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Every Day Should Be Saturday

Updated: 2018-01-12T13:24:39-05:00




THESE WERE THE ONLY FUN TEAMS, EVERYONE ELSE IS OPTIONAL After further review of the 2017 season, we have determined that these are the only teams that mattered or were to be watched consistently. UCF. Undefeated, and beat the team that beat Alabama, that’s enough for us. Also really fun to watch, and played half the roles in the best script written all year for a game: the raucous disorder of the 2017 UCF-USF game. Ooh, and they got writers to say they were a laughing stock in a sport with no clearly determined national championship ever! This is all quality work, UCF. Iowa. Amazing work by the Hawkeyes throughout the year in their role as 2017’s Team That Ruined Things. Began the year by decimating Josh Allen’s draft stock on national television. Gave Northwestern a 17-10 win in OT, which no one should ever do against anyone, much less Northwestern. Weirdly, 17-10 was the score in three of Iowa’s football games this year, showing that this a.) may be a simulation and b.) that the simulation is lazy and really doesn’t like making up new scores. Their masterpiece, though, was helping Alabama win another national title. By completely scuttling a possible debate over Ohio State’s place in the playoff by putting fifty-five points on them in what would be Ohio State’s second loss of the 2017 season, the Hawkeyes subsidized Alabama’s case for a playoff slot, and helped ruin another season by handing two freshman QBs to the Alabama defense to digest. Georgia completed the circle by knocking the one offense capable of testing Alabama out of the playoff in a Rose Bowl win over the Sooners. Then, after earning the heart of a nation in beating Ohio State and making things as confusing as possible, Iowa died driving their tractor into an open sewer against Wisconsin. The part in No Country for Old Men where the plot seemingly centers around Josh Brolin, then in the middle of the action he’s killed by Mexican assassins, and instead the movie ends with an indestructible psychopath with a bad haircut killing yet another innocent bystander while old man mutters about being lost in the dark in his dreams? That’s the 2017 season, and the Iowa Hawkeyes are the random assassins. The cattle gun is Tua Tagovailoa. Memphis. I dunno, they were fun as hell and scored a lot of points and their coach used to have cornrows. We don’t ask much of a team we don’t root for other than to be interesting, and Memphis was interesting. Auburn. Auburn probably would have made this list just for beating Alabama, but Auburn gave us so much more than that. The Tigers started the year by sputtering offensively and giving Clemson an ugly 14-6 win everyone roundly hated watching. They seemingly recovered, and then gave up a 16 point lead on the road to LSU for some reason, and then went on an unholy tear through the rest of their schedule including wins over both national title participants. Then, clearly the country’s best team, Auburn entered Mercedes-Benz Stadium twice in the span of a month and shat multiple well-made beds in front of aghast audiences. Auburn lost the SEC Championship rematch to Georgia (again: fueling someone else’s title hopes) and then lost a second time inside I-285 to UCF in the Peach Bowl (see previous parenthetical.) Being dependable is boring, Auburn. We’re glad, for viewing purposes, that you recognized that. Wisconsin. Cool, you like to vary your workouts, you know what Wisconsin is doing today? SQUATS. Going to Zumba class? Wisconsin is there doing squats on a power rack it bought itself in the back of the studio. Going for a run? Wisconsin is doing squats in the bed of a truck slowly creeping along next to you. Want to go for a swim? Wisconsin is in the next lane doing underwater squats with double bodyweight on the bar. The lifeguard can yell all he wants, there’s nothing on that sign full of your “rules” saying they can’t lift weights in the pool. Wisconsin played every game the same way and beat the hide off everyone they faced, including Ohio State. Yeah, the Buckeyes[...]



FOOTBALL’S FORGOTTEN AVENGERS With the benefit of perspective, it can be fun to look back from a career’s peak to its early days - to appreciate when some of the biggest names in our sport were relatively unknown assistants, struggling to make a name for themselves. To think of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly riding the bus at Grand Valley State, or a young Urban Meyer as a fresh-faced Ohio State graduate assistant- COACH MEYER MUSTACHE YOU A QUESTION Heck, names we’ve come to know as titans of their industry turn up together in some pretty unexpected places. The 1999 Cincinnati Bearcats, who went 3-9 (including an 0-6 record in Conference USA play, and a win over #9 Ron Dayne-led Wisconsin), featured both future Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin as a defensive assistant, and future Texas Bowl-participating Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher as offensive coordinator. I got to thinking about another such collection of talent this week, as I watched the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate their fifth title in the last nine years. It’s fair to assert that Nick Saban may well be the greatest college football coach of all time. He’s tied Bear Bryant’s record of six national championships (arguably surpassing the Bear when you consider several of Alabama’s title claims in Bryant’s tenure remain disputed, where only Saban’s first title with LSU is shared in any meaningful way). He’s won consistently and demonstrated a sustained level of excellence despite a constant outflow of assistants to rival head coaching jobs. Prior to Alabama, prior to the Miami Dolphins or LSU or Michigan State, though, he was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 1991 to 1994. (The Cleveland Browns were a team that played in the National Football League from 1950-1995 before moving to Baltimore and becoming the Ravens. After a fan outcry, the team agreed to leave their name, colors and history in Cleveland, where they were sealed in a metal box and buried at the bottom of Lake Erie, never to be seen again. No football team has ever replaced them, despite cruel hoaxes that would suggest otherwise). “Wow, Nick Saban as your defensive coordinator, you must’ve had a hell of a head coach!” Well, yeah. The head coach on Saban’s Browns was none other than future New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, arguably the greatest coach in NFL history, pictured here in a sweatshirt I would very much like to own. Belichick has appeared in seven Super Bowls with the Patriots, winning five of them, with the team right back in contention for another title this year. Though his Cleveland tenure was rocky - marred by the dismissal of local hero quarterback Bernie Kosar in 1993 - and his characteristic unfriendliness with the media less readily forgiven without the cover his later success now provides, he would later ascend to consideration as one of the sport’s all-time greats. “Wow, the greatest college coach of all time and the greatest pro coach of all time, coaching together on one team! What a collection of talent!” But wait - there’s more. In the front office, the team featured former Browns and Crimson Tide tight end Ozzie Newsome, a player once described by Bear Bryant as “the greatest end in Alabama history and that includes Don Hutson. A total team player, fine blocker, outstanding leader, great receiver with concentration, speed, hands”. After the Browns’ move to Baltimore, Newsome was responsible for the team’s first draft as the Ravens where, with his first two picks, he selected two future NFL Hall of Famers in UCLA’s Jonathan Ogden and Miami’s Ray Lewis. He would later be fully promoted to General Manager, making him the first African-American GM in league history. A member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player, he would likely be considered for induction as a pro executive based on his three decades of front-offic[...]



A THOUGHTFUL AND USEFUL ROVELLIAN ANALYSIS Tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game is one of the hottest tickets in recent memory. The pairing of historic rivals Alabama and Georgia in an all-SEC matchup, smack in the emotional capital of SEC territory - along with the pent-up desires of a large and well-heeled local fanbase desperate for their first national title since 1980 - has led to secondary-market ticket sales reaching heights rarely seen before. As of the moment I started writing this post, the cheapest ticket available on major resale site StubHub - in the uppermost corners of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium - was seeking an eye-popping $1,350. Now, it’s hard to put a price on history. If you’re a Georgia fan, you may not have had a chance to see your team play for a title in your entire lifetime. If you’re an Alabama fan, you’re looking at the chance to be there when Nick Saban ties Bear Bryant’s record of six national titles. If you’ve got the money, how can you say no? We’re big into service journalism here at Every Day Should Be Saturday, though, so I’m going to challenge my inner Motley Fool and lay out the facts for you. Yes, you could pay $1,350 for an upper-tier seat to Georgia-Alabama. OR, you could pay $1,350 for any of these items that are also currently for sale online: THOMAS KINKADE PAINTING - “BEACON OF HOPE” - CONDITION: USED See, college football fandom’s all about hope. If you’re a Georgia fan, you’re constantly hoping that the next Jacob you trot out at quarterback is the Jacob that leads you to glory. For Alabama, it’s that Nick Saban’s Ring Cycle of dirge-like, murderbot football never closes, leaving you to face the horrors of a New Mike Shula Era. They’re fleeting, tenuous hopes. This? It’s a damn beacon of hope, and you can hang it right over the executive desk in your basement office. What do we have there? A lighthouse? Some rocks? Hell yeah. I’m filled with hope. I don’t know why the painting is listed as used, though. How do you quantify that in a painting? Is there still hope left in this? How many other people have already derived inspiration from this? Maybe we should pass. THIS METAL DETECTOR This seems like a lot for a metal detector, to be completely honest, but I’ve never priced them. Let’s just assume it’s a really good one. Well, that’s gonna pay for itself. Think of all the things you could find on the beach with this. Spare change. Lost jewelry. The 2017 Florida Gators. Buttons. LOUIS VUITTON COMBAT BOOTS (SIZE 10, BUT WEARS LIKE A 9.5) Actually, nevermind. I’m buying these. You can’t have them. OVER 100 MILITARY UNIFORMS, SURELY A NORMAL THING TO BUY I am definitely not concerned if an Alabama fan decides to buy 100 military uniforms instead of a ticket to this game. That’s fine and normal and I supported you all along, please remember that. 1000 AVOCADO STRESS RELIEVERS Millennials love avocados, and they’re always saying they’re stressed because “there are no jobs” and “the previous generation looted the planet and left them with the bill.” They’re so kooky. Well, time to make some money off of them! You go to one of those music festivals they’re always SnapChatting about, you sell some these babies for $2.70 a pop, boom, you’ve just turned $1,350 into $2,700. That’ll buy you two tickets to see Georgia in the title game next time. [touches earpiece] Okay, I’m being told this is actually a one-time thing. You should’ve just gone to the game. —- These are all some really great items - bargains you’d be hard-pressed to pass up on, really. But I get it - you want a championship. We all do. Even if you spend the $1,350 on attending the game, though, there’s a decent chance your team comes up short. Someone’s gotta lose tonight. And if your team does win? Well, that’s great, but you don’t personally get a trophy for it[...]





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OH IT’S THE NATIONAL TITLE PREVIEW. Or the College Football Playoff Championship Preview. The BCS Preview. The Fiesta Bowl! This is definitely the preview for the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. We’re all feeling very bullish about the Florida Gators here, particularly their defense! Even if we’re being pessimistic, the most they can give up in theory would be 61 points. And who would do that to a team that still runs the option in the year 1996?

Topics covered include:

  • How Jason is very bullish on a UCF win in this title matchup against Georgia
  • Herm Edwards, now coach of everything on every team
  • A quick detour by Spencer into talking about Virginia being the most disappointing football state, for some reason, during a preview of the national title game? Okay? Sure?
  • Why championships aren’t forged without a good solid anvil like the University of Tennessee
  • The long case for why this game was decided the minute Georgia beat Oklahoma
  • The equally long case for why Georgia can win this game? Sure, says the person typing this who believes there is an exactly zero chance of Georgia winning this game
  • How we’re really just here to farm more disrespect for the Tide to feed on as motivation for the game. ONLY THE COMMIE IS ROOTING FOR YOU, BAMA. HOW’S THAT FEEL, HUH?
  • Iowa scored 55 points on Ohio State. This isn’t mentioned in the podcast, but it really can’t be said or written enough in any format





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2018 started with a lot.

  • Notre Dame beat LSU on one of the best plays ever.
  • Auburn helped UCF plan a national championship parade.
  • Oh right, Ryan was the Bloomin’ Onion at the Outback Bowl and used his dark, deep fried sorcery to ruin the Big Ten’s bowl record and cast doubt on Jim Harbaugh’s tenure.
  • This is the year we achieve every one of our dreams, people!




IT’S JANUARY AND THAT MEANS RESOLUTION TIME [in an elevator, heading deep below the ground] PJ FLECK: Wow, this is great. I didn’t know the Big Ten had its own private gym facility. I can’t wait to get in a workout. BARRY ALVAREZ: We don’t reveal all the conference’s secrets right away. We’re proud of our organization and its traditions, and we like to make sure our members are Big Ten caliber before we bring them fully into our confidence. DJ DURKIN: So what convinced you we were Big Ten caliber? ALVAREZ: Well, you beat Texas in Austin and then lost to a mid-major team. That’s classic. CHRIS ASH: What about me? ALVAREZ: Your TV checks cleared. TOM ALLEN: I’m confused, I thought the conference headquarters were in Rosemont, Illinois? ALVAREZ: Yes, well, that’s all part of the secrecy. You see, we have enemies. Many enemies. For now, there is peace between the conferences. But, should that peace fail, we maintain the Rosemont facility as a decoy. LOVIE SMITH: What are you conc- ALVAREZ: We have reason to believe that Texas A&M is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. That’s why we’re here, in this decommissioned mine shaft, a quarter-mile beneath an Indianapolis Steak & Shake. [elevator dings] ALVAREZ: Enough of that unpleasantness, though, let’s enjoy the gym facilities! [doors open to a crowded, buzzing gym] ALVAREZ: [sighing] Ah, that’s right. First week of January. It’s always a madhouse around here this time of year. SMITH: People working on their New Year’s resolutions? ALVAREZ: Nah, it’s just that the successful teams are all back from their bowl games. This year they’re especially fired up, since almost all of them won. [Jim Harbaugh is in the middle of the floor, wearing a leopard unitard and lifting old-timey round weights, screamsobbing] ALVAREZ: [shaking head sadly] He just keeps mumbling something about “The Onion Man’s Curse”. No idea. Fleck, there’s some rowing machines. You’ll love those. You can row all day long and not get anywhere. FLECK: Neat! ALVAREZ: Anyway, we’ve got everything you could want here. There’s racquetball courts- [Mark Dantonio sits alone in a racquetball court, on a folding chair, emotionlessly reading a newspaper from 2015] ALVAREZ: ... an indoor running track... [Kirk Ferentz sits alone in the middle of the running track, on a folding chair, emotionlessly reading a newspaper from 2015, occasionally pausing to trip a passing runner] FERENTZ: [chuckling] Oh, Mary Worth. ALVAREZ: - we’ve even got some of the most cutting-edge wellness technology. Have you ever been in a cryotherapy chamber? They say just two to four minutes in one of these tanks can reduce pain, increase blood flow and reduce the affects of aging. TECHNICIAN [pleading]: Please, Mr. Meyer, it’s been six hours. You should be long dead by now. URBAN MEYER: [emotionlessly reading newspaper, the frozen pages breaking off in his hands] Nebraska thinks I’m going to be afraid of a little Frost, do they? ALLEN: Is he being clever, or- ALVAREZ: He’s incredibly literal. I mentioned to him that Iowa could be a potential trap game, and then wouldn’t you know it - he got caught in an actual bear trap. Spent the whole first half trying to chew his own leg off. SMITH: Well, that would explain how he gave up 55 points to Iowa. ALVAREZ: No it doesn't. DURKIN: Well, I’ll tell you what, this place just seems great. I know it’s crowded now, but- [PJ Fleck rows by them, on a rowing machine that’s inexplicably become mobile] FLECK: THINK I FINALLY FIGURED THIS THING OUT DURKIN: I’m sure that’ll all settle down soon, though. [they wander past the free weights section, where James Franklin and Pat Fitzgerald are quietly lifting a reasonable amount of weight with proper form, and Jim Harbaugh is trying to fight his own reflection in the mirror] SMITH: Yep, I’m looking forward to using this as a Big Ten head coa[...]



HOPE BLOOMS FOR 2018 Oh hi, yes, hello: We’re here, though stunned for a number of reasons. There’s the lack of childcare, the randomly sorted holidays, and the “having to talk to people we are related to” that makes the holidays the absolute worst time of year to get anything done. The other day we sorted two baskets of toys, and it represented the most we got done this entire holiday season. They were, to be fair, really well-sorted when we were done. There is also the dark comedy of two SEC teams making it to the college football final, and thus forcing us to make the joke we do not want to make. That joke? That this match will once and for all determine the greatest nation on earth: Alabama or Georgia? src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> No point in dodging it. We’re here, we’re going to have to watch two defense-first teams with no hope of scoring play each other for the national title, and college football in 2018 will remain more lopsided and unevenly distributed than global soccer. Italy and Alabama are the same dynasties, right down to the shady accounting and unwatchable play! Prove this wrong and take the prize of zero dollars for internet cross-sport comparison debunking. We record a Fullcast tonight, where we definitely won’t spend at least ten minutes both gleefully discussing the SEC’s terrible bowl season and insisting that because his team beat Michigan head-to-head that Will Muschamp is a better football coach than Jim Harbaugh at 40% of the price. We’ll also grill Ryan on his deep-fried bowl experience inside the Outback Bowl’s Bloomin’ Onion costume, and on the Rose Bowl, which we pretty much think is going to be the best result the College Football Playoff is going to get out of this round. UNLESS JALEN HURTS TURNS INTO 2002 MIKE VICK OVERNIGHT AND no, no he’s not going to do that at all. We’re starting off 2018 the way Florida football did: Didn’t go to a bowl, stayed at home, got no work done running around without every hitting paydirt, and yet still have hope for the coming year. Why? Because the alternative is despair or being Illinois football, and we’re not there yet even though the colors really aren’t that far off from all the team gear we already own. 2018: It’s not Illinois football. (Yet.) [...]






Purdue won a bowl game. This is really the story here, because it’s not like Purdue has a history of winning bowl games. Correction: It’s not like Purdue has a history of even going to bowl games, much less winning them. Purdue has been playing football since 1887. In that time, the Boilermakers have been to just 18 bowl games, with their last win in a bowl game coming in 2011 in the Little Caesars Bowl.

The Little Caesars Bowl doesn’t even exist anymore, so yes: Purdue’s last bowl win literally poisoned and killed the bowl game that let it happen. Did we mention the coach’s last name was Hope? And that no one could blame a Purdue fan for hating the universe, or the bitter sense of irony a Purdue fan has to wear to survive even five average minutes of being a Boilermakers fan across time?

Or that—despite this encouraging a bull rush on kneeldowns, and probably being a bad idea at large—no one can or should blame Purdue for running a fake kneeldown during a 38-35 win over Arizona.

It worked, for one, and led to a field goal in what turned out to be a 38-35 victory. It looked cool, which is also very important in football. It made the opponent very, very angry and embarrassed, which is also very important to do in football, and very easy when the coach on the other sideline is rage-prone Rich Rodriguez.

Most importantly, when Gus Malzahn runs this play, the call on the field is “THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!” because the name of the fake kneel is “Woody,” it almost always involves the smallest running back on the team getting the ball, and because anytime one can take an excuse to yell “THERE’S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!” on a football field, one should.

In summary: Purdue won a bowl game, and that’s really, really unusual by the numbers, delightful in the execution, and probably means the Foster Farms Bowl will die sometime in the next three years.