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Thank God for college football.
The nation’s longest offseason is finally over. And with the end of that offseason comes the return of the Starting 11, which we’ll have up every Monday to help keep you entertained at work. I’ll open up with a picture I tweeted out during the LSU-Oregon game. The Rice band decided to spell out SEC turning the S into a $. Oh, those witty Rice kids. (I’d make more jokes about you if my sister hadn’t gotten her PhD there and loved all of you). The irony here, however, is overwhelming.
Yes, you could ridicule the SEC for caring about money more than academics. That’s a valid criticism. But can you really do that when you’re playing in front of the school that has caused realignment? If Texas wasn’t so greedy — and don’t get me wrong I have nothing against greed, it’s the foundational reason for our country’s success — then there would be no conference realignment.
So making fun of the SEC for being greedy at Texas is like showing up at The Situation’s roast and making fun of Ronnie’s fighting ability.
Just doesn’t work.
Here are 11 other observations from the week that was:
1. This past weekend was great for many reasons, but the best of all was something that should warm the hearts of football fans everywhere other than South Bend and the Northeast — Notre Dame lost.
This means the Fighting Irish, the nation’s most perpetually overranked and overcovered football team, are officially eliminated from the national title chase.
There ought to be a party among college football fans every year this happens. And it always happens. But this year is extra special because it happened so damn early.
I was eating the pre-game meal before LSU-Oregon when this happened and I really thought Brian Kelly might attack his player.
2. I know some of y’all overindulged at games over this long weekend.
Now that Tuesday is here you aren’t really being that productive either. How do I know this? Because you’re visiting OKTC right now. Just know that no matter how bad your first day of work is, it probably won’t include trying to capture a 21 foot crocodile alive.
Seriously, 21 feet!
Look in the left background, the guy with his arms in the tree.
I don’t know who the Lakers #14 is, but I like to pretend that’s actually just Ron Artest, undercover in a #14 jersey, hanging out catching crocodiles in the Philipines.
By the way, this was Tweeted out by Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, which made me happy for two reasons: a. I could understand what he said on Twitter unlike the last Titans quarterback and b. You know Hasselbeck watches Swamp People.
If only Troy, Elizabeth, and Jacob could have been sent to the Phillipines to catch this croc.
Because the pollsters are idiots.
Moving right along.
4. Baylor-TCU might be the game of the year.
I know it’s tough to call something the game of the year before the first Saturday even happens, but those of you who didn’t watch this game missed out.
So I’ve embedded the highlights for you!
Yep, four more minutes you get to spend not working.
See if you can find former Bill Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr in this video. Seriously, he’s really here. From investigating where Bill Clinton put cigars to heading up a school that is about to end up in Conference USA.
Karma is real.
5. Let’s talk about slutty Halloween costumes for a minute.
I spent Monday with my family. As part of that we took a trip to the local Halloween supply store to try and decide what our costumes should be. Right now my three-year old wants to be a red ghost and my one-year old is going to be Darth Vader.
The adults are undecided.
My wife tried on a Wonder Woman costume and a schoolgirl outfit with a t-shirt that said, “I (heart) Nerds.” (Going with your wife or girlfriend to watch her try on slutty Halloween costumes should be a national holiday. It makes a trip to Victoria’s Secret seem like a trip to Disney World.)
Then my wife notices that the slutty/sexy Halloween costume has officially reached its full conclusion.
You can go as a sexy Big Bird.
Officially licensed by Sesame Street.
Which means moms all over the country had to be requesting this, right? (The best tweet response I got to this said simply, “I’m terrified to see Sexy Snuffaluffagus).
Don’t start with your emails, girls, about how it’s guy’s driving the sexy outfit train. It’s y’all. Even if a man wanted his wife to dress up as Sexy Big Bird he wouldn’t tell her…or anyone else. This is the kind of thing that would end up in a divorce proceeding and cost you the house, the car, and visitation rights.
I can already picture the trial:
Wife, crying: “And then last Halloween he suggested I dress up as a Sexy Big Bird!”
Judge: “This case is closed.”
(Worse, doesn’t it look like the actual Big Bird is reacting to an upskirt shot? Like he’s pointing at us saying, “You gotta see this!”)
6. Boise State would win the SEC East outright.
I took a break from LSU-Oregon to watch some of the Boise State-Georgia game. In particular I loved the crowd reaction shots of Georgia fans. They looked the exact same as I did after my wife convinced me to watch Sex and the City 2. Like, I knew this was a bad idea and I still did it anyway and now I have to sit here and stew over the fact that my worst fears have been realized.
To quote Denny Green — they (the Bulldogs) are what we thought they were. A bad football team slowly sliding down the slope of college football relevance.
Meanwhile, can any SEC fan with a brain — yes, we really exist, I promise — really argue that Boise State wouldnt’ win the SEC East this year?
You’ve already notched a road win at Georgia. All Boise State would have to do is split with South Carolina and Florida to lock down the East. Toss in guaranteed wins against Vandy and Kentucky — a very likely win against Tennessee — and you’re talking about 4-1 against the East at worst.
7. When did weather delays take over college football?
I remember watching UT-Florida way back in 1992 when the heavens opened in Neyland Stadium. It was the craziest storm I’ve ever seen at a football game. Thunder, lightning, the water was knee-high on the sidelines.
I was 13 years old and Tennessee won 31-14.
But I don’t remember anyone even considering stopping the game.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t stop the game — a player or fan being struck by lightning would be beyond awful — but when did the weather delays start in football?
And since when can games be called because of bad weather?
8. Mississippi State may win the SEC West.
And I’m not just saying that because I have a nonsexual crush on Dan Mullen.
State gets Alabama and LSU in Starkville, and has road games at Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Auburn. Three of those road games State will be favored to win. Split with Bama or LSU and you’re looking pretty good for 6-2 in conference.
Go 2-1 against Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas and you’re talking about a trip to Atlanta.
I’m not saying Bulldog fans should book tickets yet, but I am saying that State’s chances of being an SEC West darkhorse are much better than has been discussed thus far.
9. Tyler Bray is the best quarterback in the SEC already.
Bray opened with three touchdowns and 293 yards passing on just 17 completions against Montana. He also tied Peyton Manning’s Tennessee record with seven consecutive games of multiple touchdown passes.
I know it’s Montana, but who would you rather have in the SEC?
Aaron Murray after that Boise State performance? Stephen Garcia/Connor Shaw? Morgan Newton, Jarrett Lee, Larry Smith, Barrett Trotter or John Brantley?
His only real SEC competition at this point is Tyler Wilson and let’s be honest, Bobby Petrino could put me under center and have me averaging 250 yards passing a game. (Chris Relf could emerge if State has a special season, but he’s not there yet).
Toss in the fact that Bray is a true sophomore and this becomes an even easier battle for Bray to win. It may turn out to be true that Tyler Bray is the only positive outcome of the Lane Kiffin era.
10. My three-year old — he’ll be four in January — is telling jokes now.
You can already tell he’s my son because his jokes don’t really have punchlines, they’re disconnected, and occasionally obscene.
He started a joke last week this way: “Why did the monster play with his pee-pee…”
“No, no no,” his mom said, “no pee-pee jokes.”
I was kind of disappointed, but I’m told I’m supposed to set a good example.
After all, this was his first dick joke.
So I put on a stern face: “We don’t tell pee-pee jokes in this house,” I said.
11. West F’ing Virginia.
A final present for those of you who don’t run screaming for the hills when expletives are shown on television.
And now a final poll, which would you rather your child wear, the West F’in Virginia t-shirt or the Maryland uniforms from tonight?
Debate and discuss via Facebook comments.
As I tweeted alongside this picture: the two worst things to ever come out of the state of Maryland 1. John Wilkes Booth 2. These uniforms.