Every now and then, we are reminded just how valuable a kicker can be. Typically the reminder comes courtesy of ultimate heartbreak, as it did for Missouri in Week 9.
Kicking a small, oddly shaped ball between two yellow poles is a strange enough practice as is. When there is high stress involved, with an entire team sitting on one man’s shoulders, a bizarre task becomes slightly more complicated.
And perhaps “complicated” is just a small portion of the emotion pie.
Elsewhere, Week 9 was all about the bands and the magical things they can muster up. One band was scolded, another spelled out a familiar football word and the Ohio State band continues to dominate the BCS rankings (Band Championship Series, and this should be a real thing).
The end of Week 9 means we have to write “Week 10” going forward, and there is nothing comforting in reaching double digits.
Before we get there, however, here’s what I loved and hated about the week that was.
People wearing costumes over costumes is a tradition unlike any other.
Enter: Minnesota mascot Goldy, one of the game's most underrated characters.
This year Goldy decided to go as Iron Man, and the result is a better version of that costume you attempted to make for your child. He’s basically wearing full catcher’s gear with a flashlight in the middle, illuminating his staple teeth, and the result is rather outstanding.
And because Minnesota beat Nebraska, Goldy will now be required to dress as Iron Man each game. This is not actually a requirement, but it should be.
I didn't hate what Mike Gundy said. In fact, it's the opposite. I hate that we don't hear more coaches spew such amazing things more often.
Bring us more truth bombs.
Early on in the Oklahoma State-Iowa State game, the Pokes were doing whatever they wanted on offense. Offensive mastermind Mike Gundy could sense this, and he offered up deep football analysis to his team on the sideline.
How wide open is everybody? Tell us, Coach Gundy.
The only thing this play was missing was a bounce off the scoreboard and a header from an unassuming fan. Other than that, Miami wideout Stacy Coley pretty much took care of the rest.
Rarely is it a good thing when a football smashes against a wide receiver’s chest. When that player is laying on the ground, however, the scenario changes. Coley got his hands on the football before falling down, and then he provided a trampoline-like bonus for style points.
Unfortunately, no actual points were rewarded for this play, which seems unfair given the level of difficulty.
With ESPN’s College GameDay spending the weekend in Eugene, you expected to see plenty of Puddles—another loveable mascot—before the Saturday slate began. That was indeed the case, and everyone’s favorite oversized duck celebrated the occasion by running right through a hurdle.
Seriously, my sides still hurt from laughter.
Running alongside 2012 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Ashton Eaton, Puddles decided it wasn’t the time to lift his leg. The result is this incredible Vine that requires viewings.
Also, hurt sides for all parties involved.
With Bobby Bowden in the building, the Florida State band decided to honor the former head coach with one word, and no more were required.
That says it all, really.
It’s a simple gesture, but one that feels somehow perfect. Bowden, of course, used this word often while beating pretty much every team he played in his time at school. And that wasn’t all. The Seminoles scored approximately 6,398 points in the first quarter against NC State, which was another nice way to show their appreciation.
You know your team’s band has broken bad when the official has to use his microphone to get his point across.
And if you pegged the Middle Tennessee State band as the first to scolded during a game this season, well, collect your winnings. Also, you should probably see a doctor if you’re thinking about these things.
During Middle Tennessee’s wild game against Marshall, the band had to be told to quiet down for playing while the opposing offense had the ball. There is a rule about these things in the trusty college football handbook, although you’re not supposed to ring cowbells and Mississippi State isn't exactly following up to code at all times.
Translation: Play on, Middle Tennessee. AND MAKE IT LOUD.
Do you remember the video game NFL Quarterback Club 98 for Nintendo 64? You should, it was a fabulous gaming experience, and the graphics were state-of-the-art at the time. Now it would look terrible, but that's not the point.
Perhaps the best part of this game was having the ability to jump over the pile at any point on the field. This meant that you were jumping over a non-pile at your own 15-yard line, and it was glorious.
Iowa State’s DeVondrick Nealy got to do this move in real life, his unbelievable leap coming near the end zone. Unlike our video game history, it was indeed necessary and successful. The resulting slow-mo is a thing of beauty.
Kevin Norwood was on his way down. That might not seem like anything special, but it makes sense when you see the Alabama wideout come down with an absurd catch shortly before hitting the ground.
He was outstretched, using every limb and every fingertip to the max to catch the AJ McCarron throw, and it all made for one of the better plays you will see all season.
Had us mortals attempted this play, the result would have been a torn ab muscle, a dropped pass and an angry Nick Saban. I don’t have to tell you what would have been worse.
Rice running back Jayson Carter is a walk-on who joined the team in 2011. Carter was born with a genetic disorder that has limited his growth, and at 4’9” he is the shortest player in the FBS. He had never logged live minutes in an actual game, although that changed on Saturday.
With Rice in control of the game, Carter got a carry in the team’s win against UTEP. He didn’t break it for a touchdown or really do anything at all with it, but that’s not the point.
The work, time and effort that he has put in paid off in a special moment, one that he will remember forever. This is yet another reason why we love this beautiful game.
Well, this was a new one for everyone involved.
Late in the second half of the Miami-Wake Forest game, a punt was stopped with a distinct whistle blow from an official. The problem? This whistle—which had the distinct ref rhythm to it and everything—did not come from the field.
This came from a crafty, whistle-carrying fan.
Kudos to the officials for making the right call. They looked as thought they had seen it before, which they likely (hopefully?) haven't. Wait, this isn't a thing to do, is it? Let's not make it one.
Leave the whistles at home next to the laser pointers.
BONUS BAND LOVE
This video is nearly nine minutes long, but I promise it's worth it. At this point, the Ohio State band is proving to be the Alabama of bands, and its "Hollywoods Blockbuster" performance on Saturday warrants a watch or four.
There are many amazing things about this performance, but the tyrannosaurus formation is clearly the highlight and a one-way ticket to my heart. Also, this gif from the Michigan portion of the program is simply remarkable.