Did I say that last week was the best college football Saturday in a long time? Sorry, past me is a total idiot. Last weekend was a thing of beauty. We saw every last part of what makes college football great, spanning the entire spectrum of quality and talent. It was so good that I don’t want to waste any time on this intro, so let’s just go into a quick reminder of each category.
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.
NEW- Your Future Coach: A new category where I look at a game involving an up-and-coming G5 coach that probably won’t be sticking around very long. If your team is ever in the Seat-Warmer section, this one is for you.
Most Important Game of the Week: Alabama vs. Texas A&M
Switching up the order a bit this week so I don’t bury the lead. Absolutely nobody saw this coming. Alabama might have shown some vulnerability against Florida, but Texas A&M with a backup quarterback certainly didn’t seem like the team that would take advantage. Zach Calzada was unconscious this entire game, making throws that I only expect to see from guys like Aaron Rodgers. Despite deciding that defense was completely optional in the fourth quarter (Yes I know it should’ve been a false start, but they deserved to get punished. Don’t @ me), A&M held on for Jimbo’s first signature win as an Aggie. Now he can reach the pinnacle of Texas A&M seasons: upsetting #1 Alabama and still finishing 8-4.
Game of the Week: Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
This is sneakily the best game every single year. These two teams played the first game to ever go to 7th overtime. Last year Matt Corral found a way to throw six interceptions! The 2015 game was one of the most heartbreaking losses in the history of sports. You can traumatize any Ole Miss fan with just three simple words: “Fourth and twenty-five”. The game wasn’t nearly as weird this year, but it was just as exciting. The two teams went back and forth the entire time. They combined to score 41 points in the 4th quarter, and the game was decided on the very last play of the game. The entire thing was just a joy to watch.
Drunkest Game of the Week: Texas vs. Oklahoma
This is the exact kind of game that the Drunkest category exists for. I’d say the top 3 most ridiculous plays I’ve seen this season have all come from this game. This thread from Richard Johnson sums up the Red River experience perfectly.
Texas was back for a single quarter, then fell right back down into their own Sisyphean hell. Oklahoma put in their backup quarterback to run QB power on a 4th and 1, and all he did was rip off a 66-yard TD. The longest touchdown drive in this game lasted less than four minutes! Just look at this win probability chart.
I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to show that on TV before 9:00pm. Chaos is too soft of a word to describe this game. If you didn’t catch it live, it’s honestly one of the very few games that is worth going back and watching. You won’t be disappointed, but you probably won’t want to drive afterwards either.
Head-Scratcher of the Week: Oregon State vs. Washington State
So, despite all of the chaos this weekend, there really weren’t many head scratching games. Wazzu’s win over Oregon State ends up here by default, based off the trajectories that both teams appeared to be on this season. Who knows how good either team will end up being? For reasons I’ll talk about later, Washington State seems to be a ticking time-bomb off the field. This weekend was so good that there’s no point in focusing on the negative, so let’s move on.
Saddest Game of the Week: Penn State vs. Iowa
I feel so bad for Penn State fans. They were in total control of this game. Sean Clifford wasn’t exactly playing well, but he at least posed a threat in the passing game. As soon as he went out, you could just tell the game was over. That has to be such a crushing feeling. Knowing that you probably should’ve won your biggest game of the season, but getting those dreams crushed by the football gods. I don’t want to take anything away from Iowa. They did what they had to do to win in the most Iowa fashion possible, but all of my sympathy this week goes out to PSU fans.
Hype Killer of the Week: Boise State vs. BYU
If I could double-dip categories, this would also be the head scratcher of the week. BYU was the surprise team the beginning of the year. Despite losing almost everybody from 2020, the Cougars were steamrolling each team they played. Meanwhile, Boise State has spent the season finding new ways to lose every week. “You have to win the turnover battle” is maybe the biggest football cliché there is, but in this case it’s completely true. BYU ended the game -4, which ended up being the difference. In the end, though, the real winner of this game was Cincinnati. They don’t have to worry anymore about BYU usurping them as the G5’s first potential playoff team.
Seat-Warmer of the Week: North Carolina vs. Florida State
In this case I don’t mean seat-warmer in the traditional sense. It’s more like a seat-warmer you would find on a recliner in a fancy retirement home. The Tar Heels were soundly beaten by the same FSU team that lost at home to Jacksonville State. A team that many labeled a dark horse playoff contender before the season, UNC hits the midway point at 3-3. The real issue is that the second half of their schedule is exponentially more difficult. Forget making the playoff, it’s hard to see how this team even makes a bowl game. They obviously aren’t going to fire Mack Brown, but an early retirement wouldn’t be all that shocking.
P.S. Question for any UNC fans out there: Is there a succession plan? All the buzz I’ve seen out of Chapel Hill makes it sound like there is, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’d be.
Seat-Cooler of the Week: Texas State vs. South Alabama
This was a difficult game to pick. Most of the coaches that picked up big wins are nowhere near the hot seat. Nick Rolovich at Washington State would’ve been the obvious pick, but it looks like he’s about to get canned for, uhh, some other reasons. So instead I’ll go with Jake Spavital at Texas State. Through nearly 2 and a half years he has a record of 7-22, with no real signs of improvement. Before this week his only win of the year was in overtime over a terrible FIU team. They already lost at home to The University of the Incarnate Word. Spavital has also gotten some heat for his “unique” recruiting strategy. Last year they only signed 6 high school recruits, with the rest of the class made up of JUCO players and transfers. If you know anything about high school football in Texas, then you can see why this might ruffle feathers and cause some problems. But despite all that, he picked up a huge 4 overtime win against an improving South Alabama team, so he deserves some props.
Your Future Coach: UTSA vs. Western Kentucky
I decided to debut this new category because I felt like I wasn’t getting enough of a chance to talk about how fun the G5 can be. This game was so much fun, even if it took me forever to find. Apparently Stadium streams some CUSA games online for free. Who knew? You probably didn’t notice, but UTSA is really freaking good. They’re 6-0, are scoring 37.5 points per game, and show no signs of slowing down. Their coach Jeff Traylor is bound for bigger things. Before he arrived, UTSA had been to one bowl game in their entire history. With this win, he’s now gone 2 for 2. The most interesting thing about Traylor is his unconventional path, which is also the secret to his success. Traylor spent the first 25 years of his career coaching at Texas high schools. He’s the anti-Jake Spavital. His ties run so deep that he probably has more access to Texas recruits than anyone else in the nation. So if your team is about to be in the market for a new coach, and especially if they are in Texas *cough* Texas Tech, you should start paying attention to UTSA. Meep Meep.
Dealer’s Choice: UMass vs. UConn
There was no chance any other game was taking this spot. The Sicko Bowl is a once in a lifetime occurrence. The chance to see the two clear worst teams in the sport battle it out is one that nobody should pass up. Did I watch this game? No, but I did follow along through highlights on Twitter. You see, just like Moses could not witness the full glory of The Lord, I could not watch this game live. I too could only bear to see its trailing glory, and now I also have to cover my face when I go back out in public
(Header photo courtesy of brobible)