Ode to “The Orphans of Realignment”

Ode Orphans
August20/ 2023
BL Rimshots

August 18, 2023


Who better to personify the “Orphans of Realignment” than literature’s most famous orphan “Oliver Twist” in his classic “More please” pose.

Does Oliver represent Washington State, Oregon State, Stanford, Cal, SMU … and 95% certain Wake Forest and even Duke … and Louisville, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, BC … and all the Group of Five and FCS schools … East Carolina, Navy, Army, App State

AND YES … by either Choice or Circumstance … could easily (likely?) include UNCCH, NCSU, UVA, VaTech, Miami.  

Q: BobLee, what about Fla State?  

A: Other than Seminole fans (and their barking Trustees) … Who Cares about Florida State?  Really … Let’em play Jacksonville State and Florida A&M and …. …

It’s a long list involving a lot of darn good schools and sports programs and coaches, athletes … And FANS (not that anyone with a vote much cares about “fans” any longer other than their eyes watching ESPN, et al,) …

Fans can do all the ALLCAPS barking they want about “It’s All About The Money … blah … yadda yadda”. The reality is Big Time College Football is no longer what they thought it was just  3 – 5 – 10 years ago.  

Remember those halcyon days of yore when “every big time program CHEATS except ‘my school”?    When “my school’s players are all Eagle Scouts and every one else’s are “a bunch of thugs” …. Those were the Good Ol’ Days … Huh?

From now on its eleven rented mercenaries with 5th grade reading comprehension wearing your school’s color jerseys playing eleven other rented mercenaries in some other color jerseys.  

So far no one is talking about schools changing jersey colors UNLESS your school’s color offends some woeful tri-sexual “it” who identifies as a wombat.

NOTE: I had a long chat this weekend with a long time life time ECU / ECC / ECTC fan who goes way back back to Dr, Leo Jenkins, Coach Stas and the single-wing.  He also coached high school football for 30 years.  Pretty sharp fellow.

He tells me there actually are a handful of Aaarrgghhh “Cliff Clavin” fans who think ECU could win a national title if only …”.   ………… And you wonder who spends their lunch money buying lottery tickets ????

They are all excited in Greenville that ECU’s “NIL collective” has raised a total of $500,000 in their “rent a semi-literate mercenary” fund !!!   Bless their purple hearts, “$500,000 is about what Ohio State, Georgia, aTm pay for one 4-star Offensive Guard … OUCH!

ECU has a very Fine and incredibly Loyal fan base who turn out enmasse on Fall Saturdays to watch their purple clad Pirates play a series of meaningless games against anonymous teams they have absolutely no history with from time zones far far away.  That ain’t right!

There is absolutely no reason what so ever to think that “common sense” will somehow prevail and some semblance of normalcy will return to the American institution of College Football.  The only question is How Insane will it get … and how quickly will it reach that point.


The insurmountable advantage that the SuperPowers in Power3 level have over “your school” is DEPTH.  Their 3rd strings could start for 95% of the NonPower3 schools … not counting the perennial Power3 punching bags – Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Rutgers, etc.


A possible saving grace for the “Orphans of Realignment” is The Portal.   Every 4-5 star recruit cutting Big Buck deals with the Power3s arrives on campus fully expecting – along with his adoring posse from home – to start from Day One with mega PT.  Statistically that is, of course, impossible.

When the reality of a talent pool of “better than I am’s” hits home, he realizes his only Road To NFL Riches is to go somewhere where he will be The Man and ring up enough impressive stats to avoid ending up back home as a bouncer at the local strip club.  OUCH …. so he transfers to an “Orphan” program.   

Some times that works out … some times not so well.  Football is a team sport and even superstars need talented teammates to open holes and avoid him being triple-teamed on every play.

“Orphan” programs end up scouring the dumpsters out back of Super Power3s for their rejects.

The “Cliff Clavins” at SunBeltMountainSouthernAllAmericanWhatzit conference school get all excited that a 4th string cornerback from Michigan State … who only played on special teams … in the 4th quarter … against Rutgers … is transferring to “our school” … He might be The Missing Piece that will … TA DAA … awaken our sleeping giant program.  … sigh.

OK BobLee … enough Doom & Gloom … give us some reason to HOPE!


Simple … its called The Contentment of Realistic Expectations.

If you still enjoy “going to games” with all the hassle and ham biscuits and foam-fingers YOU SHOULD STILL GO … be with like-minded friends, family and business associates on a brisk Fall Saturday.   

Swing and sway with the alma mater … cuss the Head Coach for either (1) “not throwing to the tight end enough” … or (2)  ALWAYS running off-tackle on first down. 

If your daughter is the chubby “flag girl” in the marching band … 3rd one from the left … be sure to tell her how great she waved her flag during the fight song. Chubby flag girls have feelings too. …. and that mega-hottie cheerleader has a mamma and a daddy and they might be within earshot of any lust-filled snorts.  Don’t be a jackass.

Don’t “get drunk”. NOBODY likes a drunk at a sports event especially your family and all the people within 20′ of you.

If your team wins … Be Happy.

If your team loses, it REALLY does not affect the overall quality of your life unless you are a real loser.  Real losers do not read BobLee’s Rimshots.  If Thoreau was right about “the masses of men lead lives of quiet desperation” … the outcome of a football game is NOT gonna change that.   THAT was always the case even before NIL and The Portal.


Michael Oher vs The Tuohys ….

Unlike EVERYONE on social media who has access to a monitor and a mouse …. I, BobLee, do NOT know the “facts” of the case.

I am NOT an angry black guy masquerading as “a journalist” so I’m not going to blame the “rich white folks” for cheating “the poor black boy” … blah blah RACE CARD blah blah ….

MAYBE one of eleven children with a crack whore mamma and a long gone “father” living in the worst “Hell-hole project” in whats left of Memphis COULD HAVE gotten to Ol’Miss and then an 8-year career and $34,000,000 in The NFL without the help of the rich white Tuohys.   It’s never happened but hey … maybe ???????

I Do Know that Sandra Bullock played a really hot blond mamma in the movie.  Not sure that proves anything … just making an observation.  Yes … Sandra Bullock was a ECU coed long before she was a hottie mamma in Blindside.

Whatever the outcome of this case … I’m pretty sure it won’t do much to smooth racial tension in America.


A Bucket List Check-off … meh.

Yesterday – Saturday – I checked off “Had barbecue at the legendary and much ballyhooed Starlight Inn in Ayden”.   I didn’t get sick and the Cheerwine was a LOT better than the cornbread(??).

I’ve eaten at umpteen plus legendary and much ballyhooed barbecue joints across America … yes including Lexington Barbecue and Shorty’s.  IMO, The Starlight Inn is simply “another one”.  … meh.  It ain’t Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City or Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas.

Don’t worry, I don’t get to vote in those World’s Greatest BBQ Joint Lists so the Starlight Inn’s lofty reputation is safe.

More BobLee’s Rimshots – HERE


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