Are We For Real Talking About Vacated Losses Right Now? Really?
The No. 4 USC Trojans and Texas Longhorns are set to class on Saturday, in a game that’s billed as a rematch of sorts between the 2006 BCS National Championship teams. For reasons I can’t fully fathom, a storyline that’s dominating the socials revolves around the fact that USC media guides lists the Trojans as 4-0 against the Longhorns. In full transparency, the media guide also includes an asterisk, with a note indicating the loss was vacated, along with all the wins from the ’06 season, due to NCAA sanctions.
According to an ESPN report, USC sports information director Tim Tessalone says he was instructed by NCAA officials to vacate all games that USC participated in from that season, not just the wins.
So…why is this a story?
If anything, this could have been a tongue-in-cheek, kind of funny laugh at the absurdity of NCAA rules requiring schools to vacate season records. We all know USC lost to Texas in the Rose Bowl That Must Not Be Named.
We remember it. Painfully, I might add. So why are we being sent into a fake tizzy about a media guide reflecting the “official record,” as dictated by the NCAA?
Even Lance Armstrong weighed in, which is incredibly ironic, considering.
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) September 13, 2017
Listen. There are a lot of things in sports to be fake mad about. But this “controversy” isn’t one of them.
On That Note, Are We Really Mad At Baker Mayfield? For What?:
One of my favorite things about college football is the inherent silliness that comes with it. With rivalries come fun traditions like wrapping Tommy Trojan and the Bruin in duct tape and guarding the statues around the clock from vandalism during the week of Conquest, when USC faces UCLA at the end of every season.
It’s those fun – and altogether harmless – moments that differentiate college ball from the stuffy ranks of the NFL.
It’s something to be celebrated, not something to complain about.
Leading into the Oklahoma’s tilt with Ohio State last Saturday, Baker Mayfield lamented to the Tulsa World that the Buckeyes singing their fight song at Norman last year, after beating the Sooners 45-24, was “embarrassing.”
A little payback was in store for the Buckeyes this year, though, and when Oklahoma deftly handled Ohio State, 31-16, in Columbus, Mayfield made boss moves that I am completely here for.
Everything about this moment is EXCELLENT. It’s savage. It’s ruthless. It’s brilliant. It’s exactly the kind of silly, vengeful thing that keeps sports fun and interesting.
And yet people decided to be fake offended by the gesture, forcing Mayfield to apologize.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 11, 2017
I, for one, completely reject Mayfield’s unnecessary apology. There are some things in life you just cannot take back, and that glorious display of victory is one of them. College football fans “offended” by flag waving can take a stadium of seats, and also, relax.
Just win, next time. How about that?
Back to the Trojans – Do Texas Fans Really Think Ronald Johnson Was Worried About Them A Whole Week Before The Game?
During the Trojans dominant 42-24 victory over Stanford on Saturday, running back Ronald Jones celebrated a fourth-quarter touchdown by throwing up a hand gesture in the end zone.
One scout writer suggested that RoJo was signaling a downward facing “Hook Em,” a nod of disrespect to Texas. A whole entire week before the matchup.
— Chip Brown (@ChipBrownHD) September 10, 2017
In peak Texas football fashion, Longhorn fans on social media took umbrage with this, as Johnson himself is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As Alicia de Artola of Reign of Troy points out, Johnson’s gesture included a raised index, pinky and ring finger, not solely raised index and pinky fingers.
Side note: it’s incredibly absurd to have to even write that sentence.
Do fans really think that college football players spend time thinking of ways to insult opposing teams when they are in the middle of a game against an entirely different team?
If RoJo is going to disrespect Texas football, it will be this coming Saturday by completely shredding their defense. Until then, let’s cool it with making much ado about nothing.