College football is fun and I thought that Baker Mayfield planting the OU flag at midfield of Ohio Stadium, while hella disrespectful, was fun. I wish he didn’t apologize for it, but I understand why he had to. He’s running a Heisman campaign and you can’t have old cranks like, well, most of the college football media bringing up how Mayfield is a disrespectful punk that doesn’t like apple pie or his mom or standing for the national anthem.
It’s really too bad, because college football is one of the last bastions of “fun” that we have in sports. The NFL hasn’t been fun for what seems like millennia, baseball wants to fire Bryce Harper into the sun anytime he shows a little bit of personality and don’t even think about doing that if you are a Latin ballplayer, the NHL is only fun if you’re Canadian I think, but Montreal traded PK Subban away for basically being too fun so I don’t know. The NBA is still pretty fun and I’ve enjoyed how petty all the best players are on Instagram, but a lot of the fans don’t always approve of that and think that it “takes away from the game.”
College football, though, is a game where there are live animals on the field and mascots shoot guns and the most beloved announcer often combines all of this with a mascot head while making his pick for the biggest game of the weekend. There are days-long tailgating sessions and people who sailgate and people who sing nonsense songs about their alma mater because that’s what their grandfather sang too. You make fun of your rival for being a cow college and having a blowhard for a coach and they make fun of you for the same exact thing.
College football is fun and I hope Baker Mayfield starts planting flags in every stadium that he wins in this year. It’s good for the sport and also, in this particular instance, bad for Ohio State (which is good for the sport too).
S&P+ rank: 49th overall, 76th offense, 31st defense
Last week’s result: (W) at Virginia, 34–17
Biggest strength: They apparently have two starting quarterbacks now, which is always a good thing. I can’t believe Wisconsin effectively ran an offense last year with two quarterbacks. That is the stupidest thing in the dang world and it should never work. Although... Indiana throws the ball so much they might NEED two quarterbacks on the field so that one’s arm doesn’t fall off.
Biggest weakness: Like almost all of these teams/games, I don’t particularly care about the outcomes or the goings on during them, but I think it is worth noting that UVa has players named Butts, Hogg, and Hamm who caught passes on Saturday. The “Hamm” for the Cavs is Daniel Hamm and he caught two passes for one yard. That is wonderful inefficiency! GO D. HAMMS OF THE WORLD!
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. Florida International
S&P+ rank: 67th overall, 68th offense, 51st defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Towson, 63–17
Biggest strength: The Terps set a bunch of school offensive records after their demolition of Towson and Texas, two opponents who are on equal standing in my mind, in the first two weeks. Ty Johnson rushed five times for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He’s currently averaging over 15 yards per carry on the season. Five different players rushed for touchdowns.
Biggest weakness: Holy cow, they have a guy on defense named Qwuantrezz! That is great hustle by that young man’s parents. There are two z’s and the complete dismissal of the “u always follows a q” rule. My next kid is going to have so many z’s in their name it will be hilarious. I’ve never seen The Wire. Does this make me a bad person?
This week’s schedule: Bye
S&P+ rank: 9th overall, 45th offense, 3rd defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Cincinnati, 36–14
Biggest strength: I think Michigan is a not good team this year. I don’t care that they beat Florida and are 2–0 currently. Wilton Speight sucks like a Wisconsin quarterback usually sucks and Ty Isaac runs like someone who is bad at playing running back. The defense is pretty good, though. They had two pick-sixes against Cincy.
Biggest weakness: Jim Harbaugh after the game, gesturing toward his stomach: “I’m dead in here. I’m burnt wood.” What the hell does that even mean? He should stop eating wood—that shit ain’t healthy unless you are a beaver. Also, does he mean that he is a zombie when he says he’s “dead in here?” Look, I’m not one to start unsubstantiated rumors, but I’m pretty sure that Jim Harbaugh is a zombie beaver. How do we bump this on Google?
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. Air Force
Michigan State Spartans
S&P+ rank: 37th overall, 75th offense, 21st defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Western Michigan, 28–14
Biggest strength: I normally open up the box score of each of these games on ESPN.com to see if there is anything interesting that happened or if someone named Hamm made a play, but I refuse to do it for this MSU/WMU game. This game is the reason 11 a.m. kickoffs and alternate BTN channels exist. FOH, Michigan State non-conference games.
Biggest weakness: I got so much heat for my dislike of raw peppers and cheesecake that I’ve decided to dial my food take back for the week. I can’t handle being disparaged for the third straight week so I’m gonna say something that everyone knows is true: black licorice is an awful food/flavor. My restaurant currently has a drink featuring pastis (a French anisette) and I always warn people before I serve it to them that there is basically anthrax in the drink. Somehow, people still order it. I do not understand them.
This week’s schedule: Bye
Ohio State Buckeyes
S&P+ rank: 4th overall, 12th offense, 9th defense
Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 5 Oklahoma, 31–16
Biggest strength: The 50-yard line at their stadium is well-aerated thanks to Baker Mayfield. House Elf Dobbins played pretty well. Are still ahead of Rutgers in the standings.
Biggest weakness: What the hell, Ohio State? I’ve spent two weeks making fun of the Big XII, a bad conference that deserves it, and you go out and shit the bed AT HOME to its best team. You are supposed to be our conference’s champion, regardless of what last season’s results say. You don’t score any points in the CFP last year and then you lose to OU at home this year... smdh. Might as well let Wisconsin slide into the playoff this year and see what happens. I wonder what it’s like to have Mayfield as the mayor of Columbus now? What are his positions on various local laws? I await answers!
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Army
Penn State Nittany Lions
S&P+ rank: 8th overall, 6th offense, 14th defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Pittsburgh, 33–14
Biggest strength: Now the best team in Pennsylvania because we all know that Temple can’t keep it up. Well, maybe we don’t “all” know it... but trust me—they can’t. James Franklin said that beating Pitt was like beating Akron and I’m not sure who that is supposed to be insulting to. I guess Ben Roethlisberger has sexually harassed women in both cities, so maybe it is an apt comparison.
Biggest weakness: Don’t you think the nicknames that couples have for each other are weird? My wife called me “Drew Bear” so much that more often than not she just calls me “Bear.” I am hairy and like to sleep through winter so it makes a lot of sense, but when I call her “Sweet Jugs” at the grocery store I get slapped even though it also makes a lot of sense! We have a friend who has been dating her boyfriend for a while and she calls him “Meat Sweats” and I think that is the best possible nickname a girl can have a for a guy she’s seeing besides “Eddie Lawless.” Meat and sweat? Those are the two things I do best and I’d appreciate the woman I’m with noticing my strengths.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. vs. Georgia State
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
S&P+ rank: 97th overall, 127th offense, 35th defense
Last week’s result: (L) vs. Eastern Michigan, 16–13
Biggest strength: OMG, just end your football program, Rutgers.
Biggest weakness: Literally everything. Please reconsider your standing as an institution of higher learning and athletics.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. Morgan State
Illinois Fighting Illini
S&P+ rank: 84th overall, 113th offense, 50th defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Western Kentucky, 20–7
Biggest strength: The Illini were the underdogs in this game... at home... to a Conference USA team. But they won! The defense looked great and freshman running back Mike Epstein rushed for 111 yards. Illinois’s offense is putrid and their defense isn’t quite good enough to keep them competitive once conference play starts but for now they’re 2–0 and in first place in the B1G West due to alphabetics.
Biggest weakness: Did you know that there is Reese’s flavored coffee creamer? It has changed my life in the morning. It tastes exactly like drinking Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups should taste and I love it dearly. Speaking of flavored coffee drinks, it is almost time to have my yearly Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Call me basic if you’d like, but if that doesn’t taste like fall in a cup, I don’t know what does. I usually make my wife order it for me because I’m an ashamed coward.
This week’s schedule: Friday at 6 p.m. at No. 22 South Florida
S&P+ rank: 45th overall, 99th offense, 15th defense
Last week’s result: (W) at Iowa State, 44–41 (OT)
Biggest strength: El Assico was a real barn-burner this year with the Hawkeyes needing two fourth-quarter comebacks to force the game into OT, when they finally put away the pesky Cyclones. Akrum Wadley is a problem for the B1G and had 190 total yards and two touchdowns. Nate Stanley hucked his way to five touchdowns and 333 yards.
Biggest weakness: The defense giving up so many points to Iowa State isn’t encouraging. My brother-in-law was at this game, as my sister-in-law is a proud ISU alumna, and he sent a picture of an Iowa fan in his row that had logoed receiver gloves in his back pocket like Kirk Ferentz may call him out of the stands to catch the winning touchdown. The only acceptable piece of football gear to wear to a game is a helmet because you can take a nap without anyone noticing, and anytime rolls of quarters start flying because you are playing Ohio State, you are protected.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. North Texas
Minnesota Golden Gophers
S&P+ rank: 60th overall, 92nd offense, 22nd defense
Last week’s result: (W) at Oregon State, 48–14
Biggest strength: Forced three turnovers. Shannon Brooks scored three touchdowns. Their quarterback only had one incomplete pass. PJ Fleck didn’t say anything enraging after the game... as far as I know.
Biggest weakness: Their quarterback only completed seven passes. Their team’s stat line looked like a service academy’s. The restaurant at which I work is in a town called Wayzata, Minn., and this past weekend they had a celebration of James J. Hill, some robber baron-type person who built railroad tracks next to the lake because the city wouldn’t let him build property there and he wanted to make it so no one could because he was a spiteful dick... or something. Anyways, we apparently celebrate this man with a weekend long outdoor festival that includes big-name country music acts. This year’s Saturday night headliner was none other than College GameDay’s favorite, BIG & RICH! They were coming to my citttaaaaayyyyy! I wanted to meet Cowboy Troy, but alas it was not meant to be.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. Middle Tennessee State
S&P+ rank: 36th overall, 65th offense, 30th defense
Last week’s result: (L) at Oregon, 42–35
Biggest strength: Tre Bryant rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown and fancy Mike Wilbon, Mikale Wilbon, added a touchdown on the ground as well. They didn’t give up any points in the second half! Way to go, Bob Diaco!
Biggest weakness: Diaco’s vaunted defense gave up 42 points in the first half, though, and Tanner Lee’s complete and utter inefficiency (under 50 percent completion percentage and four picks) sealed the deal for this road loss. At least Nebraska games might be high-scoring shootouts this year, that could be fun!
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. Northern Illinois
S&P+ rank: 52nd overall, 72nd offense, 32nd defense
Last week’s result: (L) at Duke, 41–17
Biggest strength: How do you get steamrolled by Duke in football? Basketball I can understand, but football???? Get your life in order, Pat Fitzgerald. Duke’s quarterback had over 400 total yards and four touchdowns against your feeble squad. Wasn’t Northwestern supposed to be the top challenger to Wisconsin in the B1G West this year?
Biggest weakness: Fellow homeowners of B5Q: How many beers do you have while you are mowing the lawn? Yesterday I had three during my lawn-mowing session and that felt a little aggressive. I also had a cool-down beer in the shower, but I’m not counting that one. The lines on my lawn are still pretty straight, so maybe my lawn mowing is like my dart playing and I need three beers before I should even consider playing/mowing.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. vs. Bowling Green
S&P+ rank: 85th overall, 73rd offense, 93rd defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Ohio, 44–21
Biggest strength: The Boilermakers’ offense sure looked like a first-rate outfit against Ohio. Tario Fuller rushed for 142 yards and David Blough threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns. I think Ohio is supposed to be kinda good this year, so this is an impressive win for Purdue? I don’t know, the MAC can eat my butt unless it’s Tuesday night MACtion.
Biggest weakness: My wife works from home now and I often overhear her work meetings/conversations and let me tell you something: I do not envy people who work in traditional office settings. Everything sounds SO BORING to me. It’s all “pinging” people about “meeting times” so we can “chat about projects” and “synergy” and other awful words. At my work, we just mutter curse words about you when you order a stupid drink. A much healthier work environment IMO.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 3 p.m. at Missouri
S&P+ rank: 12th overall, 40th offense, 6th defense
Last week’s result: (W) vs. Florida Atlantic, 31–14
Biggest strength: This game was 21–14 at one point and I never once felt even the slightest twinge of “OMG, we might lose to FAU and Lane Kiffin.” That’s how methodically clinical Wisconsin is in winning some of these boring-ass non-conference games. Jonathan Taylor is great and I want to smooch him on the mouth I’m so proud of him. Troy Fumagalli was also great but I don’t want to smooch him... maybe a hearty handshake. Chris Orr and T.J. Edwards were rocks in the front seven and a bunch of dudes had sacks.
Biggest weakness: Ball security wasn’t great. Alex Hornibrook had some rough-looking throws. My beautiful, bulging, bouncing, Brazilian, baby boy Rafael Gaglianone shanked a FG really poorly. A road test against a bad BYU team looms this weekend and hopefully the Badgers have cleaned up some of the minor mistakes that have been nipping at their heels through the first two weeks.
This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at BYU