got the doctor to explain to Debbie what was happening: that he would be shipped out of Sand Lake Hospital, and sent to a larger hospital where a neurosurgeon was prepping to open his skull and see what, if anything could be done for him. He got back on the phone with his wife. They told each other "I love you."

    Herb went into surgery prep; Debbie got on the phone.

    Things also started happening in a serious way in West Virginia. Debbie got in touch with Dr. Julian Bailes, the team's neurosurgeon and a leading authority on head trauma, who forwarded her to Dr. Max Medary, a former student of Bailes. Medary was in surgery at the same hospital Hand was about to be transferred out of in Orlando. In a matter of minutes, Hand's transfer was stopped: he would stay at Sand Lake (known now as Dr. P. Phillips Hospital), and Medary would take over his care.  Rich Rodriguez arranged for Debbie to take a booster's private plane to Orlando, and for a member of the team staff to travel with her to the hospital. When she arrived, a sheriff's escort met them at the airport. The coaches' wives would take care of the kids for as long as they needed.

    Sedated and with a catheter running into his femoral artery, Hand lay on an operating table. The catheter ran all the way up his femoral artery and up to his neck, feeding dye into his brain for imaging. He'd somehow landed in a Florida hospital where three out of the four people in the room--two nurses and an anesthesiologist--were from West Virginia. In the fog, Hand remembers one of them leaning over and telling him: "I don't know who you know, but you have the Heisman Trophy winner of neurosurgeons working on you today."


    Hand got lucky. Instead of the balloon like bulge and rupture of an aneurysm, he'd blown a blood vessel in his head, which healed nicely on its own. There was no lasting damage to the brain, and after almost being transferred to another hospital where he would have had traumatic brain surgery, he would instead need none thanks to an audible called on his behalf somewhere in West Virginia, where others' hands had gotten his wife to his bedside in hours, and taken his kids safely into their homes without a word.

    There was blood on the brain, which had to seep down the base of his skull and out his spine over the course of six weeks. The pressure lit up every nerve on the same line of longitude along the way. Terrified of the vicodin he was prescribed, Hand took as few painkillers as he could. Sometimes the pain would become so intense he had to army crawl to the bathroom in the night. Sometimes he just sat on the internet looking at the survival rates telling him that 15% of all patients who suffered subarachnoid hemorrhages died before they ever got to the hospital, with 25% dead within 24 hours, and a total mortality of 40% for all patients after a span of one week.

    Half of all patients who suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage die within six months. When Hand asked about his long-term prognosis, Dr. Medary told him: Look, you can live the rest of your life worrying that this is going to happen, or you can live the rest of your life. And that, as the pain had finished its long march down his spine, is what he did. He made recruiting calls from his house. He watched Food Network. When the kids were home, he made time for them.

    Later, he'd visit Dr. Medary, who invited him to watch a surgery he was about to perform. "You wanna sit in on a surgery? I'm gonna take a tumor out of a guy's head. It'll be cool."


    Hand would leave West Virginia after the 2006 season. He would go to Tulsa, where he ran the offensive line and served as co-offensive coordinator. Had he stayed at West Virginia, Hand would probably be in Arizona now, and not at Vandy working with James Franklin, the coach who led Vanderbilt to their first nine win season since 1915. He would not have told me how good the tater tots at South Street Restaurant were, giant balls of fried starch that were creamy and peppery on the inside. He would not be on the sidelines tonight in the West End of Nashville, trying to get five people to anticipate angles and threat as a unit, those five little circles on the whiteboard defending their turf for a theoretical eternity.

    When Hand had to have the impossible conversation--the one where you, with cellphone, stuck in a hospital far away from home, might have to say the last words you ever say to your children--he did what he was trained to do. He told them that he loved them, and that everything would be okay. The second part of that might not have been true at the time. The emergency room doctor certainly didn't think so, and neither did Hand. But standing between harm and others is what linemen do, even if there's little hope to be had in the face of numbers, size, and speed. There is a dot on the board, and a shield held against whatever slings and arrows lurk in the ether. It stands against harm until it cannot any longer.

    That is the business of protection, and it is never, ever about you.


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  • 08/30/13--07:30: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 8/30/2013
  • SOMEONE JUST FAILED THEIR BANKHEAD BOUNCE TEST

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    A lot of things happened at Ole Miss/Vandy last night. This was one of them. Godfrey wrote about the rest, but if you'd like GIFs of poor Jordan Matthews puking up a gallon of Gatorade after taking a flying tackle straight to the stomach, there's that, too. The end of that game qualifies as a stroke, and if you watched it please seek a medical consult immediately.

    IF CLOWNEY WASN'T SO POORLY CONDITIONED HE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS. That's not true, but someone was thinking it because people can be very stupid.

    RESPECT TOWSON THEY GAVE US, UM...STACEY KEIBLER? And the season's first nutpunch of an FCS upset of an FBS team, since they did beat UConn last night and firmly established themselves as the dominant football program in the state of Maryland. If this were the Tour de France, UConn would have a firm grasp on the Lanterne Rouge after one stage.

    RON PRINCE SHALL LEAD THE KINGDOM. To a failed two-point conversion in a 52-51 loss to Fresno State, who threw the ball SEVENTY-THREE TIMES against Rutgers, and whose quarterback, Derek Carr, is now dead from exhaustion. #RIPDCarr

    NEVER FORGET THAT FOR A FEW GLORIOUS MINUTES HAWAI'I LED USC BY A SCORE OF 5-3. That's not even a link, it's just something we want to cherish forever as a moment when the sun shone with a special luster and the breeze carried soft jasmine to our nose.

    CHUCKIE KEETON URRTHANG. They lost, but Utah State still has Chuckie Keeton and you do not.

    ETC: What in the blue hell are you doing Metallica--


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    He is sort of the Lionel Richie of coaches.


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    Jadeveon Clooney.

    More from SB Nation:

    The prettiest, smartest college football preview collection anywhere

    Catch up on college football’s opening night

    How to stop Jadeveon Clowney: actual coaches build a game plan

    Why we love college football: a beautiful SB Nation longread

    Why we’re happy Johnny Manziel is playing


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    1. Mack Brown mutters, "I'm still the man to fix this football team," and shakes his head. "Would you like more horsey sauce, sir?" Brown is at an Arby's, and not in Ames, Iowa, where his football team is holding onto a 16-10 lead late in the third quarter. "Yes, yes I would," he says, hoping no one notices, and skulking back quietly to the offices of the Longhorn Network. Austin was nice that time of year, so he kept the windows down as he drove.

    2. Stanford will legally field eight tight ends at once on a single play with only 11 men on the field. That is why they got into Stanford, and you did not.

    3. Baylor's Bryce Petty will throw for 3,000 yards, run for 500, and help Art Briles win his bet with the gypsy that he could not get Baylor to four straight winning seasons. The part about Baylor going for a fourth straight winning season is both true and somehow less plausible than Art Briles owing a blood debt to a gypsy.

    4. Tennessee's entire football program -- including facilities and stadium and staff -- is seized as part of an FBI investigation into Pilot's finances and business practices. For the remaining eight games, the part of Tennessee will be played by East Carolina. Results will be indistinguishable from projected 2013 Tennessee football performance.

    5. There will be one exception: Antonio "Tiny" Richardson will remain on the grounds, as there is no crane powerful enough to move him.

    6. The death of Robert Mugabe, longtime dictator of Zimbabwe, will occur during the final BCS National Championship on January 6th, 2014. An Alabama political science student, seeing the news on Twitter while watching Alabama beat Notre Dame 56-3, says to himself quietly, "Saban done run another one out the league. ROLLLL TIDE."

    7. The leading cause of death in the state of Arizona in 2013 will be heart disease. The second will be Arizona State DT Will Sutton. The third will be cancer, and the fourth will be a scary dog-spider-lizard thing in Nogales named "Red" who remains beloved despite his tendency to eat residents. "Yanno, he's real friendly, at least 'til he ain't, just like Big Will. Love 'em both, though," said Nogales resident Tamerlane O'Skinsuit.

    8. Clemson will play their worst game of the season against Boston College, because everyone in the ACC will play their worst game of the year against Boston College, the chronic fatigue syndrome of ACC football teams.

    9. Bo Wallace will continue to thrive at quarterback for Ole Miss despite a.) regularly running the ball through SEC defenses at a whip-thin 6'4, 209 pounds and b.) seriously he's barely 209 after a heavy meal. When asked how he remains so durable, Hugh Freeze will smile and simply say, "Interchangeable parts," and thank Ole Miss trainer Eli Whitney for his hard work.

    10. The Big Ten Network's reruns of "Family Matters" and "Perfect Strangers" will be their highest-ranked programming on gamedays, and there is nothing wrong with this at all if you've ever watched the noon game on BTN. Thank you for your service to our country and the city of Chicago, Carl Winslow.

    11. The first goalpost twerking celebration will happen by Week 6. Suspects include Florida, Miami, LSU, and in a dark-horse role, Tommy Rees of Notre Dame.

    12. Miami's Al Golden will enjoy his finest season at Miami yet, in part because of the 1,500 rushing yards of running back Duke Johnson, and also because he finally admits he cannot continue to coach AND run a night shift at the rental car counter at the Miami airport simultaneously. Al's an earner like that.

    13. The biggest buck of the Virginia bowhunting season will be taken on October 12th, 2013 in Blacksburg, Virginia. It will be in the middle of a play in the third quarter, and on a hurried pull taken from the sidelines during the Pitt game, but if Bud Foster sees a trophy deer anywhere, it's going down with one clean shot, even in the parking lot of Lane Stadium. Foster will clean and field-prep the deer in 14 minutes on the sidelines and sew together a jaunty deerskin cap for Coach Beamer as a victory gift during the fourth quarter.

    14. Kentucky will win a national title. The football team will continue to struggle, however.

    15. Jadeveon Clowney will stop accruing sacks sometime around November 1, and will instead alleviate his boredom by crediting teammates with sacks and throwing them directly into oncoming ballcarriers.

    16. In a sincere but deeply misguided moment of atonement, Brent Musburger will go entirely the wrong way and praise AJ McCarron's "thick, masculine thighs" and "rippling buttocks that dance like a pair of wiry badgers beneath an afghan."

    17. Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson will switch jerseys at halftime to see if Steve Spurrier really thinks they're different people. He does not notice and rotates them randomly anyway.

    18. In a first, the Heisman will be won by an entire nation: Qatar. When asked if voters were bribed, Johnny Manziel will sign a $100 bill, stuff it down the shirt of the closest reporter, and do the Roger Rabbit out of the room with his tongue out.

    19. Lache Seastrunk will lead the league in Yards After Tearing Several Important Ligaments.

    20. Washington will again meet expectations by being the most passionate team in America to lose a third-tier bowl.

    21. Louisville will go undefeated and play the part of the wronged team shut out of the national championship due to weak scheduling. Boise State will also go undefeated but will be fine with going to the Fiesta Bowl again, because unlike a lot of you, Chris Petersen understands that adulthood is a lie.

    22. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 1: takes off shirt, revealing giant chest tat of Mark Emmert's face.

    23. Oregon will run faster, score more points than they did in 2012, and lose one game to Stanford, because Puddles is the real genius behind Oregon football and has been calling the plays for the past six years.

    24. Skip Holtz has a job and will have a job at the end of the year, because mystery is an important part of life.

    25. Your grandmother meant everything to you. She taught you kindness and strength and never missed a birthday. When your family lost the restaurant, she didn't say a word. She let you come over on Friday nights while your parents worked out the end of their marriage well out of earshot. Seeing her lying there in the coffin, you think: what is a person's legacy? Where does that live? What love fills a room not just for minutes, but days, and years? What steadfast soul- [an Alabama fan storms your grandmother's funeral]

    WOOOOO! ROLLL TIIIIIIDE! GRANNY CAN'T BEAT SABAN! PUT ANOTHER HEADSTONE IN SABAN ACRES, CAUSE EVEN GRANNY CAN'T SURF THIS TIDE! FIFTEEN! FIFTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN, Y'ALL!!!!

    26. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 2: produces sharpie from sock, signs every face that leans over the endzone rail, gives each a dollar bill supplied by waiting teammates, puts on Santa Claus hat and signs "Ho-ho, hoes" on the goal post.

    27. Houston Nutt and Ron Zook are on the same college football television show and WHY ISN'T THIS A BIGGER DEAL ESPECIALLY WHEN NUTT IS ALREADY OPENLY GOING INSANE ON AIR. They'll be doing this all year long, and the odds of Houston Nutt confessing to shooting a mule for sassin' him are off the board, because it's probably already happened.

    28. The donkey will stumble into the studio during the story, bleeding but still alive. "Belinda! You supposed to be dead!" Ron Zook will then name the donkey starting running back.

    29. Gary Danielson will note that the spread offense is dead, most likely during a game where a spread offense produces 500 yards of offense, 42 points, and a victory.

    P.S. Gary Danielson's wife left him for a shovel pass TE triple option out of a four wide set seven years ago, and he has not been the same man since.

    30. Urban Meyer will continue to deny he is the Cleveland Torso Murderer. AND YOU'LL JUST SIT THERE AND LET HIM DO IT, AMERICA.

    P.S. The murders happened in the 1930s, but a coach is accountable for everything, and that's why they pay you the big bucks, pal.

    31. Ohio State will score 40 points a game with one of the country's most dynamic offenses. They will also lose to Purdue. There is no reason to expect this to happen save for the retired Joe Tiller catching a magical fish that granted him three wishes during the offseason. "Nash Bridges" is coming back for new episodes, and you can thank ol' Joe for that, too.

    32. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 3: crosses goal line, pulls out iPad from flak jacket, flashes screen showing Wikipedia entry on cartels at camera, nods menacingly. Signs iPad. Throws into crowd, screams, "ECONOMICS, BITCH."

    33. The UGA fan flowchart for this year will be:

    • If Todd Gurley is at running back, demand Keith Marshall.
    • If Keith Marshall is in at running back, demand Todd Gurley.
    • If the ball is passed, demand that it be run.
    • When doing this, yell, "RUN THE BAWWWLLL, BOBOOOOOOO," loudly.
    • If the ball is run, demand that it be passed.
    • Go Dawgs.

    34. Nick Saban will have his third-string in against Georgia State in the third quarter, keeping casualties to a modest total of 28 dead and 49 injured.

    35. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 4: crosses goal line, puts on Cam Newton mask while teammate holds cardboard thought bubble over his head reading, "IT'S AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION."

    36. Jeremy Hill, LSU running back, will commit an assault captured on video. However, just like blindsiding a guy in a parking lot, beating up on Kent State will earn him no punishment from Miles.

    37. In response, Gary Patterson will list Devonte Fields as his starting quarterback vs Oklahoma.

    38. Just a warning for the Arkansas press in advance: Bret Bielema will not be wearing pants behind that podium for the postgame press conference, ever.

    39. A depressed Blake Bell will channel his sorrows at not being named starter by inking his own comic book "Bellboy," a supernatural thriller about a giant demon born to destroy the universe who'd rather play football, even if he has to live in Oklahoma and file down his horns to look normal. Nothing in this graphic novel will be fictional.

    40. Contrary to offseason reports, Tajh Boyd will not be scared of Jadeveon Clowney when South Carolina plays Clemson. This is because after the fourth sack your nerves die, and fear is no longer transmitted to the body in the form of pesky, life-preserving chemicals.

    41. Alabama fans will complain about this team having "too much offense for their own good." That's not a joke: this is something they will do during the season. This is a legitimate prediction.

    42. Blue Monday -- which happens sometime in late January -- is supposed to be the saddest day of the year, but nerd scientists clearly forget that Missouri and Tennessee play on November 2, 2014.

    43. Washington State will start four walk-on offensive linemen against the Auburn Tigers to start the season. This is also not a joke. This is happening.

    44.

    [Finding Nemo. SCENE: Marlin sits, holding his only son.]

    Marlin: Coral? CORALLLLL?

    [Alabama fan cruises by in research submarine]

    [Alabama fan makes duh-duh-DUUUUHHHH-duh noise with his mouth]

    Alabama fan: HEY CORAL! A SHARK JUST ATE THE HELL OUTTA YOU! Good luck holdin' on to that little fish! The Shark is the C.J. Mosley of the sea! He's can smell blood miles away and tastes electricity with his feet! All he does all day is find Nemo ... AND WHIP THAT ASS INTO AN AQUARIUM. WOOOO ROLL ATLANTIS TIDE!

    45. "It's not easy to get this far without admitting it, but I hope my story can help others. Winning Super Bowls is important, but so is adult illiteracy. I'm a head football coach, and I'm learning to read at the age of 57."

    -- Charlie Weis, stunning the world in a press conference just before a 40-point loss to Kansas State.

    46. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 5: dives into end zone, which is actually a hologram covering an in-ground pool filled with champagne. The bats and ants of Kyle Field flock to the sugary mess. Animal control and HazMat teams have to be called in. This is a terrible idea for a celebration, Johnny, like, now you're just showing off.

    47. The starting quarterback at USC will be Mark Sanchez, playing under his stage name "Max Wittek." He will be play horrendously and be benched in game three for the equally mysterious "Pat Beinart," a walk-on with a strange blonde dye job and an unconcealed BCS championship ring on his hand.

    48. Blake Bortles will be the best quarterback named Blake Bortles in college football. BOOK IT.

    49. You might think one game couldn't contain 10 interceptions between two teams, but Florida State-Florida is here to show you that impossible is just a word.

    50. One of these will happen on a punt. Not a fake punt, but a real punt-punt.

    51. Auburn will succeed in being the fastest team to ever play in the SEC, snapping the ball with an average of 18 seconds left on the playclock on every play. Gus Malzahn, male nurse, promises that the bad part will be over fast, Auburn fans.

    52. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 6: crosses goal line, squirrel-kicks a waiting papier-mâché Mack Brown figure, which explodes in a cloud of real cash.

    53. Vanderbilt's James Franklin is getting into a fight on the field this season. Animal cruelty charges are a hard rap to beat, but standing up for your players after getting attacked is a small price to play for your team. Besides, the bulldog bit him first.

    54. Joe Tessitore will walk into a Buffalo Wild Wings on a road trip and things REALLY WILL GET CRAZY JUST LIKE IN THE COMMERCIALS.

    55. Taylor Martinez will lead the nation in mind-boggling rushes in 20-point losses.

    56. Coaching on the sidelines from an armchair with a built in toilet seat and functioning plumbing might indicate to most that a coach had given up on life entirely. Yet for Kirk Ferentz, it's more about comfort and total focus, and definitely not on being totally unfireable.

    57. Iowa will lead the Big Ten in the important offensive category of lateral yardage. "We call it the Fiddler Crab Offense. It goes sideways, and quickly," says offensive coordinator Greg Davis, who will wear a crab costume during games this fall because Kirk Ferentz does not care if he lives or dies anymore.

    58. Brady Hoke will win the Big 10, which is a plus-size modeling contest. Dude can sport the hell out of a jean jacket.

    59. A tearful Mark Dantonio will burn his Zubaz and plot bitter revenge one 2.5-yard run at a time. That was the only beige Zubaz ever made.

    60. Kevin Wilson will do the best job a coach with a jaw frozen shut from tetanus has ever done in guiding the Indiana Hoosiers to a scintillating five-win season.

    61. A frantic Lane Kiffin will scream, "No! Don't tweet that! Noooo! Burritos always doooooo this!" as he fumbles with a collapsing burrito in his last press conference as USC head coach following a 34-12 loss to UCLA. "There's just so many beans in this thing dawww they're on my shirt," he will say, dropping the whole thing to the floor and kicking lettuce towards the reporters.

    62. Marqise Lee will be made mostly of duct tape by the end of the season, and will have a shoe stuffed with paper attached to the point on his leg where is foot used to be. He will still lead the Pac-12 in receiving.

    63. A call from the USC-Colorado game in Boulder in November:  "Upon further review, the receiver caught the ball, dragged one crutch in bounds, and then his frostbitten stub went out of bounds. First down, USC."

    64. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 7: crosses goal line, grabs stadium P.A. mic, yells out "I LIVE FOR THAT DOWNTON ABBEY SHIT!"

    65. De'Anthony Thomas will become the first player to Instagram a touchdown in real time.

    66. Mike Leach will demand to be addressed at Mike The White. He will walk the sidelines in a sparking white robe, holding a gleaming wizard's staff. This is pretty standard for Leach, but it helps to remind the newcomers here. The staff will have an assortment of deep sea fishing lures. Do not touch them, because you know not their power.

    67. Bob Stoops will announce Oklahoma's team motto on a series of wristbands: LIALAFAVYHMYAYARCIAMUM, or "Love is a lie, and friends are vultures you haven't met yet, and you are replaceable cogs in a mean, uncaring machine." Each wristband costs a player $50. Do you care about this team, or don't you?

    68. Johnny Manziel touchdown celebration No. 8: crosses goal line, spraypaints "MY COLUMN --->" on the field, stands at end of arrow making it rain with invisible money.

    69. Colorado will not win eight games, or even five, which is a real shame because Lee Corso choosing Colorado for a GameDay pick by firing up a buffalo-head bong on camera would be the greatest moment in college football TV history.

    70. That is a joke. Jim Knox doing this on camera this season for real is not. He's doing this. It is happening.

    71. Seven will be injured when Virginia Tech plays squeaky basketball shoe sound effects over the P.A. in Lane Stadium, causing a rush of tens of UNC fans out of the stands in the direction of the noises. All seven UNC football fans will receive treatment for minor injuries and a basketball to hold for psychological comfort.

    72. You will finish your entire beer when Verne Lundquist announces, "IT'S NKEMDICHE AND NKEMDICHE ON THE TACKLE."

    73. Florida wins not one, but two games by go-ahead safeties. (One of them will be against Toledo.)

    74. "Say my name," said Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech, standing in the desert and holding a Sun Bowl Trophy.

    "What?"

    "SAY MY NAME."

    "8-5senberg."

    "You're damn right."

    75. You will not like that Notre Dame is guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff in the 2014 Farm Bill, but lobbyists and Notre Dame fans are people too, as stated in H.R. 1783 "Lobbyists and Notre Dame Fans Are People Too Despite Having Cold Blood, Being Oviparous, and Eating Flies For Like Every Meal." (Sponsor: Rep. Monitor Lizard Who Went To Holy Cross.)

    76. In week three of Utah's season, exactly 27 minutes and 43 seconds into the game, Dennis Erickson will have earned enough money for a new pontoon boat. Not just a party barge, but the one with the rail-mounted propane BBQ grill and the ski tower. At that moment he will disappear forever, and Brian Johnson will assume full possession of the title of offensive coordinator.

    77. The Utah student section rushed that previous entry twice before regulation was over, plus once in overtime.

    78. Hang cleaning isn't usually done shirtless on the sideline, but Colt Lyerla gets bored.

    79. In a memoir dictated into his headset during the Philadelphia Eagles' 2014 season, Chip Kelly will reveal that he continued to call plays via text for several years after leaving the Oregon Ducks because, "I get bored, too."

    80. Kansas State will lose to North Dakota State in the opener, and no, this is totally written before that happened!

    81. Despite what he heard on Reddit, yelling, "Am I being detained?" at oncoming tacklers does nothing to keep Zach Mettenberger from being sacked five times by TCU.

    82. At some point, Paul Finebaum's appearance on College GameDay will trigger the playing of the Backstreet Boys' "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely," even without anyone at GameDay piping it into the system.

    83. MICK JAGGER WILL REMAIN A GREAT ENTERTAINER.

    84. Jim Mora will end Lane Kiffin's career at USC, then take the Washington job, because the 2005 USC coaching staff killed his ma and his pa in a prairie cattle raid and vengeance is all he lives for.

    85. Jim Mora will then take a horrible NFL job a year after this and bomb out in three years.

    86. Duke will continue to ignore upstart coach Mike Krzyzewski and prove that football schools just can't appreciate good basketball.

    87. No, that won't be Randy Edsall slinking through a back alley in Baltimore, cash in hand and looking to buy a bucket of fresh, black-market ACLs. Besides, Baltimore's known for its kidneys. You want a good fresh ACL, you go to Alabama and the Nick Saban School Of Rural Medicine.

    88. This year's hottest precipitation-stopping play and forcing hours of delays: HAIL OF CRONUTS.

    89. Gary Nova of Rutgers will slum it by picking up extra snaps for the New York Jets, heroically NOT running face-first into his center's ass.

    90. The NCAA will review his case and determine Nova's eligibility was not compromised, because "we only disqualify in instances of players playing for professional teams."

    91. Oregon State's Mike Riley will appear at your door, give you a hug, personally encourage you to watch Oregon State's game on Saturday, and then ask how little ol' Skipper is doing. Who's Skipper? The labradoodle puppy Mike Riley just pulled from his pocket and put in your arms, because Mike Riley loves you so much. There's a coupon for three months of dog food at PetCo, too. Mike Riley is a lover, but he's a planner, too.

    92. The West Virginia Mountaineer will also bring you a dog. Actually, you're not sure that's a dog, but it's tied up under your car, making unspeakable noises. Its name is Steven, if you believe in government names.

    93. Illinois football won't win a game unless it comes down to penalty kicks.

    94. Pitt will return to Birmingham for a fourth time for their bowl game, all part of a plot to technically qualify Pitt as residents, thus partially liable for Jefferson County's bankruptcy. It works, and the American Conference is sold to Qatar after just a year in existence.

    95. Pitt gets floating stadium built by Qatari sheikhs, so it kind of works out.

    96. Mike London will leave UVa and return to work as a vice cop, citing "better tackling skills wanted in my co-workers."

    97. Indiana football will make a bowl game, losing when offensive coordinator Tom Crean is confronted with a zone defense.

    98. National champions Ole Miss will not know how it happened either, but they'd like to thank Notre Dame for playing a great 38-3 game.

    99. Texas coach Mack Brown announces a new contract extension until the year 2035 from a local Arby's. He promises improvement for next year, while noting, "the only kind of turnovers you don't want to avoid are the delicious ones at your neighborhood Arby's." [/cashes check]

    100. You'll welcome new USC coach Bobby Petrino with open arms, hater, and like it.

    More from SB Nation:

    The prettiest, smartest college football preview collection anywhere

    Catch up on college football’s opening night | And Friday, too

    How to stop Jadeveon Clowney: actual coaches build a game plan

    Why we love college football: a beautiful SB Nation longread

    Why we’re happy Johnny Manziel is playing


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    1. Alabama

    The Crimson Tide's offensive line was outmatched for most of the night, A.J. McCarron never had his timing down with his receivers, and the offense topped the meager output of Virginia Tech's offense by four yards, 216 to 212. They won by 25 points, 35-10, because even a toddler of an Alabama team is capable of taking off whole fingers if you're dumb enough to stick them through the bars of the crib. And because the Hokies' special teams are now as bad as they once were good.

    2. Ohio State

    A serviceable, 40-20 win over Buffalo only highlighted by Urban Meyer going for two after each of their opening touchdowns, because you want to make sure you put some distance between you and a MAC team early. This is not a joke, especially if you are the Iowa Hawkeyes.

    Osufake_medium

    3. Oregon

    Covered the spread against Nicholls State. The spread was 59 points. Gambling is dumb, and flossing is good for you, but which one do you do more often, citizen?

    4. Stanford

    Plays their first game against San Jose State on September 7. Probably in meetings with venture capitalists about some rich person stuff this week.

    5. Georgia

    Lost 38-35 to a raging Clemson team with perhaps the best offense in the history of the school, so yes, let's CRY ON THE RADIO AND DEMAND MARK RICHT GET FIRED.

    6. Texas A&M

    I don't really know how you score 52 points quietly and without Johnny Manziel for the first half, but I am not Kevin Sumlin and neither are you, and thus do not have the power to make 52 points seem kind of average at this point for the Aggies.

    7. South Carolina

    Won 27-10 over North Carolina with a dominant performance by both the offensive and defensive lines. But sure, focus on Jadeveon Clowney getting winded in a game in 95-degree weather in his first game of the season, playing against a no-huddle offense. That seems relevant to what actually happened here.

    8. Clemson

    Closed out a free-fire exercise at home 38-35 against Georgia by letting Tajh Boyd throw beautiful passes for TDs. Lane Kiffin once told Boyd, a Tennessee commit, to go elsewhere when he was the coach in Knoxville. This has nothing to do with the game's outcome, but if something's funny once, it's funny every single time.

    9. Louisville

    Plays Ohio on Sunday. Six of their next eight opponents lost this opening weekend, so that crucial strength of schedule for the Cardinals is off to a rip-roaring start already.

    10. Florida

    A workmanlike 24-6 win over Toledo highlighted by Florida only picking up 10 penalties, or roughly one-10th of their usual total for a game.

    11. Notre Dame

    Tommy Rees threw for 343 yards and three TDs while throwing zero interceptions in a 28-6 win over Temple, and looked like a very good quarterback. ND also played "Sandstorm" in the stadium, which probably looked hilarious if you imagine grumpy, geriatric season ticket-holders aghast in their windbreakers making grim faces at the devil noise polluting their silent football mausoleum. Also:

    12. Florida State

    Plays Monday against Pitt in the best matchup of the weekend involving "Florida State" and "Pitt."

    13. LSU

    37-27 over TCU. LSU had 25 first downs against a very good defense, Zach Mettenberger made throws of genuine perfection down the stretch, and the Tigers didn't even totally screw up the one mandatory Les Miles clock paroxysm of the game.

    Lsuhelmetguy_medium

    14. Oklahoma State

    A 21-3 victory over Mississippi State highlighted by an even earlier-than-usual quarterback switch by Mike Gundy from Clint Chelf to J.W. Walsh. (Oklahoma State only recruits players with cowhand names.)

    15. Texas

    Texas doesn't even get to shine in a 56-7 blowout of New Mexico State, thanks to the Aggies bouncing footballs off their heads.

    16. Oklahoma

    Shut out ULM 34-0, a difficult feat due to Monroe doing things like playing two quarterbacks at once and coaching every game like they've just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

    17. Michigan

    Beat Central Michigan 59-9 and plotted revenge for Michigan State stealing the legacy of Ann Arbor's own Bob Seger in the Spartans' halftime show this week. "NIGHT MOVES" BELONGS TO BRADY HOKE NOW, DANTONIO.

    18. Nebraska

    Survived the last, desperate attempt by Wyoming's Brett Smith to tie the game, thus only allowing 602 yards and 37 first downs to the Cowboys in a 37-34 victory.

    19. Boise State

    There is not enough room in this space to explain how losing 38-6 to Washington looked so much worse than even the score would indicate. But the short version is this: Boise State is the white car in this video, and UW is the boulder.

    20. TCU

    As respectable a a loss as you can get, especially when your coach gives up the ball on 4th and 2 with five minutes left and down 10 points. (TCU never got the ball back.) (Punting is an addiction.)

    21. UCLA

    58-20 over Nevada with a furious 41-point onslaught in the second half. Jim Mora likes to accelerate through the casino in the monster truck, because the slot machines make a great noise when you hit them going fast enough.

    22. Northwestern

    Prevailed in a ludicrous 44-30 win over Cal, returning two gift-wrapped INTs for touchdowns. Spoiled rich kids get all the nice stuff, man.

    23. Wisconsin

    Beat UMass 45-0, a total which qualifies as showing restraint when you remember how bad UMass is at tackle football.

    24. USC

    A sleepy 30-13 walk-through against Hawaii that did nothing to dispel the notion that coaching is something Lane Kiffin is doing while finishing up his prereqs for dental school.

    25. Oregon State

    Lost to FCS Eastern Washington 49-46, but was spared the pain of doing it on EWU's blood-red turf.

    More from SB Nation:

    The prettiest, smartest college football team roundup anywhere

    Clemson beats Georgia, fans chant "A-C-C!"

    100 things that will happen this college football season

    How to stop Jadeveon Clowney: actual coaches build a game plan

    Why we love college football: a beautiful SB Nation longread


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    Losing to Clemson hurts, so let's fire Mark Richt (who has averaged nine wins a year, better than the legendary Vince Dooley.) Their whole season is gone (five of the last seven BCS champions had at least one loss, and Clemson doesn't even count as a conference loss being an ACC team.) They're never gonna take the next step under Richt (despite narrowly missing a trip to the national title game last year in a last second loss to Alabama in the SEC title game.) So you gotta fire him, and replace him with (FILE NOT FOUND).

    In summary: the college football season is five days old and people are already blaming "peach fungus" poisoning for football losses, weeping on the radio, and talking about looking into players' eyes and "horts" after a loss. We're at cruising altitude already, so feel free to use all approved electronic devices and move about the cabin.


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    EDSBS is off for Labor Day. We suggest you take this time to recover from the weekend's exertions, which may have left you emotionally vulnerable and prone to irrational thoughts. Spend time with family and friends. Celebrate the good things that may have happened over the past year, and stay cool in the heat. Most importantly, spend time with young people, and pass along the values that made us great in the first place.


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    Dabopunkassemperor

    If you're gonna complain about him being him being the new punkass emperor and poisoning Georgia with some "peach fungus bullshit," well, that still makes him the new punkass emperor, doesn't it?

    P.S. "Georgia's all fucked up and sick" is our new ringtone.


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    Agita. Nick Saban press conferences sizzle with the real possibility that someone could, in a single instant of miscalculated verbiage, set him off, and thus kill or injure the assembled media taking terrified dictation. A young reporter very nearly died Saturday night. This is his story.

    Reporter: You had several new guys in there tonight. Can you talk a little bit about how they played?

    Saban: New guys where? We had 'em all over the place.

    [Nervous laughter.]

    Reporter: Can you talk about how they did?

    [Photographer in front of me grabs flak jacket, helmet. He's a veteran.]

    Saban: Could you, like, be more specific?

    [Entire room hits floor, texts loved ones goodbye. Some make love with strangers to feel pleasure one last time.]

    Saban: If I started to go through every young guy that played tonight, well ... everybody'd leave. Who do you wanna know about? I'll talk about anybody you wanna talk about.

    [I peek out cautiously from the tipped edge of a combat helmet.]

    Reporter: How about the offensive line?

    Saban: We've been talking about the offensive line, and we need to improve in the offensive line.

    [Exhalations. A few tearful embraces. Someone holds up an American flag.]

    And then, in a moment after his team won by 25 points against a malicious Virginia Tech defense in a game that was never really in doubt after the second quarter, I realized not just that we were not going to die that day. I realized that Nick Saban was coaching up a reporter. The Process never stops. It sometimes continues deep into the postgame press conference.

    Butt-Out. The fun part about having football spread across five days of an opening weekend is you get to watch a bit of everything. The bad part is that you find yourself watching teams like Michigan State, the grisly, simple, and effective hunting tool of college football teams you'd rather not see in action. Yes, they won 26-13. No, you did not need to see it, save for this, the venison steak we pulled out of the horrible deer carcass for you.

    Sparty hates offense so much they subcontract half of it to their defense. It ain't pretty, but you think steaks grow on trees in plastic wrap and styrofoam trays, kid? Someone's got to turn a carcass into meat, and it's gonna be Mark Dantonio.

    (P.S. Pretty things do sometimes happen in Michigan State football games, though probably entirely by accident.)

    Clemson.

    20130831_mjm_ak7_260_medium

    LEMME TELL YOU SOMETHING JEANNINE. FIRST OF ALL, CLEMSON DIDN'T RUSH THE FIELD. CLEMSON'S FIELD IS OPEN AFTER GAMES. IT'S GREAT. KIDS GET TO HOLLER AND RUN AROUND AND PRETEND THEY ARE ON THE FIELD SCORIN' POINTS JUST LIKE WE DID AGAINST GEORGIA. YOU CAIN'T GET MAD ABOUT US RUSHIN' THE FIELD BECAUSE UNLIKE OTHER SCHOOLS WE DON'T LOOSE POLICE DOGS ON YA IF YOU WANNA GET YOUR TOES A LITTLE CLEMSON FESCUE MASSAGE. WE'RE COOL LIKE THAT.

    SECOND: YES I WAS PREPARED TO TELL YOU THAT WE DONE BEAT OUR SECOND SEC SCHOOL IN A ROW. THANK ABOUT THAT: WE GOT LSU LAST YEAR AFTER WE RUN A HUNNERD DAMN PLAYS ON 'EM, AND NOW TOOK DOWN THE SEC EAST CHAMPS IN A BACKWOODS FISH SHACK BRAWL OF A GAME WHERE OUR QUARTERBACK HAD TA DRIVE THE FIELD TO WIN. AND THAT'S WHAT WE DID. THERE'S FILM OF IT AND URRTHANG.

    THIRD: I KNOW WE GOT OUR OWN SYNDROME. AND NEXT WEEK WE MIGHT HAVE THAT SYNDROME BACK, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LIFE WORKS: IT'S UNPREDICTABLE, AND SOMETIMES YOU PULL THAT FISHIN' ROD BACK AND GET A FACE FULL AH ANGRY SNAKE. I KNOW THAT. BUT I ALSO GOTTA TELL YOU THIS; WE GOT THE BEST OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR IN THE GAME RIGHT NOW. WE GOT A DEFENSE FULL OF WILLIN' BODIES TRYIN' REAL HARD. WE GOT SAMMY WATKINS PEELIN' THE TOP OFF AH DEFENSES AND A SLEW OF DUDES IN ONE-ON-ONE UNDERNEATH WHO CAN MAKE YOU HURT REAL QUICK. WITH A NAME LIKE STANTON SECKINGER HE'S PROLLY GONNA BE GOLFIN' HIS WAY INTO THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE ONE DAY, BUT DANG IF HE AIN'T DOIN' MATRIX BALLET THINGS TO GET INTO THE ENDZONE FOR THE TIGERS RIGHT NOW.

    PARDON MY LANGUAGE. BUT THAT WAS A DANGED INSANE PLAY, AND A DANGED INSANE NIGHT. AND PARDON ME AGAIN, BUT DANGIT IF OL' DABO -- OL' DUMB DABO, THE WIDE RECEIVERS COACH OUTTA NOWHERE WITH THE FUNNY NAME WHO WAS SO POOR HE AND MOM SLEPT IN THE SAME BED; OL' DABO WHO HAD A FEW CLEMSONIN' MOMENTS HISSELF EARLY IN THE CAREER -- THAT WAS OL' DABO RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL, TELLIN' YOU WHAT HE'S BEEN SAYIN' ALL ALONG: THAT IT'S ONLY UNTHANKABLE IF YOU DON'T THANK IT. YOU MIGHT THANK YOU UNDERESTIMATED HIM. THAT SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY DANG THINKABLE THING RIGHT NOW.

    Discounts. Bill Snyder may have watched his team lose to FCS North Dakota State, but at least he didn't waste a new jacket on it.

    El-P Lyric That Explains Everything About One Particular Thing:

    "I got memories to lose, man. I am in a rush."

    -- "Works Every Time"

    Frangible. Breakable into fragments. The line between FCS and FBS teams can be quite clear, or it cannot. For instance, take the gulf between Nicholls State and Oregon. This is the office of Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs. This is the office of an Oregon assistant coach. Oregon defeated Nicholls State by a score of 66-3 this weekend, but the apholstery in those photos already told you that.

    That line is less obvious at other places. Kansas State lost to an North Dakota State team what was 14-1 last year and won the last two FCS national championships. Oregon State lost to Eastern Washington, they of the blood-red field and the last non-North Dakota State FCS national championship. It's not always blind, fumbling, shambolic football incompetence that gets you a loss to an FCS team. Sometimes that team is very good and does things as well or better than you under recruiting constraints and challenges not too dissimilar than yours.

    NDSU and EWU both live in the neighborhood of the teams they beat. This weekend they got paid to burgle houses.

    Gutted. But yeah, sometimes you should just burn everything for the insurance money and start over, USF, UConn, San Diego State, and USF. USF gets a free pass because Skip Holtz did all the home repairs himself without ever applying for a city permit, and Willie Taggart is just staggered by all the rot he's got in the drywall. (No concept of how a continuous drainage system, reclaimed materials all over the place, and a foundation poured out of cooking grease and sawdust? Skip Holtz had the bootleg contractor triple crown in hand at USF, AND once kicked a field goal on 3rd and 2.)  

    Halleluia.

    Prayer in thanks for delivery from Derek Dooley is a new gold standard in selective prayer, Tennessee, but a kid in my high school did pray on the question of whether to keep wrestling or join marching band to be with his girlfriend. God told him to make out with his girlfriend in the back of a dark bus instead of doing mat drills and catching staph off filthy wrestling mats, so he's two for two on case studies and positive outcomes here. Austin Peay got drilled by the Vols 45-0 for holy retribution and also a large sum of American money.

    Illustration. This is why you watch things twice

    Ndsufinaldrive_medium

    Watching North Dakota State deliver the killing blow took almost nine minutes and left only :32 for a last death rattle for K-State. It also, at least after watching it the first time, felt like NDSU crushing the marrow out of the Wildcats. That wasn't what happened, though: the Bison survived off the pass and only finished with pounding runs to end the game, including a last quarterback option keeper that looked like poor Brock Jensen being shoved into a Tokyo subway car at rush hour.

    Jameis. He's really, really good! (Winston is a five-star quarterback recruit who everyone suspected was really, really good.)

    He completed passes effortlessly to receivers in stride all night! (Against Pitt, and with a veteran offensive line blocking a large, comfortable pocket for him most of the night.)

    He's going to make Johnny Manziel look like a flag football QB with a degenerative nerve disorder! (Jacory Harris threw for 386 passing yards and two touchdowns to beat Florida State in his debut.)

    He is a demonstrably beautiful and charming human being! (He is, and that's delightful, and he ripped Pitt from stem to stern on a nationally televised game. We hope he is wonderful, and suspect he will be. And this is one game in the 2013 season against Pitt.)

    But oh, the luminous glow of Winston blowing things up! It was warm, colorful, and exciting! (We have no further objections. It was. Get excited. It's life, and not worth living if you can't get giddy off the delicious fumes of the moment.)

    Keeton. In contrast to Jameis Winston -- WHO IS VERY GOOD, AND WILL BE VERY GOOD IN THE FUTURE -- unlocking the cheat code of having a veteran offensive line and ample blue-chip running backs to support him, Chuckie Keeton is out in Utah running alone for his life like a Cormac McCarthy character fleeing a pack of murderous wolves on foot.

    The wolves caught him, as Utah State lost to Utah 30-26, but at this rate Chuckie Keeton appears to have a solid bid on a spot in the Bradlee Van Pelt Club of "obscure-ish collegiate quarterbacks whose greatness usually occurred on ESPN2 at best." Members of that club include the aforementioned Van Pelt of Colorado State, Dave "I won't slide for a damn freight train" Ragone of Louisville, Boise State's Ryan Dinwiddie, David Garrard of East Carolina, and Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan.

    Luis Peralta. The Spanish soldier who once owned Rancho San Antonio, the piece of land that would become the city of Berkeley.

    Sonny Dykes' Cal team lost to Northwestern thanks to the usual flubs a first year team runs smack into: a few defensive breakdowns, a few INTs thrown when they could afford it. But they were blazing INTs thrown out of aggression, not indecision, and defensive breakdowns because well, Cal's a kit car, and Dykes hasn't gotten around to putting the seatbelts in yet. Their first TD was a fake field goal, and that's about all you need to know besides "Jared Goff is going to be quite good at quarterback and was allowed to throw 63 times in his first start as a freshman." (No really: 63 times when he was playing high school football a year ago. Sonny Dykes DON'T CURR.)

    Okay, USC fans should be worried.

    Mitts. As in catchin' hands, which Northwestern's defense had on several cartoon interceptions. This may seem like an exaggeration of their style of play. It is not, and is in fact a subtle rendition of the kind of reckless behavior Northwestern has codified as football. Love them, and love them now.

    Natal. As in birth, or tiny baby football teams growing into what they will become, or why Georgia fans shouldn't be too shocked their retooling defense gave up so many yards to Clemson, Alabama fans shouldn't worry too much about the offensive line, Aggie fans shouldn't sweat giving up so much ground to Rice, and USC shouldn't be overly concerned about how they sleepwalked through a game in Hawaii.

    Okay, USC fans should be worried. But the other three? Relax.

    Open Source Sports Blog Business Plan. Johnny Manziel played football this week and was good at it. He made colorful gestures and engaged in playful speech and boastmanship with the opponent. For this, he should be shot into space, preferably to the frozen, lifeless surface of Europa to learn the meaning of teamwork, sacrifice, and other kinds of hard work. Please RT this and share it on Facebook.

    Presyncope. Feeling faint, weak, aka the moment just before passing out, a perfectly respectable feeling for anyone who watched the end of Ole Miss-Vanderbilt. And a totally understandable clinical term for those who participated in it.

    The final five minutes of the game saw Vandy take the lead, Ole Miss then retake it, and then the return of Jordan Matthews to the field after he deposited several gallons of sports beverage on the turf after a huge hit to his midsection on a catch. An exhausted Matthews had 10 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown, so of course the game-clinching interception went off his hands at the end. Why? Because the only rule in the recent Ole Miss-Vandy series has been someone making excruciatingly painful turnovers in the last quarter of the game.

    Quokka. The second happiest animal on the planet this week thanks to the mighty buffalo winning a real American football game against Colorado State. Watching Colorado blow a lead, and then come back to win was like watching a child take its first steps: they will crash face-first into the coffee table at one point, but they're walking, dude, and that's thrilling enough.

    Right Foot Let's Stomp. When you have four linemen who can play just about every position, you can shift your offensive line like this, Vandy.

    Scorcese. That's a tracking shot Scorcese himself would be proud of, ESPN.

    This had to take hours, days, and months of lead-up to build, orchestrate, and scheme out, ESPN, but when you do? Oh, it's sublime, and almost makes us forget you allow a rabid badger to talk about sports for several hours a day when everyone's at work. That's the Copacabana entrance tracking shot of college football coverage, there. (Please say there's a matching "'Layla'/bodies" scene detailing dashed hopes of BCS contenders and the inevitable Florida State loss on the road waiting at the end of the season.)

    Type. Andre Ware, unfairly taken out of context:

    "I love his body type."

    This was from the Toledo/Florida game, described best as a bland, competent procedural for Florida, and as the first stage in a grim two-week march home for Toledo, who play at Missouri next week because frequent flyer miles don't make themselves. (P.S. They might beat Missouri, because Toledo happens to be a very good MAC team, and so at this point is Missouri.)

    Ursa Turntus. Before a six minute clock-burner of a drive in the fourth quarter, Baylor was averaging 1:40 per scoring drive against Wofford. They had ten scoring drives total on the day. That was against Wofford, sure, but just because a killer whale is a lot bigger than a seal doesn't make the end result any less spectacular.

    Vanquished. They lost the game, but Washington State won the war.

    "Your fans drank us completely out of beer," Brooke the bartender said with disbelief. "We are going to have to close the place down."

    And they almost had some chances to beat Auburn on the road, so it's not all bad for the Cougars, who outgained Wazzu, outplayed the Tigers for much of the game, and looked pretty good if you erase the memory of Connor Halliday's horrendous, game-destroying interceptions from your mind. (Note: Wazzu fans appear to have pre-erased all memory of the game, so good on them for preparing in advance.)

    Wiped. All hard drives, memories, and any other record of what Boise State did this weekend, and had done to them by Washington. That never happened. Mistakes were not made, and Chris Petersen did not ditch his offense for Mississippi State's in the offseason. Shhh, Boise State. Let the pills work. Shhhhhhhhh. Reality is what you say it is, and we'll talk about what that is once you pass out, sleep for 48 hours, and wake up in a new town with a new name. Joe Southwick threw the ball 40 times for 152 yards, and may be Cody Hawkins in disguise at this point.

    XJRF. The $118,000 Jaguar sedan with quick-twitch handling, luxurious styling, and a 550-horsepower V8 engine that promises a top speed of 174 mph. Kirk Ferentz could have easily bought two of them with the $325,000 he made for losing to Northern Illinois.

    Yukon Cornelius. You really can't hate Matt Millen unless you think of him less as a broadcaster, and more as a car accident for the brain you get to share with hundreds of thousands of viewers each week.

    Yukon Cornelius, a character in the Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer universe, was a giant, affable lunatic forever looking for one stroke of prospecting luck to make him rich and successful. All he needed was one Charles Rogers, or platinum seam, or something like that. THE POINT: Matt Millen really, really feels Yukon Cornelius on so many levels here, and not just because he licks pickaxes when making important decisions.

    Zinc. As in Zinc, a small town in Arkansas with a listed population of 103 people. None of them were injured in the explosion of a t-shirt gun during Arkansas' breezy 34-14 win over a good University of Louisiana-Lafayette team to start the Bret Bielema era. We always thought it would be Louie the Lumberjack who first harmed someone with America's cuddliest firearm, but college football is first and foremost about the element of surprise. (Like waking up and finding Bret Bielema cozy and comfortable in the SEC, for instance.)

    The weekend's 39 best college football photos:

    More from SB Nation:

    Clemson, South Carolina move up in Coaches Poll

    For FSU’s Jameis Winston, the real hype begins now

    First impressions: should we worry about Alabama’s offensive line?

    Taunting: Fine for Tim Tebow, not for Johnny Manziel

    Cupcakes bite back: FCS takes down eight FBS teams

    Today’s college football news headlines


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    If there's to be no Shutdown Fullback this season, the least we can do is offer up the same product without pictures: THE SHUTDOWN PODCAST. Jason Kirk and ourselves are joined by Celebrity Hot Tub to discuss the following important questions:

    • What Papa John's condiments would best cover the genitals in a pizza-themed strip tease?
    • Could Georgia win the ACC?
    • Is Burger King the largest financial concern in Mississippi?
    • Is Diana Nyad going to start on the defensive line for South Carolina this weekend?
    • Peach fungus bullshit?
    • Iowa? That's the question: the state of Iowa?
    • Is Massachusetts vs. Maine this week the football embodiment of a horrendous John Updike novel?

    Put the damn house on JMU beating the marsupial sack off Akron next week, and listen below in the embedded player or download here.


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  • 09/04/13--08:14: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 9/4/2013
  • SOME PEOPLE WANNA PUT THEIR DOG ON A LEASH AND SOME DON'T. Nick Saban's press conference yesterday was a tour de force of leash law theory and furious fingertapping.

    "How y'all doin' today?" clearly makes a small part of him want to die on the spot. Okay, a large part. As large a part as there is on that tiny, unsleeping Anton Chigurh of the coaching world.

    TWIS. USF could have had its own column alone, but the real shocker is Michigan State's hivemind going apeshit over a victory over Western Michigan, and Virginia Tech openly wondering if Frank Beamer should be committed to a mental institution. He can't, for the record, because no manmade bond can keep a wild Beamer from sleeping in his beloved woods as he's done his entire life.

    NOOOOOOOO. It's all there, and makes sense, but dammit, Good Bull Hunting, the scalding of a brain takes years to recover from, and often involves irreversible loss of function. (Just like exposure to the Finebaum show!)

    SHUT UP VANILLA IS F*&%IN' DELICIOUS. That's what Brent Pease wanted to say, clearly, but he's at least learned that violent bursts of profanity are to be limited to the booth only. Florida held the ball for 40 minutes against Toledo, which is pretty much the greatest goal of the Florida offense under Muschamp.

    HALF THE TIME EQUALS 75% LESS DEFENSE. The Big 12 is offering condensed games free on Youtube as all conferences should. The Pac-12's been doing this for cable subscribers for a while now, and the Big Ten could do it even better since you can cut most Big Ten games into four minutes of actual action, and down to even less if you omit punts. (This is not an exaggeration.)

    ETC: Just sit in the corner, Spencer.


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    I'd like to thank UNC for last week. It's not often you see so much being done so poorly so quickly, but we all got a special talent for something. Your momma's is picking up cigarette butts with her mouth at the Harris Teeter and using them for salad toppings.

    The ACC is like a dance contest in Myrtle Beach: even if you win it, you've still got sand fleas living inside you.

    Congratulations to Clemson on their big win over Georgia. They've beaten two SEC teams! They could practically call themselves the 2012 Missouri Tigers with that many SEC wins. Kind of comparisons you want to be made about your football team.

    Poor Georgia. That first year in the ACC Coastal's gonna be murder on 'em.

    Heard a radio fella call em the 'Kentucky Mildcats' the other day. Seems like a stretch, since even a pack of Virginia Slims can play a little defense.

    Oregon's Tate? Never met him. Might have recruited him. Next question.

    I'm gonna support whatever decision the President makes, whether it's a limited military action or a full-on invasion. Whatever i takes, we gotta liberate them poor children in Starkville.

    I don't know what offensive trouble they're talking about. I see three points on the scoreboard, and I'm thinking that's a damn fine performance by Starkville United.

    Saw Florida threw for 153 against Toledo. Guess all these government cutbacks mean you only get one quarter to play now.

    I think Jadeveon's conditioning was fine. Or at least fine enough for that future stock broker he was working on Thursday night. You can get a hell of a workout at Curves, I hear. Or at least Mack Brown does.

    That Michigan State offense is a lot like Mark Dantonio's pecker - give it anything longer than a glance and you're gonna get carsick.

    Saw that Arkansas won. I call that an EBT win, because they're gonna have to eat off that for a month 'till they get their next one.

    Malzahn went to Waffle House after that game, huh? Guess some folks'll go anywhere to find a quarterback.

    Heard Auburn looked real good compared to Wazzu. Well, I could go to a nude beach with Charlie Weis, too.

    Congrats to Tennessee on beatin' Austin Peay, the school that sounds it's like tellin' you about all the awful stuff it did back when it was an alcoholic. Must have been hard to hang 40 on a team with future Zumba instructors playing cornerback, but bein' proud of something is important.

    If Hawaii can't even get your pieces hummin' right, Lane Kiffin, I heard Bobby Petrino sells Spanish Fly on eBay real discreet.

    Miami plays Florida this week. Florida used to have the speed advantage here, but an ankle monitor is heavier than you think.

    Seen that Jameis Winston really do some good things in his first game. Feels like FSU's on its way back to the glory days, when its quarterbacks were mediocre in the NFL AND other pro sports. Say hi to Charlie Ward for me if you're ever playing H-O-R-S-E in Latvia.

    Jimbo Fisher does make first-round quarterbacks, though. Hell, E.J. Manuel's the starter at Buffalo. Think about that. He can go to any quarterback recruit and say, "Hey, I'll get you to Buffalo, Oakland, or Minnesota for some of the best and least retrievable years of your life." Hell of a pitch, if you ask me.

    Saw Nick Saban and Alabama took care of Virginia Tech. I ran over an old man once, too, but it was on accident in a golf cart and you didn't see me get a trophy for it. That poor man was Frank Beamer, too, by the way. By golly can that old buzzard take a hit.

    Think everyone's being a little too hard on Johnny Manziel. You may not like what he does, but you have to respect his game, and how he's gonna have to deal with Daniel Snyder trading 5 years' worth of draft picks to get him in the pros.

    We got two good quarterbacks and both of them will play against Georgia. We feel pretty good about 'em. They got one, too. Hits the checkdown real well.

    Wanna wish the Redskins the best this season. That Dan Snyder's the best, and I look forward to watching his team take the field on my 80" TV Made From Pieces Of Priceless Works Of Art.

    Ole Miss beat Vandy. Hugh Freeze has done a great job gettin' a lot of Memphis into that team's roster. Gonna take a heck of a lot of antibiotics to get it all out, too.

    Sure, Michigan-Notre Dame is a tradition. So's Brian Kelly freezin' warts.

    Sooner or later everyone ages. I switched to a belly putter. Urban Meyer went to the Big Ten. We all slow down, is what I'm saying. Nothing to be done about it.

    Dang, Willie Taggart. Whole point of followin' a Holtz is you're supposed to look brilliant by comparison even if you don't try.


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    Answer: He doesn't know either, First Presbyterian Church of Athens, Georgia. But it never hurts to ask. (Via r/CFB)

    CORRECTION AND UPDATEThis entire thing is an ESPN promo.


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  • 09/05/13--08:07: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 9/5/2013
  • THAT'S RIGHT, TIME: IT'S THE ONLY WAY HE'LL LEARN.

    You know, most old media types are clowns AND frauds, but Time Magazine? These guys just GET IT. It's what Johnny Manziel needs. It's what Putin wants.

    WE CAN'T FORCE YOUR CHOICE. Hell, Miami/Florida may be a meteor game for you for all we know, and that is fine. You can't force someone down the path of enlightenment. They have to choose themselves, and thus make the path their own. And when you have to make that choice, we hope you remember this, and choose wisely.

    BUT HEY THAT DOES SAY SOMETHING. The State of the U's preview does give Florida credit as a dangerous team, albeit in that "heavy thing that rolls over people," and not that "lethal predatory bird of war" kind of way.

    A WALK DOWN BLOODY, BOMB-WRECKED MEMORY WAY. You could also remember the time Florida beat Miami and ruined their perfect season, which might explain why Jim Kelly was on TV yesterday wearing a "Gators Eat Boogers" t-shirt.

    BRING THIS GIANT UNGAINLY HUNK OF METAL HOME. You have to start somewhere with tradition, UTSA, so why not do it with a giant, heat-retaining hunk of utterly hostile metal?

    ETC: This song is the Big Ten's new anthem shhhh don't ask why it just fits (via dorky northern european-ness.) The strange compulsion of college football makes all too much sense to us, ma'am. By all means, please press the Deuce Button."Where do your kids go to school?" ALL MUST BEHOLD THE VISAGE OF CLARENCE BEEFTANK AND PRAY HE TAKES MERCY ON YOUR SOUL.


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