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Campus Quick Slants

Nestled deep inside the Internets, wisely hidden from women and small children, lives a game so treacherous and trying that it borders on the movie version of Jumanji. This is hardly a boy's game -- many young men fall victim to its ruthless fury with each passing college football season. This challenge requires the ear of a rabbit, the patience of a dead horse and the liver of JohnDaly. Only a penitent man will pass.

Folks, let's talk about the Brent Musburger Drinking Game (BMDG).

Years ago, a wise man -- perhaps Einstein -- decided that Musburger's catch phrases and in-game mannerisms could be interesting fodder for a drinking game. And right he was.

But since then, the game has mutated into several different versions -- like the common cold -- and as the football landscape has changed and announcing "pardners" replaced, the sanctity and accuracy of the BMDG has taken a major hit. Additionally the game rules -- in their present, complicated, and esoteric form -- almost require at least one person to stay sober, hampering the overall experience.

So with the Big 12 Championship Game looming, I've taken it upon myself to save the BMDG from extinction by creating a standard set of easy-to-follow rules and revisions. And though I CANNOT claim most as my own original ideas, you probably won't care after one half of debauchery. That is, if you're still alive.

(DISCLAIMER: Only use alcohol if you are of age)

DRINK ONE (1) IF MUSBURGER ...

- Says the word "FOLKS"

- Is shown on camera

- Uses the word "FIRES!" instead of "THROWS" on a pass play (Be advised: Musburger says this on nearly every pass play)

DRINK TWO (2) IF MUSBURGER ...

- Recites the hometown or high school of a player

- Utters the phrase "IN THE COLLEGE GAME" (i.e. -- "Pass interference is a 15-yard penalty IN THE COLLEGE GAME")

- Says the phrase "LOOKING FOR DAYLIGHT"

DRINK FIVE (5) IF MUSBURGER ...

- Invents a special nickname for a player (i.e., in 2003 Kansas State running back Darren Spoules become "The Little Tank")

- References the title sponsor of the specific broadcast (Saturday's sponsor is Dr. Pepper)

PASS OUT TEN (10) DRINKS IF ...

- Musburger references another football conference (or any of its teams, players, or coaches) and you correctly name every mascot of said conference before anyone else in your party

SANCTION AN ARM WRESTLING MATCH BETWEEN TWO PARTICIPANTS IF ...

- Musburger says "BIG FELLA" (Loser of said wrestling match must finish his drink)

FINISH YOUR DRINK IF MUSBURGER ...

- Yells the phrase "IT'S A FOOT RACE" in the midst of a long run towards the goal line

- Calls out "TOUCHDOWN" before a player actually scores

Special thanks to Fanblogs and CorbyFanPage for the original rules.

To steal a line from Se7en: if the BCS were to split open and a UFO were to fly out, I would want you to have expected it.

As I've mentioned countless times in this space, it's almost as if the entire season is being ad-libbed from week to week with no concrete ending in mind. And while it seems like we're inventing new ways to kill this system every single season, we may just be too befuddled with its current state to derive any new doomsday formulas. That said, there are two potentially curious situations that could slug the BCS a few more times in the chin:

SCENARIO A: Both West Virginia and Missouri win this coming weekend

Why would this hurt the BCS? Well, it defies television ratings. You all know this system is driven by ratings, right? You think Average Joe Fan is re-arranging his Monday evening to watch a West Virginia-Missouri finale? I don't. Reruns of The A-Team might be more appealing. With no real powerhouse program or national draw in the title game, the ever-important ratings could see a significant drop-off, regardless of offensive firepower.

SCENARIO B: Both West Virginia and Missouri lose this coming weekend

If the top two teams were to lose, that could pave the way for No. 4 Georgia to back its way into the BCS Championship despite, yes, falling short of its own conference championship. Nothing against the Dawgs -- they're playing as well as anyone right now -- but it defies logic that they'd still have a shot at the national championship. Mind you, this is not unprecedented (see 2001 Nebraska and 2003 Oklahoma), but that still doesn't make it right.

I was shocked -- DUMBFOUNDED, BAMBOOZLED, FLABBERGASTED -- to learn that Florida wunderkind Tim Tebow had broken his non-throwing hand in Saturday's runaway victory over in-state rival Florida State. Like most of you, I was under the assumption that Tebow's bones were made of an invincible diamond composite, impervious to Chuck Norris or any other force in the universe. So this was especially jarring news.

However, let's not get carried away. Upon further review, could there be a secret genetic connection between Tebow and Heroes' Claire Bennet (a.k.a. -- Hayden Panattiere). You know, the cheerleader who feels some pain and can be injured, but can regenerate any bodily tissue in mere seconds? Doesn't this make perfect sense? Tebow has been a virtual bowling ball on the goal line for the better part of two seasons -- and that hasn't taken any toll on his body? C'mon, this guy is Claire's secret brother and you know it. Someone cut off his toe and see if it grows back ...

To quote LSU coach Les Miles: "I look at a team that hasn't lost a game in regulation. There has not been a team that has beaten us in 60 minutes." Miles continued, "If we had ties like the old system, we'd be unbeaten with two ties." Riiiight ...

In other news, Steve Spurrier just called. He was 12-0 in the NFL if you subtract his 20 losses. Oh, and Michael Vick is actually a pet lover if you forget all that dogfighting stuff. And O.J. Simpson? C'mon, he's totally innocent without all that evidence!

It's not surprising that ESPN would assign an announcer with superhuman powers to liven up last Saturday's game between Notre Dame and Stanford. But none of us had any clue that Ed Cunningham had X-ray vision. Never would've guessed.

Late in the game, Stanford quarterback T.C. Ostrander was roughed up a bit by the Irish, and emerged from the play clenching his throwing hand with an apparent injury. Miraculously, Cunningham was able with his magical powers to understand the problem, professing that Ostrander looked like he'd dislocated something with the way he held his hand. This, of course, was awe-striking given the fact that Cunningham was situated hundreds of yards and several levels away from the action in the comfy confines of the Stanford Stadium press box.

1. More surprising firing? Bill Callahan ('07 Nebraska) / Rich Kotite ('96 New York Jets)

2. More surprising hiring?Houston Nutt (Ole Miss) / Mike Sherman (Texas A&M)

3. Better Thanksgiving side?Cranberry sauce / Stuffing

4. Best SEC team?Georgia / LSU

5. More confusing Nintendo game?Burgertime / Qbert

6. Better pro prospect? Matt Ryan (Boston College) / Colt Brennan (Hawaii)

7. Better reunion tour?Spice Girls / The Osmonds

8. Best Heisman candidate? Pat White (West Virginia) / Dennis Dixon (Oregon)

9. Slicker social site? MySpace / Facebook

10. More worthy title contender?West Virginia / Ohio State

Here's a question for you to ponder: Does anyone really believe that recording artists are singing (or even playing) their own music on those holiday parade floats? I mean, really. In one helping of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I witnessed Lifehouse bassist Bryce Soderberg playing his guitar while wearing WINTER GLOVES and the Jonas Brothers singing so terribly out of sync with their music that I couldn't help but laugh. Why are people outraged by disastrous lip-synching performances from Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson, but not by everyone else during these parades? Shouldn't we demand authenticity across all platforms?

Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at tyhildenbrandt@gmail.com with your comments, questions, and random observations ... or if you live through the Musburger Drinking Game.

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