College Football Weekend Recap: “Won My Pool” Edition

Thanks to Tony Romo, I won my pick’em pool this week. Romo threw an interception late in last night’s Jets v. Cowboys game that not only gave the Jets a win, but me a win, too. I’m playing in a pool with 20ish people, organized by a friend of my dad’s, and after a second-place finish last weekend, I emerged victorious this time. Yes, I’m gloating. But I made lucky guesses on a bunch of NFL games (and somehow nailed all my college picks), so I’ll take it.

One of my correct picks: USC over Utah in the inaugural Pac-12 contest. Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times recapped several firsts for the conference, but acknowledges that a number bigger than “12” might follow “Pac” after this season. “Pac-12 football: Catch it while it lasts?” he asks, breaking down possible scenarios that could play out once Texas A&M becomes an official member of the SEC.

Rivals/Yahoo’s Tom Dienhart gave out his Week 2 “awards,” and they make for a pretty entertaining read. From the “Desperately seeking…anything” award (Mike Riley) to the “Thought you’d get your butt kicked, you didn’t” award (Iowa State) and several others in between (like Oregon’s “Dang, they’re good” honor), he offers a funny, quick look at the past week and near future in college football.

Don’t look now, but both of the Pac-12’s Washington teams have better records than its Oregon teams. The Huskies and lowly Cougars are both 2-0. Washington State leads the nation in scoring offense, for crying out loud. On ESPN’s Pac-12 blog, Ted Miller looks at the teams’ recent success but notes that they both play big road games next weekend.

As if a 2-0 Wazzu team isn’t frightening enough, we come to the most ridiculous item of the day. Addicted to Quack, a popular Duck blog, reported Sunday evening that Mike Pereira, the Pac-12’s new coordinator for officiating, says that players flashing the “O” after a score is bordering on unsportsmanlike conduct. Um, excuse me? Are the players thumping their chests? No. Are they jumping in to the stands? No. They’re making an “O” with their hands. Pereira’s video explanation is really what got me going. Apparently salutes are okay (he says it’s a tribute to the military; I’m not saying players and fans aren’t grateful for the sacrifice of servicemen and women, but I’m doubtful that every post-touchdown salute is made with the sole intention of honoring the military and not celebrating the score), as are points to the sky, thanking God. But flash a symbol with your hands that’s ripe with meaning for your team and its fans? Apparently, that’s a no-no. Ridiculous. (Video linked in this story by KVAL in Eugene, which was linked in the ATQ post.)

Editor’s Note: I’m not the first to make those arguments, and I’d say the same thing for any other team that came under fire for this; I’m not just trying to defend the Ducks. There is obvious unsportsmanlike conduct, and then there are harmless celebrations. Regardless of the team, this is harmless.

Hate to end on a sour note, but that’s just absurd. On a lighter note, there was the super-exciting end to Michigan v. Notre Dame. Really couldn’t care less about the teams, but you’ve got to love an electric finish to a game played in front of the largest crowd in college football history.

What were your favorite moments, stories or blog posts from the weekend?

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My Quest for the Perfect GameDay Sign

ESPN College GameDay is coming to Eugene on Saturday. Because we can’t all wave the Washington State flag, it is my personal mission to make a really funny/creative/smart sign to wave in the background; if I’m lucky, I’ll be shown on TV or my mom will mention me in her Facebook status.

Right now, I don’t have a ton of great ideas. I’ve considered the typical “spell ESPN vertically with a word for each letter” thing, but I can’t think of anything for the “N.” (And all I’ve got for E, S and P is “every Stanford player” or “each Stanford player.” Not exactly national television material.)

Of course, Stanford’s quarterback, Andrew Luck, has a last name that rhymes with “Duck” which could open up a lot of possibilities for me. I’ve thought about

Duck > Luck

or some variation thereof, but I’m not totally settled on it.

If all else fails, I’m just taking a sign that reads “A Tree is Not a Mascot,” because a tree and a singular noun (Cardinal) simply do not make a good mascot combo.

I’ve already heard of one idea that is utterly hilarious but slightly inappropriate. I’m keeping it G-rated here, but I will say that it has something to do with the nickname students and fans have recently given to our head coach, Chip Kelly (you can see it in this Twitter status that I found by Googling the phrase).

So with that, my search continues. Any (appropriate) suggestions?