College Football Cavalcade: Get Ready For (Maybe) The Wildest College Football Day Ever

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Cavalcade: Get Ready For (Maybe) The Wildest College Football Day Ever

College Football Cavalcade

College Football Cavalcade: Get Ready For (Maybe) The Wildest College Football Day Ever


What I think, know and believe about the college football world, and what might be the wildest college football day ever, all in the latest College Football Cavalcade.

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

The defense can’t stop/sniff out/defend Wisconsin’s jet sweep play, even though it’s being hammered by it over, and over, and over, and over …

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak
Check out all the past Cavalcades

Before we get going …

The Cavalcade will change up a bit for the next few weeks for a variety of reasons – this horribly-timed Thanksgiving thing doesn’t help – and will come out every day or so in a more compact, quicker version … after this one.

Like you thought you’d get a Sirr Parker reference when you woke up this morning

In 1998, college football was trying out this whole new BCS thing to finally get rid of – or at least, lessen – the idea of a split between the polls to determine a true national champion. 

And, of course, the system went kablooey on one of the weirdest, wildest, most amazing days in college football history, starting with me almost dying. 

Long story short … in New York City visiting a friend, got wicked pissed the night before, tried to revive with a healthy smoothie in the morning, got the free bee pollen booster, throat almost completely closed an hour later in the middle of Manhattan, went to hospital, got IV from friend of my friend – who happened to be the New York Giants’ team doctor – and then left. 

(By the way, fair warning, bee pollen like that isn’t actually from bees. I’m not allergic to bee stings so I didn’t even think about it, but as it turns out, bee pollen is concentrated ragweed. So if you have hay fever or other types of seasonal allergies, consuming it is like shooting an anaphylactic speedball into your system.)

And then the day got interesting.

Tennessee was 11-0 and No. 1 in the BCS standings, 10-0 UCLA was No. 2, 11-0 Kansas State was third, and 11-1 Florida State was fourth going into the final weekend of the 1998 regular season.

UCLA and its high-octane offense was supposed to go to Miami early in the year, but the game got pushed to December 5th because of Hurricane Georges. It wasn’t supposed to be a problem for the unbeaten Bruins to win and be a lock to play for the national title, but some Edgerrin James guy ripped off 299 yards for Miami in a stunning 49-45 win. 

That opened the door for Kansas State to move up into the top two with a win over Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship. The Wildcats were dominating, word of the UCLA loss spread across the stadium, and just as the BCS Championship invite became a lock … Texas A&M and Sirr Parker roared back, won 36-33 in overtime, and K-State was effectively out.

After the two mammoth upsets earlier in the day, Tennessee took care of business that night with a 24-14 win over Mississippi State for the SEC championship. It went on to win the national title over very-good-not-special Florida State team, who was on a ten-game winning streak including a stunning win over a loaded Florida on Thanksgiving weekend.

The UCLA-Miami game, the Big 12 Championship, and the SEC Championship all went down on December 5th, 1998.

Remember this, because there’s a good chance it’s going to be referenced in terms of craziness on December 19th, 2020. 

So here’s what we’re supposed to get on a few Saturdays from now in mid-December. 

The Pac-12 Championship – which will probably go the night before on Friday. This only matters if the winner is unbeaten and played a full schedule to go 7-0. If it’s an unbeaten Oregon vs. an unbeaten USC, it’s going to be a thing.

The SEC Championship – which will most likely be Florida vs. Alabama. However, throwing a wrench into the College Football Playoff things could be a Texas A&M game on that same day to make up one of its postponed matchups. More on this in a moment. 

The Big Ten Championship – which will most likely be Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, unless Indiana and Northwestern have something to say about it. 

The ACC Championship – which will most likely be Notre Dame vs. Clemson, unless the Tigers suffer a shocking loss and/or the Irish gag twice. Making this really, really, really interesting, though – potentially – is Miami’s rescheduled date against Georgia Tech for the 19th. More on this in a moment.

The American Athletic Conference championship date is still trying to be determined, but we’re all adults here and we can talk openly – Cincinnati isn’t getting into the College Football Playoff. 

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough college football fun for you, your 2020 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl is going off a 7:00 pm that Saturday night.

To be realistic here, the Big Ten isn’t getting two teams into the College Football Playoff, but the champion – as long as it’s unbeaten or has one loss – is almost certainly going to take up one spot. 

The SEC champion is a mortal lock to take another spot no matter what, and let’s just assume that the ACC champion will get in, too. 

If unbeaten Alabama loses to Florida in a decent battle, that’s it. We have our College Football Playoff, and nothing else matters – Florida, Alabama, Big Ten champ, ACC champ. However, if Florida loses, it’s almost certainly out. 

Texas A&M will be in a weird place – no, not College Station.

It’ll have beaten Florida and its only loss was on the road at Alabama. If the Aggies can get back on the field and start playing again, and if they win out, they’ll have a great case for that fourth spot. However, they’ll likely have to be impressive on December 19th against whatever team they have to deal with. 

The ACC Championship will be an even bigger deal. Assuming Clemson has just the one loss to Notre Dame, it’s in with a win and another ACC title.

Notre Dame is in if it’s unbeaten and beats the Tigers again, and there’s a real shot that it’s in even with a loss depending on how close it is. If it’s a Clemson blowout, that’s where A&M comes in, and that’s where an unbeaten Pac-12 team – if there is one – enters the discussion. 

And then there’s the massive elephant in the room – what happens if one of the teams in this mix can’t go because of COVID issues? 

So gear up, get ready, and hope we can get through the finishing kick of the regular season to get to mid-December for a day of college football we all deserve. 

But be sure to order your Revive Alive Pina Colada Energy Smoothie without any of the other stuff.

America’s newest family-friendly fun-time … Think, Know, Believe

I think James Franklin would be the PERFECT fit for USC.

I know Jim Harbaugh is going to be the PERFECT fit for some NFL team.

I believe every Penn State and Michigan fan thinks Luke Fickell is the answer. 

I think misspelling Fickell – which I just did in a very naughty way, but is now saved correctly in my computer’s Learn Spelling – wouldn’t have been the biggest editing whiff of my career.

I know there was a time when autocorrect wasn’t as good as it is now.

I believe the person who decided to put the B and the N where they are on the keyboard had extremely bad intentions, and the editor who caught my totally-innocent-but-horrifically-awful mistake before publishing one of my submissions many, many years ago is entitled to one of my kidneys if needed.

I think Fickell – with an I – at Penn State or Michigan wouldn’t make Ohio State worse at college football.

I know Michael Penix Jr. might make Ohio State worse at college football this Saturday.

I believe I’m SO going to screw up Penix thanks to that evil keyboard designer who put the X and the S so close together.

A College Football Cavalcade footballey opinion and, maybe, other stuff I didn’t feel like writing bigger blurbs for

If you’re Tom Herman – and who wouldn’t want to be, because you’d have a lot of money and a lot of cool Texas swag – wouldn’t the idea of Urban Meyer potentially taking over the job be a positive in recruiting?

If you’re a prospect and you sort of like Texas, the possibility of maybe upgrading to play for Meyer would actually sweeten the deal.

Like, if my wife’s friends told her before marrying me that if she committed, there was a distant chance I’d be replaced by 1994 Keanu Reeves. That would’ve hardly been negative recruiting.

The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid lock, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it picks of the century for this week

PICK SO FAR: 32-23 SU, 25-35 ATS

Annnnnd we’re back in the muck. Nailed the Southern Miss-WKU under on the 49.5 – for the love of Hilltoppers, even if the total is 1.5, you take the under on a WKU game – but struggled through everything else outside of dunking on the Wisconsin call over Michigan.

We dive back in with MACtion night.

Fortunately, all these picks are correct.

– Kent State -24 over Akron
– Bowling Green +31.5 over Buffalo (BUT, UB straight up AND I hate this pick)

Bet on any of all these games at BetMGM. Please.

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …

The daily Overrated/Underrated aspect of the world

Overrated: Men using emojis with other men

Underrated: What Jamey Chadwell is doing with the Coastal Carolina gig.

Sorry if this column sucked, it wasn’t my fault …

It’s not tough enough to use the Anyone, Anyplace, Anytime mantra, unlike Cal, who with no prep time, no first game under its belt, and with a 9 am start time on the road gave it a go against UCLA.


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