What I Loved and Hated in College Football Week 13
Cal’s football season is over. For fans of the team, this news likely warranted a parade and a party. It's time to smoke a victory cigar that will also require a name change.
For the rest of us, however, this is a sign that that the season is winding down entirely too fast. Although Cal might be done, this is the beginning of the end.
Enjoy the football while you can, folks.
Week 13 had the upsets. Baylor and Oregon could not muster the offense that is almost assumed on the road, and the BCS picture got a little bit clearer. Things are about to come further into focus with a massive rivalry weekend on deck.
Elsewhere, we saw a fake jump pass win a game (yes, a fake), a ridiculous hurdle on a fake punt, a Purdue crowd that was anything but, one of the most absurd interceptions you will ever witness and so much more.
Before we get all weird on rivalry games, here’s what I loved and hated in Week 13.
LOVED: This Glorious #MACtion Touchdown
As this play transpired in real time, I shouted at my television as if I somehow called the play, like I was the one who made this all possible. I felt emotionally invested in the outcome from my couch.
When a defensive lineman hurdles a defender on a fake punt for a touchdown, we might as well take our handy football reaction chart and throw it out the window. And in a way, we are all invested. This is special.
Kent State’s Nate Terhune is the man who made this possible, and his leap into air on this fake punt is pretty much the most MAC thing you will ever see.
It wasn’t a "FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN" because this man is in very good shape. Instead, it was just amazing #MACtion, and by golly, that’s more than enough.
HATED: To Get in the Way of William Stanbuck
The hit itself was enormous, and the collision between UCF’ William Stanback and Rutgers’ frosh Anthony Cioffi was one of the biggest we’ll see all year.
Stanback—which sounds like the name of a default created player in a video game—should be recognized for his power, no question about it. But if we’re really serious about this whole targeting thing—aka eliminating dangerous hits from football—wouldn’t this classify?
If it were Cioffi delivering the hit on the offensive player, the refs would have thrown their flags like a Randy Johnson fastball. He would have been removed from the game, and that would have been that. As for an offensive player, well, we’re still not sure how to handle this yet.
LOVED: The Fake Jump Pass
A wild sequence of events ended with a modification of a modification of a play. Yes, the jump pass now has a fake jump pass, which can only mean that the fake-fake jump pass will take place at some point.
This is basically the worst sequel of Inception ever.
Regardless, Vanderbilt’s win over Tennessee came courtesy of this lovely little play call. Patton Robinette ran it in from five yards but not before providing a spin on a play that we’ve seen plenty in recent years.
And thus he paved the way for the fake-fake jump pass and the fake-fake-fake jump pass a year or so later. Offensive coordinators just can't help themselves.
HATED: Purdue's Home Crowd
Look, the empty-seat photos have sort of run their course at this point. Typically they come early enough where students are still fully engaged in beer bongs outside the stadium rather than football, and the stadium eventually fills in.
With that disclaimer out of the way, this scene for the introductions at Purdue looks like the crowd for a neighborhood folk band. This isn’t just a bad showing; this is a no showing.
Granted the competition was Illinois, and if someone offered you free tickets to this game, you would make up some family excuse or sprint in the other direction.
With that said, rarely do the seats engulf the people quite like this.
LOVED: Art Briles and This Fabulous GameDay Piece
ESPN’s College GameDay has delivered some superb pieces this year. The latest on head coach Art Briles might be the best yet, and tissues are required before viewing.
If you’re unaware of Briles’ backstory, it’s one where football and unspeakable tragedy are intertwined. The video is nearly five minutes, and you should do yourself a favor and watch it at least once.
You loved Art Briles before, and now you’re going to love him even more.
(Blame allergies if you like or just embrace the good cry.)
HATED: To Get Burned by the Fumblerooski
Let’s paint a picture: The score is 21-0, and you’re playing defense on the team that hasn’t scored a point.
The offense breaks the huddle in some weird formation, and suddenly there are large men sprinting in one direction. You follow those large men—after all, there is a group of them—and the next thing you know there’s a touchdown being called behind you.
That’s what happened to New Mexico on Saturday as Fresno State executed the fumblerooski to perfection. Isaiah Burse ends up scoring the touchdown but not before things got predictably bizarre before hand.
LOVED: This Ridiculous Arizona Interception
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw his first interception of the season in Week 13, and it was one that we’ll remember for quite a while. This wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill turnover; this was a group effort that prompted a massive day for Arizona.
The ball first hit off Oregon’s Bralon Addison at which point Shaquille Richardson flipped it back into the field while going out of bounds. It hit off of Addison again, picking up some spin on contact and then landed with linebacker Scooby Wright who played it perfectly.
I promise, this is not CGI. This is a real play that happened in real life.
HATED: To Interview Mark Dantonio at Halftime
So you’ve just been handed sideline duties for a Michigan State game. Well, that’s unfortunate.
This means, of course, that you’ll likely have to interview Sparty head coach Mark Dantonio at halftime, and there’s a high probability he’ll be salty. He tends to be salty.
When pressed about the clock management at the end of the first half—a solid and reasonable question to ask—Dantonio provided the equivalent of “I’ll pass,” only his answer wasn’t as lighthearted as you playing a board game.
If that’s the way it’s going to be, it’s time to keep him on his toes going forward.
“Coach Dantonio, what is your favorite episode of LOST? How good are cupcakes? Who is your favorite rapper? Am I good looking?”
LOVED: Bennie Fowler's Incredible Catch
Here’s your 2013 Northwestern season in review. Or maybe you could use the Hail Mary loss against Wisconsin. Or perhaps the bizarre field goal Michigan pulled off in roughly eight seconds the week prior.
There is a full catalog of "Oh, that's unfortunate" plays involving the Wildcats from the last few weeks alone.
Regardless, Michigan State wideout Bennie Fowler hauled in a ridiculous touchdown catch thanks to some wonderful hands—well, “hand”—and a little help from the wind. You might be tempted to call this an excellent back-shoulder throw, and no one’s going to stop. But at the very least, give Mother Nature the assist if you do.
LOVED: The Iron Bowl Taking Shape
As the morning slate of football began—much of which was difficult to digest—images began trickling out of Alabama in preparation to next weekend’s Iron Bowl.
Yes, these are RVs lining up for game/tailgating purposes one week in advance. This game is that big, the rivalry that significant, that reserving the appropriate space to be a part of it began a week in advance.
This is basically the SEC’s version of Black Friday shoppers, only with 40000% percent more "Roll Tide."
Good for you, football fans. I can only hope you will spend the days leading up to this game sitting outside your motorized tailgate shelter, sipping cold beverages and smoking turkeys when you please.
College football is simply the best.