FIVE FROM SI: WHY COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS AWESOME - WEEK 6
By Simon Carroll
Welcome back folks! Week 6 saw a lot more divisional games as things start to heat up in the world of college football. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any cool moments along the way. Here are five reasons why football on Saturday is awesome. Enjoy!
Paint It Black
Kit watch is a very important part of football. Don’t even try to deny it – some jerseys are so bad that fans are either repelled or attracted to that team as a result. We all know about Oregon and their multitude of garish outfits, but on Saturday it seemed to be monochrome that was in vogue. Iowa State and Ohio State, two teams that usually play in red, both went back to black for an afternoon. The results were impressive:
Talk to me about history all you want – whether it’s color rush in the NFL or one-off black beauties like these, there needs to be more of this in football. Come at me.
Mad Hatter Shows No Mercy
Nobody said going to Kansas would be easy. Legendary head coach Les Miles took up the reins in Lawrence this offseason hoping to resurrect a football program that has won just eighteen games in nine years. He’s had a relatively good start, winning a couple of games already including a surprise victory over Boston College. And by all accounts the Jayhawk’s recruiting has improved too. But The Mad Hatter does not rest on his laurels…
After being kept to 24 points or less in all but one of their contests so far, Miles fired his offensive co-ordinator Les Koenning. Just six games into the season. Now dismissals are part and parcel of football – Rutgers fired their head coach before September had ended. But more on the Scarlet Knights later. What is surprising about this is that Miles hand-picked Koenning to run the offense himself. It’s taken him all of two months to decide he’d made an error. Maybe he wasn’t breaking out enough trick plays like Miles cooked up in LSU. If you’re not familiar – the man is quite the character:
Offensive senior analyst Brett Dearmon has been promoted to replace Koenning. Don’t expect a miracle turnaround any time soon people.
It's The Hope That Kills You
Virginia Tech featured in this article last week, and not in a good way. They got absolutely stomped by Duke, and needed a big bounce-back game against Miami to loosen the noose around head coach Justin Fuente’s neck. He made a ballsy change at quarterback, starting sophomore Hendon Hooker, and it seemed to do the trick – The Hokies jumping out to a 28-0 lead. Game over right?
Wrong. Miami made a QB change of their own, yanking Jarren Williams and replacing him with N’Kosi Perry. The backup kick-started this Hurricanes offense which went utterly mental after halftime. Miami scored five touchdowns to just one from Virginia Tech, setting up a tied ball game late in the fourth. Their final score? A 62 yard run from DJ Dallas:
Just look at all fifty of those Hurricane fans in the stands! As is befitting of any football team in Miami, the ‘Canes were just building their hopes up. Immediately after the TD they missed the point after, leaving the game tied, before DeShawn McClease put the game away for the Hokies. A heartbreaker for Manny Diaz, and maybe a one-week reprieve for the embattled Fuente.
We’ve all been there. You’re playing a game of Football Manager, or FIFA, and a particularly unfair result renders all those hours of hard work to get to that point useless. You’re furious. You want to throw the controller through the TV screen. But you don’t – you take a deep breath, look over your shoulder to see if anyone is looking, and you press the reset button. That’s right – you’re a cheat. You’ve been saving your progress after every stage in case this happens. It leaves you feeling hollow inside but sometimes it just has to be done.
Well welcome to 2019 college football folks, where college football players can reset the year if they don’t like how it’s gone after four games. Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen started off this craze by shelving starting QB D’Eriq King last week. The Cougars have had a torrid start to the campaign and figure the season is already over. Why not redshirt their star quarterback and have him back in 2020 where the outlook might be much more rosy?
Rutgers followed suit this week. In the wake of head coach Chris Ash’s firing, quarterback Art Sitkowski (apt name) and running back Raheem Blackshear have both requested to sit out the remainder of the year. This new rule by the NCAA allowing players to preserve a year of eligibility this way was aimed towards those who incurred season long injuries or were mired on the depth chart. The loophole that Houston and Rutgers have exploited leaves a sour taste in the mouth. But, you know, sometimes it just has to be done.
I’ve saved the best until last as always folks. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face I’m not sure what will. Every now and again a sporting contest succumbs to one individual who can’t handle their beer and needs to try and steal a bit of the limelight for themselves. Eugene, Oregon fell victim to this phenomena on Saturday, as some inebriated jerk jumped onto the field and started jogging around, waving to the crowd and evading the (underwhelming) attempts by security to corral him. Ducks sophomore running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio was far from impressed, and with great stealth took care of the situation:
Perfect form, perfect execution. The best bit of this is how the intruder has his arms raised in self-determined victory just as Habibi-Likio lays him out. I’ve heard rumours the running back might get in trouble for this. Forget that – I think Oregon should make him a captain for next game.
Memories of Brian Clough punching a pitch invader. This is why sport is great.
previously the founder of nfl draft uk, simon has been covering college football and the nfl draft since 2009. based in manchester, simon is also co-creator & weekly guest of the collapsing pocket podcast.