“Hawaii doesn’t win many games in the United States” — Lee Corso
To the freshmen around campus: Congrats — you made it through your first college gameday. No, not in the sense of tailgating since 8 a.m. on Saturday, but rather in the secondhand form of liking your state school friends’ social media posts, captioned “First gameday *heart emoji* *beer emoji* *football emoji*” — the true test of your decision to attend Emory instead of Michigan. While you drowned your school spiritless insecurities over the three-day weekend one drink at a time, your On Fire correspondent watched as much college football as he/she could bear.
Headliner game: Alabama vs. Florida State. Hyped up as the biggest college opener of all time, the game played down the road at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium felt much more like a bowl game than a September opener. Honestly, the game itself kind of sucked. ’Bama won by a respectable amount and Florida State lost their quarterback. Besides that, you didn’t miss much.
Favorite game to watch: Southern California (USC) vs. Western Michigan. After losing their head coach, quarterback and a first round draft pick in Corey Davis, Western Michigan was not expected to come anywhere close to USC. Don’t worry Los Angeles-based fans, there’s no need to opt for Plan B (cheering for UCLA?) as the Trojans did not fail. While Western gave them a good scare, USC pulled away in the fourth quarter. The ultimate nail in the coffin for Western was when USC actually put in a blind guy in the game’s final minutes.
Game your On Fire correspondent cannot believe he/she missed: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) vs. Texas A&M. Your On Fire correspondent turned off this game just before UCLA’s Josh Rosen spearheaded the second largest comeback in FCS history. Down 44-10, the Bru Cru came back and actually pulled off a fake spike play. I swear to God, this was not a game of Madden.
Best Upset: Howard University (DC), an FCS subdivision school, was paid $600,000 just to play UNLV. Anyway, Howard won, pulling off perhaps the biggest upset since Macklemore beat Kendrick for the 2014 Grammy’s Hip Hop Album of the Year.
Poetic Justice: Baylor University (Texas) football, coming off a controversial offseason that included NCAA investigations and the firing of its head coach and athletic director, lost to a different unalienable right this time in the form of Liberty University (Va.).
Ultimately, it was a fantastic first week of college football and your On Fire correspondent cannot encourage you enough to live vicariously through your state school friends come Saturdays. While the Emory bubble may discourage football fandom, just remember that you’re graduating from an institution that actively chose to spend its money on inflating a giant rubber duck.