Thanks? Saturday night is certainly deserving

mlough@macon.comNovember 21, 2012 

Saturday night.

People have spent the month giving thanks for this and that, and most are quality thoughts. Some are requisite look-at-me absurdities.

Many of them are redundant, of course, because we all are thankful for the same good things in our lives.

But Saturday night? It was, for a college football fan, a series of hours to give thanks for.

At some point, while your head is bowed and somebody is saying a prayer as the aromas make your nose twitch more than a beagle with his head out the window on a country drive, any one of a number of thoughts will creep into your head:

I can’t believe Kansas State got flogged. I can’t believe Oregon lost at home.

I can’t believe Baylor did the flogging. I can’t believe Oregon scored only 14 points at home. In a whole game.

It’s rare we can use the word “carnage” and smile so broadly. And somewhere Sunday and Monday, people looked at each other with the same puzzled frown and wondered, “What happened?”

College football happened.

And there was potential for even more road kill.

Florida led a decent FCS team by only 10-0 for 35 minutes, that decent team scaring the Gators for a long time despite gaining just 166 yards total offense. South Carolina was tied with a quality FCS team at 7 in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin blew chances to hand Ohio State and Urban Meyer their first loss, finally.

LSU and Mississippi combined in a rollicking evening at Tiger Stadium in one of that series’ top five games ever, giving us another glorious loopy Les Miles postgame news conference. Clemson and N.C. State put on a Big 12 defensive clinic and combined for 100 points.

Oklahoma-West Virginia wasn’t decided until the final 24 seconds, and it’s a little surprising there wasn’t another score after that in a game of 164 offensive snaps split down the middle and 1,440 yards total offense.

Then there was the Cuddly Coaches Bowl out west, with Jim Mora (UCLA) and Lane Kiffin (Southern California) battling, Mora coming out on top by 10.

And now, here we sit, with four words out there nobody could in their right -- or wrong -- mind ever imagine uttering, “Come on, Lane, buddy.”

For all the hand-wringing and speculation, the lone consensus -- talk about unifying -- is that only Notre Dame fans want Notre Dame in a national championship game. If that happens, the most popular team in the nation for five weeks might be the opponent.

An entertaining aspect of what the weekend did was put the -- Fire Mark -- crowd into confusion. Had a conversation with a West Coast Bulldogs fan before Saturday got going, and he wants to dump Richt, Greg McGarity and most likely whoever decorated Uga’s homes.

A top-six team with an extremely legitimate chance to reach the national championship game -- substantially more so than in 2008 -- and let’s dump the coach? Hysterical.

And, of course, college football.

We’ll save the requisite arguments about Richt and Mike Bobo and apparently the worst offensive game planning since Custer, for another time. Why, it could come in the days preceding a national championship game with the Bulldogs.

And that wasn’t on our radar, certainly not after the collapse in Columbia, but here it is, very much on the radar.

All because of an explosion of college football wackiness Saturday night, an explosion for which we must give thanks.

Contact Michael A. Lough at 744-4626 or

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