College football serves and is served by many gods, old and new. Here, week after week, we’ll build a temple to them, installing saints and erecting graven idols as we go. The temple is made of words and pictures from the Internet. Just go with it.
Celestial Recalibration of the Week: The Empire Strikes Worst
You ever drop, like, a piece of onion while eating a delicious sandwich or something, and have it hit your shirt — or worse, your hair — on the way to the ground? You know how you have to either change or shower immediately to get the smell to go away so that it’s not there every time you turn your head for the entire day? That’s Alabama.
Alabama football is the onion-scented ponytail of college football, never further away than just barely out of your line of sight — that is, if that ponytail also had a habit of coiling itself into a stout rope and snaking itself around your neck, and squeezing until you bent your spine to its will. You have now reached the conclusion of this metaphor. Congratulations and Roll Tide.
Week 12 Player Beatification: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State
Last season, Jameis Winston was surrounded on the Seminoles by every kind of weapon he needed to succeed, and more. This season, he’s needed to do some dragging, lugging the squad out of this crater and that well. Saturday night in Miami, Ramsey took a turn pulling the sled, recording a forced fumble, four broken passes, a tackle for loss, and a blocked extra point. Without the sophomore defensive back, this would have been the night the Noles’ winning streak snapped. The numbers kept swearing it would.
And Miami finally has a quarterback to be excited about, one we’re not going to dismissively call “Kyle” just because all of Miami’s quarterbacks look like Kyles. Brad Kaaya possesses a pretty deep ball for a young kid, and he threw downfield with 39 seconds on the clock and a four-point deficit — and almost inevitably, there was Ramsey with a game-sealing interception. Turnovers depend so much on luck, but if ever one sparked a sense of “well, of course,” this was it. What a monster Ramsey is, and we say that with the sense of a mad scientist admiring a prized creation.
Honorable Mention: Todd Gurley. In his first game back from serving a four-game suspension that was rank bullshit, Gurley racked up 138 yards on 29 carries and scored a touchdown before leaving the field with what turned out to be a torn ACL. It’s likely that we’ve seen the last of Gurley as a Georgia Bulldog, and we are out of words to describe the cosmic thumb so firmly planted on the scales of Georgia’s recent injury history. Farewell and the very best of luck to a spectacular talent, who deserved so much better in so many ways.
Week 12 Coach Beatifications: Profiles in Profiteroles Edition
There’s a weird phenomenon at work this year where the total and glaring lack of any unassailable, clearly unbeatable, accepting-all-comers teams in the Power 5 is overshadowing teams with similar-looking records in the Group of 5, teams we should be recognizing for fine work a lot more than we are. Marshall, of course, remains undefeated, but in no particular order it’s also worth noting that: Memphis leads the AAC! Utah State is 8-3 despite losing a bewildering succession of quarterbacks to injury! Colorado State could finish 11-1 in the regular season without too much trouble! UAB could get to a bowl this year for just the second time in its history! Justin Fuente, Matt Wells, Jim McElwain, Bill Clark: We see you.
Graven Idol of the Week: A Bluetick Coonhound in a Coonskin Cap
WHO’S A GOOD BOY? WHO’S THE KEYYYYYUTEST KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER? WHO KILLED HIM A BEAR WHEN HE WAS ONLY THREE? SMOKEY!
It is honestly unfair for a school whose unofficial fight song has verses about moonshine and disappearing federal agents to gain any further advantages in iconography, but it’s football, not fairball.
So close. To something. Also, close doesn’t count.
Congratulations to Nebraska, which held Wisconsin to just 69 rushing yards in their final quarter together.
In the first three quarters, however, Melvin Gordon almost ran from ground level to the roof of the Empire State Building.