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College Football Week 9: It's Always Spooky Season Here

By Justin Cates | November 01
College Football Week 9: It's Always Spooky Season Here
It was another Halloween weekend filled with strange football that this year was largely overrun but rogue Ted Lasso's. I somehow forgot that times like these give announcers carte blanche to make terrible holiday puns throughout their broadcasts. The graphics teams are just as bad, but at least Halloween for the most part politely sticks to its designated time frame on the calendar. The same can't be said for the coming Christmas frenzy which has already begun and in fact lives year round in some demented circles.

As for the action on the field there was another worthy candidate for 'Game of the Year' with the top ten Michigan-Michigan State match up more than living up to the hype.

For the Wolverines it was a fine effort, but another in a string of high profile rivalry game losses under supreme weirdo and milk enthusiast Jim Harbaugh. The successful yet embattled coach continues to win plenty of games at Michigan only to fall short in the big ones, and this may be the ugliest one yet.

Michigan controlled the game most of the afternoon and amassed a 16-point lead in the second half only to see it all unravel. The biggest issue came late when quarterback J.J. McCarthy—who was inexplicably being subbed in periodically for Cade McNamara who had a career day—fumbled which set the Spartans up to take the lead back for good.

It takes some real effort to be on the hot seat with your fan base despite a 7-1 record and a generally good track record. These kinds of losses will continue to haunt Harbaugh however until he breaks through, or gets shown the door.

As for his counterpart, Mel Tucker is now 2-0 against Michigan and has the Spartans poised for just the program's second CFB Playoff appearance if they can finish strong. Mostly they just need to continue giving the ball to Kenneth Walker III who continues to dominate. Walker ran for 197 yards and five touchdowns against Michigan including the 23-yard game-winner and Heisman moment. The Wake Forest transfer is currently second in the land with 1,194 yards on the ground and appears almost guaranteed to become a finalist for the Heisman.

Odds and Ends

There have been some incredible self-owns in sports history, but its difficult to recall offhand anything quite like what Scot Loeffler managed Saturday afternoon. The third-year Bowling Green coach became the first head whistle to get ejected from a game for multiple unsportsmanlike penalties since a rule change in 2016 made it possible.

Loeffler committed the infractions on consecutive drives in a wild game that saw 983 yards of total offense and 100 total points. The self-own comes because Loeffler—who calls the plays on offense—departed only to see his team score more points in 18 minutes without him than in any full game over the last two seasons.

This incident coupled with a 6-20 overall record and just a 3-15 mark in Mid-American Conference play doesn't bode particularly well for the temperature of the coach's seat. The biggest shock in all of this may be that someone like Pat Narduzzi wasn't the first.
On a more positive note Wake Forest is now ranked in the top 10 for the first time in program history after another win to move to 8-0 on the year. Cincinnati also won again after a sluggish start to remain undefeated and ranked No. 2. Despite the wins, the media's attempt to shape the narrative that these two teams are undeserving of a playoff berth has begun in earnest.

These teams certainly have flaws but with the exception of top-ranked Georgia there aren't any teams that don't. The idea of the 'eye test' or some theoretical 'who would win head-to-head' game don't seem terribly relevant to choosing the top four. The eye test is subjective at best and entirely faulty at worst. It's all part of the nonsense of the current playoff format.

We the people want chaos and excitement. We want fresh faces, new teams, and a chance to see if the 'Clawfense' can win the ACC and hang with the big boys. We want to see Desmond Ridder talk trash and back it up on a big stage.

We want to see quarterback sneaks absolutely repulsed by the defense.
There's lots of football left this season and plenty of time for these concerns to sort themselves out. But as the media drumbeat in favor of the big boys picks up pace, I will continue to shout loudly at no one in particular in defense of the underdog and as many double-passes as humanly possible.