clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Championship Week

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

Hey, this is kinda fun.
Hey, this is kinda fun.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Championship Week is in the books. There were not too many surprises.


Alabama 54 Florida 16 - Stop me if you have heard this one before: After a slow start, the Tide finally got it rolling and ended up destroying their opponent. Reuben Foster was a monster with 9 solos, 2 assists, 2.5 TFLs. Alabama is two wins away from the first 15-0 season ever.

Clemson 42 Virginia Tech 35 - Stop me if you have heard this one before: Clemson looked good at times but let a far inferior opponent hang around. In the end, the Tigers held off the Hokies for the ACC crown. Deshaun Watson accounted for five TDs and 373 total yards. He may be closing in on the Heisman (see HEISMAN HYPE below).

Penn State 38 Wisconsin 31 - PSU rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit to win the B1GCG. Trace McSorley finished 22 of 31 for 384 yards with four TD passes. Saeed Blacknall who had 9 catches and one TD before the opening kickoff, had six in the game for 155 yards and two scores. Although the PSU fans are whining up to 11, James Franklin has been refreshingly classy about their exclusion from the playoff.

Washington 41 Colorado 10 - This game went south for the Buffs early on when star quarterback Sefo Liufau turned an ankle on the fifth play from scrimmage. Steven Montez came in and led Colorado to their only touchdown of the game and trailed only 14-7 at halftime. The decision was made to bring Liufau back in the game and he promptly threw a pick six to by Taylor Rapp on the first play of the third quarter. His next pass to went into the waiting arms of Rapp as well and this game was a wrap. Despite Liufau's poor performance (3/13, 21 yds, 0 TD, 3 INT), coach Mike MacIntyre stubbornly left him in to languish for the rest of the game. For the record, UW's golden boy, Jake Browning, was not much better (9/24, 118-2-0). MacIntyre likely lost a chance for one of the bigger jobs out there.


Temple 34 Navy 10 - Much like Colorado, Navy lost their star QB early in the game and could not recover. A second-quarter ankle injury to Will Worth, coupled with injuries to running backs Toneo Gulley and Darryl Bonner left the Middies with only 168 yards rushing. Worth is done for the season.

Western Kentucky 58 Louisiana Tech 44 - As expected, this game was a shootout with both teams producing over 400 yards passing. The Hilltoppers were able to overcome three turnovers in part to Anthony Wales running for 209 yards while LaTech totaled 5 yards on the ground. 

San Diego State 27 Wyoming 24 - In a battle of running backs, SDSU's Donnel Pumphrey had 110 yards and a score as compared to Wyoming's Brian Hill putting up 93. But the unexpected factor was the Aztecs' other running back Rashaad Penny who had 117 yards and two scores.

Western Michigan 29 Ohio 23 - The Broncos beat an 8-5 team by six points. Rah.

SEC logo


Monday, December 26, 2016

Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State 10am/11am ESPN ESPN

NC State vs. Vanderbilt 4pm/5pm ESPN2

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Texas A&M vs. Kansas State 8pm/9pm ESPN ESPN

Thursday, December 29, 2016

South Florida vs. South Carolina 1pm/2pm ESPN ESPN

Arkansas vs. #22 Virginia Tech 4:30/5:30 ESPN ESPN

Friday, December 30, 2016

Georgia vs. TCU 11am/noon ESPN ESPN

Nebraska vs. #21 Tennessee 2:30/3:30 ESPN ESPN

Saturday, December 31, 2016

#20 LSU vs. #13 Louisville 10am/11am ABCABC

Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky 10am/11am ESPN ESPN

#4 Washington vs. #1 Alabama 2pm/3pm ESPN ESPN

Saturday, January 2, 2017

#17 Florida vs. Iowa noon/1pm ABCABC

#14 Auburn vs. #7 Oklahoma 7:30/8:30 ESPN ESPN


Ole Miss and Mizzou.

Big Ten logo

How good are the teams at the top of the Big Ten? Joey Galloway made the utterly ridiculous statement that the Big Ten East is the strongest division in college football. As you may know, this division includes Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan. However, it also includes Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, and perhaps the worst P5 team, Rutgers.

Penn State 11-2
Ohio State 11-1
Michigan 10-2
Indiana 6-6
Maryland 6-6
Michigan State 3-9
Rutgers 2-10

It is easy to disparage the SEC and hail the B1G for the 2016 campaign, but look at the bottom of these two conferences. The bottom four B1G teams collectively won less games (11) than Alabama did.

Michigan State 3-9
Illinois 3-9
Purdue 3-9
Rutgers 2-10

The bottom four SEC teams went 20-28 and two are going bowling.

Vanderbilt 6-6
Mississippi State 5-7
Ole Miss 5-7
Missouri 4-8

I'd be willing to wager that any four of these SEC teams could go 4-0 or at least 3-1 against the four B1G teams.


  • SEC - 12 out of 14
  • BIG TEN - 10 out of 14
  • BIG 12 - 6 out of 10
  • PAC 12 - 6 out of 12
  • ACC - 11 out of 14


texas buyout


Do you think there is a little pressure on Tom Herman to perform at Texas? Not only did the Longhorns shell out $19.2 million just to get Charlie Strong out and to get Herman to Austin, they will pay him $25 million guaranteed over five years.

Herman also will have an opportunity to make up to $725,000 a year in bonuses and could get a $1 million one-time payment if he is still with the Longhorns on Dec. 25, 2019.

As of right now, Herman’s salary would make him the sixth-highest paid public school football coach, behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Alabama’s Nick Saban, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher.

daffy duck


Are you feeling sorry for poor Mark Helfrich being fired at Oregon two years removed from the National Championship loss? Well, stop. He will land safely on a pile of money. Who in their right mind gives a guy like him an $11.6 million buyout??? He will be on the Ducks payroll through Jan. 31, 2020. The Ducks’ nine assistant coaches are owed a combined total of about $3.7 million.

Mark Helfrich at Oregon
Year Overall PAC-12 Standing Bowl/playoffs
2013 11–2 7–2 T–1st (North) W - Alamo
2014 13–2 8–1 1st (North) W - Rose, L - CFP NCG
2015 9–4 7–2 2nd (North) L - Alamo
2016 4–8 2–7 6th (North) none
Oregon: 37–16 24–12

Oregon appears to be looking at P.J. Fleck and Greg Schiano. Phil Knight cannot be too pleased about those prospects. Fleck might be a risky choice. He is only 36 and has only four seasons as head coach under his belt, all at WMU. He has had a big season (13-0, MAC Championship) but was 8-5 the previous two seasons and 1-11 his first year. It is not like he has had an extended run. Schiano is an odd candidate. Though only 50, he has not been a head coach since being fired at Tampa Bay after two disastrous seasons, 2012 and 2013. However, the current Ohio State defensive coordinator did make Rutgers respectable (2001-2011), going to six bowl games in his last seven seasons in New Jersey.


  • Some familiar names have surfaced for the Houston Cougars opening: Lane Kiffin and Les Miles. Also thought to be a candidate is former Bama and current Houston offensive coordinator Major Applewhite. Stay tuned.
  • West Virginia locked Dana Holgorsen down with a 5-year extension of $18.6 million plus incentives. So, that is what 46-30 in six seasons in couch-burning country is worth.
  • As speculated in this here weekly ramblings, Tommy Tuberville has "resigned" as head coach at Cincinnati. He was 29-22 in four forgettable seasons with the ManBearPigCats, including a 4-8 campaign in 2016. At age 62, expect him to find another line of work.
  • Jeff Brohm, who has guided Western Kentucky to two straight C-USA titles, is taking the jump to Purdue. The Boilmakers have won six games in the last three seasons and desperately need a jolt of energy injected into their program. Brohm was a star QB at Louisville in the 90s and carried a clipboard in the NFL for seven seasons. Les Miles had been rumored as a candidate at one time. Does anyone have an opinion on this hiring?
  • Baylor hires Temple coach Matt Rhule. It is an odd choice seeing how Rhule has zero ties to the Lone Star State. He was 28–23 in four seasons with the Owls but won 10 games in both this season and last.
  • FAU! fired their coach. It is not a big story. I just like to type out FAU!

alabama helmet


  • Southern Cal - The Trojans (9-3) are in the Rose Bowl vs Penn State. I hope So Cal stomps 'em.
  • WKU - The Hilltoppers (10-3) will go to the Boca Raton Bowl and meet Memphis.
  • Chattanooga - The Mocs (9-4) lost to Sam Houston State 41-36. The Bearkats jumped out to a 21-0 lead only to see the Mocs tie it up at 21. The two teams went back and forth but SHSU prevailed when they stopped Chattanooga on downs on the 25 yard line.



  • Jacksonville State - The Gamecocks (10-2) season came to an end at the hands of Bo Pelini's Youngstown State Penguins 40-24. JSU had a miserable day passing (6/26, 140 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT) but had 317 rushing yards.
  • South Alabama (6-6) punched their bowl ticket on the last game of the season beating New Mexico State 35-28. A flurry of scoring erupted after being tied 14-all entering the final quarter. The Jags scored TDs on their final three drives to clinch the victory. They will play Air Force in the Arizona Bowl.
  • Wyoming (8-4) has been invited to play in the Poinsettia Bowl against BYU.
  • Colorado (10-3) will face Okie State in the Alamo Bowl.
  • North Texas - As a beneficiary of #TooManyBowls the Mean Green (5-7) get a second life thanks to their graduation rate. They will play Army in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. No word as to whether Mason Fine or former Bama QB Alec Morris will be the starting QB.
  • Idaho never became a full-time adoptee but the Vandals finished 8-4. Might they be having second thoughts of moving to FCS in 2018? For their success, they get punished by having to play on big brother's Smurf blue field in the Potato Bowl. They will face Colorado State (7-5).



  • Air Force (9-3) is heading to the Arizona Bowl to face South Alabama.
  • Army (6-5) - The Black Knights have one more game before they go bowling: Army-Navy is Dec. 10, 2pm/3pm on CBS. Then it is on to the Heart of Dallas Bowl against 5-7 North Texas.
  • Navy (9-3) The Midshipmen had a rough day on Saturday. They now look forward to the Army-Navy Game, followed by the Armed Forces Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech.


Everyone but Alabama, Clemson, Washington, and Ohio State.

* crazier things



A way WAY too early look at the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture:

  • ACC - Clemson.
  • Big Ten - Ohio State.
  • Big 12 - Does not apply.
  • PAC-12 - Washington.
  • SEC - Alabama.
  • Notre Dame

Unless you are living under a rock in Iraq, you know that the CFP Committee released their final rankings of the season on Sunday.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Washington

Other ranked SEC teams: #14 Auburn, #17 Florida, #20 LSU, #21 Tennessee.


Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to the Big 12 trying to pretend like their final regular season games were on the same level as the Conference Championship games. Seriously, how has Bob Bowlsby not been fired as Commissioner of that league?


  • Unfortunately, the Crimson Tide will be without linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton who was injured against Florida in the SECCG. Nick Saban: "he’s probably going to be out for the year. He’ll be missed, but we have a lot of confidence in Rashaan (Evans), and he did a good job for us today."
  • Alabama reserve offensive lineman Josh Casher suffered a broken foot in the SEC Championship Game against Florida. His availability for the playoffs will not be known for some time.
  • In a move that was shocking to absolutely nobody, LSU RB Leonard Fournette has declared for the NFL Draft. Despite what seems now like three wasted years in Red Stick, he will undoubtedly make a fine NFL back.
  • Notre Dame has granted quarterback Malik Zaire his release from the school.  North Carolina and Michigan State appear to be interested. Despite some reports, Florida is in the running. You may recall Zaire's coming out party in the 2014 Music City Bowl when the Irish upset LSU. However, injuries and DeShone Kizer have kept him on the sidelines the last two seasons.
  • Georgia Tech leading rusher Marcus Marshall announced that he is transferring from the program. Snotty Tech fans claim it is academic related. The sophomore will have to sit out a season.

tiny football


Official attendance for the PAC-12 Championship Game was 47,118. Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA has a football capacity of 68,500 (expandable to 75,000). On March 29, 2015, this same venue had 76,976 show up for WrestleMania 31.


Syracuse wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo.


Not counting the FBS Championship Game in Tampa, there are 40 bowl games this 2016-17 season.

With Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama both winning, 78 FBS teams now have six or more wins. Two 5-7 teams, Mississippi State and North Texas, join the not-so-exclusive-anymore company of bowl game attendees. Priority is doled out to those with 5-7 records and in order of Academic Progress Rate. Yes, that means that MSU has a better APR than Ole Miss. Whadda ya think of that Mister Bow Tie?

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 - I think it finally took some national media criticism of Lamar Jackson out there to wake some folks up and make this a closer race. Deshaun Watson is gaining momentum. His big game against Va Tech certainly didn't hurt. This could be interesting...

The finalists invited to New York:

  • Louisville QB Lamar Jackson - Some voters are still in denial with how much he stunk down the stretch and are sticking by him anyway.
  • Clemson QB Deshaun Watson - Got back in the chase by not messing up (aka "Clemsoning").
  • Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook - It is rare when a wide receiver wins and when he does, it is because he also returned kicks for scores. Westbrook had only one return for a score this season and it was against... wait for it... Kansas.
  • Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield - He and Dede will cancel each other out. It must be nice being a quarterback in the defense-optional Big 12.
  • Talented but overhyped Michigan DB/LB Jabrill Peppers - First off, the inclusion of Peppers is ridiculous. He has one career interception and one career punt return for a touchdown. He is third on his own team in tackles. BUT OOH, LOOK! He ran for two rushing touchdowns against Rutgers!

Who Should Win - First, let me quote from the Heisman Trust Mission Statement:

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust's mission is to ensure the continuation and integrity of this award.

Sounds a lot like Jonathan Allen, doesn't it? They always talk about a "Heisman moment". Does anyone recall any moments that any of the above finalists had that stood out? I have one for Allen:


We have officially seen and heard the last of Unka Verne calling SEC football games. This shameless farewell tour seemed to go on forever. CBS would have you think the man simultaneously cured cancer and saved 42 orphans from a burning building. But he is just a guy you were forced to listen to while watching football on TV. He is not sick and he is not being forced out. Additionally, Lundquist will continue working for CBS, announcing regular season and NCAA Tournament college basketball games, as well as having the amazing pleasure of sitting in a luxury box at The Masters and talk about what he sees. Mr. Lundquist seems like a nice man, but he got paid a ridiculous amount of money to sit around and talk.

Times are CT/ET.

Friday, December 9

Sam Houston State at James Madison 6pm/7pm ESPN2

Saturday, December 10

NAVY vs. ARMY, Baltimore, MD 2pm/3pm CBS

South Dakota State at North Dakota State 11am/noon ESPNESPN

Wofford at Youngstown State 1pm/2pm espn3

Richmond at Eastern Washington 3pm/4pm espn3

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 - I assume this game will be called by Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.