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Fall’s Tarts Week 4: College Football Really Dropped The Ball On This One

The dumbest things that happened in our favorite sport this week

NCAA Football: Missouri at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

You’re right, this is usually a Tuesday column.

But it turns out I dropped the ball.

It happens. It’s hard to keep focus at all times. That being said, in college football, losing focus is a great way to find yourself in this very article!

Tai Should Have Felton The Ball A Little Harder

Your writing staff thought Maryland would get stomped by Michigan, and it’s hard to get more inauspicious than the way they started the game. Returner Tai Felton got hit right in the visor by the opening kickoff at his own 2 yard line. It bounced 4 yards on the fly, then eventually to Michigan at the 10. They would go on to score a touchdown on the first play.

This would be made all the more painful by Maryland actually fighting back, only to fall by seven points. This touchdown was the difference in the game.

Whether Or Not You Care, Here Come Da Judge

ABC took an interesting approach to broadcasting what would end up being an absolute barnburner between Clemson and Wake Forest. Although this is a quasi-religious event to a certain part of the Southeast and of great interest to the region at large as well as to a huge national audience, ABC saw fit to splitscreen it with the Yankees-Red Sox game every time Aaron Judge came up to bat. Judge, as ESPN keeps screaming at you, was sitting on 60 home runs for the season, which is one shy of tying the AL record for a single season (though still 13 behind Barry Bonds’ all time major league record).

This was the effect. As of this article, Judge still has 60 homers. If memory serves, he didn’t even get a hit in the game. However, it was a momentous enough occasion to interrupt MULTIPLE scoring plays, including the one pictured and a two point conversion later in the quarter.

I’m not going to bother you with a bunch of tweets about it, but I can tell you this: “this is a good thing because lol we take college football too seriously and it’s funny that people are mad about a minor inconvenience” was a much more popular take than “this is a good thing because this baseball record is more important than college football.”

The most popular take was “if I really want to watch the baseball, I’ll figure out how to watch it.”

Michigan Football: It’s Not For Having Fun

You would think that wearing a Big Bird head to a football game would put a pretty low ceiling on how seriously you can take yourself.

You’d think that if you’d never been to Ann Arbor.

Sure, those around him are disappointed by a Maryland touchdown, but this young man is absolutely SEETHING that his #4-ranked defending Big Ten champion Wolverines are not covering the spread. His stone-faced bro is thinking about trying to tell him it’s okay, but he knows there’s no words. This is the hardest day of this Michigan fan’s life.

(pls lose to iowa)

Legends of the Hidden Temple

You’d probably prefer that Temple Owls - UMass Minutemen stay hidden. Behold the following sequence of drives in a scoreless game:

  • After two punts from each team, UMass turns it over on downs
  • Temple throws an interception 6 plays into a drive
  • UMass goes three and out. The punt doesn’t even get across the 50, but Temple muffs it and UMass recovers
  • Taking this gift, UMass throws an interception three snaps later
  • Three snaps after that, Temple throws a pick
  • UMass goes 34 yards in 9 plays and misses a 48-yard field goal

After this sequence, Temple finally went down and scored. They would take control and win 28-0, but this sequence of ineptitude earns a Tart.

Baby Let’s Put The “Oink” In Doink

One SEC game that came right down to the wire was Arkansas hosting Texas A&M. With a minute and a half remaining, the Razorbacks lined up for a 42-yard field goal to take a one point lead.

Eat your heart out, Griffin Oakes. I’ve never seen anything like this.

That’s right. That kick went directly off the TOP of the upright. Cam Little’s first attempt of the day had a result that should probably be worth at least 4 points, but in the rules of our game today is worth 0.

What Does Bryan Harsin Have To Do To Lose A Game?

Another SEC game that came down to the wire was Missouri‘s visit to Auburn.

Auburn opened the scoring with a touchdown, then quickly picked off Missouri to set up another touchdown. In the second quarter, Mizzou fought back to score a pair of touchdowns of their own to even the score.

Then the second half happened.

In the first 28 minutes and change of the second half, no points were scored and only 129 total offensive yards were registered. Only one drive went longer than 14 yards (a 7-play 30-yard Auburn drive that nevertheless ended in a punt). Surely there was at least a turnover to generate some excitement?

There was not. It was a clean offensive struggle. There were no turnovers, only ten combined punts in a row.

With 1:36 left in the game, Mizzou drove 62 yards in 9 plays to the 3, but lost 5 on the next play. Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz had seen enough, and he used the next play to center the ball for his All-American kicker Harrison Mevis. This win would put the struggling Tigers at 3-1, spurred by quarterback Brady Cook. Perhaps this could be the spark he needs; Mizzou’s poor quarterback play was a big factor in their crushing defeat at Kansas State, although their less-than-stellar performance against Abilene Christian left a lot to be desired. Mizzou fans are starting to lose hope in the Drinkwitz regime, but this win could light a fire under their ass.

Mevis pushed the 26 yarder wide right. Mutthead could not be reached for comment.

On the other sideline, it’s hard to know what an embattled Harsin was thinking. He was the subject of an internal probe in February after 20 players and five coaches left the program after his inaugural 6-7 campaign. This has clearly left him with some bitter feelings, and who could blame him for feeling sabotaged in this situation? Athletic director Allen Greene was fired on the eve of this football season, leaving Harsin on an even lonelier island. He’s always been a bit of an odd duck in the SEC. Nevertheless, he’ll be sitting on $15 million if he’s fired this season, so maybe it doesn’t matter that much. Boise State would probably be glad to have him back based on their disastrous start to 2022.

There’s been speculation all over the Auburn internet that Harsin will be canned if he loses this game. Fans have offered to pay for the buyout. Tigers of all stripes watch with bates breath, both sides hoping for Mizzou to pull off the victory. Auburn opens overtime nearly throwing a pick, but the interception is overturned on replay review. They settle for a field goal.

On 2nd and 5 from the Auburn 20, Mizzou’s Nathaniel Peat finds room in the 3 hole and hits the jets, runs through a diving tackle attempt and sprints through the narrow corridor between the sideline and his receiver, who has sealed the outside beautifully. Corner Keontae Scott has tracked him down from the far side of the field and it seems that Peat feels the pursuit and comes up with a plan. Prior to going around the block, he’s carrying the ball high and tight in his left arm. Figuring the remaining defenders will try to shove him out before the goal line, his plan is to switch the ball to his right hand so he can leap and stretch for the pylon as he’s hit out of bounds.

There’s only one flaw: he fumbles the ball trying to change hands and it goes forward out of his reach, tumbling right into the end zone, just barely inbounds.

Watch carefully, you can see the ball is secure until just before the contact when it suddenly squirts past his outstretched right hand. I initially thought Scott popping him in the back forced the fumble, but he had already lost the ball by that time.

Into the end zone fell the hopes and dreams of those Mizzou holdouts who still believe in Eli Drinkwitz. Bryan Harsin’s $15 million buyout went tumbling towards the back of the end zone, but by the time Derick Hall recovers it to secure the win, it was just an ordinary football.

Auburn wins.

Melt Ucker

The Michigan State Spartans had their pass defense incinerated by Tanner Morgan of all people. Apparently the flames got pretty hot:

Congratulations, Minnesota! You turned Mel Tucker into the Jordan Peele meme!

Miami Is Playing With A Backup

Miami (OH) defeated Northwestern without star quarterback Brett Gabbert, and did so in a way that made it painfully obvious that they were playing without their starting QB.

Evidently, Aveon Smith at one point had a wide open receiver 20 yards downfield and sailed it 10 yards out of bounds. He would finish with 62 passing yards on the day. A couple plays later, he was flagged for an illegal blindside block.

Northwestern still lost.

The Other Miami Needs To Restore From A Backup File

How does Miami lose to Middle Tennessee?

Well, here’s a good summary of how:

FAUcking It All Up

Florida Atlantic had a chance to take Purdue to overtime and actually called a great play for the game-tying 2 point conversion. In the pistol with a slot and a wide receiver to the right, the wideout came in motion back to the right side of the halfback, and as the ball was snapped he ran to his right, looking for the QB. The Purdue corner who had been on the slotback handed him off to pursue the wideout in the backfield.

As the QB threw him the ball, the slotback got behind the coverage and got WIDE OPEN behind the safety. It’s working! Now the receiver with the ball just needs to loft it over that safety...

...and somehow the safety has to dive to pick it off. Game, Purdue.

oh no bby what is you doin???

Drone Strike

PAC 12 AFTER DARK was interrupted by a rogue drone, because apparently someone was sick of watching Washington beat up on Stanford.

Coach Out-Athletes His Own Team

Southern Miss head coach Will Hall, classing it up with slacks and a tie, was besieged by his team after a 27-24 win over Tulane. They attempted to give him a Gatorade bath. Not only did he evade their original attempt, he actually managed to swat the cooler out of the hands of his player.

This is the best Gatorade bath evasion I’ve seen since Illinois interim head coach Vic Koenning ducked the bath at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in 2011.

BONUS: Butt Punt

NFL content is not eligible in our poll, but you have to see this:

In slow motion, this is straight-up art:

You know what’s messed up? The Dolphins still won.


Best Tart of Week 4?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Maryland Visor Bonk
    (68 votes)
  • 6%
    Interrupting Judge
    (25 votes)
  • 3%
    Seething Big Bird
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    Oink Doink
    (35 votes)
  • 16%
    Hold That Tiger (Don’t Fumble It)
    (60 votes)
  • 8%
    Melt Ucker
    (30 votes)
  • 6%
    Miami OH My Goodness
    (25 votes)
  • 18%
    go canes lol
    (67 votes)
  • 4%
    You Had One FAUcking Job
    (18 votes)
  • 0%
    Drone Strike
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Gatorade Bath Evade
    (12 votes)
364 votes total Vote Now

To all those who read this column, especially those who vote, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart: