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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 5 CFB Schedule and BOOP! TO THE VICTORS VALIANT—BOOP! TO THE CONQUERING HEROES

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BOOP! BOOP! TO MICHIGAN

Image: NY Post; 8-bit: img8bit.com

No Thursday games, a pair of probably-uncompetitive Friday night contests, and a Saturday slate that will only get us to 10pm Central, barring some freak weather events that delay a game into the wee hours of the morning.

Writing these has been more of a challenge than usual this year: for all the silly Texas State close shaves (man, even just ONE of SMU at home or Boston College on the road and it's a different ballgame for the Bobcats), there are annihilations by Army, blowouts by BYU, clobberings by Clemson. Perhaps that's no different than any other year; the non-conference is, to be sure, the time of the year for 40-point pastings of underprepared and undermanned clubs.

But part of the beauty of college football, and particularly non-conference college football, has been its accessibility: the ability not just to see Louisiana march into Ames midday, but watch Hawaii drag some unsuspecting PAC-12 team deep into the morning or to jam ESPN3 at 8:30 because odds are good that a Texas regional campus is getting taken to the wire by an FCS school and know that while you missed something earlier, there's more for you later.

That's the stated goal of Don't Watch This; Watch That -- to find those games.

And yet writing this has been a drag; not because I don't like writing about Midwestern socialists or ranking all the Culver's along I-94 in wisconsin or talking about redlining and American cities, but because there is just that much less of what makes college football so gripping for so many of us.

Of course, it's that way everywhere. We are required to get by with less these days. At one of my teaching jobs, a small adjunct gig, I have 25 students at an in-person class held in a room that normally seats 300. Two have tested positive for coronavirus in the last week. We have a midterm next Thursday and no idea at this point who can actually sit the exam.

In my other job, I have approximately 250 students in my courses. I know approximately 40 of their names—where I usually pride myself on learning everyone’s name, if not their hometown, too—because those are the 40 that come to class or speak up regularly, even if it is in a virtual format. The rest are behind a screen, boxes on a Zoom call, many having never turned on their cameras once in my course. And they don't have to! It's just that the anonymity, the lack of interpersonal interaction, is certainly changing how the undergraduate experience proceeds.

As we can’t watch Hawaii at 1:30 in the morning or flip absent-mindedly between Georgia State-Louisiana and Marshall-Middle Tennessee over a morning beer, and as we prepare for Big Ten football to return, keep in mind the humanity of the kids playing it. The challenges in their classrooms. The fear of this disease. The adjuncts and graduate assistants and especially the university staff keeping the campus humming.

Don’t forget them.

Oh, did you want something fun here?

If you want to keep something else in your head, you can join me in having the Super Mario theme bouncing around your head.

Or, perhaps, why not something better?

You see, a funny thing happened as I prepped this article. With the Super Mario theme bouncing around, it suddenly gave way to “There’s none in the world like Nebraaaaaska...”

I have no explanation, no reason why. I don’t even know that there’s anything similar about Super Mario and “Dear Old Nebraska U”—only that they sound so good in 8-bit.

So today we dig up an old Reddit thread of 8-bit college fight songs by the inimitable cuppy cup of Good Bull Hunting, stop, and appreciate the beauty of these Big Ten gems:

Illinois Fighting Illini

I can’t figure out what Illinois reminds me of. I don’t play enough video games to be good at this. But I hate the intro so much.

Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Maryland Terrapins — Sirs Not-Appearing-In-These-Pixels

Give me 8-bit Iowa...I want to hear what their sea shanty sounds like in beep-boops:

The word is BEEP! BEEP! BOOP! for BOOP-A-DOOOOO
Let every BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP-BA-DOOOOOO
The word is BEEP! BEEP! BOOP! for BOOP-A-DOOOOO
Until the BEEP BEEP BEEP BOOP BOOP—BOOP BOOP!

I bet Kirk Ferentz played Pong once while he was a graduate assistant at Pitt. Never scored, but he kept that ball out of his own side, and isn’t that the goal of football, after all?

Michigan Wolverines

You’re just being chased around the castle by a bad guy.

It is worth it for the bass line underneath the melody, though, and the moment at 1:25 when you think you’ve gotten away from the boss but—OH NO THERE’S JIM HARBAUGH AGAIN AND NOW HE’S GOT THOUGHTS ON ABORTION, TOO.

Michigan State Spartans

It’s carnival music in real life, it’s carnival music in 8-bit—although holy shit, the piccolos on the thumping “ON THE BANKS OF THE RED CEDAR” section at :48 need to be put out of their misery. More than piccolos do it normal, real life.

Moving on.

8-bit Habsburg Sparty is great, though.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Somehow this one manages to speed up in the middle of the song, just like Minnesota fans singing it in real life.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

They only made “Hail Varsity”—now I’ll never know if the insane ringing of 8-bit “Dear Old Nebraska U” is really a neurosis or if it really does sound OK that way! Damn.

Northwestern Wildcats

Want to hear a real insane set of woodwinds in 8-bit?

Ohio State Buckeyes — BEGIN BATTLE SEQUENCE

Wow, you’re sure doing a great job figh—oh no wait you’ve been roundhouse kicked by his superior athletes and talent and probably coaching and instead here’s just a montage of you getting your ass kicked for 60 minutes, up and down the field.

Even THIS feels like the sequence that plays when you’re defeated by the boss and he stands over your lifeless pixels, teapixeling you with his victory dance.

There’s no Indiana 8-bit fight song, but these tell the story perfectly fine on their own.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Jaunty. Travelin’ music.

The only thing you lose here is the weird whistle noise before the chorus hits.

Purdue Boilermakers

It even sounds like you’re traveling west on a train. Cuppy cup, you genius.

Also, the stinger to the Purdue fight song works PERFECTLY in 8-bit.

wisconsin badgers

With all the tact and musicianship of the Badger Band playing “On wisconsin”. Actually, this actually sounds more strung together and less like a series of pixellated farts as a bunch of drunks bounce around with a load in their pants.

MY SNAP RANKINGS

  1. BEEP BOOP NORTHWESTERN
  2. BEEP BOOP TO OLD PURDUE
  3. BEEP for Staaate! BOOP for Staaate! (Points off for no slide whistle.)
  4. BEEP BOOP BATTLE CRY
  5. BOOP WISCONSIN
  6. BOOP! TO THE VICTORS VALIANT—BOOP! TO THE CONQUERING HEROES—BOOP! BOOP!
  7. BOOPSKIE WOW-WOW
  8. [progressively faster and disorganized:] BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOP! BOOPASOTA! BOOPASOTA! BOOOOOOOOOOOOP, BOOP-FERS! [rah.]
  9. The Iowa fight song I booped up on the spot
  10. The Rutgers fight song that doesn’t exist
  11. On the Boops of the Boop Cedar—someone please shoot those piccolos.

See all the 8-bit college football fight songs here. I love you, cuppy cup.


Friday

Don’t Watch This

{MLB} Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs [1pm, ABC]
{Bundesliga} 1. FC Union Berlin vs. FC Mainz 05 [1:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Fiorentina vs. Sampdoria [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{Ligue 1} Paris-Saint Germain vs. Angers [2pm, beIN]
{Liga MX} Puebla vs. Santos Laguna [7:30pm, TUDN — in Spanish]
{Liga MX} Leon vs. Mazatlan [9:30pm, TUDN — in Spanish]

{WNBA} Seattle Storm vs. Las Vegas Aces [6pm, ESPN2]
{NBA} Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers [8pm, ABC, no one cares]

Watch That

Campbell Fighting Camels vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

6pm | ACCN | Wake -33 | O/U 63.5

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. #22 BYU Cougars

8pm | ESPN2 | BYU -24 | O/U 59.5

{MLB} St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres

9pm | ESPN

{EFL} Coventry City vs. Bournemouth

1:45pm | ESPN+

We’re pretty occupied in terms DWT;WT Teams of Choice, but if there was an FCS team I was looking to add to the fray, this preseason has convinced me it’d be Campbell. On top of what we’ve already learned about them, here’s a program that just started playing scholarship football in 2018.

Oh, and...

Roll damn Humps. OH BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE:

I love weird regional pettiness that I don’t understand. Good job beating Georgia Southern, Camels. Roll damn Humps.

Poll

Friday night. What’s on the docket?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    ALL THE FOOTBALL
    (13 votes)
  • 12%
    Just Campbell-Wake
    (7 votes)
  • 12%
    Just LaTech-BYU
    (7 votes)
  • 22%
    Baseball?
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    The NBA?
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Soccer?
    (1 vote)
  • 20%
    What’s a "Coventry City"?
    (11 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

TCU Horned Frogs at #9 Texas Longhorns (-12, O/U 63) [11am, FOX]
Baylor Bears (-2.5, O/U 53.5) at West Virginia Mountaineers [11am, ABC]
South Carolina Gamecocks at #3 Florida Gators (-17.5, O/U 57.5) [11am, ESPN]
Missouri Tigers at #21 Tennessee Volunteers (-12, O/U 48.5) [11am, SECN]
N.C. State Wolfpack at #24 Pittsburgh Panthers (-14, O/U 47.5) [11am, ACCN]
UTSA Roadrunners at UAB Blazers (-20.5, O/U 54.5) [11:30am, Stadium]

{Bundesliga} RB Leipzig vs. Schalke 04 [11:30am, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Real Sociedad vs. Getafe [11:30am, beIN]

Watch That

East Carolina Pirates at Georgia State Panthers

11am | ESPNU | GASt -1.5 | O/U 69

Arkansas State Red Wolves at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

11am | ESPN2 | ARSt -3.5 | O/U 65.5

{EPL} Leeds United vs. Manchester City

11:30am | NBC

East Carolina. George State. The husk of Turner Field. A line of less than a field goal. A total of 69.

69, you guys.

Also, Missouri and Tennessee share a 27-mile border along the Mississippi River, and there is exactly one bridge that crosses it—the Interstate 155 Caruthersville Bridge. More surprisingly, I just learned, Missouri and Kentucky do not share a single physical bridge between the two: you either take the I-60/I-62 bridge through Cairo, Illinois, or you take the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.

Some people say Kentucky and Missouri are stuck 100 years behind the rest of the country. I can’t imagine why they’d ever think that.

Also: Rank the Chants, you cowards.

Poll

What’s worthy of your Saturday morning clicks?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    East Carolina-Georgia State
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Red Wolves-CHANTS
    (3 votes)
  • 18%
    Baylor-West Virginia
    (8 votes)
  • 13%
    no but guys texas really bak
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Spurrier Bowl
    (5 votes)
  • 13%
    THE BATTLE OF THE CARUTHERSVILLE BRIDGE
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    Some red-hot feral cat ACCtion
    (2 votes)
  • 25%
    Like...soccer or something. Please. Anything but this.
    (11 votes)
43 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Abilene Christian Wildcats at Army Black Knights (-30, O/U 50.5) [12:30pm, CBSSN]
#13 Texas A&M Aggies at #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-17.5, O/U 52.5) [2:30pm, CBS]
#12 North Carolina Tar Heels (-14, O/U 54.5) at Boston College Eagles [2:30pm, ABC]
South Florida Bulls at #15 Cincinnati Bearcats (-21, O/U 45.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
#17 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-22.5, O/U 54) at Kansas Jayhawks [2:30pm, ESPN]
Virginia Tech Hokies (-12.5, O/U 54) at Duke Blue Devils [3pm, ACCN]
Jacksonville State Gamecocks at Florida State Seminoles (-26.5, O/U 54.5) [3pm, ESPN3]

{Serie A} Udinese vs. Roma [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{EPL} Newcastle United vs. Burnley [2pm, Peacock]
{La Liga} Valencia vs. Real Betis [2pm, beIN]
{Ligue 1} Nice vs. Nantes [2pm, beIN]

Watch That

#25 Memphis Tigers at SMU Mustangs

2:30pm | ESPN2 | Memphis -2.5 | O/U 74.5

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Kansas State Wildcats

2:30pm | FS1 | KSU -2.5 | O/U 64

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

4pm | ESPN3 | WKU -7 | O/U 54

If there is not something for you this afternoon, I do not know what to tell you.

You’ve got the AAC matchup of the week, with two undefeated clubs who care not one fig for defense—SMU gave up 35 points to North Texas in a laugher, fergoshsakes, and Tigers QB Brady White will just go out and do random shit for four hours—and a total in the seventies.

Then, you’ve got a K-State club that actually did the damn thing and beat Oklahoma going up against a Texas Tech squad that...well, you don’t know if they’re barely going to beat an FCS squad or fuck it all up against Texas, but you sure know it’s gonna be stupid. Can they export it to the Little Apple? I will be watching to find out.

Also, if you’re looking for a sneaky bad game on the lower channels, one of Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee has to break their 0-fer today...

In 100 Miles of Hate.

Is the luster off this one? Perhaps! After a game effort against in-state Louisville in Week 1, the ‘Toppers—despite a 3 TD, 0 INT day from Maryland transfer QB Tyrrell Pigrome—lost to the Fightin’ Pool Boys and sit at 0-2. In Murfreesboro Asher O’Hara and the Blue Raiders are struggling as Rick Stockstill’s seat goes from “Sahara” to “Atacama” to “When Jabrill Peppers pees” levels of heat. So no, things aren’t good along US-231.

Or maybe it’s when it’s at its lowest, dirtiest, most mediocre levels of football that 100 Miles of Hate thrives.

[/best sportscaster voice] Throw out the record books and grab the popcorn. It’s time for 100 Miles of Hate!

(That end up sounding like Beth Mowins to anyone else? Just me? Cool. Cool cool cool.)

Poll

Now THIS is an afternoon slate!

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Memphis-SMU for me!
    (0 votes)
  • 18%
    Tortillas and Mini-Apples here!
    (7 votes)
  • 18%
    A complete lack of creativity here, as I need to watch the Death Star beat Aggieland in an utterly unsurprising 35-17 romp.
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    100 MILES OF HATE WOO
    (6 votes)
  • 21%
    I dunno, something else
    (8 votes)
  • 24%
    It sounded like Beth Mowins in my head, too, and I resent you for that.
    (9 votes)
37 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Georgia Southern Eagles (-20, O/U 49.5) at ULM Warhawks [6pm, ESPN+]
Tulsa Golden Hurricane at #11 UCF Knights (-21, O/U 72) [6:30pm, ESPN2]
#18 Oklahoma Sooners (-7, O/U 62.5) at Iowa St. Cyclones [6:30pm, ABC]
#20 LSU Tigers (-21, O/U 50.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores [6:30pm, SECN]
Arkansas Razorbacks at #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (-17, O/U 69) [6:30pm, SECN+]
Virginia Cavaliers at #1 Clemson Tigers (-28.5, O/U 55) [7pm, ACCN]

{MLS} DC United vs. Atlanta United [6pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} New England Revolution vs. Nashville SC [6:30pm, ESPN+]
okay basically there’s a whole lot of MLS here, it’s all on ESPN+, go nuts

Watch That

Navy Midshipmen at Air Force Falcons

5pm | CBSSN | Navy -7 | O/U 46

#7 Auburn Tigers at #4 Georgia Bulldogs

6:30pm | ESPN | UGA -6.5 | O/U 44.5

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at North Texas Mean Green

6:30pm | Stadium | UNT -1.5 | O/U 72

Is it hypocritical of me to put Auburn-Jawja on here and not Texas A&M-Alabama? Not at all. You see, it’s actually fun to watch the Tigers and Dwags pound moonshine and play Russian Roulette with ill-timed interceptions and punt return touchdowns.

Plus I’ll be at an outdoor wedding on the wrong side of the St. Croix River. It will be about 50 degrees when proceedings begin at 5pm, falling to 41 by the time we leave.

For those of us seeking structure, discipline, and fat men chopping down ankles, there is Navy-Air Force. I can’t wait until the Space Force Academy gets a team and, rather than the triple option, runs the A-11 offense.

Should be plenty of games where bad teams score a lot of points. Tulsa-UCF if you want the veneer of “this mattering”, Southern Miss-North Texas if you want to watch youngest-coach-in-FBS Scotty Walden, aka Bible Belt PJ Fleck, as he sprints up and down the sideline for the Golden Eagles:

ALSO STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN TO THE 8-BIT VERSION OF “NECK”:

Poll

SATURDAY NIGHT:

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Navy-Air Force
    (7 votes)
  • 19%
    Auburn-Georgia
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    Southern Miss-North Texas because I GET STADIUM—wait am i really bragging about this
    (2 votes)
  • 9%
    Oklahoma-Iowa State, as I am an Iowa fan who is not at all obsessed
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    Tulsa-UCF, as...I just hate myself. No further questions.
    (5 votes)
  • 7%
    Can CLANGA repeat? TALK ABOUT MIKE LEACH, COWARD.
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    Anywhere that I am is better than an outdoor wedding in October.
    (5 votes)
  • 17%
    I just...that 8-bit "Neck". What?
    (7 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...

Don’t Watch This

{MLS} Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps [9pm, ESPN+]
Lots of USL games at this time, as well

Watch That

{MLS} San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy

9:30pm | ESPN+

{USL} Las Vegas Lights vs. Orange County SC

9:30pm | ESPN+

Look, you don’t like it, I don’t like it.

Save us, Mountain West. You’re our only hope.


Here’s a Friday night open thread if you need it. Assuming my wife still does the socially-distanced girls’ night she had planned, I will be in the comments taking your questions, providing insulting responses, and drinking beer.

Enjoy the games, everyone.