We’re back after a brief hiatus for the election. This column has always been about throwing peanuts at the stage, and honestly it didn’t feel right doing that last week given the seriousness of the moment. Anyone who has a problem with that should feel free to ask for a refund from this website.
The Idiot’s Guide to Week 11 in College Football
COVID-19 over That Poor, Poor Person Who Has To Reschedule All Those Games: As of when I filed this piece, eight games have either been postponed or straight up cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions in place. It shouldn’t be all that surprising—after all COVID numbers are way, way up— but that still doesn’t change that– holy cow there were eight games cancelled? Look, we all knew this year was going to be a little weird with all the cancellations for COVID, that was just going to be a fact of life that we all needed to deal with. I think this week is a sobering reminder, though, that college football, despite doing an… adequate job in the beginning preventing case, are simply not able to to keep the floodgates closed for the time being, and the reality is that, even if everyone isn’t acting like idiots, cases are just going to happen.
Speaking of whom.
Notre Dame over Just… any semblance of common sense or appreciation for reality: Look, I’m generally team field or court storming (ice storming?). I think that there are some real risks associated with storming the playing surface, but if you concede that doing it in some circumstances is fine, then honestly picking and choosing in ordinary circumstances seems kind of silly.
But I think we’ve established we’re not in ordinary circumstances.
So let’s talk about Notre Dame’s students storming the field after beating Clemson.
What’s the opposite of social distancing?
A lot of people are blaming the college students here. To an extent, I think that’s fair, after all, college students are young adults and ought to know better. It should be noted too, that while we make jokes about Notre Dame students going to a school in the middle of a cornfield, Notre Dame students go to school in a city of 101,166 and a metro of 318,586. Those students storming the field can create major problems for people who live in the city who, say, need to shop at the same grocery stores as these students.
But, I’m not going to dunk on them. Perhaps wag my finger at them, but at the end of the day I think I feel pity for them. We have done a poor collective job limiting the growth of this virus, and their college experience looks like no other experience we’ve had, and I think that is worth noting.
With that said, my goodness Notre Dame, you can’t seem to get out of your own way can you? You did such a poor job limiting the growth of the virus when things were better in the world that you were required to put classes online for a hot second, and then it somehow got worse this month! Your president was a major player— along with a professor of your law school— in what had the potential for being one of the most significant super spreader events in the short but developed history of this virus, and he didn’t even wear a mask!
And now, this.
To be fair, the university cracked down and created strict COVID protocols (to which the internet raised its collective eyebrows), but yet again the university is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons related to COVID.
Actions have consequences, and it feels like Notre Dame lacks a true appreciation for the magnitude of those consequences. Corralling large institutions in the age of COVID is hard, and Notre Dame doesn’t have the same benefits that, say, Boston College has with local government looking out for it. But no institution has quite stumbled over itself quite as much as Notre Dame has this semester. And by stumbling over itself, I mean tripping over its shoelaces and somehow getting its feet tangled on the way down. Every institution has struggled, but Notre Dame’s injuries, from its president getting COVID at a super spreader event in Washington to a consistent COVID problem within the football program that led to a postponement of a game earlier this year, seem self inflicted.
At least the president of the university didn’t brag in a major newspaper about how ready they were this summer or anything.
Thursday, Nov. 12
Boise State over Colorado State: Wait, Colorado State beat Wyoming last week by beating them in the air????? Where was this last year, Daz?
Friday The Thirteenth
FAU over @ FIU
Minnesota over Iowa: Alright, complaining about the Minnesota/Maryland game was a putt called a little early.
Cincinnati over East Carolina
Saturday, November 14
Va. Tech over Miami: An unranked Tech is a 2.5 point favorite, which means Miami has to be the softest No. 9 team ever.
Indiana over @ Michigan State: Sparty, I can’t figure y’all out. Oh wait, it’s just because Michigan is bad? Ok, that makes more sense
Coastal Carolina over @ Troy: Coastal for the CFP. That’s the only thing this year is missing.
Marshall over Middle Tennessee
Liberty over Western Carolina
Army over @ Tulane: Is this the only academy game actually being played this week?
Nebraska over Penn State: There are a lot of reasons why this season should not have been played, and there is a compelling argument that the Big Ten presidents had it right the first time not playing football. But doggone, the schadenfreude of seeing Penn State being absolutely terrible this year makes it aaaaallllllllllll worth it.
Rutgers over Illinois
North Carolina over Wake Forest
TCU over @ West Virginia
Kentucky over Vanderbilt: Look, I'm not a fan of Kroger, I always avoided it when I lived in Athens much to the objection of my friends. But the idea of a supermarket purchasing naming rights to a stadium is an intriguing concept that, say, Wegmans should think about looking into. No pressure, but I do accept consulting fees in the form of a Wegmans opening in Chattanooga.
Charlotte over Gardner-Webb
Louisiana over America’s Team
Appalachian State over Georgia State
Fresno State over @ Utah State: There’s an FS2? Fox really said “you know how terrible all of the programming has been? You know what we need. Yet another channel.”
UTSA over UTEP
UAB over North Texas
Boston College over Notre Dame: I’m going to say it. I don’t think Notre Dame is all that good, and I think when BC get the Irish away from the friendly confines of South Bend, I think this is a game that can absolutely be won. This is the best team BC has had in a while, and do you think the Eagles, along with Phil Jurkovec, wouldn’t love to stick a fork in Notre Dame’s CFP chances? Tell me they wouldn’t relish that.
COVID-19 over CBS having a 3:30 game: Yep, COVID even ruined the sanctity of the weekly mid-afternoon SEC on CBS game. Here’s your dose of serotonin:
As an aside, I know the money thing and everything but how can you get rid of a network with theme music that good?
USC over @ Arizona
Houston over South Florida
Generic Directional University in Mississippi over Generic Directional University in Kentucky
Rice over @ Louisiana Tech
Georgia Southern over Texas State
Virginia over Louisville
Stanford over Colorado: Did the Pac-12 really come back? Good for them.
San Diego State over Hawaii
Texas Tech over Baylor
Nevada over New Mexico
Florida over Arkansas: We can blame COVID for Georgia not playing this week, and not sheer embarrassment for losing the World’s Largest Cocktail Party.
Oregon over @ Washington State
SMU over @ Tulsa
Pitt over Georgia Tech
Wisconsin over @ Michigan: Jim Harbaugh isn’t staying past the season is he?
Northwestern over @ Purdue
UCF over Four Seasons Total Landscaping’s Intramural Team
NC State over Florida State
Ole Miss over South Carolina
San José State over UNLV
Cal over @ Arizona State: Our podcast will be back next week.
Utah over @ UCLA
Washington over Oregon State