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The Hybrid: Leaving the Big Ten Behind

There’s an episode of “The Simpsons” where a bunch of crazy stuff happens, and then this:

In conclusion, Grandpa Simpson = Me and Lollapalooza = Tuscaloosa. That’s right, fools, your boy is headed down to the Heart of Dixie* this weekend to attend the Alabama-Tennessee game.

My first ever SEC game. Err, I mean, my first ever ESS EE SEE game. I can see it now…

ESS

EE

SEE.

ESS

EE

SEE.

ESS

EE

SEE.

Though, I suppose they probably don’t chant that during in-conference games. It’s no matter. As someone who has almost exclusively attended cold, lifeless Big Ten games my entire life, gotta imagine this’ll be quite the culture shock (in the best way possible). To make matters better, I’ll also be attending the game with my dad who is, not kidding, an Alabama fan.

I haven’t decided who I’m rooting for. My Alabama co-worker is displeased with my indecision and has all but given up on me. Patience, kind sir!

In conclusion, I expect beautiful weather, hawt chix, Nick Saban glaring at me in the upper deck, SEC speed, power football, and fun times all around. I’ll… keep you posted.

(* – other state nicknames for Alabama, which, clearly, I had to look up: Yellowhammer State, and, oh boy… Cotton State)

THE HYBRID

Selective Hits On The AP BCS Top 25

1) Alabama: Something I haven’t thought about until just this moment… what will it be like for someone who says “ROLL DAMN TIDE” all the time (read: me) to be around people who actually reciprocate the phrase? Will it lose its luster? Take it to another level? I don’t know, but if it’s not totally similar to this commercial, I’ll be crushed.

2) Florida State: It’s impossible for me to convey to you how much I love Jameis Winston as a QB, human being, and friend. Late Saturday, watching him getting ready for his breakout party against Clemson, I think I’d convinced myself we were related. I spent a lot of last week reading various profiles about him, and though I lost all relevant links, here’s what I remember…

- Winston was studying Cover-2, Cover-3, and Cover-4 defenses (as well as what routes to throw in each situation) as a 10-year-old

- Also played baseball/got drafted

- When he picked FSU over Alabama and someone told him it’d be further for his hometown people to come watch him play, he had some cool quote like “They’ll come if they want to see me”

- Threw a football over this FSU frathouse — only one other person in the history of the school was able to before he came along and did it on his second attempt (Christian Ponder tried in the past and couldn’t)

- Has a personality ranging from light-hearted to calm to serious; basically a “he’ll joke with you then rip your heart out” demeanor… it really reminded me of how people try to qualify Michael Jordan

One or two weeks ago, I thought he was a surefire first-round NFL draft choice who might succeed in the pros. Now, I think he’s a surefire first round draft choice who will definitely find success in the pros. I can’t think of a single ingredient that isn’t there. He’s above the sport of college football already. And not in a Crouch/Tebow/Johnny Football way where he has maxed out who he is as a football player within the sport. It’s more of an Adrien Peterson/Cam Newton way, where you see the greatness, know there is even more to tap into, and are fully aware there is ‘next level’ potential with what you’re seeing on the field. Winston? Winston.

3) Oregon: The best part about the dude who didn’t want Oregon to wear pink helmets last week (please listen to this voice-mail) is he doesn’t have a Southern accent. When I heard about the story, I fully expected him to have a disgruntled, good ol’ boy tone, but no — he’s kind of just a condescending dick. Also love the golden irony of an Oregon fan — an OREGON fan — complaining about a uniform tweak he finds too over-the-top. Has this guy been living under a rock with his eyes gouged out these last ten years? If so, I’m good with the rant. If not? Get over yourself, bro. I seriously wish we had a voice-mail like this to make fun of for each week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I need to know more people in the world get this upset by the colors of objects.

Also, ladies, please e-mail me next time you see someone wearing a pink Oregon football helmet to your next Tupperware party.

4) Ohio State: The forgotten man.

5) Missouri: One of the reasons I love the BCS rankings is it cuts the crap and puts all the good teams at the top. Notice how you don’t see Georgia in here? It’s because they have, like, 11 losses. This isn’t rocket science.

6) Stanford: TOP 6 ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Damn you, BCS rankings!!!!

7) Miami (FL): Survived a scare against UNC last week, but a little adversity never hurt anyone. But speaking of pain, let’s take a gander at Miami QB Stephen Morris’ line from that Tar Heels game: 19/25, 322 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTS

He self-described it as “the worst game of my entire life,” and one Florida rag said the comeback victory “proved Miami is a running team.” Eek. Something to monitor.

8) Baylor: The Bears haven’t really played, like, ranked teams, per se, so we need to take some of what I’m about to say with a grain of salt, but I finally did some research and, well… dudes.

There’s no question, though, that it’s Briles’s offense — currently averaging more than 64 points and 713 yards per game — that is the engine of Baylor’s success and the source for all the optimism surrounding his program.

That many points?! That many yards?! Which one is more impressive to you? I can’t give you my answer since I’m too high off both. Again, no ranked teams, but here is the final point total from their six games so far this year: 69, 70, 70, 73, 35, 71. Sheesh. Though some of those include schools like Wofford and Buffalo, Baylor’s highest point total of the season came against the more respectable West F’n Virginia. Here’s the WVU d-coordinator’s description of the loss:

“…unlike anything I’ve ever been associated with in my entire life. It was just catastrophic in a lot of ways to our psyche.”

SO COOL.

Plus, now that RG3 is kind of annoying, any success Baylor finds without him would be even better.

I’m sayin’ Baylor till we burn out.

9) Clemson: The bad news? The Tigers took one on the chin last week. The good? Clemson Tom returns, mostly undaunted, to preview Clemson-Maryland for us.

Yup, last week sucked worse than anything. Not only did we lose, but we got killed. FSU punched us and just kept punching. It was horrible to watch. It’s kinda like a bad breakup … you catch the early flight home from San Diego to surprise your fiancée and two dudes, blindfolded, jump outta the closet ready to tag-team her. (ed- suuuuuper NSFW clip from “Old School”)

That’s how it honestly felt. It was like catching your girl with another guy. A younger guy with more swag. Well, now you’re down in the dumps. Everyone knows, and they’ve been laughing at you. How do you respond? Well, you could just give up and just drink all day and night. Or… or, you can put on your best shirt and pants, head down to the bar, and get back after it. You need a fat or ugly chick to get another win under your belt — a confidence boost, if you will.

Good thing Maryland is not only the fat girl of the ACC, she’s also ugly (hence the uniforms), and she’s a guarantee to leave before morning, ’cause she’s joining the Big 12 with the other fat ugly girls.

This is exactly what this team needs! We need a bad football team to build up our swag. Trust me, after FSU, we need a swag boost. Go Tigers. Beat Maryland!

Metaphors, man.

10) Texas Tech: The BCS got that love for y’all.

11) Auburn: Wait, is Auburn, like, undefeated? I know they’ve been damn solid this year.

/checks

One loss?! Well, at least Texas Tech finally got some dap from someone.

12) UCLA
13) LSU: Nice loss last week, sucks. I see you’re the only 2-loss team in the Top 15, so that’s quite terrible.

14) Virginia Tech
15) Oklahoma
16) Texas A&M: Johnny’s shredding, but A&M ain’t going to the national title, so what do we call this season? Failure seems like too much, but to call it a success?

17) Fresno State
18) Northern Illinois
: Listen, I’m not just some one trick pony. I have more eloquent analysis for NIU than just saying “GO HUSKIES! ROOF ROOF ROOF!!!” every week. For example, I see QB Jordan Lynch (who went to Mount Carmel high school and is fresh off setting the single game NCAA QB rushing record with 316 yards) is now in fifth place in the latest Heisman straw poll. That’s info you can take to the bank.

In conclusion…

Haha.

19) Oklahoma State
20) Louisville: The dream is over for “Touchdown” Teddy and the Louisville Cardinals. And that’s a good thing. Because now we can stop harping on their schedule and go back to rooting for ‘em again. It almost wrapped up too efficiently.

21) South Carolina: Basically, Clowney = Johnny, A&M = South Carolina. Not that those comps haven’t been made before, but a season which will probably finish as unarguably ‘good or very good’ in the record books can’t help but feel mediocre as it currently stands.

22) Michigan: Was ready to throw out a passionate “Not a Top 25 team”, but then I thought about how shitty college football is and how, sadly, they probably are qualified to be somewhere in this 21-25 zone. I just… I hate them, you guys.

In better news, congrats to WR Jeremy Gallon for his Big Ten record-breaking 369 yards on 14 catches with 2 TDs against Indiana. In a league not known for passing, it’s still impressive as hell.

Michigan QB Devin Gardner also balled out last week; his line? 503 passing yards, 2 TDs, 81 rushing yards, 3 TDs. He broke a Denard all-purpose yards record in doing so, which I’m quite conflicted about. Wait, no I’m not, I wish Denard still had it.

23) UCF
24) Nebraska: Well look who’s back.

25) Oregon State

Any Sweet Games This Weekend?

Thursday

Purdue doesn’t have a game this week, and because they aren’t in the Top 25, there is nowhere to link this hilarious pick my buddy David A. took.

boilerbornHis caption: “This is an ad for condoms right? #goballstate”

Haha. He’s… tremendously funny.

Friday Night Lights

N/A

Saturday

Wake Forest at Miami, FL (7): Not totally sure why I listed this one. Stevie, get yo’ head right!

Nebraska (24) at Minnesota: Minny coach Jerry Kill returned to practice this week, and he’s not without his sense of humor. When asked how it felt to be back, he said something like “Feels good to be an assistant coach.”

We’re only a few more episodes removed from my motorcycle/crotch chop idea from earlier this year.

Northwestern at Iowa: [boycotting Iowa's 2013 season]

Related, though: shout outs to my Iowa TAs!

Tennessee at Alabama (1): Dudes… dudes.

North Carolina State at Florida State (2): This game sucks, and I wasn’t going to include it, but then I realized we had to send love to FSU’s Reggie Northrup for his robot dance after the Clemson victory. At first I thought it was solid-not-spectacular, but then SBN reminded me of where it was from — the one, the only, “Chappelle’s Show”! If you know anything about me, you know we’ve entered auto-embed territory.

Texas Tech (10) at Oklahoma (15): Nice little test for T-Tech, but… would a win even put them close to the Top 5?

Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois (18): Well, Northern is favored by 31, so as long as the offense can maint– oh, who am I kidding? ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF

Michigan State at Illinois: State’s prolly ranked if they win this one.

UCLA (12) at Oregon (3): Game of the Week. ULCA downgraded it some with a loss, but most eyes will be on Eugene come Saturday night. Oregon is favored by… 23.5 points?! Aright, we can’t call this the Game of the Week, I’m sorry.

South Carolina (21) at Missouri (5): Game of the Week. I mean, I’ll be in SEC country, so why not blow The Hybrid out with some Southern-centric choices this week?

Mizzou is favored by 2.5 and still breaking in their new QB, Maty Mauk. Apparently, their fans have been calling this month Mauktober, which I approve of. Mauk threw for 295 yards and 1 TD last week (with one pick) and was named Freshman of the Week in the SEC. South Carolina seems like its still kind of reeling. Mizzou, specifically factoring in the injury of QB1 James Franklin, is immensely likable, and it seems like they’re really starting to catch the contenders on their schedule at solid times. Definitely eager to see the end result of this one.

Oh, also, we need to learn how “Maty” is pronounced.

Penn State at Ohio State (4): Looks boring because Penn State isn’t ranked, but they are easily a Top 5 most entertaining Big Ten team. I really like this game and think you should, too.

Stanford (6) at Oregon State (25): A deceptively not good game. I mean, how would you feel about it if it looked like this:

Stanford (6) at Oregon State

Or THIS:

Stanford (6, boring power running, not undefeated, as in they already have a loss this season) at Oregon State who is barely ranked

Yea.

Fresno State (17) at San Diego State: Watch California’s REAL best team instead.

/TROLOLOLOLOL

Wrapping It Up…

I’ll let y’all know how it goes. In the meantime, keep calm, and ROLL DAMN TIDE.

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