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Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 2 College Football Viewing Guide

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Pluto, Cleveland Abbott, and a West Virginia-Troy analogy so bad your head will spin.

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New Horizons Nears July 14 Flyby Of Pluto Photo by NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI via Getty Images

Holy crap, it’s already Week 2.

I was going to ruminate on Northwestern-Stanford for a brief moment, because that was a fun experience with friends, save for the actual football part of the game. But then, when I looked at the boxscore and thought about the series, I remembered that these two programs both went 3-7-1 in 1994, including a 41-41 tie featuring a missed game-winning 24-yard field goal that InsideNU apparently wrote about last week.

That’s not what struck me, though—it’s that in the eight games in storied rivalry, Stanford holds a 4-2-2 edge. And two seems like a lot of ties for just eight games.

It got me thinking—how many ties has one Big Ten team crammed into a season? Well, there are the 1992 conference champion Michigan Wolverines, who tied Notre Dame, Illinois, and Ohio State en route to a 9-0-3 season and a Rose Bowl win. Fine. There were the 1933 Minnesota Golden Gophers, who under Bernie Bierman tied Indiana and Purdue, then salted their conference championship with consecutive scoreless ties with Northwestern and Michigan to go 4-0-4 (2-0-4 Big Ten).

But like any good sports fan, I wanted more. I wanted more ties.

It took me to this amazing list of college football coaches with 20+ ties, and there are some luminaries: Pop Warner. Amos Alonzo Stagg. Charlie Bachman.

Who’s Cleveland Abbott?

A Watertown, SD, athlete, Cleveland Abbott won, Wikipedia will have you believe, 16 varsity letters at Watertown High School before enrolling at South Dakota State University in 1912 and starring for the Jackrabbits’ track, baseball, football, and basketball teams.

With Abbott carrying the ball for coach Harry Ewing, the Jacks ran up winning records every year between 1913 and 1916, Abbott starring and grabbing the attention of the local spectators and Watertown Saturday News:

But, of course, the great event of the day was the football game between the University of North Dakota and the college team, in which the Brookings aggregation showed a superiority that was obvious from the start. The score was 13 to 3 in favor of the Brookings eleven. One of the star players in the Brookings team was a Watertown boy—Cleveland Abbott, son of E.B. Abott [sic]. Cleveland won the admiration of the people of Watertown while he was attending the high school here. He has likewise won the good opinions of the people of Brookings and of his college associates.

There was, with Cleveland, just one catch:

Incidentally we may say that Cleveland is handicapped—or would be if he were living farther south—on account of his color, but he has shown that sterling character is a lad’s greatest asset and that true manliness is a virtue that receives recognition from worth while people. (Watertown Saturday News, Nov. 19, 1914, p. 1)

There would be...a lot to unpack if we wanted to dig into how the hometown paper covered its own local boy, praising his sterling character and noting his “true manliness” while acknowledging the color of his skin as a “handicap” that Plains folk certainly would never rest on, but that the South surely would.

In fact, the Watertown Saturday News remarked, Abbott would earn his way through (then) SDSC and go on to great things:

Here is a young man who has the right kind of material in his makeup and he is bound to amount to something if hard work and perseverance will accomplish it. Some of these fine days ‘Cleve’ Abbott will be holding a position of importance and drawing down a salary of $3,000 to $4,000 a year while some of his white boy friends whom he went to school with in Watertown will be driving a grocery wagon at $8 to $10 a week. (Watertown Saturday News, July 13, 1913, p. 1)

Having followed a trail blazed only by Frank Holbrook of Iowa in the Upper Midwest, though, Abbott became a trailblazer in his own way. Immediately upon graduating, Booker T. Washington himself plucked Abbott from the Midwest, offering him a position as the head coach—and dairy instructor!—at the Tuskegee Institute. Washington had learned of Abbott, the Huron Daily Plainsman later noted, when he happened to meet South Dakota State College president Elwood C. Perisho on a train in February 1913.

There was of course, the problem of World War I. Abbott served in the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment, returning home to teach at the Topeka Vocational School until he once again answered the call of Tuskegee, serving as Athletics Director and coach—and, yes, professor of dairy instruction—until his death in April 1955. It received little notice in the newspapers of the day, though one South Dakota paper later eulogized him as “‘Tuskegee Institute’s most unselfish man,’ because it was overshadowed by his freedom from pride and his kindness and willingness to sacrifice in his untiring efforts to assist both boys and girls financially, to gain an education.”

Abbott was finally elected to the South Dakota State Hall of Fame in September 2018, and a residence hall at South Dakota State University bears his name.

Oh, and he tied 27 games as head coach of the Golden Tigers.

Ah, the (jack)rabbit holes of Wikipedia.

Thursday

Don’t Watch This

Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox (6:10pm, ESPN+)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (7:20pm, NBC)

Watch That

Western Colorado Mountaineers at Idaho State Bengals

7:35pm | PlutoTV 543

Elena Svitolina vs. Serena Williams

8pm? | ESPN

Chile at Argentina

9pm | ESPN3

There are no winners when Green Bay and Chicago meet. If you cheer for one of those teams, I suggest you go take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror, and then fuck right off. Do not try to get me back into the NFL season with a bunch of Aaron Rodgers leg-humping; no sir, if I want preening “DO IT THE RIGHT WAY” bullshit or thinly-veiled “he’s a lunchpail guy” commentary that wasted a bunch of talent and only won anything of note in the 2010-11 season, I will watch Auburn Tigers football. Thanks.

Anyways.

You ready for this shit?

PlutoTV. Free app. Costs nothing to watch bad football. Cue it up on the TV, even if just for a quarter, and appreciate Holt Arena, home of the Idaho State University Bengals, in all its domed glory.

There’s also tennis! Serena’s playing, and she’s got a tricky Ukrainian opponent. There’s also soccer. Maybe you can find Major League Lacrosse on Eleven Sports Network or something. Point is, you’ve got options, and none of them need to be the Bud Light For the Troops Hour on NBC.

Poll

Thursday night! College football’s back! I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    Western Colorado vs. Idaho State!
    (64 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Fine. You’re ACTUALLY watching...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    You convinced me! Free college football’s always a winner—I’m checking out Western Colorado-Idaho State!
    (21 votes)
  • 7%
    Tennis, probably.
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Random soccer, I guess?
    (10 votes)
  • 18%
    I think I’ll get to bed early.
    (39 votes)
  • 59%
    Fuck off, MNW, I’m watching the NFL.
    (124 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now

Friday

Don’t Watch This

William & Mary Tribe at Virginia Cavaliers (7pm, ACCN)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Rice Owls (7pm, CBSSN)
Sacramento State Hornets at Arizona State Sun Devils (9pm, Pac12)

Watch That

United States vs. Mexico

7:30pm | FS1 | East Rutherford, NJ

Marshall Thundering Herd at Boise State Broncos

8pm | ESPN2 | Boise -12 | O/U 56.5

Start with a decent rivalry, even if it’s a friendly. Or, if you don’t like soccer, you’ll want Wake Forest at Rice on CBSSN. The Owls held Army to just 234 yards rushing last week but still lost 14-7. Wake Forest, meanwhile, played an as-promised exciting game with Utah State that featured eight lead changes. You’re welcome.

Anyway, Marshall beat the hell outta VMI while Boise State went east and overcame an 18-point lead to drive a spear into Free Shoes U. on their home turf. One’s more impressive than the other, I think, but Herd QB Isaiah Green is a relatively efficient passer with some senior weapons around him, and Boise State QB Hank Bachmeier—HANK!—and RB Robert Mahone should be an excellent 1-2 punch to test Doc Holliday’s usually-strong defense. This is a popcorn game for me, even if the ranked Broncos are at home and should roll.

Poll

It’s Friday night, and I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    USMNT-Mexico!
    (56 votes)
  • 27%
    Marshall-Boise State
    (51 votes)
  • 2%
    Wake Forest-Rice
    (5 votes)
  • 6%
    I get the Pac-12 Network and would prefer not to answer any further questions.
    (12 votes)
  • 22%
    I will not be watching either kind of football.
    (43 votes)
  • 10%
    I’m still pissed at you about the PlutoTV thing.
    (20 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Army Black Knights at Michigan Wolverines (11am, FOX)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Iowa Hawkeyes (11am, FS1)
Old Dominion Monarchs at Virginia Tech Hokies (11am, ESPNU)
UAB Blazers at Akron Zips (11am, CBSSN)
Southern Tigers at Memphis Tigers (11am, ESPN3)
Charleston Southern Buccaneers at South Carolina Gamecocks (11am, SECN)
Bowling Green Falcons at Kansas State Wildcats (11am, FS Regional)
Western Carolina Catamounts at N.C. State Wolfpack (11am, ACCNx)
Northern Illinois Huskies at Utah Utes (12pm, Pac12)

Watch That

Ohio University Bobcats vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

10am | ACCN | Pitt -5.5 | O/U 54.5

Cincinnati Bearcats at Ohio State Buckeyes

11am | ABC | OSU -16 | O/U 55.5

Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins

11am | ESPN | MD -2 | O/U 58

Vanderbilt Commodores at Purdue Boilermakers

11am | BTN | Purdue -7 | O/U 56

West Virginia Mountaineers at Missouri Tigers

11am | ESPN2 | Mizzou -14 | O/U 63

I’m recommending a bit of a sampler platter for your Saturday morning viewing, and that’s because we’ve got a lot of games that could be frisky but probably shouldn’t. Maybe it’s too early in the season—I’m too willing to give these clubs the benefit of the doubt.

First, I love the beautifully-incompetent mess that is lower-tier ACC football. Take Pitt. Resigned to the ACC Network, they have further tried to foist their brand upon people by playing a game an hour earlier. Too bad it’s Pitt, the football equivalent of playing Russian Roulette with a dildo cannon, against Ohio, the MAC’s maddeningly-consistent Buzz Killington. JUST RETIRE ALREADY, SOLICH. THE NEBRASKA-OHIO DETROIT BOWL WILL NEVER HAPPEN. THE POWERS THAT BE JUST AREN’T READY FOR IT.

I am not a crackpot.

Vandy’s not back, but former Balls Tate QB Riley Neal is slinging it for the Commodores, and I’m sure Purdue will take a sideline penalty upon kicking the game-winning field goal, re-try the kick, and lose 23-22 on their home turf.

I am willing to give Neal Brown’s West-by-God the benefit of the doubt for its 20-13 opening win over perennial FCS contender James Madison, but implementing Brown’s staid, visor-heavy brand of football on a program known for mullets and burning couches doesn’t seem like a winner to me. It’s like being a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran and going to an ELCA church—functionally you’re still heretics who deny the Real Presence of the Eucharist, but you’ve gone from the stifling conservatism of no drinking, dancing, or playing cards, to the minister sneaking pulls of moonshine between the sermon and the church picnic while the “upfront band” plays a modern version of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening anymore.

But I want to see if Luke Fickell can exact his revenge. Go Bearcats.

Poll

Saturday morning! You’re done with BTN Tailgate, and now it’s time for...

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Rutgers-Iowa
    (62 votes)
  • 15%
    Army-Michigan
    (43 votes)
  • 16%
    Cincinnati-Ohio State
    (46 votes)
  • 15%
    Syracuse-Maryland
    (43 votes)
  • 13%
    Vandy-Purdue
    (37 votes)
  • 2%
    Ohio-Pitt
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    WVU-Mizzou
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    ...I’ll find something else to do
    (26 votes)
271 votes total Vote Now

Poll

.

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Please make more Protestant/Catholic analogies
    (75 votes)
  • 54%
    Please seek help
    (90 votes)
165 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Fordham Rams at Ball State Cardinals (1pm, ESPN3)
South Florida Bulls at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1pm, ACCN)
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Miami-Ohio Redhawks (1:30pm, ESPN+)
Texas A&M Aggies at Clemson Tigers (2:30pm, ABC)
Central Michigan Chippewas at Wisconsin Badgers (2:30pm, BTN)
Grambling Tigers at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2:30pm, NFL Network)
Charlotte 49ers at Appalachian State Mountaineers (2:30pm, ESPN+)
Richmond Spiders at Boston College Eagles (2:30pm, ACCNx)
Eastern Illinois Panthers at Indiana Hoosiers (2:30pm, BTN)
North Dakota Fighting Hawks at North Dakota State Bison (2:30pm, ESPN+)
New Mexico State Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (3pm, SECN, Alabama -55.5!!!)
Murray State Racers at Georgia Bulldogs (3pm, ESPN2)
Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners at Baylor Bears (3pm, FS Regional)
Northern Colorado Bears at Washington State Cougars (4pm, Pac12)
ULM Warhawks at Florida State Seminoles (4pm, ACCN)

Watch That

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Colorado Buffaloes

2:30pm | FOX | UNL -3.5 | O/U 65.5

Illinois Fighting Illini at UConn Huskies

2:30pm | CBSSN | Illinois -20 | O/U 59.5

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Mississippi St. Bulldogs

2:30pm | ESPNU | MSSt. -17 | O/U 53

San Diego State Aztecs at UCLA Bruins

3:15pm | Pac12 | UCLA -7.5 | O/U 45.5

First, go Hoosiers. Please beat the piss out of Adam Cushing and the Panthers. I’m not mad, I swear.

Second, let’s get something straight: There is nothing in Texas A&M-Clemson. You know it, I know it, and let’s dispense with any “But Jimbo knows Clemson!” narrative or any other Top 25 puffery. Clemson is head-and-shoulders above anyone outside the Top 5, and you don’t need to waste your time on this.

Instead, might we recommend some batshit insanity from the Big Ten? Nebraska gave up 234 passing yards and 2 TDs to something called Cephus Johnson and the South Alabama Jaguars—are you going to tell me, sight unseen, that they’ll shut down Steven Montez and Leviska Shenault Jr. in the thin-aired environs of Folsom Field? You are not. I wouldn’t take the over, but I’ll definitely be watching for some fireworks.

Speaking of, 5000 sad fans at Whitney-Pratt to watch Illinois-UConn. Randy Edsall and the Huskies barely beat FCS Wagner; Edsall will be fired after the Huskies drop another contest to UMass in October. Is Illinois actually competent? I will watch this to learn that—if they play a professional football game and it turns out Brandon Peters is good and just torches the UConn defense like he should, I’ll turn it off for good at halftime and go about my day. But you don’t just erase the Illinois that easily. I’ve got a wee sneaky feeling about this one.

Speaking of sneaky feelings, Tommy Stevens was good, but CLANGA only salted (peppered?) away the Ragin’ Cajuns with a FG to make it a two-score game with under 2 minutes left last week. Add to that a little in-state rivalry with Southern Miss, who the Bulldogs played almost every year until 1990, and I’ll have an eye out. But the TV muted.

Finally, here’s how the San Diego State-Weber State game started:

It ended 6-0. Juwan Washington can’t do it all himself. I want to see the Aztecs and Bruins slapfight this one out.

Poll

Saturday afternoon! Ride out that early-morning beer buzz—what’s on TV?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Nebraska-Colorado
    (100 votes)
  • 12%
    Illinois-UConn
    (25 votes)
  • 3%
    The 2nd and 3rd-most recognizable teams in Mississippi
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    UCLA-SDSU’s inevitable 17-14 slugfest
    (3 votes)
  • 17%
    Texas A&M-Clemson
    (35 votes)
  • 17%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time
    (35 votes)
205 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

South Dakota Coyotes at Oklahoma Sooners (6pm, FS Regional)
Wyoming Cowboys at Texas State Bobcats (6pm, ESPN+)
BYU Cougars at Tennessee Volunteers (6pm, ESPN)
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Kansas Jayhawks (6pm, ESPN+)
UT-Martin Skyhawks at Florida Gators (6:30pm, ESPNU)
McNeese State Cowboys at Oklahoma State Cowboys (6pm, ESPN+)
Nevada Wolf Pack at Oregon Ducks (6:30pm, Pac12)
Buffalo Bulls at Penn State Nittany Lions (6:30pm, FOX)
Tulane Green Wave at Auburn Tigers (6:30pm, ESPN2)
Western Michigan Broncos at Michigan State Spartans (6:30pm, BTN)
Eastern Michigan Eagles at Kentucky Wildcats (6:30pm, SECN)
Arkansas Razorbacks at Ole Miss Rebels (6:30pm, SECN)
Stony Brook Seawolves at Utah State Aggies (6:30pm, Facebook)
Liberty Flames at Louisiana Ragin Cajuns (6:30pm, ESPN+)
Miami-Florida Hurricanes at North Carolina Tar Heels (7pm, ACCN)
Texas-El Paso Miners at Texas Tech Red Raiders (7pm, FS Regional)

Watch That

UCF Knights at Florida Atlantic Owls

6pm | CBSSN | UCF -10.5 | O/U 69

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at FIU Panthers

6pm | ESPN+ | FIU -7.5 | O/U 60

North Texas Mean Green at SMU Mustangs

6pm | ESPN3 | SMU -3.5 | O/U 73.5

LSU Tigers at Texas Longhorns

6:30pm | ABC | LSU -6 | O/U 55

It is a legal requirement that you watch a Lane Kiffin-coached game in which the points total is 69. Sorry, but facts are facts.

And let’s take a moment to laugh, for sure, at the fact that the SEC is hiding Arkansas-Ole Miss on SECN at the same time as Eastern Michigan-Kentucky is on SECN. Hell, ESPNU took UT-Martin vs. Florida over these puds slapping their shitty programs up against one another! You suck, SEC.

There are some weird ones in this time slot, and it’s refreshing to see G5 teams playing one another in weird home-and-homes. That’s what DWT;WT is about! As such, go jam Wyoming -7 at Texas State. You’re welcome.

Speaking of, we’ve got WKU-FIU LIVE! from the eye of a hurricane or something in Boca Raton—you’ll remember Western Kentucky for losing at home to Central Arkansas in Week 1. God, can you imagine ever getting pushed to the brink by an FCS school?

Oh, and in more weirdness: SAFEWAY BOWL ACTION. It’s Seth Littrell and Mason Fine! It’s Sonny Dykes and Texas transfer Shane Buechle! THIS ONE’S FOR ALL THE PRIMO TAGLIO OVEN-ROASTED TURKEY.

No, but seriously—this is a real “rivalry” game, all beacuse North Texas accused SMU of chickening out of the rivalry in the early 1990s, saying they’d play the Mustangs in a Safeway parking lot if they wanted to. Presumably there’s some corporate-sponsored trophy involved that doesn’t actually matter. And why would it? The points total is 73.5! That’s a DWT;WT dream, especially given that Team of Choice North Texas is playing.

I will, however, also watch at least a minute of DACOACHO and TEXASBACC.

Poll

Saturday evening. What’s on TV?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    UCF-FAU
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    WKU-FIU
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    UNT-SMU
    (8 votes)
  • 65%
    LSU/c-c-c-combobreaker Texas
    (110 votes)
  • 26%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time.
    (44 votes)
169 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...

Don’t Watch This

California Golden Bears at Washington Huskies (9:30pm, FS1)
Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (9:30pm, ESPN)
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Arizona Wildcats (9:45pm, Pac12)

Watch That

Tulsa Golden Hurricane at San Jose State Spartans

8pm | ESPN3 | Tulsa -6 | O/U 50.5

Arkansas State Red Wolves at UNLV Rebels

9pm | Facebook/Stadium | UNLV -1.5 | O/U 62.5

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Fresno State Bulldogs

9:30pm | CBSSN | Minn -3 | O/U 48.5

Oregon State Beavers at Hawaii Warriors

10:59pm | Facebook | Hawaii -6.5 | O/U 78

First off, why the :15 and :45 start times, Pac-12 Network? No one can find you on their TV Guide as it is! Why start at some dumbass times? I’d rather see you play 9am games than this shit. Second, the Pac-12 is no fun anymore. Stanford is a moldy bag of oatmeal, Washington-Cal will likely hit the under-44 mark, and Northern Arizona might be the Wildcats’ only win until November. Kevin Sumlin ruined Khalil Tate, and I’ll never forgive him.

But the rest of it?

That’s another chance for Big Ten-Mountain West stupidity, including a perfect 0-3 on the West Coast(-ish). That’s some mid-major matchup goodness in the desert, as UNLV and Arkansas State try to outscore one another. That’s Tulsa-San Jose State, because fuck you, it’s bad football and it’s on.

And then.

AND THEN.

Hawaii football.

Will it be Cole McDonald throwing 4 more interceptions against a Pac-12 team? Probably not, because it turns out Chevan Cordeiro is pretty good! Turns out Cedric Byrd is REALLY good (224 yards receiving and 4 TDs good)!!! And Oregon State just got done yielding ELEVENTY yards to Oklahoma State. This will be a bloodbath, and while I can’t promise you the Rainbow Warriors will win, I can promise you there isn’t a better drunk viewing game out there.

Unless you’re a Minnesota fan and just drinking heavily through the Fresno State thing.

Poll

HOLY SHIT IT’S LATE. What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Minnesota-Fresno State
    (83 votes)
  • 0%
    Arkansas State-UNLV
    (1 vote)
  • 9%
    Oregon State-Hawaii
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Cal-Washington
    (7 votes)
  • 11%
    Stanford-USC
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Tulsa-San Jose State
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (15 votes)
  • 22%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (43 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your early-week thread. Enjoy Pluto TV.