By Simon Carroll

Sorry about there being no Five From Si last week – I was incredibly drunk on Sunday after a trip to London for the Panthers-Bucs game, and in no fit state to write the following day. Besides, I was in a foul mood following the Red River Showdown which I’m sure I would have had to discuss. But fear not! I am back with five more things from week 8 of college football that should compel even the most stubborn of you to tune in on Saturdays:

Boomer Schooner

Big 12

Let’s start with those pesky Oklahoma Sooners, who had the temerity to beat my beloved Longhorns at the Texas State Fair ten days ago. The feelgood factor is high in Norman at the moment – unbeaten so far, another potential Heisman-winning Quarterback at the helm, and knocking on the door of the college football playoff places. Does Lincoln Reilly’s magic touch have no bounds? Maybe he should start checking out the team mascot’s equipment too…

At any potential opportunity The Sooners love to roll out their wagon – known as the Boomer Schooner – pulled by two white horses onto the field. It’s a tradition in these parts, a celebration of the pageantry of Oklahoma University and the migration of people to the state following the Land Run of 1889. Anyway, on Saturday Jalen Hurts scored one of his eighty touchdowns of the day – I forget which one – and out came the Schooner. I’m not sure if the driver had been on the sauce, but I’m pretty certain he wasn’t planning on this spectacular manoeuvre:

Nobody was hurt, so we can laugh our tails off about this. Thoughts and prayers to the young lady who was lauched a fair distance out of the passengers seat – she received just a token gesture of attention following the roll. She should have been marched into the blue tent immediately. To be honest, if this is the most adversity the Sooners face all year then they’re doing okay. More car crashes within the actual performance please.

Husky Hide & Seek

Five From Si

Not sure which killjoy put this rule in place, but apparently you’re not allowed to hide on a football field.

We all love a bit a trickery in football, and Washington head coach Chris Petersen is famous for it. He made his name at Boise State upsetting the college football elite with all manner of sneaky plays before heading to the Huskies for a crack at PAC-12 and maybe even national glory.

Anyway. His team was up against Oregon on Saturday in a big conference battle. The Huskies were at home and playing in purple, and their end zones where painted in the same colour. As the Ducks lined up to kick off following a touchdown, returner Chico McClatcher (great name) led down in the endzone to hide himself from the opposition. Another Husky returner received the football, and with the Ducks’ kickoff team pursuing just the one guy with the ball McClatcher sprang to life, caught a lateral pass and scooted down the sideline to roughly midfield – great field position for Washington:

Now APPARENTLY that’s unsportsmanlike conduct. Don’t know about you guys but I think we should be encouraging more chicanery of that sort, not less. Oregon should be the ones punished for being stupid. If they concentrated on their gawdy uniforms less and their special teams more they wouldn’t have had the wool pulled over their eyes. Regardless, top marks for Petersen for once again thinking outside the box. The Touchdown salutes you sir.

White Out

Big 10

Now, first things first; the game between Penn State and Michigan was an absolute belter. It restored many people’s faith in the rest of the Big Ten and helped us understand who out of the rest of these teams could challenge Ohio State at the summit. James Franklin’s unbeaten Nittany Lions came out on top in this one, but that’s not why you need to check in on some of the highlights…

Every year, Penn State has what’s known as a ‘White Out’ against Michigan and Ohio State. Now don’t panic, it’s not another story of racism in modern society, although one of Penn State’s older fans did have a fair crack at that this week. No – it’s where all the fans in Happy Valley who attend the game dress in white. It’s a tradition actually started by the Winnipeg Jets hockey team, but at night, inside Beaver Stadium, the results are spectacular.

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110,000 fans. Fantastic effort.

How Not To Draw Up A Fake Punt

Five From Si

I mean, things haven’t been going well for The Arkansas Razorbacks football program for a few years now. The days of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in the Wild Hog offense are nothing but a fond memory by this point. This weekend they hosted #11 Auburn in an SEC conference game and they knew they were in for a tough battle. Particularly moving the ball – this Tigers defense is one of the best in college football right now, and maybe head coach Chad Morris thought he needed to dive deep into the playbook to have any chance of winning.

It’s the beginning of the second quarter and The Razorbacks are already 17-0 down. It’s fourth down on their own 41-yard line. From this point on, words fail me – here’s what Morris came up with:

Don’t drink and draw up plays kids.

"When You Think Courage, You Think Casey O'Brien"

Five From Si

I love to finish off this weekly article with a feel good story, and I doubt I’ll find a better one than this all year. The Minnesota Golden Gophers faced Rutgers this weekend and, true to form, threw a beatdown on the hapless Scarlet Knights 42-7. During the game, redshirt sophomore Casey O’Brien made his collegiate debut, coming on to be the holder for an extra point attempt to give the Gophers a four score lead.

O’Brien is no ordinary football player. This is a man who has beaten cancer an incredible FOUR TIMES. He has had to endure years of chemo and surgeries just to survive against this most evil of diseases. And on Saturday he stuck the middle finger up to The Big C one last time as he trotted on to the field:

The reaction of his teammates and his head coach are phenomenal scenes that encapsulate what sport is all about. The emotion on the sideline was too much for PJ Fleck, who embraced his player for a long time and cried afterwards.

“He’s an unbelievable person and he’s been through a whole lot. When you think courage, you think Casey O’Brien,” Fleck said. “No one can ever take away that he played college football in the Big Ten. No one can ever take that away from him.”

As for O’ Brien himself, he reminisced on his day that made all the hard work worthwhile.

“There’s been so many ups and downs and nights in the hospital and surgeries and everything like that that’s gone into this moment. This is what I dreamed about, and tonight it got to come true.”

Minnesota are now 7-0 on the year. And I couldn’t be happier. God damn do I love football.

Mock Draft

Simon Carroll


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.