The Old College Try: Week 2

Does college football ever disappoint? By all accounts, this should have been a dud of a week. Tennessee and Va Tech could have played inside the Coliseum (in Rome, not L.A.) and I wouldn’t have been fired up for it. Yet, as it seemingly always does, the sport exceeded our already lofty expectations. (Is there anything else in life that does this?)

I have a ton of friends who went to Penn State. While I love them all, before they were humbled by the worst scandal in the history of sports, they could be very annoying in their non-ending worship of the program — a program that even B.S. was in sharp decline. But Saturday’s game against the Panthers was a classic. Let’s forget for a minute that no college team should play its “home” games inside a soulless NFL stadium. From my seat on the couch, it looked like a great atmosphere in the city of 1.5 rivers. That was the best I’ve seen the Nits play in years — and they lost. But with competent quarterback play, a beast of a running back, and players that fought with grit that’s long been MIA in State College, I think Nits’ fans have more to be excited about than any time in recent memory.

In Stillwater (what a cool name for a town), the Cowboys and the refs gagged bigtime in OSU’s “loss” to Central Michigan. This game proved what I say often about football — no one, and I mean no one — knows all the rules. (The same kind of thing can be said of politics. Next time anyone spouts an opinion on an issue like Obamacare — no matter if they’re for or against it — ask them if they’ve read the law. If they say they have, they’re either lying or they’re smarter than you. Either way, move on.)

The TCU-Arkansas game somehow proved even better than the mascot matchup (Hogs vs Frogs). Back and forth the teams went, in a game that purists will grumble featured no defense. Watching it, I’m more apt to give credit to terrific offensive play. Meanwhile, the Holy War was unfolding in a nasty, nasty way. Two Cougars were ejected on back-to-back targeting penalties. The BYU coach almost lost his mind. And I once again listened to the “Book of Mormon” soundtrack, which never gets less funny.

All in all it was a spectacular day on what was essentially supposed to be a Saturday off. When it comes to college football, don’t watch at your own risk.

THIS WEEK’S BOURBON: WILLETT

Each week I’ll write a few words about the bourbon I drank during the previous week’s show. Willett is one of my favorites. It’s among the smoothest and the sweetest to sip neat, even though I usually drop a cube or two in it. Another reason to love it — its roots trace back to the greatest state in the Union, Maryland.

“The earliest Willett, from this particular Willett family branch, that we can trace back to with 100% certainty, is Edward Willett, who was born on October 19, 1657 in Hertford, England. Exactly when Edward was brought to America by his uncle, Charles Willett, is up for debate. This much we know — Edward was in Maryland as a young boy.”

That’s enough for me.

Pochase.

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