Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This Year's College Football Highlights So Far

Things I am thankful for thus far this college football season:

  1. No game has been described as "the game of the decade/century". Seeing as we've gotten an average of about six a year of those so far this millennium, that's a marked improvement.
  2. Alabama lost relatively early, so we could take a break from wall-to-wall coverage of Nick Saban's genius for a while.
  3. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer's decision to retire at the end of the season, which will spare him and us the awkward spectacle of a university trying to push a legendary coach out before he wants to go regardless of on-field results (see also: Bowden, Bobby). Beamer put VT football on the map, and it's nice that he gets to go out on his own terms.
  4. Steve Spurrier up and quitting just like that. Because while a Beamer half-season farewell tour will no doubt be an understated kind of appreciative thing, a full season of The Old Ball Coach would have been pure Hunter S. Thompson madness. 
  5. Steve Sarkisian is freed from his association with USC athletic director Pat Haden, who, with each passing incident and hire, is demonstrated to be a flailing nincompoop. Get help and get well, Sark. And stay the hell away from LA, for your own good.
  6. Temple is good. I mean, actually good. They beat Penn State - finally - and they put way more of a scare into Notre Dame than Pitt (which I still maintain is a jumped-up MAC team with delusions of grandeur), which means they're the best football team in Pennsylvania. And if the Eagles keep playing the way they're playing...
  7. In the middle of all the usual awfulness with suspensions and coaches being jerks and suchlike, the generosity afforded South Carolina by LSU in the face of disastrous flooding was laudable. 
  8. We haven't had to listen to too many "what's wrong with Michigan/Florida" stories. "What's wrong with Texas", sure, but two out of three ain't bad.
  9. Dabo Swinney of Clemson does better indignant press conference than anyone. That being said, Clemsoning is still a thing. It will always be a thing.
  10. None of the Heisman front-runners - and there appear to be about twelve of them - have been linked to serious criminal charges. Which is nice.
  11. Batshit crazy refereeing. The Duke-Miami nonsense does not stand alone. Hell, it didn't even stand alone in that game, as Duke's final scoring drive got more help from the officials than GW Bush did in the 2000 Florida recounts. But as bad as spectacularly awful officiating is for the actual games, it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
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