Mike Leach earns an ‘A’ for great candy takes
Welcome to the fifth edition of the 2021 report card, where you will find a more light-hearted look at each weekend in college football. Grades are handed out where it’s deemed appropriate.
There is no grading on a curve here, so failing marks have zero chance for being reversed and passing ones are handed out less frequently. (Again, reminding people that emails and complaint tweets will be deleted.)
Last week’s failing grades went to Tennessee’s trash-throwing fans, a Division III end-of-game blunder (don’t worry, there is one from Division I just below) with standouts including Kentucky’s secret weapon at linebacker and a Purdue lineman chugging a beer mid-game.
Week 8’s winners and losers: Oregon escapes, Penn State falls out of playoff race
So here is the Week 8 analysis of how fans, teams, players and coaches fared:
Pirate of the Haribbean
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach had other things on his mind after his team’s 45-6 rout of Vanderbilt. During the television broadcast, it was mentioned how much he hates candy corn, which for some reason has been a Halloween staple for years.
“I completely hate candy corn,” Leach reiterated before delving into what his favorite candy is.
“Well when I was kid, gummy bears. Gummy bears, for sure,” Leach said.
Leach was then asked about his favorite gummies, sour or regular? And his next response should end all discussion on if Leach has great taste in candy.
“Haribo. It’s got to be the Haribo ones,” he said. “The other thing I like is when they used to have the Sprees in a box. Outstanding. You have to go to the Dollar Store to find it. But I do.
“And then the latest, you know there’s still candy innovation,” Leach continued. “Although a while back, I found that Europe had better candy than we did overall. Because they have gummy everything. You know they have those Nerds clusters, which is new, which is good. The Nerds clusters is good. Then if you go chocolate, probably Almond Joy.”
Leach may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his love of Haribo gummy bears compels the Report Card to allow him to automatically receive his Ph.D in candy.
Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo: A+
Oh no, not again
Every week, it seems like coaches who make millions of dollars make coaching decisions that leave you scratching your head. This week’s coach earning a paycheck for excessive non-use of the brain goes to Colorado State’s Steve Addazio. During Friday night’s game against Utah State, the Rams were down 26-24 with the offense driving for a potential game-winning field goal attempt. They got the ball down to the 24-yard line with 11 seconds left.
Here is where the fun begins.
Eleven seconds would seem like enough time to either run one more play, or spike the ball and get the field goal unit on the field. But, oh no. Not Colorado State.
For some reason, the Rams instead rushed the field goal unit into the game and the kick hooked left, leaving the announcers, the viewers and Colorado State in a state of confusion.
Here was Addazio’s explanation for what happened:
“So, we had fast field goal ready down by where the ball was and the guys took off on the field, the fast field goal team,” he said. “They weren’t sent, but they went and it created that confusion at the end, which is just a shame. We really got set up, it wasn’t like we weren’t set up to kick the field goal.”
Brain fart II, Electric Boogaloo: F
Not quite basketball season
For anyone living in and around the Lawrence, Kansas, area, you probably expected another ho-hum Saturday with the Jayhawks football team getting its usual tail-kicking while you wait patiently for basketball season.
Second-ranked Oklahoma came calling this weekend and almost immediately things got strange.
First, a temporary campus-wide power outage made the scoreboards and lights inoperable and halted play for a bit in the first quarter.
Then Kansas took an improbable 10-0 lead into halftime over the Sooners as a 38-point underdog.
That prompted the school to send out an alert urging those who had better things to do than get up to attend a football game at 11 a.m. local time to somehow show up at the stadium and support their team.
More: Will Oklahoma’s defense turn it around before it’s too late?
Not only that, but in the third quarter the school announced that anyone could come and enjoy the game with no ticket being required for entrance.
It was all for naught as Oklahoma scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions in the second half and handed Kansas its sixth straight loss, 35-23.
No shame in Kansas’ game: A+
Beer pong at the Big House
There is no doubt that a favorite game of many undergraduate co-eds is beer pong. For those unfamiliar, it’s a game where people throw ping-pong balls across a table for it to land in a cup of beer on the opposite end.
Because marching bands need new material every week, Michigan’s decided to dedicate a portion of their halftime show to the “sport.” But it played with an Ohio State ping-pong ball, which missed the cup. Of course, Michigan’s found paydirt.
There is no doubt that Ohio State’s band will have something up its sleeve in the next couple of weeks.
Just as well, because Ohio State lives rent-free inside Michigan’s fans heads all year because the Buckeyes have beaten the Wolverines in each of the last eight meetings, averaging 41 points in those victories.
Band on the run: C
Shoveling a pick-six
The report card usually hands out high marks for spectacular plays and in Pittsburgh’s victory 27-17 against Clemson, play of the day honors goes to Panthers linebacker SirVocea Dennis.
In the third quarter with Pitt clinging to a seven-point lead, Dennis busted through the line and made D.J. Uiagalelei’s shovel pass look like it was intended for him. Dennis corralled the pass and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.
The pick-six put Uiagalelei briefly on the bench and Clemson’s loss effectively ends its six-year stranglehold on the ACC.
Pass the SirVocea: A+
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football Week 8: Mike Leach on candy, Michigan band plays pong