Scary College Football Things + Vampire BYU & Smoky Saturday

BOO! OK, that was uncalled for. Today’s Friday the 13th… is anyone else’s neighborhood decked to the nines with Halloween decorations? We’ve got a situation over here with neighbors who have dueling 12-foot skeletons on either side of the street. The dog’s afraid to walk that part of the sidewalk. Anyway, onward!

In today’s college football newsletter:

  • The 5 scariest things in college football

  • The 5 college football nuggets you missed last week

  • How to get ready for Smoky Saturday

-Ty Hildenbrandt & Bradley Hohulin


The 5 Scariest Things In College Football

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

It’s Week 7 and we are square in the middle of spooky season. Not only is it October, but this newsletter comes to you live on Friday the 13th. And don’t tell me you don’t believe in superstitions; you’re a college football fan. You can’t claim to be unaffected by the date on the calendar and then panic when your lucky shirt is in the wash come Saturday afternoon. In honor of all things horrifying, let’s examine some of the scariest storylines in college football so far.

Rutgers is almost assuredly going bowling

At 4-2, the Scarlet Knights only need two more wins to reach the postseason. Their next two games? Home against Michigan State this weekend, then on the road in the lion’s den that is Memorial Stadium. No, not that Memorial Stadium… or that one… or tha— look, it’s Indiana. They’re playing Indiana.

Barring a meltdown of epic proportions, Rutgers should sail into December with relative ease. Even if the Knights lose their last four games by a combined 120 points — a possibility that’s very much on the table — this will be their best season in years. Terrifying.

The Big 12 Championship Game might be locked up

Remember last year when Texas and Oklahoma were middling Big 12 teams? Great times.

No shade to Sooners or Longhorns fans. But in a year when anything feels possible, watching the name brands about to leave for a more well-endowed conference end up in the current Big 12’s ultimate championship game is rather unsatisfying. It also has to be existentially dreadful for fans of schools like TCU or Kansas State.

It’s like seeing an ex happy with someone they’re perfect for and vice versa. Were they right for leaving? Were you the problem all along? After all, losing to this year’s Oklahoma State isn’t especially attractive. I mean, yikes.

Teams wasting great quarterbacks

Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson is getting sacked 3.8 times per game behind a polite suggestion of an offensive line. LSU’s Jayden Daniels is method acting as a piñata while his defense allows a cool 447 yards per game. Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman is squandering time he should be spending whittling or reading to his grandchildren by leading an offense from the stone age.

Thank goodness Michael Penix Jr. got airlifted out of Big Ten country so he could operate a Kalen DeBoer offense at Washington. Sadly, not all ancient quarterbacks are so lucky. Chilling, but true.

Georgia looks like Georgia again

Honestly, I was having way more fun when Georgia looked mortal. To be fair, the Dawgs very well could be. But with 99.5% of teams exhibiting glaring flaws on a weekly basis, you’d love it if the .5% wasn’t the same team that won the last two National Championships.

Frankly, Georgia, how dare you? How dare you make me consider rooting for Ohio State or Alabama just for the sake of novelty? May the specter of Mark Richt haunt your fourth-quarter decision making and performances in big games all the way from the grave (“grave” meaning whatever ACC Network show he’s on).

Being up by 3 with 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter on 3rd & 10

Just in case Mario Cristobal is reading. Boo!

-Bradley Hohulin


The competition in our pick’em game remains fierce! That’s due, in large part, to our incredibly intelligent fans. But also, the prizes are great, too. We’re giving away a $100 Homefield gift card to this week’s winner.

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!


Things you missed from last week

1) BYU = Vampire Team? 🧛

Well, let’s just keep the theme going by including this amazing post from user u/Kruger-Dunning out on the CFB subreddit:

I had no idea about this when I picked BYU to beat TCU outright in a game that kicks at 3:30 pm ET. Sigh.

2) Lincoln Riley probably won’t leave USC after this season and take the Chargers job, right? Right?

3) This is an insane Michigan stat. We’re halfway through the season!

4) We often talk about how the Pac-12 cannibalizes itself. Chris Fallica, known lovingly as “The Bear,” offers further proof:

5) Coach Prime: Not a fan of Pac-12 After Dark

-Ty Hildenbrandt


Your plan for Smoky Saturday

My co-host, Dan Rubenstein, makes a weekly habit of giving each college football Saturday a unique name. This week’s theme — Smoky Saturday — calls out the autumnal nature of Week 7, as fires are lit to keep people warm and emotions smolder in the wake of big college football games.

1️⃣ Get the fire going with our Week 7 preview episode

Give a listen to our weekly speed run of Saturday’s biggest games. Week 7 is short on marquee matchups but high on emotion, as both our favorite teams — Oregon and Notre Dame — are involved in high stakes contests.

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

2️⃣ Vent your emotions by dialing 855-VERBAL3 (855-837-2253)

As previously mentioned, it’s going to be a fiery recap episode on Sunday morning and we’ll be adjusting our Reverb Line accordingly. Trust me on this one, it’s going to be fun. Treat our voicemail line like a vehicle for catharsis, or as another way to celebrate a big win. Oh, and if you’re looking for a fun place to hang, we invite you to come lurk on your Discord and see if it’s something you’re into.

3️⃣ 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!