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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Week 3 College Football Schedule and a Flimsy Premise for an Intro

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From Essential Air Service to the BATTLE FOR THE PALLADIUM...we got a little off topic this week.

Tulane v Navy Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

My then-girlfriend, now-wife, attended school at Eau Claire, and when I was but a naive young lad at Northwestern, I thought the impressive way to visit her was anything that didn’t involve “Get on a Greyhound or Megabus”: Fly home to Minneapolis-St. Paul, get my car from my parents, and drive was the most popular option, with “Take the Amtrak and drive” a very, very dumb second option.

In preparation for one weekend, though, I made the fateful decision: I would take the bus there, sure, but I would FLY back. THAT’LL impress her, right?

Using my local state bank debit card, like a fool, I found an $85 flight home...but not from MSP. Oh no, that’d be too easy.

No, reader, I decided then and there that I would, on my work study wages of half-drunkenly reshelving books in the Northwestern engineering library from 12am to 3am, that I would fly back out of Chippewa Valley Regional Airport—the creatively named EAU—leaving Eau Claire at 5:30am or so and landing at O’Hare around 7am, with more than enough time to catch the Pace 250 (the Kiss’n’Fly!) back to Northwestern for my 9am class that Monday.

You are well aware, by now, that did not happen. The plane sat on the runway for some interminable amount of time, which I only recall was blamed on “a fire at the O’Hare airport”. I have never corroborated whether this was true or whether it was something dumb, like someone pulling a fire alarm or something, but we sat on the runway in one of those tiny 2-by-1 configured planes for a good hour. I, of course, missed my 9am class and gave myself the rest of the day off as a sort of therapy for the trauma I’d been through.

That flight, though, has sparked a fascination with wanting to fly not weird budget airlines, but to odd Essential Air Service airports. Here’s my bucket list—you can feel free to tell me yours (or your weird flying stories and related disasters) in the comments:

  • Thief River Falls Regional Airport: Do I want to go to Thief River Falls, Minnesota? NO! Do I have any reason for wanting to fly this? JUST ONE! It’s Key Lime Air (doing business as Denver Air Connection)—a Denver-based airline that mostly connects DEN with rural Colorado, Nebraska, and New Mexico hubs...but also connects Thief River Falls with Minneapolis. There are no other connections at MSP. They just fly back and forth. God bless those subsidies.
  • Whatever airline allows me to visit this Caribou Coffee: This piece originally started as talking about the weird, far-flung Caribou Coffee empire, from its nearly 300 locations in Minnesota (including World Headquarters just a few miles from my house) to the one in the Peachtree Center in Atlanta that I would visit while at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, just for a taste of home. This one, though, is in Moorcroft, WY, for some reason. But rather than just fly into Rapid City, I demand a more creative way to get there.
  • Various Air Choice One stops: Long overdue on my list of “ways to get to a Northwestern football game” is to fly in something approaching style—needless “luxury” of a small-plane flight on Air Choice One, complete with layovers at one of the Upper Midwest’s finest airports like Mason City, Burlington, or Gogebic (Iron County) in Michigan!
  • You know what? CHECK THAT. Screw getting to Chicago—I want a two-layover route (Mason City AND Fort Dodge, somehow, a 35-minute connection!) to St. Louis for $98 one-way, but then I’m going to hop on ANOTHER connection in St. Louis to Jonesboro, Arkansas for just $19! RED WOLVES FOOTBALL, HERE I COME! Schedule that home-and-home, Northwestern!

Friday

Don’t Watch This

{Bundesliga} Bayern Munich vs. Schalke 04 FC [1:30pm, ESPN]
{NBA} Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers (-7, O/U 212) [8pm, TNT]
{MLB} San Diego Padres at Seattle Mariners [8:40pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Orange County SC vs. Las Vegas Lights [9pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Campbell Fighting Camels at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

6:30pm | ESPN

{EFL} Coventry City vs. Queens Park Rangers

1:45pm | ESPN+

{MLS} Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC

9pm | ESPN+

{AFL} Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Demons

11pm | ESPN2

The only time I’ve ever known anything about the Campbell Fighting Camels, it was when they beat* Iowa in basketball back in approximately 2011** and I laughed at idiot Iowans.
*Maybe they just played ‘em close?
**If I don’t know the former, no fucking way I know the latter. I will not fact-check DWT;WT, thank you.

So let’s learn some stuff in bullet-point fashion about Campbell!

  1. Located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, which is probably a real place.
  2. Is a soup. (This is surely the first time this joke has been made about Campbell.)
  3. Coached by Mike Minter. [Yes, that Mike Minter.]
  4. Was named for Earl. (Just try and fact-check me, fuckers.)
  5. First program lasted from 1925-1950, when the Korean War ruined Campbell football.
  6. Mascots: GAYLORD AND GLADYS CAMEL.
  7. Band: SOUND OF THE SANDHILLS. Beez, please confirm North Carolina has Sandhills, otherwise Nebraska and North Carolina officially have beef. [TBH, they should play for it—Campbell’s clearly willing and they’d be a good test for the Huskers.]
  8. Wikipedia claims Campbell and the Davidson Wildcats are football rivals, but Davidson’s Wiki page doesn’t reciprocate—PIONEER LEAGUE FOOTBALL DRAMA!!!11!!1!

That concludes our tour of Campbell University. Long live the Fighting Camels, the least-loved of the four extant types of camel.

Also: rank Coastal Carolina, you cowards.

Poll

Friday night, what’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Campbell-Coastal. TRY AND STOP ME.
    (13 votes)
  • 13%
    NBA, probably?
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    I dunno...soccer?
    (2 votes)
  • 34%
    I DEMAND MORE OPTIONS IN THIS POLL.
    (15 votes)
  • 6%
    I DEMAND FEWER OPTIONS IN THIS POLL.
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    I DISLIKE POLLS [you racist]
    (4 votes)
43 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Syracuse Orange at #25 Pittsburgh Panthers (-21.5, O/U 50) [11am, ACCN]
Tulsa Golden Hurricane at #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-22.5, O/U 66.5) [11am, ESPN]
Boston College Eagles at Duke Blue Devils (-5.5, O/U 52) [11am, ESPN3]
Liberty Flames at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (-14.5, O/U 52) [11am, ESPNU]
Austin Peay Governors at #13 Cincinnati Bearcats (-33.5, O/U 52.5) [11am, ESPN+]

{EPL} Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace [11:30am, Peacock]
{Serie A} Fiorentina vs. Torino [11am, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Getafe vs. Osasuna [11:30am, beIN]

Watch That

Navy Midshipmen at Tulane Green Wave

11am | ABC | Tulane -7 | O/U 49

Houston Cougars at Baylor Bears

11am | FOX | Baylor -4 | O/U 62.5

#19 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns at Georgia State Panthers

11am | ESPN2 | UL -17 | O/U 58.5

Borussia Dortmund vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

{Bundesliga} | 11:30am | ESPN+

Yesterday in the Fanshots, ckstevenson shared this excellent look at Hawaii WR coach Brennan Marion, formerly the offensive coordinator of the Howard Bison who engineered their historic upset (as a 45-point underdog) of UNLV in 2017. If Hawaii—who isn’t playing a football season and could even be left out if the Mountain West does return—implements just a fraction of this odd spread, MWCtion After Dark is gonna be bangin’ next year, even in spite of Todd Graham being its head coach for a year until leaving to take [/spins wheel] the Arkansas job.

Houston was supposed to play Memphis on Friday but are now playing Baylor on Saturday. How does that work, you ask? I don’t have any idea, and I don’t care to respond to the question.

UPDATE: LOL

Anywho, RANKED RAGIN’ CAJUNS!

(1) Huge fan of this development.
(2) Ames: NOT. EVEN. ONCE:

Go Green Wave.

Poll

Wakey wakey!

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Middies on the Waves
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Two Texas teams I don’t really care about but that might score a great deal of points
    (0 votes)
  • 18%
    GIMME THAT SUN BELT ACTION
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    Tulsa-Okie Lite, for some reason
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    When I think fun, I think Duke-BC
    (1 vote)
  • 18%
    You haven’t lived until you’ve woken up to watch Pitt as 21-point favorites over Syracuse
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    Soccer, maybe
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Some other football game
    (1 vote)
32 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

South Florida Bulls at #7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-26, O/U 48) [1:30pm, USA]
#14 UCF Knights (-7.5, O/U 63) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets [2:30pm, ABC]
Charlotte 49ers at #12 North Carolina Tar Heels [2:30pm, ESPN3] canceled due to COVID
Florida Atlantic Owls at Georgia Southern Eagles [2:30pm, ESPN] canceled due to COVID
The Citadel Bulldogs at #1 Clemson Tigers [3pm, ACCN]

{EPL} Arsenal vs. West Ham United [2pm, NBCSN]
{MLS} Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas [2:30pm, FS1]
{MLS} New England Revolution vs. New York City FC [3:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Verona vs. Roma [1:45pm, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Celta Vigo vs. Valencia [2pm, beIN]

Watch That

#23 Appalachian St. Mountaineers at Marshall Thundering Herd

2:30pm | CBS | App -4.5 | O/U 59.5

Troy Trojans at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

3pm | ESPN | Troy -3.5 | O/U 64.5

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at UTSA Roadrunners

2pm | ESPN2 |

Beez has previewed App State-Marshall for you. This is hillbilly football at its finest; tune in. I urge you. You do not need to watch UCF or Clemson that badly.

Troy-Middle Tennessee, as a little amuse-bouche to our NIGHT OF RIVALRIES to come, offers us the BATTLE FOR THE PALLADIUM! This rivalry, renewed in just 1999—and so named because of the mythical creature mascots of the Trojan and Pegasus—offers us so much, just from the Wikipedia page:

  • Taunts at a movie theater in 2001!
  • Stupid mythology!

Legend dictates the winner of The Palladium gains an unknown and unexplainable advantage over the other making it more difficult to regain control during future battles.

  • An alliterative an improbable but explainable win!

The most memorable game in the rivalry came in 2006. With Middle Tennessee undefeated in conference play on the final day of the regular season and Troy hoping to beat the Blue Raiders to gain a share of the conference championship, the Trojans scored 14 points in the final 2:19 to win 21–20 in what has been called the Miracle in Murfreesboro.

  • Is there a silly rivalry trophy? YOU KNOW THERE IS:

I love it—World’s Largest Outdoor Toga Party has me HOOKED. My pick: Middle Tennessee, since we’ve learned the holders of the Palladium are MORE POWERFUL.

Also wait, holy shit—FAU went from Kiffykins to Willie Taggart? Jeez, that might be enough to just bump Owls-Eagles off this list entirely. From fun, don’t-give-a-fuck football with the LANE TRAIN to...jeez. Whatever Taggart offers. Maybe without the spotlight, Willie can thrive.

That game remains worth it, though, for the fun triple option of Georgia Southern, even if it’s concerning how seriously the locals down there take it.

UPDATE: TAGGART CANCELED

Also, a moment to laugh at Notre Dame for getting shunted to USA Network.

Poll

Saturday afternoon: Hopefully the firepit patio I’m being forced to dig is done, so what should I watch?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    THE THRASHA IN APPALACHIA
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    A re-run of Taggart
    (1 vote)
  • 13%
    BATTLE FOR THE PALLADIUM
    (5 votes)
  • 11%
    USF-Notre Dame, because I LOVE re-runs of Chrisley Knows Best and odds are this is just as good, right?
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Tell me more about Stephen F. Austin at UTSA...
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    Arsenal-West Ham, just to laugh at MNW’s shit team losing a shit soccer game because they’re shit
    (6 votes)
  • 25%
    just here to lol at UNC vs. Charlotte and the idea that Big Ten football will happen at all
    (9 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Central Arkansas Bears at Arkansas State Red Wolves [6pm, ESPN+]
Wake Forest Demon Deacons at N.C. State Wolfpack (-2.5, O/U 53) [7pm, ACCN]
Abilene Christian Wildcats at Texas-El Paso Miners [8pm, ESPN3]

{MLB} Chicago White Sox at Cincinnati Reds [6:07pm, FOX regional]
{MLB} Atlanta Braves at New York Mets [6:07pm, FOX regional]
{MLB} Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles [6:35pm, FS1]
{MLB} Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs [7:15pm, ESPN+]
{MLB} Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [8:10pm, FOX]

{NBA} Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat [7:30pm, ESPN]

{MLS} Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami FC [6pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati [6pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Columbus Crew vs. Nashville SC [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Orlando City SC vs. Chicago Fire [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps [6:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United [7pm, ESPN+]

Do you only have an antenna? Watch This

#17 Miami-Fluoride Hurricanes at #18 Louisville Cardinals

6:30pm | ABC | M-FL -2.5 | O/U 64.5

Otherwise, Watch That

SMU Mustangs at North Texas Mean Green

5pm | CBSSN | SMU -14 | O/U 68.5

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Southern Miss Golden Eagles

6:30pm | ESPN2 | USM -5.5 | O/U 58.5

Texas State Bobcats at ULM Warhawks

6:30pm | ESPNU | TXSt -5.5 | O/U 62

OK, we’ve got rivalries. And a general rule of OTE DWT;WT is when in doubt, rivalries beat some shitty ACC action, even if they’re ranked.

Maybe it’s not an official rule, but it’s an unwritten one (until now, I guess).

Oh God, am I gonna get plunked with a fastball for writing it out?

Anywho, THE RIVALRIES:

SMU-UNT: THE SAFEWAY BOWL
Really, all you need to know is what Wikipedia offers you:

Its name is derived from a challenge from then UNT head coach Matt Simon issued in 1994 after a two-year break in the series, stating “I’d like to play because I think we could beat them, and my players feel the same way. If they’d like to play on a Safeway parking lot ... just give us a date and time.”

Weird, petty, dumb Texas football. This marks the 40th game in the history; it is just the sixth in its history to be played in Denton, where UNT has won 4 of those 5 games.

Who am I to pick against the 14-point dog Mean Green? GO SMUUNT.

Louisiana Tech-Southern Miss: Rivalry in Dixie
Not worth of all caps, but still excellent. Esteemed SBNation colleague Tanner Spearman once ranked Rivalry in Dixie second among C-USA rivalries—though behind the Moonshine Throwdown, which seems...improbable—so I guess we’ll have to take it from him:

The hate has been slow to build after the long break in playing each other [while LaTech was in the WAC], but it’s starting to heat up. The lengthy history of these two, combined with the effect this game has had on the past two C-USA title games, gets this rivalry the number two spot.

There’s usually points, and there’s usually bad football.

Oh, and Southern Miss has a new coach! After losing at home to South Alabama, Jay Hopson “resigned”, with OC Scotty Walden taking his spot. Here is Scotty Walden’s resume, per his Wikipedia page. I would like you to tell me the weirdest thing here:

Is it that he played for three colleges, starting, for some reason, at Dordt in Iowa despite being from south of Fort Worth? Is it that his only head coaching experience is at East Texas Baptist University? Is it that he has a BA in history from something called Sul Ross State, which is named for a Confederate general? Is it that he’s not even a year older than I am and is now helming a Division 1 college football team?

There’s no need to decide. It’s my new favorite thing. GO SCOTTY WALDEN; GO USM.

(Sorry, Tanner.)

Texas State-ULM: NOT A RIVALRY, BUT IT COULD BE!
I base this statement on nothing. There is no “there” there, to quote Gertrude Stein. But this isn’t Oakland, man, this is the Sun Belt! Where anything can happ—oh, Matt Viator is 4-0 against Texas State in his tenure at Monroe? OK, then.

Instead, I will highlight one Good Trophy each of these teams plays for:

  • Texas State: THE PADDLE (with FCS Nicholls State)—check out Underdog Dynasty’s Vidal Espinoza on the full story (it includes a story of Jim Wacker winning Paul Bunyan’s Axe, which I don’t believe), but long story short? Floods happened. Coaches talked. Big paddle. Objectively good.
  • ULM: A WOODEN BOOT (with Louisiana-Lafayette)—the adequately-named Battle on the Bayou, which is much better than what I assume is a now-retired rivalry name with Arkansas State, the “Trail of Tears Classic”. What the absolute fuck.

Poll

Saturday evening! The sun’s going down depressingly early, but that means you can stay in and watch football! So what’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    SAFE. WAY. BOWL.
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Rivalry in Dixie!
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Give us another 2OT game, Bobcats...
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    Miami-Louisville, because I only have an antenna
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Miami-Louisville, because I truly believe it’ll be good
    (2 votes)
  • 18%
    Miami-Louisville, mostly out of spite for MNW
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Wake-NC State, because I am really weird and need some secondary ACC action in my life
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    I dunno, Central Arkansas has wormed their PURPLEBEAR way into my heart
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    There’s a real chance Abilene beats UTEP, so...
    (1 vote)
  • 9%
    Probably MLB
    (3 votes)
  • 12%
    NBA game whatever it is
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    MLS! You recognized MLS!
    (0 votes)
  • 24%
    I read all the way to the bottom of this fucking poll and really resent you for it.
    (8 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now

It’s Late and I’m Drunk

There’s literally no American football on. This sucks.

Don’t Watch This

{MLS} LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids [9:30pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers [9:30pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

{USL} Phoenix Rising vs. San Diego Loyal

9:30pm | ESPN+

{AFL} Sydney Swans vs. Geelong Cats

12:30am | FS2

Last weekend my Fremantle Dockers absolutely handled the North Melbourne Kangaroos, 15.9 (99) to 5.5 (35). That’s an ass-whooping in any language. They won’t make the AFL Finals, but they’re now 11th in the ladder, with the play of Matt Taberner and ruckman Sean Darcy giving me hope that next year, they’ll beat that asshole WSR’s West Coast Eagles.

If you’re not drunk enough that this makes sense, you’ve got some work to do before 9:30pm on Saturday night.

Poll

Have you tried watching any new sports since COVID?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Yeah, Aussie rules!
    (9 votes)
  • 6%
    Lots of random-ass soccer, that’s for sure.
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Does KOREAN baseball count as new?
    (1 vote)
  • 25%
    No, I know what I know and don’t care to learn anything else cool, like Australians beating the shit out of each other.
    (8 votes)
  • 35%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (11 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now

Anywho, this is fine:

Enjoy the games, everybody.