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The Alphabetical, Week 4: Shoot that weekend into a sun (not our sun)

College football has had weekends that ugly and pointless before. Pray we don't have to witness another one for a long time, though.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ann Arbor. In 1957, men scheduled like men for a lot of reasons. For one, women weren't allowed in college athletics for the most part, and certainly not anywhere near the decision-making apparatus. Another factor: the college football season at the time was a mere nine games long, making the sport 75 percent of what it is today by volume.

Just look at Michigan's schedule for the year. Marvel at the wall-to-wall masculinity. It's like expensive wood paneling for the eyes.

G Date Day School Opponent Conf Pts Opp W L T Streak Notes
1 Sep 28, 1957 Sat (10) Michigan @ Southern California PCC W 16 6 1 0 0 W 1
2 Oct 5, 1957 Sat (10) Michigan Georgia SEC W 26 0 2 0 0 W 2
3 Oct 12, 1957 Sat (6) Michigan (2) Michigan State Big Ten L 6 35 2 1 0 L 1
4 Oct 19, 1957 Sat (18) Michigan Northwestern Big Ten W 34 14 3 1 0 W 1
5 Oct 26, 1957 Sat (20) Michigan @ (14) Minnesota Big Ten W 24 7 4 1 0 W 2
6 Nov 2, 1957 Sat (12) Michigan (3) Iowa Big Ten T 21 21 4 1 1 T 1
7 Nov 9, 1957 Sat (11) Michigan @ Illinois Big Ten L 19 20 4 2 1 L 1
8 Nov 16, 1957 Sat (18) Michigan Indiana Big Ten W 27 13 5 2 1 W 1
9 Nov 23, 1957 Sat (19) Michigan (3) Ohio State Big Ten L 14 31 5 3 1 L 1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/22/2013.

Not a score in the 40s, and not a weak non-conference link on the bill ... from this perspective, at least. USC was a 1-9 team in 1957. Georgia went 3-7. In fact, there are only three teams with winning records on this whole schedule: Michigan State, Ohio State, and Iowa. The rest is mediocrity or worse, and by worse we are talking about the winless 1957 Northwestern Wildcats. (Coached by an obscurity named Ara Parseghian, who disappeared several years later and was never heard from again.) This is relevant to this weekend, both because it is more interesting than almost anything that happened, and also because it makes a point about college football scheduling being uneven even back in the days when the Big Ten was allegedly really good at things (I.e. a long, long time ago).

Bethune-Cookman. You can still complain about this weekend in college football, and the kind of scheduling that resulted in four teams scoring over 70 points against helpless, prone opponents left to rot in the late September sun. You should: on the whole, the addition of the 12th game in the schedule has done a lot to service athletic department debt at Savannah State, and very little to entertain you, the fan. This is invalid if you find Savannah State playing a 12-minute quarter against Miami to be entertaining. It could be, if you thought of it as a lightning round, and if Savannah State got to play with two balls at once.

P.S. They'd probably just have both stripped and returned for touchdowns, or throw a true double pass, have the balls collide in mid-air, and then fine, you're right. This is a terrible idea. We should still try it, if only to see a linebacker carrying two balls into the endzone off a double fumble recovery. Yes, dribbling does count as possession if you're whistling while doing it.

Caniformia. Please excuse Baylor -- the Bears, from suborder Caniformia -- from this discussion. They are made to score 70 points. They do so almost on accident. They scored 70 on a good and deeply experienced ULM team, and you should praise them for not scoring 100, since they sat on 70 at the end of the third quarter. Let's say that again for effect: Baylor sat on 70 points. You're still the king, Jack Pardee.

DeQuan Daniels. The leading rusher for the Savannah State Tigers with one carry for 75 yards and the lone touchdown on the day for Savannah State. In their past three games against FBS competition, DeQuan Daniels is the only player to score for the Tigers. It's a run of 216 points to DeQuan's 7. Give DeQuan the $395,000 Savannah State was paid for the game. He is a college student. He will do terrible, reprehensible things with that money like paying his bills, buying food, and other things frowned on by the concept of amateurism.

Edacious. Gluttony, as in the kind where you still see a 12th game, take it despite the low quality, and eat it no matter what it contains or how badly it poisons your appetite. You can take the following from this weekend if your team played someone like Bethune-Cookman: If you enjoyed it for any more than two minutes, you are a sadist of the first degree or a crashing bore who really DID want to see what the third-stringer could do against inferior competition.

For the record: Cardale Jones got carries this weekend. THAT Cardale Jones.

F#$% It.

That's how bad it is: Kirk Herbstreit giggling like a schoolgirl at basic profanities and the city of Fargo showing the hell out for GameDay are the two best things about Week 4 of the 2013 college football season. Just know that's where we're starting. The floor is all the way down there. It will be several hundred feet lower by the time we finish.

We had to start with a schedule from 1957 to let you know that college football has always been sort of uneven, and is just continuing a proud tradition of throwing puppies to the lions. And with that said, the rest was a unique vintage of crap we almost wish we hadn't eaten.

Graham. As in Moonlight, and as in players who may have only one game to their name as athletes, and particularly as college football players. I hope that isn't the case for Nathan Peterman, and that he has a long, successful college football career somewhere. I hope he doesn't finish after getting his first start in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, playing against the SEC's best defense as a redshirt freshman, and going 4/11 for four yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions, and a fumble. I hope he gets a chance to have a better QB rating for his final game than a 3.8, the lowest total I can remember anyone having in the history of me remembering random QB ratings.

Henig. As a means of comparison, Michael Henig of Mississippi State in 2007 threw six interceptions against LSU and still finished with a 32.4 rating for the day. You either have to be set up for perfect failure or be perfectly awful to garner a 3.8 rating as a QB. Nathan Peterman might have been both on Saturday, but his body wisely protected him from further harm by allowing its hand to get injured, thus excusing him from the rest of the game and further pain. Struggle is to be expected for a young QB, but disaster like that takes teamwork and coaching. (Which, on Saturday at least, Tennessee had.)

Intermediation. Please, sir, talk to my press agent and leave me be. No interviews. NO INTERVIEWS, I SAID:

If you are running from a vampire and Jordan Hall is the other person there, you're dead, basically. He will shoot the hostage. He will run away laughing while the bear eats you.

Jug O' Milk. Week 4 was so sad that WAC Memorial Game of Boise State-Fresno State truly was the best game of the weekend. That came out wrong: Boise State-Fresno State should have been great anyway, both because Fresno State is wildly aggressive and because Boise State is still Boise State. (Diminished somewhat in its current state, but still.) Boise's lead receiver was some random Dutch dude you've never heard of, and yes, they did get a two-point conversion on a desperate trick play late. The difference is that they lost, which seems to be a thing in 2013 for Boise, and not something anyone is used to when discussing the Broncos.

They also lost the Milk Can, America's least transportable trophy by content. (Hell, the Battle of the Bones ribs might make it further, even on a hot day.)

Kismet. Should have seen that second loss coming, though, Boise. After all:

BU: "Boise Unravels." Lldogs? TWO L'S. AS IN TWO LOSSES FOR YOU, BRONCOS. Just read the signs, sheeple. They're everywhere if you look hard enough.

[/takes hit of Houston Nutt's mind-control gas from hospital mask]

Leavings. Marshall wide receiver Davonte Allen dropped a perfect fade from QB Rakeem Cato to end Marshall's chances in the third overtime against Virginia Tech, proving again that Frank Beamer's strategy of waiting for the other team to screw up while playing great defense really is a great way to enjoy a 30-year coaching career. It's unwatchable, and sometimes results in two scoreless overtimes, but remember: that's not close to this year's current standard of unwatchable overtime games.

Mallet. Stanford's got this hammer, and it's what Stanford's got for every situation. So if Arizona State, pummeled into a 29-0 coma by halftime, wakes back up and decides to mount a comeback, Stanford is just going to use this hammer to readjust the patient's attitude. They might just run eight straight times to burn the clock in the fourth quarter, set up for a final field goal, and all but squash whatever rallying nonsense you're doing, Sun Devils, because that's the forecast in Stanford now, and for as long as David Shaw is in charge. Hammer rain, then a drizzle of hammers, and then just more hammer showers steadily throughout the day until nightfall.

Nagging. As in the feeling that in year two under Todd Graham, Arizona State is mostly a uniform redesign, a rebranding with Disney, a lot of new paint, and the same team with three or four really gifted players playing on otherwise mediocre squads. Todd Graham's gonna flip this house, though, new contract extension and all. Just watch him.

Oenophile. Like Dick Vermeil, the legendary NFL coach who hired Greg Robinson as his defensive coordinator at Kansas City after Robinson coached on not one, but two Super Bowl-winning Broncos teams, and who then cried as he watched Robinson resign from the job after the Chiefs defense collapsed under his watch. Vermeil didn't understand it then, and probably doesn't understand how Robinson -- after participating in some of the worst collegiate coaching of the past decade -- got the Texas defense to play reasonably well in a 31-21 win over Kansas State. Then again, maybe Dick Vermeil knows something we don't: that Greg Robinson's entire career as a football coach is an exercise in proving experts wrong about everything, and not just the negatives. (Also, Kansas State may simply not be very good this year, but confounding the variables seems to be part of the Robinson process, too.)

Palmiped. Web-footed. Just like Alabama against Colorado State, proving that even great programs phone in games. AJ McCarron agrees that Week 4 is the worst.

Alabama should openly conduct Ole Miss film study on the sidelines the next time this happens, just to alleviate hyperventilation over a sloppy win.

Queried. Please say someone is going to ask Nick Saban again this week if his emotions over taking the Cleveland Browns job in the offseason clouded his focus for the Colorado State game, if only to vary up the "Jobs Nick Saban Is Rumored To Be Uninterested in, But Let's Talk About Them Anyway." That list, for the uninitiated:

  • The Dallas Cowboys
  • The Arkansas Razorbacks (split with Cowboys job for Jerry Jones' pleasure and $20 million a year)
  • The Texas Longhorns
  • The Cleveland Browns
  • The Miami Dolphins (because he left some stuff there)
  • USC (literally no one has said this, but let's diversify here)
  • The Montreal Alouettes (CANADA GOT THAT SHALE OIL MONEY)

Please let us know if Nick Saban is not considering another job he will not take, so we can set the internet on fire with that, too.

Ron Turner Update! Two first downs, zero points, and 30 yards of offense against Louisville in a 72-point loss for Florida International. This may be my favorite Yahoo! Top Performer box ever:


Hold it down, Ya'keem Griner, since no one else at FIU is.

Screwed. By officiating, one NC State team that imploded after a long Bryan Underwood run was called back when an ACC official announced that Underwood had stepped out of bounds. This would have been a fine call if he had stepped out of bounds. This is Underwood totally not stepping out of bounds on that play.

NC State would fumble a few plays later, Clemson would score, and the rest of the game was a sad exercise in watching a team pick the shards of its composure off the floor. The only consolation for the Wolfpack may be that their state rivals UNC got the same blend of bad officiating and subsequent auto-destruct down pat in Atlanta in a loss against Georgia Tech, and had to do that in a bleary rain while getting their knees sawed off by patented Yellow Jacket cut-blocking.

Typo. The box score says Memphis beat Arkansas State 31-7 and had over 500 yards of offense and NOPE NOT REAL LIFE MOVING ON--

Unblemished. The scoring column for West Virginia in their first shutout since the year 2001, a 37-0 loss to Maryland, a school that if our memory serves us had 18 people on scholarship last year, all without functioning ACLs. Randy Edsall, we're not sorry for the jokes last year, because they were fun and you are paid a gross amount of money to coach a child's game. We do want to know how to blank Dana Holgorsen, or what horrible blackmail you have against him. (Because it has to be spectacular, and probably involve nukes, money laundering, and casinos built in abandoned coal mines in West Virginia.)

Volacious. Fit to fly, which flyboy Troy Calhoun is not after the rematch between Wyoming and Air Force that ended with a 56-23 score on the board and 511 yards of offense and four TDs for quarterback Brett Smith. Christensen said he and Calhoun had a nice conversation before the game. They probably didn't have one afterwards.

Words hurt like fists, Mike. If you tell a Petrino "fuck you," is it even considered a profanity? It probably shouldn't be.

Xtremely interesting things we learned this week: Nothing. Delete everything from this week, and throw the Tennessee-Florida game down a well. Place everything but Boise State-Fresno State in the well, too. Seal the whole thing with concrete. Then encase that whole thing in lead. Have it fired into a star, but not that sun. That's the only sun we get. It provides us with life, and doesn't deserve to be fed subpar food like this week.

Did you forget the Michigan-UConn game? Oh, you better not have forgotten it. That's like the successor to Tennessee-Florida's outbreak monkey for bad football, and it has to go in there, too. Shoot it all into a star. Reboot for next week.

Yet. Fine, you can keep Johnny Manziel hugging six-year old cancer patient Charlie Dina after the Aggies victory over SMU.

Toss the rest, but keep that.

Zoanthropy. The delusion that one is an animal. See: Dominique Easley. (Spoiler: is not a delusion in Easley's case, since he is a strange beast with amazing powers.)

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