The Petulant Graduate Presents: College Football's Five Worst Moments of Week One
The arrival of college football on campus is a significant moment on the calendar year -- it marks the beginning of fall, and most importantly, 12 hour days spent either on the couch or at the tailgate. There are upsets, there is heartbreak. There is sweet, glorious football again.
But not everything smells like roses. In fact, there are many moments, to paraphrase my boy Andre 3000, that "really smell like poo-poo-poo." Some of these are particular instances and some of them are general themes that echo across an entire weekend, or even an entire season. We will examine these, and appreciate your future nominations or corrections in the comments.
1. ACC Football
Like any good dead horse, the ACC's utter failure in the first weekend of 2008 will be beaten mercifully into the ground via countless Sportscenter replies and verbal thaththayings between Lou Holtz and Mark May, so let's go ahead and get it out of the way -- the Atlantic Coast Conference = FAIL. Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina, Clemson was flat out embarrassed, NC State didn't score on national television, North Carolina and Maryland beat McNeese St. and Delaware by a combined 14 points and Virginia got rooster-slapped by USC at home.
Boston College, Miami (FL), Georgia Tech, Duke and Florida State were the only non-embarrassments of the weekend, and the Seminoles didn't even play. And if you think that will last, well, you're crazy. I feel like I've mentioned this 40 times between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, but we might legitimately be headed for a Wake Forest (the only legit top 25 team in the conference, perhaps?) - North Carolina Championship Game. And that's a scary thought indeed.
2. Dr. Lou
Please, please, puh-lease bring back Lou Holtz' pep talks. It's not that they were so good, it's just that the Dr. Lou segments on ESPN this year are absolutely brutal. Seriously, watch this, and tell me you don't cringe. You can literally hear Lloyd Carr trying not to laugh/cry for Lou as he phones in his question. It's just so pathetically obvious that he didn't strike through the "Employee will perform any and all activities, however humiliating, related to promotional items for ESPN, its parent companies, successors, assigns and/or subsidiaries, requested by Company" clause in his contract when he signed on a few years ago that it hurts.
3. Faith in Dave Wannstedt
With all due apologies to Mr. Rich, why on Earth was Pitt ranked number 25 in any national poll? Did said pollsters focus solely on a late season upset of West Virginia from last year and decide to entirely exclude the importance of head coaching in the success that a college football team has? Because it surely would seem that way, as the Mustache fell fast and fell hard, with Pittsburgh dashing any BCS hopes early and often with a loss to Bowling Green that involved typical Wanny-like offensive impotence in the second half.
4. Leaving Your Starters In a Blowout
I saw this happen with Mark Sanchez (wasn't he about to miss the entire season like three weeks ago??) and of course ... Beanie Wells. Yeah, ouch. Wells has "heard a pop" and might have "turf toe" according to various reports, none of which are going to make OSU feel any better when USC wallops them later this season. The point of all of this is that if the game is in hand -- it only need be firmly in hand, a la double digit lead against Youngstown State or 30 point lead against Virginia -- you don't need your stars to be playing. If Beanie's got 100 yards, pull him. Either that or don't schedule cupcakes every game every year and play him the whole time. Whatever.
5. "Beamer Ball"
Frank Beamer's teams, in case you haven't heard, are apparently quite good at special teams. So good, in fact, that when they make a play on special teams that results in something beneficial happening for Virginia Tech, the announcers scream "Beamer Ball!" and everyone prances around the booth and the sideline in a goiter-worshiping dance of sorts. The problem is, at this stage, it's gone a little too far. When Va Tech accidentally launches a kickoff into the ground and then East Carolina muffs the return and the Hokies recover -- that, folks, is not "Beamer Ball". Please learn the difference and stop making stupid references to a played out theme.
None of this is to say that the first week of college football wasn't a tremendous success (unless, again, you're the ACC); because it was. But with every flourishing enterprise, there are innumerable failures. If you think a bigger failure existed, make sure to point it out in the comments. Otherwise, FAIL on, and until next week.