Toledo and Tulsa opened their playbooks to the “Defense Optional” chapter. The consequential offensive torrent made for a thrilling game for casual fans, but a frustrating one for invested supporters – lots of groans hovered over The Glass Bowl on this Saturday night, but the final celebration belonged to the home fans.
Home of the Blues, Home of BBQ, and Home of the Tigers!
With few professional sports to root for, the Tigers are the tune of the town. While not situated in the wilds of the SEC, Memphis fans have that same southern charm mixed with fervent attitudes for their team.
A blistering hot day in southwest Tennessee had Liberty Bowl patrons wiping brows and seeking hydration. The Memphis Tigers were set to host Kansas, a team from a power five conference – although the term “power” is used loosely, as the Jayhawks have not won a road game since 2009.
Nippert Stadium possesses a charm that few stadiums can match. Built in 1915, it has maintained an old-world appeal with its classic early-century brickwork and wrought-iron entryways. Sandwiched amongst a variety of campus buildings, Nippert Stadium offers some of the most unique surroundings in college football. This venue proves, however, that charm can be intertwined with modern architecture. An 86 million dollar project completed in 2015 includes an impressive four story pavilion including press and luxury box seating.
This is not the same Temple that I watched lose 65-0 in Madison ten years ago. This program has progressed from whispers surrounding the termination of the football program to last week’s first defeat of rival Penn State since 1941. Suddenly, Cincinnati had to be on high alert.
Fans flooded Madison like a monsoon for another football Saturday. Red lit up the streets, and the skies only rained sunshine and warmth upon the UW campus. Badger game days make an already vibrant town burst at the seams with a fervent electricity. Cram your car into a makeshift parking lot amongst the surroundings of Camp Randall’s residential neighborhood. Grab a beer and a brat at union south. Snap a quick double selfie with Bucky (it was his birthday today after all). Take in the sounds of the UW marching band. It’s game day.
Every football Saturday at Navy is like the greatest 4th of July parade you have ever attended…at least during pregame anyway. Led by bagpipes and followed by the cheer squad, the Navy football team receives a warm welcome as they arrive to the stadium two hours prior to kickoff. Donning their all white uniforms, you are automatically struck with the reminder that Navy, like Air Force and Army, are unlike any other teams in sports. Their devotion to team and school goes well beyond the football field and community. The battles these players face on the gridiron are symbolic of the service and dedication they give to our country.
The stifling heat and humidity followed us from Wisconsin as we arrived in Annapolis for Navy’s sold out home opener against Delaware. At quick glance, the uniforms would suggest that you were watching Michigan at Notre Dame. But, alas, it was the Midshipmen and the Blue Hens…perhaps not a marquis matchup, but certainly not short in action.
Houston did have a problem. But, they fixed it. Not long ago, the Astrodome housed Cougar games. Moving college football games from campus and into downtown professional stadiums puts an antiseptic on the energy and culture that drives the spirit of the game. With some renovations and updates, the University of Houston resuscitated old Robertson Stadium and brought the Cougars and their fans back to campus. It seats around 35,000, which is considerably smaller than most FBS stadiums. But, that does not equate to lack of noise and excitement.
UPDATE: In 2014, Houston opened TDECU Stadium – CFT WILL RETURN!
The stands did not reflect the near sell-out crowd recorded in the box score after the Cougars’ victory over the Green Wave. Perhaps it was the lack of QB Case Keenum that kept fans away. Houston’s electrifying quarterback was set to break the all-time passing yard record this season when UCLA took out his ACL last week. The lower fan numbers could also be due to the loss of Houston’s backup QB due to a broken collarbone. Although both these factors can drain the energy out of a fan base, so can mid 90 degree temperatures and a sun that just could not find a cloud to hide behind. Usually, Cougar games take place at night, but this time, the television schedule would not allow for a sun strokeless event. Rather, Houston fans were forced to fry as they watched the third string quarterback, Terrance Broadway, take charge of the offense.