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Random Thoughts From Around the Country: O Sweet Chaos, Wherefore Art Thou?

A different kind of season for college football.

Mississippi v Alabama
“Deja vu. It’s like I’ve been here before...”
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alas, another cool crisp autumn Saturday flits by and with it the turning of the calendar from September to October. Let us pray.

Dear Lord Baby Jesus in all your glory and benevolence, thank you for the blessing of a 5-0 record with none of the games being close like that one up in Chapel Hill. We are so grateful that you allowed our third best wide receiver catch a bounty of touchdowns, and for the first non-offensive touchdown of the season. We pray O Lord for a gelling at offensive line and no injuries.
Amen and Roll Tide
P.S. Give Bear and Snake our love.

We are at the close of the first month of the 2019 college football season, and it has been ... odd. Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, and Ohio State have been trouncing the opposition by five or six touchdowns per game. There have been very few upsets or nailbiters across the board. To tell the truth, there have been some pretty lousy matchups to begin with.

Sure Citadel beating Georgia Tech was a surprise but the Yeller Jackets are in full-on rebuild with an entire offensive overhaul, facing the always tricky triple option. Sad sack Tennessee falling to Georgia State is a head-scratcher but frankly the loss was no a mind-blower. Even America’s Ramona the Pest, UCF, isn’t mucking up the works. Where are the giant killers? For that matter, where are the bowl-like regular season games. Even games like UGA-Notre Dame and Miami vs. Florida didn’t live up to the hype. TV ratings have not been bad, but they are still getting beat by previous years. Of course games will get better in the coming weeks, but so far it’s been a whole lotta meh.

One problem is that there are too many FBS teams. Teams like Rice, UConn, UTSA, UMass, and the New Mexico duet need to be sent down to the minors. Another is Power 5 teams playing FCS teams. That needs to end. If that happens, somebody is eventually going to have to pick up the phone when the name “Greg Byrne” appears on the caller ID. Once that happens, then we can start talking about an all P5 vs. P5 schedule.


Alabama 59 Ole Miss 31 - Devonta Smith stole the show with 5 touchdown on 11 receptions and 274 yards. I don’t think Bama fans are being entitled to be disappointed in the defense who gave up a season high 31 points and 476 yards. Granted most of it came in the second half, but Nick Saban needs something to yell at the team about.

Auburn 56 Mississippi State 23 - This feels like one of those seasons where Aubie is flying-under-the-radar-playing-above-themselves-sneaky-good. They need to start getting some spotlight and have sunshine pumped up their backsides. This is a team to not take lightly and it is due mostly to their defense, not the opportunistic QB (did anyone mention his dad played at Aubie too?). This one was 42-9 at halftime. MSU’s Kylin Hill, who entered the contest leading the SEC in rushing, was held to 45 yards on 17 carries.

Texas A&M 31 Arkansas 27 - U-G-L-Y. Can we send these two back to the SWC? The Aggies clinged to a 31-27 lead as Arky drove to the A&M 19 in the final minute before a fourth-down incompletion. This whole game was a mess.

South Carolina 24 Kentucky 7 - SC held the Wildcats to a paltry 212 yards and 9 first downs. UK’s lone score came in garbage time. Kentucky is stuck with Mark Stoops through June 2024 because of one good season. Nice contract, Wildcats.

Vanderbilt 24 Northern Illinois 18 - Vandy won their first game of the season at home over a bad MAC team by 6. Give Derek Mason a raise!!

Florida 38 Towson 0 - I am putting this one down below Vandy because that is how interesting this game was.

(LSU did not play this weekend and I kinda missed them. Oh yeah, UGA and Tennessee had a bye too.)



Clemson 21 North Carolina 20 - Much like the the Army-Michigan game, little David pushed Goliath to brink of defeat but could not finish the job. Once again, it was a stupid playcall that ended the game. Ironically, triple-option Army attempted an ill-fated pass, while Mack Brown’s Tar Heels tried a freaking option of all things on an unnecessary 2-point conversion attempt with 1:17 to play. smh


Ohio State 48 Nebraska 7 - Why GameDay chose to go to Lincoln is beyond me. ‘Huskers fans need to consume a heaping spoonful of reality that they are far from being back to what they were in the 1990s and that Scott Frost is no Tom Osborne.

Oklahoma 55 Texas Tech 16 - Not worth a write-up.


Wisconsin 24 Northwestern 15 - This one was 24-3 with 9 minutes to go when NWA converted a muffed punt into a touchdown a few plays later and then added another score in garbage time to make it look close.

Notre Dame 35 Virginia 20 - The only matchup of the weekend between top 20 teams was exciting for 30 minutes - UVa leading 17-14 at the half - but the Wahoos figured they had won and sent out the band to play the second half.

Penn State 59 Maryland 0 - Mike Locksley got a taste of his own medicine being absolutely unequivocally dominated at home by the Nitsy-Bitsy Lions. The numbers above tell the story.

Arizona State 24 Cal 17 - Herm Edwards squad also got a big road win, ending the Bears undefeated season. Az State scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run with 4:41 remaining and held on for the W.


I didn’t watch GameDay this week but I am sure Desi and company did some stupid things like pick Iowa State to win the B12.

Teams in BOLD below already have one loss. Teams with a strikethrough have more than one loss.

  • DESI - 1. Georgia (SEC Champs), 2. Clemson (ACC Champs), 3. Oregon (PAC Champs), 4. Wisconsin (B1G Champs); Iowa State (B12 Champs); Clemson over Georgia in the CFP final.
  • CORSO - 1. Alabama (SEC Champs), 2. Clemson (ACC Champs), 3. Utah (PAC Champs), 4. Ohio State (B1G Champs); Oklahoma (B12 Champs); Alabama over Utah.
  • HERBIE - 1. Alabama (SEC Champs), 2. Clemson (ACC Champs), 3. Ohio State (B1G Champs), 4. Texas (B12 Champs); Washington (PAC Champs); Alabama over Clemson.


  • 1. Clemson (ACC Champs), 2. Alabama (SEC Champs) 3. Ohio State (B1G Champs), 4. Georgia; Oklahoma (B12 Champs); Washington (PAC Champs); Alabama over Georgia.


A little help form an unlikely source.

  • Duke (3-1) - The Blue Devils went into Blacksburg Friday night and absolutely shellacked the Hokies 45-10. Bama fans familiar with the talent of QB Quentin Harris is Week 1, saw him complete 20 of 27 attempts for 163 yards and 2 TD, plus 17 rushes for 100 yards and another score in this ACC battle. Va Tech’s Justin Fuente is on the VERY HOT SEAT!
  • New Mexico State (0-5) - As expected, the Aggies L to Fresno. Lose that phone number, Greg.
  • Southern Miss (3-2) - USM QB Jack Abraham led the Eagles past UTEP 31-13 with 351 passing and 3 TDs with 0 picks. Next for the Screaming Eagles is a C-USA showdown with North Texas.
  • Western Carolina (1-3) - The Fightin’ Cupcakes gave up 60 to UT-Chattanooga. Ugh.
  • BONUS: SC, Aub, TAMU won. Ark, MSU lost.


  • Iowa State (2-2) - Lost to Baylor 23-21. It doesn’t look like the Cyclones are all everyone thought they were cracked up to be. Folks forget how they faltered down the stretch last season. But they are not here for their pretty faces. They are here because of the history of chaos they inflict.
  • Purdue (1-3) - Ouch. The Boilmakers lose at home to Minnesota. @Penn State - See above.
  • Hawaii (4-1) - The Rainbow Warriors destroyed Nevada 54-3 on the Wolfpack’s home field. Next is a week of rest before a long-ass road trip to play the Smurfs.

Potential Adoption

  • Wyoming (4-1) The Cowpokes got back on track with a predictable 53-17 of lowly UNLV. @San Diego State
  • K-State (3-1) Well, so much for that. Get a little love from “Random Thoughts” and down you go. Okie Lite won 26-13 in Stillwater... but it’s a rebuilding year! Their next three are at home (Baylor, TCU, Okie) and provide excellent opportunities for chaos!
  • UL-Laf (4-1) Billy Napier is two wins away from bowl eligibility and may be favored in the rest of ULL’s games. I have to be honest: I was a little skeptical of his hiring at age 37 but he has done a really good job in a tough market.
  • Tulane (3-1) had the week off. A trip to Army is pending.


  • Troy (2-2) - It’s going to be a long year for the Trojans as they dropped a home affair to Arky State 50-43. Trailing by only two midway through the fourth, they gave up a safety and a field goal and could not answer. Alabama-transfer Layne Hatcher passed for 440 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in his debut as a starter for ASU. Good on him.
  • South Alabama (1-4) - Ugh. This is too depressing. UL Monroe 30 Jags 17. Up next, seven more losses.


UAB (3-1) - OH, MY what a black eye for the Blazers to lose to a bad WKU team - the same team who lost to Central Arkansas in Week 1. Former Arky QB Ty Storey threw two touchdown passes to upset Birmingham U. and hand them their first loss. DragonCon should rebound this week over the horrifically awful Rice.



The service academies are looking good, so far.

  • Army (3-1) - The Black Knights had the week off with a suddenly dangerous Tulane coming to town.
  • Air Force (3-1) - The Falcons showed Arkansas how it is done, dumping San Jose State 41-24 (it was 41-10 when AFA put in their back-ups). Air Force is a triple option team with a bit of a passing game. Their QB passed 5 of 9 for 131 yards and a 1 TD which makes them a little more dangerous than other option teams. Next is a trip to Annapolis and Round 1 of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
  • Navy (2-1) - The Midshipmen built a 20-7 lead but gave up 99-yard TD kickoff return that sparked a Memphis comeback and Navy’s first loss on the season 35-23. The Tigers are now 4-0 and should be favored in the rest of their games. We’ll see if MU chooses the honorable path or the obnoxious go-the-f-away path of UCF.



  • All non-Power 5 teams
  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • Boston College
  • BYU
  • Colorado
  • Florida State
  • Georgia Tech
  • Kansas
  • Luville
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa State
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi State
  • NC State
  • Miami
  • Michigan State
  • Nebraska
  • NC State
  • Northwestern
  • Okie Lite
  • Oregon State
  • Pitt
  • Purdue
  • Rutgers
  • Southern Cal
  • Stanford
  • Syracuse
  • Texas Tech
  • UCLA
  • UNC
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington
  • Wazzu
  • West Virginia
  • Arky
  • Kentucky
  • Mizzou
  • Ole Miss
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • TAMU
  • TCU
  • Vanderbilt


  • Cal - you saw this coming, right?
  • Virginia
  • Kansas State


  • Clemson, Wake
  • Oregon, Cal, Utah
  • Minnie, Indy, Michigan, Iowa
  • Fla
  • Tejas
  • Notre Dame

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

  • ACC - Clemson is no longer looking like a sure thing. Even if they achieve an undefeated season, a playoff spot is not a lock.
  • Big Ten - Ohio State is looking REAL good. Wisconsin, PSU and Iowa are waiting for that other shoe to drop.
  • Big 12 - Okie vs barely Tejas.
  • PAC-12 - All PAC teams now have at least one loss. It’s not looking good for the left coasters.
  • SEC - Alabama, UGA, LSU... Auburn?
  • Indies - Sadly, Notre Dame still in the hunt.


  • ACC - Duke or UVa
  • Big Ten - Iowa
  • Big 12 - K-State, Texas, Baylor
  • PAC-12 - Oregon
  • SEC - Florida... just kidding! No refunds!
  • Indies -


The Southeastern Conference still has 6 teams ranked in the AP Poll. HALF of the top ten are represented by the SEC.

#1 Alabama - Saban has gotta be pisst about this ranking!
#3 UGA
#5 LSU - dropped one spot. That’s what you get for taking a bye week!
#7 Aubie
#10 Fla - dropped one even though they won! LOL
#25 TAMU - Enjoy it while it lasts (twelve more days).

Honestly, I don’t know why the Tigers are even No. 2 in the AP and Coaches Polls. Here is my after-five-weeks-half-ass Top 6+ rankings and you can see where I put them.

  1. Ohio State
  2. LSU
  3. Alabama
  4. Auburn
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Georgia


  • 40 bowl games; 129 eligible teams. Akron, Rice and New Mexico State are the only FBS teams without a win. They are all 0-5.


  • In two SEC games this season, DeVonta Smith has 19 receptions for 410 yards and seven touchdowns. In three out-of-conference games, he has 12 catches for 127 yards and a single score.
  • Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard carried 25 times for 296 yards Saturday against K-State. After 5 games, he is already at 938 rushing yards.


Wazzu coach Mike Leach called his players “fat, dumb, happy and entitled” after a 38-13 loss to Utah. National treasure.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to the national press covering college football. It’s so funny how all of a sudden, all the national “experts” are all like “WHOA! Maybe Clemson ain’t so good after all. Maybe Sunshine ain’t the second coming of Joe Montana.” If they had just read and the articulate comments by the readers, they would have known this a couple of weeks ago.

And can KK talk to you about Clempson for a second here? It looks like it might be the beginning of the end for the nice little run “Auburn with a lake” has gone on. It’s a bit premature to pronounce the patient dead or even on life support, but there are symptoms that Dabo’s coaching philosophy may be nearing an expiration date.

The reason Nick Saban has been able to sustain long-term success is that he has the same message but always finds a different and fresh way of delivering that message. Swinney’s “aw, shucks”, pizza parties, fambly approach will get stale after awhile. Despite an unblemished record and wide final score spreads, the Tigers have muddled through a relatively simple schedule so far. What is going to happen when Mr. Nice Guy has to yell at his team? This is a emotion driven sport, and hugs and pats on the derriere are not always the best medicine for motivation. We saw a lot of this out of Mark Richt in his final seasons in Athens and now he is sitting on the back porch watching ducks s**t in the yard. Clemson can still run the regular season table and get into the playoffs. Their path to winning the Big Beer Tap Trophy is a bit more nebulous. Don’t be surprised if CU has a few player and coach departures after the season.

[ED. NOTE: Dabo always brags about how his coaches never leave because they are so happy where they are. I am on a personal mission to get CU defensive coordinator Brent Venables a head coaching gig. Whenever there is a job opening, Ima flood Twitter with messages that he should get the job. We got Justin Fields to leave UGA. We can do this too!]


With the exception of TWO YEARS, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. Often times voters fall in love with someone and refuse to REALLY look at what a player has accomplished.

WARNING: Lazy reporting below.


CLARIFICATION: This section is not who deserves to win. It is who the slobbering press and other voters will callously crush on (see last year).

Amazing. This whole thing has unfolded exactly the way we said it would. Even BEFORE Alabama kicked off on Saturday at 2:30pm, the sportswriters were trumpeting “Jalen’s Heisman-like Day!” These click-hungry bozos wrote these stories months ago about how Jalen was get his big redemeption against the evil interloper Tua and Okie gawna git three-in-a-row!

One thing going for Tua might be that like last year and many other years, maybe they will get sick of the “favorite” come Thanksgiving. One bad game and Jalen could be toast.

  • Jalen Hurts (QB Oklahoma Sr.) - Hurts was good again but his performance (17-24, 415 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT, 9 rush, 70 yds, TD) against a crappy Texas Tech team was far from any sort of statement maker. Much of the passing yards were a product of piss-poor tackling by the Red Raiders and yards-after-catch.
  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama Jr.) - Tua remains Tua (26-36, 418 yds, 6 TD, rush TD).


CLARIFICATION: This section IS for who deserves to win it.

Player Team Rush TD Pass TD Total TD INT Lost Fum
Tua Tagovailoa ALA 2 23 25 0 0
Justin Fields * OSU 7 16 23 0 1
Joe Burrow ** LSU 1 17 18 2 0
Jalen Hurts ** OKLA 5 12 17 1 1
Trevor Lawrence CLEM 4 8 12 5 0

* Fields has a second fumble but it was recovered by a teammate.
** Before you get all bent out of shape about the graph above about Burrow and Hurts playing one less game, they are still 7 and 8 TDs behind Tua, and you can’t undo turnovers.

  1. Tua. In all honesty, I don’t know how the QB ratings work and I’m not going to look it up. The eyeballs and the above stats are more important than any goofy formula some ESPN intern from MIT can come up with. The best recipe for success is producing touchdowns while protecting the football. Tell me who has been best at this so far this year.
  2. Justin Fields (QB anOSU Soph.) is finally getting notice.
  3. Jalen: The Sooners still haven’t played anyone and Kansas is next.


  • Trevor Lawrence (QB Clemson Soph.) - Sophomore slump?
  • Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin Jr.) - Just as I predicted: Everybody saying “Wut about TayTay??!?!?!” but nobody actually endorsing him as the winner.
  • Joe Burrow (QB LSU Sr.) - Didn’t play this week, so no love for him. He will be exposed.


  • AJ Dillon (RB Boston College Jr.) - Dillon was getting some love last year but he is on a mediocre-to-bad team. He has 627 rushing yards and has totaled 151, 150, and 159 the last three games.

If I had a vote:

  • Tua Tua Tua.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 28 Minnesota at Purdue
An injured Rondale Moore is not what Purdue wants to see.
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


  • From Nick Saban Saturday: Henry Ruggs has a “hip pointer.” He’ll probably be sore for a few days, but it’s not expected to be a long-term issue.
  • Ole Miss did not fair so well. Defensive end Ryder Anderson will miss at least four weeks while defensive tackle Patrick Lucas is out for the rest of the season.
  • Purdue WR Rondale Moore will not be suiting up this Saturday against Penn State. Put all your money on PSU.


  • LOL on Chad Morris and Ben Hicks. SMU is ranked in top 25 for first time since 1986 - a year before the program was handed the Death Penalty. On a related note, there is still no proof that Craig James killed 5 hookers while attending SMU.
  • Baylor is SO screwed. The school just handed head coach Matt Rhule a contract extension through the 2027 season. Now the losing begins.
  • Tennessee lost three players last week. Junior linebacker Will Ignont has “left the team for personal reasons.” Linebacker Shanon Reid and wide receiver Jacquez Jones have entered the dreaded Transfer Portal. Ignont, who has started at times, is a native of Huntsville, AL.
  • Rutgers has kicked off firing season with the tardy dismissal of Urban Meyer disciple Chris Ash. He was a wretched 8-32 in 3+ seasons. For his troubles, Ash will get $8.47 million to sit at home and watch HGTV. Meyer could not be reached for comments as he was busy greasing the stairs at an old folks home.
  • A truck loaded with 44,000 pounds of Nutella recently flipped over on highway. Calls to the office of Fat F*** Phil Fulmer were not returned.
Black and White TV


Take care of them. They are the only ones you have.


College GameDay is heading to Gainesville, FL.

(Below is an abbreviated list of games of interest. If you REALLY need to know about the UMass-FIU game, you can find the details here.)

Thursday, October 3

Georgia Southern at South Alabama 6:30/7:30 ESPNU - Witness Steve Campbell sink this program even deeper into despair.
Temple at East Carolina 7pm/8pm ESPN - zzzzz

Friday, October 4

UCF at Cincinnati 7pm/8pm ESPN - How odd. Haven’t heard a lot of smack talk out of Center Florida lately. Wonder why that is. Go Bearcats.
New Mexico at San Jose State 9pm/10pm CBSSN - For addicts only.

Saturday, October 5 - Not a good slate of games this week. Go get married if you must.


Because of the odd way the calendar falls this year, everyone gets two bye weeks this season. Alabama, TAMU, MSU, Arky, UK and SC are all taking the weekend off. Feel free to follow suit.

Utah State at LSU 11am/noon SECN - bleh
Troy at Missouri 3pm/4pm SECN - meh
Georgia at Tennessee 6pm/7pm ESPN - All UGA has been hearing about during their bye week is how awful they looked in beating #9 Notre Dame. The Vols are going to PAY!
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 6:30/7:30 SECN - In theory, OM should roll.


Iowa at Michigan 11am/noon FOX - ELIMINATION GAME!
Tulane at Army 11am/noon CBSSN - On a Saturday of crappy games, this might be a pretty competitive one.
Texas at West Virginia 2:30/3:30 ABC - Will the Longhorns be looking ahead to Okie?
Air Force at Navy 2:30/3:30 CBSSN - Triple Optionpalooza!
Michigan State at Ohio State 6:30/7:30 ABC - ELIMINATION GAME!


San Diego State at Colorado State 9pm/10pm ESPN2 - start counting sheep.
Boise at UNLV 9:30/10:30 CBSSN - See, this is why the Smurfs will NEVER be invited to the playoffs. UNLV is a CONFERENCE GAME!
Washington at Stanford 9:30/10:30 ESPN - This is the kind of game the Trees usually unexpectedly win.



  • Freshmen starters included LB Shane Lee (2 solos, 4 asst, QBH), LB Christian Harris (2 solos, 5 assts, 1.5 TFL, QBH), defensive tackle DJ Dale (1 solo, 1 asst, 0.5 TFL), and offensive guard Evan Neal. It was the fifth game for each of these true freshmen (*). Kicker/punter Will Reichard did not participate.
  • Defensive lineman Braylen Ingraham made his Alabama debut. He had one solo tackle.
  • DB Jordan Battle * - 2 solo, 1 asst.
  • DE Justin Eboigbe (3rd game) - 2 assts, 0.5 TFL
  • RB Keilan Robinson (4th game) - 5 rush, 20 yds
  • WR John Metchie * - no stats, dropped pass (sad face emoticon).
  • TE Jahleel Billingsley (3rd game) - no stats
  • DB Marcus Banks * - no stats
  • DB Demarcco Hellams * - no stats
  • LB King Mwikuta (4th game) - 1 asst
  • DL Byron Young * - 4 assts, 0.5 TFL
  • OL Darrian Dalcourt * - no stats
  • DB Scooby Carter and OL Pierce Quick (3 games each) did not play. QB Taulia Tagovailoa (2 games) was also held out.

* Fifth game, no redshirt.

Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 167
2 Bobby Bowden 44 346 129 104
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 81
4 Pop Warner 49 311 114 69
5 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 15
6 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 13
7 Nick Saban 24 242 62 -
8 Mack Brown 30 240 123 -2
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -4
10 Lou Holtz 33 236 132 -6


Mack Brown is now two games back of Nick Saban in career wins as a FBS/I-A coach. It would be hard to imagine that he would ever catch up.


Bama has a week off as they plan for a trip to College Station. It’s okay to go to Disney World or a wedding on October 5th.

GAME 6: Saturday, October 12, 2019

Alabama at Texas A&M

College Station, TX
CBS, 2:30/3:30.

  • Bleeding Ears: Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • Alabama is 9-2 all-time against the Aggies. The Tide have won six straight.
  • Vegas has not come up with odds on this game as of yet.
  • Gary mentions of JFF is set at 214½.



The 2019 season so far:

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Best one yet!
    (14 votes)
  • 55%
    Pretty good.
    (309 votes)
  • 25%
    (141 votes)
  • 16%
    (89 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
556 votes total Vote Now