THE MAIN CHARACTER, Week 2: Ok, NOW it’s college football season
Welcome to the weekly college football wrapup that recognizes this sport is about nothing but feelings, primarily about enjoying the bad ones suffered by people besides you.
It’s nothing but feelings, all the way down. Made-up polls determine which teams get the most attention and best postseason invites. Friendship clubs founded 100 years ago determine which teams get to call themselves “powers.” Recruiting is about the feelings of 17-year-old boys, and even head coaches can vanish because some booster gifted the wrong color BMW.
So the college football internet is a potent stew. One does not watch one’s team win and then log off. No. One must maximize the advantage, storming rivals whose teams did not win, because the actually impactful Feelings Market never stops fluctuating. And if one’s team loses, there’s always punching down on somebody who had a worse weekend. Almost always.
Each day on twitter there is one main character. The goal is to never be it
— maple cocaine (@maplecocaine) January 3, 2019
Stream live college football games every week this season from conferences across the country on ESPN+.
Let’s see which of this week’s cast members earned MAIN CHARACTER honors.
As called on Florida State radio: pic.twitter.com/DPEsUnlgoi
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 12, 2021
OH MY GOD THEY DONE CLAIM STAKED THE LOGO pic.twitter.com/RwhUFpiA7d
— Fire Blake James (@Franklinaire) September 12, 2021
the thing about losing to jacksonville state is it doesn’t just hurt; it hurts 11 years later
or so i’ve heard
— Alex McDaniel (@AlexMcDaniel) September 12, 2021
FSU coach Mike Norvell is now 3-8, now responsible for FSU’s first FCS loss and biggest upset loss ever, and now more than halfway to the 21 games Willie Taggart got. Anyway, Clemson, Miami, UNC and Florida are up soon.
How’s your morning going? pic.twitter.com/jIQxSGWXaq
— Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) September 12, 2021
It’s actually awesome that we rank the Longhorns so highly every preseason. How else could we gain this much joy from them losing by 19 against a team they’re signing up to play more often?
HORNS DOWN FOR THE GOODEST TWEET pic.twitter.com/tHxopeLwAu
— Chris Driver, Horns Down (@Jerkwheatery) September 12, 2021
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) September 12, 2021
Give us Coastal instead. We can’t be diluting the conference with Big 12 castoffs https://t.co/nyvEkKTyir
— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) September 12, 2021
Texas is having a lot of issues handling the 30-50 feral hogs running wild in their yard.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 12, 2021
when everyone saw you puke at orientation pic.twitter.com/73r5xz45dQ
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) September 12, 2021
FOURTH DOWN STOP pic.twitter.com/Yc5IjJbeOJ
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 12, 2021
— Message Board Geniuses (@BoardGeniuses) September 12, 2021
— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) September 12, 2021
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 12, 2021
issuing correction on a previous post of mine, regarding Texas football. They are not, under any circumstances, "back, folks."
— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) September 12, 2021
But, hey, they’ll all stay for the Eyes, right? https://t.co/moCQkziris
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) September 12, 2021
— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) September 12, 2021
Texas showing up at Big 12 HQ tomorrow with a fruit basket & an apology note: pic.twitter.com/WLEcpPkhmd
— Outsider (@outsider) September 12, 2021
if you can make it work in the big 12 do so….
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) September 12, 2021
Not this time. pic.twitter.com/tWRzlZuFh8
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 12, 2021
Notre Dame football on some app or whatever
For the second week in a row, the Irish won, but at what cost? (The cost this time: $4.99 a month.)
Entering the day, it was clear putting one of the country’s most-watched teams on a second-tier streaming thing was going to provide afternoon comedy.
Notre Dame dads on youth soccer sideline taking about the game today.
Me: you got your Peacock all set up?
Them: what’s that?
— Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) September 11, 2021
Comedy ensued. The Watch Grid tried to warn you, Irish fans. To dip a toe into Notre Dame internet after this game’s kickoff was to encounter confusion, outrage, boycott threats and young people speaking like old people. That’s the same as Notre Dame internet any other time of week, sure. And to be fair, it did sound like a bad time.
Looks like Peacock has a nearly two minute delay to real time. https://t.co/xPlT8lDyf9
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) September 11, 2021
This is how bad the delay was pic.twitter.com/7ZWXZ0TPs9
— Chris W. (@rakesofmallow) September 11, 2021
So my dad didn’t want to get Peacock for the Notre Dame game…..good thing we’re friends with the neighbors 🤣 pic.twitter.com/XrsoXA7ZHP
— Megan Smedley (@Megan_WNDU) September 12, 2021
But with benefits for the locals! Those of us who’ve come to think of NBC broadcasts as Notre Dame state media can only imagine how much Rudy/Gipper/Te’o hagiography was going on once fans were actually paying for a broadcast.
this peacock broadcast is everything ND haters think the NBC broadcast actually is, just blatant propaganda. ND homers everywhere, full pregame experience, etc. Can't say I mind this occasionally after 2 decades of rival QBs on color commentary
— PAK (@papaalphakilo) September 11, 2021
Everyone eventually made their peace with the whole thing, especially those of us who were just rubbernecking.
There’s only one thrilling mystery series involving vague allusions to Catholic theology I care about on your network, Peacock pic.twitter.com/dPZlaZcKYl
— Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) September 11, 2021
Watching the ND game via Twitter. As Scorsese intended
— tricerapops (@tricerapops) September 11, 2021
The @ShutdownFullcas was talking about the segment of monsters who have Peacock for both Notre Dame and WWE purposes.
I instantly felt shame. More than usual.
— Andrew Hammond (@ahammFreePress) September 12, 2021
If Drew Brees can grow hair again you can figure out streaming on Peacock. pic.twitter.com/dvP3GIhnGy
— 18 Stripes (@18stripes) September 11, 2021
Everybody wanted to experience the game on Peacock, instead. https://t.co/lAA2ZMrTdN
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 11, 2021
2011: With streaming we'll be able to watch whatever we want, whenever you want!
2021: It costs an extra $9.99 per month to see Office reruns and Notre Dame losing to MAC teams
— The Give Smart Guy (it's back!) (@BobbyBigWheel) September 11, 2021
Brian Kelly probably wishing he had actually executed his team earlier this week.
— Brady McCollough (@BradyMcCollough) September 11, 2021
well at least when brian kelly says he wants to murder his players no one will know pic.twitter.com/F79TozJzsm
— charles (redzone 1-0) mcdonald (@FourVerts) September 11, 2021
The Cyclones losing to Iowa is really normal, even if Vegas was too high on the home team. I want to show you only four things.
That kind of day in Ames pic.twitter.com/fCzZ4gCAEQ
— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) September 11, 2021
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) September 11, 2021
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 11, 2021
Nothing says Iowa football like high school wrestling highlights of the starting center during a methodical clock-killing drive with half a quarter to go.
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 11, 2021
The Canes had an up-and-down weekend. They delivered the weekend’s most dramatic heroism…
— Yianni Laros (@Yiannithemvp) September 11, 2021
— Karen Howell (@karenehowell) September 12, 2021
… but also struggled with Appalachian State. And:
Mercer scored more against Alabama than Miami did?!?!?!?! https://t.co/fVJQw9szrr
— Curt Weiler (@CurtMWeiler) September 11, 2021
— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) September 11, 2021
It’s kinda wild that Ohio State, Texas, Tennessee, USC and FSU lost upsets, while Miami and Notre Dame almost lost upsets, and only one or two of those register as really big deals. Imagine how much that list of results would shock a time-traveler from 1995-2005.
Hell yeah I'm down with OPP*
— Chris Laporte (@LaporteReporte) September 11, 2021
The American Athletic Conference
For the second week in a row, the AAC appears in this space largely due to off-field events.
Cincy, UCF, and Houston break the news to the AAC pic.twitter.com/t7zzHxmv1F
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 11, 2021
My wife leaving me for her personal trainer shows what I’ve been trying to say all along: I deserve credit for marrying the type of spouse who would be sought after by someone as desirable as a personal trainer. You could argue that I am, in fact, a personal trainer myself. https://t.co/5QmRlRBnnV
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 10, 2021
Cutting even more deeply, this happened after a summer of conspiracy theories about the AAC angling, with powerful friends, to eat the Big 12. My my my, how the table doesn’t turn at all because it was always in this exact position.
Damnit, so we aren’t getting Temple v. Baylor on the award winning American Athletic Conference Network.
— Nick Simon (@Nick_JSimon) September 3, 2021
The AAC will rebuild, adding some teams from the Sun Belt or Conference USA or FCS or whatever. But of course the AAC will rebuild. The AAC has been rebuilding since it was called the Big East.
RIP to the American Athletic Conference, where the only thing every school had in common was they wanted to leave https://t.co/ApbYJ2Xjtp
— UConn football endurer (@NoEscalators) September 3, 2021
The Big 12
The conference was the MAIN CHARACTER of the entire offseason and most other realignment discourse for the last decade. But it finally had a good day on Friday, adding four competent programs, making itself more entertaining, and likely staving off its own breakup.
And then what was the revived Big 12’s very first football showcase? Why, that’d be the Kansas Jayhawks losing for the second year in a row to Coastal Carolina, who started playing football in 2003. And KU didn’t just lose, KU failed to cover a 27-point spread. ARE YOU SURE YOU CAN HANDLE POWER-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL, CINCINNATI?
New Big 12 members watching Kansas right now: pic.twitter.com/Z0C6nH4snC
— BBS (@BurritoBrosShit) September 11, 2021
It’s also clear the past decade of Big 12 Discourse is only being swapped out for a new Big 12 Discourse. (Judas fell to No. 4 because falling is Judas’ whole deal.)
This sign, y'all. Going to be an interesting year of road games for Texas and OU. pic.twitter.com/uAIeX5jbjm
— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) September 11, 2021
Otherwise, college football internet cruised into Realignment Is Official mode, featuring satisfying spins on the things we all say every time teams change leagues.
Big 12 Legend Joseph Smith.
— The Smoking Musket (@smokingmusket) September 10, 2021
And now we’re all in the process of updating our lifelong-fan conference boasts.
Old me: AAC > BIG12
New me: Kansas would beat Bama in Tuscaloosa
— Beat Louisville (🙏4KZ) (@TheRealTCG3) September 11, 2021
But no matter what, there’s one thing we can all find joy in.
BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston all have more wins in the last 10 years than the Texas Longhorns happy Friday gang
— Evan (@EvanHebert) September 10, 2021
What follows is the Trojans’ entire highlight reel from their 42-28 home loss to Stanford.
This is why we can't let kickers wear a number in the forties https://t.co/TUJqrNPqFp
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 12, 2021
This was followed by hours of calls for USC to fire Clay Helton, as if those calls have ever done anything before.
How many weeks did it take USC football to unravel? pic.twitter.com/HEmCZs2VLL
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) September 12, 2021
THE MAIN CHARACTER, Week 2: Ohio State
If you work in sports media for a while, you develop a sense of a typical season’s phases. You know, without even looking at a forecast or a schedule, how Week 9 usually feels and works unlike Week 13. You give personal nicknames to different times of day, from the Big Ten’s Bob Evans punts breakfast to the SEC’s six-hour bro-country concerts interrupted by football to Pac-12 after dark, all based on biorhythms.
Well, here’s a little mantra some of us have thrown around over the years: “The season don’t start until Ohio State loses.”
Nothing changes the universal mood more than a Buckeye stumble, not even a Bama loss, because we all know Bama’s always making the playoff anyway. So many people care about Ohio State winning, and therefore so many people care about Ohio State losing.
Well, the season has now started.
— Big Boi (@BigBoi) September 11, 2021
Going to be a long defensive film session tomorrow or whenever next practice is for the BUCKEYES🌰. 🤦🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 11, 2021
Per @ESPNStatsInfo … Ohio State’s defense is allowing 6.2 yards/rush today… BEFORE CONTACT!
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) September 11, 2021
Ohio State’s defense trying to stop Oregon: pic.twitter.com/NfbZa2mjNT
— Hunter Miller (@MillerHHunter) September 11, 2021
— Steven R. Walker (@Steve_R_Walker) September 11, 2021
— the thicc husband & father (@lukeisamazing) September 11, 2021
Week 1: Oregon 31, Fresno State 24
Week 2: Oregon 35, Ohio State 28
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) September 11, 2021
Oregon safety Marko Vidackovic walked past a group of recruits who were on a visit to Ohio State and looked absolutely stunned.
“You boys better come to Oregon.”
— Jarrid Denney (@jarrid_denney) September 11, 2021
uh O-H pic.twitter.com/Q6iOsrHRg9
— THE oregon duck (@TheOregonDuck) September 11, 2021
Someone left a rubber duck in the middle of the Ohio State logo pic.twitter.com/gdm7FbcDTJ
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) September 11, 2021
And finally, I’ve seen exactly one post so far this season that made me gasp out loud. It’s this one, in which internet user KillerNut has fallen so low, they declare Michigan could beat Ohio State.
— Message Board Geniuses (@BoardGeniuses) September 11, 2021
RT IF YOUR TEAM HAS A BETTER RECORD THAN OHIO STATE
— Maize n Brew (@MaizenBrew) September 12, 2021
Yeah. The season started early this year.