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Fall’s Tarts, Week Nine: Boomer Coaches and Bad Football

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Also, a pleasant sprinkling of hypocrisy!

NCAA Football: Iowa at Northwestern Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t a Tart, but it is noteworthy, as far as I’m concerned, for a few reasons...

  1. Girl can still wear a cheerleading uniform as well as she could 19 (!!!) years ago, which is legitimately impressive. I know actresses aren’t normal people, but still.
  2. More importantly, there is an adorable baby in a Runza outfit, and it’s the best thing ever.

Way to go, Gabrielle Union. Not only paying homage to one of the great cinematic masterpieces of the early aughts in Bring it On, but also paying homage to one of the culinary masterpieces of the Midwest. She never fails to represent Nebraska to the max. I hope next year they go as chili and cinnamon rolls.

Anyway, cute little babies aside, let’s take a look at some of the decidedly less cute happenings of the past weekend!

In Which We Ponder A Timeless Question

We’ve all heard the brain-bending query: If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? I have no idea, but this past weekend prompted a similar question: If Rutgers actually wins a game, but no one is there to see it, did it actually happen?

It’s hard to dump on Rutgers’ fans for this too much—given the last couple of years of Rutgers football, there’s no incentive to pay money and spend your Saturday watching this team. There’s arguably even less incentive—and some would argue, there’s a moral imperative to avoid—going to see Rutgers play Falwell & Friends’ Fake School.

On the other hand, this is the only game left that Rutgers had even a prayer of winning this season, and even that hope wasn’t enough to bring in their fans. To say the next coach has an uphill battle is putting it mildly—the situation in Piscataway is DIRE, no matter how you slice it.

In Which It is Fine for Me, but Not for Thee: Gopher Fan Edition

Speaking of poor attendance turnouts, a few prominent (?) Gophers were disappointed with the attendance at the Maryland game. One Tweeted that “This soon to be 8-0 #Gophers team deserves better” along with a picture showing a sort of empty section of the stadium:

Now, the reported attendance for the game was 44,715 in a stadium that officially seats 50,805. This is not terrible attendance, and by the time this picture was taken, the game was by every practical measure, over. So I’m a little less inclined to be hard on our Gopher friends.

But the really funny part of this is that this same Gopher... ah, journalist?... does not seem to always hold herself to the same standards, as Twitter inevitably discovered:

I can’t tell when the second photo was taken, and unless it was deleted from her timeline, it doesn’t seem to be from last week’s game, so in fairness, perhaps this Superfan has developed higher standards over the years. Maybe this was a 7-6 Gophers team that did NOT deseve better, I don’t know. Still, if you’re someone that lives and breathes Twitter, you’ve got to know that this is the kind of thing that’s going to get excavated from your timeline and used against you.

In Which it is Fine for Me, but Not for Thee: Hoodie Edition

Nebraska fans are (with some justification) ridiculed for longing for a more glorious past. This weekend, the coach of the Huskers, Scott Frost, joined in on this tendency, albeit with a longing for a very weird and specific piece of yore:

Apparently, back in the good ol’ days, you could determine someone’s desire to win and effort level by their conspicuous lack of hoodie. Hoodie-wearers are wusses, hoodie-eschewers are winners. Easy enough. Frost thinks that the current team’s propensity for fleece comfort on the sidelines is an indication that “just ok” is good enough. I think it might indicate an awareness on the players’ part that being cold sucks and rarely enhances any kind of performance except for Olaf’s in Frozen, but he’s rather a special case. I’m certainly not making millions of dollars a year to coach football, but I think that there may be other issues with Nebraska’s play that I’d focus on before I got to hoodie-wearing, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, the best part of this is definitely that Frost delivered his anti-hoodie screed WHILE WEARING A HOODIE. Talk about inconsistent messaging!

In Which Rutgers, Predictably, Gets in Rutgers’ Way

As we all know, there are many things standing in between Rutgers and success. Unfortunately, on Saturday, one of those things was Rutgers’ own player:

In the clip, it appears that Johnny Langan’s pass to WR Paul Woods just slips through Woods’ hands, a typical bummer for Rutgers. However... on closer inspection it appears that Woods’ didn’t miss the catch, but instead caused a pass break up for his own teammate, Isaiah Washington. Washington’s anguished hands to his helmet after the fact tell the story.

Happily for Rutgers (and all good and decent people), the almost-sure touchdown wasn’t strictly necessary, and they managed to get the win anyway.

In Which Wisconsin Decides to Not Just Lose, but Shoot Themselves in the Foot

Down 24-7 halfway through the third quarter, and desperate to keep the game within a stone’s throw, Wisconsin decided to go for it on 4th & 3. It was the right choice in that situtation, even with the risk of it not working out. However, the Badgers managed to not just not convert, but to fail in the very dumbest way possible: Center Tyler Biadasz, instead of snapping the ball, just... dropped it. That, it turns out, is a penalty, forcing the Badgers into a 4th & 8 situation.

Shockingly, the Badgers didn’t convert. In fact, OSU’s Chase Young blew through the Badger line and stripped the ball from Jack Coan, because that’s what playing OSU is like this year.

(Tragically, I couldn’t find a clip of this “snap infraction” because the internet is worthless. If you can find one, hook me up in the comments and I’ll add it.)

In Which Purdue’s Hopes and Dreams Float Away

If you caught any of the Illinois-Purdue game, you probably noticed that the weather, in a word, sucked.

For an engineering school, it seems like they should have better field drainage than this, right?

Predictably, the rain caused other problems during the game:

In any event, the rain could dampen Lovie’s beard, but it could not dampen his spirit:

NCAA Football: Illinois at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In Which Fitzy Gets Grumpy, Again

I’ve just carved out a regular little space here for our intrepid Wildcat leader, because every week his press conferences baffle. The last time we saw a press conference schtick this dedicated it was Bo Pelini’s “Fuck you guys” routine, and I hate to say it Fitz, but acting like an ass week after week behind the mic didn’t end super well for him.

Yes, like that.

Although less belligerent than Pelini, Fitz has certainly been surly of late, in a particularly Boomer-flavored way. We’ve already seen him misunderstand hashtags and attempt hipness with his techno-lingo (Ctrl+Alt+Del, baby), and this week brought about a screed against cell phones (his second since last summer, when he blamed cell phones for declining attendance at college football games.)

His comments: “Guys were negative when we were down 7-0. It’s been a long negative grind, some guys are listening to too many haters. I come in to the locker room and the first thing guys are doing is looking at their phone, not taking a shower. It’s a simple concept, people like winners.”

I get it. I work with the same generation Fitz does, and it IS hard to get them to put down the phones for even five minutes. If we’re being perfectly honest, it’s hard for me too. On the other hand, as with Frost above, this seems to be avoiding some other glaring issues that may be more to blame for a team’s struggles.

He also appeared to not really grasp the meaning of this common metaphor:

He did offer Northwestern fans a hug though. Pelini never did that.

In Which the Injury Tent is Injured

This little treat comes courtesy of our friends on the Pacific Coast, an evening battle between Washington State and Oregon that produced one unorthodox casualty: the injury tent itself:

In Which the Big XII is its Usual Drunken Self

A few weird things happened in the Big XII last Saturday. First, Oklahoma, secure in the knowledge that they were playing 4-2 Kansas State and failing to heed the lessons of overconfidence they might have learned during last week’s Schooner crash, pulled off this rather creative play:

To their credit, they executed it to perfection. Less to their credit, they still managed to get upset by Kansas State.

But that was far from the weirdest thing to happen on the Great Plains on Saturday. No, that distinction, as one perhaps should have guessed, belongs to the Mad Hatter himself, Les Miles. OF COURSE this is how a game involving Les Miles would end:

With 13 seconds left and a tied score, Kansas kicker Liam Jones had a 40-yard attempt to win the game. Unfortunately for Jones, Texas Tech blocked the kick, which was caught by TTU’s Douglas Coleman III. All appeared well for the Red Raiders, as Coleman scampered some yards with the ball before pitching it backwards to... no one. No one was there. At least, no one he wanted to be there. Kansas lineman Kevin Feder(line) pounced on the ball, stopping the clock with :02 seconds left, which enabled Jones to try another, shorter kick... which he nailed, giving KU its first conference win under Les Miles.

Rock Chalk Shock.

Which Tart reigned supreme in Week 9?

Poll

Silliest, Stupidest, Most Downright Weird, was...

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Rutgers’ Disturbing Paucity of Fans
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    Gopher Hypocrisy
    (19 votes)
  • 17%
    Hatin’ Hoodie Hypocrisy
    (68 votes)
  • 7%
    Rutgers’ Stellar PBU Against Rutgers
    (28 votes)
  • 3%
    Badgers’ Ill-Timed Snap Infraction
    (13 votes)
  • 11%
    Fitzy Be Cray, Part XXIIV
    (44 votes)
  • 0%
    Wazzu’s Injury Tent Takes One for the Team
    (2 votes)
  • 45%
    BIG XII BABY!!!
    (176 votes)
  • 5%
    Rain, Rain Float Away
    (20 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now