You expend most of your football stress on recruiting and scheme only to have a win or a loss determined by the kid who barely shows up in either department.
Drew Basil missed a PAT last Saturday that for most of the afternoon lingered like a bloated pimple in Ohio State's unexpected battle with Cal. When the Bears went up 21-20 late in the game, that zit went full-whitehead.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, Vincenzo D'Amato was there to send nine would-be points sailing to the left of the goalposts. Basil was the better kicker, despite having shanked a chippie after Braxton's TD run.
At least D'Amato can take solace in that he didn't miss a game-winning field goal as time expired. Twice. In a rivalry game. Where both times the fans stormed the field en masse to dance on top his agony. Hello, Riley Stevens.
Add Penn State's field goal woes from their squandered game with Virginia and 2012 is well on its way to becoming the Year of the Miserable Goat Kicker™.
Even when they split the uprights they're still prone to awkward celebrations. Kickers, man.
Welcome to Week Four. It's time for a special southern-flavored Situational.
THE DEAD PRESIDENT
In honor of the Buckeyes' second and final 2012 opponent from the South, this week we're looking back on the first and still the most recent president of the South: Mr. Jefferson Finis Davis.
This was back during the deadliest period in American history that we refer to as the Civil War - or the War of Northern Aggression - largely depending on your mailing address.
In addition to being both dead and presidential, Jefferson Davis categorically qualifies as a Dead President in the colloquial use regarding money: He appeared on several denominations of Confederate currency (along with other dignitaries including George Washington and, um, slaves picking cotton).
Prior to the Confederacy's split from the Union, Davis served as SecDef - née Secretary of War, which sounds far more badass - under 14th president Franklin Pierce, who was the fourth cousin four times removed of 40th first lady (to the 41st POTUS) Barbara Bush. WOOO political ancestry!
But long before he was elected POTCSA, Davis was a subpar West Point cadet who was involved in one of the best-named controversies in American history, the Eggnog Riot.
This awesome chapter in our military's chronicLOLes began with the smuggling of whiskey into Army barracks for a secret Christmas party and ended with 20 cadets being court-martialed and 50 others, including Davis, being implicated in the riot.
Our boys just wanted some eggnog, man. Christmas cheer and stuff. Unfortunately, it was forbidden - and worse - very few of them were able to hold their liquor.
The Eggnog Riot had everything you would expect from an 1800s rager: Peace-disturbing profanity, gunfire, property damage, death threats to officers, injuries and...uh oh...Reveille. The morning wake-up trumpet interrupted the party. That's how awesome it was.
And right in the middle of it was the future leader of the Confederacy, who was placed under house arrest for his role in the chaos.
Davis went on to carry the stars and bars before eventually reconciling with the Union and embracing the Reconstruction long after the war. And he deserves more than just the requisite historical treatment: He was at the center of The Eggnog Riot. Never Forget.
THE SITUATIONAL WAGERS: TRIBE, WATER, BEE, BIRD, MAN
THE TRIBE: Central Michigan Chippewas (+17) against Iowa, less because CMU is terrible and more because the notion of Iowa being able to accidentally score 17 points likely requires the installation of a third end zone at midfield and David Copperfield, both of which would be NCAA violations.
THE WATER: Tulane Green Wave (+15) against Ole Miss in a battle of teams that rarely cover the spread. But since Tulane is pretty reliable at nailing the under, that red-flags this spread.
THE BEE: Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (-13) over Miami. The ACC is magical once again, but no one can hear it suck over the sound of people wailing over how bad the Big Ten is. At the center of their quiet vortex of mediocrity are the Hurricanes, who unfortunately aren't playing Bethune-Cookman or Jim Bollman again this week.
THE BIRD: Bowling Green Falcons (+22) at Virginia Tech. The Situational had Pittsburgh over these Hokies last week and we're happy to go back to the well again, like Cal and that bubble screen Ohio State still hasn't stopped yet. Damn it.
THE MAN: West Virginia Mountaineers (-27) over Maryland. Dana Holgorson has a lead foot and Randy Edsall looks like a curb-side puddle everyone loves to drive through.
LAST WEEK: 2-3 | SEASON: 6-9
That picture to the right just jumped off the screen at your face. Go ahead and finish reading it until you find the category(ies) that describe you the best and then come on back, devil-lover.
Now, the surprise twist: The morality play isn't going to happen here. Neither is any religious jousting, righteous lecturing or pleas for tolerance.
The case for Diversity doesn't belong here either. This is far more important.
We're going to talk about the savagery of apostrophe abuse.
The sign to your right is a Punctuation Holocaust. If you can't see it then you're part of the problem and should surrender yourself to the closest elementary school where you were supposed to master this before passing fourth grade.
According to this sign, "Homo's Druggies" are just the beginning of the problem. Drug users belonging to heterosexuals are apparently exempt from scorn.
In total there are 33 cases of outright apostrophe abuse and all of them are horrifying. It's unclear why he didn't stay consistent and go with "Effeminate Me'n" or "Loud Mouth Wome'n" but that's part of the intrigue in this unsolved mystery.
Religion is complex and subject to interpretations, but correct apostrophe usage isn't terribly complicated or controversial. To wit, should our protester be reading this column:
PLURAL: Two drunkards walk into a bar.
POSSESSIVE: One drunkard's tequila shot ended up making him sick.
PLURAL POSSESSIVE: The drunkards' bar tab cost more than they had.
Hopefully this basic punctuation lesson can be applied to future lists of devil lovers. We're not here to judge your message; we just don't want you to come across as poorly-educated or ignorant....where punctuation is concerned
And remember, if you ever write Buckeye's and aren't referring to the possession of a single Ohio State fan, you're doing it wrong. Try again. Try harder.
There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and the events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there is typically more than one worthy choice.
Jefferson's Reserve is a classic small-batch bourbon that accomplishes the herculean task of making you look sophisticated without costing you an entire paycheck. It has a deceptively imposing bark: One whiff of the bouquet and you're likely to expect a George T. Stagg-like kick to the palate.
But then - a welcome surprise: You take a healthy (neat) sip and...survive. You have another, and it's even better. Later you will burp and it will taste like Heath bars. But you didn't eat any Heath bars!
That's why Jeffy Res deserves to be chewed up and given the full nickel tour of your mouth before you send it down esophagus lane.
This is a classic learning bourbon for those of you interested in venturing beyond Jim or Maker's but wary of barreling into Parker's Heritage or Pappy without the requisite palate training.
Jefferson's is a little easier to find than the Reserve, and as you might expect they're somewhat similar. The Reserve takes your Heath bar burp and adds a raisin-like finish to it, which gives it more character. You can tell a lot about a man from his burps.
Now, if you can get your hands on their Presidential Select, definitely try it. That one tastes like you're drinking an expensive leather shoe that spent decades fully immersed in vanilla extract. It's just a little harder to find.
The proper situation for Jefferson's Reserve is a special occasion that isn't necessarily, eh, special. Like when Ohio State faces a terrible football team from the state of Alabama, for example.
Ubiquity. Where music is concerned, ubiquity is when a smash-hit song refuses to go away. It's a lottery ticket you can hum along to.
It's an incredibly rare and impossibly difficult goal to achieve in songwriting, and gaining ubiquity for longer than a single summer (looking at you, Call Me Maybe) is practically generational.
The closing refrain of Hey Jude is still ubiquitous decades later, as are the interjections and chorus of 38-year-old Sweet Home Alabama. Your brain can't help but sing along to either tune, even if your mouth does not.
In Birmingham they love the gov-ernor. Don't finish the rest of that line. Nice try.
The most recent song to gain ubiquity is one you hear every single Saturday. You will hear it half a dozen times this weekend at the bare minimum:
Seven Nation Army won the Grammy for Best Song eight long years ago and has since become the acappella go-to for college football crowds everywhere whether you like it or not. What makes it especially unique is that the song itself often isn't actually being sung: Its chorus contains no words.
All that's there following each stanza is a guitar riff without lyrics, that ubiquitous and catchy chord sequence that students seemingly everywhere now mimic before each kickoff: Oh, oh OH oh oh ohh, ohh - Oh oh OH oh oh ohh, ohh.
The song's title originates from White Stripes lead singer Jack White's childhood mispronunciation of Salvation Army, which he has since learned to say correctly. Its ubiquity crosses large bodies of water, as it's increasingly difficult to take in any Italian soccer match without hearing the song being sung. That riff is universal in all languages.
Its origin in college football is said to be traceable back to Beaver Stadium in 2005, though the Freeh Report never showed any concrete evidence that Joe Paterno knew of its existence - so no one can definitively say Paterno knew about the song despite having had it played in his presence numerous times over several years.
Ohio Stadium routinely plays the track right off the album instead of relying on TBDBITL to do the heavy beat-lifting.
Many people do not appreciate the way it has become a part of college football culture. A healthier alternative to disliking Seven Nation Army is remembering that when you hear it, it's because you're watching something you love. And it's only the fourth week of the season!
See you next Thursday. Kickers, man.