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Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Your Guide to College Football Championship Week

In which...did they just abandon that school? Were they raptured?

Note: This article is purely to inform you of the time, TV, odds, line, spread, betting, and general vibe of the college football schedule. Any learning you do, entertainment you draw, or commentary you glean from the words that follow is purely coincidental and not the intent of sports blog nation dot com.

/stirs from beneath pile of ungraded final projects

Oh, hi! Didn’t expect to see you here. Mostly because I’m not sure what SEO is, but also because there are so many good articles here at Off Tackle Empire dot com that I’m not sure why you’d waste your time on the ramblings of some lunatic.

Maybe Thursday went by and you figured “OK, I guess I should just watch whatever I want.” Maybe you just resolved you were going to do that anyway.

Well, it’s been a busier week of work than normal—part of my job involves traveling to local high schools, and hooboy do I hit the road these next couple weeks.

In the meantime, though, I’m just going to share some pictures from one cool stop: Eagle Bend High School, in Eagle Bend, Minnesota, a farm-and-rail town of a few hundred people that, since the 1980s, has been in long decline.

The long story of this is that in 1939, Eagle Bend’s existing high school burned to the ground. The lucky part? There happened to be a federal program ready and raring to pay un- and underemployed locals to build new things. And certainly built an imposing structure atop the hill on the west end of town:

Per Addy McCoy’s history of the WPA and Eagle Bend High School from the Living New Deal:

While deliberating on new construction on January 31, 1940, the members of the Eagle Bend School Board applied for $52,000 of Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) funding to complete the rebuilding of the school. Blueprints were drawn by architect, E.F. Broomhall from Duluth, MN., and A.C. Dunn was the W.P.A. area engineer.The project employed a variety of local laborers and businesses to supplement W.P.A. labor. Carpenters Gust Berggren and Olof Edmonds received an additional 50-cent per day stipend from the school board on days they did not work for the W.P.A.

The Eagle Bend School Board Log Book shows the board contracted L Pancratz Company of Little Falls for the construction of the roof, while the Northwest Sash and Door Company of Fergus Falls completed the glass and mill work and also received help from W.P.A. laborers to unload their trucks and glaze the windows. The Cold Spring Granite Company furnished local granite to trim the school’s front entrance, while the Sani Stone Company of Duluth installed the terrazzo stairs and flooring. A W.G. Chihos served as the electrical installation foreman, and the Hustad Company of Minneapolis furnished the roof. The Knapp Plumbing and Heating Company installed the water system, Lowell Swanson finished the floors, W.E. Neal Slate Company installed the blackboards.

Eagle Bend High School, though, fell victim to a problem all too common in rural America: declining enrollment, declining tax revenue, and mounting maintenance costs on a building built in the 1940s. Not only did the high school close, but after the failure to pass a levy, the school district itself dissolved, its students absorbed by other cities already co-oping.

While the building still stands, with an extension built onto its side housing a community kitchen, the building itself sits unoccupied.

It was something I’d always wanted to see—a concrete goliath, still rising over a town that opted to let it die. I’d been told by an area teacher that the roof had sprung several leaks, meaning black mold took over the interior and no one was allowed in. I assumed that would be what I found: water on the floors and little else, evident signs of decay throughout.

Instead, just by peering in the windows, I got a fascinating glimpse into a school that was seemingly abandoned five years ago, with desks packed up but everything else left.

Enough talk—onto the games.

MNW’s “Oh Wait, Plagiarize Some Stuff” Trivia

  1. Three different Division I (FBS and FCS) schools play for a trophy named “Mayor’s ____,” but only Temple and Villanova are located in the same metropolitan area. Name one of the other two.
  2. What variety of wheat gets its name from the Latin for “hard,” and is also known as “pasta wheat” and “macaroni wheat”?
  3. In 1972, 70-year-old Lorna Johnstone became the oldest woman ever to compete in the Olympics. She represented the U.K. in which event, defined as “the execution by a trained horse of precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from its rider”?
  4. In filmmaking, a “dolly zoom” involves zooming in on a subject while simultaneously moving the camera away from it, often to convey a sense of unease. It was a signature of what director, who helped popularize it in a 1958 James Stewart thriller?
  5. The port city of Darwin is both the most northerly and the least populous territorial capital in what country?

Friday Evening

Don’t Watch This

C-USA Championship: North Texas Mean Green at UTSA Roadrunners (-8.5, O/U 69) [6:30pm, CBSSN]

{MBB} #16 Illinois Fighting Illini at #22 Maryland Terrapins (-1.5, O/U 145.5) [8pm, BTN]

Watch That

#11 Utah Utes vs. #4 USC Trojans

Pac-12 Championship (in Las Vegas)
7pm | FOX | USC -2.5 | O/U 67.5

NCAA Volleyball on tonight, too!

We decorated the Christmas tree tonight. Something so wholesome having your kid shit herself in your arms as you put up an overly-ornate ornament with her name on it on the tree.


Friday evening! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (49 votes)
  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 17%
    B1G Hoops
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    The Minnesota High School Football Finals
    (7 votes)
  • 21%
    Something else, I guess
    (21 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning

Don’t Watch This

MAC Championship: Toledo Rockets (-1.5, O/U 55) vs. Ohio Bobcats [11am, ESPN]
FCS 2nd Round: New Hampshire Wildcats at Holy Cross Crusaders [11am, ESPN+]

{CBB} St. Francis (PA) at #25 Ohio State [11am, BTN]

Watch That

#10 Kansas State Wildcats at #3 TCU Horned Frogs

Big XII Championship (in Arlington, TX)
11am | ABC | TCU -2.5 | O/U 62

I want the MAC Championship to be good and wild. I really do. But Ohio’s rounded into “competence” here, and Toledo doesn’t do it for me.

So I want to see if TCU can do the damn thing—and while Sonny Dykes is an asshole, I genuinely hope they can—or if this is going to be thrown into some apocalyptic wasteland of a College Football Playoff where Alabama finds a way to back in based on nothing but a hastily-called Nick Saban press conference.


Good morning!

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Big XII
    (35 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Ohio State basketball?!
    (2 votes)
  • 45%
    I’ll be shouting "U-S-A!" at the top of my lungs
    (45 votes)
  • 4%
    I’ll be waiting for the Nick Saban press conference
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    I’ll be burning Gggreggg in effigy
    (5 votes)
99 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon

Don’t Watch This

FCS 2nd Round: Furman Paladins at Incarnate Word Cardinals [1pm, ESPN+]
FCS 2nd Round: Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Bill & Mary [1pm, ESPN+]
FCS 2nd Round: Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens at South Dakota State Jackrabbits [2pm, ESPN+]
FCS 2nd Round: SE Louisiana Lions at Samford Bulldogs [2pm, ESPN+]
A Random Game: Valparaiso Beacons at New Mexico State Aggies [2pm, Flo ($)]
Sun Belt Championship: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Troy Trojans (-8.5, O/U 48) [2:30pm, ESPN]
FCS 2nd Round: Montana Grizzlies at North Dakota State Ditch-Diggers and Typist Training School Bizon [2:30pm, ESPN+]
SEC Championship: #14 LSU Tigers vs. #1 Georgia Bulldogs (-17.5, O/U 51) [3pm, CBS]
Mountain West Championship: Fresno State Bulldogs at Boise State Broncos (-3, O/U 54) [3pm, FOX]
SWAC Championship: Southern Jaguars vs. Jackson State Tigers (-17.5, O/U 50.5) [3pm, ESPN2]
FCS 2nd Round: Richmond Spiders at Sacramento State Hornets [4pm, ESPN+]

{CBB} #10 Indiana Hoosiers (-3, O/U 134) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights [3pm, BTN]

Watch That

{World Cup} Argentina vs. Australia

1pm | Fox/Telemundo

#22 UCF Citronauts at #18 Tulane Green Wave

AAC Championship Game
3pm | ABC | Tulane -4 | O/U 57

{MBB} wisconsin badgers at Marquette Golden Eagles

3:30pm | FS1 | Marq -5.5 | O/U 136

Roll. Damn. Wave.

(And ring out a-hoya with an M-U-rah-rah.)


Good afternoon!

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    (22 votes)
  • 17%
    (14 votes)
  • 10%
    Ring out Ahoya!
    (8 votes)
  • 37%
    Something else
    (30 votes)
  • 6%
    Valparaiso-New Mexico State. I want to admit online that I would pay for Valpo-NMSU.
    (5 votes)
79 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening

Don’t Watch This

ACC Championship Game: #9 Clemson Tigers (-7.5, O/U 63.5) vs. #23 North Carolina Tar Heels [7pm, ABC]

Watch That, I Guess

Purdue Boilermakers vs. #2 Michigan Wolverines

Big Ten Championship Game
7pm | FOX | Mich -16.5 | O/U 52

{WBB} Penn State Nittany Lions at Minnesota Gophers

7:30pm | BTN

Odds are you care more about this than the alternative. So, uh...


I’ll be watching...

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    The B1G, out of protest
    (26 votes)
  • 31%
    The B1G, out of enthusiasm
    (36 votes)
  • 24%
    The B1G, out of terror
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    The ACC, out of nausea
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    The ACC, out of snobbery
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    (8 votes)
  • 9%
    Anything else, please, God
    (11 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now

It’s Late and I’m Drunk...

Don’t Watch This

Probably the second half of Purdue-Michigan

Watch That, I Guess

Wichita State Shockers at Kansas State Wildcats

8pm | ESPNU | K-State -6 | O/U 129.5

Saint Mary’s Gaels at #1 Houston Cougars

8:30pm | ESPN2 | UH -10 | O/U 117.5
In Fort Worth, TX

That’s what I’ve got for you. Not with a bang, but with a “thank the Lord it’s over.”


Mmmmm the breakfast World Cup beers give way to...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    ...Houston-Saint Mary’s?
    (4 votes)
  • 57%
    ...the dregs of the Big Ten Championship, then bed for me
    (43 votes)
  • 13%
    whatever the bar has on
    (10 votes)
  • 21%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (16 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now

Enjoy the games, everybody. Thanks for reading this nonsense all year.

MNW’s “Oh Wait, Plagiarize Some Stuff” Trivia

  1. Rice-SMU or Missouri-South Carolina (for the latter, both are in a city named “Columbia”)
  2. durum
  3. dressage
  4. Alfred Hitchcock (it’s called the “Vertigo effect”)
  5. Australia