THAT IS AWESOME. Mario Cristobal's interview after his Florida International University Golden Panthers defeated Toledo last night is just Cristobro being Cristobro, bro.
Toledo blew a 24-7 lead via four turnovers, an uncharacteristic display of poor football hygiene for the Rockets. It wasn't their fault: the Sun Belt is just contagious like that sometimes, something we know from vast experience in the ultimate Sun Belt simulator, NCAA 2011. If Toledo going for the ballsy two point conversion with a minute left to take the lead wasn't Sun Belt enough, the thought that crossed our mind--leaving a minute on the clock is wayyyyy too much time--confirmed this game's essential Sun Beltness. Making a 4th and 17 on a hook and ladder ("Boise" in the playbook) to set up a game-winning field goal was just so much garlic butter on the double cheese crust of this game, the finest of the dismal bowl season thus far.
THE BEST BOWL GAME EVER. The crown jewel of the bowl season is tonight, but you already knew that. Air Force and Georgia Tech play tonight in the Independence Bowl, Shreveport's third gift to the world behind "natural gas conveyance" and "herpes of the eye caught off a casino hand warmer." If you like triple option, and you should, this will be an orgy of play-fakes, pitches, and luxuriant shots of the Shreveport skyline. (Casinos; a river; casinos again; and back to the stadium, which they will not show the outside of because it's not exactly handsome or inspiring of confidence in the stability department.)
"OTHER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES" MEANS "GETTING OUT OF LUBBOCK." James Willis, former linebackers coach at Alabama and Auburn, has left his defensive coordinator position at Texas Tech to pursue "other career opportunities." The widely-held assumption is that Willis, whose Texas Tech defense was horrendous this season, is headed to Florida to join his compadre Will Muschamp on the Gators staff in some capacity. If you're not a Florida fan, assume he had abundant talent, no idea how to manage it, and is Ted Roof in disguise. If you are a Florida fan, just say "Hey, that's a Muschamp dude" and assume he's perfect in every way. #assumeshesperfectineveryway
CALEB KING'S OUTSTANDING CAREER CONTINUES. He's out for the bowl game with a sprained cerebrum along with Derrick Owens and A.J. Harmon for Georgia, and will soothe the ache of missing the Liberty Bowl by enjoying the fruits of Memphisian culture at home. [CODE: he's going to a strip club.]
TERRY SABAN WIELDS A HARSH LASH. Nick Saban makes $82 million a year as head coach at Alabama, but if he wants a new coat he waits in the cold like a common gypsy for a new one.
Through the course of recruiting this month, Saban had flown to Kansas, New York and twice to Ohio to sell kids on Alabama. At some point, he misplaced his overcoat.
"(Wife) Terry Saban bought me another coat," Saban said. "(She said) 'It's been 39 years. You won't let anybody open presents early, so you're not getting this one early.' I was out there freezing my (rear end) off."
(ass) (love you, free-cursing Saban-bot.)