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Fall’s Tarts, Week 7: Back and Better than Ever!

We learn a lot about mask theories, and where not to eat nude sushi.

Is this season over yet?

Hey, hey, hey! Tarts are back, unlike Michigan. Or Texas. Or Nebraska. It’s harder to rebuild a program than it is to put out a weekly compilation of weird, wacky, and strange moments in college football, but I’m also not getting paid $7 million a year to do it, so you get what you get.

Thanks for reading!

In Which New Solutions for Wearing Masks are Explored

It was an... interesting week for mask-wearing in college football. The usual suspects (Scott Frost) did a bad job of wearing them. But others got more creative in their quest for compliance.

First, from the state known for being a bastion of common sense and level-headedness, we bring you the unique “solution” of Texas A&M’s marching band. What’s that, you say? A marching band during a pandemic? Isn’t it a bad idea during a pandemic primarily spread by spit droplets to unite a group of people forcefully expelling spit droplets into the air? It is. But A&M had a solution!

...oh. Yes, those are masks with holes in them. The idea seems to be that the masks can be pulled down when not playing, and then raised slightly in order to propel the spit through the metal tubes into the air. Creative, I guess. But honestly, much as it sucks for band kids, having marching bands right now (especially seated that closely together) is a bad idea.

Luckily, the Big Ten’s innovations were much better!

First, we have Kirk Ferentz, Official Boomer of the Big Ten, really going for it with his mask. Let’s watch his technique:

Step 1: Pull the mask up to your hairline (or where you used to have one).

Step 2: Rest your arms. That was a lot of work!

Step 3: Adjust mask to just below your eyebrows. You want the mask to cover your eyes, but just barely.

Step 4: Enjoy protecting those around you! And best not to try crossing any busy streets.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Paul Chryst had a bold solution for a problem that plagues every bespectacled mask wearer:

Chryst had often found himself coming in for censure for poor mask technique, but it seems this week, channeling the biggest Dad Energy the football world has ever seen, he just scotch taped that sucker into place.


In Which Nebraska and Purdue Take Suckitude to New Levels

If you were watching this game in the 4th quarter... well, bless you, first of all. But second of all, you may have noticed one drive that was exceptional in its unrelenting idiocy. There were seven penalties on eight plays, which is not a great number. My colleague, Jesse Collins, was kind enough to sort through the stupid and rate the idiotic things that happened on this drive.

“There were 8 official plays, although for this conversation, there were 13 snaps + the kickoff. There were 7 penalties called, and all of them were pretty back-breaking considering the context. If Purdue holds Nebraska, they have momentum and a chance to tie/win the game. Nebraska - conversely - needs points to put the game away more or less. Purdue kicks off the ball and a great return by Nebraska is nullified by a holding penalty thus starting off the stupid.

Penalty 1: Nebraska Holding nullifying a return to the 48 and stupidly setting the new line at the Nebraska 7. (Total count: Nebraska 1-10 | Purdue 0-0)

Penalty 2: Purdue Unsportsmanlike Conduct after the play thus moving the ball out to the 22. Really really dumb as it moves Nebraska out of the shadow of its own goalposts. (Nebraska 1-10 | Purdue 1-15)

Penalty 3: 2nd & 1 from the 31, Nebraska Holding which is really dumb because now it’s second and long and giving the ball right back to Purdue looks really possible. This also nullifies a first down run by Wandale Robinson. (Nebraska 2-20 | Purdue 1-15)

Penalty 4: 2nd & 11 from the 21, Nebraska Holding setting up what will be an impossible 2nd & 21 and possibly giving Purdue unreal field position. (Nebraska 3-20 | Purdue 1-15) At this point, it’s worth noting that all of these penalties are totally justified calls and dammit I hate this entire drive.

Penalty 5: 2nd & 21 from the 11 and Adrian Martinez airmails the football over Zavier Betts head, which is fine and well until Purdue’s Dedrick Mackey thought it would be really great to just level Betts after the play for no good reason. Purdue Personal Foul and Nebraska is 100% bailed out from two really stupid holding penalties. (Total Count: Nebraska 3-20 | Purdue 2-30)

Penalty 6: 2nd & 6 from the 30 and Adrian Martinez lofts the ball deep for Wandale who is definitely held because you know the one thing you can’t do in that situation is hold a guy. Purdue Pass Interference (Nebraska 3-20 | Purdue 3-45)Fun fact, Nebraska would’ve been up 14 on the next play if Austin Allen didn’t do his best impression of Daniel Jones and fall down trying to be a big guy running wide open towards the end zone. Which, while the “OMG NEBRASKA COLLAPSING” crowd will tell you that the Cornhuskers were lucky to win, they also definitely spent all but one drive from the middle of the first quarter on up two scores.

Penalty 7: 2nd & 7 from the Purdue 15 and Austin Allen has an illegal block that pushes Nebraska back 15 yards and eventually causes the FG attempt. Nebraska Illegal Block (Nebraska 4-35 | Purdue 3-45)

All in all, Nebraska had more penalties during this crucial drive, but Purdue gave Nebraska three super important first downs - the most egregious being with Nebraska in a 2nd and 21 and most certainly not due to anything related to gameplay. Super dumb drive considering the importance, and easily the tartiest thing this weekend (at least that I watched).” - Jesse

This game was a Carnival of Dumb, and this series exemplified why.

In Which Illinois Takes One Giant Leap for Kickerkind

On our Slack channel, we were alerted to important happenings by Thump: “Illinois is returning punts with a placekicker” read the exciting news.

Being massive fans of all things kicker-related, the rest of us were substantially more excited by this development than Thump was. Backup kicker Caleb Griffin got the nod for the Illini, a development initially overlooked by the play-by-play crew and by Thump, until he noticed that Griffin was “rather slower” than expected from a returner. Illinois, apparently short-staffed, gave Griffin the job because he had the best hands. Alas, the Illini still lost to Iowa by two scores, in spite of Kirk Ferentz literally not watching the game.

In Which a Coach Takes an Intentional Safety from... the 35-yard-line?

Clinging to a 5-point lead over Appalachian State (sorry Beez) with 6:36 left in the 4th quarter, Louisiana’s* coach made the unique decision to intentionally commit a safety from the 35-yard-line. You can watch video of the bizarre play here.

While we in the Big Ten live by the maxim that “punting is winning,” other conferences have yet to grasp this basic truth. And unfortunately for Louisiana, punting was decidedly NOT winning that night. The longsnapper had a terrible night, repeatedly misfiring and causing an earlier (unintentional) safety. Given these problems, Coach Billy Napier decided that giving up two points intentionally was a better gamble than possibly committing another big mistake and giving App State the opportunity to get an easy lead.

The weird gamble worked, and the Ragin’ Cajuns won by three.

*These are the artists formerly known as U-La-La, if you were curious. They’ve rebranded as “Louisiana,” and are still the Ragin’ Cajuns, thank god.

In Which Tennessee Faces a Daunting Hole


In Which a Mullet Dances

#13 BYU played #18 Coastal Carolina. This matchup of noted bastion of Mormons BYU and noted bastion of mullets (apparently?) was thus dubbed:

The mullets won, and presumably this guy had a good night.

In Which Nude Sushi Consumption is Regretted

This is my favorite headline from 2020*:

“UNLV QB apologizes for eating sushi off nude model on reality TV show”

UNLV QB Max Gilliam apparently had a couldn’t-miss-it opportunity early in 2020, when he was invited to participate on a reality show called Below Deck. The show follows the crew of a yacht, as well as the passengers aboard. Gilliam was one of the passengers, and he and his group of friends—billed as “a thirsty group of 20-year-olds”—found themselves in the novel situation where they had a sushi buffet spread atop a nude model.

Predictably, when this came to light the backtracking began. Gilliam claimed the idea was that of the producers (I mean, probably), and that he was very, very, very sorry for eating sushi off of someone’s breasts on Bravo.

“I would like to apologize for my poor judgment while on the TV show ‘Below Deck’ and acknowledge that I have made a mistake that I will learn from. While it was not my idea nor any of my friends’ ideas to eat sushi off of a model, I should have exercised better judgment and declined the idea immediately when it was brought up by the producers. This is not a reflection of my character or the way I was raised nor a reflection of the culture of UNLV Football. I would like to humbly move past this and focus my time and energy on our game against the University of Hawaii this weekend.”

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing Gilliam’s judgment on a future season of something in the Bachelor franchise. Can’t wait!

*second-favorite, but NO POLITICS


Who had the Tart of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    A&M comes up with masks with holes for breathing!
    (50 votes)
  • 11%
    Kirk displays why he never wears turtlenecks
    (29 votes)
  • 2%
    Paul Chryst’s Big Dad Energy
    (7 votes)
  • 26%
    Nebraska and Purdue Try—and Fail—to Play Football
    (67 votes)
  • 7%
    A Ragin’ Intentional Safety
    (18 votes)
  • 11%
    1st & Nice
    (28 votes)
  • 1%
    Mullet Dance
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Illinois’ New Returner!
    (5 votes)
  • 18%
    Mo’ Nude Sushi, Mo’ Problems
    (47 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now