Ripping through the best college football tailgates for Week 7.
Thank God for the weekend, because the past five days have been a bastard. I could type it all out, but here’s a nice 140-character summation.
After the Will Grier news broke, I basically melted down inside FanSided HQ. After sprinting through the five steps of grief over the course of, oh, 15 turbulent minutes, I then sat catatonic for the next hour. At home when the HBC news broke, my face melted off.
The world was s–t. The sad song played on repeat for the rest of the night. Microwave popcorn for dinner. Wife was pissed. Life was over.
But enough of the doom and gloom. It’s all part of the circle of life in sports. Besides, what kind of asshole lets the decisions of a 20-year-old and a 70-year-old, both of whom he’s never met, control a life. Get it together, man.
One of the nine people who reads this piece weekly happens to be a higher-up, and he wants to get a push behind it (obviously still ignoring the analytics). As a result Threat Level Tailgate is moving to Thursdays. That’s right, we’ve received a stay of execution from the Friday death curse (or Saturdays, when writer/editors are bogged down with meetings) and are now in the must-read spot. It’s probably the greatest thing to happen to Thursdays since George Costanza saved a beached whale.
We’ll also be getting a Twitter handle here over the next week. Probably buying up a few thousand followers to look legit and then start tweeting with people whom I pay to talk back to me. It’s not a thing these days unless you can tweet it.
We’re also changing from a slideshow format to a normal standalone piece. The bosses claim that readers don’t want to click through to slides about tailgates. Who am I to argue (see: less formatting work).
As always send in any videos, recipes, routines or travel requests to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the party. We had about 17 submissions last week, but they were all from some group of grommets down in South Africa. I pitched the idea of a travel segment to the honcho, but apparently Time Inc. is moving offices and sending a
editor down to Cape Town to smoke spliffs and ride the line before holing up for a day of American football isn’t in the budget right now.
If you’re around in the states and wanna get weird on the tailgate scene – or have a video of the shenanigans posted – hit us up. On to this week’s festivities.
- West Virginia at No. 2 Baylor (12 p.m. ET) – West Virginia is the reason Baylor didn’t make the inaugural CFB last year. They’re basically the reason Art Briles went full ‘Merica and is making teams pay. Blood is in the water, and the air is thick with revenge.
- USC at No. 14 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET) – Tons of drama surrounding USC heading into one of the game’s great historic rivalries. Also, yours truly will be roaming the grounds. Say “hi,” we’ll crush brews.
- Oregon at Washington (10:30 p.m. ET) – One of the game’s great, understated rivalries. Husky Stadium is gorgeous. All Oregon fans have to talk smack about in this one is “The Pick.” And then there’s the fact that both states are very green. Not a bad time at all.
5) No. 13 Ole Miss at Memphis (12:00 p.m. ET)
One of these teams is undefeated, boasts the No. 4 scoring offense in the nation (47.8 points per game) and racks up 541.2 yards of offense every game (eighth best nationally). The other team is Ole Miss.
What probably looked like a delicious cupcake when scheduled half a decade ago might just come back to bite Colonel Rebel Black Bear right in the arse. Justin Fuente is a Gary Patterson disciple and his offense is posting numbers that would make his mentor proud.
Then again, the Tigers have played the football equivalent of the Walking Dead, except without as much bite. They’ve been tested in each of their past three contests, and will surely be handed all they can handle by Robert Nkemdiche and company.
The atmosphere around this one should be festive. Both teams score a zillion points and are ridiculously exciting. Also, all the prepped up Rebs get to enjoy the great music and greater BBQ Memphis has to handle.
It’s not even a 90-minute drive from Oxford to Memphis, meaning this will feel like a home game Rendezvous for the Rebels just as much as for the Tigers.
What To Expect: Tigers and (Rebel Black) Bears, oh my.
Threat Level: Sauced
4) Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State (8:00 p.m. ET)
A lifetime ago, James Franklin and Urban Meyer passed like ships in the SEC night. They appeared destined to be the next big rivalry conference rivalry, but alas that wasn’t in the cards. Now that both have resurfaced in the Big Ten, we finally have the matchup of two of the game’s biggest, most brash personalities.
Last year’s game between the Penn State and Ohio State was one of the year’s best contests. It was essentially the coming out party for Joey Bosa thanks to a billion tackles (really 6, with 2.5 sacks), and was also one of several games where people hypothesized that Christian Hackenberg might just have a future beyond the college scene.
Compared to preseason expectations, Ohio State has looked mighty haggard. They can’t seem to kick out of neutral until backed into a corner. Once pressed, though, they lay waste. Suffice to say, this year’s Buckeyes have the look of every great Urban Meyer team. Meyer’s squads tend to plod along and then, when called upon, drop the hammer.
Penn State inexplicably lost its opener to Temple. However, fans are starting to get their boss strut on after defeating such powerhouses as Indiana, Army and San Diego State.
Look at that 8:00 p.m. kick. Now that’s the thing that Legends (and Leaders) are made of. Wake up early, grill and chill while watching Michigan and Sparty beat the hell out of each other, and then go HAM until kickoff. Factoring in weather, kick time, opponent and pregame viewing, and this is the absolute perfect day for football down in Columbus.
What To Expect: Slow start, strong finish (just as Meyer would want it)
Threat Level: Sloppy Sloopy
3) No. 8 UF at No. 6 LSU (7:00 p.m. ET)
Look at all that SEC camaraderie in the above picture. That’s great, isn’t it? Yeah, might as well throw it out the window. It’s back to Tiger sass and razzing opponents mercilessly for the LSU faithful. It was fun while it lasted.
The lead up to this game has been one helluva yo-yo. First it was meh. Then it was a Heisman showcase for Leonard Fournette. Then it was a potential precursor to an SEC Championship Game rematch. And now it’s somewhere unknown.
If Florida can get up for this one it’ll be a miracle. For the second consecutive year they’ve been kicked square in the nuts before facing their cross-divisional rival. Treon Harris should play with a chip on his shoulder, but one good wallop and the Gators are down to their third-string quarterback – who’s a backup receiver.
LSU should be frothing at the mouth, and that’s a scary prospect. Fournette is at the point where if he’s only putting up 160 yards and one touchdown then it’s a bad game. He’s been a wrecking crew against subpar defenses, and now can show that he can hold up against a strong front seven.
Fans are going to be in a frenzy. They start tailgating somewhere in the hours between Thursday night and early Friday morning, and then this kick isn’t until 6:00 local time. Tiger Stadium is going to smell like a corn dog marinated in Evan Williams. It’s going to be glorious.
T-Rex might be in the house. There will be a billion PED jokes. Maybe fake hypodermic needles. We’re talking prison rules trash talk. College football viciousness at its best.
What To Expect: Abita showers, happy hecklers and full-sized gators roasting on spits.
Threat Level: Cards on the table time.
2) No. 10 Alabama at No. 9 TAMU (3:30 p.m. ET)
Let’s f–king do this. If you can’t get up for this game, then pack your bags and move to France. There are endless storylines for this game, all of which are pure gold. Here’s a taste.
- Texas A&M is ranked higher, but is a four-point home underdog.
- Alabama is playing every game now like its season depends on it (because it does).
- A win would be Kevin Sumlin’s biggest since upending Bama in his first year with the Aggies
- The Aggies plucked John Chavis from LSU, which then caused Alabama to take Kevin Steele away from Alabama
- Alabama put its boot up Texas A&M’s ass and turned it sideways last year, with a 59-0 victory.
- Johnny Football beat Bama. Can Kyle Allen?
- The always awkward history of Bear Bryant getting his feet under himself in College Station, and then going home to Tuscaloosa to grow his legend.
Kyle Field will be an absolute madhouse tomorrow. The 12th Man will sound like the 13th Man, Reveille will probably be mowing down on elephant ears all game, and every hit is likely to sound like a crack of thunder. Bama playing for the season; Sumlin coaching for legitimacy. There’s some serious Game of the Year potential here.
What To Expect: Power hour by 9:00 a.m., brisket by noon, earplugs at 2:00 p.m.
Threat Level: Swagtooth
1) No. 7 MSU at No. 12 Michigan
OOOOOOOOHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAH! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, FOLKS. COLLEGE GAMEDAY IS IN THE BIG HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THE HARBAUGH ERA.
MICHIGAN REFUSES TO GIVE UP ANY POINTS. SPARTY REFUSES TO LOSE ANY GAMES. SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE.
ASIDE FROM THAT, STEVE MOTHERF–KING SPURRIER WILL BE IN THE HOUSE. SPURRIER, HARBAUGH AND CORSO IN THE SAME HALF-MILE RADIUS – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!
IT’S TIME TO BURN ANN ARBOR TO THE GROUND (not really, but kinda really) BECAUSE WE COULD HAVE THE GREATEST TAILGATE ATMOSPHERE IN THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE GAMEDAY.
DRINK YOUR MILK, EAT YOUR VITAMINS AND SAY YOUR PRAYERS TO THE FOOTBALL GODS. WE’RE GOING INTO THE BELLY OF THE BEAST AND GOD HELP US IF WE RETURN. THE PARTY STARTS NOW!
What To Expect: HBC, Handshake Harbaugh and Headgear
Threat Level: Orgazmo