Four feel-good CFB stories + the Michigan "Do Something!" Phase & Field Possums!

November is where the rubber meets the road. Week 10 is chock full of bigtime matchups that are sure to shake-up college football’s first batch of playoff rankings. We’ll be doing a live watchalong of Notre Dame vs. Clemson on Saturday if you feel like stopping by.

In today’s college football newsletter:

  • The “Do Something” Phase at Michigan

  • 4 great feel-good stories this season

  • 4 things you might’ve missed this week

  • 4 ways to gallop through Centaur Saturday

-Ty Hildenbrandt & Bradley Hohulin


The “Do Something” Phase

Screenshot of Connor Stalions, disguised as a member of the CMU coaching staff!

Buckle up, friends. After a steady drip of reporting over the last week detailing the extent of Connor Stalions’ sign-stealing operation at Michigan, we’ve officially reached the next leg of our journey: The Do Something Phase.

Should Michigan cancel its season and forfeit its games? Should the Wolverines be banned from postseason play? Should Jim Harbaugh be suspended?

These are all fair questions and I don’t suspect anyone has a clue how to answer them, especially since the NCAA is still gathering information on what happened. Hell, Central Michigan is still trying to figure out if the totally cool incognito guy pictured above on its sidelines was Stalions or someone else. The outrage from opponents is clearly understandable, but the entire set of facts is unknowable at this point. Additionally, this is sort of an unprecedented moment for college football, making it even more impossible to figure out what should happen in the short-term.

That puts new Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti in a box. If the conference wants, it can take some kind of immediate action against Michigan. The problem, though, is that the Big Ten doesn’t have its own investigators and is dependent on the NCAA to gather more facts and willingly share them before the investigation is complete. Petitti has reportedly reached out to the NCAA for more intel, but it’s unclear how much is truly known at this point. Even with the NCAA prioritizing the Michigan case, investigations like these typically move at a glacial pace. How much can the NCAA prove at this point?

What will Petitti do? On one hand, it’s a chorus of angry coaches; on the other, an incomplete set of facts and a fan base comically advocating to leave the Big Ten. My prediction is that he tries to convince University of Michigan president Santa Ono to act first and suspend the coaching staff until further notice. Petitti is reportedly meeting with Ono in Ann Arbor today. At this early stage, it seems like the most reasonable and least controversial way to quell the uprising without punishing the players, and it puts the burden on the university, not the conference. In due time, if the allegations are proven true, the NCAA would obviously hand down a much harsher penalty.

This story is developing quickly, so with any amount of luck these comments will be completely meaningless by dinner time. But as for the moment, I think this is where we’re at. More to come!

-Ty Hildenbrandt


We added 15 games to the slate this week as part of our big pick’em contest, and we’re giving away a $100 Oxford Pennant 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!


Four great feel-good stories this season

Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

You never know a good thing until it’s gone. It’s one of life’s cruelest, most universally understood lessons. Well, today we’re going to learn from it. As we enter the final third of the regular season, let’s take a moment to commemorate the best feel-good stories in college football in 2023. Because heaven knows I’m not going to be feeling good watching my team on Saturday.

Rutgers is going bowling

The Scarlet Knights actually reached bowl eligibility two weeks ago with the equivalent of playing your five-year-old nephew in pickup basketball (playing Indiana in football), but it’s never too late to celebrate. In his second stint in Piscataway, head coach Greg Schiano has built a roster that’s pretty good at defense and not especially good at anything else, which is just good enough to take advantage of 2023’s most disappointing conference. Three cheers for the Big Ten’s most valuable TV market.

Kansas got the big one

Kansas was already a darling last year when it got to six wins and a bowl, but now it has something even more coveted: beating Oklahoma. The best part of the Jayhawks’ 38-33 victory over the Sooners last Saturday is there’s no immediate revenge incoming. With Oklahoma bound for the SEC, who knows how long we’ll go before a rematch? If I were a Kansas fan, I genuinely might never stop annoying my Oklahoma friends about this. Then again, if I were a Kansas fan I’d have probably damaged enough brain cells celebrating last weekend’s victory that I wouldn’t remember anyway.

Oregon State went from rags to riches*

Man, good for the Beavs. It hasn’t been an easy road this year, and last week’s loss to Arizona was tough, if understandable. Still, 6-2 with a legitimate shot at the Pac-12 title is a far cry from five years ago when OSU was getting pummeled by the likes of Arizona State.

The Beavers have taught us that no matter what circumstances you come from, if you work really hard, hire good coaches, and scheme the hell out of your offense, you too can have the privilege of getting left for scraps while Cal and Colorado get life rafts to major conferences.

*”riches” in this case refers to whatever the CW or Ion or whoever offers to pay for its broadcasting rights

Iowa made us proud to be Americans

Just when we were at our lowest, our most hopeless, Iowa came in and reminded us of the shining nation in which we live.

If you think you can be cataclysmically awful at your job for multiple years, bringing shame and frustration to millions of loyal fans, all the while escaping retribution because your dad is in a position of power, listen up, bucko: you are not going to receive a dime more than $850,000 per year to do so. Not in this country.

Please. And this new, soft generation will tell you America isn’t a meritocracy.

(Oh, and here are 4 other things you might’ve missed from the last few days:)

1) Both the Big Ten and Big 12 released their 2024 schedules. If you’re one of those fans that is fearful that conference realignment will spell doom for traditional rivalries, you might want to shield your eyes: There are only four annual, protected, in-state rivalries in the new Big 12 slate. On the Big Ten side, there are some extremely interesting combinations, including USC traveling to Ann Arbor to play Michigan in its first conference game, Washington traveling to Penn State in November, and Ohio State renewing its matchup with Oregon in Eugene. As a side note, there are too many teams to present this Big Ten schedule in matrix form. Next time around, they’re gonna need to rent out an IMAX theater.

2) The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released its first batch of rankings this week:

3) Dabo Swinney got just a bit defensive when a fan trolled him on his radio show. Are you Team Dabo or Team Tyler from Spartanburg? Listen here and let us know with the poll below. Honestly, both sides have a point.

POLL: Which team are you...?

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4) A possum got loose on the field in Lubbock, Texas last night and it was the highlight of an otherwise good game. Texas Tech beat TCU 35-28.

-Bradley Hohulin & Ty Hildenbrandt


Horsing around on Centaur Saturday

We’re here to help you get a good jump out of the gates for weekend ahead:

1️⃣ Listen to our Week 10 preview episode

This was the most fun we’ve had doing a preview show in a long time. I hate Dan for bringing the centaur sound out of retirement but, hey, sometimes you just gotta play the hits. Get caught up in time for Week 10!

☝️ Also, on the suggestions of our Patreon subscribers, we popped the hood and took a closer look at the statistical profiles of James Madison and Iowa State. In case you’re into that kind of thing.

2️⃣ Join our live watchalong of Notre Dame-Clemson on Saturday at 12:00 pm ET!

Throw the Irish and Tigers on your main screen and join us over on YouTube on your device. I’m not sure it’s the best idea to run a live broadcast of me watching a Notre Dame game, so be forewarned.

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!