Cupcake

From Le Vieux Lapin, who says: I’m not a sports guy, so I looked “Cupcake Week” up on the web, and I still don’t get it.

I didn’t know what “cupcake week” means either, but did have a plausible guess.  The comments (yeah, I had to look) gave a more complete explanation, however, that I would not have arrived at by guesswork and reasoning from the guesses… So I’d call that a legit CIDU!

22 Comments

  1. I assumed when I read it that Cupcake week was the first week of the college football season, where the powerhouse teams take on easy opponents to get themselves back into real football (rather than practice) without the threat of adding an early “L” to their record.

  2. Think of the “easily accomplished task definition of ‘piece of cake’, as in “beating this team will be a…”
    ‘Cupcakes’ are noted for their ‘softness’, and a ‘soft’ team on the schedule is a break for Arlo’s team, assuming the other opponents are ‘hard’.

  3. I thought the same as Mark H. I’ve never heard the term used so Janis might have made it up. And I’ll add that Janis isn’t really buying Arlo’s explanation and infers that it’s about the blowout games not being very interesting.

  4. I had the same idea as Mark H. It means an unexciting set of games where the outcome is easily predictable, and not worth watching for the random possibility of an upset.

  5. Al McGuire used to talk about playing “East Cupcake” early in the season. I’ve also heard of these teams being lumped together as “[state name] Directional,” like “illinois Directional” (Eastern Illinois, Western Illiinois, Southern Illinois, etc.). I’m still waiting to see Nebraska beat Northern South Dakota 73-0.

  6. I took it simply to mean it was “Cupcake week on the food network” and that was more interesting to him than college football in its current state. “Shark week” might have done the trick as well.

  7. The urban dictionary usage may have been correct at one time, but my observation of collegiate football for 75 years tells me that “cupcakes”, if any, are now scheduled very early in the season. The rest of the schedule is rock solid with league games, leaving no room at all for arbitrary opponents.

  8. I got it right away. With the playoff format these days, it’s important to have a slate of winning games. Besides padding the schedule, the games are good for the cupcake teams. They provide a lot of money from their share of the proceeds, and the players get some experience against good teams.

    And sometimes it doesn’t work out. Illinois lost to The University of Texas at San Antonio last week.

  9. Yeh – it’s when Ohio State opens the season with a game against the University of Akron. or, as former OSU president Gordon Gee characterized it, “when the Buckeyes play The Little Sisters of the Poor.”

  10. So glad so many don’t know either. On the gocomics page for the strip many also did know. Someone there said it was the next to last week of the season.

  11. Losses to cupcake teams happen every year. The most embarrassing loss for my alma mater, Michigan State, was a loss to a second-tier state school – Central Michigan, in 2009. We also lost to Rutgers in 2020, and Rutgers and Hawaii in 2004.

  12. Florida State just lost to Jacksonville State, for a more recent example.

    A college team generally has little control over its league schedule, so I don’t see how the penultimate week could be “Cupcake Week”. The person on GoComics who said it was the next to last week of the season must be the same person who wrote the Urban Dictionary entry.

  13. Missouri’s penultimate (minus and playoffs) is Florida. Yeah, cupcake. Of course, if you don’t see the cupcake in the game, maybe you’re it!

  14. Looking at the SEC schedule, there is a lot cupcaking going on the in Week 12, but some conference games:

    Week 12 — Saturday, Nov. 20
    Alabama vs. Arkansas
    Georgia vs. Charleston Southern
    Kentucky vs. New Mexico State
    LSU vs. UL Monroe
    Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt
    Mississippi State vs. Tennessee State
    Missouri vs. Florida
    South Carolina vs. Auburn
    Tennessee vs. South Alabama
    Texas A&M vs. Prairie View A&M

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