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In the latest alterations and additions to future college football schedules, 2013′s opening Thursday gets a border rivalry, Baylor plays a metaphor game and Virginia ventures where few power-conference programs dare:
• North Carolina vs. South Carolina, Thursday, August 29, 2013. The primetime prelude to the first college football Saturday is bolstered by the addition of a Tar Heels-Gamecocks matchup. You will watch it, because it is there.
• Baylor vs. Wofford, Saturday, August 31, 2013. Have you ever wanted to see how an actual bear would do attacking an actual terrier? Because that’s probably what this is going to look like.
• Boise State vs. Virginia, 2015 and 2017. Clutch those pearls: A BCS conference team heading into Boise! Wonders never cease. The home-and-home series is currently scheduled for September 26, 2015 in Charlottesville with a return trip to the blue turf on September 23, 2017. Say what you will about the Cavaliers; Virginia schedules with gusto. Following a 2012 slate that included dates with Penn State, TCU and Louisiana Tech, the Cavs’ 2013 schedule features home stands against Oregon and BYU. Also, the team once employed, very briefly, that strange snuggly horse mascot. We like Virginia, is our point.
Our pals at Land Grant Holy Land undertook the noble offseason task this week of determining which Ohio State athletes would best serve on a (sadly theoretical) Quidditch team. It is safe to assume that you will not hear any other media outlet call DeShaun Thomas “the second coming of Alicia Spinnet” for the rest of your natural lives. Being Harry Potter crossover completists, we are piling on by helpfully determining which college football players would make the best Quidditch balls. We have linked out to helpful explanations of each ball from the Harry Potter Lexicon.
• Quaffle: Stedman Bailey. Because if there’s scoring to be done, he’s probably involved.
• Bludger: Jadeveon Clowney. Bludgers are balls of iron that hit people.
• Bludger: Jarvis Jones. See above.
• Golden Snitch: Dri Archer. A Snitch frequently evades capture and is worth 150 points. Sounds about right.
Assorted newsy bits — of varying degrees of importance — you might have missed over the long weekend:
• Didn’t we already do this headline a week ago? ”Imminent” can mean a lot of things! In the cosmic sense, the NCAA’s investigation of Miami has spanned less than a fraction of an eyeblink, but here we are, riding on a human-speed space-time wave, just twiddling our bloggy thumbs until the ‘Canes’ notice of allegations drops. The latest rumblings, per Bruce Feldman, involve a very large book being thrown at ex-Miami and current Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt and other former ‘Canes colleagues. We’ll have more on this when we actually see the notice of allegations, unless we don’t see this notice of allegations, in which case we’ll be right back here next Monday writing a third variation on this same headline.
• And speaking of the NCAA: On the final day of the annual NCAA convention, the latest raft of changes — touted as an effort to streamline NCAA regulations — were unveiled. Your friendly neighborhood Bylaw Blogger takes a look at one proposal, regarding recruiting start dates, that was left out of the bundle.
Florida incoming transfer Darious Cummings is going by “Bear” Cummings. What do you guys want to be called?
— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) January 15, 2013
• How would he feel about “Bearious” for more formal occasions? If we’re all supposed to be taking after forest creatures for a fresh new look for spring 2013, we would like to be referred to from here on as “Killer Otter.” Thank you for your attention to this matter.
• And speaking of spring. Army’s spring game, which graced our neck of the woods at Fort Benning last year, continues its freshly-established traveling tradition with a March 8 scrimmage set to take place at Fort Hood, Texas.
• The Coliseum just needs a place to crash for a few days, until it gets things figured out. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission is behind in its rent, per the L.A. Times, but once it gets its free-range vegan water bottle business up and running things are really going to turn around. It’s not a pyramid scheme. It’s not!
• That’s a helluva windbreak. Texas Tech approves plans for a “freestanding high-definition video board,” theoretically to be installed and operational in time for the 2013 season.
The story of one afternoon in college football’s postseason, as told through social media:
Our remedy is SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL. But also try some CARROT JUICE. RT @optoloper: I need your best hangover remedy. It’s for a friend.
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
Recipe for attendance disaster at the Heart of Dallas Bowl. 11 a.m. New Year’s kick. Lopsided matchup. Big OSU hoops game on Mon. Then rain.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) January 1, 2013
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) January 1, 2013
The tax staggered into the street, bleeding from his chest, as the Taxslayer threw a bloody knife into the gutter and ran.
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) January 1, 2013
@andy_staples I KNOW WE’RE DOOMED WHY EVEN PLAY THE GAME
— mgoblog (@mgoblog) January 1, 2013
The 2013 Outback Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Andy Staples’ game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? This is the Outback Bowl. It is not played in Australia. It used to be the Hall of Fame Bowl, but unlike most sponsorship changes, this one has improved the postseason landscape by introducing a fertile annual opportunity for Bloomin’ Onion jokes.
• Where will this game be played? Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, home field of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USF Bulls.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Shannon Spake. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Big Ten versus SEC.
• What about this year? An intriguing matchup between 10-2 South Carolina and 8-4 Michigan.
• My god, it’s full of stats. Just for funsies, and maybe also because we’re football-free until Thursday, here is a list of NCAA bowl records broken by Nevada and Arizona in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, via Wolf Pack sports info:
-Most plays (combined, both teams): Nevada-Arizona, 188 (Previous, 187, by Auburn-Northwestern in 2010 Outback Bowl).
-Most first downs: Nevada, 39 (Previous, 36—Oklahoma (48) vs. Virginia (14) (Gator, Dec. 29, 1991) (16 rush, 18 pass, 2 penalty); Marshall (64) vs. East Carolina (61) (2 ot) (GMAC, 2001) (9 rush, 25 pass, 2 penalty).
-Most first downs, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 70 (Previous: 62—North Carolina St. (56)  vs. Kansas (26)  (Tangerine, 2003).
-Most first downs rushing: Nevada, 28 (Previous: 26—Oklahoma (40) vs. Auburn (22) (Sugar, Jan. 1, 1972); Navy (51) vs. Colorado St. (30) (Poinsettia, 2005).
-Most first downs rushing, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 38 (Previous: 36—Colorado (47)  & Alabama (33)  (Liberty, 1969); Miami (FL) (46)  & Texas (3)  (Cotton, 1991).
An auspicious beginning to the postseason, no?
• Further bowltyme antics. In case you missed it last week, follow along with Stewart Mandel’s Bowl Pickoff right over here.
• Actual playoff happenings. Mount Union continues to do Mount Union things, gaining another D-III championship on Friday night … Valdosta State wrecked Winston-Salem State in the Division II title game … Sam Houston State and North Dakota State will face off for the FCS championship.
The Switzies are named for former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, patron saint of football frolicking. Ten imaginary trophies — and the coveted Grape Job! plaque — honor our on- and off-field favorites at the close of the season.
• Special Achievement in Spectacle by a Heisman Winner. Johnny Manziel made more spectacular plays this season, in front of bigger crowds than the one that showed up in Shreveport when the Aggies faced Louisiana Tech in mid-October. But we got to see this one with our own eyes, giving it a special place in the shining black pits where our hearts should be.
Just a madcap sequence of events on a night that saw more than its share of them.
• GameDay Moment of the Year. Someday eons into the future, when as-yet unimagined civilizations discover Earth and piece together the history of college football, it is our fervent and enduring hope that a being fancying itself a prophet uncovers this photo of South Carolina’s live mascot being fed Steve Spurrier-branded wine, and builds a religion around it.
Did Sir Big Spur sample the Steve Spurrier wine? twitter.com/gogamecocks/st…
— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) October 6, 2012