Tag: College Football

[Business Day One] Kickoff


There’s a moment during any good tailgate that really makes the event special. It usually takes place sometime during the second helping of pulled pork, or in the middle of a hastily organized 7-on-5 (someone clearly miscounted) Ultimate Frisbee match. It is the moment that you remember that you’re there to see a football game. At good tailgates, you somehow forget that for a few minutes. You’re sitting in a foldable camp chair, eating more food in three hours than you have during the previous 48 and opining on how a team can take down the West Coast Offense and you just get so wrapped up in the experience that you somehow forget why you’re there. You never lose sight of the fact that you’re in a field, surrounded by friends of yours wearing the same colors and within earshot of the marching band tuning up. But the “I’m here to watch a game” thought kind of seeps out of your head for a bit, replaced with hasty plans to shotgun a beer and visit your friend Matty’s party. And then you remember the reason for the season, and are made glad. It’s like finding $20 in your pocket – it was always there, and it was always yours, but you didn’t remember you had it until just that moment.

College Football (and College Football tailgating) season has begun. And it began in spectacular fashion. Fans packed the stadiums and the parking lots across the country for grilling and sports. Facepaint and hibachi sales were, I assume, through the roof. The tailgate in my own little corner of the world, Lower Campus at Boston College, was excellent. The game was good too. This off-season has taught me a lot about how alums and boosters deal with college football coaching changes, and this first week taught me what happens when lofty expectations are met.

As much as I would like to talk more about Boston College taking down Wake Forest, that’s not the biggest news. While I was walking into Alumni Stadium, a friend of mine checked his phone and noted that Appalachian State was up by a couple of scores against Michigan (at Michigan). I immediately thought that it was only a matter of time before the Wolverines got themselves together and took advantage of the undersized linemen and unpolished route runners of any Division I-AA school. But it turns out they never did. In the stands in Section A at Alumni, I was both cheering wildly for my team and constantly checking the score from App St/Mich. It made me feel like I wasn’t just part of the BC football family at that point, but a greater national community of fans. There must’ve been millions of people hitting the refresh button on their cell phone to get the minute-by-minute score update. In the end, wouldn’t you know it, the Mountaineers demolished the Big House. There seemed to be an entire nation of football fans cheering at that moment. Well, all except for the hundred or so thousand in Ann Arbor. That is college sports. Underdogs baffling the nation and the entire sports community celebrating together, even if their stadiums are thousands of miles apart. And they’re doing it on a full stomach.

Some other quick notes about Week 1 of College Football:

-The honeymoon with Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis is over. The offensive and defensive sides of the ball were overwhelmed by Georgia Tech, and the Nittany Lions will be no easier next Saturday. They’re getting recruiting classes together just fine out there, but coherent game plans against top flight competition just aren’t coming taking shape.

-Rutgers hype doesn’t seem to be going away. They’ll easily walk to at least 8 wins this season, thanks to a good running back and a schedule made up mostly of intramural teams. The New York market has needed big name college football, and Rutgers is as close as they’re going to get.

-We all need to get used to the fact that our favorite team is most likely capable of beating Florida State in football.

Oklahoma’s 2005 Season Erased; Time/Space Continuum In Peril


NCAA erases Oklahoma’s 2005 Season

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma must erase its wins from the 2005 season and will lose two scholarships for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, the NCAA said Wednesday.

The penalties stem from a case involving two players, including the Sooners’ starting quarterback, who were kicked off the team last August for being paid for work they had not performed at a Norman car dealership. The NCAA said Oklahoma was guilty of a “failure to monitor” the employment of the players.

The Sooners went 8-4 and beat Oregon in the Holiday Bowl to end the 2005 season. Records from that season involving quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn must be erased, the NCAA said, and coach Bob Stoops’ career record will be amended to reflect the erased wins, dropping it from 86-19 in eight seasons to 78-19.

NCAA Commissioner Myles Brand declared the sanctions in a press conference on Wednesday, standing in front of the NCAA’s TimeScrambler 2000, which he used to go back in time and rewrite the face of history.

“The evidence seems clear,” Brand said, yelling to be heard over the time machine’s buzzing and whirring. “This level of corruption could only have succeeded with the support of the university’s athletics department.”

Commissioner Brand then entered the appropriate spatio-temporal coordinates into the TimeScrambler, pausing only to don lead-lined goggles.

Budweiser stock (symbol: BUD) gained 4.8 points on the day, as the undoing of Oklahoma’s 2005 wins resulted in 741,500 gallons of beer going unconsumed. Nine maimings resulting from postgame brawls were instantly healed, forty-one vandalized cars restored to their pre-victory condition, and three children born to Oklahoma co-eds winked out of existence.

“You see this after most major disciplinary actions,” said Dr. Anton Parallax, NCAA director of temporal anomalies. “It’s not as devastating as you’d think, because there’s no actual harm done. The affected parties never existed.”

Parallax cited the 1988 censure of St. Meinrad University for a decades-long conspiracy to inflate the grades of their student athletes. The NCAA erased thirty-two years of wins, resulting in a temporal flux so severe that St. Meinrad became a Benedictine abbey instead of a Division I technical school and their division rival, the previously unheralded University of Notre Dame, became a storied powerhouse. Few fans have complained about or even noticed this revision of history, even though, as Parallax says, Notre Dame “really isn’t that good.”

[Business Day One] Facepaint, Tailgates and Dirty Business

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A week or so back, the NCAA amended college football’s (and as well as the other sports’) recruiting policy to forbid coaches and recruiters from text messaging high school players.Go BC Eagles! This may not seem like a particularly big deal. But for someone like me, an avid fan of college football, this development is meaningful, significant, and a reflection of how terrifying the machinery of collegiate athletics.

Those that know me well know that I have a near psychotic obsession with Boston College sports. I’m a football season ticket holder, belong to two B.C. sports message boards and donate to my alma mater’s athletic fund with regularity. I’ve got a lot of pride in the school that educated me, and I cheer like a madman for my Eagles.

I am, of course, no different than the millions of other red-blooded college sports fans that live and die by their teams. I know Notre Dame alums that travel to South Bend every year to give a nod to Touchdown Jesus and watch a game. Touchdown JesusI know folks from Harvard and Yale that describe their times in school as simply “we were 3-1 during my tenure.” I know families in Florida that fiercely argue over where you could get a better show: in The Swamp or at The U. Heck, I know that 92,000 people went to Alabama’s spring scrimmage. Their spring scrimmage. This kind of pride (and the rivalries that it spawns) create brotherhoods rooted in cultish devotion. And while I love being part of a community that exhibits such passion, I realize that this passion manifests itself in peculiar and often disturbing ways. Folks want success so bad that their love becomes a destructive force, driving coaches out of a job and tearing up the lives of the kids that play. Read More