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Want to add more juice to college football? Let’s add some wrestling stipulations

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Rivalry games are great, but we can still make them better... Oh Yeahhhhhh!!!

Lucha Harbaugh
Introducing Michigan’s new HC Victor E. Schembechler from Parts Unknown

Syracuse Orange fans... if you’re ready for some college football, give me a Hell Yeah!

Inspired by Mike Gundy’s mullet, I’ve determined that we we can certainly look to the pro wrestling world for creative ways to ramp up the drama around college football. Let’s face it, college football shares a lot of things with professional wrestling: the intense rivalries, the trash-talking, the way the crowd reacts to the entrance music. While (some of) the endings might not be scripted, there’s still plenty of drama to unfold on the football field. I’ve picked out the best storylines from the upcoming season, focusing in on how to add a little more flair to the proceedings.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas Longhorns: Hair vs Grill

The way Gundy’s been flaunting that mullet for over a year means it’s time for him to put it on the line this season. Sure that Week 3 road trip against the Pitt Panthers looms large and knowing Pat Narduzzi’s history, he’d gladly take some scissors to the party in the back. However, you can’t put the mullet on the line unless it’s a Big 12-only stipulation. We’d see Gary Patterson get the first shot this year, but can you imagine the buzz if Gundy made it to the October 21 trip to the Texas Longhorns and put the mullet up for grabs against Tom Herman’s grill?

You might think that Herman has switched things up to having a custom mandolin or fiddle to appeal to the Austin’s eclectic music scene, but it’s all about recruiting with him, so I bet he’s got a Bevo-encrusted grill in his office.

Imagine the confusion in Austin if fans were actually faced with the decision to cheer someone getting a mullet shaved... or what it would be like if Gundy won the grill and put them both on the line in a showdown with Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia (which is what my buddy Mike in Bama suggested)? Now that’s how you draw a crowd and create a buzz Big 12, folks.

Syracuse Orange vs Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders: I Quit Game

The intrigue factor on this game is already raised because former Syracuse HC Scott Shafer is now the DC for MTSU. He’ll be returning to the Dome and hoping to Lock the Gate on his replacement and many of his former players. Shafer’s hiring this off-season means this OOC game has become a grudge match and the “I Quit” stipulation is one of the best ways to settle a grudge. The twist for the CFB version is that while the HC is the one with the microphone, any player can grab the mic, say “I quit” and end the game.

Would a CB call it after giving up another long touchdown? What about a QB who has taken a few hard hits? Or would a couple of back-ups stand around the HC and make sure they see some time on the field.

Fans might be unhappy if the game ends after ten minutes, or drags on five hours, but that adds to the intrigue.

Ohio St Buckeyes vs Michigan Wolverines: Loser Leaves the B1G

This stipulation dates back to the days when wrestling was territorial. It was a way to explain a long absence, or even a complete departure, of a wrestler from a region/company. Look, no college coach is putting their career on the line for one game, but it’s not that far-fetched to imagine Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh agreeing to the stipulation in a heated game week press conference.

Suppose Michigan lost the game, and noted historian Harbaugh took a page from Dusty Rhodes the Midnight Rider and the Wolverines returned in 2018 led by a coach from Parts Unknown. Heads would explode as “Victor E. Schembechler” would deny he’s actually Harbaugh, despite weeks of off-season appearances which show “Victor” chugging milk and wearing nothing except khakis, a Michigan sweatshirt and a baseball cap pulled low over his lucha libre mask. The folks at Eleven Warriors would set a new record for clicks as Buckeye fans attempt to catch the new Wolverines coach without his mask.

Lucha Harbaugh
“Apologize Mr. Herbstreit. I assure you that I am not Jim Harbaugh”

Alabama Crimson Tide SEC Championship Gauntlet Game

Nick Saban’s guys have been dominating the league. No, I mean really dominating the SEC. From AL.com:

Alabama has won 17 straight games against conference opponents and 24 of the last 25. The average margin in those 24 victories: 20.1 points.

That’s the past, though. This year could be different, you say. Well, maybe it won’t be different after all.

So if “It Just Means More” to the SEC, they need to spice up the title game. My idea is to really test Bama’s depth by making them win a “Gauntlet Game.” We’ll take the next four teams behind Bama, have them draw numbers and let them each pick one quarter to play the Tide.

Imagine the strategy that could come into play. For example, let’s put the LSU Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs on the opposing side. Can these four head coaches work together to knock off Bama or will their inability to get along allow the Tide to win? Would you let LSU and Arkansas start things off to try and wear down Bama with a heavy rushing attack? Would anyone trust Florida to hold a late lead?

Watching four schools try to agree on a plan to take down Bama would be entertaining. Listening to Paul Finebaum’s callers before and after the game would be the added bonus.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan
Don’t think Western Michigan really earned their Cotton Bowl bid last year, then the G5 Elimination Chamber might be for you
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The G5 Elimination Chamber Game

Selecting the G5 team which gets the NY6 bowl spot based on a committee is too boring, and potentially unfair. Having a separate playoff for G5 teams, seems to reinforce the notion that they can’t compete. My solution is to take the conference champs from the AAC, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, and the top service academy and place them into the Elimination Chamber.

Now obviously we aren’t going to put a cage around the field and let six teams battle it out...(you’re sure we can’t do this right?), so here’s how we’ll modify the rules. Two teams will be selected at random to begin the game. The first team to score a touchdown stays on the field, while the other is eliminated from the game. A random selection determines who gets into the game next, but the team who scored receives the ball again.

Take these schools with something to prove, head coaches looking for the jump to a P5 job, and add rules which encourage them to be aggressive, and I think we’d have a very entertaining made for tv event during that quiet time in December after the other conference title games.

Do you have any other ideas you want to see? Perhaps you think we should implement some other stipulations (no holding, head coaches elevated above the ring in shark cages, etc). Drop them in the comments.