Whether you’re pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in finance or a gold star in Ms. Woodburn’s pre-K class, Halloween is a special occasion for undergraduates everywhere.

This holiday might perplex you, but it’s not all that different from your everyday life as a human in 2021. Months of putting on a brave face and pretending to be someone you aren’t has led you to this very moment. Swap the forced smile with a spooky mask and you’re all set.

For college football fans, Halloween takes on a new meaning. It’s a night of scares, upsets, and pandemonium. So before you take the kids trick-or-treating or head to a full-blown rager, take some time to pick the perfect costume, be it scary, silly, or even a little salacious. Here are some last-second ideas, free of charge.

The sobering realization that the Playoff will probably include Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and a considerably weaker team

If you want to strike fear into the hearts of other partygoers, a) yikes, what a weirdo, and b) nothing gets under a fan’s skin quite like the crushing truth that all the chaos of a blood moon can’t steer us away from roughly the same top four every year. Personally, this one’s a little too real for me. It’s like the ex-theatre kid who gets way too into his vampire costume and ends up covering his lips in what I really, really hope is red food dye.

Oklahoma’s extremely convincing 8-0 Record

Here’s one for the DIY fanatics whose disguises are barely held together by paper maché and positive thinking. You’d be amazed what you can whip up with a streaky offense and 11 guys vaguely familiar with the concept of defense. Sure, the façade may slowly peel away as the night wears on, but you can always slap on a new five-star quarterback to patch up the glaring holes, right?

Penn State, Illinois, and their nine overtimes

This one’s pretty niche, but a definite crowd-pleaser for parents who happen to have nine increasingly ugly children.

The Virginia football inflatable ride-on costume

Dress up as the face of Virginia football and mount your trusty steed. Oh, and to be clear, I’m not talking about mascots and horses here. This time, the Bronco does the riding. Suit up as Cavaliers head coach Bronco Mendenhall and jam your legs into the hollow, exhausted body of quarterback Brennan Armstrong so he can carry you onward to Belk Bowl glory.

Northwestern’s defense

Everybody loves a costume that you have to spend the whole night explaining to them. If someone asks about your Lord of the Rings-esque outfit, they’re secretly praying you’ll tell them it’s actually from a series of 13 self-published fantasy novels that subverts the genre in unique ways and is totally worth the time commitment (as long as you can overlook the vividly detailed orc romance scenes).

And how do you explain what happened to Northwestern’s defense this year, anyway? On second thought, forget I asked. Please. I’m begging you.

Pitt’s Offense, but Sexy

It feels wrong to say, but is that Mark Whipple offense kinda hot? I mean, I usually don’t associate Pat Narduzzi with packing a lot of heat, but the Panthers look great in a mediocre ACC Coastal. Who knew Kenny Pickett was such a grower? And it only took, like, nine and a half seasons.

Oklahoma second-string quarterback Spencer Rattler in 2022

Wait, never mind. That’s just a dude in an SMU jersey. My bad.

Dan Orlovsky commentating a crucial fourth-down play

You’ll probably find this guy shouting into a girl’s ear, extensively detailing the understated headiness of the craft beer he just spilled on his fleece-lined denim jacket. Once he’s finished his oral thesis on why he never drinks pilsners after August’s full moon, I’m sure he’ll be happy to Dansplain the Northwestern defense to any unfortunate souls in the general vicinity.

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras

Are you looking for a costume people will immediately recognize the moment you walk through the door? Me too. Anyway, let’s talk about this Nate Stanley outfit or whatever. Grab a wig, probably short and blonde but maybe brown or black. Slip on a No. 4, 7, or really any number between 1 and 19 Pittsburgh Steelers jersey over some awkwardly bulky shoulder pads and you’re good to go. It’s not the flashiest getup, but you’re mostly at this party to throw back some beers anyway. Or maybe just hand those beers off to other people.

Michigan’s offense, but sexy?

I doubt it, but sure, if that’s your thing.

An overzealous NFL draft analyst

Hey, does anyone know who that guy in the uncomfortably slim-fitting suit and the impossibly symmetrical crew cut is? He keeps hanging around the back of the room checking out all the people dressed as quarterbacks. It’s super weird. Oh my god, is he hitting on Kedon Slovis again? Quit trying to force it, man. It’s not gonna happen. Honestly, I don’t even know what he sees in Slovis. I’d have to be at least a few rounds deep to find him all that attractive.

Two Gus Johnsons

A couples costume for the lovers who tried drawing straws, flipping a coin, playing rock-paper-scissors, and straight-up bribing one another, but still couldn’t persuade either one to go as Joel Klatt.

Alabama after a regular season loss

Few things are more terrifying than a freshly wounded Crimson Tide. You feed on fear and despair. You destroy everything in your path. You just pushed that guy kinda hard. Maybe take a chill pill. Dude, seriously, cut it out. You’re totally ruining the vibe.

Hey, easy, easy! That’s not a keg; haven’t you ever seen an urn before!? Put it down, those are my grandmoth — *crsshhk*

Clemson’s offense… but se—

Absolutely not.

Kirk Herbstreit when it’s time for a new lake house

Let’s hope your host can finance their next home with Rocket Mortgage, because you’re about to bring the house down. Pull up in your brand-new Nissan Sentra with $209 leasing and 0% APR. Toss back a handful of Cheez-Its Party Mix and while you’re at it, devour an entire 14 oz. rope of Eckrich smoked sausage. Because why not? Uh-oh — no one out-pizzas the Hut, but it looks like you just out-pizza’d your gut. Before you hurl grease, salt, and those four Jack and Coke (Zero Sugar)s all over the bathroom sink, pause a moment to admire its exquisite venetian bronze vessel faucet. Built by the Home Depot®, of course.


Bradley Hohulin writes every Friday for SolidVerbal.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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