13 Hours of Me, My Couch, and College Football

Posted: September 18, 2006 in Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports

I love my house, but when it comes down to it, if I’ve got a couch, a big screen television, and a remote control, I’d be happy living back in a tiny Illinois dorm room again (with TK again, of course). This past Saturday, I finally got an entire day where I didn’t have to be anywhere, so I chose to spend 13 straight hours watching college football, including a record 7 games featuring two ranked teams. Here’s my recap of that glorious day with a handful of links to fan blogs across the nation:

1) Syracuse 31, Illinois 21 (Illinitalk) – Fuck me.

2) Iowa 27, Iowa 17 – It looks like Kirk Ferentz has the Hawkeyes back on track as the Cy-Hawk Trophy returns to Iowa City. Iowa’s secret: easy chicks from Homewood-Flossmoor.

3) Michigan State 38, Pittsburgh 23 (Pitt Blather) – Constant television shots of a furry raccoon-like mustache gazing blankly out onto the field as his team gets reamed. Where have I seen this before? Oh right – it was my personal hell as a Chicago Bears fan during the Clinton Administration. I was reminded again how much I don’t miss Dave Wannstedt in my life. Dare I suggest a Pitt alum that would be perfect as a new head coach… Hurricane Ditka?

4) Boston College 30, BYU 23 (2 OT) – A denominational war between the Catholics and Mormans. Wives on compounds across the Rocky Mountain region are still trying to figure out how BYU could lose when BC’s kicker managed to miss two extra points in the same game. Not even the Pope can explain that one.

5) Michigan 47, Notre Dame 21 (mgoblog) – Speaking of Catholics, I’ve gotten a ton of prognostications wrong on this blog, but knowing that Notre Dame was completely overrated this year wasn’t one of them. Michigan’s defense smashed the Irish to grab some honor back for the Big Ten in the wake of Notre Dame waxing Penn State last week. As much as it pains me to say this, it was nice to see the Wolverines expose the flaws of the Irish with so many people convinced that Charlie Weis is a genius. My Notre Dame fan friends have still failed to give me any compelling reason as to why Weis is already next in line for the papacy when he had the exact same record (9-3) in his first season as Tyrone Willingham. However, it’s going to take three or four bottles of Febreeze for me to get rid of the filthy stench of spending three hours cheering for Michigan.

5) Auburn 7, LSU 3 – With the Notre Dame-Michigan game out of hand by the end of the first quarter, this SEC West matchup was fortunately an instant classic that went down to the wire. I picked Auburn to make it to the national championship game and as long as the defense plays like they did on Saturday, the Tigers (the Auburn ones as opposed to the LSU ones – you know you’re a redneck if you put two teams with the same nicknames in the same division in the same conference) are on their way to fulfilling that prediction.

6) Oregon 34, Oklahoma 33 – There needs to be some kind of fashion rule about Oregon not being able to wear its uniforms after Labor Day.

(UPDATE: By now, you’ve probably heard of the messed up call on an onside kick by the instant replay official that resulted in Oregon scoring to win the game (you can see footage of it here), which has subsequently caused the Pac-10 suspending the game’s entire officiating crew and the obligatory death threats from Sooner fans. It’s like Illinois-Michigan in 2000 all over again.)

7) A’s 7, White Sox 4 (Chi-Sox Blog) (baseball break) – Fuck me twice.

8) Southern Illinois 35, Indiana 28
– I saw this score on ESPN’s bottom line and chortled heartily. The Pillow Fight of the Century is set for October 7th in Champaign.

9) Texas 52, Rice 7
– A preview of the Illinois-Ohio State game on November 4th.

10) Northern Illinois 31, Buffalo 13 – Whenever some random person has claimed that NIU would beat the Illini head-to-head, which is something I’ve heard virtually everyday for a couple of years now, I scoffed since no matter what the teams’ records might have been, I always believed that the gap between the talent levels of athletes that are in the Big Ten as opposed to the MAC was too huge. Now, however, I realize that I’m an idiot.

11) Arizona State 21, Colorado 3 – All is right with the world as the stars of Girls Gone Wild beat the snowboarding stoners.

12) Clemson 27, Florida State 20
– I thought Mike Patrick was buried underneath the end zone at the Meadowlands after ESPN decided to use Mike Tirico as its announcer for Monday Night Football, but the “Are you kidding me?!” calls for running backs barely getting back to the line of scrimmage ended up returning for the Bowden Bowl. As a result, my speakers were blown out during Clemson’s stunning march downfield to end the game. All of this occurred after the Tigers (yet another southern team named the Tigers, albeit in the ACC) had 2 blocked kicks that were returned by FSU for scores, which led to Tommy Bowden, in the best sideline interview since Joe Namath tried to kiss Suzy Kolber, proclaiming that he’s never kicking the ball again. This marks the first time that a major college football coach has chosen to employ Frank the Tank’s No Kicking in Madden Strategy. Seeing that I have taken several putrid Bears teams to the Super Bowl with this gameplan (when I say “putrid”, I mean “Moses Moreno is the highest rated quarterback on the team putrid”), I knew that it would catch on at some point.

13) USC 28, Nebraska 10 (Conquest Chronicles) – Matt Leinart’s replacement as the USC quarterback is named Booty. Heh-heh, Beavis.

14) Florida 21, Tennessee 20 – Unlike the Notre Dame-Michigan and USC-Nebraska games, this matchup lived up to the hype with a back-and-forth thriller. Judging by how closely matched this game and the Auburn-LSU tilt were, the claims that the SEC is the top conference in the nation this year are well founded – all four of the participants in the big conference games of the day ought to be in the top ten.

15) Texas A&M 28, Army 24
– What was supposed to be an after-dinner mint to the huge rivalry games ended up being the most exciting contest of the day. When Army stuffed A&M on a misguided decision to go for it on fourth down while still in Aggie territory instead of punting it with less than 3 minutes to go, I thought destiny was on the service academy’s side. It certainly looked to be that way when A&M committed a pass interference penalty in the end zone and Army got the ball on the 2-yard line with only seconds left to go in the game. Alas, the Aggies’ strength and athleticism prevented Army from punching a touchdown in and scoring the biggest upset of the week. While it was a bummer to see an underdog, especially one with our nation’s future military leaders, come so close and not make it, the game summed up the beauty of college football: kids giving it all with heart and passion for the name on the front of the jersey instead of the one on the back. I can’t wait to watch it all again next week.

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