Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: After Week 8

Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: After Week 8

Crowley Sullivan

Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: After Week 8

Crowley Sullivan is a 20-year sports-media veteran having spent ten years at ESPN as a producer, programmer, content creator, business developer, and brand manager.  He now serves a EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.

Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan

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Thoughts & Prayers After Week 8


So, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has a lead of 34-0 in the 4th quarter against Illinois.

That Harbaugh guy decides to execute a fake punt at this moment.

Lord knows that this football team can use the practice when it comes to executing effectively when in punt formation.

But, is there any University of Michigan at Ann Arbor fan who doesn’t acknowledge that this is just weird and pretty jerky?

I read a really sharp piece by a really smart college football writer in which the really smart writer spent the entire piece describing how that Harbaugh guy’s decision to run the fake punt – which did not work, by the way – was actually admirable and cool and how it represents what everyone is supposed to be like.

You know, work harder than everyone else and never give an inch under any circumstances and always compete as if your life depends on it and all of that stuff.

According to the writer of this piece, that Harbaugh guy gets paid to be competitive like this in everything he does.

There was a reference to how that Harbaugh guy was so committed to winning a game of paint ball once that he aggressively went after a 10-year old with a barrage of paint ball shots in order to “win” the paint ball “war.”

This is the guy that the Leaders and Best have as their head coach.

Big game this week for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Well, actually, it’s not a big game – they’re playing Michigan State who is NOT a rival of theirs.

Seriously, it’s not a big game.

At all.

It’s a regular, not-a-big-deal kind of game.

Because Michigan State is beneath the status of concern or worry or, heaven forbid, being a rival of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Michigan State does NOT matter to that Harbaugh guy, or any of the people from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The Michigan State game each season is no different than any other game.

Actually, it means less than all of the other games.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor doesn’t care about Michigan State.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor doesn’t even know that they’ve lost six of the last seven and seven of the last nine matchups against this NON-rival.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor doesn’t even keep track of the scores from the games that have taken place over the years against this NON-rival.

It’s just another typical game this week for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Probably should have tried the fake punt last season against the NON-rival rather than this past week’s failed fake punt attempt against Illinois with the score 34-0.


Let’s forget for a moment that Penn State finds itself among the teams ranked in this week’s Top 25 for the first time since Penn State Football became a regular discussion topic on “Meet The Press. “

Actually, let’s go ahead and forget completely that Penn State finds itself among the teams ranked in this week’s Top 25 BECAUSE it became a regular discussion topic on “Meet The Press.”

Instead, let’s focus on the way Penn State’s win this past Saturday merely represented another annual rite of passage within the Autumnal calendar.

Esophageal Spasm Syndrome took hold a bit early this season – but it made its presence known, nonetheless.

Esophageal Spasm Syndrome is the syndrome that afflicts the Ohio State Football Program pretty much every season when its players spend their time in the huddle daydreaming about TransAms, tattoos, and the need for accountants to carefully watch future monies.

Not a lot of Buckeye Bravado out there this week.

Pretty quiet in that regard.

But this week’s DOTTING OF THE I should be chilling in its splendor.


Eight games into the 2016 college football season and Boss Hog boasts an overall record as the head coach of the Razorbacks of 23-23.

Boss Hog’s most recent game ended with his football team on the wrong end of a 56-3 score.

Yet people love to talk about how tough Arkansas is to have to face, how good of a coach Boss Hog is, and how much of a sleeping giant the Razorback program is.

Arkansas football is a lot like Kashi GoLean Crunch granola cereal.

Those commercials for the earthy Kashi cereals give you such a sense of deliciousness and joy.

The people in those wondrous settings, waking with the sunrise in a camp-ish environ, hot coffee brewing over a fire, and cold milk being poured over a scrumptious-looking bowl of savory Kashi GoLean Crunch granola accompanied by nature’s vibrant fruit, all awaiting the chance to satisfy a morning hunger generated by a blissful night’s sleep under the stars.

One bite of the actual Kashi GoLean Crunch granola cereal alerts one that eating Kashi GoLean Crunch granola cereal is like eating a clump of dirty and bone-dry playground gravel mixed with mid-August hay combined with old sticks the kids used for roasting marshmallows that were left in the garage since last 4th of July.


Well, well, well – who was on the right end of that 56-3 score?


Welcome back, Gus!  Nice to have you back.

The rumor was that the Auburn football program had closed up shop.

Not true.

The Iron Bowl might just end up having the oomph attached to it to eclipse The Egg Bowl in terms of national importance.

Take a peak at Auburn’s slate the rest of the way.

Every game looks like a win – except for one.

If Gus can get his gents to rush for 543 yards in that final game, I like Auburn’s chances.

That’s all you gotta do, Gus.


Big Game Bob and Gosha Rubchinskiy Kingsbury faced off this past Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.

This was a football game.

And, as the title of this morsel states, the final score of the football game was 66-59.

Often times, people enjoy saying that a game had no loser due to the teams having competed hard, having played well, having left it all out on the field, etc.

For this football game, there was no winner.

I’m sorry.

Winning a football game with a final score that looks like the final score of a Scared Heart School Intramural Flag Football game featuring ten points awarded for touchdowns, six points for first downs, and five and a half points for interceptions shouldn’t count as a win in college football.

The Big 12 seems to have things other than expansion that need straightening out.

Like teams understanding the fundamentals of “tackling.”

On the other hand….


When STANFORD loses to anyone, it’s a victory for regular people who understand that there is a world where human beings exist and live regular, fun, happy lives outside of whatever the boundaries are of Silicon Valley.

When STANFORD loses to a state university that educates people who see that life is more than competing for the best jobs in “I-Banking” by dominating your biochemical engineering class during your freshman year (do they even call it “Freshman Year” at STANFORD or do they call it something like The Jan Tinbergen Tertiary Period?), it’s an even nicer victory for the regular people.

Colorado defeated STANFORD 10-5 this past Saturday.

I must provide full disclosure – I did not watch this football game (while it was being played I was busy taking some clothes out of the dryer and then I had to fold those clothes).  So I’m not sure of how the Cardinal’ point total came to be.  I’m assuming they registered a field goal and a safety.

I know the STANFORD people don’t really care about losing to Colorado 10-5 because they’re all going to save the world from disease and destruction.

But I like knowing that the people in Boulder had a hell of a party last Saturday night.

And I like knowing that many of the people enjoying the party in Boulder will go on to do bigger and better (and more fun) things than a lot of STANFORD’S Class of 2017.

And nice work on the In-N-Out burgers, Buffs.


Red Bull has his Mountaineers at 6-0 for the first time since 2006.

In the last two weeks, this team has allowed 27 total points against teams that average 50 and 31 points.

In Big 12 land, that’s an impressive defensive achievement.

But the defense isn’t the only story in Morgantown.

In the third quarter of this past Saturday’s beat-down of TCU, the West Virginia defense was on the field for four plays thanks to an offense that gobbles up clock.

Red Bull might be flying a bit under the radar now.  But if his offense can chew clock like it’s a gigantic piece of beef jerky that keeps his defense off the field for all but four plays in a quarter, the CFP table is going to have make room for the Big 12.


Washington vs. Utah

UDub is ranked fourth and the Huskies are surging thanks to demolishing opponents.

The Utes – at 7-1 – still haven’t proven that they’re for real.

Jake Browning is getting Heisman hype – but not enough.

All Browning has done while leading Washington to a top four ranking is throw 26 touchdowns against two interceptions.

Has anyone bothered to talk about how sensational that is?

Other than my friend, Steve, I believe that nobody is really talking about this.

Utah is going for two straight wins over Washington for the first time since Joe Smith found the Gold Tablet things.

Florida vs. Georgia

The Cocktail Party that we’re not supposed to call a cocktail party – since “cocktail party” has such an ugly, mob-like connotation to it – IT’S HERE!!!!!

It’s the annual celebration of a rivalry that means nothing to anyone other than the people at the cocktail party.

I liked it back when Georgia scored an early touchdown some years ago and the players stormed the field in that really spontaneous rush since they had to demonstrate hatred and passion for the rivalry.

Any time a rivalry has a fabricated celebration after a touchdown, one can argue that the rivalry really isn’t as big of a deal as the folks who are invested in it might want to believe.

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

If Nebraska beats Wisconsin this week in Madison, I hereby order all of the people who complained and whined and sneered at the hiring of Mike Riley to make Coach Riley a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and send it to him in the mail so that he can eat lunch for free for the remainder of the season.

That would be, roughly, seventeen years’ worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Don’t look now but Nebraska is threatening to crash the party, folks.

Coach Riley – some of the best complements to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are Lay’s potato chips, Vlasic Snack Mmms pickles, Fritos, Oreo cookies, Sun Chips, Diet Coke,

Clemson vs. Florida State

We all know Dabo cares.

Dabo wears his heart, his lungs, his spleen, his liver, and his femur bone on his shirt sleeves.

It’s much of the reason for Clemson’s well-earned “elite” status.

Does Florida State care?

I mean, do they care about football?

The players on the team, I mean.

Jimbo Fisher certainly cares.

Jimbo is paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $106 million annually to care.

So, Jimbo motivated to sleep on a cot in his office every night this week.

But do the student athletes of West Florida Seminary care?

Keep cranking, Dabo.

Your spleen looks like a bed of roses to us.

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