College football season began yesterday. Northwestern has billboards up around the city about how we are “Chicago’s Big Ten Team,” which is geographically correct but undermined a bit by the issue that, because we are much smaller than any other Big Ten school and we attract and send students far and wide, we actually have fewer alumni who live in the Chicago area than nearly every other Big Ten school. Nevertheless, despite our trifecta of handicaps–small fanbase, nationally-leading graduation rates, and squeaky-clean rules-compliance record–we won yesterday and may well wind up in the top half of the conference.
The big off-field news for the past year in college football has been conference realignment, responsible for such quirks as the Big Ten Conference having 12 members and the Big 12 Conference having 10. Realignment includes Colorado and Utah joining the Pac-12. Fox Sports online decided to run a feature in which they had students from one of the traditional Pac-12 powers give an “All-American welcome” to Colorado and Utah. Only who did they choose? Asian students at USC. Get it? As perhaps anyone apart from whatever dozens of people worked on this segment could predict, the attempt at hilarity has been followed by retractions, web purgings, and promises to review editorial processes.