Watch That: Your Guide to the NCAAF Week 1 College Football Schedule, Live Scores
Don’t Watch This; Watch That: Your Guide to the NCAAF Week 1 College Football Schedule
Not only is Clemson-Georgia over-hyped, but it’s also meaningless. So is Alabama-Miami. Here’s what you should watch instead.
Bowl season is great where it is: at the end of the schedule.
I don’t think that, in it and of itself, is it controversial take. As a reward at the end of the season, a bizarre, neutral site destination in a repurposed baseball stadium, a weird municipal football stadium in a tertiary southern city, on a Hawaiian or Caribbean island, wherever.
Unless you are literally flying to Dublin or Tokyo or Australia, you should not be playing that game at the start of the year.
That’s especially true when the game does not matter for the college football season, of which it is ostensibly a part.
That brings us to Saturday night’s showdown, the Duke’s Mayo Kickoff Classic at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, featuring the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs. This game does not matter, and there are a few reasons it does not.
First, because mayo is terrible and should never be allowed to sponsor anything except the bottom of the trash can.
Second, because there is no punishment for the loser of this game.
In a grander sense, the non-conference is becoming increasingly meaningless: lose a non-conference game to Clemson, or to Oregon, or to Virginia Tech, to pull that last one out of thin air, and if you are one of college football’s blue blood, it just does not matter if you lose a game at the start of the year. You will likely go 9-0 in your conference and win the conference championship, or you will go eight and one and find an excusable loss somewhere along the way. There will be no punishment.
Of course, for the winner, there is an instant boost. There is no denying that whichever of Clemson or Georgia wins on Saturday will vault to #1 or #2 in the polls and be subject to breathless examinations on ESPN of whether or not they can beat Alabama.
But there is no punishment for the loser. They will still be a College Football Playoff contender. In an era in which so much of college football head coaching is about mitigating and avoiding risk, games like the Duke’s Mayo Kickoff Classic are just another innovation in risk avoidance.
It’s one more true road game you don’t have to play, one more bad loss you can avoid, one more 1.9 million dollar payout in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff classic that will feature Alabama and Miami while continuing to whitewash the reputation of a shitty company.
If you’re new here or clicked, angry that I would dare to say Clemson-Georgia is pointless, welcome to Don’t Watch This; Watch That.
- This guide to each week’s college football and other sports viewing adopts the approach that sports are better watched when they are fun, not professional; competitive, not the top-ranked team out of laziness; in weird places and on weird channels, because it’s better to watch a mustachioed 25-year-old who wrestles bears in his spare time throw for 500 yards and six touchdowns as a little-regarded Mountain West team gives an FBS squad all it can handle, interspersed with advertisements for colostomy bags and vaginal mesh lawsuits.
- Watch That: Your Guide to the NCAAF Week 1 College Football Schedule, Live Scores
- As I was watching a grainy online feed of NAIA football last Thursday, with Jamestown (ND) traveling 40 miles down I-94 to take on bitter archrival Valley City State in the Paint Bucket Bowl, Jesse Collins and I got to talking about why we were so damn fascinated with it.
- It was after a personal foul penalty late in the third, with the Jimmies in a hopeless deficit, manhandled by the Vikings, that we had our moment of clarity: This was college football for college football’s sake.
That is probably not a revolutionary thesis for any regular reader of this feature, and certainly not for most on this blog or indeed on the college football internet. But when it’s not chasing rankings, when it’s not proclaiming on your podcast or feature that college football is SO RANDOM AND FUN before defaulting to Alabama-LSU for the 500th time–when strip it down to local kids playing for a local school that is fighting for its little slice of state or regional supremacy, man, college football is fun to watch.
There are other watch guides and watch grids available, I’m grateful that you’ve stopped by what I think is the best one out there.
Let’s watch some games. And not watch some others
Don’t Watch This