This weekend features some of the year’s most intriguing matchups. Then there are these three games. Happy watching.
Rutgers at Kansas | 11 a.m. | FSN
“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”
If that’s true, this game is just one philosophical circle of hellish and beautiful suffering. A prairie twister of razor blades cutting through an empty New Jersey parking lot full of debris on a bleak and drizzly day. This game is futility and ennui and the immensity of struggles that piles upon Power 5 football teams years after they have lost the ability to even tread water. This game is the oppressive gray cloud of futility that descends upon you when you’ve lost the ability to even comprehend six wins and a bowl invite. This game is the Bob Dylan version of the song when you were expecting the cleaner, more intelligible cover version from an artist you actually like. But I am going to watch the hell out of this game, because these dark corners of the schedule often offer the highest potential for absurdity.
Akron @ Northwestern | 6:30 PM | BTN
[peruses CFB schedule for this weekend, pauses abruptly]
TWO DOLLARS. Tickets to an American College Football game in the year two thousand and eighteen for TWO FUCKING DOLLARS. You know what else you can do in Chicago on a Saturday for $2? Nothing. You can’t smoke broken glass you found on the street and thought was meth in Chicago for $2. Existing in Chicago costs $1.67 per minute for the base model and goes up significantly if you want to breathe or have shelter from the elements.
A few stops down the L from Northwestern the Cubs will be playing the Reds at Wrigley. That’s the #1 Cubs playing the absolute bottom of the National League, and StubHub has the cheapest seat at that game pegged at $38. For you and your best friend to watch the Cubs paste a team that hasn’t been good since Chris Sabo hung up his RecSpecs will cost you $76. For the same price you could watch the defending MAC champion take on what is technically a P5 team in this whimsical wildcard of midwest lunacy with 38 OF YOUR FRIENDS. Got a joke your old college roommate would love about how Terry Bowden’s belt makes him look like chubby Bear Grylls attending a Renaissance festival? Good news, he’s sitting next to you. Think your crazy uncle on Facebook would enjoy how Pat Fitzgerald thinks the run-pass option is literally communism? No problem, he’s three seats down wearing a camo MOLLE quarter zip. You can own an entire section of this stadium for four hours for less than the price of gas money, parking, a soft pretzel, two sodas, and two tickets to Kyle Field.
USC at Texas | 7:00 p.m. | FOX
by Shooter Flatch
Let’s all hop in the DeLorean and floor that bitch up to 88 mph as we head for January 4th, 2006. While the date itself is less than 13 years ago, holy hell have things changed since then. You want a refresher? There were no smart phones or iPhones. There was no Twitter, and TheFacebook was just a new fad on the campus of Ivy League Schools. Barack Obama had just wrapped up his first year as the junior Senator from Illinois. Donald Trump had just wrapped up Season 4 of a reality TV show. Matthew McConaughey was still primarily known as Wooderson, and he’d spent several years toiling around in Rom-Coms.
Mack Brown was 83-19 during his first eight years as the head coach of Texas, and Texas was a football machine at that time. Mack was killing it on the recruiting trail, they’d won double digit games five years in a row, and finished with the first national championship since 1970. Pete Carroll was in year five at USC and had won 25 straight games before dropping the Rose bowl that night to the Longhorns. Two football dynasties that would dominate for the next decade or longer. Probably.
Okay Marty, time to take me back to good old two thousand and eighteen. Seeing these two programs get together now is like watching two old high school flames reignite their love at your 30 year reunion. Texas is coming off their 2nd divorce and have put on about 75 pounds from eating too many crab cakes. USC’s ex husband got busted by the NCAA and bolted town for a new starlet in the Pacific Northwest. After a few torrid love affairs with younger west coast dudes with maturity issues, she’s just desperate to latch on to anyone who loves her back. Neither of them have the same confidence now as when they ruled the school. But it’ll be fun to watch these two has-been’s crank back some whiskey sour’s and get handsy on the dance floor Saturday night.