clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: The Waiting

The wild, wacky, and wonderful world of College Football!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

There were a lot of funny signs at the Army-Navy game.
There were a lot of funny signs at the Army-Navy game.
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images


There was only one FBS game this past Saturday and it was pretty entertaining. Every year, there is so much talk about college football rivalries like Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan, Texas-Oklahoma, Southern Cal-Notre Dame, etc., etc., etc. The annual meeting of the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy ranks right up there with them. Almost as good as the game, were the signs.

You can see more signs here.

This game became very interesting once record-setting Navy quarterback Will Worth and team co-captain Toneo Gulley were sent to the triage against Temple in the AACCG. With those two out for the season, the field became a little more level. Additionally, having not played since crushing Morgan State on Nov. 19, Army (7-5) was healthy and well-rested. Navy had not had a week off since Sept. 24 and the fatigued showed.

The Midshipmen were outgained 351 to 201 with only 112 rushing yards. Army possessed the ball 40:32 to 19:28.

After the 2001 game, Army led the series 49–46–7. Then the Middies ran off 14 straight Ws over the Cadets. Navy's lead in the series drops to 60–50–7.


James Madison 65 Sam Houston State 7 - didn't watch.
North Dakota State 36 South Dakota State 10 - same.
Youngstown State 30 Wofford 23 (2OT) - see above.
Eastern Washington 38 Richmond 0 - gimme a break. I got things to do!




The Coaching Carousel made a stop in Tuscaloosa this week with Alabama OC Lane Kiffin being hired at FAU! How appropriate! He has been F-ing AU for the last three years now. Chris Low of ESPN reported that Kiffin will stay on with the Tide through their playoff run. The Owls went 3-9 in three straight seasons under some guy named Charlie Partridge. FAU! has been to only two bowl games in the program's 16 year "history". This will not be an easy job.

LFK not to LSU

"We're going to look at recruiting the best offensive coordinator in football and bring him to LSU."

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, November 26, 2016

After Coach O uttered these words, many observers assumed he was referring to Kiffin. But there was no way the Bama OC was making a lateral move step down. I am sure it took all he had just to swallow his pride to come to Alabama and be an assistant. Furthermore, he is not going to go work for someone who used to be one of his assistants. Clearly, this friendship is stronger on one side than on the other. Have you ever run into an old classmate and the other person says "hey, we should get together sometime," and you say "yeah, that'd be great" only you don't really mean it? I suspect that is what happened here.

The new candidates appear to be current Alabama offensive analyst Steve Sarkisian, former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and current Pittsburgh coordinator Matt Canada. If Sark is not hired within the next few weeks, it is very telling of his future. Canada, who was a Broyles Award finalist (Best Assistant Coach), is the likeliest replacement.


Former Texas coach Charlie Strong has been hired at South Florida. Although they are in different conferences, Kiffin and Strong should have some interesting recruiting battles. If each can stay patient enough, the two teams play in 2020.

things that make you go hmmm


New Texas coach Tom Herman has hired Rutgers OC Drew Mehringer as passing game coordinator. Yes, you read that right: RUTGERS and PASSING. The Scarlet Knights were 122nd out of 128 FBS teams in passing (138.3 ypg) this season and 127th in scoring (15.7 ppg)


  • Houston took the easy/lazy way out by promoting offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to the head job. The one-time Bama OC received a five-year $7.5 million deal that plus incentives. This is Applewhite's first head coaching job and he'll have to do it without senior QB Greg Ward.
  • The UH president Renu Khator was captured joking during a speech at the annual holiday party at her home saying that Applewhite needs to be dominating from the start. "The winning is defined at University of Houston as 10 and 2," she told faculty and staff. "We'll fire coaches at 8 and 4." Maybe it was a joke but maybe it was half-joking? I suggest investing in popcorn futures.
  • Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell has been named head coach at Cincinnati, replacing Tommy Tuberville. His only other foray into head coaching was the hilariously disastrous 2011 Ohio State season that fell between Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer when the Buckeyes went 6–7 (3–5).
  • Interestingly, Les Miles has not found himself a date for the Prom. The man has been on more interviews than Lindsay Lohan. Truth be told, he is 63, he is a dinosaur, and a nut.



Hoorah, Oorah, Hooyah, Hooah!

Great success for the three U.S. Military Academies this season.

  • Air Force (9-3) wins the Commander in Chief's Trophy and heads to the Arizona Bowl to face South Alabama. Troy Calhoun's Falcons have participated in nine bowl games in his ten seasons in Colorado Springs.
  • Army (7-5) - Jeff Monken has done wonders at West Point transforming the Black Knights from doormat into dangerous. With only two wins a season ago, Army is now heading to their sixth bowl game ever - the Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. North Texas - and clinched their second winning season in the last 20 years. And then there is that 14-game losing streak to Navy that they just snapped.
  • Navy (9-4) Despite the rough finish, the Midshipmen had a highly successful season. Ken Niumatalolo is 77–41 in nine seasons at the helm and 37-15 over the last four seasons with three bowl wins. They can make it four straight bowl wins at the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech.

alabama helmet


Despite an official visit to LSU this past weekend, 5-star LB Dylan Moses has signed a financial aid agreement with Alabama. The high school Butkus Award winner is an early enrollee. He will play in the Under-Armour All-American Game and enroll on January 8th.


Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to LSU fans. They are taking the news about Moses about as you would expect LSU fans to take it. Stay classy, Red Stick.


  • There may be a new head coach at LSU but the quarterback woes continue. The Tigers lost two 2017 quarterback commitments this past week. Four-star Lowell Narcisse, a 6-foot-3, 224-pound dual-threat quarterback from St. James (La.) High School had been committed to LSU since May. The top ten-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the country visited Auburn last weekend and received an in-home visit from the Tigers on Sunday night. In addition to losing Narcisse, fellow four-star Myles Brennan of Bay Saint Louis, MS (St Stanislaus) reopened his recruitment last week. He is a top ten rated pro-style quarterback.
  • The odd timing of the week comes from Norman, OK where a report is out saying OU's All-American wide receiver Dede Westbrook had two previous domestic violence arrests. Citing police reports and court documents, the Tulsa World reported that in 2012 before arriving at Oklahoma, Westbrook was accused of throwing the mother of two of his children to the ground. Then in 2013, according to the Tulsa World, Westbrook was accused of biting the same woman's arm and punching her in the jaw. With the hot water that  running back Joe Mixon is in, this does not look good for Bob Stoops. You have to wonder what Big Game Bob knew.
  • Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham confirmed his commitment to transfer Auburn. Stidham played just one season at Baylor, backing up Seth Russell. He became the starter in Week 8 of 2015 when Russell was lost to a season ending injury, but then was injured himself after his third start. He chose to transfer to a juco in the wake of the sexual assault scandal in Waco, but he didn’t play a snap in 2016. He will have three years of eligibility remaining. It is a nice get for Aubie, but can he stay healthy?

  • In a surprise to absolutely nobody, junior quarterback DeShone Kizer will leave the Notre Dame dumpster fire in his rearview mirror in favor of the NFL Draft. This comes a week after back-up QB Malik Zaire decided to skip town as well. Some bloggers project Kizer to be a first round draftee.
  • Texas A&M's Myles Garrett is also moving on.
  • Have you ever wanted to have a statue made of you? It is really easy. All you have to do is get hired as coach at UCF, win 54% of your games, go winless in your first and last seasons, and go 3-4 in bowl games over 11 seasons. For these grand accomplishments, George O'Leary has been granted a statue.



  • Butkus Award (Best Linebacker) Reuben Foster, ALABAMA
  • Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year) Jonathan Allen, ALABAMA
  • Nagurski Trophy (Defensive Player of the Year) Jonathan Allen, ALABAMA
  • Outland Trophy (Best Interior Lineman) Cam Robinson, ALABAMA
  • Maxwell Award (Player of the Year) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  • Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  • Home Depot Award (Coach of the Year) Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
  • Jim Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back) Adoree' Jackson, USC
  • Davey O'Brien Award (Best Quarterback) Deshaun Watson, Clemson
  • Rimington Trophy (Best Center) Pat Elflein, Ohio State
  • Lou Groza Award (Best Placekicker) Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State
  • Doak Walker Award (Best Running Back) D'Onta Foreman, Texas
  • John Mackey Award (Best Tight End) Jake Butt, Michigan - too easy.
  • Ray Guy Award (Best Punter) Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
  • Disney Spirit Award (Most Inspirational) James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
  • William V. Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman) Zach Terrell, QB, Western Michigan
  • Wuerffel Trophy (Community Service) Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M
  • Broyles Award (Best Assistant Coach) Brent Venables, DC, Clemson

* Note that, Jabrill Peppers won none of these awards.

AP All-Americans:

  • DL Jonathan Allen (first team)
  • LB Reuben Foster (first team)
  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (first team)
  • OT Cam Robinson (first team)
  • LB Tim Williams (second team)
  • TE O.J. Howard (second team)
  • A bunch of other guys.


Mufi Hill-Hunt, DE-Michigan State

Gump 4 Heisman

With the exception of TWO YEARS, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. That being the case, we'll bring you "Who Will Win" and "Who Should Win".

Who Will Win - Lamar Jackson over Deshaun Watson.

As you probably already know, the Heisman is not an exact science. It has been a hype award for longer than your grandaddy has been around when a Notre Dame player was winning every other year. To be honest, this award is all about who got the voters the most excited. That is why some winners have a "Heisman moment". It is almost always a quarterback or running back with an occasional "other" thrown in. The process is an archaic one that allows voters to send in the votes before the season is even over. The trophy was first awarded in 1935. Back then, there were no Conference Championship games, no playoffs, and even bowl games were kind of an afterthought. Often times, National Champs were announced BEFORE the bowl games. But CFB has evolved and the Heisman Trust has not. It is time they put off voting until January.

The fact that Jabrill Peppers got 11 first place votes further proves that this voting system is flawed.

Name Position School Year 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Lamar Jackson QB Louisville Soph. 526 251 64 2144
Deshaun Watson QB Clemson Jr. 269 302 113 1524
Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma Jr. 26 72 139 361
Dede Westbrook WR Oklahoma Sr. 7 49 90 209
Jabrill Peppers LB Michigan Jr. 11 45 85 208
Jake Browning QB Washington Soph. 3 41 91 182
Jonathan Allen DL Alabama Sr. 17 21 39 132
D'Onta Foreman RB Texas Jr. 6 21 71 131
Christian McCaffrey QB Stanford Jr. 10 17 39 103
Donnel Pumphrey RB San Diego St. Sr. 3 15 28 67
Dalvin Cook RB Florida State Jr. 4 12 31 67

Who Should've Won - This has been one of the oddest seasons of recent memory when it comes to the Heisman. No one player really stood out for the entire season and frankly nobody qualifies as the head and shoulders best player in CFB. An award such as this should go to a player who propels his team to greatness.

Jackson made highlight reels but did he really make his team great? I am pretty sure with that schedule, the Cards could've gone 9-3 or better with, say, Joshua Dobbs at QB. The Gump in me wants to pick Jonathan Allen or Jalen Hurts, but a lot of Bama's success should be credited to that out-of-this-world defense. Mayfield and Westbrook cancel each other out. Peppers wasn't even the best player at his position. That leaves me with Deshaun Watson. There is no way Clemson goes on the run they have been on without him.


Saturday’s contest between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen scored the highest TV rating for an Army-Navy Game in 22 years, according to a press release from CBS, who airs the annual rivalry game.

Times are CT/ET.


Saturday, December 17, 2016
NORTH ALABAMA vs. NORTHWEST MO. ST., Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS, 3pm/4pm ESPN2 - UNA (11-1) handed the Shepherd Rams their first loss of the season by the score of 23-13. They now play for their fourth National title and first since the threepeat of 1993-1995. If you feel like a road trip this weekend, here is all the info you'll need. UNA's only loss came to FCS power Jacksonville State at the beginning of the season. NWMoSt is 14-0 and the defending national champions.

- - - - -


Friday, December 16, 2016
James Madison at North Dakota State 6pm/7pm, ESPN2

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Youngstown State at Eastern Washington 5:30/6:30, ESPNU

- - - - -


Saturday, December 17

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico vs. Texas-San Antonio, Albuquerque, 1pm/2pm ESPNESPN

Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State, Las Vegas, 2:30/3:30 ABCABC

Camellia Bowl: Toledo vs. Appalachian State, Montgomery, Ala., 4:30/5:30 ESPNESPN

Tony Orlando Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Central Florida, Orlando, 4:30/5:30 CBSSN

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 8pm/9pm ESPNESPN

Monday, December 19

Miami Beach Bowl, Tulsa vs. Central Michigan, Miami, 1:30/2:30 ESPNESPN - Seriously? A Monday day game?

alabama logo script a 100x100



Saturday, December 31, 2016, 2pm/3pm

BRYANT-DENNY EAST (aka The Georgia Dome), Atlanta, GA

Washington vs ALABAMA, ESPN ESPN - Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe.