Dabo Swinney and Tommy Rees won the college football weekend by trying to out-hardo each other
Rarely, if ever, have we named two winners of the college football weekend. Sometimes, though, exceptions have to be made.
College football Week 3 was one of those rare instances, not because the games were all that good (except for you, App State-Troy. You were very good. OK, you too, Liberty-Wake Forest), but because the moments were that good. Namely, two moments that didn't even occur in between the whistles.
The first came in South Bend, where the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were yet again on the ropes as a double-digit favorite at home and in danger of falling to 0-3. After three unsuccessful drives to begin the game, Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees could be seen in the booth absolutely lambasting quarterback Drew Pyne on the ol' telephone:
Naturally, the professional lip-readers were out in full force, but before they could decipher what Rees was saying here (it looked like something about someone being "WIDE OPEN"), another clip of Rees screaming in Pyne's ear hit social media and it was abundantly clear what he was saying in this one: "DO YOUR F---ING JOB! THE WHOLE F---ING TEAM IS COUNTING ON YOU!"
The two schools of thought on this seem to be that A. Because Rees was, at best, an average quarterback at ND, he simply has no business yelling at his quarterback like this, or B. He's simply coaching the kid up. People in camp B have functioning brains, and people in camp A like to cry about everything on the internet. Our unbiased verdict is that yes, with the game still tied 0-0 halfway through the first quarter, Rees is being a bit of a hardo, but at least he's showing a sense of urgency. Staring 0-3 in the face at a storied program like Notre Dame, you better pick it the hell up ASAP. Also, it worked, with the Irish going on to a 24-17 win and Pyne throwing for two touchdowns including the game-winner with 9 minutes left. Also, Pyne was fine with what happened afterward:
Rees was the clear-cut top hardo of the weekend right up until the evening games kicked off, or, actually, right before one of them kicked off in Clemson. Dabo Swinney has always made a point to run out ahead of his team down the hill at Memorial Stadium after touching Howard's Rock, but he took it to a different level ahead of the Louisiana Tech game Saturday night and ran like he stole something:
Not surprisingly, everyone on the internet was focused on the wrong thing -- Dabo running out ahead of his team and making it about him. What we should be focused on his him running a 4.1 40 and possibly being a great fit as a slot receiver in Bill Belichick's offense. That man was HUMMING.
Ultimately, both Dabo and Rees received plenty of hate on Saturday, but when you win any publicity is good publicity, and for that reason they both dominated the college football weekend.
(In this section, we dole out helmet stickers to highlight those who *almost* won the college football weekend)
Five helmet stickers: Chase Brice
Yes, Chase Brice, the man with two frat names in one, is getting some well-earned glory from his epic hail mary toss as time expired that helped Appalachian State avoid a gutting upset against Troy. With College Gameday in town off the Mountaineers' incredible road win at Texas A&M last week, Brice and co. simply had to deliver a victory and deliver they did:
Miraculous is the only way to describe it, especially considering just how gutting this one would have been. It would have been the letdown of all letdowns and it would have mean App State was 1-2 with the win over A&M and two losses by a combined four points. But thanks to this act of God, the Mountaineers are 2-1 and will likely jump into the AP Top 25 this week, with nothing but winnable games ahead on the schedule. 12-1 is very much in the cards, which will only make that loss to UNC in Week 1 more painful by the week.
But back to Brice, who, in the immediate aftermath of the touchdown pass of his life, began helping his fellow students rush the field. Elite human:
Always practice safe-storming, kids. Good on ya, Chase. Now please win your next 10 games and get left out of the CFP for a two-loss power five conference team, thus accelerating the timeline for the 12-team playoff.
Four helmet stickers: These dudes, for hanging in
Making it out of a night game in Death Valley alive should earn you a Presidential Medal of Freedom. LSU is now 2-1 and a missed extra point away from 3-0 and being all the way back. Go Tigahs.
Three helmet stickers: Coach O
Speaking of LSU, Coach O was back on the scene this weekend, just not in Baton Rouge. The legend himself was in College Station for the Miami-Texas A&M game, and he was obviously repping the U, a school he coached at the the late 1980s and early 1990s, which coincided with the four years new Canes coach Mario Cristobal was playing offensive line and winning national championships.
Miami didn't get the dub but Coach O is sure as hell winning at life right now.
Two helmet stickers: Kirby Smart. All gas no brakes
Smart's team could be up 100-0 (they pretty much were) and he'd be bringing this exact same energy. Dawgs attract Dawgs and this man is a Dawg through and through and his team is full of nothing but DAWGS. UGA's "easy" schedule is suddenly getting a little tougher with Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky all showing signs of life, but there's little doubt this team will be back in the SEC Championship Game and likely back in the playoff in January.
One helmet sticker: Kansas, for making Houston fight each other
You'd be fighting each other too if a program that hasn't won more than three games since 2009 was beating you to win its third game of the season already. The Jayhawks did go on to win to move to 3-0, cashing their win total which was set at 2.5 and besting their win total from the last two seasons combined. Head coach Lance Leipold has something special brewing in Lawrence, so special that social media was campaigning for College Gameday to go to the Duke-Kansas game next weekend, which is a battle between a pair of 3-0 power 5 programs. Duke and Kansas. We're talking about football, folks. What a time to be alive.
Minus 10 helmet stickers: The Texas A&M Police
Nerd alert! Man, this Aggie cult seems intent on being as cringe as possible. It's nothing short of a miracle that Johnny Manziel was able to have as much fun as he had at that place.