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ESPN’s best of college football, Week 12

Welcome to Week 12. It’s a good week to take it easy and watch some football, before next week when you’re going to be taking it easy, watching football AND eating a ton. Moderation is the key.

Today’s game against Alabama was a big opportunity for The Citadel, a military college with about 2,300 undergrad students, who make up the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. But despite a 50-17 loss — it was 10-10 at halftime! — it turned out to be an even bigger opportunity for their Twitter account to mock the rest of the SEC.

Before the game, they taunted South Carolina, reminding them of their 23-22 victory over them in 2015.

After Dante Smith broke away for a 45-yard touchdown run, they really started feeling it and scored a couple more direct hits on LSU and Mississippi State, who combined to lose 53-0 to Alabama.

After their Twitter game started getting noticed (and trending nationally), they then directed their attention to UCF.

And Ole Miss.

Down big, they dragged Missouri down with them.

All in all, there was good fun to be had by all, as well as the celebration of moral victories and supremacy over most of the SEC. And according to ESPN Stats & Info, Smith joined Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Darren McFadden as the only players to rush for at least 115 yards with 2 rushing touchdowns vs. Alabama over the last 15 seasons. Good job, The Citadel.

Notre Dame? Is that you?

No. 3 Notre Dame smoked No. 12 Syracuse at Yankee Stadium, 36-3.

While they were there, the Irish paid homage to the landlord.

Notre Dame and the New York Yankees are each known to inspire strong reactions, and not always of the positive type. So to see the Irish dressed up like the Yankees seemed like a bit of an unholy alliance. But we’re not the experts here. So let’s check in with the inimitable Paul Lukas and Uni Watch for his review. What’s your take, Paul?


Let’s be honest: This is not a uniform — it’s a costume. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing (Oregon’s entire program is based on costumes, and some of them are pretty good), but costumes don’t seem a good fit for a legacy program like Notre Dame.

More to the point, this doesn’t seem like a very good costume. Putting pinstripes on everything — even the shoes — feels like overkill, and the helmet logo feels uninspired. If a superhero wore this costume (“Look, up in the sky, it’s Yankees Man!”), he’d probably end up as a minor character at best. No movie deal, either.

But here’s the biggest issue: Why should a proud football program like the Irish be subordinating their visual identity to a baseball team? Think of it this way: If the Yankees played a game at Notre Dame Stadium, would they wear gold batting helmets? No way — they’e the New York freakin’ Yankees, and they’re not gonna change their uniforms for anyone! The Irish could learn something from that attitude. -PL

Northwestern is heating up

Before its 24-14 win over Minnesota, Northwestern put on a clinic on how to prepare for a game in a cold-weather setting.

Video game numbers

Miami quarterback N’Kosi Perry had perhaps the most complete game of his season against Virginia Tech, finishing with a 61.8 completion percentage, three total touchdowns and no interceptions.

The big games

All times ET

  • No. 24 Cincinnati at No. 11 UCF, 8, ABC

  • No. 16 Iowa State at No. 15 Texas, 8, Longhorn Network

  • Arizona at No. 8 Washington State, 10:30, ESPN

Big day for a couple of Dubs

Dubs, a very good Alaskan Malamute who has been leading the Washington Huskies out of the tunnel since 2009, has trotted off into retirement, passing the collar to a new good boy, Dubs II.

Carried away

Since at least 1963, Nebraska fans have a tradition of releasing balloons after the first touchdown of the game, as seen in this photo from 2016:

Alyssa Lefebvre, a marine biologist in New York, thinks she may have found one 1,400 miles away on a beach in Long Island. According to the Omaha World-Herald, Husker balloons have been found in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois previously, leading some environmental groups to criticize the tradition, including Lefebvre. “I love school spirit,” she told the World-Herald. “Just because it’s a tradition, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the only option and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option.” Nebraska, for its part, says it uses 100% biodegradable balloons.

In Tyler’s words

Earlier this week, Purdue superfan Tyler Trent, who is battling a rare form of bone cancer, got his own bobblehead, with a portion of the proceeds going toward cancer research.

On Saturday, the team will be wearing helmets featuring Tyler’s descriptions of what Purdue football is all about.

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