Happy "Slightly Less Traffic On Your Way To Work Today, Private Sector Employees" Day, everyone! I hope it's a festive one.
Week 6 has come and gone, and we're finally starting to see some compelling trendlines form in the college football season. A handful of teams have already reached bowl eligibility (Iowa. IOWA!), and yet others have already begun planning for the future.
And me? I'm just out here rockin' worlds and chasin' squirrels, man.
Welcome back to 4th & SHORT.
Oh, but, uh... not you, Randy.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Look, we all love an upset. Seeing the #2 team in the country (whether or not you agree with the legitimacy of said ranking coughLOLNOcough) potentially trip up to an unranked team who's having a disaster of a season is the kind of thing that can raise your spirits and set Twitter alight.
Unless, y'know, said unranked team is Rutgers, who had the ball and a small-but-real chance to tie the game back up in the waning seconds against probably-not-as-good-as-we-thought Michigan State Saturday evening.
Then, what you're looking for is something colossally stupid, something you couldn't even fathom-
Oh man that's the good stuff.
WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF INCREDIBLY STUPID FOOTBALL
Rutgers' boner here is the only thing that could hold a candle to the glorious spectacle of footblundering put on earlier in the day by Technically Power 5 Teams That Receive A Share of a Major TV Deal Wake Forest and Boston College. (Check Wikipedia! It's true!). The Deacons and Eagles struggled to a 3-0 finish, the kind of box score you expect to see in a smudged newspaper clipping from the 1910s that mentions a player being attacked by a stray dog mid-game.
Can't say you'd blame the dog, either.
Listen, Wake, BC, let's rap. Do you really want to be here? Are you serious about your futures? Because there are plenty of teams out there - even in New England or North Carolina - who'd love to take your place. I'm not firing you. I'm just saying you need to reflect on your role here going forward.
OUT IN THE COLD
Meanwhile, a couple programs used to being warm and cozy in the sport's elite are in trouble, and they're going to be sleeping outside for the foreseeable future.
Neither USC or Oregon is ranked in the latest AP poll. First time that's happened since Dec. 5, 1999.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 11, 2015
I'll leave a bowl of food by the door.
FURTHER TO THOSE PAC-12 PROBLEMS
Oregon had already slipped from the rankings last week, but their woes this season continued, as they were stunned - at home in Autzen Stadium - by oft-beleaguered Washington State in a thrilling 45-38 2OT game.
We always feel an odd fondness for Wazzu around here - a combination of sympathy for our colleague Brian Floyd, their perpetual-underdog status (we love dogs, and we're under lots of things), and the general lovable lunacy of Mike Leach, so we're happy for them.
Swing your swords, fellas.
SO WAIT, WHO *IS* GOOD OUT WEST, THEN?
Look who's grown up so much quicker than we expected - it's your Utah Utes!
Insurgent Utah was able to capitalize on six turnovers in a 30-24 defeat of #23 California, propelling the "Hey, That Win Over Michigan Was Significant" Utes to a #4 ranking this week and the second-most first-place votes in the increasingly-divided AP Poll.
Maybe you're a big dog, maybe you're not, Utah. Just act the part and hope no one will notice.
And hey, Cal? Eyes on the ball, guys. Eyes on the ball.
BRIEFLY ALLOW ME TO RECREATE MY FACE AT THE END OF EVERY TCU GAME
JUST COME INSIDE, WE CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON WITH GEORGIA'S SEASON
No I don't want to.
IS IT COACH-SHOPPING SEASON ALREADY?
Might as well beat the holiday rush! The firings have begun, with Maryland parting ways with Guy Who Will Definitely Block You On Twitter For Joking About His Job Status Randy Edsall Sunday, and North Texas not even taking that much time, canning head coach Dan McCarney less than an hour after the Mean Green lost 66-7 to FCS Portland State, the worst loss ever by a current FBS team to an FCS opponent.
"Can we get a Chip Kelly, mom?"
"I don't know, honey, they're awfully expensive. Maybe we can get you a used Al Golden."
SHORT LEGS, TALL ORDER: JORDAN CANZERI, IOWA
I'd elaborate more on the exploits of Iowa's 5'-9" senior RB, whose mighty late efforts helped the Hawkeyes hold onto a 29-20 win over surprisingly-pesky Illinois and move to a more-surprising 6-0 record, but fellow EDSBS scribe and Cat Person of Some Note Peter Berkes will be handling that today. I'm just happy for them.
I'm gonna have to re-write my musical, though, Iowa.
OKAY, NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Michigan has shut out three opponents in a row.
Michigan has scored 97 unanswered points since UNLV put in a garbage-time TD almost a month ago.
Michigan even has decent QB play but I'm not even sure that matters right now.
CALL THE DAMN FIRE DEPARTMENT THIS IS A PROBLEM.
Oh, and if they can bring some Dalmatians, y'know. That'd be chill.