AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. I'm... I'm so sorry this had to happen to you, Memphis.
I take full blame for this, and apologize for cursing you more than Memphis football -- which is improving! -- has already been cursed.
Bobby Fischer. A prodigy who at a very young age was capable of annihilating opponents with a supernatural ease. Jameis Winston was not merely excellent against Maryland. He was awe-inspiring, largely responsible for the worst beating of a ranked team by another ranked team since UCLA's 66-3 erasure of Texas in 1997. The only concern for Winston is the prodigy's curse: that your own expectations are so high from the start that no reality can live up to them and that you go crazy and move into exile in Iceland to escape the world.
Jimbo Fisher's not big on that idea for a lot of reasons, but if you got some fast bigs for the offensive line there, well, he'll consider giving it a visit if Jameis wants to live there in the offseason.
CoMo. Columbia, Mo., the home of the Missouri Tigers, perhaps the country's most unwatched undefeated team and a terrifying landmine just waiting to turn the entire SEC East into a bigger tangle of bodies than it already was before conference expansion. The Tigers just beat Vanderbilt by 23, a much more respectable feat than it used to be, and now face an injury-riddled Georgia team coming off an exhausting road win over Tennessee. Nabbing a victory over Georgia, Florida, or South Carolina sets up the nightmare scenario of three or more teams in an SEC tiebreaker.
Psst: the SEC actually determines this by number of Waffle Houses located within 20 miles of campus, proving that there is a conspiracy against the Aggies to keep them from ever winning the SEC because they do not have a Waffle House in College Station.
Dynastic. The word not brought up when discussing Ohio State's 18-game win streak, at least not by the sane whose bloodstream has not been poisoned by proximity to Central Ohio. Ohio State is a very good football team, and winning 18 in a row in anything is spectacular. These are all granted. What is also assumed is that the Buckeyes have done this against one of the weakest Big Tens in recent history and are thus unfairly robbed of some of that luster thanks to the very fair judgment of "LOL, BIG TEN in 2012-2013."
Evanston. And thus do we diminish beating Northwestern in a thriller and defeating a good Wisconsin team by a touchdown. We beggar down the Buckeyes into the new Boise State, probably relegated to a nice spot in the Rose Bowl at the end of the year or something like that. Even Michigan's mediocrity -- ahem, undefeated mediocrity -- is a plot against them, since it has happened in such an unimpressive fashion as to render a victory over the Wolverines as expected, not as an accomplishment.
It is unbearable to hear the worst of Ohio State's fanbase complain about a vast conspiracy, how the universe is aligning entire galaxies against them to prevent them from getting to the national title. And yet it's so much worse to acknowledge that they're right in the worst way possible: life really does not like you, Ohio State, and wants you to fail even at the peak of your most recent success.
Face-off. Going back to CoMo for a moment: Gary Pinkel seems really excited over the possibility of causing a serious car crash in the SEC East.
Pinkel, out of context: "If you smile, I'm going to tear your face off."— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) October 8, 2013
Gurshall. Aaron Murray, playing without Keith Marshall (gone for the season with an ACL injury) and Todd Gurley, will need to throw to you this weekend to beat Missouri. This is only a slight exaggeration: Aaron Murray has been playing for so long, and has thrown to so many receivers (39 in his career), that you may have caught a pass from Aaron Murray without even knowing it. You then ran it in for a crucial touchdown with time expiring.
Great job, and go Dawgs.
Love, Coach Mark Richt
P.S. Buy Ford trucks.
Howard (see: "Pig"). As in the existing touchback rules in the endzone. Pig Howard, reaching for the endzone, fumbled the ball. By rule, Tennessee not only lost possession, but gave it to the Bulldogs on the 20.
This is our current system for determining what happens when the ball is fumbled out of bounds by yard marker:
At no other point on the field do we award an instant turnover for doing very little. Yet fumble through the endzone -- most often in the act of stretching for that endzone -- and the rules of football suddenly flash a blue screen, scream "YOU ARE NOW IN NEGATIVE WORLD," and not only flip possession, but grant the defense 20 yards because you just, um ... superfumbled? Just call it megafumbling, or bonerfumbling, or THE CHEEZ-ITS HECAFUMBULARITY OF THE DAY, and award it on the one, because this is the "lose if you scratch on the eight ball" rule of college football, and is just as damn stupid.
Immaculate Deception. Just further proof that given time, the Oakland Raiders are capable of ruining everything, including the college football rulebook.
Jadeveon. A limited natural resource, now parsed out in limited doses for the remainder of the 2013 season. Clowney excused himself from the Kentucky game, something a panky-tippin' Steve Spurrier was unhappy with after Carolina's uneven 35-28 win over Kentucky, though he later backtracked a bit. The realistic option would be for Clowney to shut it down, since his aims are professional and the payoffs for his performance at South Carolina at this point are amateur at best. (And even at SEC rates, still nothing compared to what he would/will make in the NFL)
That would be the logical thing, but this is college football, and logic visits monthly and rarely brings gifts. He'll instead play a few games of importance, disappoint, and drive down his draft stock when "scouts" file "reports" about him "not being a team player." That's an error: he's already a member of a team. He just doesn't know which one it is yet, something that will be determined in the draft, something he entered the instant Vincent Smith's helmet flew from his head on the turf at the Outback Bowl.
Kekaula. As in Robert, Hawaii's homer announcer who, as always, was the last man standing in hour 14 of the college football day. Hawaii lost to San Jose State because Hawaii remains a horrible football team, but it was worth staying up an hour later than advised to find out that Kekaula has an 84-square-foot shower room at his house, with seven heads for maximum cleansing of enormous announcers.
Unrelated: he also sings.
Someone felt the need to make several of these, including one set to "Somebody That I Used to Know."
Laissez-faire. Most expect LSU to throttle Florida's offense this week, but consider two things.
First, Florida's offense can't really be strangled if it chokes itself first, which it does with great frequency.
Second, LSU allowed 26 points to Mississippi State this past weekend. Converted to Florida points, that's like 20 points, which would be an incredible number for them and possibly enough to win with. Nonsense, you say? Nick Saban lost to Ron Zook in this rivalry once in Tiger Stadium. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Mea culpa. Mike Davis may have literally tried to add injury to insult against Iowa State, but listen: he's sorry. Sort of. Or not at all, since a loafing DB deserves to have his ACL snapped in two by a late dive to the knees. That's Mike Davis, just going around America leaping at the knees of the laggardly, curing unemployment by creating a service economy dedicated to the needs of the hobbling. Just say you're welcome to this new baron of industry, is what we're saying, and move on to the larger questions like, "Why the hell did Texas need a bailout call in Ames to beat lowly Iowa State in the first place, and when is Mack Brown going to be available for full-time Longhorn Network duties?" (Answer: soon!)
Nice young man. At one point in the UCLA-Utah game, a UCLA defender picked up 6' 7, 240-pound quarterback Travis Wilson, lifted him full off the ground, and began to body slam him, until he saw an official, stopped mid-air, and instead lightly set Wilson down without drawing the unnecessary roughness penalty. We salute your manners and whatever your dementedly strong power clean is, young man.
''I didn't really think about mercy,'' Helfrich said. ''That's a good program, a proud program. We're not in the embarrassment business."
No, Mark Helfrich, you aren't, but Genghis Khan was also just an aggressive realtor with some unusual business strategies and a penchant for dramatic redecorating. Mountain of skulls? An unintentional side effect, since he usually stopped once the Horde got into an offensive rhythm.
"They're hittin' our quarterback late, they'll get what they deserve." - Coach DeRuyter w/ @RalphWoodFox26 before going to the locker room.— Christian Lukens (@ChristianLukens) October 5, 2013
Fresno ended up hammering Idaho 61-14, greatly increasing the chances of Paul Petrino being assaulted for some reason at the postgame handshake later this year. Our money's on their game against Florida State after Idaho defenders are ordered to throw each other like circus tumblers at Jameis Winston's knees. Jimbo Fisher's from West Virginia. He'll start the fight by cracking a mason jar over his head, and let gravity and his boots do the rest.
Quandary. Is Nick O'Leary of Florida State Jack Nicklaus' grandson? If so, is he roommates with someone on the team, and is he taller or shorter than Brock Osweiler? Have we combined every repetitive reference from college football announcing in a single entry, or are we missing a Tim Tebow reference? (P.S. Nick O'Leary is the grandson of Jack Nicklaus, just in case you didn't know.)
Recruiting. We're in, whatever you're pitching, and without questions, Gary Campbell.
Singed. Paul Johnson's seat may be getting to the point of scorching actual pants fabric at Georgia Tech after a fifth-straight loss to Miami, a streak that joins his four-game losing streaks to Virginia Tech and, worst of all, in-state rival Georgia. Paul Johnson doesn't care about this, mind you, but it's all still awkward and true.
Toughened. Never doubt the power of Ron Turner football, since FIU did actually win a game this past weekend by beating Southern Miss, which for the moment still counts as an FBS win for the Panthers. (For the moment.)
Unwinfeated: Temple, New Mexico State, Southern Miss, Miami, Massachusetts, Western Michigan, and Hawaii are all winless going into week seven. Southern Miss is the new leader in the Most Likely to Go Winless category simply by virtue of losing to FIU, one of the worst offensive teams ever seen. That would make the Golden Eagles the losers of 24 in a row if they did it, a new standard in futility dating back to Ellis Johnson's doomed 0-12 2012 season. Follow your dreams, Todd Monken (sometimes they lead you into fatal ambushes).
Veridicious. Truthful, as in this statement: "watch your ass against Utah, Stanford, because any team that can be in a position to win a game despite five interceptions is hazardous to your health."
Waco Nights. The sad novella penned by Spencer Roth, the punter for the Baylor Bears who has just seven attempts on the year and could be spending his time detailing the sad misadventures of a young, underutilized punter just making his way through the hard streets of the heart of Texas itself.
His leg was gathering dust. His dirty heart had been wiped clean by the love of a bandit woman named Maria. His mind? His mind was as wide open as the Texas sky, and his thoughts tumbling around in it like empty jerky bags from a Bucc-ee's.
Xenial. Of our concerning hospitality to guests, like the kind Western Michigan has showed to opponents by having punter J. Schroeder kick to opposing teams 46 times on the season. If there is not a punting exchange program where Roth and Schroeder can switch teams for a few games, one should be invented.
Yerk. To draw tight, bind, or otherwise constrict. Florida plays LSU this weekend, finally providing an answer to whether the Gators can continue to play constrictor ball and win or LSU will simply continue to rip through teams for 40 points a game.
Answer: They'll probably score 40.
Chip Somodevilla, Getty.
Zubaydah. As in Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times in the month of August 2002 with the consent of the National Security Advisor at the time, Condoleezza Rice.
Here is a non-sexist case to be made against the selection of Condoleezza Rice as a member of the new College Football Playoff committee: she endorsed the use of torture. Note: not "enhanced interrogation techniques," or "extreme cuddling," but torture, a practice whose ultimate end is simply more torture.
This is a sport of unpaid labor working under sketchy contracts beneath the auspices of coaches and athletic directors taking an insane chunk of available wages. This is a sport in the throes of denial over a number of health and safety issues, including the idea that your brain might not work properly after even a limited amount of time spent playing it.
But even this filthy marketplace of confidence men and shell non-profits running profitable black market businesses has lines it won't cross. There are some who will even laugh at you for mentioning the committee candidacy of a rogue's choice like Barry Switzer, someone who giddily trampled the rules of amateurism during his tenure at Oklahoma. (That feels weak. Switzer ran a monster truck over them, then hit reverse, and then ran them over one more time before pouring gasoline on them while yelling "WORLDSTAAAAARRRRR" and pointing at the camera.)
Those same people will smile and applaud the bold choice of Rice without an ounce of irony, because this sport has so warped their brains that one minute they will side with the rules of the NCAA and the next minute against those of human decency, the Geneva Convention, and every tenet of even the loosest definition of human rights. I hate it when the stink of politics wafts over into college football, but some stenches should follow you wherever you go for the rest of your life, if only to warn others.
In closing: I'd rather have Jackie Sherrill on this committee than Condoleeza Rice. At least Sherrill limited his torture to livestock, and apologized afterwards.