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Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Redemption Story

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Who says Conference Championship Games don’t mean anything???

SEC Championship - Alabama v Georgia
Who says Conference Championship Games don’t mean anything???
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

About 60 hours have passed since the Crimson Tide made their remarkable comeback to win the SEC Championship. Has it sunk in yet what a remarkable feat that was?

ROLL TIDE

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Alabama 35 Georgia 28

Jalen Hurts’ career at Alabama sounds a great deal like an Arthur Miller play...or maybe some Rocky movies.

JALEN ACT I - A young unknown comes out of nowhere to overcome all odds and make it to the big showdown only to lose at the very end.

JALEN ACT II - The hero is back and all seems to go well until he is hit with failure in the big moment of his life and is surpassed by another.

JALEN ACT III - The fallen hero is a forgotten man but when the usurper of his throne falls, he is there to take up the sword and lead his team to a great victory.

Alabama’s performance against Georgia was by far their worst of the year. Normally sure-handed receivers were dropping passes, folks were fumbling (but thankfully recovering their own fumbles) and Tua Tagovailoa was not himself [You have to wonder how this game might have been different had Irv Smith Jr. not dropped that easy pass on 3rd and 9 on their own 21 in the first quarter. But I digress...]

The Bulldogs on the other hand looked like world-beaters for about 50 minutes of the game. UGA quarterback Jake Fromm is far better than Stephen Garcia ever was but it seemed like he was having one of those “Stephen Garcia moments” where everything was working perfectly.

All this and Tua leaving the game due to injury and the tide STILL won.

Josh Jacobs, was named the MVP. Jalen Hurts made all the highlights but Jaylen Waddle deserves a big chunk of the credit. He caught 4 balls for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also had a huge 36-yard punt return in the first quarter that altered UGA’s kickoff and punting strategies for the rest of the game.

The defense was again led by Quinnen Williams who recorded 6 solo tackles, 2 assists, a sack, and 2 TFL. Shyheim Carter had three pass break-ups and QB Hurry to go with 4 solos and an assist. LaBryan Ray had one tackle on the day but it was a game-altering sack on Jake Fromm’s final desperation drive when he beat second-team All-SEC left tackle Andrew Thomas on a three-man rush.

Were you like me with your heart in your hands when Joseph Bulovas lined up to kick those late PATs with visions of Papa Nasty dancing on your head? Thankfully, he converted all five of his PATs on the day. He was not called upon to kick a field goal. Mike Bernier was rather meh punting. Coverage teams were pretty good.

No scores from the defense or special teams in the SECCG, but Waddle is due to break one REAL soon. Seven non-offensive touchdowns and two safeties for the Crimson Tide this season:

  • vs. Louisville Josh Jacobs 77 yard kickoff return.
  • vs. Louisville Shyheim Carter 45 yard interception return.
  • vs. Arkansas State Saivion Smith 38 yard interception return.
  • vs. Ole Miss Xavier McKinney 30 yard interception return.
  • vs. ULL Jaylen Waddle 63 yard punt return
  • vs. Arkansas Shyheim Carter 44 yard interception return.
  • vs. Mizzou Drew Lock sacked by Quinnen Williams in the end zone for a safety.
  • vs. Tennessee Keller Chryst downed in the end zone for a safety.
  • vs Citadel Anfernee Jennings 18 yard fumble return.

NATIONAL

BREAKING NEWS: Urban Meyer will “retire” after Rose Bowl with Ryan Day taking over as Buckeyes head coach. Please lock up your kittens and orphans! We’ll see how long this one lasts.

Plenty of time for pizza now.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Ohio State 45 Northwestern 24 - The score looks big but anOSU let NW stick around too long. The Buckeyes held a mere touchdown lead in the fourth quarter until the ‘Cats caved.

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Oklahoma 39 Texas 27 - The Longhorns forced the Sooners into playing a little defense but erratic quarterback play from Grow’d Up Bobby Hill and some questionable officiating doomed them.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Clemson 42 Pitt 10 - If they played this game and nobody watched, does it still count?

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Washington 10 Utah 3 - This game could not have gone worse for embattled Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. The official attendance at the 49ers stadium in Santa, Clara, CA was 35,134 but it sure looked like they misplaced the decimal point. The only touchdown came on a shoulda been caught ball tipped off a Ute receiver that landed in a Husky defender’s hands and he took it 66 yards to the house. UW had an astounding fourth quarter drive of 17 plays, 73 yards that ate up 10:03 and resulted in a blocked field goal. Despite the missed chance, it basically ended the game thanks to inept offenses. UU had three interceptions and 188 total yards.

NON-P5

SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Appalachian State 30 ULL 19 - It’s a third straight Sun Belt title for Appy in just five years in FBS.

C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

UAB 27 MTSU 25 - A strange game that saw MTSU go up by 10, UAB go up by 11, MTSU go up by 1 and finally UAB kicking a field goal for the final lead.

AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Center Florida 56 Memphis 41 - The Blue Tigers led 24-7 after the first quarter and 38-21 at halftime. That must have been one heck of a halftime speech by Josh Heupel.

NCAA Football: Mountain West Championship-Fresno State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

MWC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Fresno 19 Boise 16 OT- For once the Smurfs could not use their stupid blue field to their unfair advantage - because it was white! The Bulldogs snapped a 10-game losing streak in Potato City to win the MWC and make Gargamel smile.

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Northern Illinois 30 Buffalo 29 - The Bulls storybook season had a heartbreaking ending. NIU rallied from a 19-point, second-half deficit to take a 30-29 lead with a minute to play. It was their only lead of the game. Buffalo has lost to NIU 12 straight times.

ESS-EE-SEE

South Carolina 28 Akron 3 - In a sloppy wet game with no second half scoring, Deebo Samuel caught two touchdown passes and recovered a mishandled punt snap in the end zone for a third touchdown. The win improves the Gamecocks’ bowl stock as they get their seventh win against five losses.

WEATHER MAKE-UP GAMES

Virginia Tech 41 Marshall 20 - The Hokies’ national-best 26-year bowl streak continues on thanks to this make-up game. Marshall’s head coach said he agreed to the game for the exposure but methinks it was the $300,000 that made this decision.

Stanford 23 Cal 13 - The Trees took this make-up game (wildfires) for the ninth straight year. Sadly, the band did not prematurely run on the field.

NC State 58 East Carolina 3 - ECU kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired to keep their 265 game scoreless streak alive. The Pirates have not gone an entire game without scoring since 1997.

Iowa State 27 Drake 24 - What the...? The Cyclones thought they could just show up and roll their helmets out on the field and win 58-0. It was a pathetic lethargic showing by ISU against a FCS team that has not awarded athletic scholarships to football players since 1986. The grounds crew must’ve taken the week off too as the playing field was so muddy that Iowa State’s band wasn’t allowed to perform at halftime. The field condition was no excuse for how uninspired the Cyclones looked. At 8-4, ISU will head to a bowl but their performance sure made them look less than desirable to the better bowls.

THE WACKY WORLD OF CFB PROGNOSTICATORS

So... take a look at the strikethroughs below and tell me who you think did best.

  • DESI - Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, West Virginia, Washington. Mich over WVU; Bama over UW; Mich over Bama.
  • CORSO - Georgia, Clemson, Wisconsin, Texas, Washington. Clemson over UW; Wisky over UGA; Wisky over Clemson.
  • HERBIE - Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington. Bama over UW; Clemson over PSU; Bama over Clemson.

MY PICKS

  • Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington. Bama over Okie; Clemson over PSU; Bama over Clemson.

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

  • Louisville (2-10) - 1. Crap bed - Check; 2. Fire moron - Check; 3. Make delusional attempt to hire away Jeff Brohm - Check. 4. Wipe egg off face - Check.
  • Arkansas State (8-4) - The Red Wolves will face Nevada in the Arizona Bowl.
  • La-Laf (7-6) - ULL played a respectable game in the SBCG but ultimately fell to Appy State 30-19. The Sun Belt runner-ups head to the Cure Bowl in Orlando against Tulane.
  • Citadel - The Fightin’ Cupcakes (5-6) learned a thing or two from the Bama game and ran all over Charleston Southern and holding CSU to 75 yards. Cit-a-spell wins 43-14. Too bad they didn’t change quarterbacks earlier in the season.
  • BONUS: Bama cross-over Mizzou (8-4) heads to the Liberty Bowl against Okie Lite.

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • FAU! (5-7) - Lane Kiffin gets an early vacation.
  • Hawaii (8-5) - Well, imagine that. The Rainbow Warriors will play in the... wait for it... HAWAII BOWL! They will face Louisiana Tech.

COUSINS

  • Troy (9-3) - The Trojans will face a tough Buffalo team in the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, AL. Dollar General? Ugh, I don’t want to see those swag bag.
  • South Alabama (3-9) - The Jags look ahead to baseball season or Mardi Gras or Spring Break or something...

THAT COUSIN YOU FORGOT ABOUT... OOPS!

  • Jacksonville State (9-4) lost to No. 7-seed Maine 55-27 in the second round of the FCS Playoff. All eight seeded teams advanced.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER

UAB (10-3) - The Blazers beat MTSU and win the C-USA. They luck out and head to the Lane Kiffin Boca Raton Bowl to face MAC Champs Northern Illinois (8-5) who upset the far-superior Buffalo.

RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

Looking at the records, Army had a superlative season, while Navy had a dismal one. However, Army played a really weak schedule. Their top two wins were over Buffalo and Hawaii. They also faced one-win San Jose State, two FCS teams and a team in Liberty who is transitioning from FCS to FBS.

On the other hand, Navy had to play in an unusually strong AAC against teams such as UCF, Temple, Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis as well as Notre Dame.

  • Army (9-2) - The Black Knights face Navy Dec. 8 in Philadelphia, PA, followed by the Armed Forces Bowl against Houston in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Navy (3-9) - ^^^
  • Air Force (5-7) - Season over.
boxers

ELIMINATED

Everyone but the Big Four.

NEWLY ELIMINATED:
Oklahoma
Georgia
Ohio State

THE CONTENDERS FINALISTS

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

The final of five weekly CFP rankings was released Sunday:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Oklahoma

Alabama and Clemson are far and above better than every other team in college football this season. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Ohio State do not seem worthy. This season makes me long for the BCS. We could just have Tide vs Tiger IV and be done with it.

This season’s vote was the most difficult one made by the committee in the five year history of the CFP. It was also the most political. If Michigan had just won, it would have made it all so simple. All said, I think the committee did the best they could with a difficult situation.

  • Notre Dame is undefeated but did so in an unimpressive manner and without a Conference Championship Game. Their inclusion in the CFP is not going to sway them into joining a conference anytime soon.
  • Oklahoma has a horrific defense but they avenged their one defeat. The Sooners are 108th in the FBS in total defense yielding 448.1 ypg and 96th in points per game allowed at 32.4. They are dead last in the defense-optional Big XII in both categories.
  • Georgia proved some worth and are probably among the four best but they already lost their “play-in game”.
  • Ohio State lost to Purdue by 29. Enough said.

REACTIONS

Some reactions from the ESPN talking heads:

Kirk Herbstreit: “The committee has said that two losses is too much to overcome. Not being a conference champion is too much to overcome. This is a historical moment as far as evaluating the committee because the eyeball test, to me, clearly Georgia is a top 4 team.”

Jesse Palmer: “Georgia looked like one of the four best teams… a more complete team than Oklahoma.”

Chris Fowler: “[It’s] interesting that Georgia landed between two conference champions… You went with the team who won a conference championship and not a team the football people in the room thought would win head-to-head. The status quo regarding two-loss teams not getting in has been maintained.”

Chris Fowler: “Different criteria is applied when it is convenient. The results [of the season] have to matter… and they have to matter a lot. If the best thing you can say about Georgia is that they played Alabama really, really tough, that is not enough for me.”

Paul Finebaum: “Georgia is among the four best teams. We are going to penalize them for losing to the best team.”

Joey Galloway: “You know who wanted Georgia get in? Clemson and Notre Dame. Georgia and Alabama would have been a physical game.”

CONFERENCE SCOREBOARD

  • ACC - To nobody’s surprise, it’s Clemson. Bowl Eligible (11): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech.
  • Big Ten - Ohio State’s meh win over Northwestern was not enough to put them ahead of Oklahoma. This is the second straight CFP with no Big Ten team. Bowl Eligible (9): Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota.
  • Big 12 - Oklahoma got revenge for their one loss, Texas, and played a little defense in doing so. Bowl Eligible (7): Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, TCU.
  • PAC-12 - Nope. Bowl Eligible (7): Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Washington, Washington State.
  • SEC - Alabama is the SEC Champ. While two-loss UGA is probably the third or fourth best team in the nation, the résumé of a two-loss conference runner-up could not outweigh what the Sooners accomplished. Bowl Eligible (11): see below.
  • Indies - Notre Dame is 12-0 had no championship game and played some games a little too close. It may be 2012 all over again.

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

Alabama received all the AP votes and all but TWO votes (Clemson) in the Coaches Poll. The Southeastern Conference has 8 teams ranked in the CFP rankings. That is almost a third of the Top 25:

#1 Alabama
#5 UGA
#10 Fla
#11 LSU
#14 UK
#18 MSU
#19 TAMU
#22 Mizzou
(Aubie, not ranked)

My half-ass as-of-now ranking (not CFP picks):

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Ohio State

LET’S GO BOWLING

82 teams finish the season with bowl eligibility for the 78 bowl slots. As predicted 6-win Miami (Ohio), Wyoming, and UL Monroe were all left out. However, Tulane made a bowl over Southern Miss who was 6-5. The Golden Eagles had a September game at Appalachian State cancelled due to a hurricane. They could not make-up the game because the Mountaineers were in contention for and eventually played in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday. USM AD Jon Gilbert probably should’ve got off his backside and scheduled a FCS team and promoted his team to the bowls but he was busy looking for another job. Gilbert resigned on Sunday to take a similar position at East Carolina. What a dick.

Eleven SEC teams will be participating in a bowl game this winter. Four of those are involved in the New Years 6 (NY6). Somehow, Florida finagled their way out of facing UCF.

  1. Alabama 13-0 - CFP: ORANGE BOWL, Miami, FL vs Oklahoma
  2. Georgia 12-1 - NY6: SUGAR BOWL, New Orleans, LA vs Texas
  3. LSU 9-3 - NY6: FIESTA BOWL, Glendale, AZ vs UCF
  4. Florida 9-3 - NY6: PEACH BOWL, Atlanta, GA vs Michigan - Again?
  5. Kentucky 9-3 - CITRUS BOWL, Orlando, FL vs Penn State
  6. Missouri 8-4 - LIBERTY BOWL, Memphis, TN, Oklahoma State
  7. Mississippi State 8-4 - OUTBACK BOWL, Tampa, FL vs Iowa
  8. Texas A&M 8-4 - GATOR BOWL, Jacksonville, FL vs NC State
  9. Auburn 7-5 - MUSIC CITY BOWL, Nashville, TN vs Purdue
  10. South Carolina 7-5 - BELK BOWL, Charlotte, NC vs Virginia
  11. Vanderbilt 6-6 - TEXAS BOWL, Houston, TX vs Baylor
  12. Tennessee 5-7 - Nada. Suck on that FFPF.
  13. Ole Miss 5-7 - Nope.
  14. Arkansas 2-10 - Ain’t gonna happen.

STATS OF THE WEEK

  • Washington will go to their ninth straight different bowl game in nine years. 2010: Holiday, 2011: Alamo, 2012: Vegas, 2013: San Fran, 2014: Cactus, 2015: Heart of Dallas, 2016: Peach, 2017: Fiesta, 2018: Rose. Thanks to Keith Gilbertson and Tyrone Willingham, the Huskies did not go to a bowl from 2002 through 2009.
  • Before this season, the Buffalo Bulls (10-3) had never won more than 9 games in a season, had only 31 winning seasons out of 105, and only two since joining the FBS in 1999.
  • On the season, UGA’s Rodrigo Blankenship was 19 of 23 on field goals. His only misses were 49 yards, 48 yards, a 36-yarder against Mizzou that was blocked, and the 30-yard chip shot against Alabama.

AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY

Where were you in 1981? Had you been born into this world yet? Had your parents even met? Jimmy Carter was president and Bear Bryant won his last SEC title at Alabama. Meanwhile up in Lexington, Virginia, the Division I-AA VMI Keydets finished the seasons 6-3-1. Little did they know that that would be their last winning season. Eight coaches and 37 seasons later, they wrapped the season at 0-11 with a 77-14 loss to Old Dominion. They have a record of 85-312 since that winning season and have averaged two wins per year over the last 14 seasons. Even former Alabama assistant coach Sparky Woods could not get them off this slide during his run from 2008-2014. They must really love football. God bless their little hearts.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to Oklahoma for their shameless #KylerKnows campaign trying to compare Kyler Murray to Bo Jackson. Comparing a guy who has not even stepped on a diamond as a professional baseball player and played one season of football as a starter to a NFL Pro Bowler and MLB All-star is ludicrous. The sad thing is, some of these naive voters are falling for it.

HEISMAN HYPE

With the exception of TWO YEARS, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. Often times voters fall in love with someone way too early. This year, that love may last.

Favorites (in no particular order)-

The Heisman ballots were distributed on November 19 and there is a strong possibility many votes were casts before the season ended. The voting deadline was Monday. As alluded to above, the Heisman award doesn’t always the reward the best player. It is a flawed system that has among it’s criteria a “Heisman moment”.

Unfortunately for Tide fans, Tua finished the season with a thud while Kyler put up big numbers. Will the minuscule attention span of the voters hurt the Tide quarterback’s chances? If for whatever reasons he does finish second, it could be a good thing. Tim Tebow and Lamar Jackson both won as true sophomores. Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston won as redshirt freshmen. All four took a step back in Year 3 at their colleges. Maybe a runner-up finish will inspire Tua to get better. But it’s not over yet.

* The Heisman announcement ceremony is Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 7pm/8pm.

  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama Soph.) - Tua did not have a great game against UGA but in his defense he has been battling injuries and had several passes dropped. He was 10/25 passing with 164 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT.
  • Kyler Murray (QB Oklahoma Jr.) - I think I figured out why everyone adores little Kyler. It’s because he looks like an Ewok. A guy like Jalen Hurts is deceptively fast because he has long legs. But the little dude takes these tiny little Mini-Me strides and it makes everyone gush. For the B12CG, he was 25/34 passing for 379 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT. He ran 10 times for 39 yards and no TD. He was sacked twice. Did I mention he plays baseball too?!?! He is EXACTLY like Bo Jackson!!!
  • Dwayne Haskins (QB thatOSU RS Soph.) - Good stats but won’t win.

Runner-Ups-

  • That guy from Memphis.
  • Will Grier (QB West Virginia Sr.) - DNP.
  • Mustache Guy (QB Wazzu Sr.)
  • Quinnen Williams (DL Alabama RS Soph.) - 6 solos, 2 asst, sack, 2 TFL.

If I had a vote:

  • Tua had the best overall body of work.
NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

THE SICK REPORT

  • Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa reportedly underwent a minor surgery procedure for this ankle and will be out at least two weeks. Jalen Hurts had a similar procedure on his ankle in November that knocked him out of two games and limited him down the stretch.
  • No more information on the availability of linebacker Terrell Lewis has been released.
  • Oklahoma’s leading receiver Marquise Brown suffered a lower-leg injury in the Big 12 Championship game. He was carted off the sidelines in the fourth quarter before returning with a boot on his left leg. Brown has 75 grabs for 1,318 yards and 10 TDs. His status for the Orange Bowl is TBD.

DRAMA

  • Some sources have reported that former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant is expected to announce that he is transferring to Arkansas so that he can experience losing a ton of games before moving on to a job in the private sector.
  • A few reports claimed that LSU linebacker Devin White would not play in the Fiesta Bowl so that he could prepare for the NFL but he has denied this claim. BTW, how does a college kid from a tiny country town in northern Louisiana afford to own and keep seven horses? His single mother lives in Cotton Valley, Louisiana where the median income for a household is $22,000 (Asking for a friend who works for the NCAA).
  • On the other hand, LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, all of 20-years old, is sitting this one out so he can prep for the NFL Draft. CB Kristian Fulton is still mulling. Starting inside linebacker Jacob Phillips was ejected for targeting during the seven-overtime loss to Texas A&M in the season finale and will miss the first half.
  • Houston DT Ed Oliver is skipping the Armed Forces Bowl Game and I really can’t blame him. He just got over a knee injury and the Cougars are playing Army who runs the triple option, and you know what that means - cut blocks.
  • Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill, brother of 5-star CB recruit Braxton Hill, will not be playing in the Liberty Bowl. He missed the last two OSU games with a a rib injury. The Cowpokes will also be without someone named Larry Williams who is the starting right guard and has little chance of being drafted.
  • Iowa TE Noah Fant is skipping his bowl as well.
  • It should be no surprise that Ole Miss junior WR A.J. Brown has declared for NFL draft.
  • Urban Meyer celebrated his B1G Championship by eating a big bowl of chili and getting on a prop plane full of nuns heading to a Nicaragua orphanage.
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COACHING CAROUSEL

Coaches and ADs have been sniffing around Tuscaloosa.

  • Word is going around that Ole Miss and Oklahoma have both offered Alabama assistant Pete Golding the DC position for their programs. Some sources are saying Ole Miss has offered somewhere in the neighborhood of $2M. Lincoln Riley fired Mike Stoops in October and Interim DC Ruffin McNeill has evidently not been much better.
  • Alabama OC Mike Locksley is a leading candidate to take over Maryland. You might think it upsets the apple cart to lose yet another OC in consecutive seasons but this could work out well for Saban to promote valuable staff members Dan Enos and Josh Gattis to run the offense together.
  • Colorado State missed out on bringing Jim McElwain back into the fold when he took the head job at Central Michigan (we may have to adopt CMU next year). The Chippewas were 1-11 this season. Brian Kelly 2004–2006), Butch Jones (2007–2009), and Dan Enos 2010–2014) are all former CMU head coaches.
  • Akron has fired former Auburn coach and former Little Rascal Terry Bowden after seven seasons of mediocre to bad football. He was 35–52 overall during his reign of terror and 23–33 in the MAC. Two of his Zips teams played in a bowl game going 1-1. In 2015, he had his one winning season at 8-5. At age 62, expect to see ol’ Spanky head to a broadcast booth somewhere.
  • Former Alabama DB coach and Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is expected to be named the new coach of Colorado.
  • Auburn has parted ways with OC Chip Lindsey who did a dynamite job of the continuing sabotage of Jarrett Stidham’s career as a quarterback. He is expected to join Les Miles at Kansas.
  • It’s funny how Louisville fans just assumed Jeff Brohm would dump Purdue and come running home, no questions asked. And that is exactly what did NOT happen. Despite Louisville being his hometown and UL being his alma mater, Brohm turned down the Cardinals to stick with what he has been building in West Lafayette. Purdue made it a pretty easy decision after they bumped his current $4 million per-year deal to as much as $6 million annually, while offering additional incentives to stay put. This new salary puts Brohm in the top 8 in CFB coaches salaries. Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield (51-24) was hired as Plan B.
  • Texas Tech is rolling the dice with Utah State coach Matt Wells who led Utah State to a 10–2 (7–1) season in the MWC. The 45-year old former Utah State quarterback has gone 9–5, 10–4, 6–7, 3–9, 6–7, 10–2 with the Aggies.
  • Paul Johnson somewhat surprisingly retired after 11 seasons as head coach at Georgia Tech. It makes me sad because who am I going to deride for their idiotic outdated offense now? Whoever it is will have an uphill battle. This team is full of offensive players built to run the triple option. There is a good chance the new coach will install a more current offense from this century. That is going to take some time and possible personnel turnover. Former Yeller Jacket star tight end and current L.A. Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt is the lead candidate to replace him cuz, ya know, having someone from the fambly is so important.
  • Also retiring is Kansas State’s Bill Snyder who was born two years before Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese (no, not the Germans). Snyder went 215–117–1 in 27 seasons in Manhattan, KS with 19 bowl appearances. The Wildcats had gone to eight straight bowls with that streak snapped after a failed 5-7 season in 2018. It is an ugly ending for a legendary figure at K-State. After the 2017, the administration was ready to move on from Snyder and hire former KSU assistant and former USF coach Jim Leavitt. But Snyder stubbornly made a stink about it and refused to retire unless they hired his unqualified son, Sean Snyder who serves as... lol... special teams coordinator. The administration balked and gave Snyder another year, avoiding and ugly termination and $3M payout and the Wildcats suffered for it. Nice exit, old man.
  • The man who Charles Barkley lobbied for to replace Gene Chizik at Auburn abruptly “retired” from Liberty. This makes no sense. Turner Gill is only 56 years old and just got Liberty through a FBS transition season with a respectable 6-6 record. He spoke of his wife being “diagnosed with a heart condition” and there is an assumption of needing to be with her but he did not go into details. Hugh Freeze is looking like a top candidate. Personally, I think this would be a bad move for him. Look for a better gig and if you can’t find one, be an OC for a few years and build the resume back up.
  • Texas State has hired West Virginia OC Jake Spavital, all of 33 years old. He also served as OC for Texas A&M 2013-2015.
  • Charlotte hired James Madison coach Mike Houston, who led FCS powerhouse JMU to the 2016 National Championship, before losing in the final the last season.
  • Bowling Green has hired... yawn... Boston College OC Scot Loeffler cuz, ya know, BC was so awesome this year (66th in total offense, 42nd in scoring offense). The Screaming Eagles won seven games in each of his three seasons under Steve Addazio. He was also Auburn’s OC in 2012 under Gene Chizik when they crapped the bed at 3-9.
  • Clay Helton got a stay of execution at the University of South Central L.A. but fired his OC Tee Martin. The former Tennessee quarterback was originally hired by Lane Kiffin in 2012 to coach the Trojans wide receivers. Martin also served as quarterbacks coach at New Mexico under Mike Locksley in 2009. Future Bama Analyst...??
  • Western Kentucky hired Tyson Helton, Clay Helton’s brother, as their new head coach. Honestly, I’ve never heard of the guy. After having Willie Taggart (2010–2012), Bobby Petrino (2013), and Jeff Brohm (2014–2016), WKU hired unknown Mike Sanford and now he is gone after two seasons. So they hire his clone? Stupid move.
  • Les Miles with his new dye job is already acting delightfully loopy at Kansas. He has his first assistant coach hire in Chevis Jackson who you may remember as a cornerback for LSU and St. Paul’s in Mobile. I’ll give you three guesses who recruited and signed Jackson to LSU.
  • There is also job opening at UMass but nobody has seemed to notice. Butch Jones is the leading candidate to replace him. I am just kidding. Or am I? Yeah, I am. Or aaam I??? Yes. They hired Florida State OC Walt Bell for some unknown reason.
  • Exactly how many rotting corpses does Troy coach Neal Brown have in his crawl space that no AD has bothered to ring him up for an interview? He is 30-8 over the last three seasons.
  • NEW: Southern Cal has hired Kliff Kingsbury to be offensive coordinator. He will likely be Interim Coach there in the near future.
Black and White TV

EYEBALLS

CBS says their “coverage of SEC Championship Game was the highest-rated regular season CFB game on ANY network in seven years.” By “regular season”, I assume they mean non-playoff and non-bowl game.

The top-rated markets were:

  1. Birmingham – 56.7 (This is an astounding number. It represents the % of all TVs that were turned on during that time period.)
  2. Atlanta – 33.9
  3. Greenville-Spartanburg – 25.2
  4. Jacksonville – 24.5
  5. Knoxville – 23.0

THIS WEEK

POST-SEASON

Only one FBS game this week:

Saturday, Dec 8:

Navy vs Army (Philadelphia, PA) 2pm/3pm CBS - it’s the 119th meeting of the two service academies. Navy leads, 60–51–7 but Army has won the last two. The Black Knights are favored by -6½ with an o/u of 41. Hopefully, it snows like it seems to do every year.

FCS PLAYOFF

There is a surprising dearth of southern schools in the final 8. probably because they have all moved up to FBS!

Friday, Dec 7:

Maine at Weber State 7pm/8pm ESPN2

Saturday, Dec 8:

Colgate at North Dakota State 11am/noon ESPN
South Dakota State at Kennesaw State 1pm/2pm ESPN3
UC Davis at Eastern Washington 3pm/4pm ESPN3

Jaylen Waddle is fast.

#ALABAMA

The Crimson Tide is 13-0 with a goal of perfection. Only the 2009 team has gone undefeated for Nick Saban at Alabama. Clemson is also 13-0. One of these teams could make history as the first college football team to go 15-0 in a single season since the 1897 Penn Quakers.

AP ALL-SEC

FIRST TEAM, Offense:
WR - Jerry Jeudy, Alabama, 6-1, 192, So., Deerfield Beach, Florida
T - Jonah Williams, Alabama, 6-5, 301, Jr., Folsom, California
C - Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama, 6-4, 309, Sr., Cedar Falls, Iowa
QB - Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, 6-1, 218, So., Ewa Beach, Hawaii (unanimous)

FIRST TEAM, Defense
DT - Quinnen Williams, Alabama, 6-4, 295, So., Birmingham, Alabama

SECOND TEAM, Defense
DE - Isaiah Buggs, Alabama, 6-5, 286, Sr., Ruston, Louisiana
DE - Raekwon Davis, Alabama, 6-7, 316, Jr., Meridian, Mississippi
S - Deionte Thompson, Alabama, 6-2, 196, Jr., Orange, Texas

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Tua Tagovailoa
Defensive Player of the Year: LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
Newcomer of the Year: RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (Illinois transfer) - Hello??? Jaylen Waddle?
Coach of the Year: Mark Stoops, Kentucky - Did they cast these votes a month ago?

Kentucky’s Josh Allen won the Nagurski Trophy over Quinnen, but that is just the way these awards go. Allen gets all the hype because his numbers are higher from a Jack LB edge rush position over a guy who is playing a middle position where nobody expects him to put up the numbers he did. Allen is a very good player but it is hard to deny what Q did for Alabama this season.

Nick Saban has tied Lou Holtz in career I-A wins and has done so in ten less seasons.
(For clarification, this list is FBS/I-A wins only. No wins while coaching at FCS/I-AA or lower level schools are included.)

This Crimson Tide team is 54-3 (.947) surpassing Alabama’s 2017 senior class (53-5, .914) for the most wins by a senior class in NCAA history.

PLAYOFF

GAME 14, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 7:00pm/8:00pm

ORANGE BOWL: Oklahoma vs ALABAMA

ESPN - Announcers have not been named as of post but assume it will be Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.
Alabama opened as a 14 point favorite with an over/under stands at 79½.

Game 15 - Stay Tuned!

#RollTide

Poll

Did the CFP Committee get it right?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Yes, perfect.
    (156 votes)
  • 56%
    Meh-yeah, they did what they could.
    (353 votes)
  • 9%
    Hmm... I dunno. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.
    (62 votes)
  • 9%
    No, they should have put ____ in instead of ___. (see comments)
    (57 votes)
628 votes total Vote Now