College football is here, and you don’t need me to tell you that college football is bonkers. College football has always been bonkers—a semi-coherent, reflexively corrupt brand of regional nuttery that consumes otherwise reasonable people from the humid kickoff classics to the smorgasbord of hilariously sponsored bowl games in December and January. (How I miss the stoic pageantry of the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl.)
Wander into a place like Columbus, Baton Rouge, Athens, Norman or a zillion other college hamlets on a Saturday, and you’ll see what I mean. Have you ever wanted to slurp Jell-O shots in the parking lot at 9 a.m. and then go watch a domesticated farm animal romp into a stadium of 90,000? A college football Saturday is a uniquely American madhouse, a notch of crazy above any U.S. pro sport, which is why it’s beloved, why it endures, and why television networks remain committed to spending billions for it…even as it remains as incoherent and corruptible as ever.