College Football Cavalcade Of Whimsy, Week 1: Miss Me Yet?

    The College Football Cavalcade of Whimsy following Week 1 is coming in hot. Hey Nebraska and Michigan fans, do you miss these coaches yet?

    September 8, 2015

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    Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

    I went, for the most part, one Richard Sherman broken up pass and one missed Colin Kaepernick throw away from being a two-time Super Bowl head coach, to losing a college football game in Salt Lake City.

    Miss me yet?

    Skypoint to Beano …

    Congratulations to UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen for joining Ron Powlus as the next two-time Heisman winner. There will be a ceremony.

    To get that bad line check out the tremendous video, highlighted by a really, really young Chris Fowler.

    And, as part of my platform, I’m going to put a wall around Westwood

    OH NO YOU DON’T, AMERICA. I started this UCLA bandwagon. I was laughed at. Teased. Openly mocked and ridiculed after building this thing with my bare hands last year telling everyone who would listen – and a few people at a foot spa who didn’t “speak American” – that UCLA is going to be in your College Football Playoff. I’m making this pick happen all on my own and I’m the driver. There’s room to come aboard, but I’m not taking just anyone.

    Just like an insecure politician or party that enforces a loyalty pledge, to get on my UCLA bandwagon you have to take an oath.

    Repeat after me …

    I, state your name, – by the way, anyone who doesn’t actually say the words state your name is automatically denied a spot – do vow to commit to the pick and call of UCLA getting into the 2016 College Football Playoff. I pledge to continue to blindly believe that the 2014 UCLA Bruins are too talented not to get into the 2015 playoff. I pledge to immediately begin a Commitment To Excellence workout to drop the 12 pounds gained by eating Diddy Riese ice cream sandwiches four times a day. I pledge to enjoy the five hours of traffic-sitting to attend a game that’s nowhere near the campus. I pledge to preach the brilliance and foresight of this playoff pick to the masses.

    Speaking of playing in the Rose Bowl …

    The Ohio State-Virginia Tech series hardly lacked for electricity

    For sheer magnitude and to attract teams and fan bases in a neutral atmosphere, regular season games played in bowl-like setting seems like a nice idea, but college football games are meant to be played on campuses. That’s part of the joy. That’s part of the fun. The whole point is to hang around the college atmosphere, the energy, and the tradition of being around YOUR stadium seeing YOUR team do its thing against a big-time program.

    How awesome would it be to see Alabama roll into Madison for a home-and-home? Auburn going to Louisville’s campus, or Arizona State playing in College Station in front of the 12th man this year would’ve been special. Fans would’ve filled up Kenan Memorial or Williams-Brice for North Carolina vs. South Carolina instead of making it an NFL game wannabe. So, athletic directors, go the home and home route.

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Especially if they’re just plain dopey.

    I’m not doing this again for another year. I’m not spending every radio segment and every other moment on Twitter dealing with the useless “which conference is better debate” until the non-conference season is over.

    Look, all you SEC bashers, the SEC went 7-5 in the post-season after a historic non-conference regular season. The Big Ten went 5-6, and two of those wins were Ohio State, one of them was a pulled-out-of-their-asteroid Michigan State win over Baylor, and another a Wisconsin overtime win over Auburn. Take the Buckeyes out of the mix and the Big Ten bowl season was close to being an epic disaster.

    Yes, Minnesota played the No. 2 team in the country this weekend. Yes, Wisconsin played a loaded Alabama. Yes, Nebraska lost on a Hail Mary and Michigan lost at Utah – but that’s the point. Good conferences win those games – at least some of them.

    Meanwhile, all you Pac-12 lovers, no, no, no, no, no. You can’t have a weekend like this one, with Stanford way too sleepy against Northwestern, Colorado losing to a Hawaii team that hasn’t beaten anyone of note since June Jones was doing that lei thing at every game, and Washington State biffing against Boise State. Throw in the Washington State weirdness against Portland State, Arizona’s struggles against UTSA, and Arizona State’s power outage against Texas A&M, and no, this wasn’t the opening weekend the conference could afford to have.

    The SEC? 12-1, and it would’ve been 13-1 if LSU got to play McNeese State. Now before you mock the SEC slate of cream-puffs, and make note of the SEC’s worst team (Vanderbilt) losing to, maybe, Conference USA’s best (WKU), the conference went 4-0 against Power 5 programs, and none of them – Wisconsin, Arizona State, Louisville and North Carolina – were lightweights.

    Cost of Attendance This

    Are Virginia Tech players allowed to withhold defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s pay for his inability to coach them better to stop Ohio State?

    I reserve the right to change my tune on Saturday night after Baylor is up 184-3 on Lamar in the first quarter

    If the Big 12 champion goes unbeaten, it’s going to get into the playoff. If it goes 11-1, it’s almost certainly going to get into the playoff. That’s it. Period. It doesn’t matter what happens with the non-conference schedule.

    I’m repeating myself from last year, but there’s still a debate going on. No, Baylor or TCU wouldn’t have been in the College Football Playoff if they played in a Big 12 title game. Alabama and Florida State were locks, Oregon was in, and Ohio State 59-0ed its way in. The non-conference schedule did matter last year for Baylor, but this time around there will be Power Five champions with more than one loss. Had there been an upset in one of the conference title games last season, Baylor would’ve been in. Had there been two upsets, Baylor and TCU both might have been in. If you’re the Big 12, all a conference title game will do is increase the chance the champion will have a few losses and screw it all up.

    In 2001, Texas would’ve played for the national title if it didn’t lose to Colorado in the Big 12 championship game. The Big 12 also missed out on a title shot in 1996 when Texas shocked Nebraska, and in 1998 when Texas A&M upset Kansas State.

    “I say … Uh say … “Gal reminds me of a highway between Fort Worth and Dallas – no curves”

    I’m keeping my vow to openly root against any team that messes with a perfectly good traditional uniform for some corporate-created pile of yuck. Fortunately, I do like the design for Louisville’s helmets for this week’s game against Houston.

    Sorry this column sucks so far at the half …

    My attempt at creating a space theme with my band’s Star Trek formation has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    And throw in the Seven Nation Army and SportsCenter-theme blasts from the stands, too …

    I’m far more offended by college bands doing an Ode To Broadway! or a Salute To Disco than I am by any sort of Kansas State cheese and biscuits alignment.

    X

    Of course it’s not okay for any player to get hurt, and I certainly don’t want to see a guy who fought back like BYU’s Taysom Hill did to be cruelly knocked out for the season in the opener, but look, college coaches, if you lose your running quarterback to an injury, it’s sort of on you. Why don’t NFL teams run a zone-read? Because it turns the RGIII of the world into mush.

    All quarterbacks get popped, but running quarterbacks make for roadkill more than ever now in today’s day and age. With bigger, stronger, faster guided missiles on the defensive side, and coordinators who’ve figured out that it’s time to start blasting away whenever there’s a free shot on Captain Spread, there needs to be a Plan B. Which is why you need a guy who can throw from the pocket as well as move a little bit. Give me a quarterback who leads his team in rushing and I’ll show you his backup getting the call three weeks later.

    Waiting for the injury report: quad injury (sorry, working the kinks out) …

    With James Conner out for the year, I demand Pitt to move wide receiver Quadree Henderson to move to the backfield to join Quadree Ollison.

    Miss me yet?

    Make the call, Nebraska fans. Which flickering one second left on the clock moment was more brutal, the one at the end of the BYU game this week – how does that not strike 0:00 in the home stadium? – or Colt McCoy’s out-of-bounds pass in the 2009 Big 12 championship that led to the Justin Tucker bomb of a field goal and the 13-12 loss?

    “Growing up my dad was like “Zach, you have a great last name: Galifianakis… Galifianakis… Begins with a ‘gal’, ends with a ‘kiss'”… I’m like “That’s great, Dad. Can we get it changed to ‘Galifiana-(bleep)’ please?”

    I’m stepping up for sportswriters everywhere as I lead the Fire The Name Zach/k initiative.

    Trying to maintain some sense of sanity, I’ll occasionally force myself to learn how to spell the impossible names I’ll have to use on a regular basis. I went through the second grade spelling test exercise of writing down Roethlisberger 25 times. I did the same several years ago for Samardzija and Krzyzewski.

    I give up trying to figure out how any millennial era quarterback spells Zack. Or Zach. Even when I think I have it, I have to look it up. To emphasize my point, the Zach/k quiz.

    1) Mettenberger. Zach or Zack?
    2) Fresno State QB Greenlee: Zach or Zack?
    3) Western Michigan QB Terrell: Zach or Zack?

    To further drive my point home about how annoying this is, I’m making you look up the answers.

    The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it locks of the century for this week

    1. LSU -3 over Mississippi State
    2. Kansas State -17 over UTSA
    3. Marshall -3.5 over Ohio

    How (bleep)ing bored are you that you actually looked up the answers to the Zach or Zack quiz?

    Because I missed last week, and in honor of ESPN’s new “ALWAYS … INCLUDE … THE SPREAD” initiative, a bonus three locks of the century for this week

    1. Clemson -17 over Appalachian State
    2. Oregon State +15.5 over Michigan (but Michigan straight up)
    3. Indiana -7.5 over FIU

    C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …

    The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world.

    1) Overrated: About 75 college football head coaches … Underrated: Most of the top SEC defensive coordinators
    2) Overrated: NFL free agent quarterback Braxton Miller … Underrated: NFL third round wide receiver Braxton Miller
    3) Overrated: 31,343,429 male users on Ashley Madison … Underrated: 12,000 female users on Ashley Madison
    4) Overrated: The controversy at the end of the Colorado vs. Hawaii game … Underrated: Anyone who stayed up to watch the end of the Colorado vs. Hawaii game
    5) Overrated: Saving ALL the good games until late on the opening Saturday … Underrated: Being forced to watch the horrible early slate to get a college football fix

    Sorry if this column sucked, it wasn’t my fault …

    I lost my shoe, and anything interesting to write about, when Tennessee was in the red zone. I couldn’t get anyone’s attention so I just hit the deck and pretended I was dead.

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