Additional Information: Movies and college football



Last week’s slate of college football games was so wild, with so many upsets, that North Wind sports writer Adam Dompierre chose to have the entirety of the week’s ‘top 5’ taken up by football games from that week only.
In doing so, Dompierre compared each big game (listed in order of importance to national championship game implications) to a famous sports movie that most closely, because, well …he’s a historian of both forms of media. Rankings are based on AP ranking as of game time.

5) No. 13 South Florida 41 – Unranked NC State 10:
“Field of Dreams”

Ray Kinsella was a simple man. An Iowa-livin’, national-pastime-lovin’, baseball-diamond-buildin’ simple man. South Florida is a simple football program in that it wasn’t even D-1 until 2001. To help put things in perspective, that’s the year “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Shrek” came out; most D-1 powers predate World War I. Nonetheless the Bulls have built quite a program for themselves and climbed into the AP Top Ten after another win last week. When Kinsella built his field of dreams, everyone from Darth Vader to Shoeless Joe Jackson showed up. South Florida will have to settle for tens of thousands of fans.

4) Unranked Michigan 27 – No. 9 Wisconsin 25:
“Space Jam”

Historians disagree as to whether or not “Space Jam” was based on a true story, but on the off-chance it wasn’t, Saturday’s Michigan-Wisconsin game is close enough. Consider a couple of the Wolverines’ offensive stats in the first half: 21 total yards, -7 yards passing, 5 turnovers, 0 points. Michael Jordan’s Tune Squad got off to an equally horrendous start against the Monstars; it took every bit of Bugs Bunny and Jordan’s cunning to convince the team that they could still win. It’s unclear as to whether Rich Rodriguez imported some of Jordan’s special water or had Bill “I Don’t Play Defense” Murray fire up the troops at halftime, but it must have been one of the two. Like the Tune Squad, the Wolverines came out like a different team and confidently rallied to victory in the closing seconds.

3) No. 4 Florida 30 – unranked Ole Miss 31:
“D2: The Mighty Ducks”

In retrospect, “D2” was a weird, almost surreal, kids’ movie. An abridged list of the inexplicable: The big villain team is Iceland, the evil coach is called Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson, at one point a Mighty Duck literally lassos an opponent to the ice, and all the while the protagonists never stop punching innocents. Regardless, the message is clear: Talent alone won’t beat the Iceland team; the Ducks have to earn their victory through teamwork. Ole Miss also went up against a more talented team in the Gators, but Houston Nutt did his best Gordon Bombay impression by getting his team to play together in their upset of Florida. All that was missing was a good knucklepuck.

2) No. 8 Alabama 41 – No. 3 Georgia 30:
“Rocky Balboa”

Long before “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” and “Spy Kids 3-D,” there was “Rocky.” And thirty years after that there was “Rocky.” The critics didn’t think “Rocky” was anything spectacular, but that’s kind of beside the point. The point of course was that Rocky was back and punching people again. In that respect the film was nothing short of a triumph. Alabama fans must have had similar feelings while watching their team rout #3 Georgia. It’s been a long time since the Crimson Tide was a legitimate national contender but Saturday’s game left no doubt that, like the marble-mouthed Italian Stallion in 2006, Bama is finally back on the big stage where it belongs.

1) Unranked Oregon State 27 – No. 1 USC 21
“Little Giants”

Michelangelo’s David. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Moranis’s “Little Giants.” Some works of art elucidate the human condition in ways you never thought possible. “Little Giants” came along in 1994 and taught us that the underdog can win no matter how great the odds. Oregon State must have had the film on a loop in the days leading up to their game against USC because the Beavers, no less than 25-point underdogs, showed enough heart to make Icebox proud in their upset of the Trojans. Bonus points to Oregon State for relying on dynamic running back Jacquizz Jones instead of catching footballs in their facemasks.