The best day of the college football season started in Dallas with this, the very first play of the Red River Shootout:
And ended roughly 12 hours later in College Station after the very final play of Texas A&M’s upset of No. 1 Alabama, with this:
There was a field storming in Iowa City after two undefeated teams entered (Penn State and Iowa) and only one emerged (Iowa).
There was a field storming in Ahmerst, Mass. after two winless teams entered (UConn and UMass) and only one emerged (UConn).
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We had 21-point comeback by Oklahoma once the starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful was benched, a six-touchdown fourth quarter between Ole Miss and Arkansas that was decided on a failed two-point conversion after time expired and a walk-off field goal by Notre Dame after coach Brian Kelly complained to the referees that Virginia Tech fans were shining a laser in his kicker’s eyes.
How in the world does anyone not love this sport?
A Michigan running back hurdled the state of Nebraska en route to a critical 50-yard fourth-quarter run. A Michigan State receiver hauled in 208 yards and three touchdowns… in the first half. And Georgia actually gave up a touchdown (that’s actually stop-the-presses stuff at this point) in a 34-10 win.
Hapless Florida State handled North Carolina, dropping the lovable Mack Brown to 0-11 against his alma mater, and making him less lovable when he then blamed the media for picking his team too high in the preseason. Boise State went into the Way-Back machine and became a plucky underdog again, knocking off undefeated BYU on the road in very Boise fashion — forcing four turnovers in a game that featured snow, rain, wind and sun at different points with gorgeous mountains as a backdrop.
Wake Forest survived overtime to post its first 6-0 record in 77 years. LSU — the 2019 national champion — lost by three touchdowns and sparked a flurry of speculation on Twitter that the coach who won said national championship 22 months ago might be fired this week.
Georgia Tech beat Duke with a touchdown in the final minute. Virginia beat Louisville with a touchdown in the final minute. UCF beat East Carolina with a touchdown in the final minute. Marshall beat Old Dominion in overtime. Texas State beat South Alabama in four overtimes after rallying from two touchdowns down in the fourth quarter.
It was March Madness in October, with waves to a children’s hospital and fried Oreos just outside the Cotton Bowl. The greatest coach of all time went down, and the hopes of the rest of the nation went up.
Yes, college football has its problems. But let’s save those for another day. On this fall Saturday, the game, and the games, were front and center. And it was glorious.