It's officially pumpkin-carving season, and a hero has emerged.
Word of the Day: Dour.
DUCKS ON HOLD. There wasn't much working in favor of Ohio State's trip to Oregon this year. If The Very Bad Virus didn't kill the game, the wildfires producing the worst air quality in the entire world the day of the game almost certainly would have.
But the good news is, it seems both parties are committed to the Buckeyes making the trip to Duckland someday, it just might have to wait a while.
“The Ohio State’s the more difficult one because we’re scheduled to go to Columbus next year and that’s a game we’ve all been excited to play,” Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens said on The James Crepea Show on KORE 1050/95.7 Fox Sports Eugene on Friday. “The challenge is if we’re going to do that, when we can find an opportunity within reason for Ohio State to get back to Autzen? Those are ongoing conversations; we’ll continue to explore that.
“Football scheduling is so far out and hard to pivot, but the impact of this year and what’s going to do on next year will be interesting. We don’t have any of those solved yet but they’re all games that we want to make happen.”
Asked if it’s viable to reschedule the game for 2022, when Oregon is already scheduled to play Georgia in Atlanta and Ohio State will host Notre Dame and would require each to break or reschedule another nonconference game contract, Mullens didn’t see that as plausible.
“I don’t think that’s a possibility because we don’t want to be breaking nonconference contracts with folks,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a possibility. We would look a little further out into the future if we’re talking in realistic options.”
From my extremely surface-level analysis of Ohio State's future schedules, it appears the Buckeyes are next free in 2024. They could probably make 2025 work as well because I'm not all confident that UConn will even have a football program by then.
THE NEW SECRET WEAPON. Social media has changed the college football recruiting game for good.
That's good news for the Buckeyes, who have legends like Zach Swartz (director of creative media and post-production) and Chris Charizopoulos (director of creative design and branding) on the payroll.
We give due props to all of Ohio State's assistance for their impressive recruiting efforts, but the truth is they'd be dead in the water without the creative and social media folks.
They huddle in an office that’s in the same corridor as assistant coaches and the weight room. There’s almost daily interaction with head coach Ryan Day, someone from the creative department sits in on coaching staff meetings, and the communication with Pantoni is constant.
“Even from 2017 until now, it has changed dramatically,” Charizopoulos said. “2016 and 2017 is when schools realized there was value to invest in creative. Coaches and athletic directors across the nation see the value in creative. Two or three years ago, a coach would have laughed about a kid not committing because of graphic design and video. But there's so much value now behind that. It's unprecedented.”
“The game has changed 100 percent, and a lot of people don’t want to recognize that,” Charizopoulos said. “You have to be reactive to how your crowd — recruits, donors, audience — absorbs content. What we do is adapt. You want to feed them the hype videos that they’re used to. You want to feed them the countdown graphics. But you also need to feed them new information.
“We’re a player-facing program. You’re going to see a lot of our content with our players, and that's by design. We need to set our student-athletes up for success by utilizing our platform effectively and efficiently and show the world that Ohio State can do that better than other programs based on our resources.”
I think it's hilarious that a college football team owns the best video and graphic design teams in a city of almost 900,000 people that is home to four Fortune 500 companies, but hey, I'll take it!
VIRTUAL HEISMAN. Like pretty much everything else in the world, it looks like the Heisman Trophy is going virtual.
Chris Fowler just said the Heisman will be presented virtually this season at a date TBD. Not surprising, but hadn't heard that yet.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 11, 2020
Honestly, this is totally fine because this year's winner has already attended a ceremony. I'm sure he'll be fine just receiving the trophy in the mail this year.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS ON SPEED. I've spent countless weekends watching college football, but I'm not sure I've ever witnessed a Saturday that was quite as straight-up nuts like this one.
Here's a quick rundown, and I"m sure I'm missing things:
- Oklahoma and Texas played the highest-scoring Red River Showdown in history that went to four overtimes and included a kicker who went 51/51 on field goals last year shanking a 31-yarder.
- No. 5 Florida got dumped by No. 21 Texas A&M, as its defense looked like a revolving door.
- LSU go dumped by Missouri (lol) and is the first defending champion to start 1-2 since Michigan in 1998 (lol).
- North Carolina and Virginia Tech combined for 1,100 yards and 100+ points in a game where the Hokies were missing 15 players.
- Pitt kicker Alex Kessman hit a 58-yard field goal to send the game to overtime, then missed an extra point to lose the game.
- Navy's final offensive drive was 15 plays that took 9:06 off the clock and somehow only gained 26 yards.
- Two weeks after passing for over 600 yards, Mississippi State scored only 2 points in a 24-2 loss to Kentucky. The score could have been even weirder, too, because they had another safety overturned.
- Ole Miss' defense was almost impossibly bad, allowing Alabama to get 94.6% of its possible yards.
- Willie Taggart is the only undefeated FBS coach in Florida.
Cool. Let's run that back next week.
SONG OF THE DAY. "There Is" by Box Car Racer.
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