Barrelhouse College Football Spectacular: Week Two

This week’s marquee prime-time matchup left me conflicted. On the one hand, as a Florida State fan (more on that in a future week, when they finally play a Division I opponent), I’m pretty much contractually obligated to hate the University of Florida. Their stupid orange pants, their jort-wearing fans, evil genius Urban Meyer with his little smarmy face. On the other hand, I really hate the University of Miami, which aside from being a team prone to bench-clearing brawls and athletic-dorm machine-gun shootouts is also (and surprisingly few people realize this) a fancy-pants private school for rich assholes.

So when these two teams play, it’s like Ted Stevens running for president against Ryan Seacrest, except I can’t even hope for Ross Perot or Richard Pryor’s character from Brewster’s Millions to swoop in and spoil the party.

Some of you might say: But Mike, couldn’t you just not watch the game? To which I would say: clearly you don’t understand college football. These sorts of soap-opera conflicts are exactly the point.

Take Thursday night’s game, pitting the South Carolina Humongous Cocks against the Vanderbilt Commodore 64s. On the one hand, I kinda like South Carolina: I spent my childhood there, and I still have vivid memories of attending my first game in Columbia as a kid, watching the black-clad Gamecocks come running out of the tunnel to Also Sprach Zarathrusta, the whole place going nuts. Also, how can you not root for a team of Cocks whose starting QB is named Smelley?

On the other hand, Steve Spurrier is now the head coach of the Gamecocks, and Steve Spurrier is a terrible human being.

So, now a team I kinda like is coached by a guy I wouldn’t mind seeing involved in some kind of tractor accident. (I don’t want him to die or anything, that would be cruel, maybe just a little testicular torquing?)

Anyway, the point is, sooner or later college football will test all your loyalties. Maybe, for instance, you always thought Nick Saban was a despicable ass-mouth, but now he’s coaching at your alma mater. Or maybe some kid from your high school makes a poor decision and goes off to be a star running back for a team you’ve always hated. Or maybe the only way for your team to make it to a prestigious bowl game is for your rival to win against a team you actually sort of like. It’ll happen, and it’ll make your brain hurt.

Other Things We Learned This Week:

1. Maybe I was too quick to mock the East Carolina Cartoon Purple Pirates last week, since they followed up their win over Va Tech by pounding the living shit out of #8 West Virginia, 24-3. Fans of WVU haven’t been this bummed since they were forced to root for their team’s first black quarterback in the early 90s.

2. Another ref might need the Witness Protection Program: the BYU Mormons were almost upset this week by the Washington Husky Children, but after a last-second touchdown run by Washington’s QB, the team was penalized for excessive celebration (their crime: “throwing the ball in the air”), which meant they had to kick the game-tying extra point from the 35 and … you can see where this is going, right? Extra point blocked, game over, Mormons win. Everybody hates the excessive celebration rules, so why not get rid of them already? Isn’t excessive celebration the whole point of sport? I think they should punish teams for not excessively celebrating. And how will these kids make it in the NFL if they don’t start developing their obnoxious behaviors now?

3. Notre Dame is probably lousy again, despite the pretty awesome mullet-like mop being sported by their starting QB. This week they squeaked by the San Diego State Extinct Aztec Peoples. Last season’s ND collapse was kinda funny, but now it’s just sad. 

Pointless Sportscaster Comment of the Week (courtesy Awful Announcing): “If you’re Solich, I think you have to punt on this one … oh, wait, it’s third down, never mind.” Ray Bentley, Ohio v. Ohio State.

Must-have product of the week: Maybe it’s not that ridiculous to buy a few sheets of the Buckeye stickers Ohio State players get to put on their helmets as reward for stellar play. But I can’t look at them without picturing some overenthusiastic fan plastering them all over his kids’ faces whenever they pick up their toys or get a good grade or successfully go Number 2 in the toilet like a big boy. You know it happens. 

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