This Week In Schadenfreude is a tour of misery inflicted on the internet by college football. It endeavors to pull the vilest bezoars out of the message boards and blogs that make up the intestines of the series of tubes, which are already pretty much intestines. In the VERY FREQUENT EVENT that something horrible happens to Michigan fans, of which I am one, they get it just as hard as everyone except Notre Dame, because obviously.
Whining can be thin on the ground in Week 1, when serious games are few and blowouts many, but a tip of the hat to Jacksonville State for firing up a fanbase that gets ornery real good: Ole Miss. By completing a hopeless fourth-and-fifteen chuck and a similarly hopeless two-point-I'm-getting-sacked-and-shoveling-this-anywhere, the Something Somethings of I-AA kicked off the inevitable:
FIRE HOUSTON NUTT
Hell yes this is a knee jerk reaction. And hell yes, I'm drunk. I don't care. Fire Houston Nutt. Fire Tyrone Nix. Strip all of our defenders of their scholarships. If they're not willing to at least pretend like they're in the SEC, then f--- 'em. F--- 'em hard.
I'm sure certain folks experienced great Schadenfreude in yesterday's loss and my subsequent, justifiably furious reaction. [ed: Correct.] … There won't be a post-game report. There won't be any analysis. Nor is any of that stuff needed. Yesterday, a team which almost has no business being on our schedule, scored on their final six drives, five of which were touchdowns, one of which was a fourth-and-fifteen Hail Mary which was followed by a successful two point conversion. That is beyond bad luck. That is punishment from some ethereal force, some tormenting sports puppet-master who, fresh off of dicking around the New Orleans Saints for forty years, decided to spend a weekend in Oxford.
Anyone who saw the endless Sportscenter loop of what went down can vouch for the total accuracy of this statement, but nevertheless, Ole Miss is 2010's inaugural Tears Of Unfathomable Sadness victor, and Red Cup Rebellion is Scott Tenorman of the Week. A rare double dip.
In conclusion, this is what happens, Larry, when you don't pick Admiral Ackbar as your new mascot. He could have told you this was coming. The rest of the week in spleen after the jump…
To date, North Carolina is the only loser in the conference (Maryland and Virginia Tech play tonight), so they're it by default. And since they saw most of their starting defense shoved out of the lineup for a double shotgun blast of NCAA scandal, have signaled that they're going to get hammered long term by ditching John Blake for being a "distraction," they're pretty miserable.
Can we build upon last night in time to be successful THIS season? Reply
The reason I ask is that we as UNC fans have seen basketball team after basketball team get super-focused for a shot to knock off UNC and play completely over their heads for one night. I HOPE and PRAY our kids can continue to play w/ an "us vs. the world" mindset....I'm just not sure that is realistic.
That's representative of goings-on at the (sparsely populated) message boards on both Scout and Rivals. Either moderators there are fun-hating CENSORS or the question "when does basketball season start?" results in a two-hour conversation about that, leaving little time to vent spleen about the weird guys in the helmets. Elsewhere there's a lot of praise for previously-maligned TJ Yates's role in UNC's stirring, unsuccessful comeback.
This seems like whistling past a graveyard featuring Pete Carroll's College Coaching Career (2001-2009), but if a football program falls to the NCAA axe on tobacco road does it make a sound?
Boo, North Carolina. Boo. You have failed miserably to bring us joy at your downfall.
The Big East got it rougher than any other conference the first week, with three of the four presumed favorites falling. UConn was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Denard Robinson went to ludicrous speed:
Would you be interested in converting your third downs to first downs? We at the First National Bank Of Edsall would like to accommodate your request! … In UConn's only chance to showcase itself against a name-brand non-Big East opponent this year, the Huskies looked more like one of Michigan's typical September MAC cupcake opponents.
Pitt eschewed a chance to win the game in regulation for a series of three field goals, the third of which actually counted, to tie, then threw an interception on the first play of overtime and duly lost to Utah. This is because Dave Wannstedt is from the NFL, where the one thing you never do is make it seem like you lost the game because they fire people for looking stupid there. (In college, you get hired for looking stupid.) This does not sit well with Pitt fans:
I agree- I think it’s pathetic how this clown plays to tie or plays to not lose. He has no faith in his players at all- and he has shown that repeatedly. It’s a slap in the face to these guys. It’s really sad to see- these guys deserve better than to have a coach with no respect for his own players
Comment by Dan35 09.04.10 @ 1:51 pm
Sounds like me five years ago.
We'll get to the third contender in just a second but first some context after Louisville went down against Kentucky, earning Steve Kragthorpe an F-…
Steve Kragthorpe: F- Seriously, how much damage can one man do?
…despite not even being the coach anymore. But the best part of that post is the epic flamewar in the comments between a UK fan and various UL fans that ends up in a customized image smackdown. Also, it's never good when your starting quarterback reminds people of Ben Stiller:
Someone needs to go to the school for teams that can't pass good and stuff ZING.
Now that we've established that Steve Kragthorpe is a worst-case scenario for any Big East team who's just replaced their wildly successful coach with a seeming competent mid-major guy, guess who's coming to dinner at Cincinnati?
The line was incredibly s----y. The secondary was incredibly shaky after the first quarter. Fresno scored on their last 2 drives of the half, and dominated after that. A Zach Collaros fumble turned the tables. A s----y weekend for the Big East, and a s----y start to the Butch Jones era. Hopefully this isn't a Steve Kragthrope scenario, where a Big East program goes to the BCS, the coach leaves, and a mid major coach comes in with some expectations and is in over his head. I'm sure it won't be like that, but the ineptness of the Bearcats made me think it just now. Just ugly.
So that's half the conference cowering at the thought of dreadlocks, calling the head coach a "clown," or thinking about Steve Kragthorpe. This is not a good weekend.
Notre Dame won against a Big Ten team, it wasn't particularly close, and no one's complaining. But ESPN produced a Gameday segment that seemed like its was going to be the usual "bad things happened to team X, but now there is hope!" pabulum. Then they exponentially ramped up the pathos and left out the hope bit. The resulting two minutes is 180-proof Irish schadenfreude:
This is the greatest segment in Gameday history even if it sounds like it was written by an eighth grader who's just finished Oliver Twist. It is beautiful.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, it's mostly quiet as the only losses suffered were by Purdue and Illinois, both of whom expected to lose and don't have anything more than middle-tier bowl (or new coach plz, in Illinois's case) hopes.
Kansas doesn't have much hope in year one of the Turner Gill era what with all of its players in counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, but when grizzled Doctor Saturday calls your box score "the single most depressing box score [he's] ever seen," a trip to the TWIS penalty box is mandatory. So this one's for you, Mizzou fans.
Turner Gill's honeymoon? Yeah… over:
Hopefully TG realizes that all of his talk about "creating a family atmosphere" and "raising young men, not football players" is meaningless if his team can’t handle its business against I-AA teams. I think a lot of us want to buy what he’s selling (who wouldn’t want to support an honorable, successful program that produces good role models for the state?), but this is a results-oriented business.
That cussing business? We want more:
but i think he could have dropped a few F bombs and showed the Hawks he meant business. Win or die trying attitude!
Your team? Probably packing it already:
they’re gonna lose faith in the new coaching staff, who have been selling them on a certain kind of football philosophy that completely failed their first time out.
Two more weeks of this and Kansas fans will be not only openly campaigning to bring Mangino back but hoping he's kept in the basement and fed only broccoli before practice.
Pain was widespread here as well. We'll kick off with UCLA because this column loves nothing more than being able to play "mainstream media columnist or raving message board lunatic?" Paragraph breaks have been removed below to protect the innocent, and make it less obvious.
UCLA is an embarrassment. It's not so much the dropped passes, the missed tackles or the 31-22 losing start to the 2010 season. It's the selfish way they go about business.
Was the offensive line dominant? They were not by any stretch of the imagination, but they were above average and considering the hits that the Bruins have taken at the position, that's a huge accomplishment. Was Kevin Prince good? Nope, but there are reasons that contributed to it.
That's too easy, since the latter has a sentence longer than 10 words, but the former is LA Times Mariotti impersonator TJ Simers, and the later is the relentless, frustratingly patient Bruins Nation, which went from rageoholic, Karl Dorrell-loathing gold mine to lobotomized ritalin fiend when Rick Neuheisel was hired. And they have good reason to riot! Look at this:
On 4th and 3 from the 40, and 4th and 5 from the 36. These are not single-game data points — they continue a trend since CRN got here, which in turn continues the trend from Dorrell, which in turn continued the trend from TD.
Has nobody showed CRN the statistics about punting on 4th and short from within the opposing 40? How come the relentless optimism suddenly relents when it comes to gaining a few yards to keep the ball?
UCLA punted from the opponent's 40 and 36 on fourth and makeable! If this had happened to Michigan I would be pooping in envelopes addressed to Schembechler Hall. Bruins Nation should be red-eyed, spittle-flecked, and ready to pop some guy's eyeball out. Instead they feel gooooood. Someone pull their prescriptions. This lack of aggression will not stand.
Elsewhere in the Pac-10, Washington ate it against BYU and we go searching for the inevitable:
How is Sark different than Ty on gameday?
I waited how long for THAT?
I thought the same thing. Looks like the ghost ot Ty....
is hanging around and infected this staff.
There are actually 13 stages which play out between coaching changes:
1) Post Season Hype. We Competed With The Cougars--beat them badly or even lose to them in stupendous fashion and talk about how you'll be dominant soon. Next year is the Return To Dominance.
2) LOI Day Hype. Another Crop of Fetters' King County All Stars Signs. Incomparable talent pours into the program and Auburndawg gets starstruck while nearly everyone worth an actual damn in the region has gone elsewhere, (J-Stew, Schilling, Mays, Heaps) for better opportunities. How can the Ducks, Cal, Beavers, whomever, possibly compete now?
3) Spring Game Hype. Gold against Purple, Purple against White, It Doesn't Matter. The O-line looks great, the D-line looks improved and no one notices tubs of soft margarine trying to sharpen butter knives. Another year in the system of Actual Coaching will improve everyone automatically come autumn.
4) Summer Hype. Everyone Has Stayed And Worked Harder Than Anyone In The History Of The Game. Piles of goo like Cort Dennison lose five pounds but still have moobs. New weight lifting records are set. The coaches have been learning from their mistakes. Everyone at Montlake will improve because there are no two star players impeding the Return To Dominance. No one has more upside than we do.
5) Fall Camp Hype. No One Will Be Able To Stop Stanback/Locker/Montana. Sometimes this stage is totally ridiculous, such as 10 in '10! and Jake For Heisman.
6) Prediction Time. We Will Be 10-2 Road Winners. Never mind the inconvenient fact that the last road win was in 2007, the Dawgs are going to the Rose Bowl.
7) Reality Sets In. The Team Loses Like Always. The ever elusive low level bowl game seems a pipe dream and the team looks like a decent impersonation of Gilby's and Ty's best teams.
8) Rationalizations Begin, The Coaches Are Being Paid About $3 Million Per Year To Learn On The Job. Bad schemes, bad shot calling, bad execution, bad reads, bad special teams, bad defensive lapses, are all blamed on the predecessor because the alternative is too horrific to contemplate.
9) Season Down The Drain. Birth (Or Rebirth) Of The Negadawg. No need to elaborate.
10) The Fire Coach _______ Website Is Announced.
11) The Conspiracy Theories Are Spun. Does The Upper Campus Hate Football? Do The Trustees Want the Husky Stadium Site For Its Real Estate Value?
12) Name Your Favorite Coach To Replace Coach X. Big Names Are Floated But None Are Realistic. The doogs do not realize that UW is no longer a destination job, but a career killer. Undeterred, they believe the coaching savior of choice will come to be the Next Don James Forever. After getting shaken down for pay raises by coaches nationwide, the final stage is. . . .
13) Hire The Next Incompetent Coach For More Money Than The Last One. Then, restart the cycle for the new hack at Step 2, with stories about what a wonderful job he did salvaging the latest class of Fetters' King County All Stars. Apologist Doogs for the new guy are on the job immediately while the old line Dawgs just shake their heads at the insanity of it all. Meanwhile no one fires the UW President.
"Canard" wins the internet this week.
Ole Miss was covered above and the rest of the SEC not named Vandy won, but that doesn't mean Florida enjoyed it very much. SBN's own Orson Swindle:
-IF YOU HAVE A CENTER WHO CAN SNAP THE BALL PLZ SEND HIM TO GAINESVILLE MY GOD THE HORROR.
That'll do it. Next week teams play each other! Woo!
For more Brian Cook goodness, become a fan of SB Nation's College Football BlogPoll Facebook page.