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- 10/15/12--11:21: _HOLGO TAKES HOME MO...
- 10/15/12--12:57: _SOMETIMES YOU FIND ...
- 10/16/12--06:35: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 10/16/12--12:04: _HE'S AN ASH MAN
- 10/16/12--12:44: _The Alphabetical, W...
- 10/16/12--12:24: _THE ALPHABETICAL: B...
- 10/17/12--06:25: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 10/17/12--08:04: _HOW THIS HAPPENS: T...
- 10/17/12--07:48: _Lance Armstrong and...
- 10/17/12--11:04: _ASK DR. INTERNET
- 10/17/12--14:09: _BILL O'BRIEN HATES ...
- 10/18/12--06:26: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 10/18/12--13:04: _THE SEC SCHEDULE, R...
- 10/18/12--17:49: _ARIZONA STATE/OREGO...
- 10/19/12--05:45: _THE CURIOUS INDEX, ...
- 10/19/12--07:53: _THE HOLGORSEN-NOLTE...
- 10/19/12--09:25: _BIG TEX IS ON FIRE
- 10/21/12--06:52: _Kansas State will n...
- 10/22/12--06:04: _HOMERIC TENDENCIES:...
- 10/22/12--11:24: _The Tulsa Golden Hu...
- 10/15/12--11:21: HOLGO TAKES HOME MOVIES FROM UP ABOVE
- 10/15/12--12:57: SOMETIMES YOU FIND WINNING RAGE IN THE STRANGEST PLACES
- 10/16/12--06:35: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 10/16/2012
- 10/16/12--12:04: HE'S AN ASH MAN
- 10/16/12--12:44: The Alphabetical, Week 8: I'm sorry I was so strong and cool
- Kliff Kingsbury. Untucked shirt, sunglasses on at all times, good for multiple sternum thumps per game.
- Mike Vrabel. Dippin' on the sidelines, also a fan of the shades, and clearly still hitting the shrugs several times a week in the gym.
- David Yost. More of a Dave Matthews Band/Phish BRO, but still very much in the family.
- Trooper Taylor. The fitted is all that's really needed, but the towel is extra credit.
- Chuck Amato. Hitting nothing but the bench press for five decades has to make you some kind of BRO deity.
- 10/16/12--12:24: THE ALPHABETICAL: BONUS LETTERS
- Alabama's played football with the killing power and charm of a tree shredder, and deserves any and all accolades for doing so against every team they've faced. Roll horrifying faceless killing machine Tide.
- Arizona State has been shockingly (HEYO) good, and would look a lot better if they somehow hadn't lost to a disjointed and injury-prone Mizzou team in Columbia.
- Oregon State is at 5-0 and you SHUT UP NO YOU DID NOT SEE THIS COMING SHUT UP YOU LYINGFACED LIARBALLS.
- Texas has been a gigantic disappointment as an individual team.
- The bottom of the SEC East has been utter shit as a group, with Kentucky, Vandy, and Tennessee going winless as a group so far.
- The West's only winless team in conference is Auburn, who sits one last minute win over ULM away from being winless.
- The Big East doesn't look half bad, and still has three undefeated teams. This should come out in some different font letting you know we're not being sarcastic, and have not suffered a stroke in the typing of this sentence. We mean it: the core of Cincy, Louisville, and Rutgers have each looked great so far.
- The Big Ten is .
- 10/17/12--06:25: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 10/17/2012
- 10/17/12--08:04: HOW THIS HAPPENS: THE ELUSIVE HONEY BADGER BECOMES MORE ELUSIVE
- 10/17/12--07:48: Lance Armstrong and the noble lie
- 10/17/12--11:04: ASK DR. INTERNET
- rapid earwax buildup
- hair loss
- hair growth
- Dan Cortese Anemia
- speckled colon
- Rick Neuheisel's Palsy
- Burglar's elbow
- Lisa Frank Fractures
- sentient epiglottis
- "the bobgoggles"
- pillowy nipples
- increased dead blood cell count
- fear coughs
- spontaneous wolves
- canterbury tail
- Alamo Bowl
- 10/17/12--14:09: BILL O'BRIEN HATES TWITTER AND SPACEBOOK
- 10/18/12--06:26: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 10/18/2012
- 10/18/12--13:04: THE SEC SCHEDULE, REVIEWIFIED
- 10/18/12--17:49: ARIZONA STATE/OREGON: FORK US ALL. FORK US ALL HARD.
- 10/19/12--05:45: THE CURIOUS INDEX, 10/19/2012
- 10/19/12--07:53: THE HOLGORSEN-NOLTE REPLACEMENT THEORY
- 10/19/12--09:25: BIG TEX IS ON FIRE
- 10/22/12--06:04: HOMERIC TENDENCIES: SOUTH CAROLINA
- 10/22/12--11:24: The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are the danger
Hi. Remember me? I surfaced from the murky depths of the internet, traceable to an intentionally made promotional video the University of Oklahoma probably spent money on, and then deliberately released into the content water table. Everyone who watched it developed some form of brain cancer, and lawsuits are pending.
As with any toxic substance introduced into the environment, the unintended consequences of exposure were not uniformly harmful. Consider this: while merely viewing this video will shrivel the reproductive organs and cause spontaneous and fatal blood clotting in the brain in normal humans, the Sooner football team has displayed entirely opposite reactions to Cakey McFitted and his tween anthem to Soonerdom.
Prior to its release, the Sooners suffered a loss to Kansas State, underwhelmed at UTEP, and seemed to be on track for a disgraceful nine win season. You people are too hard on Stoops, but whatever: radio standard nine game spoilage for Sooners fans, most likely with a tepidly satisfying victory over Texas upcoming in Dallas, blah blah bored football aristocracy blah.
Then the video was released, and then BY GOD KING HE STIFFARMED A MAN WHILE HURDLING A MAN.
Even Jim Ross had to strain his hyperbole flexors trying to capture the exact ferocity employed by Oklahoma in kicking Texas' ass cheeks off their bodies and somewhere into orbit. When your cable goes out in a week, blame an errant piece of Mack Brown's buttocks for the interruption, and know that it's cool, you're only keeping seventy households from their Longhorn Network. (Broadcast feed of the LHN live, as it has been for the past 48 hours: just this.)
Freakbass of the Prairie, your methods are appalling, but we can't dispute the results. whether it's healthy or not, the Sooners appear to feed off of tweencore dipshits in fitteds, and evidence backs us up on this point. Whatever you do, Sooners, embrace the cheese and even perhaps double down on it. Have that dude sit on Bob Stoops' shoulders the whole game if necessary, perhaps while performing live, and then watch as your football team lays waste to all it surveys. Place glitter on the OU logo, and take the field in fingerless gloves.
It's different than what Texas is doing in many ways. For instance, it appears to be working, and that's way different than anything the Longhorns are doing at the moment.
Oklahoma Texasgon Trail [63:21 Edition] by Shutdown Fullback (via sbnshutdownfullback)
NEVER DIE, AMAZING ROOSTER PAINTING. It's never really hate week with South Carolina, but instead a kind of five day meditation on "What is South Carolina," and then "Why is South Carolina?" Then we all just stare at this painting and, in lieu of understanding, arrive at an awestruck appreciation.
South Carolina, man. It's so...South Carolina.
MAN WHO CARES WHAT MACK WARBOG THINKS. Mike Wilbon was talking about college football, but no one cares unless he was wearing finery that impressed the dandies of the city, who all beheld is magnificence and said "Forsooth! Invite that man among our lofty parties, and reserve a sainted spot upon the grass for him at the estates!" Mike Wilbon is the Mr. Collins of sports, and wealthy people of sport are his Lady Catherine De Bourgh.
THAT CERTAINLY WON'T MATTER. Not having your leading running back against Alabama can't possibly matter. We mean that, since it's not like you're running on them anyway. The only hope for Tennessee is Tyler Bray throwing the ball 83 times, and then running four draws for 148 yards and one TD. BRING BACK THE SLUSH FUND, MAN. (via.)
THE HEBREW HAMMER IS ON THE SHELF. Mark Weisman will not start against Penn State this weekend, ruining the dreams of 14 slightly athletic Jewish chlidren in the Midwest who will now have to rely on old tapes of Jay Fiedler for inspiration.
THE URGE TO HEDGE REMAINS STRONG. You only have numbers at this point with Notre Dame, and those numbers are very impressive indeed, and yet all that can float into your brain and still crash against the wall of "oh my god I am not falling for another Notre Dame fan that will get annihilated in a bowl game by real competition again."
THEY SUPPOSED TO BE ACC AND YES YES THEY ARE. Apologizing for football player misoconduct is the most ACC thing ever, and officially the least SEC thing ever.
In honor of Texas' quarterback, and also the most underrated posterior-obsessed wrestler ever.
Apologies. Alabama defensive end LaMichael Fanning had to write an apology after suplexing Mizzou running back Russell Hansbrough during the Tide's 42-10, ho-hum, another-day-another-blowout destruction of the Tigers in Columbia. This is not a copy of that letter, but it probably is.
Buddy. As in Holly, born in Lubbock, Texas, the site of this weekend's most surprising non-surprise, a team losing on the road to Tommy Tuberville while carrying an abnormally high ranking and showing no understanding of what they were walking into. Being down 35-7 at the half might have shocked anyone who had not watched Tommy Tuberville go 5-2 against top five opponents at Auburn, and especially to those who do not understand what powers Lubbock has over unsuspecting opponents.
Courage. You were not forgotten, Sad Red Raider Fan of 2011.
Not snow nor sleet nor a 60-point loss to Oklahoma State last year could stop you from delivering your passion to the field. You were owed greatness for your loyalty, and for one Saturday--if only for that one Saturday--you were repaid in glorious fashion. Warning: the butt-end of that repaid glory will be watching Tommy Tuberville take the first SEC job he's offered. Life is unfair.
Dykes. The logical counter to Tuberville's theoretical departure lost his bid to upset an SEC team on the road in Shreveport this past weekend, but after a few hours of mourning Sonny Dykes is probably alright with that for a few reasons. The first: against a good Aggie defense his attack posted mindbending numbers: 37 first downs, 615 yards of offense, and 57 points. The second: the Bulldogs should lay waste to the remainder of their schedule, finish 11-1 on the year, and then get a luxurious trip to Boise, Idaho.
Every Game Counts. The 11-1 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs get Boise as their reward, probably lose their coach to Texas Tech or someone else, and then have to shuffle over to Conference USA all in the span of just a few short months. We repeat: life is deeply unfair, and Malcolm in the Middle is really just a wacky prequel to Breaking Bad. That's the spoiler of the Breaking Bad series finale, and Lois returns to kill Walt/Hal out of nowhere just as he's poised to take over the international meth trade forever.
Fear. Told you Lubbock was terrifying.
No place whose primary colors are "dirt" is a place you want to be after dark, especially with Raider Red lurking in the windswept West Texas night.
Giffen Good. An economic term for an item people consume more of as the price rises. An example of that? Um ... [nudges your eyes down]
A 63-21 loss to Oklahoma underscores a real curiosity of the Texas program: as the program gets further and further away from the high water mark of 2005 and the BCS Title, the more expensive Texas football gets for its fans and its boosters. Texas is undoubtedly the richest program in the nation, just a golden hot tub of football luxuries filled with cash, first-rank recruits, and top-flight facilities. Austin is its own sales pitch, and that is before you turn on the Godzillatron and watch a prospect's eyes bug out of their head at the sheer luminosity of it all.
Yet as the Longhorns' revenues--and its prices--accelerated upward, the actual product declined in field value. The Longhorns won a conference title in 2009. Since that title, the Longhorns are 17-14, have lost the last three to rivals Oklahoma by a score of 146--58, and have lost to every Big 12 team save Kansas and Texas Tech in that span. They are, by record and performance, an overpaid Mississippi State with horn implants.
Handshakes and babies. And yet the demand keeps rolling in, and more importantly so do the checks. Mack Brown, as Longhorn bloggers are all too happy to point out, is a really decent man who has probably overspent whatever utility he had as a football coach. It is a longstanding joke that Mack Brown is the coach who holds the white balance card on interviews, swoops in as the ring-flashing closer for recruiting, and serves as the CEO of Texas, Inc, a company whose holdings now happen to include the Texas football team along with a television network and brand licensure division.
Impervious. The checks will clear. The revenues will continue to flow, so in a sense Mack Brown the CEO is impervious, and rightfully so. But the concept of a football program as a business only covers so much of its identity, the very root of which is still--despite the money, revenue, and number of eyeballs watching the program---winning and losing on Saturdays. Texas has been doing more of the latter, and it is beyond time to let Mack Brown do what he does best: manage, smile, and fundraise.
JD/MBA. The great irony is that Mack Brown discovered his true calling as a CEO this late in life, and had to become a football coach for four decades to do it. Next time just skip the lengthy, impoverishing tenure as an assistant and unpaid GA, and simply get the JD/MBA straight out of undergrad, reincarnated Mack Brown.
Kingsbury. It is a delight to watch Kliff Kingsbury complete the transformation from Mike Leach's most conservative quarterback to the slouchwear icon strutting the Texas A&M sidelines. How much he has to do with Johnny Manziel's endless improv act at quarterback is an impossible theoretical question to answer, but in the Bro Rankings of college football assistants he's top five at least.
Listicle Out Of Nowhere. Of those most BRO of assistant coaches:
Midpoint. This is so very depressing, but you are halfway through the college football season if you don't count the weird afterlife of the bowl season.
Nebulize. To reduce to a fine spray, which might be the end goal of Dan Mullen against any opponent. Already up and working the clock against Tennessee, Mullen opted to pass for a TD on 4th and 9 with fourteen seconds on the clock to put a fiery capper on a 41-31 victory over the Vols. The Dan Mullen Revenge Tour is a gory, hateful thing, and if you're not playing them it is a delight to watch, particularly if you like excellent cornerbacks. One is named Darius Slay, and sometimes one name tells you everything one needs to know about a team's general attitude.
On loan. Zach Boren, semi-professional fullback, is starting at linebacker for Ohio State. In related news, Ohio State's rehearsal year thing might be a really good thing for the Buckeyes because they could use a year to regrow their defense. (The one that fell off sometime last month. If you see it laying by the side of the road in Columbus, please return it to Urban Meyer's offices immediately.)
Perks. The one bonus of Ohio State having no semblance of defense? The Ohio State-Michigan game should just be old-school WACball played beneath leaden Midwestern skies with an over/under somewhere in the 90s. Rate this game in scientific units of "number of times the flaming ghosts of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes interrupt it to express their fiery wrath over poor tackling and fundamentals."
Reclaimed. Tulane football, no longer winless after a victory over SMU. Eastern Michigan and UMass still have clean sheets in the win column, and thus keep the dream of that first round pick for Jeff George* alive.
*Jeff George is the only one who has this dream, which is impossible. Do not take it from him.
Silicon. The computers hate Chip Kelly and Oregon, and with reason: when the great human/robot wars arrive, it will be a visor and hurry-up offense that leads the way to freedom in the post-apocalypse. The robots have already sent servants back in time to thwart him, an explanation that is the only thing explaining how Cam Newton and Gene Chizik at Auburn ever happened. (Additional support: a laptop was an accomplice at Florida in getting Cam Newton to Auburn in the first place.)
Twinned. If you liked seeing South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw running for his life, please watch South Carolina at Florida this Saturday, which will be basically the same game as LSU-South Carolina, but without men in tiger suits dancing in the stands.
Having typed this, watch both teams empty the playbook, throw 40 times each, and leave with Florida defeated and the SEC East in utter chaos. (Which is totally what is going to happen.)
Ugliness of The Week: BYU goes to South Bend, and if you've watched either team play you know someone is losing some teeth and using words clerics on either sideline will not approve of, but will understand. Manti Te'o will get the spotlight, but he's not the one with 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. That's BYU's Kyle Van Noy, and if he and Te'o are properly enraged this should be a bloody 6-3 gutter masterpiece of a game in the making.
Virginians, West. We don't care if you have music and K-State Mask on your side: the worst possible time to go to West Virginia for a game would be the week after the Mountaineers were humiliated on the road. Not that Collin Klein won't just roll through the WVU flee-fense like Frank the Combine in Cars, but he'll have to keep up with a Mountaineer offense that should rebound from whatever was wrong with them at Tech.
Collin Klein, seen here on a QB draw against Oklahoma.
Warily endorsing whatever Hugh Freeze is doing at Ole Miss, since they look like they understand the basic precepts and rules of football. They also gave Alabama their best game of the season, and that is not a typo: Ole Miss gave Alabama their toughest game of the season to date.
The British band whose ceiling fell in when lead singer Andy Partridge, crippled by stagefright, swore off performing live and turned the band into a studio project. There's no football reference here unless you'd like to stretch and remind everyone about the danger of making plans for anyone, much less an unpredictable, volatile group of post-adolescents chasing an oblate spheroid around a field.
Yeesh. Florida State-Miami is this weekend, if you're into things that were relevant in 1991. It's the contractually obligated REM album of football matchups! (P.S. Miami is going to diiiiiiiiiiiie, but if no one is there to see it did it really happen at all?)
Zardoz. Lest you be too hard on a team that drops a game midseason: we all make mistakes in life. Yes, even Sean Connery.
ALPHA. We started thinking about this: how much person could you feasibly suplex into the turf like LaMichael Fanning did to poor Russell Hansbrough in the Mizzou game. We're probably good to 125 pounds or so, but as anyone who's thrown around a giant MMA-grade sandbag would tell you, an object that sags and slumps like a real human is way, way harder to lift and stabilize than you imagine. No, we don't know this from dragging bodies or suplexing strangers at MARTA stations because it's the only thing that makes us feel. Shut up.
BETA. We're also not real big on midseason awards, and with reason: a lot of teams have barely gotten out of warmups at the halfway point, much less proven a lot in terms of consistency. Still, looking around, it's hard to suggest anything but the following:
GAMMA. Maryland is 4-2 and atop the Atlantic Division in the ACC. Who called he inevitable Randy Edsall conference championship? We did, because all Randy Edsall does is pour bad milk into the air vents of college football. Good luck getting the smell out of the division.
DELTA. Seriously, think about a Denard/Braxton game with even less defense than last year, and then giggle.
EPSILON. If AJ McCarron's meniscus in his knee really is torn, it won't matter because Tennessee has given up three hundred yard rushing to opponents twice already this year, and we think Alabama still watches film of their opponents.
ZETA. These are the comments from this copy of the Youtube clip of LaMichael Fanning's rasslin' moves.
I admit it's been awhile since I played a down of football. More then 15 years the last time I counted, but since when did the game of football get to be so soft? This is a rough sport. Or at least it used to be. At some point you have to let the players play.
And then, after some discussion:
And creating rules to prevent every single little itty bit of potential for injury is no excuse for turning the game of football into a game for pansies. Man up already. Why don't you end the game of football altogether if you are just going to ruin it with all these little nit picky rules. Caveman thinking? Please. Try MAN thinking. You should trying it sometimes. You know, being a man.
MAN thinking, y'all. ROLL TIDE.
THAT'S FUNNY BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE ON GOOGLE PLUS IN THIS COMMERCIAL. The perfect example of a commercial where you smile, applaud the ingenuity of the product, and then continue to never use it again.
We have never typed "Gators gators gators gators" into Google, or at least will not admit it. We also have never wanted to combine the disorganization of Facebook with the tedium of filing, but still, delightful ad, Google.
IN OTHER BRILLIANT USES OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
That's a trainer for West Virginia who deleted his Twitter account last night after the "retweet in an aghast fashion" function of Twitter allowed it to escape to the rest of the internet. West Virginia has had no comment on it thus far, but yes, the word "colored" probably isn't the first choice of words here, or anywhere since dammit, jaundiced green/yellow is a color. #TeamNaturallyJaundicedWhiteGuys
GREEN AND MEAN, INDEED. UNT pulled the upset over U-La-La last night in Denton, and this happened, and when a running back makes eight men miss on a single play from scrimmage, it is not your night and you should just leave Texas as soon as possible.
SOMETIMES NOT SCORING IS THE BEST KIND OF PLAY. It is in this case, for sure.
YOU SHOULD STOP SAYING THINGS WITH YOUR MOUTH. It's probably technically true that Marcus Lattimore has lost a step due to his injury last year. It's also true that if you tie a kettle bell to a lion's tail that he's going to be a step slower, and will still be a goddamn lion who is faster than you and happy to devour things. Things like you. Stop saying things, Josh Evans. Stop saying them right now.
MINNESOTA IS HONEST AND READY WITH THE CHECKBOOK. The Gophers are going to pay $800K not to play UNC because they have decided that after years of denial and scheduling the USCs of the world that they are in fact the Minnesota Gophers, and have no business playing anyone they know they cannot beat. 1997 Bill Snyder nods thoughtfully, and offers you a lollipop of congratulations.
MAKING OF A QUARTERBACK. How Matt Stafford went from being another dude with a big arm and floppy hair to being an NFL starter with lots of money and piles of women (who still went 2-1 against Florida.)
HAHHAHA CHARLIE WEIS GETTING CREATIVE. There's another world where Charlie Weis went into medicine and became a plastic surgeon, and in that world there are a lot of people who look like this. Two quarterbacks will start this weekend! That's TWO quarterbacks! AH-AH-AH!!!! [counts gigantic salary people cannot stop throwing at him]
ETC: Paul Pasqualone is everywhere this election season. Wizznutzz, never, ever change. You can never have enough terms for bustin' ass. The merriest and most confused bus in Scotland. John Calipari is better at everything than you are.
So first you have to do a story on Tyrann Mathieu because, well, Tyrann freakin' Mathieu. If you don't know his life story, it's pretty simple. Child is born. Child's father and mother split due to an insane rage problem, a rage problem that culminates in child's father getting a murder conviction he himself predicted in letters sent from prison. Child is raised by caring relatives, goes to LSU to play football, and then becomes the Honey Badger.
It's a great story, one that came out in September.
Then, in the midst of the story, you discover the story isn't yielding everything you want it to. The family's no longer cooperating. You're stuck with something like a rehash of previous work with little new to show for your work. The deadline looms, you redouble your efforts, and you have a few new details from his past and a storyline about players getting VIP access at a club with his friends, who sometimes put his face on promo flyers. (Again: something you can probably pull off of a wall in any town with a major football program.)
This happens all over the place, of course, often without players' knowledge, but your editor wants the story, and there's that deadline for THE FREAKING COVER STORY, and um...you go with it. You solder together a kind of warmed-over Frankenpiece, leading with the arresting details of his past, and then divulging the bits you scraped together into a prayer of a pitch at the last minute under deadline. That's what it feels like, at least, after three reads and a lot of headscratching.
By the way, you have one official on the record about it:
A veteran compliance officer with no direct knowledge of Mathieu's case...
It would be really fun to believe that this was trolltastic muckraking, but like all conspiracies it assumes a level of competence and coordination people are rarely capable of for sustained periods of time. What probably happened here was work done under the pressure of time, deadline, not having any other ideas, or whatever the hell they thought was the rush. In a perfect world, this story would have been torpedoed the minute the family didn't cooperate and nothing new or substantial came of it. It wasn't, and now here we are.
This isn't malice. It is something slightly different: incompetence. What the hurry was, we'll never know. We just wish they'd waited it out, because Mathieu's story is a great one, and one that someone else will get to tell now that the Mathieu family has shut the door for a very long time to SI and anyone else with questions and a recording device.
P.S. If you believe a Louisiana club manager's testimony on anything, please email us about exciting financial opportunities in Nigeria.
Lance Armstrong is not the fight against cancer. He would like you to think he is, since the entire thrust of his career post-cancer was to race not just for himself, but for a cause, the long fight against cancer. He said as much in the only deposition Armstrong ever sat for in the series of legal battles waged by Armstrong against critics, anti-doping agencies, and in this case, an insurer who refused to pay a performance bonus because of Armstrong's doping.
Starting at about the 44:00 mark here, Armstrong says this.
If you have a doping offense or you test positive, it goes without saying that you're fired. Not just from the team, but from all of your contracts, numerous contracts that I have. That would all go away. And the faith of all the cancer survivors of the world. Everything that I do off the bike goes away, too. And don't think for a second that I don't understand that.
Attacking Armstrong was, for a long time, conflated with the cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment he sought to support and inspire through his charity, Livestrong. The yellow bracelets, the fundraising, the endless promotional appearances Armstrong slogged through don't disappear along with the seven vacated Tour de France championships and Nike contracts. They remain real, even if the inspiration behind them was more applied science than testament to the human will.
I don't really care about doping in cycling here for a lot of reasons. Cycling at its highest levels has always been riddled with astonishing abuse of performance-enhancing drugs, and with good reason. The Tour de France destroys riders, shortens the lifespans of its competitors, and remains one of the most deranged sporting events in existence. To be a professional cyclist is to willingly chain yourself to a rack you then pull over mountains. To worry about the effects or advantages of performance-enhancing drugs in such dire physical circumstances here seems academic in the worst sense of the word, is well above my pay grade empirically, and is tangential to the point here.
SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson discusses Armstrong on FOX Business.
I do care about the notion that a lie can be validated by outcomes, however. The effects of Armstrong's masturbatory cult-building have been positive, but positive outcomes as the result of something negative aren't justification for post-facto rearrangement of the moral furniture. He lied, and did so aggressively and often maliciously against those who dared to point it out publicly. His lies profited him immensely over the years, something that in legal terms is usually filed under the overused but appropriate term "fraud."
Yes, cancer survivors got real inspiration from Armstrong. They took and continue to take hope from Livestrong, and the knowledge that abstractly, somewhere on a bike, Lance Armstrong was stuffing EPO in his veins with reporters just on the other side of a bus door in the name of the cause. They might have felt some relief in knowing that while they were undergoing the hell of chemotherapy, there was someone slamming human growth hormone and steroids into their system riding for them, and occasionally trying to ruin the careers of riders who dared ask the obvious questions about doping and the miracles Armstrong created year in and year out in the world's toughest cycling race.
According to Armstrong, if this lie were exposed that hope would be lost. Consider that, the first lie in a long chain of lies: that Armstrong's pursuit of the victory of a bike race was tantamount to hope itself. Contrast it with Armstrong's own recovery story. During his chemotherapy and cancer treatment, Armstrong spurned the notion of a religious component to his recovery. When asked about religion, he would insist that he had good doctors, and that they were enough.
That equation changed along the way for Armstrong. It changed as a matter of professional necessity, as he became the magical element in the equation, a figure whose creation myth became less a matter of reality and more one of faith. In his hour of need, he claimed he needed only himself and medical science. Others clearly needed something more. They demanded a religion, and with it the organizing principle of a saint.
Armstrong put himself in that role, and had Nike and the rest sell the iconography for him. He spoke frequently of miracles in his speeches because miracles sell in all the best and worst ways. They help sell the fundraising efforts that support cancer victims. They help sell bikes, and advertising space, and everything else Armstrong endorsed on the way to being a professional cyclist worth over $100 million personally.
They sell an old lie: the bad thing done and validated by good intentions. It would be more pardonable if Armstrong had lived a monastic existence, donating his winnings to cancer research instead of lolling in the world of celebrity as he did. But it would still require pardon, and the reiteration that the "noble lie" is the first tool of a condescending tyrant-on-the-make. This would be someone like Lance Armstrong, who invented a religion when modern chemistry was enough for him on so many occasions.
The internet is a scary place. Spend enough time on it, and you'll convince yourself you've got every disease known to man. Reasonable people turn to medical professionals at times like this. They turn to Yahoo! Answers, especially if they're college football fans too scared to ask real people about their terrifying medical issues.
Thanks for writing, "May-jay." First, if you are on a football team do not go to the team doctors. We repeat: do NOT go to the team doctors. Most football doctors are vet school dropouts. Somewhere in their pasts are piles of dead horses and sheep, perhaps animals they killed, or worse still because they enjoyed collecting them and using them for furniture. Sources within the sporting medicine profession have told us they believe up to 50% of team doctor-administered cortisone shots are actually just Nutella injected directly into knee joints!
Second, do not tell your coach, Mr. "Clickmarron." Simply slap a knee brace on and hand the ball off to your running back as many times as possible, and you too can one day enjoy a lucrative career in southern sports talk radio, or perhaps as a backup backup quarterback on the Jets. These are selected randomly, and have no correlation to your anonymous anonymity. (Seriously you play on a defensive team. HAND THE BALL OFF AND TELL NO ONE ANYTHING.)
Continued exposure to Bo Pelini has many side effects. They include
If you have been exposed to Bo Pelini, please contact a physician. There is no treatment, but doctors like to hear about cool incurable shit they can talk about with their friends on the golf course.
We recommend winning a conference game in 2012, "Merek Cooley." Failing that, there is always the ego-boosting experience of network broadcasting, and the accolades it has afforded many who have failed at real jobs.
The question of phantom limbs is one that has afflicted humanity for centuries. Many report experiencing sensations years after the loss of a limb, as if they can feel it moving around, hitting the door as they step through, or even in the throes of their most intimate moments! We just made this up. Amputees are all fakers, and use padding to get sympathy and cool tricked-out cars insurance companies pay for.
For further reading, ask coach Gene Chizik how he feels without Cam Newton and Gus Malzahn, or about his lips that he lost in a horrible bakery accident some years ago.
There are many possible answers to the questions surrounding your fatigue issues. You may have a vitamin deficiency, in which case you should consider diversifying your diet with wholesome fruits and vegetables. You may also be fighting off an infection, or cancer. It' s totally cancer. You're going to die, and it's all because you thought you were just tired, and it really is all your fault. You're a terrible stupid person anyway, so it's no big loss.
MEDICAL HUMOR! The actual reason is that you keep watching Iowa football. Stop watching Iowa football, and get the probably definitely cancer thing worked on by a trained mechanic or something, because--little secret between Dr. Internet and you--we don't even know what cancer is. It's bugs or something as far as we know.
Man, FSU's German recruiting just got so weird, y'all! But seriously, you can get enough to knock out five Turkish guest workers at the Alslev Superbest, Apotekergade 3, 4840 Norre Alslev, Denmark. They ask fewer questions about large chloroform purchases than even Dr. Internet is really comfortable with in a developed country type setting!
Whatever you say. Join a gym and get to lifting, Mike Patrick. It's never too late to grow a quality yoke and some explosive calves.
Dr. Internet can't really help you with that, since it seems to be a psychosomatic disorder. Then again, so is being a Notre Dame football fan, so double down on the adult diapers and hope for the best. Also, keep an epi pen handy for moments when Tommy Rees enters the game. It won't do anything good, but a solid jab of that jitter stick into an uninterested, non-ND fan's thigh next to you will give them the same queasy terrified feeling you're experiencing. PRO TIP: It's not assault if you thought they were having an allergic reaction to something.
Bill O'Brien, from Tuesday's Penn State football teleconference.
Q. Stephon Morris said on Twitter last night, "we hate them, they hate us," in regards to Iowa. Do you sense any talking to players, do you sense any type of extra?
Bill O'Brien: Do you know what I hate? I hate Twitter. I think these guys are young guys, and I think "Tweet this, Spacebook that."
Q: What is Spacebook?
A: It's Facebook but for space things.
Q: Why space?
A: Because it's there and it needs like buttons and political arguments.
Q: Can you poke people on Spacebook?
A: Not without sending you or someone you love into a black hole.
Q: Can I poke people on Spacebook?
A: You should.
Q: Does Spacebook have social games?
A: Yes there is a game where you throw cheese at Bret Bielema.
Q: What is this game's name?
A: Angry Curds. It is the worst game ever made.
Q: Is there any charge for using Spacebook?
A: CULINARY JOBS IN TOOTH WHITENING WAITING FOR YOUR BALDNESS TODAY
Q: Is information on Spacebook private?
A: Yes! (No.)
Q: Are unsuccessful thoroughbred horses welcome?
A: You're thinking of Placebook.
Q: Does Spacebook have an insane homicidal robot feature?
A: All Spacebook has is insane homicidal robot features.
Q: Will Spacebook have sound?
A: It's in space dummy those movies are all wrong so no don't you know how to science?
Q: Is Spacebook capable of severing a human hand from the human arm in under 0.5 seconds when malfunctioning?
A: What kind of sick person times those things? Yes.
Bill O'Brien is the head coach at Penn State University. He does not have a Spacebook or Facebook page at this time.
GOOD MORNING, CATLAB. You don't do enough drugs, but for that, there's Catlab.
Frank Solich is still missing his lost career as a seventies film villain.
EVEN IF MARCUS LATTIMORE DOES NOT PLAY: Bill C still thinks Florida is a clear favorite on Saturday in the Swamp even if Marcus Lattimore misses the game due to a bone bruise or "leg thing." This fills us with the usual pregame weeping dread since we watched the OBC nearly beat Florida with Blake Mitchell and Corey Boyd in 2006. The man needs five rubber bands and a competent center to compete, and just a smidge more to beat you.
DON'T TEAR US APART, MIKE SLIVE. Every time there's rumbling about the SEC changing up the permanent cross-divisional rivalries we worry about the LSU/Florida rivalry to an irrational degree, forgetting that if they take it off the schedule we might just ignore orders, call CBS, and play the goddamn thing whenever and wherever we like.*
*In a New Iberia, LA salt mine a mile beneath the earth's surface.
OH, SEXY KLIFF KINGSBURY. Good Bull Hunting took this as dictation from surveillance footage of the TAMU football offices, and made none of it up.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO FIRE A COACH. Like prehistory, it has eras and distinct phase changes.
DO NOT ATTEMPT PASSING OF ANY SORT ON THE MISS STATE CAMPUS. Johnthan Banks is against all of it, at all times. The moment where Banks figures out the bike lock, if true, is a sign that Banks is truly a marvel of human potential, since he would be the first person ever to figure out how to properly use a worthless chain lock on a bike.
THE WORST SHORT RANGE HIT WE HAVE EVER SEEN. This was twenty years ago, something that might make you feel old if the total violence of the moment didn't overwhelm all other feelings. Barrow and Vanover don't really talk about it, because you know, almost killing someone on the field can make for awkward conversations later on. (But seriously, look at how much force Barrow applies on such a short run-up.)
LA PISTOLA. It's anti-fun in a formation, and a real non-delight to prepare for. You didn't know that Stefphon Jefferson of the Wolf Pack was the nation's leading rusher at 162 yards a game, and don't even pretend like you did. (via)
REMADE AND PAID. Scrappy from Kennesaw State finds out that an improved diet and working out turns you....black? RACIST-ASS OWLS.
OOH! LONGFORM! Horseshoes produces a tougher breed of athlete than you ever really thought it could.
ETC: It always disturbed us that he was smoking in a bathtub at the end, and we have no good reason why. LA LA LAAAA LAAAA. Virginia wines, now endorsed by Steve Spurrier, the ol' wine coach himself. These are all amazing, and we'd use them if we weren't distracted by OOH SHINY THING. Hi, Pinellas County board members, YOU ARE THE STUPIDEST FUCKING PEOPLE ON THE PLANET AND DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR BABY TEETH PULLED OUT BY TIME-TRAVELING ROGUE DENTISTS YOU FUCKING SHITIDIOTS. Just Brian Phillips writing about awesome things, kthx. Alachua County, you do you, man.
The 2013 SEC Schedule is out, and BURN EVERYTHING. That command has nothing to do with the SEC football schedule as it stands, since little changes. Let's review the schedules in summary by team and position on this really dangerous arrangement of animals and unstable personalities on a boat.
ALABAMA. Moderate road travel (at Miss State, Auburn) with one television-destroying inferno of a game on the road docket, a September 14 matchup with Texas A&M at the Hate Barn. Oh, and they obviously needed a more challenging schedule, so they got Kentucky added in to go with permanent Tennessee from the east. God hates you, Kentucky, and you know what you did to deserve it.*
*God is Bear Bryant. SURPRISE, everyone except Alabama fans.
The heavy, temperamental elephant is at the front of the boat, which is just some real SEC engineering right there.
ARKANSAS. Still missing the magical meth bowl with Missouri, pulls Florida and South Carolina out of the East, and three out of their four road games are generously described as "ass-prolapsing trauma waiting to happen." On the upside, second year coach John L. Smith will have the boys ready, we're sure.
Arkansas is not in the boat, since pigs were not invented until 1834, when John Ellington Bacon mated a donkey with a turkey and created the perfect meat of all perfect meats. They also did not enter the SEC until 1991.
Sept. 14: MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 21: at LSU
Oct. 5: OLE MISS
Oct. 19: at Texas A&M
Nov. 2: at Arkansas
Nov. 9: at Tennessee
Nov. 16: GEORGIA
Nov. 30: ALABAMA
We apologize but AHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHHAHAHHA OHOOHOHOHHOHOHOHOHO IT'S A GOD THING ALL IN WOOOOOO JUST REAL BLESSED TO HAVE ONE LIKELY WIN ON THE SCHEDULE. Hopefully new head coach Mike Shula can pull a few upsets on the way to five wins.
The Tiger is paddling at the side of the boat, presumably looking in the water for Pat Dye's pants.
FLORIDA. Huzzah! The SEC's debauched outlanders maintain their rivalry with LSU, and
pull Auburn as their other West game. It's on the road, meaning despite a 24 point spread we will lose by a field goal only has to go to Mizzou, South Carolina, and Kentucky on the road. Not bad at all, really.
Florida is sitting in the back of the boat looking angry and not doing much, which is a pretty good summary of much of Florida football's history.
GEORGIA. Paying respects to Steve Spurrier needing to have a few Bulldogs suspended for that game, the USC matchup is moved back to its rightful place at the beginning of the year. The Bulldogs also keep the South's Oldest Rivalry with Auburn, and ensure an annual flash of the FIRE MARK RICHT meme by catching LSU early and likely in painful fashion.
Georgia is facing the wrong way, which is a pretty good summary of much of the state's total history.
KENTUCKY. Adds Alabama and Mississippi State, has to go to Georgia and South Carolina on the road, and on top of it all is allergic to all painkillers so nothing will ease or dull the agony.
Appears to be yelling at Vanderbilt in the picture, appropriate because yelling at anyone else would result in severe beatings.
LSU. Rivalry preserved with Florida, the Tigers get a road trip from the East and then have to go to Alabama. We are complicit in Les Miles' conspiracy of heavily managed expectations, and thus anticipate LSU struggling. (Les Miles will actually rebound to win ten games. This is what he does because he's superb on the rebound and horrible off the fast break.)
In the cartoon LSU appears to be staring at you, asshole, and wondering if you wanna fight. They're also drunk, but you probably assumed this already.
OLE MISS. A nice four game stretch of tough games at home helps, and two of your three road games are Auburn and Vandy. That's nice! The other one is Alabama, and that's the kind of trials you assume come from a loving god to make you better and stronger, Hugh Freeze. Pulling Vandy and Mizzou from the East is kindness, however.
Ole Miss is attempting aerobic exercise while smoking a cigar. This was customary for Mississippi fitness in the 1970s.
MISSISSIPPI STATE. THE MISSISSIPPI STATE/KENTUCKY RIVALRY IS PRESERVED. You may all return to your lives, since you were waiting on this news.
Mississippi State is wearing pink and barking at a flag, so we assume they're having a psychotic episode triggered by an allergic reaction to pesticides.
MIZZOU. The new guy gets coffee, has to do another year of the Poughkeepsie sales circuit, brings donuts in the morning, but does get Texas A&M in cold weather. So don't say there aren't perks to year one. (Like, for instance, not playing Alabama!)
Missouri is in the river in a car, cursing the day it ever let Gary Pinkel drive.
SOUTH CAROLINA. The Gamecocks are on the road for three straight games in October, and even if that is Arkansas, Mizzou, and Tennessee that still sucks. However, it is those three teams, and Florida comes to you.
South Carolina is in the ACC in this picture, which is the boat behind this one with all the people jumping in and out of it.
TENNESSEE. Auburn is the other draw from the SEC West, and that's gentle, but then comes the usual with Alabama and a road game at the Swamp. If Derek Dooley's coaching, this will likely be miserable, and if it's Jon Gruden then it will be miserable but fascinating. Did you know Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, and Cordarrelle Patterson could all go pro this year? That's not on the schedule, but it should be.
Tennessee is not in this picture, but there is a very angry and lost Turkish soldier in his place towards the back.
TEXAS A&M. A tough finish with two road games at LSU and Mizzou to finish, but good on you for pulling Vandy and Mizzou out of the east. Gets Alabama at home for the aforementioned angry hive special, and goes to Arkansas in a game you might not want to let children watch because blood, blood, blood.
A&M is not in this picture, and that's good because whooping and hand signals would have spoiled the surprise and woken up the Hessians in a hurry.
VANDERBILT. This is...brutal? That's a word, since Vandy has to go to Florida, South Carolina, and A&M. On the upside, they keep Tennessee on the schedule.
Vanderbilt is working the rudder because a gentleman does not callous his hands.
OOH THE TALKY TALK! And bedhead, just, like, epic bedhead:
We ran out of time for the Factor Five, but it's worth deciding this entire game based strictly on names.
Call: It's a hard call, but Trevor Pupande-Beard had us at "Trevor Pupande-Beard." Root for the obvious things: offense, Todd Graham finishing yet another game at ASU without leaving for another job, and Rece Davis casually being the best at everything ever. It's a Thursday night in America, and that means you're a day ahead on your drinking.
SIT DOWN, PADAWAN. It's nice to see a Jedi with some style for once. Most simply give the single move with no flair, but Kenjon Barner?
(Via CJZero, who you should follow on Twitter.)
Oregon lost interest and focus once the backups went in, but being up 43-7 at the half has that effect on teams at all levels. Arizona State was likely losing this game from the start, so it's doubly cruel to lose star d-lineman Willie Sutton to a knee injury he sustained when he went knee-to-knee with an Oregon player on the first series. Knee joints are the Todd Graham of anatomical junctures: capable of doing good things, and also likely to go out at any minute.
BUT HEY MAN THE DESERT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AT NIGHT:
Greenbeard, your life secrets will be ours one day.
CAN FLORIDA STOP JADEVEON CLOWNEY? Yes, and it's just as simple as grabbing him. If you can grab Jadeveon Clowney, you are also probably a really, really good offensive lineman, had assistance from good playcalling designed to keep him away from the ball, and also got very, very lucky. These are obvious things, but that's the terrible part about preventing an excellent player from being excellent. The solutions are simple, and yet there he is pancaking your quarterback for the fourth time that game.
THE INTERNET'S NEXT MILLIONTH VICTORY. Ooh, look, just podcasting away out there free for your entertainment. The internet's chief skill is erasing Fridays, and Garnet and Black Attack is all too happy to help.
WEST VIRGINIA HAS BANJO HIP-HOP ON LOCKDOWN. The banjo sample really sells it.
LAFF RIOTIN'. The online Heisman at the halfway mark, as usual, goes to Twitter.
LE TAILGATE. It's the LSU edition of the Tailgate, meaning a slew of well-illustrated quality Les Miles jokes. Good Bull Hunting also talked about the game with ATVS, who is all too happy that the people responsible for cancelling the last TAMU/LSU series have all been shot and buried in unmarked graves. Mmm, horrible memories of Curley Hallman.
JERRY KILL WILL BE HAPPY TO KICK YOUR ASS. This is all very inspiring and cool, but please also don't overlook that in stating he's fine and living with a disorder many in Minnesota also deal with every day that Jerry Kill essentially offered to kick anyone's ass who wants it at the end of this radio clip.
IN OTHER ILLNESS NEWS. Mark Mangino's wife is recovering from cancer treatments, and wants him to get a job.
TROOPER TAYLOR GAMES, ETC. The master Shutdown Fullback stream for this week is here, and yes, features the best video game seconds away from towel-helicoptering its way to another school, Trooper Taylor.
ETC: Oh sure, we were looking for an excuse to never want to have sex again. Pierce Brosnan was clearly the sloppiest Bond, since leaving all those bodies around is a damned un-British thing to do.
Collin Klein didn't even kiss his bride until the pastor said he could at the wedding, and as strange as you might think that is consider the one person who probably finds that idea even stranger: Dana Holgorsen, man-about-Morgantown and the standing head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Not a man to wait for anything, Holgorsen didn't even wait until the fourth quarter to drive West Virginia's game against Texas Tech into the ground. Nope, that was over by halftime because even West Virginia's disasters under Holgorsen happen quickly and with great spectacle. This naturally led us thinking to another American hero--one with triumphs as well as defeats in his past, a bent for free pioneer livin', and a bold disregard for hair care products that don't come out of the same can you pour into your engine.
American thespian Nick Nolte and Dana Holgorsen share so many traits that we're willing to propose The Holgorsen-Nolte Replacement Theory, a contribution to science and the advancement of the human race stating the following:
"In any situation where there is Nick Nolte, he may be replaced by Dana Holgorsen, and vice versa."
The scientific evidence for this is overwhelming, per our lab simulations.
Nolte Replacement Experiment, part one: Mugshot.
Nolte Replacement Experiment, part two: Young Nolte from The Deep. (Probably thinking about Jacqueline Bisset's boobs.)
Nolte Replacement Experiment, part three: 1992 Nick Nolte Sexiest Man Alive Cover.*
*Happened. Ask your mom.
Nolte Replacement Experiment, part four: 48 Hours. (Additional variable: Geno Smith.)
Nolte replacement experiment, part five. Nolte Shoots Finger.
Further research will be conducted, but early findings support our theory.
Thank you, ma'am, but I'll be fine. No, no, just a little scratch, I can walk this off. I'm from Texas. We're all big and we're all strong enough to take care of ourselves. I appreciate the concern, though. Roll? Naw, that'd be givin' in to something that ain't worth the notice anyway. Either it will go away or I will. Famous philosopher said that. Pretty sure it was Fred Akers.
Wish that wind would die down a little. But that's living. By the way, if you see Manny Diaz, tell him he and his gas can need to have a conversation with yours truly. I'm gonna go lay in a tub of ice and let the healing begin. I got three bottles of whiskey for the pain and Robert Earl Keen for what the body can't heal. Y'all call me on Wednesday to make sure I'm alive.
P.S. Don't call the fire department. That's just what the government wants you to do.
1. Alabama. Alabama is leading the nation in pass efficiency, and Duke is undefeated. Both indications of a coming apocalypse are balanced by two very normal constants: Alabama beat another team by 30 points in a 44-13 victory, and that team was a Tennessee team all too happy to help keep the world normal by handing the Tide turnovers and blown assignments. They're givers, every last one of them.
2. Oregon. Chip Kelly politely pulled starting QB Marcus Mariota at the half, and that is a real courtesy. With him, Oregon was on pace to score 80 on Arizona State, and really could have since they were rolling Kenjon Barner down the field like a bowling ball on command in the first half. You call it manners, Chip Kelly probably calls it efficiency, and the result is a 43-21 final that could have easily been the 86-14 video game massacre of your dreams.
3. Florida. You hand the ball to your opponent on the 15-yard line four times, and you're probably going to have a bad time, Steve Spurrier. Florida has at least two-thirds of a football team, and the other third knows when to cash in its opportunities to make 44-11 change out of a game where neither team topped 200 yards offense. (Not that it's that hard to do so when you get the ball on the opponent's 15, but last year's Charlie Weis offense would have kicked field goals in that situation because Charlie Weis is horrible at his job, but very good at hypnotizing athletic directors into writing him large checks.)
4. Kansas State. Arthur Brown and the Kansas State defense don't get enough credit for the resurgence Collin Klein typically serves as the poster boy for, but the balance is insane and worth noting. No player had more than five tackles, no West Virginia offensive play went longer than 13 yards, and the ballistic Mountaineer pass offense averaged just 4.4 yards per play. That's the real work at play in a 55-14 blowout: defensive balance and open field tackling at all 11 spots on the depth chart.
5. Notre Dame. Ugly as hell in winning a 17-14 victory over BYU, but should have been. BYU plays a nasty, caustic brand of football that is really not dissimilar to Notre Dame: defense first, and let the touchdowns happen where they may. They happened marginally more often for ND than for BYU, but marginal victories are the sort of things good teams make happen on rough nights. Notre Dame -- he says, reaching for the bourbon with a terrified, shaking hand -- IS A VERY GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM.
6. LSU. Five turnovers are how you get out-gained on the road and yet still win, but a.) at least this makes sense, unlike a full 40 percent of Les Miles victories, and b.) Johnny Manziel was the one making many of them happen, so they were at least spellbinding and entertaining turnovers.
7. Ohio State. Beating Purdue with your backup quarterback seems like mere loose change until you remember that Purdue does have the periodically available superpower of becoming twice its normal size against Ohio State. Purdue's other superpower is becoming completely invisible against every other team, and they use it all freakin' time.
8. Oregon State. A 21-7 win now places Oregon State among the nation's most bankable teams, and also puts the entire team on a cholesterol catastrophe watch with all the In-N-Out they've been consuming on this win streak.
9. South Carolina. The one bright spot in a 44-11 debacle in the Swamp: they held Florida to less than 200 yards of offense. The bad is everything else, and the new impossibility of making the SEC Championship Game.
10. Oklahoma. Now comfortably dusting bad competition like Kansas 52-7, and approaching something like having an identity on offense beyond "Jones-to-Stills." Kansas is 1-6, and has not won a game against an FBS opponent this season. (Please see earlier comment about Charlie Weis, competence, and paycheck hypnosis.)
11. USC. Walked in a 50-6 blowout of Boulder City College of Homeopathy and Outdoor Leadership. The scheduling of these disgraceful non-conference paycheck games must stop now.
12. Florida State. Miami's good depth-wise for two, perhaps three quarters of fierce football. After that, the floor falls out, and then it's up to the opponent to finish the drill and push the wreckage on top of them. That's some fine wreckage-pushin', Jimbo Fisher, turning 13-10 at the half into 33-20 by daring the Canes to keep up with a deep backfield down the stretch. Miami, in response, had 29 rushing yards on 21 attempts not including the yardage gained by a Canes streaker who ran on the field during a live play.
13. Georgia. Nearly lost to Kentucky 29-24 in Lexington, and faces Florida in the Cocktail Party next week to decide the East's representative in the Championship Game in Atlanta. Whoever wins will face Alabama, so the loser can take cold comfort in knowing that in defeat they grant their opponent a bounty of irredeemable pain and misery later. If that isn't what true rivalry is about, we don't know what is.
14. Clemson. If you see a waterslide being built inside Lane Stadium, it is because Dabo Swinney owns Virginia Tech and also really, really likes waterslides. 38-17 over the Hokies is a delightful way to begin building up the seesaw momentum of a Clemson stock upswing, but remember to sell before the inevitable loss to someone like Maryland down the stretch.
P.S. All Randy Edsall does is ruin things.
15. Mississippi State. A snoozy first-half performance against Middle Tennessee State still turned into a 45-3 decision for the Bulldogs, but Tyler Russell continues to impress with economy: 17-21 for 191 yards and three TDs. He'll need that economy against Alabama next week because the Crimson Tide defense is its own portable recession.
16. Louisville. Another efficiency ninja: Teddy Bridgewater, he of the 21 of 25 attempts for 256 yards and two TDs, the last being the winning score in a 27-25 win over USF at home. You say, "Oh, that's not good, because USF has lost five straight." In response, we say, "Yeah, that really should worry you, not just because you let USF almost win, but also because B.J. Daniels had three touchdown passes he threw with his arm, and not one he had the training staff attach to his torso with duct tape at halftime."
17. West Virginia. Whatever the Mountaineer defense has appears to be contagious, and has spread to the offense. Dana Holgorsen has pretended to be a lot of things through the years to keep the man off his trail, but never an epidemiologist. SEND HELP, CDC. SEND IT NOW.
18. Texas Tech. A 56-53 win over TCU will be heartwarming for Red Raiders fans for a long time, perhaps even after Tommy Tuberville hits the afterburners on the way out of Lubbock back to one of two SEC jobs he is currently salivating over.
19. Rutgers. "A 35-10 win Temple is a 35-10 win over Temple is a 35-10 win over Temple." -- Gertrude Stein, college football writer who doesn't really know what this means either.
20. Texas A&M. A loss to LSU is no real shame here, since Johnny Manziel was going to show his age in the bad way eventually.
21. Cincinnati. Lost to Toledo 29-23 because you don't just walk into the Glass Bowl without catching a few shards in the eye, Butch Jones.
22. Stanford. The usual pummeling of the usual Cal. Congratulations, reader: Cal as a team only out-rushed you by 3 yards. Wait, I didn't play football yesterday, you say? That's correct, and for the most part neither did Cal.
23. MIchigan. A 12-10 victory over Michigan State? Why, that's some tasty MANBALL there, Michigan, a reliable, American-made Ford Taurus of a victory, even.
24. Boise State. A 32-7 win reminds you that a.) Boise can make some really weird box scores and b.) all the UNLV job does is destroy good coaches.
25. Ohio. On a bye week, where Frank Solich spent his free time calling you a dumbass, Eric.
Appropriate Kanye: None, default to stadium soundtrack.
1. It is a deeply strange thing to look over in the third quarter and say to yourself, "Oh, look. There's Steve Spurrier." That is what I did, sometime in the third, craning my head over and looking for any of the visible signs of distinct OBChood: the gimpy walk, the visor, a play card either being held at his side, or perhaps over his face while he slumped with his hands folded over the chest.
2. He was easy to find: his staff wears red shirts, and he wears white. There is a practical angle to this: Spurrier still calls plays, and wearing a different color makes him visible to the quarterbacks on the field. Other coaches have different approaches for this: wearing a towel on the shoulder, or having a different hat, or some other less flashy, less dramatic method of differentiation. But of course Spurrier wears the different shirt, standing out on stage in sparkling white while the backup singers wear drab garnet. To finish his career as the literal head rooster among roosters is a little too fitting, but it looks better on him as a spirit animal than alligator ever did.
3. Will Muschamp, on the other hand, is all reptile. Like, Reptile from Mortal Kombat.
To show you how operatic Muschamp is, everyone knew he was saying something dramatic to the radio guy, and we were sitting on the edge of the second deck. He doesn't need special clothing to stand out on the sideline. He's the one vibrating at a malign frequency surrounded by a pulsing red rage aura, and when he's really happy live wasps shoot out of his ears.
4. He was mad about penalties, and like most coaches mad over penalties he was half-right. Mike Gillislee totally chopblocked Jadeveon Clowney in the first half, and with reason. Normal blocks weren't working on Clowney. Illegal blocks barely worked on him. Firearms, biological weapons, trained attack animals, and randomly orchestrated acts of God might not have worked on Clowney on Saturday. Only abject panic and handoffs kept Clowney from having more than the one sack he got on Driskel on Saturday.
5. Only LSU's Josh Dworaczyk has blocked Clowney successfully this year, leading us to the only scientific determination regarding an anti-Clowney scheme. You will need consonants. Lots and lots of consonants.
6. Driskel was sacked once by Clowney on Saturday, and three times on the afternoon. Driskel, currently the quarterback of an undefeated team, has been sacked 21 times this season, just one of the strange math of being the quarterback on this team. He had less than a hundred yards passing on Saturday, but had four TDs. He is on a three game streak of sub-century mark games, actually, going back to the LSU game, and over that streak has four passing TDs, zero INTs, and three rushing touchdowns.
7. No one knows what the Florida offense is, precisely. It could be the Harbaugh Stanford offense's brokeass cousin, or the Boise State offense's frazzled and less successful cousin. Whatever it is, it has somehow managed to struggle and yet succeed at the same time. It can't last forever--something Matt Hinton pointed out before we were off the campus on Saturday--but it's also continuing to happen for the moment.
8. This is an academic note. The game itself was South Carolina fumbling, and fumbling, and continuing to fumble away special teams balls, and thus enabling Driskel's bizzarre four TD day. I tried to remember the last time a team disintegrated so completely on special teams and triggered a complete collapse, and the answer was also South Carolina, this time in 2006. That happened like this:
This was far worse, but the point remains. South Carolina should go for every fourth down and never, ever kick the ball against Florida in the Swamp. (It's what Spurrier wants to do anyway.)
9. The rest was Florida's defense flying to the ball and turning Connor Shaw into a nullity. Shaw can't be blamed--honestly, he can't--since he had no time to throw on most downs, and no one to throw it to on the downs where South Carolina managed to protect him. The game started with Louchiez Purifoy blazing off the corner and blindsiding the ball out of his hands, something that happened so fast I had to pop eyes back up at the jumbotron to process it.
10. Shaw was flash-fried a minute into the game. The remaining fifty-nine minutes were the devouring, and everyone got a bite. Look at the stat sheet for evidence: tackles spread all around, and no one player leaping off the stat sheet. When Matt Elam tattooed a receiver in the third, I thought Well, about time he showed up, and then realized how balanced the effort must have been for me to even think that. Matt Elam is a rocket-propelled goblin on every play, and he was on Saturday, too. He just had company, particularly in the form of Dante Fowler, aka the dude whose claw marks are all over Connor Shaw's legs this morning.
11. So there is this moment. I hadn't been back to Gainesville in a while due to work. Work requires you go to interesting places, and for the better part of two years Florida has been interesting in the worst possible way, i.e. "spectacularly bad."
12. This moment involved scalping tickets, walking across Flavet Field, casually telling the guy with the Confederate Flag hanging off his truck to fuck off, and then hauling ass away from that guy to wait in the long line outside Gate 18 before walking up the steps into the South Endzone. This moment involves realizing that despite going to this place for eighteen years of your life off and on, despite poaching tickets and sneaking into what you thought was every corner of the place, despite climbing into the scoreboard itself at the age of 19 just to see what it looked like, that you have ended up someplace you have never been.
13. This place was the first row on the second level, just off center to the west over looking the south endzone. The sky was cloudless: perfect, blank, blue, and occupied only by the plane carrying the CBS overhead camera. With the jumbotron behind us, one could look up and see the plane disappear behind the screen, and then lazily reappear on the other side of the gigantic image it was beaming down to the stadium.
14. Turning around, you had the field, split in shadow and sun by the profile of the stadium. And there is this moment when you're looking at the green rectangle dotted with the white hats of the band, and the student section filing in, the student section that doesn't remember anything: the spot right in front of us where Auburn's Frank Sanders caught a ball in 1994, or the goalposts that South Carolina's coach booted a wormburner of a field goal through in 1966, or the artificial turf Emmitt Smith once prowled down there before it was torn up and replaced with the proper edible grass of Les Miles' dreams.
15. They might remember Tebow, or perhaps Chris Leak, but past that there's only the field, and the band leaving, and then this music being blared over the speakers.
Seriously: they play that at pregame. Fucking Rihanna at a pregame. It should not work, and maybe most of the time it does not. But here, looking at an angle I'd never seen, seeing it all reframed like I was seeing it for the first time...shit, it worked. I don't know why, but it did. The sun was blasting over the corner of the stadium, helmets bobbed in the tunnel, and I was nowhere else but precisely where I was: floating on some concrete suspended above some grass, blasted in sunlight and canned house beats, bathing in the ambient interest waves flying off eighty thousand brains slowly cooked in the heat.
16. The game ends, long after it's actually over, and then you can walk out and look at the darkening sky, still glowing at the edges from a setting sun. Then I realized something else new and utterly obvious: the glowing fringe along the scrub pine and live oaks is orange, transitioning through the spectrum into a pale blue that darkens into the pitch dark of night. For the first time in my life I didn't think the school colors were full of shit, since there it was: orange and blue, illuminated by the sun through whatever filter of swamp gas makes that happen.
17. I took my hat the hat I bought on the way in off to wipe the crust of salt off my forehead. I hadn't really thought about it, and had sort of thrown a twenty dollar bill at someone, grabbed the change, and run in with the bare minimum of protection against the tumor-feeding Florida sun. It was another new thing I hadn't noticed before: a visor.
The first program to openly reference the fictional murderous psychopath and chemistry genius Walter White in a pregame video? The Tulsa Golden Hurricane, who are the danger according to their dubstep-propelled hype cut. Hopefully, the video staff has enough of a sense of humor to play this equally relevant Breaking Bad clip after losses. (Via TulsaHop.)