Football Follies 2021: NCAA week 13 – BEDLAM!!!!

It’s wild rumpus weekend.

Rivalry Madness is upon us, and as I type, Fresno State (-7) is already up 7-3 on Storied Rival San Jose State in their duel for the Valley Cup.  (The Bulldogs won 40-9.)

The action gets hot and heavy on Friday, including our own TCU and Air Force (which we’ll cover below).  A slew of games spread out across the holiday weekend, giving practically everyone in FBS a chance at national coverage.

Stay with us for the previews, the lore, and the Brilliant Insights.  Bring popcorn.  Bring your Corn Pop stories, if you must.

Inner Circle

The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, which beat Notre Dame 28-27 on 30 October 2010,  has what we call a Lurking Rivalry with Southern Methodist:  a rivalry well-known to the two schools, but not officially (or officiously; either one) registered with the keepers of the Storied Rivalry books.  No thrift-mart loot changes hands either.

Tulsa will be at SMU Saturday afternoon for the final game of the season, which is also 5-6 TU’s last shot at bowl eligibility.  Both teams are 4-3 conference, but SMU is 8-3 overall and favored by 6.5.  The Mustangs haven’t had nearly the offensive problems TU has had this season with ball-dropping and general ball discipline.  Roar, Hurricane, roar!  One more time!

New #10 Oklahoma meets new #7 Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the marquee slot Saturday evening, for what should be an absolute whale of a Storied Rivalry game.  Ohio State-Michigan obviously has even greater portent for the Final Four, and should be an entertaining game in its own right, but the oddsquad has the distinction in clear view:  OK State is giving 4, whereas Ohio State is giving 8.  We can see the Buckeyes winning by more like 11, if they’re banging on all cylinders.  The Wolverines just don’t have the offense.

OU-OSU should be close.  The 51 exit off I-35 will be a parking lot.  Gas stations on 177 will get revenue-healthy for the entire year.  Fireworks, stick-thumping, pot-clanging, ponies neighing, gunshots cracking, oil derricks spouting skyward, mass vermin stampedes, lots of screaming, oh, the humanity – it’ll be…BEDLAMMMM!!!!!!!  There’s a victory bell involved.  Whatever.  Ever’body and him dog got a bell.

Navy heads to Temple on Saturday sporting a 2-8 record and a give of 12.5, because the 3-8 Owls really are that bad.  Go Mids!  Countdown underway to The Game on 11 December.

Army is 7-3 and heading to Liberty (7-4) on Saturday for the last game before Navy.  The Flames are giving 3.5, and they’re definitely not half bad this year.  The Black Knights have their work cut out for them.

Air Force is 8-3, headed for bowl glory, hosting scabies-ridden UNLV on Friday afternoon (calendars, people), and donating 18 to the cause.

Virginia Tech is 5-6 after the annoying loss to Miami (Da U), and of course heads down the scenic byways for its Storied Rivalry clash with 6-5 Virginia on Saturday.  The Yahoos haven’t been a total joke this fall, but they do tend to seize up in the clutch, so we’re hopeful that the Hokies can just stare the 7-point deficit down and get to the Magic 6 already.  The two Virginia teams fight this one for the Commonwealth Cup, which is fine as it’s just a garden-variety, unpretentious trophy cup.  Not everyone can have a Storied Rivalry trophy that got lost in a closet for years, or one featuring a sculpture of a Hawaiian cowboy.  (And if you don’t have a 500-plus-pound Real Cannon, you should probably just go the conventional route anyway.)

Go Hokies!

Nevada is 7-4 and nicely positioned to entertain bowl bids, but we’d admire to see the Wolf Pack finish it off at Colorado State with a win on Saturday night.  The Rams are 3-8 and Nevada’s giving 4 in Fort Collins, so we’re hopeful, even if QB Carson Strong was looking a little shaky on his pins last week.  A rare non-rivalry match this weekend, but one Nevada can win.  Go Pack!

LSU, 5-6, will be hosting 8-3 #15 Texas A&M for their semi-Storied Rivalry on Saturday, and trying to surge to 6-6 and the bowl cutoff.  It’s been a tough year absolutely stuffed with Learning Opportunities, including the always-enlivening challenge of continuing to play under a head coach who’s been given his papers.  Speaking of which, Aranda’s name is naturally being widely bruited for the Orgeron replacement hunt, although we hear Baylor will throw a big wad of cash at him to keep him around.  But the sportsbabblers are also saying “Lane Kiffin” over and over again, which we think is a crock, but also causes us to go “BWAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”

Aggies give 6.5 (but they’re not giving Jimbo Fisher, so there).  Geaux Tigers!

TCU is at Iowa State on Friday (flag on calendars), seeking to end the season 6-6 after edging out Kansas (motto: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”) 31-28 last week.  ISU is already 6-5 and may not be quite as motivated as the Frogs, or at least as motivated as necessary to cover its 15-point give.  But it’s tough beating the Cyclones in Ames.  Go Frogs!

Toledo heads for the finish line 6-5 and hosting 2-9 Akron bright and early Saturday.  The Rocket give is 28.5, and we should certainly hope so, although that’s a heck of a cover even when facing the Zips.  We have every hope Toledo will wind up 7-5 and besieged with bowl bids.  Go Rockets!

Wyoming is bowl eligible and Rifle-rich at 6-5, off the Storied Rivalry win over Utah State last week (which was downright fun.  We love it when Wyoming or Nevada is playing in the evening, Mountain/Pacific time, and there’s no viewing competition for their games).  The final whistle stop is Laramie Central, hosting 5-7 Hawaii for their Storied Rivalry showdown featuring the world-renowned Paniolo Trophy.

Whereabouts documented: the Paniolo Trophy, photographed recently by the University of Wyoming Athletic Department. (Univ. of Wyoming)

This was one of those sad situations in which the original trophy was lost, as in never found again (we blame Hawaii, although for no particular reason), and a new one with a spiffy sculpture had to be commissioned when both teams ended up in the Mountain West in 2012.  For some reason, no one ever loses those dozens of tedious bells infesting the Storied Rivalry trophy cases.

Wyoming is donating 10.5 at home.  Go Pokes!

Top 10

#1 Georgia gives 35 at Georgia Tech for their Storied Rivalry, and is likely to cover with a good 10 minutes to go in the first half.

New #2 Ohio State hits the turf at new #5 Michigan in their many-Storied Rivalry going back hundreds and hundreds of years (OK, 124 years as of Saturday, with 116 meetings prior to this one).  This game is all about the football and the lore and the glory.  No garage sales were scoured to come up with cutesy trophies.

If you weren’t around for Woody Hayes’ and Bo Schembechler’s concurrent decade, you ain’t.  You just ain’t; that’s all.  You’d probably have to look up when it was.  (You might be the little pischers who vandalized the Schembechler statue on campus this week.)

This is Big X as Big X is supposed to be.  The Buckeyes, as mentioned earlier, give 8.

#3 Alabama will be at Auburn (6-5) for their Storied Rivalry, the fabled Iron Bowl.  This one has a trophy much geekier than you’d suspect on the face of it, commemorating Dean James E. Foy V (yes, “the fifth”) and Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honor Society.

The James E. Foy, V-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy, in green reflective mode. Wikipedia: Auburn University –

So, you know, good on ’em.  It’s not a victory bell or an artfully distressed piece of random furniture.  The odds are obviously lopsided, with the Tide favored by 19.5.  We don’t see this one upsetting the Final Four apple cart – although we didn’t see Ole Miss coming either.

New #4 Cincinnati rounds its so-far perfect 11-0 season off at East Carolina, giving 14 to the purple Pirates.

New #6 Notre Dame meets 3-8 Stanford in the latter’s Left Coast lair for a Saturday night chapter in their Storied Rivalry.  The Legends Trophy (yeah, we know) is wrought in crystal for that lace-curtain Irish effect, which at one time probably suited the Candy Pink as well.

Because who doesn’t want to play football for a decorative crystal artifact with no real-world utility? The Notre Dame-Stanford Legends Trophy. Wikipedia: By Smaild1978 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Alert correspondents of the TOC Football Commentary Service will recognize that the Arsh are uncharacteristically playing both the Heathered Cerise and USC this year.  It’s because of COVID and the travesty of 2020.  Notre Dame is giving the popular 19.5 point donation.

New #8 Baylor entertains Texas Tech in Waco Saturday morning for another iteration of their low-key Storied Rivalry, which seems to have no drums, no trumpets, and no trophy.

Their game does have the excellent distinction of having been briefly called the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout when it was played at neutral sites – AT&T Stadium and the Cotton Bowl – at various times between 2009 and 2017.  Just imagining a shootout involving a farm bureau insurance organization is keeping our brain-energy output pegged on max capacity.  For the sake of Big 12 comity and, let’s face it, Oklahoma, we’d love to see the Red Raiders somehow pull this one out.  But Baylor’s give of 14 is probably on target.

Ole Miss clocks in at #9 and heads to Mississippi State Thursday evening for their Storied Rivalry, the Egg Bowl (named not for the poultry product but for the trophy topped by a brass football.  They’re nothing if not laconic jokesters in Mississippi).  The trophy exists because Rebel fans were trying to tear the goalposts down after a win in 1926, and Mississippi State fans fought back until – reportedly – there were broken chairs all over the field.  Hence, a brass football trophy.  That sounds about right.

As befits a CFB&P in full Algorithm Capture, the unranked Bulldogs are giving 2.5 to the #9 Rebels.  (Mississippi State is up 6-3 at the end of the 1Q.  Oops; update:  Rebels finally got a TD to make it 10-6 just before the half.)

Best of the rest

It’s rivalry week, so, you know.  More games than usual are Best Of.

But first:  you would totally think Boise State at #21 San Diego State would be a Storied Rivalry by now, but it’s not.  It is, however, the last game of the season, and happens to be between the division leaders of the Mountain West.  The teams have had their vulnerabilities this year, but it should be a pretty good game to kick off Friday with.  Boys Estate is giving 3.

Elsewhere on Friday, #16 Iowa will be at Nebraska to play for the Heroes Trophy, which honors community heroes from the home states of both schools.  Curiously enough, the oddsquad has the Huskers giving 1.  LOL.

Missouri is at #25 Arkansas for the war of the Battle Line, in which the Hawgs are giving 14.5.  We don’t like dumping on people’s trophies, which at a minimum are fine by us, but we do have to say that the Battle Line Trophy, an outline of Missouri perched above Arkansas, with no topographic features depicted, is no Golden Boot.

Arkansas Mizzou Battle Line Trophy.

Friday also brings us the Rumble in the Rockies, featuring Colorado (motto: “We take a pounding!”) at #19 Utah (-23.5).

North Carolina will grapple with #20 N.C. State (motto: “They have a football team?”) in their Storied Rivalry going back to 1894, with the Wolfpack giving 6.  (We’re not skipping trophies of interest here; there just aren’t any.)

And Washington State heads to Washington, both teams in a rankless, low-coaching condition, for the Storied Apple Cup Rivalry, which fittingly is practically a pick ’em.  The Cougars are giving 1.

We would not, of course, neglect the Storied Rivalries of Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan (-8.5) and the War on I-4, between Central Florida and South Florida.  The War on I-4 comes with a nifty trophy topper in the shape of an interstate highway sign, with the logos of each school on the opposite sides.

No, we don’t know why the hole covers say “Grease.” We’re going to crowdsource that one. The War on I-4 Trophy; USF Bulls to the left, UCF Golden Knights to the right. Wikipedia. USF image: By USF13 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, UCF image: elisfkc from Orlando, FL, United States – War on I-4 Trophy at the UCF National Champs Block Party

As you may imagine, UCF is giving 18.5.  But go Bulls!

Saturday’s action doesn’t quit either.  In the noon (Eastern) kickoff slot, fans will have to pick from among the Georgias, Ohio State-Michigan, Texas Tech-Baylor, and Florida State-Florida (the latter of which, granted, is mainly of interest to diehard alumni this year; Gators give 2).

Things turn drastic when Georgia Southern heads to Appalachian State for “Deeper than Hate,” which reminds us that it may be time for Georgia teams to seek some therapy.  We’re just saying.  The Mountaineers give 24.5 in that one.

That off-hour match starts at 2:30 PM Eastern, but never fear:  clocking in at 3:30 PM Eastern is a trio of truly choice rivalries.  The Iron Bowl’s been covered, but here again, fans will have to choose, because Oregon State will be at #11 Oregon, and Penn State at #12 Michigan State, both games being fought for some of our all-time favorite rivalry trophies.

The Oregon platypus, suitably unconcerned about its closeup. Wikipedia

We love the Platypus to death, but of course as connoisseurs of home décor, we think the Land Grant Trophy is even more to die from.  We want one we can add a magazine bin to for the guest bathroom.

The elegant Land Grant Trophy in an action pose. Get it? A Nittany Lion and a Spartan? PSU Athletic Dept

Oregon is favored by 7, and Penn State (go figure) by 1.5.  Which goes to show you other folks have noticed that MSU should never have been in the top 10.

We wait all year for the next two, also hitting the 3:30 Eastern slot.

Northwestern is at Illinois (-6.5) playing for the Land of Lincoln Trophy, football’s tribute to fine haberdashery.

University of Illinois Athletics

And the one we can’t live without:  Indiana at Purdue (-16) for the Old Oaken Bucket!

The Old Oaken Bucket. Purdue U. Athletic Dept.

Yes, we’re going to make you listen once again to Bing Crosby crooning “The Old Oaken Bucket”; handy lyrics included:

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection recalls them to view;
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wild wood,
And every lovd spot which my infancy knew

The wide spreading pond and the mill which stood by it.
The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell;
The cot of my father, the dary house nigh it,
The old oaken bucket the iron bound bucket,
The moss covered bucket, the moss covered bucket, the moss covered bucket that hung in the well.

[Verse 2]
That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure,
For often at noon, when returned from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield,
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing,
And quick to the white pebbled bottom it fell,
Then soon with the emblem of truth o’erflowing,
And dripping with coolness it rose from the well,
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket arose from the well.

(Woodworth, Samuel, “The Old Oaken Bucket” (1834). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 1149.

A mere 15 minutes later you’ll have the Virginia Commonwealth game, featuring our own Virginia Tech, competing with Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-31.5), which understandably looks a bit lopsided.

But don’t despair.  If none of these is your tipple, one of the all-time great Storied Rivalries – #14 Wisconsin at Minnesota – leads off the 4 PM Eastern/3 PM Central hour, as the Badgers and Golden Gophers bite and snarl for Paul Bunyan’s legendary Axe.

Now, that’s an axe. The Golden Gophers with Paul Bunyan’s axe in 2018. Wikipedia: By Andy Manis –, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Wisconsin gives 7.  And this axe, we always hasten to point out, is a real axe, not one of those tacky axe-heads safety-mounted on a board so as not to alarm the faculty lounge.

Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana (Lafayette; U-LA-LA) check in at the same time for their Storied Rivalry, the Battle of the Bayou, which is contested for the Wooden Boot (far less gaudy than the Golden Boot, but the food’s just as good).  The Ragin’ Cajuns are donating 21.5.  (We had a photo of the Wooden Boot at one time, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether-maw.)

And darned if Arizona at Arizona State don’t show up at the same hour to duke it out for the Territorial Cup, one of those unaccountably classy trophies no one can explain.

The Arizona Territorial Cup. ASU Athletics

Their respective records (Arizona 1-10; ASU 7-4) do explain handily why the Sun Devils are giving 20.5.

Just when you think the overload is going to send you to the ER, #23 Clemson shows up at South Carolina (motto: The Other USC) for the evening match, in the guise of their Storied Rivalry the Palmetto Bowl.  Sadly, after an uninterrupted run of meetings from 1909 to 2019, in a rivalry going back to 1896, the teams had to forgo their 2020 match due to COVID-19.  The Tigers are favored by 11.5

That game is in head-to-head competition with Bedlam, but we wish them well.  Meantime, there’s more:  we can’t forget Kentucky at Louisville (-3) for the Governor’s Cup, #17 Pittsburgh (-13) at Syracuse, or Cal at UCLA (-6) finishing the night in grand style.

If you just want to watch some football that probably won’t be very good, but will have sentimental value, you might head to Las Cruces to catch UMass at New Mexico State for a battle of the 1-and-10s.  The Aggies give 6.5, but we think the Minutemen can take them.

Other ranks

In FCS, McNeese State finished 4-7 with a final-week loss to Northwestern State.  We congratulate the Cowboys on persevering through another weird Southland season, and wish them all the best as they prepare to be the big fish in the Southland pond in 2022.

In Div II, Slippery Rock has bowed out with grace in round 1 of the tournament, finishing with a respectable 33-25 loss to Notre Dame (OH).  Well done on a 9-win season, Rock!

Central Oklahoma, as mentioned last week, ended the season 4-7, with one of those Ws snagging the President’s Cup over Northeastern State in Tahlequah.  Nicely done, Bronchos.

In Div III, Rose-Hulman, playing DePauw in round 1 of the tournament, couldn’t quite overcome an early deficit last week and went down 26-21.  A very fine season for the Fightin’ Engineers, however, finishing as HCAC champions and getting a tourney entry slot.

Meanwhile, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy walloped Western New England in the New England Bowl last Saturday, 63-35.  We love to see USMMA get post-season action.  Bravo Zulu for an excellent 9-1 season, Mariners.

76 thoughts on “Football Follies 2021: NCAA week 13 – BEDLAM!!!!”

  1. I admit, I didn’t expect to see Michigan up like this on Ohio State. Seeing the guys slip-sliding around the field, I’ve been surprised to see as much scoring as there’s been.

    In ordinary conditions the Buckeyes would have plenty of time to pull it out, but I’m not so sure today. My niece’s in-laws will be beside themselves. Hairball may get through another season without the torches and pitchforks coming out.

    Sadly, I went down in flames with the UGA-GT prediction. It took the Dogs 3 quarters to cover. Slackers.

    Navy’s up 31-14 on Temple. Woo-hoo!!

      1. Starting to look increasingly likely.

        Michigan can certainly take Iowa. Hawkeyes were looking pretty vulnerable vs Nebraska, and not all that peppy in the previous few outings.

        Georgia and Alabama are shoo-ins, assuming Tide beats Auburn, but it’ll be interesting to see what CF&BP++ does about Cincinnati.

        Don’t see Notre Dame making things easy by losing to the Fuchsia. Assuming that’s a massive romp for the Arsh, they would seem to be the prospective Bearcat slayers, if the Human Element in the CFPB+ decider looks upon the latter with disdain.

  2. Oh, and Bryant Koback certainly earns his keep at Toledo. Old-school RB. Just stick him in there and he picks up yards.

    I think the Rockets have that one well in hand.

    1. No, nothing I really expected about that game. Was foreseeing something more like 35-27 OSU.

      Navy, Army, and Toledo all found the giant W. Oorah!

      Texas Tech got pretty close there toward the end, but Baylor held them off to prevail 27-24. Bears didn’t look overwhelming enough to beat out Cincy or Notre Dame on style points. OK-State Cowboys probably won’t beat OU by enough to get that edge either.

  3. Not sure what’s going on in Laramie (no TV/streaming coverage available here), but so far it’s a rout in Hawaii’s favor. Hmm.

    1. Another “unexpected.”

      No point in speculating now, but it’ll be interesting if #2 and #3 both get upended.

  4. Hokies hanging in there with the Yahoos. They could still pull this one out.

    Tulsa sloppy and abstracted, playing one of their patented “bad games” of 2021. The defense is always there for them now, keeping games winnable if they could just settle down on offense.

  5. … and Tulsa’s finally on the board. Good to have them at least no worse than 17-7 at the half.

  6. OK – 2 big Davis Brin completions for 42 yards and Tulsa runs it in for another 7 to make it 17-14 at the half.

    That’s better.

  7. OSU will blitz all night long. During commercials and half time. Tight fit all the way. OU must make Sanders throw the ball. Brooks might start to break loose in the second half. Williams? Who knows. Head Coach/Offensive genius? Has he programed a plan to help the Freshman QB? No telling. Every talking head, in OKC, is picking OSU to roll OU. OU by 3. Best regards OC. BTW. There is no joy in Columbusville. Mighty Buckeyes struck out! Delightful. Alabama/Auburn? Strange.

  8. Man, too much good football. Crazy time out there.

    VT and Tulsa both up after early deficits.

    I’m sure the wise wags in OKC are calling it for OSU. That seems prudent from most conventional standpoints. I’m not smelling it, but as ever, we’ll see.

  9. No idea why comments are going to moderation, BTW. Will try to keep up with them when Bedlam kicks off.

  10. Real football in November should be played in rain with mud and/or snow. Who would have thunk that Auburn would have to screw up on a single run to allow Bama to take it to OT. Michigan beating the dog crap out of OSU? LSU ahead of Aggies?

    Finally fihished a day of honey dos/

    1. The Michigans had you covered on the snow.

      Tulsa also carried our standard for the rain. It was coming down in Dallas in the second half.

      Still some exciting football left on today’s slate.

  11. Fearing I may have committed an epic fail on the totem shake.

    But maybe it’s too early for that.


  12. Hated to see Auburn give that one up,

    But VT beat the Yahoos. Tulsa beat SMU (!) to get to 6-6, and Minnesota beat Wisconsin. Michigan will face Iowa for the title.

    Liking to see LSU up. Room for hope still for Oklahoma.

      1. An unconvincing win against an unbranded opponent, even if it’s a Storied Rivalry(tm) game plus an upcoming loss to Georgia and I don’t want them in the playoffs. Maybe plug in ND.

        1. I feel like Alabama has ridden on rep long enough this season. They could put it to bed by beating Georgia. Unlikely but of course not impossible.

          Weird year. Michigan dominated in psych/momentum terms for sure today, but I still think Ohio State is the better team.

          Cincinnati’s very good and fairness would say they deserve their reward, but strength of schedule’s just not there.

          As always, we’ll see. The title games next week will matter, maybe more than usual.

  13. The Sooners’ clever tactic of leaving the underneath receivers wide open seems kind of counterproductive.

  14. So the LSU finish was in-SANE!! That momentum was bleeding off the whole second half, and then all of a sudden, they pull it out at the very end. Classic.

    Nevada clobbering the snot out of poor Colorado State. 31-0 and the first half isn’t even over yet.

    Notre Dame making its case for the C%BF-P using the Misty Mauve as a punching bag.

    1. D’s have caught up with Wonder Boy this year. Things were easy when experienced QB’s were transferring into the program. WB working with his own recruits now. Is WB a one trick pony? The genius look has changed to the Deer in Headlight look. In other words, he is starting to look like Bob. The 5 Star QB’s lined up to come and learn from the Master, this recruiting season, may be a short line. If, next season, we are hearing the O-Line isn’t good or the QB is only a Red Shirt Freshman, blah-blah-blah, the heat will be about 450F for the WB. Best Regards OC. BTW, OSU loses just about everybody. LSU part II.

      1. Just can’t wait to get to the SEC. That’ll improve OU’s prospects, big time. Ten years of being Mizzou II. Fun for the whole family.

        Maybe the Sooners can woo Harbaugh away from Ann Arbor. What does Harbaugh need with a quarterback, after all?

      2. Incidentally, Brooks did break out a few times, including those two epic runs that were negated by stupid penalties.

        Officiating was one of those “that’s the breaks” things, but objectively, the refs were edging just into bias against Oklahoma. Riley should have gotten that interference call he wanted in the EZ in the 1st half, and there were some holding calls on OU that never get made in most circumstances. But the O-line in particular has been sloppy with penalties all season, so the Sooners need to just buckle down and lose the bad habits.

  15. Hey, Booger Bowls for (most of) the crew, at least. If OSU is the conference champ, a hifalutin bowl for one of us.

    Congrats to the Pokes.

    Congratulating Nevada early on the win that seems inevitable.

    Two games left undecided, but pretty much don’t care about BYU-USC or Cal-UCLA.

    Back in the AM to try and figure out what’s going on with these comments.

      1. What they were thinking with El Paso is a good question.

        What they’d be thinking with San Antonio is also a good question.

        Not an interesting question, mind you, but a good one.

        An interesting question is what happens if Alabama, Iowa, and Houston win. 🙂

    1. JUST…came through in my Twitter feed. Knew before I saw the contents what your comment would be about.

      Spin is, Muleshoe didn’t sign up for the SEC move. Could certainly be true; what HC wants that headache? Conference realignments never go well in the first 3-5 years for the teams that make the jump.

      Sigh. So the pain starts early.

      1. Correct on the SEC thing. Players found out on social media. My main point earlier about his success with only experienced transfer QBs will plague him in the future. LA is a tough place to coach. How many sports teams are in LA? Put this on your wall: In 4 years, he will make his triumphant return to East Carolina. Brent Venables is high on the list. Sounds like this has been going on for a while. Best regards OC.

        1. Yep, USC has broken everyone since Carroll.

          PAC-12 is not necessarily a bad place to go for a fresh start these days. Anything’s better than what the conference has been doing. Scramble on to redefine it from the ground up. That could be good or bad.

          There’ve been things I liked about Riley, but I’m not sure the unforgiving LA environment is well suited to them. Seems like he might do better in a college town.

          I wish him well though. Sooners could do worse than Venables. But recruiting hasn’t been their strong suit in recent years, across the board and certainly at QB. I agree that didn’t improve under Riley. Their depth chart at offensive skill positions has been woeful by OU standards the last couple of years.

          Gonna need a long telescope to see the stars from here.

      2. Riley bravely fled from having to go head to head with Satan. If Old Scratch can pull out a victory from thin air, who wants their reputation sullied? Just enjoy all those California taxes.

    2. Incidentally, Riley doesn’t really have the hair for it.

      ‘Do-wise, Gundy would be a better fit. Old Hollywood Pete was all gray when he was there, but he had a big wad of hair he was always fiddling with. Distracting visual every darn time they showed the Trojan sideline.

  16. Just for reference: The current Skipper (Skipper II) is a replica 6 pound howitzer on a custom-made Civil War era replica gun carriage, limber, and caisson. The original Skipper is in the Holtzman Center Museum, it is a replica brass Napoleon (also 6lb). The original developed a dangerous weak spot and crack so was retired to be loved and admired among the significant memories of this 150 year-old university.

    So, for the memory of the 150th anniversary of my alma mater, the school (then Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College) and known as the “A Company Cheer”:
    Rip Rah Ree!
    Via! Via! Vee!
    Virginia! Virginia!
    A! M! C!

    For those unfamiliar, there are few places on this planet more besotted with vileness than Hooville (aka Charlottesville). They think of Hokies as rubes, bumpkins, and the “embarrassing cousins”. To quote the Church Lady; “Well isn’t that special? Hmm?” In the meantime the Commonwealth Cup will be back in the display case in the Merriman Center Sports Museum where y’all can visit it any time your pea pickin’ hearts would like.

    GO HOKIES!!!

    1. Congrats to the Hokies. That was such a fine ending: come back; beat the Yahoos; get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility. Slam. Dunk.

      Sounds like Skipper the Original lasted longer than the Liberty Bell, in terms of developing a crack. Nicely done. Didn’t have that piece of lore stowed away, but into the sorting bin it goes. Good stuff.

      1. Looks like they are projecting a trip back to Canoe U and the Military Bowl to face off with (former) accidental rival ECU. It’s a good matchup with a good shot at a win for a +.500 season and a bit of redemption. It could be other booger bowls, but if they want a crowd, the National Capital area is loaded with Hokies and Navy Marine Corps Memorial would be painted Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange for a game. We’ll see. It was a big change from the depths of depression after the Syracuse loss.

        BTW… Duke just fired David Cutcliffe after years of success, thus cementing the reality that the ACC is a dysfunctional and delusional football league.

        GO HOKIES!!! (Still hoping that AD Whit Babcock catches a clue, hires JC Price as the HC and finds a first-rate OC to help him out instead of fishing for sleaze in the win at all costs pond.)

        1. Could do worse than the Military Bowl, for sure. Annapolis had a big community thing going on for last year’s, with the most epic pub crawl I’ve ever seen anyone put on, among other attractions.

          Price seems like a good call. Maybe in 2022, two years on from the Great Disruption of 2020, we won’t have to see quite so many coaches walking the plank (or just walking out). Would sure like to see VT get a spark and move off top dead center for this persistent 6-6-ish condition.

          1. They hired the Defensive Coordinator from Penn State – Brent Pry. It’s a promotion hire for lots less money than would be laid out for a big name head coach. He’s got history with Tech (GA from 95-97) and rated as possibly the best defensive coordinator in college football.

            This one has the waft of Frank Beamer and Bud Foster knocking on Whit Babcock’s door with a “suggestion”. JC Price will still be with the program as an Associate Head Coach (meaning a big promotion) and there is enough money left in the till to go out and get a solid offensive coordinator and some really good X’s and O’s guys to be assistant coaches.

            Tech goes back and starts it again. The Spring Game is going to mean something this season.

            1. Just saw they picked up Pry while trawling the new news. Imagine VT going with a top-rep DC. Shock, shock.

              Haven’t paid that much attention to Pry’s work at PSU, but they’ve certainly been stronger on D than O the last couple of years. D’s been keeping them in the running and getting good notices. Tech will know how to handle that set of circumstances. Now just redevelop some occult abilities on the special teams, and they can approximate Beamer Ball again.

              Looks like pretty much all of out Inner Circle stable will be undergoing a rigorous reset in 2022. Even Tulsa loses a significant chunk of defensive players next year. Patterson’s out, at the Fort… OK-State loses a LOT of seasoned players… Nevada loses some key names… it keeps going on.

  17. Venables in Norman yesterday. I heard it about 2pm yesterday, but could not confirm it. Top rumor as of Midnight. Venables new coach, Mississippi OC coming with him. Repeat top rumor. BTW USC contacted Rileys’ agent in September. Riley has been dreaming of USC all season instead of doing his job. Riley started making demands soon after. This is being played as a total shock. Only the fans didn’t know what was happening. That is all.

    1. Just looked up how old Venables is, and he’s almost 51, which is un-possible.

      He would come in pretty seasoned, at least.

      I keep hearing the OU players had no idea, or at least weren’t told anything. I kind of doubt they had no idea. You sense those things. It’s all kind of discouraging to think about, but at least everyone should know quickly which bowl they need to prepare for. Bob gets one more tour in the drop-top Cadillac.

      A “name” like Venables should help somewhat in the recruiting department.

      1. Bob was recruiting in Tulsa yesterday. I think he feels responsible. Dirt Bag finally spoke to players as he was leaving 2-3 minutes. BTW, the LSU thing was not a ruse. Dirt Bag verbally agreed to their offer before the OSU game. Kelly was their #2 pick. OU has clamped down on all info real and imagined. BTW, Dirt Bag was using the USC thing to demand more money and perks. President and AD said no.

      2. Venebles was there, but the rest is fantasy. BTW, it appears Todd Beamer made a lot of friends in Norman. I was completely unaware he had a part in turning Williams to OU. On it goes. Good on Virginia Tech. I thought Fuente would have been a long time guy there. He did so well at Memphis.

  18. OK, I think I’ve figured out the problem with the comments. I’m hopeful today (30 Nov) will be the last day it’s in force.

    The spam filter program advises me that I’m over my “plan” limit for the number of spam comments the filter will fend off each month. It appears that all comments are being held for moderation because of that.

    I’ve completely shut off comments for all the old posts (from Dec 2015 and before), which is where 99% of the spam goes anyway. I’m hopeful that that will significantly reduce the amount of spam the filter has to deal with in the coming months. I also went through and manually deleted the over-spam (if you will), which was at some 1,800 entries.

    Assuming that’s successful, comments from the Approved should start appearing automatically again on 1 Dec.

  19. Toledo is listed for the Bahamas Bowl, facing Middle Tennessee of the C-USA New Blood.

    We are devastated to report that the Makers Wanted industrial village of Elk Grove, IL has ceased its sponsorship of the bowl.

    But the notorious Atlantis Resort is still a bowl partner.

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