Unassuming weeks are always the most dangerous for college football, but especially early in the season when rankings are more guesses than distinctions earned. Still, when you schedule an FCS school and pay them to play scapegoats outside of the conference during homecoming or whatever, you better not lose.
Florida throwing one at Kentucky? It would be much worse if the Wildcats hadn’t won two of the last four meetings (now three of five). Notre Dame sleepwalking down Marshall only to be woken up by a fourth-quarter pick six when it was too late? It’s understandable after competing with Ohio State, and as is the case with Gator head coach Bill Napier and Irish interim-turned-leader Marcus Freeman, it’s his first year.
Those fanbases will wake up on Sunday feeling like shit, but not completely despondent, wondering how the hell they’re going to get through the next dozen fall Saturdays, and even Saturdays in 2023.
For Texas A&M fans and those still holding on to the hope that Scott Frost isn’t the worst Nebraska coach of the new century, the only reason to wake up Sunday is to see if the AD has fired the Neanderthals responsible for what they did. whatever happened against Appalachian. State and South Georgia.
We’ll start with the Aggies, because pointing out the Huskers’ gargling bits is a cliché. Jimbo Fisher, who spent part of the offseason in a public war of words with Nick Saban, also somehow convinced the media to rank his team in the top 10. I don’t know how he did it, and I honestly think he doesn’t. I don’t know how he did it, but it happened despite the team going 8-4 a season ago, including 4-4 in conference play.
A&M’s starting quarterback Haynes King didn’t pass 100 yards, and App State kept the offense as a whole under 200 yards. Had it not been for David Achane’s 95-yard kickoff return after the Mountaineers won 14-7 late in the third, this game would have ended midway through the fourth.
Fisher earned his reputation by putting together explosive offenses that could also run the ball, and year after year they have some quarterback whose only credentials are that Fisher is his coach, and we have to pretend he’s an obscure Heisman candidate.
I know King suffered a season-ending injury last year, and his backup Zach Calzada was traded to Auburn, but Calzada, King, Max Johnson, it doesn’t make a difference. If Jimbo’s expectations are to compete in the SEC, he’s bound to come up short and drag his quarterbacks down with him.
As for Frost and Nebraska, he’s now 5-22 in one-touchdown games, and the latest embarrassment he’s inflicted on the fan base was a 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern. The Eagles racked up 642 yards of offense, and any nightmare invented by Bill Callahan or Mike Riley is quickly going from scary to fond memory.
Georgia Southern quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw for 409 yards. The Eagles scored 28 in the first half, and it would have been more if they hadn’t committed a procedural penalty while getting the ball inside Nebraska’s five. Running backs had holes to run through, wide receivers had room to work, and Vantrease had enough time in his pocket to knit a winter hat and maybe a scarf to go with it.
Like Fisher, offense was supposed to be Frost’s calling card, and he doesn’t even call plays anymore. He’s a head coach by title alone at this point, and every time the cameras pan over to him looking at his feet, I want to whip whatever he’s holding in my hand onto the television.
Fox’s Big Noon Saturday heads to Lincoln next week for Nebraska-Oklahoma, and that weekend literally can’t go by fast enough. Nebraska AD Trev Alberts could offer Urban Meyer a contract during the live broadcast. I know he sucks getting angry, but he sucks even more, and at least that’s not the reality of all the schools that ended Saturday disappointed.
And now, a college football chalkboard highlight that will hopefully put a smile on your face.
Pitt couldn’t pull out the win in overtime against Tennessee on Saturday, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here to celebrate the rare instance where an obstacle was executed perfectly.
May I introduce Gavin Bartholomew?:
I feel like 99 percent of the time obstacles are strictly for show, like an opportunistic bike kick. However, when used at the right time, it’s a guaranteed way to make a highlight reel, and you’d better believe one will stick with Bartholomew long after he’s done playing.