Previewing the best games and players to watch in Week 6 of college football, totally and completely and entirely seriously.
The good people of Texas Longhorns nation are nervously awaiting news on the fate of Bevo XIV, which has been the university’s mascot since replacing Bevo XIII in 2004
Earlier this week, it was reported that Bevo would not make the trip to see Texas play Oklahoma on Saturday due to a “life-threatening condition.” This is likely true and the steer is currently under trained, veterinary care. On the other hand, Bevo could be smart enough to know he wouldn’t want to see this year’s Oklahoma-Texas game and, like you and I might do when we want to miss something at work, made up an illness. For all we know, Bevo is hunkered down in his barn, listening to TCU, Baylor and Texas A&M podcasts through some earbuds, and fake coughing whenever someone walks by.
But assuming Bevo is really sick, there’s no reason for Texas fans to be upset. This is a win-win situation. If Bevo pulls through ... “Hooray! Bevo is alive!” And if Bevo doesn’t? Well, what’s more Texas than some delicious steaks?
HOLD ON! ARE YOU IMPLYING WE SHOULD EAT OUR MASCOT?! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
First of all, calm down. Second, I’m not implying that you should eat your mascot. I’m plainly saying it. Texas has a brand problem. It used to be the state of football, steak and guns. But now Texas Longhorns football is a joke and, for quite obvious reasons, many people in the country aren’t too pro-gun these days. So that leaves steak. Which brings us back to Bevo. The State of Texas brand is on the line here.
I’M INCREASINGLY OUTRAGED!
You should take a minute or two from being outraged to read up on Bevo’s history at Texas. In 1920, when the cost of upkeep became too much for the original Bevo, he was slaughtered and served at the team’s winter banquet. True story. Has Texas gone soft since then or what? You won't eat your mascot anymore? Yeah, I guess Texas has gone soft. It's basically Massachusetts with cactuses.
YOU TAKE THAT BACK!
No. Texas has the most cattle of any state in the country, with 11.8 million. I hate to break it to you, but those aren’t all being raised to maturity and then sent to live in plush, gated cattle retirement ranch communities. No, they’re harvested. Killed. Slaughtered. Whatever term you want to use. Thousands each day. What makes Bevo different from all those? And Longhorn beef is low in fat, calories and cholesterol, while being high in iron and Omega 3s. Instead of worrying, you should be salivating while waiting for news on Bevo! Grill, baby, grill!
HOW DARE YOU! THIS IS OUR BELOVED BEVO!
Again, I guess you guys are going soft there in Texas these days. I mean, how can you assign special status to one animal when you fill your stomachs all the time with thousands of his exact kind? If you start thinking some animals are special or should be valued—and definitely not eaten!—you’re on the slippery slope to vegetarianism. A Vegetarian Texas. Shaking. My. Head. And let’s not even think about the similarities this would draw between your valuing of Bevo and how the Hindu religion sees cows as sacred. Is (Christian) God-fearing Texas becoming Hindu? A vegetarian, Hindu Texas?
You all have a lot to think about. You’ve got a lot on your plates. Possibly even literally.
Get better, Bevo.
Game of the week
No. 23 Cal at No. 5 Utah — 10 p.m. ET on ESPN
The Utes and Bears are the last two undefeated teams remaining in the Pac-12. Utah is favored by more than a touchdown after crushing Oregon, 62-20, last week. Had the original Pac-12 members known Utah was going to beat them this badly, they probably never would have offered them a spot in the conference. You were just supposed to take up space, Utah, not embarrass everyone on national TV. You’re being rude.
Another game of the week
No. 13 Northwestern at No. 18 Michigan — 3:30 p.m. ET on B1G Network
There are lots of questions about the legitimacy of these two teams, because Northwestern is Northwestern and Michigan ... well, you saw them play last year. The winner of this game will take another step towards legitimacy.
Jim Harbaugh has to love how much his team has improved under his watch, but he should worry that Northwestern’s players will put a bug in the ears of the Wolverines about starting a union. Harbaugh doesn’t come across as a big union guy. I mean, anyone who buys $8 pants from Wal-Mart probably isn’t super-concerned about the rights of workers, right? The facial expressions he’d make upon hearing a freshman quarterback is going on strike is a sight we’d get to carry with us for the rest of our lives.
Cupcake of the week
New Mexico State
The Aggies are 0-4 on the season and 0-18 all-time against the SEC, including a 61-13 defeat to Florida in their season opener. This week they travel to Oxford to take on/get a check from/be destroyed by Ole Miss. It’s amazing Pistol Pete still wears his bandanna around his neck. The Aggies are on a 10-game losing streak and haven’t ben in a bowl since 1960. He might want to cover his face so no one can identify him as associated with New Mexico State football.
Rivalry game of the week
No. 10 Oklahoma vs. Texas — 12 p.m. ET on ABC
Texas leads the Red River Showdown 60-44-5 all-time. (Editor’s note: If you read this column after 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 10, 2015, the preceding record will have been changed to 60-45-5.)
Mascot fact of the week
The original Texas mascot was not a longhorn steer, but a pit bulldog named “Pig.” And Pig’s life ended not from disease, but by getting hit by a Model T in 1923. It’s no wonder Texas replaced its dog mascot then with a steer. A Model T wouldn’t win a battle with a 2,000-pound side of beef. Heck, even the possibly insane Matthew McConaughey knows not to drive his Lincoln at one of those things.
Heisman candidate in the cross hairs
Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Goff could become a serious contender if he has a big game on national TV against Utah on Saturday night. One obvious strike against Goff, however, is that he appears to be an even bigger cheater than Tom Brady.
Tailgate tip of the week
If you’re at the Georgia-Tennessee game on Saturday, say hi to Jeb(!) Bush.
And now for a political tip of the week: never take an image that is holy and sacred to people, like the SEC logo is to SEC fans, and bastardize it for political reasons. This is the worst Southern strategy ever. Come on, Jeb!, think.
Quote of the Week
"Worrying is stupid. It's like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain."- Wiz Khalifa— Randy Edsall (@RandyEdsall) October 9, 2015
Good quote, Randy Edsall. But if I were you, I would have gone with the great Wiz Khalifa line: “Black and yellow. Black and yellow.” Maybe it would show Iowa that you have interest in being an assistant on Kirk Ferentz’s staff after Maryland fires you this weekend.
Stat of the Week
Maryland signed Edsall to a three-year, $7.5 million contract extension before the start of the season, but only $500,000 of that is guaranteed. That’s like handing someone a 300-page prenup along with a quarter-karat engagement ring. I mean, $500,000 is absolutely nothing in college football. Ole Miss is paying New Mexico State $850,000 to play them on Saturday. Randy Edsall, you are worth less in the college football world than New Mexico State. That’s as low as you can go. Just resign and retire.
Question of the week
This question was submitted last week, but I felt it was too important to ignore any longer.
In 29 career collegiate games, three games and four passes at Pitt and 26 games and 938 passes at Delaware, Joe Flacco threw for 41 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and had a college QB rating of 137.4. Those are elite numbers. However, college Flacco never won a ring. So college football Flacco (big numbers, no ring) is the opposite of NFL Flacco (average numbers, but a ring). This means we have no clear answer on the ELITEness of NFL Flacco OR college Flacco. High school Flacco is probably the same. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if when young Joe Flacco was born on a cold, mid-January day in 1985, the delivery doctor said: “It’s a boy. I don’t know for sure if it’s elite, though.”
Greatest conference ever of the week
Thanks to big wins last week, TCU and Baylor jumped ahead of Michigan State in the standings, meaning the Big 12 now occupies the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in all the land. Oklahoma is undefeated and ranked 10th, and they play Texas this week, so they’ll likely move up even higher in the next poll. (Or, if they fail to beat Texas by 40, get dropped completely—and deservedly—out of the Top 25.)
Worst conference ever of the week
Not a single team in the top 6? Do you guys even football down there anymore? No wonder struggling presidential candidates think they can co-op your logo. You are bad!
Coach on the hot seat
Maryland has already reportedly decided to fire Edsall, so maybe he’s not the best choice here. His seat has already burned him alive. Let’s instead give this week's honors to Mike Locksley, Maryland’s offensive coordinator and the man rumored to be the most likely to take over when Edsall is canned after losing to Ohio State on Saturday. Locksley has previous head coaching experience. He went 2-26 at New Medico from 2009 to 2011. Sounds like some terrible coaching! And that’s the only box you need check to get on the hot seat.
Player name of the week
Handsome Tanielu, DT, Utah recruit
You think the Utes look good now? Wait until Handsome shows up on campus next year.
Stone Cold Lock of the Week
College programs will try to ban punters from using Twitter for life.