Kind of like preseason awards for the upcoming weekend of football, and just as binding. For additional preview content heading into Week 5, check out Andy Staples’ Walkthrough.
• POINTIEST POINTSPLOSION: No. 25 Baylor @ No. 9 West Virginia. We need this. “We,” in this case, stands for “America.” We were blessed with one of the finer shootouts in recent memory last Friday night, when Louisiana-Monroe and Baylor damned the very notion of defense and just lobbed bombs at each other for 60 minutes. It is the Bears’ sovereign duty to motor into Morgantown tomorrow morning with the same agenda in mind, and the Mountaineers’ to be gracious and accommodating hosts in this respect. The over/under for this game currently hovers in the low 80s, and we think that’s insufficient. We hope it’s insufficient. By the time this thing is over all fans should be too wrung out from touchdown celebrations to even consider burning the nearest piece of upholstered furniture.
We will be spiritually satisfied with nothing less than those 30 seconds at the end of a fireworks show sustained for three to four hours. We regret only that this is a noon game, which will make the smoke emanating from the scoreboard by the end of the first half more difficult to Instagram. College football trickster gods, hear our prayer.
• Most unnecessary superstition triggering: Tennessee @ No. 5 Georgia. There are pockets of the college football ecosystem where gimmicks like student blackout games or new helmets are treated with rank suspicion, as though the strange uniforms or striped student sections carry the capacity to steal the souls of all attendees. We happen to live in one of those pockets, so the second we heard Mark Richt call for a “Red-Out” against the Vawls (a highly unnecessary boost, in our learned opinion — y’all seen Tennessee’s secondary lately), we took to Facebook. We were not disappointed.
UGA Alum Pal 1:“A decision made by a man who doesn’t know how horrible 93,000 shades of red look together. Back in the day we’d get benched for not using Revlon Red 680 on our nails CAUSE WE HAD STANDARDS YOU CAN’T JUST SAY RED AND EXPECT MIRACLES, MARK RICHT.”
UGA Alum Pal 2: “The article doesn’t mention that fans will be seated according to their shade to create a gradient effect.”
We asked them to elaborate further on this position for the purposes of this post. Here now, Georgia alumnae and Dawg diehards Kristen Wyatt and Caperton Gillett:
KW: I’m a Georgia fan who came of age in the late-’90s Jim Donnan era. I’m uneasy. Suspicious of change. The Dawgs must be in silver britches. The frat boys must be in white shirts and vomit-stained ties. The Georgettes must be wearing knee-high white boots, the cheerleaders in hair bows big as salad plates. Any change brings up horrible memories. The 22-3 black-pants loss at home to Tennessee in 1998. That horrendous 2007 Alabama “blackout” experiment (a 41-30 loss). The embarrassing 2011 Boise State Nike Pro Combat uni game, when the whole damn team played “Lady In Red” while losing 35-21 to a team from the Mountain Time Zone. Mountain Time! The insult! I’d rather be old and set in my ways than on the losing end of Precious Dooley at home while the kids stand round in red t-shirts like lost Big Ten fans.
CG: I, too, tend to get protective/traditionalist/territorial/superstitious (hey, I was raised Catholic) about Georgia’s unis. Those Judge Dredd-lookin’ whatevers last season were a crime against nature. They were pretend uniforms for a then-pretend team, and wherever they are right now I hope they’re on fire. I actually kind of liked the blackout against Auburn in 2007, if only because aerial shots of the stadium looked like some kind of creeping black miasma was taking over the stadium and only Michael Keaton’s Batman would be able to save us. But this was in the same season as Georgia’s win over Florida — in white jerseys — in which Evil Coach Richt told the team he wanted the field to run with blood and anyone who came back to the locker room at halftime without a human ear clutched twixt their teeth would be running the stadium when they got home. Talismans make people lazy, and football games are won by football teams.
• Best tailgate: Penn State @ Illinois. How can we award a pregame prize for best tailgate when it’s still Friday? When Illinois is hosting a food-on-a-stick tailgating contest.
• Best rivalry-game name, Week 5 edition: San Diego State @ Fresno State. Steel your hearts for what may be the final Battle for the Old Oil Can, and what is definitely one of the highest-quality undercard matchups of the weekend.
• Best sibling rivalry. Navy defensive end Paul Quessenberry versus San Jose State offensive tackle David Quessenberry, clashing this Saturday.
• Best disciplinary action. Bret Bielema’s very temporary benching of defensive end David Gilbert, a suspension so brief that it may, in itself, be an insult to Nebraska. Which would be kind of a Bret Bielema thing to do, no? RELATED: We wish Bret Bielema coached in the SEC East, because ZOMG Bret Bielema and Steve Spurrier would be the greatest buddy-coach comedy.
• Best nightcap: “The Seattle Game, presented by Washington’s Beef Producers.” Slaughterhouse metaphors, ahoy! Washington State and No. 2 Oregon kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET.