Costumes for CFB Diehards + Michigan Updates & Our Reddit AMA

It’s Halloweekend in college football. Does the Halloween Spirit store have a Connor Stalions costume package yet? Check that, does the Columbus branch of the Halloween Spirit store have a Connor Stalions costume package yet? If not, uhhh, someone might wanna get on that.

In today’s college football newsletter:

  • Costume ideas for diehard college football fans

  • The latest at Michigan and 3 other things you might’ve missed

  • Remaining cool, calm and collected on Spooktacular Saturday

-Ty Hildenbrandt & Bradley Hohulin


Which Halloween costume is right for you, Diehard College Football Fan?

Photo credit: Lance King/Getty Images

It’s Halloweekend, and all across the college football world teams are entering their own haunted houses. Fortunately for us mere fans, this is a time for partying. Whether you’re headed to a packed bar with the stickiest floor imaginable or a technically-not-mandatory work party where getting hammered is a prerequisite for bearable conversation, you’ll need the right fit. As always, I’ve got you covered. Here are seven foolproof costumes for college football fans in 2023.

1. Penn State head coach James Franklin after a ranked loss

Ever been to a Halloween party where someone’s wearing a costume that looks vaguely familiar but you have no idea what it’s actually supposed to be? They seem confident in their get-up, which could be from a fantasy movie or maybe just an Indie folk singer, yet they constantly have to answer questions about it. You’re going to be that person tonight. Get ready to do a lot of explaining, and rest assured it will get you nowhere.

Oh, and to be clear, you’ll be wearing this same costume next year, too.

2. USC’s defense

This one’s a breeze — we’ve all cut eye holes in a bed sheet before. Or, if you’re a true method actor, just don’t show up to the party.

3. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz

Be warned, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. You’re going to need to find a fit that really upsets people. Like, it should be borderline offensive. The sort of thing a millennial adult would recoil at seeing in an old Facebook post of theirs from a Halloween party in 2007. But no matter how many people pull you to the side and plead with you, beg you to change, DO NOT. No matter how ugly, no matter how clear the solution, never change a thing.

4. A past version of Rice quarterback J.T. Daniels

Honestly, just grab whatever jersey or sweatshirt you find sitting in the back of your closet. There’s a decent chance he played there.

5. Group costume: The Big 12 minus Oklahoma and Texas

Even the most unprepared celebrants can pull this off in only two steps, three if you’re being technical. Step 1: no actual costume. Step 2: get absolutely sloshed at the pregame. Let’s not pretend any of you are making it to the big party this year. Step 2B: get a little more sloshed.

You never needed Texas and Oklahoma anyway. You didn’t get dumped; you dumped them. You’ll probably be fine tomorrow, but yikes do you look messy at the moment.

6. A disgruntled Texas A&M booster

You’ll find this one at Party City tucked between the old-timey prospector and U.S. president costumes. That’s right — we’re looking for oil. Grab a pickaxe and get swinging. If you luck out and hit a lake of that sweet, sweet black gold, you might have enough cash to go 8-4 with a coach other than Jimbo Fisher.

7. A completely innocuous football fan

Just imagine you’re a regular ole red-blooded, pigskin-loving football fan. All you need is a hat (any color is fine, but why not go blue?), some shades, a smartphone with a camera good enough to capture subtle gestures in high definition, maybe a consumer Google account with enough cloud storage to house a 600-page manifesto… still paying attention? Good, because you’re gonna need to be really good at that. For the costume, I mean.

-Bradley Hohulin


We added 15 games to the slate this week as part of our big pick’em contest, and we’re giving away a $100 Homefield gift card to the winner. Think you have what it takes to compete against the Verballerhood?

It could not be easier to play. Simply sign up for any Patreon tier and follow the directions to submit your picks. And, while you’re at it, reap the benefits of our other Patreon perks, including ad-free episodes, bonus content, unfettered access to our great Discord community, scheme breakdown videos and much more! All Patreon tiers instantly get access to our great games and prizes!


The latest at Michigan and 3 other things you missed from last week

Michigan could be in a lot of trouble, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. There’s a good chance that you don’t need me to update you on the latest, because college football fans have been inundated with this story over the last week. But, here goes:

  • The central figure in this scandal appears to be Connor Stalions, a “recruiting analyst” who coordinated a large sign-stealing operation and sent scouts to games to record video of future opponents. Last Friday, Michigan suspended Stalions without pay.

  • According to The Washington Post, the investigation into the operation began after an outside investigative firm approached the NCAA with documents and videos on computer drives “maintained and accessed by multiple Michigan coaches.” The Post also reported that the total cost of the effort in 2023 would exceed $15,000 and scout more than 40 games. The source of the funding and the motives of the outside firm remain unknown.

  • Our good friend Richard Johnson obtained texts from 2021 between Stalions and “a former student at a Power 5 school” who wanted to break into coaching. In them, Stalions bragged about his close ties to the Michigan coaching staff and all but confirmed his alleged role as the Wolverine sign stealer. Stalions also claimed to have a Google Doc between 550 and 600 pages long, a document he called “the Michigan Manifesto,” which contained a “blueprint for the Wolverines’ future.”

  • The NCAA has made this case a high priority and is already on Michigan’s campus only a week after the investigation formally launched.

  • Per Dan Wetzel, there is no evidence yet that Jim Harbaugh knew about the operation.

Three other things you might’ve missed:

1) Army is officially joining the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in 2024 as a football-only member. You might recall that the AAC recently lost Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12 and is on the verge of losing SMU to the ACC next season. Army will be the 14th team in the AAC and, interestingly, in the same conference as its rival Navy. The Army-Navy game will not count as a conference game and will still be played in the second weekend of December; however, if the two teams meet in a conference championship game, they’ll be playing two weeks in a row.

2) Is Lincoln Riley on the verge of bouncing to the NFL after just two seasons with USC? Scott Wolf from InsideUSC has heard the chatter. [INSERT GIANT SHRUGGING EMOJI HERE]

3) We did a Reddit AMA yesterday for the first time since 2015 and it was great fun. Give it a read and learn more about our college football show, The Solid Verbal.

4) OK, one more thing. (Sorry I couldn’t resist.) Presented without further comment:

-Ty Hildenbrandt


Staying calm on Spooktacular Saturday

Fear not, we got you. Follow these steps and get ready for Halloweekend in style:

1️⃣ Listen to our Week 9 preview episode

We had no choice but to spend some time talking about this Michigan fiasco. After that, though, it was a solid hour of digestible game previews to enhance your Saturday viewing experience. From Georgia vs. Florida to Oregon vs. Utah, Ohio State vs. Wisconsin and beyond! Listen below!

☝️ Also, on the suggestions of our Patreon subscribers, we popped the hood and did a deep statistical dive of TCU and Arizona State. In case you’re into that kind of thing.

2️⃣ Join our live watchalong of Oregon-Utah on Saturday at 3:30 pm ET!

We did this last week for Penn State-Ohio State and it was great fun. This week, we promise to up our A/V dorkery and make our live watchalong of Oregon-Utah even better. Throw the game up on your big TV and fire us up on your second screen.

3️⃣ Roast someone or something on our voicemail line: 855-VERBAL3 (855-837-2253)

We’re looking for your best roasts this weekend on our voicemail line. The kind of thing that we can play around the Saturday night campfire as a way to vent those emotions. Don’t let us down.

(Oh, and if you’re looking for a fun place to hang, we invite you to come lurk on our Discord and see if it’s something you’re into.)

4️⃣ Support the podcast by leaving us a 5-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts

Please consider leaving us a 5-star rating and review if you listen over on Apple Podcasts! And, of course, is the spot for you if you’d like ad-free episodes, bonus content and more!

-Ty Hildenbrandt

Thanks for reading. Until next week, stay solid!