TCFA (The College Football Antheneum)

Posted Jan. 8, 2015

Sep 26, 2011


HOW I AM FEELING: Completely and utterly exhausted, in most every way one can be completely and utterly exhausted. As I write these very words I am sitting here at the Memphis airport, whiling away the hours and not-so-patiently waiting for my flight, which doesn’t leave until 2:50 p.m.. I had to get here at 8:30 a.m., however, because Co-Host Mike and Your Editor’s other travel companions’ flight left at 9 a.m. So it’s been a fantastic day of basically walking around the Memphis airport and feeling miserable. I just want to go home. In happier news, OH MY GOD WE WENT TO THE GROVE YESTERDAY AND I MAY OR MAY NOT PACK UP THE FAMILY AND MOVE TO OXFORD. Because The Grove was that good. I mean, so good that there is no point in me even attempting to write about it. But I will try anyway. Shortly.

More: Thoughts from The Valley: There is The Grove. And Then There is Everything Else.

Sep 23, 2011

On November 6, 1995, a haggard-looking Arthur B. Modell stood before a small collection of media at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and announced that he was moving his storied old football team, the Cleveland Browns, to Baltimore.

In so doing, he sent an entire city into convulsions, flushed four decades of good will down the toilet, and generally proved himself to be a world-class jerk.

As a native Clevelander, I remember that day vividly. Perhaps too vividly. I remember the bizarre scene on that podium: Modell standing up on stage, pretending to be sad, pretending to care about those he left behind; Modell gladhanding with the thoroughly disgusting Parris Glendening, governor of Maryland; Modell sitting awkwardly while the myriad other speakers of the day spoke of the glories to come for the City of Baltimore, a city whose residents had been complaining for years (quite ironically) about the injustice they had suffered at the hands of Jim Irsay, former owner of the Baltimore Colts, who packed up his team in the middle of the night and took it to Indianapolis, proving himself to be, you know, a world-class jerk; and, of course, most notably, Modell uttering that awful, stilted, lie—that lie that rings hollow, even today, 15 years later. “To the people of Cleveland,” the miserable old man said, “I had no choice.”

More: Money First. Everything Else Second.

Sep 22, 2011

Tim and Mike talk about Georgia-Ole Miss, their trip to Oxford, the neverending conference realignment madness, Notre Dame-Pitt and the burning of couches.

More: Podcast, Episode 31

Sep 18, 2011


HOW I AM FEELING: As though an opportunity has been missed. No, I was not exactly rooting for Penn State to lose to Temple on Saturday; to have done so would have been, in a word, wrong. But in the latter stages of That Freaking Debacle, as the clock ticked toward zero and there seemed to be a legitimate possibility that the Nittany Lions would lose to Temple (!), a part of me started to realize that, all things considered, such a loss would not have been entirely a bad thing. I mean, at the very least, the wake-up call that would be delivered by the first Penn State loss to Temple since 1941 may have been precisely what was (and is) needed to wake the Penn State powers-that-be from their bizarre slumber, alert them to the utter ridiculousness of the current coaching situation and force their hands on a decision that absolutely needs to be made. This has to stop. It's beyond silly at this point, and to be frank, the people who pay their hard-earned money for Penn State football tickets deserve better. More on this in a bit. Oh, and by the way, Penn State won, 14-10. How awesome.

More: Thoughts From The Valley: Joe Must Go. And Other Stuff.

Sep 16, 2011

This time next week, I will be sitting in a window seat of a Delta flight out of Philadelphia, nervously flipping through some crappy in-flight magazine, sipping a Bloody Mary and counting the minutes until we blessedly land on solid ground.

I will be antsy, I will be jittery and I will be generally enveloped in claustrophobia. Because, you see, I absolutely abhor flying.

But I will also be … excited. Excited about my arrival in Memphis, home of Graceland and the sound of the Memphis horns and one of the most stunningly mediocre college football programs in American history. Excited about an evening spent hopping from one blues club to the next with three good friends from Charm City, USA. Excited about waking up at 4 a.m. the next day, piling into a rented SUV and driving South, deep into the heart of Dixie, down to Oxford, Mississippi, home to William Faulkner and The Grove, the single most famous patch of tailgating turf this country has ever known. Excited about the game itself—Georgia vs. Ole Miss, a game with nothing much on the line, except for pride and bragging rights and maybe a bid in a third-tier bowl game. Excited, in general, for roughly 48 full hours of compete and utter freedom.

More: College Football. Four Kids. And How it All Fits Together.

Sep 15, 2011

Tim and Mike talk about Michigan's miraculous comeback against Notre Dame, the NCAA's ridiculous ruling on Boise State, the ongoing ridiculousness of the Joe Paterno situation at Penn State and all of the biggest games in college football's Week 3.

More: Podcast, Episode 30

Sep 12, 2011


HOW I AM FEELING: Fortunate that my name is not "Brian Kelly." Also: Harried, frazzled, and generally overwhelmed. Work is cascading down like the waters of a mighty Alaskan river, and Your Editor is the proverbial salmon, swimming upstream, making stilted progress, wondering what lies at the end of the line. In other news, Penn State was entirely outclassed by Alabama up in Happy Valley, proving once again that This Once Great Program has fallen completely off the pace with college football's big boys. But again, hey, at least my name is not "Brian Kelly."

More: I am an Aging Salmon, Swimming Upstream; Also, the Big Ten is Awful

Sep 8, 2011

In Episode 29 of the TCFA Podcast, Tim and Mike talk about "Woo Pig Sooie." That's the most important thing. Beyond that, they discuss all of the action from college football's Week 1, talk about their experiences of the weekend that was, look ahead Penn State-Alabama, Georgia-South Carolina and more, and ask for feedback on a deeply important issue: What should the podcast adopt as its official sign-off?

More: Podcast, Episode 29

Sep 8, 2011

There was a time, not so long ago, when Alabama football was not Alabama football.

The year was 2006, and the college football world was lorded over by Pete Carroll in the West, by Urban Meyer in the South, by Mack Brown in Texas, and by Jim Tressel up North.

Nick Saban was working wonders in Athens. The ever-eccentric Les Miles was just beginning to make noise in Baton Rouge. Charlie Weis, he of the large ego and larger waistline, was still viewed as a strategic savior up in South Bend. And some guy named Chris Petersen was going about the business of building a program that would fundamentally alter the national college football debate.

In all corners of This Great Land, there was a whole lot of exciting stuff happening.

But not in Tuscaloosa.

More: A Dynasty In Full Bloom, A Dynasty In Decline

Sep 6, 2011


HOW I AM FEELING: Generally whiplashed. One of the many beauties of college football is its immediacy; it simply arrives. One day we have no college football; the next, we do. Which means we are ultimately and immediately thrown directly into all of the things that make this sport The Single Greatest Thing About America. The first weekend comes and goes, and then we are left to recalibrate—recalibrate, that is, to being in the moment of the best four months of the year. To be honest, I almost cannot believe the season is actually here; yet it is. Which means I must now get serious about enjoying it, and must also get serious about spending countless hours writing about it (but hey, I ain’t complaining*).  Oh, also, Penn State won a ridiculous and meaningless game over a completely overmatched opponent. Good job, Nits. Bring on ‘Bama.

More: Thoughts From The Valley: Immediacy and Whiplash

Sep 1, 2011

College football is back! In Episode 28 of the TCFA Podcast, Tim and Mike talk about Texas A&M's impending departure from the Big 12, Miami's legal issues, why Ohio State can't win the Big Ten and more. Plus, previews of the biggest games here in college football's Week 1, Mike's 50/50 Gambling Lock of the Week, and more chatter about our podcast trip to Ole Miss.

More: Podcast, Episode 28

Sep 1, 2011

In truth, we should not care as much as we do. About college football, I mean.

Yet, we do.

I do. You do. Millions of other people do, too. We care deeply. Sometimes we care too deeply.

And the question, of course, is obvious. Why?

Why do we care?

Why do we clear our calendars for those 13 precious Saturdays each Autumn? Why do we stress ourselves out, worrying whether The Inevitable Complications Of Life will stand in the way of seeing The Big Game? Why do we pick our cable carriers based solely on whether said carriers offer, oh, I don’t know, the Big Ten Network (thanks, Verizon FIOS)?

More: Why We Care

Aug 25, 2011

As best as I can remember, the year was 1986.

I had just returned from playing a game of neighborhood football, was soaked from head to toe in brown/black November Cleveland mud, and had been quite literally sent to the showers (well, shower, as we only had one in the house) by my mother, who, understandably, was not exactly thrilled to see my brother and I arrive home in such uncleanly condition. All the mud that had soaked into our clothes, that dripped from our hair, that clung to our shoes—none of it, we were told, was to find its way into the house.

So we stripped down nearly to our bones out in the garage, left our sopping wet clothes in a mud-soaked heap and raced upstairs in hopes of being the first to get in the shower.

My brother, though slow of foot and bound for a high school career as a (backup) defensive end and placekicker, managed to win the race. Which left me to stand there, shivering and mud-covered, in front of my parents’ black-and-white RCA television, waiting for him to finish up.

More: Fate Intervenes. Via Lawyer Tillman.

Aug 24, 2011

In Episode 27 of the TCFA Podcast, Tim and Mike talk gleefully about the impending arrival of college football season. Other topics: the failure of the new Cy-Hawk Trophy, Miami and the death penalty, Maryland's awful new uniforms, Nebraska's arrival in the Big Ten, The Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011 and more.

More: Podcast, Episode 27

Jul 22, 2011

In episode 26 of the TCFA Podcast, Tim explains why no man should ever have a vasectomy, no matter the circumstances. Tim and Mike then chat about baseball and golf before finally diving into some college football talk. They chat about Texas A&M and Oklahoma's potential move the SEC, about Michigan's likely rise to power under Brady Hoke, about the NCAA's ongoing power play and more. They also reveal the location of The Official TCFA Podcast Roadtrip For 2011. Hint: It's in the South.

More: Podcast, Episode 26

Jun 16, 2011

In Episode 25 of the TCFA Podcast, Tim and a very groggy Mike talk about Tim's vasectomy, the shocking fall of Jim Tressel and more. Heck, we're in offseason mode, folks. We're basically freelancing here.




More: Podcast, Episode 25

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Welcome to The College Football Athenaeum, home of the intelligent college football fan. You have found a college football magazine unlike any other, a site where the game is studied and savored, discussed and enjoyed, loved and celebrated. More about TCFA

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