In case you’ve been missing out, this college football season has been one of the best that I’ve seen in a long time. It hasn’t reached 2007 levels of chaos, but it’s inching closer every week. There’s so much going on any given Saturday that it’s easy to miss something important. Because I am a problem solver at heart, I’ve decided to start giving you a recap of what really matters each week. To prevent me from rambling about these games for ever, I’m going to split these games up into a few different categories. Here’s a quick rundown of each:
Game of the Week: The game that was the most fun to watch that week. Importance could be a factor, but it isn’t necessary to qualify.
Most Important Game of the Week: The game that had the biggest impact on the playoff race or the college football landscape as a whole.
Drunkest Game of the Week: The game that scrambled your brain just watching. A drunk game is full of chaos, but not the good kind. As the name implies, it’s a game where it wouldn’t be a shock to find out everyone involved chugged a fifth of Admiral Nelson’s beforehand.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: The result that makes less and less sense the more you look at it. This is a celebration of the random, outlier games that we look back on later in the year in awe.
Saddest Game of the Week: The game that just made you feel sad watching. Usually a blowout, either of a team that came in full of hope or one that has already been dead for a while.
Hype Killer of the Week: The game where one bandwagon comes to a screeching halt. The game where a team that looked like a future college football darling crashed back down to Earth.
Seat-Warmer of the Week: The game that pushed a coach’s job security into the danger zone because coach search season never ends. It’s usually about the coach of the losing team, but that’s not always the case.
Seat-Cooler of the Week: The opposite of the seat-warmer, this is the game that will let the winning coach sleep a little more soundly at night. At least for now.
Dealer’s Choice of the Week: The game that I just feel like talking about. It could be because it was especially fun, or stupid, or just because I want to make fun of a team I don’t like. It’s more of a catch-all category than anything.
With that explanation out of the way, let’s dive into week 5 of the 2021 college football season.
Game of the Week: Vanderbilt vs. UConn
When I was originally coming up with these categories, I thought the Dealer’s Choice section would be the best way to talk about this game. Little did I know, it ended up being legitimately the best game of the best weekend. The internet’s favorite game had it all: back and forth action, a miraculous 4th down catch, the ESPN deep-state cabal stepping in to protect their SEC blue bloods, etc. It was truly a joy to watch.
Most Important Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati
Is this the year? Cincinnati is positioned to be the first G5 team to ever qualify for the college football playoff. They dominated the majority of this game, even if Notre Dame is looking shaky as a whole. Are they a complete team? No. Their offense is nowhere near a championship level, but that’s okay. Alabama has conditioned us to believe that it’s normal to not have weaknesses, but 99% of teams do. All the Bearcats have to do is avoid a slip-up, and they’ll make history.
Drunkest Game of the Week: South Carolina vs. Troy
This game took a decade off my life. The snooze fest of a first half only had a pick-six, but the second half went off the rails. There was a blocked punt and a muffed punt. Troy somehow had 3 drives in a row and ended up scoring 0 points. That was not a typo. Just look at this drive chart.
At one point in that mess, there were three fumbles on a single play, and one of them was a full-on Desean Jackson! This was a ridiculous dumpster fire of a game, meaning it was a joy to watch.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: Texas Tech vs. West Virginia
Matt Wells and Neal Brown might have just swapped places on the hot seat charts. Texas Tech is the most confusing 4-1 team in the country. They were missing their leading passer, rusher, and receiver, and still went on the road to beat a West Virginia that hasn’t looked that bad. I don’t know what’s going on with either of these teams, but this game by far made the least sense this weekend.
Saddest Game of the Week: Georgia vs. Arkansas
Georgia isn’t fair. This defense is the best I have ever seen, and it’s not particularly close. Stetson Bennet IV threw for 72 total yards, and they won by 37 freaking points. The Hogs had so much hype heading into this game. The shame of the Chad Morris era was firmly in the rear-view mirror, and Arkansas fans thought they were serious title contenders. But, just like the mad titan that all of their defensive lineman resemble Georgia is inevitable.
Hype Killer of the Week: Hawaii vs. Fresno State
This post about the year’s surprise teams aged as terribly as it possibly could. I was all in on Fresno State, and they completely collapsed last night. Deciding to make defense optional finally came back to bite the Bulldogs, and sadly it looks like Jake Haener won’t be anything more than a folk hero. Yes, they had some horrible turnover luck, but you can’t hand the other team the ball 6 times and expect to come out on top.
Seat-Warmer of the Week: LSU vs. Auburn
Hand up, when I wrote about which coaches were already on the hot seat a couple of weeks ago, I completely forgot about Coach O. Looking back now, he would’ve easily been third on that list. After blowing a 13-point lead and an 89%-win expectancy at home, he’s skyrocketed up to first. They’re probably about to lose their next 5 games, and there’s no universe in which LSU misses out on a bowl game and Coach O keeps his job. The biggest indictment of his tenure is that LSU, the team that is known for churning out star running backs like gas station boudin, cannot run the football. No matter what you’ve done in the past, that won’t fly down on the bayou.
Seat Cooler: Houston vs. Tulsa
The fact that Tulsa entered this game as a 3.5-point favorite shows you how little everyone believed in Houston heading into the week. But the Cougs didn’t just win, they beat the life out of Tulsa. The Dana Holgorson experiment looks like it’s turned a corner, and with a very soft schedule left, Houston has a real chance to run the table.
Dealer’s Choice: Clemson vs. Boston College
I take no pleasure in reporting that the Clemson Tigers look absolutely broken. It gives me no joy whatsoever to see the Tigers kick a field goal from the 1-yard line. I gain no satisfaction from watching their 5-star quarterback get outplayed by Boston College’s backup. Then why did I single out this game to talk about, you might ask? Don’t be a snitch.
(Header photo courtesy of the NWI Times)