The first full weekend of college football is in the books and DAMN! Did it live up to the hype. You had Coach Fleck rowing the boat in Minnesota. The Clemson band trolling Ohio State. Howard, a 45-point underdog, beating UNLV by 13. Liberty beating Baylor. Alabama wrecking FSU. Michigan wearing the worst gear you’ll ever see.
Tennessee having some dude running around with a trashcan on the sideline. Tennessee looking like trash on the field. Then Georgia Tech somehow throwing that game in the trashcan and Tennessee rescuing it.
But even that wasn’t the most dramatic game of the weekend. No, that honor goes to Texas A&M and UCLA, who played one of the all-time bizarre games.
How insane was it? If you listened to Twitter, Jim Mora was going to be fired at halftime and Josh Rosen should quit the game of football. The takes were practically melting the internet. And as over the top as it was, the game was just that bad for the Bruins. They were down 38-10 at halftime and 44-10 late in the third, and the Aggies were breaking out a funky baton for touchdown celebrations on the sideline.
It’s one thing to open the season with a loss at home, it’s quite another to get humiliated at home, and still worse for your opponent to be busting out props for their celebrations in your place. But it really was that bad and when it got to 44-10 with four minutes left in the third, the question wasn’t whether they’d hang half a hundred on the Bruins, but whether they might get to the full hundred.
When UCLA scored with just over two minutes to go in the third to pull within 27, nobody confused that with making the scoreline respectable, that was just a matter of not completely rolling over. But then A&M’s offense started to struggle without their starting quarterback. And then UCLA scored a minute and a half into the fourth. And then five minutes after that. And then five minutes after that. And suddenly, they were within 6 and the A&M meltdown was on.
Josh Rosen went for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns. Not in the game. In the fourth quarter. Alone. And capped it off with this.
An incredible moment for Rosen, Mora, and UCLA. And a truly brutal moment for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M. As always, was it an incredible comeback or an incredible meltdown? And the answer is: both.
It’s one thing to go on the road, take a 34-point lead, and blow it. It’s quite another to blow it on a fake spike play. Especially getting fooled by a fake spike when the clock was already stopped. The whole point of a fake spike is to stop the clock, so faking a spike on a stopped clock is even more ridiculous. Even more embarrassing. But it worked. And yeah, maybe that touchdown should’ve been reviewed to see if Lasley had full control of the ball when his foot touched down, but that’s really not the point, is it? If you blow a 34-point lead in less than 20 minutes, you really can’t complain about anything.
And Aggie fans weren’t complaining. They were raging. Like the Texas A&M Regent who hopped on Facebook right after the game. As I always say, social media is like a car, you don’t want to operate it drunk, angry, or tired. And I’m not sure which category Regent Tony Buzbee fell into on Sunday night, but it definitely wasn’t on Team Kevin Sumlin. And his Facebook post was pure gold and pure venom from the very first sentence: “I’m sure I may be criticized for this post but I honestly don’t care.”
You know when someone opens up a Facebook post with, I’m sure I may be criticized for this post, but I honestly don’t care” that they’re about to let loose with some venom, usually political or trashing the latest Carly Ray Jepsen album, but in this case, it was all football. And Buzbee went off.
“I’ve been on the Board of Regents for the A&M System for almost seven years. During that time, I’ve not once commented on Kevin Sumlin and his performance during his tenure at our school.”
Which usually means that the poster is about to comment on the subject and his performance. And here we go…
“I never said a word when he and his agent manipulated a much bigger and longer contract. I said nothing about his arrogance and his mishandling of multiple player controversies. I said nothing when we had multiple awesome recruiting classes, only to see key players leave our school or underperform. But tonight I am very disappointed and I have to say this. Kevin Sumlin was out-coached tonight, which isn’t new. He recruits well, but can’t coach the big games, or the close games. Our players were better tonight. Our players were more talented tonight. But our coaches were dominated on national TV, yet again.”
That had all the hallmarks of a classic bitter Facebook post – the opening line about offending people, the claims of not saying anything in the past, and then patting himself on the back for not saying anything in the past, while at the same time saying something right now. And frankly, it was totally low rent. Conduct completely unbecoming of a regent. That’s what an angry forum poster would do, not a member of the Board of Regents.
Talking about coaches on the hot seat after one game is ridiculous, but at the same time, Kevin Sumlin is on the hot seat, fairly or unfairly. In part because Chip Kelly out there and you know there are plenty of A&M fans who’d like to see Chipper in maroon and white. And once they get past their next two games, that schedule gets nasty. But at least he knows he has the support of his board of regents…