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Why your celebration sucks: NCAA Football

Turnover chain, my f&%$ing ass!

With Wisconsin on another bye this week, I thought I would take a break from writing about mascots, to write about a popular trend in college football – celebrations.

They feature props, music and unlimited amounts of swag.

Here is a list of some of the more well-known celebratory gimmicks in NCAA football.

Turnover Canes

Creativity must be in short supply as both Morehead State and Texas A&M both celebrate turnovers with a pimp cane and some strutting.

The Aggies have been using their cane since 2017 and it’s not so much a turnover cane as it is a cane used to celebrate any achievement on the field. The Aggies hand out the cane to players on offense as well as defense. Morehead State’s cane is strictly used to celebrate takeaways and was first introduced this season.

I’m sure had Morehead State tried, they could have come up with something a little more individual.

Turnover Belts

Alabama, Colorado State and Ole Miss all use wrestling title belts to celebrate. However, Ole Miss uses the belt in a different way. While Bama and CSU give out the belt for turnovers, the belt that Ole Miss uses is the Nasty Wide Outs Belt. Wide receivers coach Jacob Peeler decided to institute the belt to give players extra motivation in a time when props seem to be the craze in college football.

An equipment manager holds the belt on the sidelines until one of the receivers makes a big play and then takes the belt to celebrate.

However what constitutes a big play?

Can someone grab it after a tightly contested reception for a four yard gain? What if they’re in the hurry up offense and a receiver makes a big play, but cannot grab the belt because of you know…playing football?

This is too much. There needs to be clearer rules associated with this cummerbund.

Turnover Curls

Arizona State celebrated turnovers in a way that only Hans and Franz would be proud of, by pumping up! However, good ol’ Herm Edwards, the ASU coach said “not on my watch,” and put an end to turnover curls after just one game.

Oh, what could have been....

Turnover Throne

During the 2017 season, the Boise State Broncos were yet one other team to feature a turnover belt in its celebrations but, just like with their turf, BSU decided to break from away the rest of college football and be different and introduced the Turnover Throne in 2018. The throne sits upon the Broncos sideline, providing a plush surface for any Bronco to take a load off after forcing a takeaway.

Takeaway Robe

Memphis joined the celebration landscape in 2018 with their turnover robe, designed with the robe that Ric Flair wore in mind. The robe features the Memphis Tigers logo and has the phrase ‘Takeaway Champ’ on the back, thus denoting that the wearer is the… oh you get it.

“It’s next level. I think that’s the best thing we got,” J.J. Russell said. “That’s one of the best in the country, probably.”

I hate to disagree with Russell, but no.

Turnover Beads

Turnover Chain? What? Never heard of it? Sounds lame. This necklace here is the Turnover Bead necklace. Yep, Tulane went there. I wish they hadn’t but they did. The necklace is basically large Mardi-Gras beads.

Turnover Backpack

Yes, that’s correct. Florida State had a turnover backpack. Back in 2018, when a Seminole would force a turnover they would get to wear a backpack on the sideline…cue the Dora the Explorer Theme music.

And yes, it is as dumb as it sounds.

Fortunately, the Seminoles did not bring the backpack back in 2019, so this stupid celebratory prop will no longer be seen. Probably because they figured Alex would commit too many turnovers and it wouldn’t be fun anymore.

Turnover Trash Can

Tennessee’s celebratory prop is exactly what it is: garbage. The Volunteers have a member of their staff hold a trash can on the sidelines with the acronym ‘HTB,’ on it, meaning hide the ball. When a Volunteer forces a turnover, they make a show it dunking the ball into the trash can.

While that is a fun practice, they can’t exactly hide the ball, as teams usually provide the ball they want to use when they have the ball on offense, so you can hide it for a moment, but then you need to give it back…

Club Takeaway

Southern Methodist University enjoys their turnovers a little different and in a far more lit way. When an SMU player forces a turnover, the sidelines erupts into a rave and Mustang players even go as far as popping bottles.

Turnover Chainsaw

I think this may be my favorite of all the celebratory props in the NCAA. Oregon State has a Turnover Chainsaw, because… Beavers.

The chainsaw is passed to those who force a turnover and then revved up on the sidelines.

The chainsaw has been big in Corvallis, and the Pacific Northwest for a long time, with the lumber industry and beavers bringing down lumber themselves. OSU even plays a chainsaw sound when opponents are on third-down.

You would think with all of the history in the Pacific Northwest, OSU would be cool, but you can’t even bring a live beaver or a functioning chainsaw into the Reser Stadium.

How is anyone going to tend to their wood?

Although, even with how awesome the chainsaw is, this is not…

Turnover Plank

Little ol’ Kennesaw State tapped into the nostalgia from my teens and pulled their gimmick straight from the hands of Jonny 2x4, from Ed Edd n Eddy.

Plank says... go get the ball!

Turnover Chain

Last but not least, the celebratory prop that started it all – the Miami Hurricanes started using the blinged out chain in 2017 and it quickly became quite the gimmick. Miami finished the season fourth in the NCAA with 2.4 takeaways per game, meaning the chain was busy.

However, when they played Wisconsin in the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl, they were only able to force one turnover against Wisconsin, a fumble by Jonathan Taylor.

Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who was tied for fourth in the NCAA in interceptions was about to face off against a Miami team, who finished the season with 17 interceptions, managed to take none away from Hornibrook, who thrashed the Hurricane defense in one of his best collegiate games, finishing 23-34, for 258 passing yards and four passing touchdowns. Wisconsin who had no turnover gimmicks, also had 17 interceptions during the regular season, and intercepted Miami quarterback Malik Rosier, three times.

Apart from winning, 34-24, Wisconsin enjoyed clapping back against the turnover chair and trolled Miami, hard.

This past season, in the 2018 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Wisconsin was at it again, winning the turnover battle, 5-1 with four interceptions and a fumble recovery, compared to Miami’s one interception. Oh and Wisconsin also won the game, 35-3.

Goes to show, you don’t need some stupid gimmick celebration to be a ball-hawking defense.