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Five Reasons the Turnover Chain Is Still the Greatest Thing in College Football

Five Reasons the Turnover Chain Is Still the Greatest Thing in College Football
Photo by Tim Brogdon / Miami Athletics
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The Miami Hurricanes' turnover chain made its much-anticipated season debut Saturday night during the Canes' NSFW 77-0 beatdown of the Savannah State Tigers. At least we think they're called the Tigers. When you lose 77-0, we're not even bothering to Google your mascot. While everyone was expecting the Canes to bust out the trendsetting jewelry again, it was somewhat of a surprise to see the chain get a complete revamping in its second season. The "U" pendant is out, replaced by an oversize, blinged-out Sebastian the Ibis charm.

Like Miami itself, just when you thought the turnover chain was as flashy as it could possibly be, the Canes went and took it to music-video-on-a-yacht levels. Bless their hearts.

Since the Canes birthed the turnover chain into the college football world last season, the gimmick has been often imitated but never duplicated. Everything from a throne to a goblet has been used by other teams, but nothing has lived up to the original.

The Hurricanes' turnover chain is undoubtedly the best thing to happen to college football in quite some time. These are just a few of the reasons why the NCAA should be thanking the Canes:

Five Reasons the Turnover Chain Is Still the Greatest Thing in College Football
Photo by Eric Espada / Miami Athletics

1. The turnover chain does what the NCAA is awful at doing: giving players a chance to celebrate themselves. The NCAA promotes teams well. It loves to promote a good matchup between number two Notre Dame and number three Michigan. It will keep Alabama in the top five teams until the team loses four games, just because it's good for business. What the NCAA sucks at, however, is marketing players. If you're not a Heisman Trophy candidate, much less just a solid defensive player on your own team, you're shit out of luck. Nobody will know who you are until the NFL Draft, if ever.

Miami made it cool for players to celebrate themselves for a minute. The turnover chain is a moment to make it all about you, while your teammates are your hype men. It's genius, really.

Five Reasons the Turnover Chain Is Still the Greatest Thing in College FootballEXPAND
Photo by Eric Espada / Miami Athletics

2. The turnover chain is the best semi-legal recruiting tool in all the land. Do you know what high-school kids like? They like rappers that you and I have never heard of and David Dobrik. In addition, they also like being on television, preferably without a football helmet. And the turnover chain is a fabulous way to find yourself standing on a bench with an ESPN camera in your face. It's pretty much the opposite of what kids were told to expect once they got to college.

The reality is kids these days make decisions about which college to attend based on things like football jerseys and publicity as much as traditions. If they aren't good enough to get scholarship offers from schools that are winning or guaranteed playing time at the schools they prefer, their next choice is to roll with the team that's the coolest.

3. Straight cash, homey. The turnover chain is worth a lot of money, but not because it's covered in precious gems: It's just a genius way to sell merchandise. The Canes know this, which is why they updated the chain this season, thus outdating all of that stuff you bought last year. The result: a ton of money that will make the football program better. GENIUS.

The Hurricanes already sold a lot of gear before the turnover chain became a thing. Now those already huge numbers are increased by millions, which the program can now use to make the product on the field better — thus creating more turnover chain appearances. It's a beautiful cycle.

4. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. All of a sudden, everyone wants to celebrate like the Hurricanes. For decades, Miami was the program that took things too far. "UM has too much fun," they said. "The Canes need to act like they've been there before and respect the game," the haters said. Now every school has its own bootleg version of the turnover chain, and some are flat-out embarrassing. (See FSU's turnover backpack above.)

If schools are copying Miami, the Canes must be doing something right. There is only one original, and everyone knows who that is. The turnover chain changed college football, and now everyone wants a piece. UM should get a percentage of every dollar a school profits off these copies too.

Five Reasons the Turnover Chain Is Still the Greatest Thing in College Football
Photo by Tim Brogdon / Miami Athletics

5. The turnover chain is so Miami. You know those "Visit California" commercials you see on TV? The ones where people are fishing, watching bears, and doing other Cali stuff that's supposed to make you think of California and want to visit? The turnover chain is Miami's version of that ad. When you see the turnover chain, it makes you think of Miami. It's impossible to see one of the fakes without thinking about the Magic City. It's a recruiting tool for players, but it's also a tourism ploy.

The turnover chain has set college football and, more specific, Miami fans on fire. It's the greatest invention to hit football since the first-down marker, and it's only getting bigger in its second season on the scene. 

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