I do not recommend speaking to me the next two weeks

Much like the euro-to-dollar rate, my thought processes since Signing Day in February featured a long inevitable exponential: a steadily rising exchange rate of anticipation leading up to September 13, with a single blip on August 30 representing both the University of Virginia and the NYSE spike caused by the dollar-boosting announcement that we’d be converting our national currency to the euro.

Essentially: yesterday’s 52-7 tune up can now be safely described as what it was, a tune up. One game at a time, we have a tough opponent ahead of us, they won an NCAA record five games by two points last year, Chris Long has a sandwich named after him, blah blah blah.

This game was pretty much decided the moment Jemell Sewell bowed out of that whole school thing. Everything since then has been lip service to Al Groh and Virginia, two institutions that have a long history of being serviceable but not the kind of specters that make an entire off season tingly in all the right places.

For that, you need Ohio State in a night game at the Coliseum. I am indeed all-a-tingle, and take that how you will. (Given that the vast majority of people reading this site arrive through Google searches involving “Kirk Herbstreit wife cheater” and “Mark Richt ass lover” I can assume all interpretations will involve BDSM of some kind.) (And God bless you all.)

So. For approximately half a year I’ve been going through the motions of life, doing things like waking up and showering and working and occasionally imbibing delicious alcoholic beverages and pretending to myself that this is normality. But is it possible to pretend to yourself when that very same self is sitting quietly in a corner hunched over Phil Steele’s 2008 College Football Preview, gently rocking back and forth humming Tribute to Troy and mouthing the same words Robert Oppenheimer spoke at Trinity, New Mexico, “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds”? Oppenheimer needed a 2,500 year old Sanskrit text to describe the awful majesty of mankind’s mastery of the atom, but the old warhorse never had to go through an off season thinking about the second ranked Buckeyes and their Heisman candidate showing up in Los Angeles for the game of the year. This is actually important stuff, and it irks me that someone else got to quote that Bhagavad Gita passage for something as inconsequential as the first detonation of a nuclear device in the last year of the greatest war humanity has ever inflicted upon itself.

The son of Animal is coming, people, and I need deeply religious visions of Apocalypse to reference.

Which is why no one ought to speak to me for two weeks. I will still be going through those motions: wake, shower, work, drink. That will not change. But my interiors will be harnessed for something other, something greater, something necessary. I’m thinking now of a certain kind of ascetic that’s found in almost every major religion. Some mysterious inclination leads men to spend years sequestered and bent over paper, papyrus, brass or keyboard, writing out the many names of God in the belief that a summation of the totality of the Word will one day lead to revelation. Some chant it, some inscribe it on their own flesh with whip and blade, and some merely think it over and over but their effect is the same: a wholesale dedication to a monumental task. This isn’t exactly a bad approach in that it has the same probability of success as anything else. It’s certainly illustrative of one thing: men are capable of commiting their lives and energy to any venture so long as they can believe their work will affect the universe.

So you may see me going about my business as normal for the next fortnight, but be not fooled: inside, I am chanting – in all the languages of life – the myriad names of Winged Victory. They are legion, and they are always sweet. Bring on The Ohio State University.

And don’t mention a thing about Beanie Wells’ foot. If you’ve ever seen this guy run you understand, like I do, he’ll play two Saturdays from now. No. 28 knows you only get two shots at Ragnarok, and he isn’t waiting for the second half of the home-and-home to show up.

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Filed under Big Ten, This game might be slightly important, USC

The storm is upon us

On one particular Islamic night, which is called the Night of Nights, the secret portals of the heavens open wide and the water in the water jars is sweeter than on other nights; if those gates had opened as I sat there, I would not have felt what I was feeling that evening.

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, Jorge Luis Borges

Tonight, something strange and sharp is going to happen. One term for that event – a human term – would be “kickoff”. It would be foolish on anyone’s part to believe that tonight’s significance revolves around the propelling, by hip, abdomen and lower leg, of a football through the air for the first time since early January. That’s what it’s nominally about, the way breakfast is nominally about ingesting your first sustenance of the day.

But you and me? We know it’s about the bacon: unequivocally bad for you, but oh, oh, oh so good. Tonight I begin my four month long descent into depravity. Yes.

Also,

It’s been too long since I’ve updated this site. Update: I’ll be contributing to Matt Hinton’s new college football site, which is under the gaze of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals. You might know Hinton better as Sunday Morning Quarterback, nee SMQ, nee Ray Guy. Now he’s Dr. Saturday, and apparently I’m responsible for the Kubrickian theme he chose. If you spot him riding a nuke into Orlando for the Southern Miss-UCF game you’ll know who to blame.

Hinton’s always been good, but now he’s getting paid. I’m happy to be in cahoots with someone I regard as one of the premier college football writers out there. It also means this site will continue to be infrequently updated.

Enjoy your bacon.

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Filed under Miscellaneous

The briefest of updates

Hello. I’m Jonathan Tu. You might remember me from such blogs as 82 Sluggo Win, and Yertle, the Recruiting Turtle!

I actually can’t go on with this Troy McClure impression. Too many painful memories. Anyway: updates.

Signing Day is over and done with. USC was not number one, nor even 1.5, nor even top three. In years past this would have caused me to detonate myself and several tons of roofing nails in Westwood, but I am eerily calm right now. So calm I can even spellcheck “eerily” and not be horribly angry at such an awkwardly spelled word. Has it been the relatively disappointing past few seasons – i.e., “Fuck! Another BCS win? Audible sigh.” – or the merely excellent (as opposed to unfairly superior, on the level of map hackers in StarCraft or word generating tumescence suckers in Scrabulous) 2008 recruiting class that’s left me unmoved? I’m not sure. I did just complete that whole grand tour of college football, so it’s not for lack of interest.

I think this is a healthy step for me. I’m on a path towards normalcy, which should be a good enough excuse to get past security at LAX so I can fly directly to Tallahassee and thank T.J. Bryant in person for signing with Pete Carroll, grounding order be damned.

I am back in Santa Barbara living the dream: minutes away from a beach I never visit, working a semi-part-time job where I’m not even cooking yet, residing in a garage in a corner somewhat distanced from three hockey bags full of hockey gear, sucking at beer pong and generally being glad I am not crammed sleeping bag-first into the driver’s side of a ’96 Maxima in, oh, let’s say Ohio. I cannot begin to stress how nice it is not having to pretend my alarm clock doesn’t sound exactly like two cops tapping my windshield at 7:12 a.m. in a strip mall in Virginia.

I am also still writing. This is agonizing. If I could channel the angst, despair and frustration of the process into the actual process, I would have a romansbildung the size of Mike Stoops’ forehead vein and the best college football/existential diptych ever written. As it is I have a slowly growing manuscript and a hellish, apostatically barren white screen whose dread glow reminds me that Borges was right: “Mirrors and copulation [and Microsoft Office] are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind.” Borges was also right when he said that Nick Saban is the terrible black maw of The Beast, and the latest recruiting rankings bear this out.

Bear this out. Bear Bryant? Nevermind. I suck.

Apparently, I am in contention for best National Blog in the second annual College Football Blogger Awards. I’m not going to win, but it was nice having this site’s view count boosted to a whole 200 views per day instead of the steady 36 I’ve been receiving for almost a year now. This, and the Google searches for “kirk herbstreit wife cheating” my readers seem to be following, proves that none of the time I spent churning out elaborate Herbie infidelity jokes was wasted.

And, finally: congratulations to LSU. Now please stop emailing me. It’s been four years since the split title and I am still getting poorly typed missives threatening me over the AP trophy. Me? Me.

STOP. CEASE. ENJOY YOUR CRAWFISH ETOUFFE AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. The same goes for the Georgia fans who can’t seem to grasp that Mark Richt loves ass. Get out there and live!

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Filed under This Is Not Fake News(!)

If it had been anyone else…

I would’ve said, “What the hell are you doing you stupid bastard? Just run in and flip the ball to the ref and let’s get a touchback,” except with a lot more fucks and shits.

Instead I said, “YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEAGGH!!! Fucking shit yeah!”

He did get knocked over after sticking the landing, but whatever: SportsCenter Top 10.

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Filed under USC

Three things

One: The Onion’s Our Dumb World should be the first thing you buy when you stop reading this post. It is, miraculously, just as good as Our Dumb Century, which probably had as much to do with the development of my world view and sense of humor as anything else.

Two: this is now my life…

Three: did Tebow deserve it? Ontologically speaking, boobies. Err, yes.

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Filed under Miscellaneous, SEC

Prediction…

No matter what happens tomorrow, Karl Dorrell will be fired.

And USC will win.

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Filed under Pac-10, USC

USC home games in Pasadena? What. The. Fuck?

The story is carried by the Times and, more ominously, by the USC athletics’ site. USC has been at the Coliseum for 80 years and has renewed its lease on, from what I understand, a year-by-year basis. The Coliseum Commission has offered a 2-year lease. USC wants “improvements such as bathroom and concession upgrades, new seats, new gates, new lights, and a new sound and video system” for the Gray Old Lady, which, after the long and thus far futile courtship of the NFL, is basically a request to at least partially run and improve the facility because, again, the Coliseum was hoping a pro team would swoop in and excrete gold plated shitters everywhere. That’s the breakdown of it in simple human gold plated shitter terms.

But it’s that running the facility part that’s getting the Coliseum Commission to be total jackassed buffoons about everything – even if USC…

…has offered to fund a minimum of $100 million over 10 years toward the repair and restoration of the Coliseum.

But, again:

As part of that deal, the school would be in charge of running the venue.

The above quote makes it seem as if the university would be the sole manager which doesn’t seem to be the case to me. Either way it looks like the two parties are at an “impasse” right now, though I don’t know how realistic it would be for the Coliseum to give up its longest running, most faithful and highest profile tenant.

But, hey, at least they’re voicing their complaints about USC.

“As far as we’re concerned, they asked us for two years and the commission gave it to them,” said Pat Lynch, the Coliseum’s general manager. “If they asked us for five years, we’d give them five. If they asked us for 10, we’d give them 10. We can’t read their minds.”

Really, Pat? Really? That’s the problem? Because USC has gone above and beyond the call of duty by physically projecting, with mouths and pens and paper and voice boxes and stuff, what’s on its mind.

“Although we have been a faithful tenant of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 80 years, we must now seek other alternatives for the good of our football program and our fans,” said Todd R. Dickey, USC’s senior vice president for administration. “The Coliseum has not benefited from substantive physical upgrades or preventive maintenance for more than 10 years because the commission has focused on attracting an NFL team that would renovate the stadium.”

Yeah the bathrooms could be improved. I suppose it’d be nice if the JumboTron was actually in sync with the audio, but that’s me. That whole Trojan Nation thing beneath the torch is pretty stupid, sure. But considering how old it is and how long it’s gone without “substantive physical upgrades” I think the Coliseum is fine as it is – it’s got chair backs and it’s not Cal’s Memorial Stadium, so I think those are two things that don’t need changing. And beer. We must have beer again.

The 2008 and 2009 future schedules of USC and UCLA each have one date when the teams would play a home game on the same day, but that logistical problem is just a small reason why I can’t see this “impasse” resulting in USC leaving to play in the Rose Bowl – and USC is actually closer to the Rose Bowl than UCLA, but obviously a stadium right off campus is just a bit closer than that. If it does happen, though, I seriously doubt the fickle Los Angeles fan bases will manage to sellout the Granddaddy even with the Trojans playing games there. USC can’t even fill the Coliseum to capacity when it’s No. 1. Can anyone imagine a USC-Oregon State game at the Rose Bowl? 75,000 would be optimistic. Ugh, what a nightmare.

Don’t even get me started on trying to get out of the golf course parking lots.

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Filed under Pac-10, USC