Greetings everyone! This is a special post that includes contributions by guest writers to provide more context for our new universe here.
Some administrative news first: I was planning to stream the conclusion of the season at 1:00 PM EST this afternoon but I’ve been fighting off a cold and another day of rest should do the trick. So, to spare you from a blowing-nose stream, I’m pushing the stream to tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST instead.
If you love game menus, you’ll want to watch Tuesday afternoon’s stream for sure! Follow CoachLukeTD on Twitch to ensure you don’t miss it. After a few seasons, a more regular schedule will be established so they’ll be fewer schedule changes!
As you may have seen, the first season of Coach Lukey Touchdown has begun at East Carolina University. He has come out of the gates swinging in the American Conference as he’s worked his way to a 3-5 record. You can skim through the Twitch video here from Saturday to see some of the fun. And, here’s a short highlight of our amazing QB play thus far so you know what you’re missing.
To further welcome ourselves into this new world, we will have two guest contributions this morning. The first post comes to us from Josh (Meany Vizzini) as he gives us a mid-season update called The Relegation Watchlist.
As a reminder, the teams that have the worst conference record in their conference are in danger of being relegated to a lower conference each season. If there’s a tie for the worst conference record, the division record will be the first tiebreaker and the point differential will be the second tiebreaker. Josh breaks down who is on the bubble in this 2022 season.
Meany Vizzini’s Relegation Watchlist
Tierdrops: Week 10
With only a few games remaining, here are the teams that must tread carefully to avoid the relegation trapdoor:
Tier 1: Pac 12
TCU (1-6 in Pac 12, 1-3 in Mid West) – Even if they win out, the Horned Frogs can only go 2-3 in the division, and they are 6 points behind the Longhorns when it comes to the second tiebreaker, point differential. Concern Level: Red Hot
Texas (1-6 in Pac 12, 1-3 in Mid West) – The Longhorns are less than a touchdown from the relegation zone, as it stands today. Texas has no room for error. Concern Level: Red Hot
BYU (2-5 in Pac 12, 1-3 in Far West) – The Cougars can save themselves from the drop by winning their last two conference games. Concern Level: Medium
Baylor (2-4 in Pac 12, 2-1 in Mid West) – The Bears would guarantee their own safety with just one win out of their two remaining divisional games. Concern Level: Mild
Tier 1: Big Ten
Virginia Tech (0-7 in Big Ten, 0-3 in Plains) – The Hokies desperately need to win their last two division games to stay up, as their point differential is miles behind everyone else in the Big Ten. Concern Level: Reaper
Cincinnati (1-6 in Big Ten, 0-3 in Lakes) – Two wins to end the season would secure safety for the Bearcats. Concern Level: Medium
Penn State (2-4 in Big Ten, 0-3 in Lakes) – The Nittany Lions only need one win from three to survive, and their upcoming game against Cincinnati seems like the perfect opportunity. Concern Level: Mild
Minnesota (2-4 in Big Ten, 1-2 in Plains) – One win from three is all the Golden Gophers need. Concern Level: Mild
Michigan State (2-4 in Big Ten, 1-2 in Lakes) – Again, only one win is required to guarantee safety for the Spartans. Concern Level: Mild
Tier 1: SEC
South Carolina (0-6 in SEC, 0-2 in Vacation) – Despite a winless record, the Gamecocks control their own destiny, as the Palmetto Bowl is yet to be played. Concern Level: Red Hot
Clemson (0-6 in SEC, 0-2 in Vacation) – A win over rival South Carolina would go a long way for the Tigers, as they enjoy a clear advantage in point differential. A second win would all but secure safety. Concern Level: Red Hot
LSU (1-6 in SEC, 0-3 in Holyland) – While the loser of the Palmetto Bowl will be the favorite for relegation, LSU still needs to win both of their remaining games to guarantee survival. Concern Level: Medium
Tier 2: Big 12
Arizona (0-7 in Big 12, 0-3 in Oceans) The Wildcats desperately need to win their last two games. With a point differential of -177, one win just won’t do. Concern Level: Reaper
Kansas (1-5 in Big 12, 0-2 in Valleys) Two wins from three would guarantee safety for the Jayhawks. No matchup looms larger than Boise State. Concern Level: Medium
Boise State (1-5 in Big 12, 0-2 in Valleys) The Broncos need two out of three to be safe. The Kansas game could be crucial. Concern Level: Medium
Kansas State (2-4 in Big 12, 2-1 in Valleys) Even if Kansas State loses out, they have a 178-point cushion over Arizona that would need to evaporate for the Wildcats of the Valleys to be in any danger. Concern Level: Bell Pepper
Tier 2: ACC
Louisville (2-7 in ACC, 1-4 in Blue Collar) The Cardinals have already finished conference play. Their only hope is for Purdue to lose out. Concern Level: Reaper
Purdue (2-4 in ACC, 0-2 in Blue Collar) After losing to Louisville, the Boilermakers require one win from three to stay up. That’s easier said than done, as all of their remaining opponents are in the top half of the ACC. Concern Level: Red Hot
Tier 2: Sun Belt
Louisiana (0-6 in Sun Belt, 0-2 in Spirit) Winless in conference, the Ragin’ Cajuns have three more attempts to save their season. If Wake Forest beats Georgia Tech, Louisiana would only need to win two out of three to be safe. Concern Level: Red Hot
Georgia Tech (1-6 in Sun Belt, 0-3 in Prestige) The Yellow Jackets need both remaining games and some help to be safe, but the Wake Forest game is a must-win. Losing to the Demon Deacons would open the door for Louisiana to fly past Tech. Concern Level: Red Hot
Wake Forest (1-5 in Sun Belt, 0-2 in Prestige) Two wins guarantee safety for the Demon Deacons, as long as one of those wins is against Georgia Tech. Concern Level: Medium
Oklahoma State (3-4 in Sun Belt, 1-2 in Prestige) If the Cowboys lose out and the previous three teams each manage three wins, Oklahoma State would be relegated on the divisional record tiebreaker. That scenario is not likely. Concern Level: Bell Pepper
Duke (3-3 in Sun Belt, 2-0 in Prestige) For the Duke to drop, Louisiana, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest would need to each get to three wins, Oklahoma State would have to get a win, and Wake Forest would have to make up 119 points on the Blue Devils. It’s theoretically possible, but… Concern Level: A Gallon of Milk
Only one team may be relegated from Tier 3, from whichever region the American Conference Champion hails. Ohio (Northern) and Charlotte (Southern) currently lead the American. From the MAC (Northern), Marshall, Western Kentucky, and Western Michigan are on the relegation hot seat, while FAU and Tulsa are relegation candidates from C-USA (Southern). If Utah State or UTSA make a late run in the American, Troy could be relegated from the MWC (Western).
While no teams are relegated from the American, the following teams are in the running for “Worst Team in the Nation” due to having fewer than two conference wins: Old Dominion, ECU, Buffalo, ULM, and Nevada
The Ode To Blake Harrell
Our second contribution comes to us from Matt. He’s not to be confused with Mr. Matt, the regional commissioner of the South. As we pondered the backstory for our Level 1 coordinators in East Carolina, Matt graciously provided us with the backstory for our defensive coordinator Blake Harrell and why Coach Lukey Touchdown hired him. Whether or not Blake stays tied to Coach Luke, we’ll surely be following his coaching career from here.
Blake Harrell still remembers the first comic book he owned, Batman: The Killing Joke. It was this book that solidified his love of all things comics and that began a decades-long journey of collecting. Born and raised in Greenville he’s always taken pride in his town but that never expanded to its athletics. When he was at South Central High School the football coaches tried recruiting him due to his size but he always told them thanks but no thanks. There wasn’t exactly a history of success when it came to football in Greenville so he kept his loyalties to the folks he knew would always win, the heroes that filled the pages of DC’s Comic Books.
He graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in English and a plan to pursue further education. That all changed on a fateful day that old corner store put up a for sale sign in its window. Blake had been selling comics online to help earn beer money and support buying even more comics but was quickly running out of room in his dorm. A lightbulb turned on in his head and a week later he’d officially signed a lease for the building which would eventually become home to Greenville Comics and More.
20 years later and the rest is history. The local comic book shop has garnered something of a cult following in Greenville, a must-stop for anyone coming through town. So absorbed in his world, Blake didn’t even hear about his alma mater hiring Lukey Touchdown. Football just didn’t even exist in his universe, its place was taken by the grandest stories of the world’s greatest heroes.
One day though, everything changed. With the season fast approaching Lukey Touchdown was still without a Defensive Coordinator. The already questionable hire looked over his head instantly and he was no doubt feeling the pressure of not being able to assemble a staff. Out of desperation Coach Touchdown was venting in a local bar that “He needed a DC, where can he get a DC, he just needs one DC.” As the beers kept flowing words and understanding got slurred, so some well-intentioned locals pointed him towards Greenville Comics and More. They assured him they had more DC than anyone in town. Lukey Touchdown couldn’t believe his luck.
As Lukey sobered up the whole notion seemed increasingly absurd but he figured he had nothing to lose. He walked over to the comic shop and informed the owner he was looking for a DC. Blake and Lukey were able to quickly decipher the miscommunication and with his cheeks red and head down low the Coach turned to leave. Fate, however, had other ideas.
A man in an oversized coat, thinking no one was looking, tucked a particularly rare comic book in his jacket and briskly headed to the door. His head was always on the swivel Blake calmly but sternly yelled out, “Snake in the hen house.” and the three staff members on site jumped to action. One sprinted to the door. While another crouched behind the thief. The third man came out of nowhere pushing the thief backward who then tripped over the other staffer and found himself unconscious on the floor.
Lukey was in awe. As they waited for the police to arrive he enquired about how his staff was so well prepared. Blake pulled out the playbook he had every new member learn. The playbook was filled with innovative designs for any sort of situation that may have arrived. Coach Touchdown calmly took out a checkbook signed his name at the bottom and told Blake to fill out a number.
“Why?” Blake asked.
“Because you’re the new Defensive Coordinator at East Carolina University,” Coach responded.
Now at a surprising 3-4 record and one of the best defenses in the conference Coach Touchdown looks like a genius and not the fool he was cast as when the hire was first announced. Blake Harrell has found a deep affection for the game he once turned his nose up at, saying his players are like real-life heroes. He’s handed off much of the day-to-day running of the store to his assistant Dick Grayson, a recent graduate in who he sees much of himself in. He imagines he’ll return to his books eventually but, for now, he’s just enjoying the ride.
“The Pirates are a team that needs saving and I’m the Hero it needs if not the one it deserves”
You sure are Coach, you sure are.
See You This Tuesday!
I’m loving this new universe already and the adventure we’re about to go on. I’ll see you on Tuesday’s stream at 2:00 PM EST or I’ll see you on a future stream! Or… I’ll just see you in these newsletters at least once a week if that’s your thing!
Much love, y’all! Let’s f’n raid!