This is where we sit as an addled, over-saturated society. The WORST place to be Saturday was at an actual game, because that meant you were only at one game.
That was special in 1968.
The prime seat these days is planted, on a couch, or plastered at a bar, or plastered on a couch, tethered to electrical devices and the whims of network executives.
The downside to this seven deadly sins-li-ness on Saturday was trying to navigate a ridiculous glut of games, simultaneously, while being sensory-overloaded with every known Swiss-Army knife apparatus produced by Apple, Samsung, Panasonic, Bluetooth, Sling (7-day free trial) and Hulu.
How about staggering some of this love around?
Our genius alpha-male programmers, in ruthless competition with other networks, but also with their own, left us with these games in progress at the same time.
--Auburn at Clemson (ESPN)
--Oklahoma at Ohio State (ABC)
--Georgia at Notre Dame (NBC)
--Stanford at USC. (Fox).
Why not just move Christmas and Fourth of July into the same time slot? There was also Hurricane Irma to monitor, on the Weather Channel, which brought on an entirely different subset of jangled nerves.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Thanks for everything, TV and live streaming. And thanks for nothing. When you combined all the tweeting with one hand and remote flipping with the other, it was almost impossible to chug Schlitz Malt liquor out of an old high school cleat.
The end of a convoluted night produced an outbreak of “Thumb-bosis,” a relatively new medical condition that is related to Carpel Tunnel and Chronic Flipper Finger Fatigue.
I was so confused Saturday, from rapid flipping, I thought at one point Oklahoma was beating Auburn and Clemson was at Notre Dame.
Anything on TV before 4 p.m. (PT) was one long prelude to a kiss-off. Why couldn’t Notre Dame remain at its usual 12: 30 p.m. spot? How about, now that I’m not no longer on a print deadline, starting USC and Stanford at 7 p.m.?
It is what it is, though, and was what it was, so this is the best round-up I can offer with short-term memory loss.
How about revenge as a theme?
Oklahoma, USC and Oregon all did reverse numbers on last year.
Oklahoma got spanked in Norman last season, by Ohio State, but returned that favor in Columbus, 31-16.
Oregon, which lost at Nebraska in 2016, won Saturday's rematch in Eugene (more on that below).
And USC, which had lost three straight games to Stanford, came back in a big way Saturday at the Coliseum, 10 years after that miserable collapse as 40-point favorites.
Here's my takeaway: the Trojans finally got their identity back from the program that stole it. Stanford, while USC was away on probation, car-jacked the Trojans' historical, physical style and won Rose Bowls with it. That's over. In Saturday's 42-24 win, USC ran over Stanford like it was 1974.
Yes, Sam Darnold had a big game, but the trend-buster was USC out-rushing Palo Alto, 307 to 170. The Trojans controlled the air, and the ground, and the game. Oh, and also the Pac 12.
And what about the six-degrees of Max Browne factor?
Last year's loss at Stanford was Browne's final start as USC quarterback before Darnold took over. Darnold lost his first game, then led the Trojans to nine straight wins capped by a dramatic win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
Browne transferred to Pittsburgh and started Saturday's 33-14 loss at Penn State. He finished 19 of 32 for 138 yards with two interceptions.
Other snippets from prime-time overlap Saturday:
Georgia won a Knute-biter over Notre Dame, 20-19, in the Bulldogs' first trip north of the Mason-Dixon in a half century. Huge win for Uga Nation. In 1965, Georgia came north and defeated Michigan. It meant a lot back home. "It was as if we had a chance to go to Gettysburg again," former coach Vince Dooley famously remarked of that win.
Things have changed. This time Dooley, now 85, came back to throw out the first pitch Friday at Wrigley Field.
Georgia's win saved the day for the SEC, beaten up a bit earlier with Texas Christian's 28-7 win at Arkansas and Clemson's home win over Auburn.
And forget about Pac 12 after Dark. What about Pac 12 after Death?
Washington State, trailing Boise State by 21 points in the fourth quarter, rallied to win in three overtimes. The game ended around 2:40 a.m. in the east.
A week before, UCLA rallied from 34 points down, in the second half, to beat Texas A&M.
Truth be told, there were some early games worth noting before big programming pile up.
The Sunrise Report offered Louisville Cardinal quarterback Lamar Jackson, last year’s Heisman winner, at North Carolina.
As if any team can’t win there. Cal, which needed a late rally this Saturday to beat Weber State, won at NC last week.
Still, Jackson put up some staggering numbers, amassing 525 total yards and six touchdowns.
Who knows, some day, he might win a (second) Heisman Trophy.
Northwestern got hammered at Duke, which no one except Duke could have seen coming. Iowa had to rally from 10 points down, in the fourth, to beat Iowa State in OT.
In Eugene, well, there were two terrific performances at Autzen Stadium. Oregon won the first half, 42-14, while Nebraska pitched a second-half shutout, 21-0.
Oregon gets credit for the win because the Ducks scored more overall points.
Like they say: a win is a win is a win. Last year, Oregon failed on four, two-point attempts in a three-point loss in Lincoln. It was the beginning of the end for coach Mark Helfrich.
Saturday, under new coach Willie Taggart, the Ducks scored six, first-half touchdowns and kicked the PAT on all six scores.
And UCLA, which last week came back from a 44-10 deficit against Texas A&M, impressively rebounded with what could have been a let-down game against Hawaii.
Instead, the Bruins acted like grownups and won easily, 56-23. Josh Rosen, who threw for 491 yards last week, was 22 of 25 for 329 yards against Hawaii before his work was over.
Well done, eight claps all around. Now, if UCLA is really back after last year's 4-8 downturn, it will take care of business next week at Memphis.
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