The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate
just want to clarify that every decade has been bad— Molly Lambert (@mollylambert) September 21, 2019
To my knowledge, this tweet isn't even about college football, but it felt like a perfect way to start this shit heap disaster of a column you just clicked on. My only other lead was "Thirty two fucking points."
For those of you who do not know the struggle, I am an Iowa fan/alum who grew up rooting for Michigan and Washington State. With Iowa on bye last week, everything felt safer than it usually does rolling with these cursed ass three. Sure, I was worried about Michigan, but Wazzu was playing 0-3 UCLA. What was the worst that could happen?
Burn it all down. https://t.co/sErzdnRTwq— GARDNER MINSHEW STAN ACCOUNT (@CougCenter) September 22, 2019
3-0 Washington State was up 49-17 on 0-3 UCLA.— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) September 22, 2019
AND THEY LOST
But if a million stunned fans is just a statistic, maybe one fan isolated would be the real traged--
a lot of people are going to wake up in the morning and learn they missed the College Football Screenshot of the Year pic.twitter.com/aNe7Wlc2Zr— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 22, 2019
If only we had some sort of warning.
Y'all. It sucked so god damn bad. I'm sure many of you know the Cougs blew that lead, but you know what else happened? They got the lead back. Yes, despite blowing a 30+ point second half lead, Washingon State rebounded, took the lead a second time, and got the ball back. With just one first down needed to salt away the game, Anthony Gordon -- who finished with a school record 9 passing TDs on the night -- completed a pass that was then fumbled. After UCLA scored for a final time, Wazzu had 60 seconds to get the ball down the field; certainly realistic given the dynamic of the game.
They fumbled on the first play and lost immediately. What made it even sadder was Minshew being in the house. Luckily ESPN made the decision to stop showing him as things went really south. All of this taking, like, five hours without overtime and ending at 1:30 a.m. did not help.
Vowed off college football unsuccessfully at least half a dozen times, but today was as clear of a sign as maybe any thatve ever been.— Bobby L. (@bobbystompy) September 22, 2019
Came so god damn close.
WALKING INTO A WHEAT FIELD AND INTO THE ENDLESS NIGHT— GARDNER MINSHEW STAN ACCOUNT (@CougCenter) September 22, 2019
College football is like "Game of Thrones" if it started with winter, and that... that was the show.
* * *
With that out of the way, let's talk about Michigan football; a terminal cancer that got terminal cancer.
It started off well enough.
Metellus laughed that oddsmakers who "don't play football" have U-M as underdogs. "When the whistle blow, aint no more underdog. Its me versus you, Wisconsin versus Michigan."— angelique (@chengelis) September 18, 2019
So the Wolverines dont feel like underdogs? "No, we feel like Michigan.
(Saved this because I knew.)
Its GO BLUE til the wheels fall off stoopid !— Khalid Hill (@Thatboylid80) September 21, 2019
Sure, I am just-not-dumb-enough to know the Sconnie game would be a loss. But like that? Lifeless, out-coached, sad injuries, a "reevaluate your love of this sport" concussion; it really brought everything to the table. Everything but expectation fulfillment.
vs AP top 10 (at game time) since 2010:— THE David Hale (@ADavidHaleJoint) September 22, 2019
Ohio St, 14-4
Mich St, 10-7
Penn St, 2-13
It gets harder, doesn't it?
At one point, the cameras actually caught Harbaugh saying "Fuck me."
For those who rightfully tuned him out years ago, that's about as fiery as he gets these days.
Outplayed outprepared outcoached Harbaugh says pic.twitter.com/Sd4PCKmGeh— angelique (@chengelis) September 21, 2019
It's hard to tell if he wants badly to die or is badly dead already.
That felt like a game of a bygone era, and not the one Jim Harbaugh constantly evokes. Michigan lost to Wisconsin in a start-to-finish debacle that'll shake even the most steadfast optimist's confidence in the program, at the very least until they can play on a big stage without getting stunted on.
"Stunted on" is such a wonderful expression.
Harbaugh’s tenure is amid its fifth year as a $7.5 million dollar tease. There are no wins over Ohio State, three straight bowl losses and, still, zero signature victories. Michigan’s last three games against Power Five opponents have resulted in combined losses of 138-68, on average losing 46-23 to Ohio State, Florida and Wisconsin.
Harbaugh’s most recent glaring negligence came with hiring the inexperienced Josh Gattis from Alabama in the offseason to both run the offense and overhaul the program’s pro-style DNA. The early results are a distinct failure, as Michigan managed just 14 points in regulation against Army and 14 against Wisconsin. By the time the Wolverines scored against Wisconsin, they trailed 35-0.
Gattis’ early struggles should be pinned squarely on Harbaugh. The offseason coronation of Gattis as a great hire included these delicious details in a story in The Athletic – “There was no interview. No face-to-face meeting. No get-up-on-the-board-and-show-me-how-you-run-this session. Not even a tell-me-about-your-offensive-philosophy discussion.”
Harbaugh basically put the future of the program on a 20-minute phone conversation, which is a bit like getting engaged after the first drink on a first date. And he did it knowing that Nick Saban had an opportunity to promote Gattis to the same job and declined. That’s impulsive and reckless even by Harbaugh’s standards, and was begging for more skepticism from an athletic director and administration who’d already seen a pattern of bad hires and dysfunctional offenses.
The only thing more bizarre about Harbaugh making a decision this important in this manner was bragging about it.
When asked directly after the game if he had any concerns about Gattis as a play caller, Harbaugh said: “Uhhhhh no.”
It's almost as if we're going to find out this was all a prank or something. As for me, I'm packing it in. This team has a 9-3 ceiling, and that's only if absolutely everything breaks right (narrator: it won't).
The good news is -- /puts on Iowa hat, lights all Michigan gear on fire and throws it into an orphanage -- they're vulnerable.
Looking at scores from yesterday. Thoughts and prayers @bobbystompy— Brett Niederhauser (@B_Nieder) September 22, 2019
My guy Brett was one of four people to hit me with a T&P last Saturday.
What a sport.
"I don’t understand the vagaries of the Internet."
"Post often, without thought, and you’ll either get cancelled or cancel someone else."
Penn State (12) at Maryland: Care so little about this; here is a thing:
Arizona State at California (15): Cal is, like, really, really undefeated. They take on our heroes, Arizona State.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma (6): Ohhhhh, imagine actually rooting for a great team with a proficient offense.
Jalen Hurts through 3 games...— Spenser Davis (@Davis_Spenser) September 15, 2019
Total touchdowns: 13
Northwestern at Wisconsin (8): You can understandably trash this take and attribute it to sour grapes post-Michigan demolishing, but I am so convinced Jonathan Taylor isn't great. I am not asking you to join me on this. I am asking you to help me set parameters. Not saying the dude has to go for 200+ and 2 TDs a game the rest of the way, but what type of dud performance will it require to get this off the ground? Sub-50/no TDs in a big game? Will that be enough? You tell me -- let's work something out. Because I promise it is coming.
Middle Tennessee at Iowa (14): Oh, what the fuck is this game? I was ready to be entrenched in conference season. What a wasted god damn bye week. Eh, I guess it did give us more time to celebrate the Iowa State Sonics, so it wasn't all bad.
The Nate Stanley goatee is no more. pic.twitter.com/BN7ZiipbcJ— Dargan Southard (@Dargan_Southard) September 24, 2019
Bye week: redeemed. Now he's just gotta get lined up in the front, and we might really have something here. Still setting the pace: Ricky Stanzi.
OBJ out training with Ricky Stanzi is the content I like to see pic.twitter.com/sUfg7dGQ9b— summer doesn't end until sep. 23.. grow up (@K_L_E_) September 12, 2019
I spent like 90% of the 2009 season showering Ricky Stanzi with every curse I know and some I had to invent and I would take a fucking bullet for him https://t.co/2x6qO6vuL6— adam s (@TheNotoriousADS) September 20, 2019
Rutgers at Michigan (20): no
How much worse can it get? Is it possible they can't beat this?
Rutgers cant even celebrate properly... pic.twitter.com/5Z0fHDuldq— Mike Zimmermann (@MikeCZim) September 21, 2019
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas:
I've got Arkansas fans in my mentions arguing with each other whether they should or shouldn't be kicked out of the SEC. It's anarchy, folks.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 22, 2019
These are my kind of people.
Central Michigan at Western Michigan:
AB went to New England and caught a TD from Tom Brady like a make a wish kid with cancer.— Keifer. (@BaeKeifer) September 20, 2019
Clemson (1) at North Carolina: When did college football become so preordained and predictable? (Not blaming Clemson for any of this, to be clear.)
* * *
Our sommelier, Clemson Tom, checks in:
Last week was a snooze fest. But then again, I told you we were gonna blow them out of the water. We played pretty much everybody and their brother. I’m sure we even picked your kids out of the crowd just to have a walk on spot to beat Charlotte.
This Saturday, we play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. UNC got Matt Brown back, and for some reason, they think they might be competitive. I think we’re going to beat the brakes off them as well. They lost to Appalachian State last week. I don’t think we’re going to open up the playbook yet... we'll probably just run the ball and win.
I do think we cover the spread this weekend. Other than that, I just really hate UNC because they tailgate with bottles of wine and cheese. That’s not even a knock -- that’s actually extremely accurate.
Ole Miss at Alabama (2): When did college football become so preordained and predictable? (Somewhat blaming Alabama for this, to be clear.)
Virginia (18) at Notre Dame (10): Game of the Week. Aright, Virginia -- I'll bite.
- You are 4-0
- You beat (bad) FSU
- You are the reigning NCAA men's basketball champ
I'm in. Let's see how this goes.
* * *
As for ND Nation... not buying any moral victory angle following that Georgia game. Any other team, sure. But not this outfit.
So Notre Dame blatantly just faked an injury. pic.twitter.com/OCWycBRjej— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) September 22, 2019
Weird, they usually just fake girlfriends.— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 22, 2019
* * *
Here is Z.W. Martin for this week's Zybrid:
If there is one play that accurately shows the gap between Notre Dame and, say, the Top 4-ish teams in the country, it was this interception by Georgia’s J.R. Reed.
The Irish ran a flea flicker that was immediately disrupted by a corner blitz. Ian Book gets away from the pressure by scrambling to his right, where the pressure came from, and where an uncovered receiver is supposed to be. Book makes what appears to be perfect throw... until it wasn’t.
J.R. Reed reads the flea flicker and makes a fantastic diving interception. HIs ball skills have really come around. pic.twitter.com/BT6pCPbX5x— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) September 22, 2019
A superior athlete making a superior play. This is the new golden age of Irish football -- consistent double digit win seasons -- and it is still not good enough. College football is dumb. Liking the Irish is impossibly dumb.
Anyway, Virginia is for Losers.
* * *
Let's go back to the well one last time.
Vernon Davis hurdles over Manti Teos girlfriend! pic.twitter.com/IdVs4BoYzG— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 24, 2019
USC (21) at Washington (17): I do not know enough about Reggie Bush as an analyst... does he really think this, or is it a producer shouting "COME UP WITH A SPICY ANGLE" in his ear? Or is he still pissed about the Heisman?
"If you're not winning national championships or going undefeated, put your clothes back on and look like a football team." @ReggieBush had some thoughts on USC after watching their warmups. pic.twitter.com/DSe4qqnUDH— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 21, 2019
All I know is the part with Brady Quinn at the end is definitely staged.
Indiana at Michigan State (25): Ranked again, Sparty? Real cute.
Minnesota at Purdue: No one asked, but my Big Ten-only college fantasy football team is 3-1, and I owe much of that to Rondale. Thank you, Rondale. We also have a certified QB controversy between Stanley and Wisconsin QB Jack Coan.
Towson at Florida (9): So gross/so bad.
Mississippi State at Auburn (7): Mehhhhhhh.
UConn at UCF (22): Predicted UCF to go undefeated for the next five years... and that couldn't even hold for 48 hours. Legit my bad, guys.
Ohio State (5) at Nebraska: Watching ESPN try to sell this as some hot conference night game should embarrass. Also embarrassed? Me, who had to look up how to spell embarrass (damn you, second r!).
/remembers GameDay is going there
oh give me a BREAK
Washington State at Utah (19): /stares with dead and unflinching eyes, refrains from blinking for several hours
* * *
There aren't a ton of even OK games this week, so I'm gonna dump some more (mostly SEC) stuff here...
LSU -- whoa.
LSU currently leads the nation in scoring. That is all.— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 23, 2019
Sure, we could give very deserved credit to Joe Burrow, but I'm giving it to this guy.
Oh. My. Word ... watching the LSU LG here. , celebrates and then gets another ... Im at a loss of words. pic.twitter.com/ebMWgDqUIx— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 21, 2019
/genuinely wants to eat pancakes after watching this
Tennessee, you're crazy to think I'm gonna wait another week to post this.
Maybe they beat the knowledge out of him?
Georgia, I don't even wanna know.
UGA doing this is false metal pic.twitter.com/NJyETI9mll— Joe Burrow Heisman campaign (@thejasonkirk) September 22, 2019
Wrapping It Up...
/dumps barrel of toxic waste into a baby bird nest
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.