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Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 13: Land Grants, Land Grabs, and Thanksgiving

For Michigan State-Penn State, we look at Land Grant Universities and Land Grab U—learn something, while you’re at it.

Rivalry Week is upon us!

Whether you’re an Axe, HAT, Bucket, Game, or “whatever trophy Iowa and Nebraska play for” person, surely we can all agree on this:

None of your trophies have lasers.

Yes, it’s time to honor the Land Grant Trophy, up for grabs between the Spartans and Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon. This ugly piece of sin, designed by MSU coach George Perles and memed by about every sports blog out there, honors Michigan State University and Pennsylvania State University, “First of the Land-Grant Colleges.”

That designation comes from a 1955 commemorative centenary stamp in honor of how the Michigan and Pennsylvania legislatures, in 1855, set aside thousands of acres of state-owned land to be sold, with the proceeds from the sales of that land used to establish a state university for the teaching and study of the agricultural and mechanical arts. (They had been preceded in this act by Georgia way back in 1785.)

Both universities, seven years later, became their states’ designees for an act that brought this model of higher education to the national level—the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862. Justin Smith Morrill, a Whig-turned-Republican representative from Vermont, believed the federal government should play a vital role in the education of its citizenry, which Morrill and other Republicans hoped would spread across America’s interior, creating a nation of self-sufficient farmers in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the yeoman farmer. You couldn’t just toss urban dwellers and immigrants west with no support, though—well, you could, but...—a system of colleges devoted to those agricultural, mechanical, and now military arts would create centers of scientific and practical learning.

Morrill’s first go at the bill was vetoed by James Buchanan in 1859 and his second was signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, during the Civil War. Joined with the Homestead Act—160 acres of “free” land provided you improved the land for five years and filed a claim—and Railroad Acts—land to set up a transcontinental railroad—the Morrill Land Grant Act formed the Republican Blueprint, goosing white settlers’ rapid expansion into the American West following the Civil War.

We’re familiar with most of the story from there—Iowa became the first state to accept the Morrill Act, designating what is today Iowa State to be its land-grant college; Kansas became the first to designate and open a new college, Kansas State. Dozens of colleges—basically, west of the Mississippi, assume it’s the one with “State” or “A&M” in the name—owe their mission to the Morrill Act.

And so we celebrate it!

There’s a key piece of that act, though, we too rarely think about:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be granted to the several States, for the purposes hereinafter mentioned, an amount of public land, to be apportioned to each State a quantity equal to thirty thousand acres for each senator and representative in Congress to which the States are respectively entitled by the apportionment under the census of eighteen hundred and sixty: Provided, That no mineral lands shall be selected or purchased under the provisions of this Act. [link]

Remember that land? The land that was to be sold off by the states, proceeds of which went into founding new colleges and universities?

Where’d it come from?

Tom Almeroth-Williams, “The great university land-grab,” University of Cambridge

Journalists at High Country News, an independent magazine based in Colorado that covers issues across the American West, partnered with University of Cambridge historian Dr. Robert Lee to locate 80,000 parcels of land—mostly in the West and previously held by Native Americans—that state governments sold off to fund those land-grant colleges:

Over the past two years, High Country News has located more than 99% of all Morrill Act acres, identified their original Indigenous inhabitants and caretakers, and researched the principal raised from their sale in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We reconstructed approximately 10.7 million acres taken from nearly 250 tribes, bands and communities through over 160 violence-backed land cessions, a legal term for the giving up of territory.

Our data shows how the Morrill Act turned Indigenous land into college endowments. It reveals two open secrets: First, according to the Morrill Act, all money made from land sales must be used in perpetuity, meaning those funds still remain on university ledgers to this day. And secondly, at least 12 states are still in possession of unsold Morrill acres as well as associated mineral rights, which continue to produce revenue for their designated institutions.
—Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone, “Land-grab universities,High Country News vol. 52, iss. 4 (March 30, 2020)

One of the things some of you may hear if you’re on a college campus or at a social justice-minded event is a “land acknowledgement”—a formal statement recognizing the Indigenous peoples who had lived on and possessed the land that event now takes place on.

But, Lee and Ahtone argue, “What many of these statements miss is that land-grant universities were built not just on Indigenous land, but with Indigenous land.”

Their full write-up in High Country News is powerful—it photographed and documented individual parcels of land: A California parcel sold off for the benefit Auburn University, a Washington parcel ceded and sold for Clemson and South Carolina State, a now-cornfield in Nebraska sold for $0.93 that netted Ohio State $88.79.

That’s right—it wasn’t just land in your state that built your land-grant. Eastern states that lacked “public land” got vouchers to select surveyed public land in the West (with a few caveats). Western states and territories got land from within their borders.

I encourage—really, I urge—you to go to their interactive digital site, Land Grab U, and explore the legacy of your and other land-grant institutions’ land sales. On their map—admittedly, a little slow because there’s a LOT of data—you can sort by state and institution for a visualization, and you can do the same in an interactive table farther down the page.

Land Grab U

Click on some of those parcels sold off—hell, do like my students in U.S. History II do, and pull up those parcels on Google Maps today.

Not wanting to steal any more from the authors, map-makers, and others who did so much to put this whole project together, here’s that link again:

When we talk about that enormous transfer of wealth that occurs each weekend on the college football field—now-paid, but often underpaid athletes lining the pockets of titanic universities’ athletic departments, we ought to remember this isn’t the first time an Ohio State, or Michigan State, or Minnesota, or Nebraska, profited off something that wasn’t theirs. “The grants,” Lee and Ahtone continued, “when adjusted for inflation, were worth about half a billion dollars.”

We’re talking $495 million in 2020 dollars, 52 benefiting universities, 10.7 million acres granted from 245 different tribal nations.

Please, in between political arguments this Thanksgiving weekend, give it a read, and look at the legacy of the Land-Grant. I’m not here to tell you how to make it right or if anything should be done—the folks at Land Grab U and High Country News offer their share of ideas and solutions. Read their thoughts in good faith; think about how, at least by learning these stories, you can continue to layer new knowledge on top of old knowledge.

A note for the weekend’s action: I’ve included Thursday’s college basketball games to really help you avoid that family conversation as much as possible—but that’s too much to keep up and update this through the weekend. Whereas I normally have 6 time slots I cover, this week it’s 11. We’ll have basketball threads elsewhere on OTE as much as we can. Thanks!

Thursday Morning

Don’t Watch This

{NFL} Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions [11:30am, FOX]

{MBB} Dayton vs. Miami [11am, ESPN2]

Watch That

{MBB} Michigan State vs. #22 UConn

11am | ESPN | Battle 4 Atlantis

{WBB} DePaul Blue Demons vs. Rutgers

12pm | ESPN3 | Paradise Jam (St. Thomas, USVI)

Only thing I’ll add here is that all those glorious Europa League games on this morning (kicking off 11:45am on Paramount+ for those who have it, Spanish-language TUDN for those who don’t) include West Ham having a chance to book their spot in the knockout rounds if they can get a point at Rapid Vienna, otherwise known in German as Rapid Wien.

Those of you who don’t speak German and mentally auto-correct the sound of a German “W” in your head, I hope you got a giggle from this.

There’s nothing funny about Bears-Lions, and if you seriously watch it I’ll pray for you.


You arrive. Oh God, your unvaccinated uncle is standing over all the food, talking and gesticulating everywhere. You escape downstairs, and you watch...

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Michigan State-UConn
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    (6 votes)
  • 55%
    SHIT—Bears-Lions is already on
    (61 votes)
  • 12%
    I would read the hell outta an OTE-themed Choose Your Own Adventure book.
    (14 votes)
  • 10%
    Damnit, got roped into conversation with Aunt Barb about "the supply chain" and presidential vacations
    (11 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now

Thursday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

Tuskegee Golden Tigers at Alabama State Hornets [2pm, ESPN+]

{NFL} Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys [3:30pm, CBS]

{MBB} Loyola-Chicago vs. #19 Auburn [1:30pm, ESPN(2)]
{MBB} North Texas vs. #4 Kansas [1:30pm, ESPN(2)]
{WBB} Purdue at #22 West Virginia [4pm, ESPN+]
{MBB} #10 Alabama vs. Iona [4pm, ESPN(2)]
{WBB} South Dakota vs. Northwestern [4:45pm, ESPN3]

{MLS} Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers [3:30pm, FOX]

Watch That

Fresno State Bulldogs at San Jose State Spartans

2:30pm | FS1 | Fresno -7.5 | O/U 52.5

Caring about Raiders-Cowboys is so 90s.

You know how to live in the now? By feasting your eyes on that sweet, sweet VALLEY TROPHY:

More trophies should be shiny. Imagine if the winner of wisconsin-Iowa got TECHNOBULL instead of that lame, castrated thing.

You’d care 5% more, I’m guessing.

Here’s the Mountain West skinny:

  • In the West Division, #21 San Diego State is 6-1, while Fresno State is 5-2.
  • Boise State, Utah State, and Air Force—yes, Air Force!—are all tied atop the Mountain Division at 5-2.
  • The West is simple: San Diego State’s magic number is 1, so a win or a Fresno State loss and they’re in the Mountain West Championship Game.
  • The Mountain...hoooooooboy. The beneficiary if ALL THREE teams win or lose? AIR FORCE! BUT!
  • The Falcons lost to Utah State. so if Air Force wins, Boise loses, AND Utah State wins? Aggies take home the prize. (Similarily, Air Force has the tiebreaker on Boise, so they just need a win and a Boise loss.)
  • Boise State has the tiebreaker over Utah State, so they need a win at San Diego State and an Air Force loss, setting up 6-2 Boise State and 6-2 Utah State alone.
  • Think that’s complicated? The San Diego Union-Tribune has all the MWC Championship Game hosting permutations, too.


The coveted Thursday afternoon slot. Right when your uncle reaches peak fullness and starts shooting from the hip about Nazi Germany, you escape to the TV room and turn on...

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Fresno State-San Jose
    (16 votes)
  • 3%
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Tuskegee-Alabama State
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Some other basketball
    (6 votes)
  • 8%
    Mmm, Thanksgiving Day MLS
    (7 votes)
  • 57%
    Fine, if Uncle Kent can live in the 90s, so can I: Raiders-Cowboys
    (47 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now

Thursday Evening

Don’t Watch This

{NFL} Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints [7:20pm, NBC]

{MBB} Maryland vs. Richmond [6pm, CBSSN]

{Liga MX} Puebla vs. Leon [7pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Ole Miss Rebels at Mississippi State Bulldogs

6:30pm | ESPN | MSSt -1.5 | O/U 62

{MBB} Belmont Bruins vs. Drake Bulldogs

6:30pm | ESPNU | Drake -3 | O/U 149.5

In basketball, let’s stick to the fireworks. Maryland-Richmond? BORING! Why not watch MY Drake Bulldogs, led by G Roman Penn and F Tremell Murphy, put up some damn points in a little back-and-forth with Belmont?

I love Trevor Siemian dearly, but man, he is the antithesis of what I want in an NFL quarterback. Give me some Egg Bowl shenanigans instead, even if Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach “respect” each other or whatever. I don’t know how this one will end, but my early call is a skydiver landing on the Ole Miss kicker as he attempts the game-winning field goal. The refs rule it an act of weather and do not allow the Rebels to retry the kick. Bulldogs by 2.


After a little turkey-and-stuffing-induced coma, you’re back for some Busch Lights in the basement/garage with the relatives. This is a politics-free zone, right? Whew. Time to watch...

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (48 votes)
  • 2%
    MNW’s One True Love, Drake basketball
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    (1 vote)
  • 30%
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Say more about this Mexican soccer...
    (1 vote)
  • 9%
    Oh God, don’t, Kent found us and he’s got Mexico takes...
    (8 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drinking away 8 hours of in-laws talking politics...

Don’t Watch This

That new documentary Kent mentioned that’ll “totally change your mind on vaccines”

{MBB} #24 USC vs. Saint Joseph’s [8:30pm, ESPN2]
{MBB} UNC Wilmington Seahawks vs. Montana Grizzlies [8:30pm, ESPN+]
{MBB} Louisville vs. Mississippi State [8:30pm, CBSSN]

{Liga MX} Santos Laguna vs. Tigres UANL [9:05pm, FS2]

Watch That

{MBB} San Francisco Dons vs. Towson Tigers

8:30pm | FS1 | Las Vegas Classic

{MBB} Georgetown Hoyas vs. San Diego State Aztecs

10:59pm | ESPN2 | Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, CA)

I’m onto your East Coast bias, ESPN: when a game is set to tip off at 11pm CT, and thus 12am ET, the ESPN schedule lists the game start time as 10:59pm CT so it’ll show up on the same day out east. But when it’s a 12am CT start time—like Santa Clara-Fresno State was last night at the SoCal Challenge—they list it as 12am, because fuck them hicks in the cornfields.



It’s late, you’re drunk, and as the family clears out, you turn on...

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    I dunno, some college basketball sounds good.
    (10 votes)
  • 10%
    Nothing, I’ve gotta drive :(
    (8 votes)
  • 38%
    ...whatever’s already on the TV—the remote’s all the way over there, and I’m not moving
    (31 votes)
  • 38% i passed out hours ago
    (31 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

Friday Morning

Don’t Watch This

Kansas State Wildcats at Texas Longhorns (-3, O/U 52.5) [11am, FOX]
Ohio Bobcats (-6, O/U 48.5) at Bowling Green Falcons [11am, CBSSN]
Utah State Aggies (-15.5, O/U 49.5) at New Mexico Lobos [12pm, FS1]

{NHL} New York Rangers at Boston Bruins [12pm, ABC]

Watch That

Boise State Broncos at #21 San Diego State Aztecs

11am | CBS | Boise -2.5 | O/U 44.5

Eastern Michigan Eagles at Central Michigan Chippewas

11am | ESPNU | CMU -8.5 | O/U 64

One’s got Mountain West Championship implications, the Michigan MAC Trophy’s on the line in the other. Not a damn bit of convincing I should need to do here.


Back from my shopping/finally awake from my hangover, I shuffle into the living room and flip on:

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Boise State-San Diego State
    (19 votes)
  • 14%
    (12 votes)
  • 21%
    Kansas State-Texas
    (18 votes)
  • 14%
    uh...the NHL?
    (12 votes)
  • 26%
    Insensitive of you not to project out all the college basketball games, MNW
    (22 votes)
83 votes total Vote Now

Friday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

UTEP Miners at UAB Blazers (-13.5, O/U 50) [1pm, ESPN+]
Missouri Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks (-14.5, O/U 62.5) [2:30pm, CBS]
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (-15, O/U 56) at South Alabama Jaguars [2:30pm, ESPN+]
South Florida Brahman Bulls at UCF Citronauts (-18.5, O/U 62) [2:30pm, ESPN]
UNLV Rebels at Air Force Falcons (-18, O/U 50) [2:30pm, CBSSN]
Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Utes (-23.5, O/U 52.5) [3pm, FOX]
TCU Horned Frogs at Iowa State Cyclones (-15, O/U 59) [3:30pm, FS1]

{Bundesliga} Stuttgart vs. Mainz 05 [1:30pm, ESPN+]
{Serie A} Cagliari vs. Salernitana [1:45pm, Paramount+]
{EFL Championship} West Bromwich Albion vs. Nottingham Forest [2pm, ESPN+]
{La Liga} Atletico Bilbao vs. Granada [2pm, ESPN+]
{Ligue 1} Lens vs. Angers SCO [2pm, beIN]

Watch That

#16 Iowa Hawkeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

12:30pm | BTN | Iowa -1.5 | O/U 41

#4 Cincinnati Bearcats at East Carolina Pirates

2:30pm | ABC | Cincy -14 | O/U 58

TCU being 15-point dogs at Iowa State surprised me, but then I remembered they’d fired Gary Patterson and gone with interim HC Jerry Kill. Turns out it’s all an audition to get Ol’ Jer back into coaching!

For his final appearance in purple, though, he’ll face about 10,000 of Iowa State’s finest, hopefully good and lubed up from the concessions they’ll get to bring into the stadium themselves:

A $20 flash sale on GA tickets, a BYOB policy...what would you bring to ISU-TCU?


No I’m not going to get off the couch and be productive today, honey. I’m too busy watching...

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    (86 votes)
  • 10%
    Cincinnati-East Carolina
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Probably college basketball
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Some other college football
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Aw yeah, soccer time
    (0 votes)
  • 7%
    ...fine, I’ll take the garbage out
    (8 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now

Friday Evening

Don’t Watch This

There’s probably some basketball on

Watch That

North Carolina Tar Heels at #20 NC State Wolfpack

6pm | ESPN | NCSt -6 | O/U 62.5

Washington State Cougars at Washington Huskies

7pm | FS1 | Wazzu -1 | O/U 43.5

{WSOC} Australia vs. USWNT

10pm | FS2 | Int’l Friendly

Ready for all this?

Frankly, I don’t care which option it is—the fact that either Washington State or Oregon State could be the Pac 12 Championship Game representative from the North is hilarious, given the former fired an anti-vaccine nutjob HC midseason and the latter is, well, Oregon State.


The sun down, a weekend of gluttony midway through, I wheeze into a recliner and watch...

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    UNC-NC State
    (13 votes)
  • 56%
    (48 votes)
  • 8%
    (7 votes)
  • 20%
    Probably some basketball
    (17 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

#1 Georgia Bulldogs (-35, O/U 54.5) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets [11am, ABC]
#18 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-4.5, O/U 64) at Boston College Eagles [11am, ESPN2]
Texas Tech Red Raiders at #8 Baylor Bears (-14, O/U 52) [11am, FS1]
#24 Houston Cougars (-32, O/U 56) at UConn Huskies [11am, CBSSN]
Florida State Seminoles at Florida Gators (-3, O/U 59) [11am, ESPN]
Army Black Knights at Fightin’ Falwells (-3.5, O/U 54) [11am, ESPN+]
Navy Midshipmen (-12.5, O/U 43.5) at Temple Owls [11am, ESPNU]
Akron Zips at Toledo Rockets (-28.5, O/U 57.5) [11am, ESPN+]
Sacred Heart Pioneers at Holy Cross Crusaders [11am, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
Miami Fluoride Hurricanes (-21.5, O/U 68.5) at Duke Blue Devils [11:30am, ESPN3]
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-3.5, O/U 53) at Rice Owls [12pm, ESPN+]

{Serie A} Juventus vs. Atalanta [11am, Paramount+]
{EPL} Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leeds United [11:30am, NBC]
{La Liga} Mallorca vs. Getafe [11:30am, ESPN+]
{Bundesliga} Bayern Munich vs. Arminia Bielefeld [11:30am, ESPN+]

Watch That

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes at #5 Michigan Wolverines

11am | FOX | OSU -8 | O/U 64.5

Maryland Terrapins at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

11am | BTN | MD -1.5 | O/U 53

Miami Hydroxide Redhawks at Kent State Golden Flashes

11am | ESPN+ | Kent-1 | O/U 65.5

I originally had slated Florida State-Florida’s bowl eligibility play-in game as a “Watch That,” then I realized those two programs should just be allowed to wither in silence.

Maryland-Rutgers is for bowl eligibility, too, an infinitely more exciting thing to both fans of those programs and anyone who enjoys watching games played in 38 degree weather on a baseball field.


Good morning. As I get passive-aggressively voluntold to help with the second Thanksgiving dinner, even though the kitchen’s tiny and there’s nothing for me to do, I have one eye on the living room, where I can watch...

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    (84 votes)
  • 18%
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    Miami-Kent State
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Other football
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Probably college basketball?
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Maybe some soccer?
    (1 vote)
116 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

#22 UTSA Roadrunners (-10.5, O/U 59.5) at North Texas Mean Green [1pm, ESPN+]
Charlotte 49ers at Old Dominion Monarchs (-9.5, O/U 56) [1pm, ESPN+]
Texas State Bobcats at Arkansas State Red Wolves (-2, O/U 61.5) [1pm, ESPN+]
Troy Trojans at Georgia State Panthers (-6.5, O/U 50) [1pm, ESPN+]
Davidson Wildcats at Kennesaw State Owls [1pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
Georgia Southern Eagles at Appalachian State Mountaineers (-24.5, O/U 55.5) [1:30pm, ESPN+]
FIU Sunblazers at Southern Miss Golden Eagles (-10.5, O/U 45.5) [2pm, ESPN3]
Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at Wyoming Cowboys (-10, O/U 48) [2pm, Stadium, The Paniolo Trophy]
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils at Prairie View A&M Panthers [2pm, ESPN+]
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Incarnate Word Cardinals [2pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
UC Davis Aggies at South Dakota State Jackrabbits [2pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
#3 Alabama Crimson Tide (-19.5, O/U 56) at Auburn Tigers [2:30pm, CBS]
Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini (-6.5, O/U 43.5) [2:30pm, BTN]
Indiana Hoosiers at Purdue Boilermakers (-15, O/U 50.5) [2:30pm, FS1]
Vanderbilt Commodores at Tennessee Volunteers (-13, O/U 62.5) [2:45pm, SECN]
Virginia Tech Hokies at Virginia Cavaliers (-7, O/U 62.5) [2:45pm, ACCN]
#14 wisconsin badgers (-7, O/U 39) at Minnesota Gophers [3pm, FOX]
Tulsa Golden Hurricane at SMU Mustangs (-6.5, O/U 62) [3pm, ESPN2]
UL Monroe Warhawks at Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-21.5, O/U 54.5) [3pm, ESPNU]
Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils (-20, O/U 52.5) [3pm, Pac-12]
UT Martin Skyhawks at Missouri State Bears [3pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
Northern Iowa Panthers at Eastern Washington Eagles [3pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
Grambling Tigers at Southern Jaguars [4pm, NBCSN]

Watch That

Oregon State Beavers at #11 Oregon Ducks

2:30pm | ESPN | UO -7 | O/U 61

Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan State Spartans

2:30pm | ABC | PSU -1 | O/U 51.5

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Marshall Thundering Herd

2:30pm | CBSSN | Marshall -1 | O/U 74.5


UMass Minutemen at New Mexico State Aggies

2pm | FloSports ($) | NMSU -6 | O/U 59

Been a while since we’ve had one of these, but these two 1-10 teams are about as damn putrid as it gets.

I’ll be honest—when I first did this week’s DWT;WT, because of how the games get laid out when I have Northwestern as “favorite” team, I completely forgot about HAT. It just totally slipped my mind. Oops.

But any of these Big Ten rivalries—other than my own—is certainly worth watching, if you care about that game. This is one of the many flaws in DWT;WT: it is not geared at the die-hard follower of Big Ten football or reader of OTE, who likely already knows when their team plays and is actively planning to watch them. It is for the elusive casual reader, the casual fan, who I used to be able to ensnare with a flashy headline or SEO about redlining or mascots with teeth or something else. I have let them become my white whale—my suburban Chicago fan. They will never fill this Ryan Field of a blog.

Anywhoodles, Atinat’s also got your scoop on all the Big Ten wrestling action, as Iowa takes on ranked Oregon State while Rutgers and wisconsin host a little quadrangular with Hofstra and #18 North Carolina:

So there should be something out there for you. Go ‘Cats, just don’t lose HAT in an embarrassing fashion, please.


Oh God, the extended family’s arriving. And they’re all in badger gear. And I just want to hide but there are like 3 rooms in this cabin.

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    (34 votes)
  • 0%
    Uh, sure! Western Kentucky-Marshall it is!
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    I’m thankful for UMass-New Mexico State.
    (5 votes)
  • 35%
    (47 votes)
  • 11%
    (15 votes)
  • 16%
    (22 votes)
  • 4%
    literally anything else
    (6 votes)
132 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

Texas A&M Aggies (-6.5, O/U 45.5) at LSU Tigers [6pm, ESPN]
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Florida Atlantic Owls (-3.5, O/U 49.5) [6pm, Stadium]
West Virginia Mountaineers (-15.5, O/U 55.5) at Kansas Jayhawks [6pm, FS1]
Florida A&M Rattlers at SE Louisiana Lions [6pm, ESPN+, FCS Playoffs Round 1]
Pittsburgh Panthers (-13, O/U 58) at Syracuse Orange [6:30pm, ACCN]
Kentucky Wildcats at Louisville Cardinals (-3, O/U 57) [6:30pm, ESPN2]
Clemson Tigers (-11.5, O/U 43) at South Carolina Gamecocks [6:30pm, SECN]
#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-19, O/U 52.5) at Stanford Cardinal [7pm, FOX]

Watch That

Southern Illinois Salukis at South Dakota Coyotes

5pm | ESPN+ | FCS Playoffs Round 1

#10 Oklahoma Sooners at #7 Oklahoma State Cowboys

6:30pm | ABC | OKSt -5 | O/U 50

Tulane Green Wave at Memphis Tigers

6:30pm | ESPNU | Memphis -6 | O/U 57.5

This is the point in the weekend where I’m napping it off in the bedroom, if I’m honest, because I can’t take another minute of pleasant conversation.


But I’M watching...

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Southern Illinois-South Dakota! Playoffs on the Plains!
    (7 votes)
  • 59%
    (53 votes)
  • 1%
    Waves over Memphis
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    Some other football
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    Maybe some college basketball
    (4 votes)
  • 17%
    I too am napping to avoid a fight with my spouse
    (16 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...

Don’t Watch This

California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins (-7, O/U 57.5) [9:30pm, FS1]

Watch That

Nevada Wolf Pack at Colorado State Rams

8pm | CBSSN | Nevada -4 | O/U 55.5

#13 BYU Cougars at USC Trojans

9:30pm | ESPN | BYU -7 | O/U 64.5

Honestly at this point I’m so exhausted that I’m just praying you’ve stopped reading. Similarly, I’ll be praying that my nap ended around when my in-laws started getting tired, so I can catch my second wind in the living room with a bag of popcorn, some leftover turkey, and a whole lot of self-loathing.


Saturday night. We made it. Whew. Out of relief, let’s watch...

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Nevada-Colorado State
    (9 votes)
  • 25%
    (23 votes)
  • 13%
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    ...I think I might give that documentary Uncle Kent recommended a try
    (10 votes)
  • 8%
    College basketball probably
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    Whatever the bar has on
    (3 votes)
  • 28%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (26 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Here’s your thread for the day’s sports.