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Random Thoughts: Cupcake-Free Football

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Upsets, goal line stands, points explosions & more! Who needs the B1G or PAC anyway?

Three-years, $2.3 million.

This is the way college football should be. Cupcake-free Power-5 football week in and week out. This kind of football is not for the faint of heart.

I am with Barrett all the way here. Only three weeks in and this season has already been one of the most amazing and entertaining one in years. Watching the simultaneous drama of Fla-TAMU, LSU-Mizz and Texas-Okie unfold was incredible.

Just like many of you, I am a fan of old school ground-and-pound cloud-of-dust football over the Arena League scoreboard explosions. Really, it’s the close back-and-forth last possession intrigue of games of this season that has been the most fascinating.

SEC

Alabama 63 Ole Miss 48 - It was mentioned last week that “Lane Kiffin would love nothing more than to beat Alabama and Saban this Saturday.” That proved so true as the former Tide OC perhaps called the best game of his career, exploiting every little flaw in the Crimson Tide’s arsenal. Despite all the points yielded by Bama, it was still a 15-point SEC road win on a wet field. If you are down on this team, maybe you should jump on another bandwagon.

Texas A&M 41 Florida 38 - TAMU did everything in their power to lose this game with stupid penalties that negated big plays for the Aggies. But this seems to be Jimbo Fisher’s M.O. going back to his days at FSU - putting up with the stupidity rather than fixing it. However, it was the Gators that made the final fatal flaw in a Malik Davis fumble near midfield that A&M converted into the game winning field goal. The knock on QB Kellen Mond has been that he folds in big games. Well, he finally got over that trend (25/35, 338 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT). Can he repeat it? The schedule is looking pretty favorable: @MSU, Arky, @SC, @Tenn, OM, LSU, @Aub.

Missouri 45 LSU 41 - The talk coming into this season was that LSU would be missing pass game coordinator Joe Brady. However, it looks like former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is the real missing piece. LSU routinely missed assignments and let Mizz receivers run free. Although the passing game put up big numbers, LSU had 49 yards rushing and Missouri recorded a goal line stand from the one yard line to clinch the victory. Despite all the personnel that graduated or went pro, this Bayou Bengals team cannot be this bad. They look soft and play like they have no pride. That is on Coach O and the rest of his staff. The road does not get any easier with a trip to the Swamp up next.

Georgia 44 Tennessee 21 - For 30 minutes of football, Vols QB Jarrett Guarantano looked really good leading 21-17. But that is what he does when nobody is pressuring him. In the second half, UGA got after him and he wilted like a flower. A fumble and a pick on the first two series of the 3rd quarter trashed his confidence and he reverted back to the good ol’ mistake machine we’ve come to know and adore. UT had -1 rushing yards for the game (39 not counting Guarantano’s -40) and 214 passing.

* For the second straight game, a UGA receiver recorded 2 catches for 26 yards. I am not making that up! This time it was Jermaine Burton.

Auburn 30* Arkansas 28 - Without second-team All-SEC RB Rakeem Boyd, the Hogs leaned heavily on the arm of Feleipe Franks who responded with one of his strongest performances of his career (22/30, 318 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT). Aubie got a big boost from Tank Bigsby (*as well as the referees) with 146 rushing yards.

Kentucky 24 Mississippi State 2 - To say MSU has regressed is a massive understatement. From toast of the town to just plain toast. On a ridiculous 70 passing attempts (is someone overcompensating?), the Bullies threw six interceptions, one for a pick-6 and another returned to the goal line. The UK offense had only 10 first downs and 157 TOTAL yards and still won by three touchdowns. YOU.HAVE.TO.RUN.THE.BALL,PIRATE.

Mike Leach moved running quarterback Garrett Shrader to wide receiver in the preseason but I would suggest giving the kid a series or two at QB just to switch things up.

South Carolina 41 Vanderbilt 7 - SC got their first W against the doormat. If Will Muschamp gets canned after the season, I want to throw a name out there as a replacement: Hugh Freeze. How awesome would that be for him to go up against Kirby and Mullen every year?

Life as a Longhorn.

MINI-CHAOS

Oklahoma 53 Texas 45 (4 OT) - There was no State Fair and no tailgating but there were plenty of fireworks at the Red River Shootout. Okie jumped out to a 10-0 lead but then Sooners QB Spencer Rattler turned the ball over on two consecutive series and found a place on the bench. The strategy worked when upon Rattler’s return, OU took a 31-17 lead into the fourth quarter. However, the ‘Horns tied it up and sent the game into overtime. Both teams scored TDs in the first two extra frames. In the third OT, Texas had a field goal blocked. For some reason, the Sooners attempted a field goal on second down in their half and it missed. OU scored in the 4th and grown up Bobby Hill threw a pick for Tejas. Both teams now own a 2-2 record.

ACC

Clemson 42 Miami 17 - After three weeks of feasting on terrible defenses, ‘Canes QB D’Eriq King was pretty lousy (12-28, 121 YDS, 2 INT, 5 sacks) against the Tigers. He is a talented athlete but not a great decision maker when under duress. The Miami defense missed several assignments that led to big plays for the Dabo Cult. The Hurricanes’ O had 5 rushing yards outside of King’s 84. About the only thing that went right for the ‘U’ was three blocked field goals, one of which was returned for a score.

Notre Dame 42 Florida State 26 - Lowly FSU showed some fight and hung around for a little while. But then Ian Book blahblahblah...

North Carolina 56 Virginia Tech 45 - With an already depleted secondary due to a suspension, an academics issue, injuries, and Captain Trips, and missing 15 players overall, the Hokies lost their best remaining DB to targeting in the first quarter. Even so, it was not an easy time for the boys in baby blue. UNC led 42-17, but then VaT scored the next 20 to make the score 42-37 and put a little scare into the the Heels.

Boston College 31 Pitt 30 (OT) - Pitt made a 58-yard field goal with 40 seconds to go in regulation to tie up the game but missed an extra point in the first overtime to lose. College kickers, amirite?

OTHER

BYU and Marshall are both 4-0 but they ain’t played nobody, PAWWWLLL!! The Mormons have not faced a Power-5 and have three wins in the friendly confines of LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Thundering Herd have three directional schools among their conquered foes.

DICK MOVE OF THE WEEK

(The one we did not mind getting away.)

SUPERMAN COMPLEX

Dabo had his kicker attempt a 61-yard field goal vs Miami-FL. It was blocked.

THE NAME GAME

  • Oklahoma safety Delarrin Turner-Yell would surely make the Key&Peele All-Star Team.
  • It was repeated ad naseum that Kyle Trask was named after Kyle Field because his parents were Aggie fans. It’s a good thing they were not Penn State fans.

THE WACKY WORLD OF DESI, HERBIE & LC

ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Prepare ye thine signs.

Preseason playoff predictions:

  • DESI - Bama over Ohio State, Okie State over Clemson, Bama wins it all.
  • POLLOCK - Clemson over UGA, Bama over Ohio State, Clemmy champs.
  • CORSO - Alabama defeats Notre Dame; Clemson over Oklahoma are in the other semi. Bama wins the NC.
  • HERBIE - Ohio State over Texas, Clemson over Bama, Ohio State wins the championship.

MY PICKS

Alabama over Oklahoma, Clemson over Florida. Crimson Tide wins Championship #18.

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • Tulsa is an adoption candidate. They host Cincy on 10/17.
  • LaLaLaffy! (3-0) - The Ragin’ Cajuns host a huge Sun Belt matchup with Coastal Carolina (3-0) on Wed, Oct 14.
  • Arkansas State (2-2) - The Red Wolves are still on Adoption Probation. They beat FCS Central Arky 50-27. ASU hosts a tough Georgia State team Saturday.

COUSINS

  • Troy (2-1) - The score may not show it, but the Trojans dominated Texas State 37-17. FCS Eastern Kentucky should be win No. 3 and then Georgia State comes a-calling.
  • South Alabama (1-2) - No game. The Jags play Texas State for Homecoming.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER WHO EATS UNCOOKED MAC & CHEESE OUT OF A BOX

  • UAB (3-1) - Rice cancelled. WKU on deck, ULL in the hole.
RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

  • Army (4-1) - Yeesh. The Black Knights barely survive FCS Citadel 14-9 with only 153 rushing yards and 228 overall. The Cadets have a not-as-easy-as-you-may-think game at UTSA.
  • Navy (2-2) - The Midshipmen defeated Temple in the Owls 2020 debut by the score of 31-29. After leading 28-17 in the fourth, Navy allowed Temple to come back and score a TD with a minute to go but stopped them on a game-tying two point conversion. For Ken Niumatalolo, it was his 100th victory against 62 losses. He is already the winningest coach at the Academy by 45 wins. ECU is next.
  • Air Force (1-0) - The Falcons looked badass against Navy winning 40-7 a week ago. They start their MWC slate at San Jose State Oct. 24.
boxers

ELIMINATED

  • Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland, Purdue, Indy, Nebraska, Illinois, Sparty, it ain’t gonna happen.
  • Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, WVU, TCU, Baylor.
  • Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse, FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State, L’ville, Pitt, UVa, BC
  • BYU - That schedule is still too weak.
  • The entire PAC; Sorry, Oregon.
  • Vandy, Arky, Missouri, UK, SC, MSU, LSU

ELIMINATION, ENDANGERED:

  • Oklahoma Lite, Oklahoma, Texas
  • Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida
  • Va Tech, Miami

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

  • ACC - Clemson, Notre Dame, maybe North Carolina. Miami is probably out of the running unless crazy silly things happen to others.
  • SEC - Fla has a loss. Bama and UGA play this Saturday. All still have a shot at the playoff despite this weekend’s outcome. Stick a fork in LSU.
  • Big 12 - Okie Lite?
  • Big Ten - Well? We’re waiting.....
  • PAC-12 - Nopes.
  • Indies

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

Apparently, the pollsters were wowed by Clemson topping an overrated Hurricanes team. Alabama lost six first place votes, which is fine by me. anOSU lost their two. UGA picked up one. Interestingly, none of the previously ranked opt-outers moved up or down in position, but one newbie has entered into the Top 25. Six SEC teams are ranked. LSU drops out of poll for first time since 2017.

  1. Clemson (59)
  2. Alabama (2)
  3. Georgia (1)
  4. Notre Dame - Irish wins: Duke, USF, FSU collectively 3-10.
  5. North Carolina
  6. Ohio State *
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Penn State *
  10. Florida
  11. Texas A&M - so... still below Fla, huh?
  12. Oregon *
  13. Miami
  14. Auburn - actually dropped a spot.
  15. BYU
  16. Wisconsin *
  17. SMU
  18. Tennessee
  19. Michigan *
  20. Iowa State
  21. ULL
  22. Kansas State - really?
  23. Virginia Tech
  24. Minnesota *
  25. Southern Cal * - without playing a game, the Trojans are now ranked. Maybe they should opt back out.

* Opting back in.

STAT OF THE DAY

  • Have you seen Georgia Tech’s punter? He is 6’0”, 255 lbs, and averages an eye-popping 48.1 ypp on 19 attempts.
  • Najee Harris has more rushing touchdowns (10 in just three games) than all but 10 of 75 participating FBS teams.
  • Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond set the school’s career record for passing yards Saturday. Yes, Kellen Mond. It might be less surprising when you try to name an Aggie QB other than JFF who only played two seasons and one-year starter Ryan Tannehill who started his Aggie career as a wide receiver.
  • Speaking of TAMU, they posted an attendance of 24,709. Some strategic camera angles made it look like 75,000 but other angles that ESPN neglected to share tell a different story.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to Gators coach Dan Mullen who in his post-game press conference ranted that he wants to see a sold out stadium at the Swamp so the crowd noise will give his team a home field advantage for the LSU game. It sure sounded like he is making excuses for his team’s loss at Kyle Field. Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin has turned down his request.

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 and refuse to REALLY look at what a player has accomplished.

WHO WILL WIN

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

  1. Trevor Lawrence (QB, Dabo Cult, Jr.) - Sunny did pretty things (29/41, 292 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT) against an overrated defense, but also lost a fumble and was sacked three times.
  2. Justin Fields (QB, anOSU, Jr.) - Still has not played. Will still be second.
  3. A token running back - There was a BIG trend this past week of EVERYONE talking about how nObODy iS tALkiNg AboUT Travis Etienne of Clempson. He had 17 rush, 149 yds, 2 TD, 8 rec, 73 yds. Najee Harris of Alabama compiled 23 rush, 206 yds, 5 TD, 3 rec, 42 yds.
  4. Mac Jones - They won’t give it to him but a lot of reporters will say “what about, Mac?” like they are clever insiders or something.
  5. A token defensive player - Upon further review...

WHO SHOULD WIN

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

  1. No one player stands out.

*** For the record, Alabama’s Mac Jones still has the highest QB rating according to ESPN at 220.3. He has been sacked only twice all season and has one turnover - - an INT on a batted ball. Alabama has scored touchdowns on 22 of the 29 possessions quarterbacked by Jones this season.

THE SICK REPORT

  • ONCE AGAIN, No Alabama injuries! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Coach Ballou! Thank you, Dr. Rhea! Thank you, Kirby!
  • It has not been a good year for crazy ol’ Les Miles. His second Kansas campaign is off to an 0-3 start including a home beatdown at the hands of Coastal Carolina. And now he has the big bad sick that is reportedly killing millions. Get well, Hat! College football needs you.
  • Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin says he doesn’t have symptoms despite testing positive for Captain Trips. Same thing happened to FSU coach Mike Norvell who was back with his team after the requisite 10 days.
  • Former Florida State coach and all-around good guy Bobby Bowden has tested positive for you-know-what. He recently returned home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg. This one is a little scary because the Alabama native is 90 years old and has the aforementioned preexisting condition that makes him vulnerable. Please send your best wishes, vibes, and prayers down Tallahassee way.
  • Kansas State Wildcats QB Skylar Thompson is out for rest of season with “an upper-body injury”. Adjust your gambling accordingly.

DRAMA

  • SEC commissioner Greg Sankey sent out an internal memo to athletic directors and coaches last week on the need to follow apocalypse protocols. This time he outlined fines and possible suspensions in the event that they do not do so. Failure to adhere will be assessed a $100,000 reduction in conference revenue. The amount will increase by $100,000 for each subsequent week of “noncompliance”. As of post, no fines were doled out.
  • If you are into betting on college football, here is something to consider: Louisville’s defense is atrocious.
  • Apparently, the NBA held their sad little finals last week and they posted the lowest ratings since such things had been first recorded in 1988.

KOACHES KORNER

  • Do you realize that Baylor was charged with Lack of Institutional Control over the Art Briles era on October 1, 2018 and they still haven’t appeared before the NCAA Committee. Poor little Artie was handed an $18 million check as he was escorted off of campus. Seriously, mamas. Don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Let them be college football coaches.
  • Someone might want to check the axles on the Mississippi State team bus after coach Mike Leach threw his players under it. After Saturday’s 24-2 loss at Kentucky, Leach stated he will have to evaluate the roster and possibly “purge” some players who don’t fit with the plan. “We’re going to have to check some of our group and figure out who really wants to play here,” Leach said after his second straight loss, “because any malcontents, we’re going to have to purge a couple of those.” Hoo, boy! That should go over well.
  • During his post-game presser, Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley referred to the game in the proper nomenclature: “The Red River Shootout”. In recent years, the politically correct crowd have tried to change the name to “Red River Showdown”, “Red River Classic”, and “Red River Rivalry” because hearing the word “shootout” just makes you want to go out and shoot people, doesn’t it??!?!? Riley won points on Saturday for that, whether intentional or not (knowing the fan base, I’d say it was).
  • Kirby Smart has made a proposal to the University of Georgia Board of Directors to rename the UGA football stadium after former players. The Bulldogs coach has said he has randomly picked out two names to be honored in the naming of the stadium. They are former flanker A.J. Bryant (2004-07) and former OL Jimmy Denney (1964-65).
  • Urban Meyer likes to visit retirement homes and ask the residents “are you still here?”
  • Fat F*** Phil Fulmer has never seen the ocean at low tide.

SANITY PREVAILS

I am so glad that the SEC regularly reads RBR.

Someone in charge finally realized that interviewing someone from 20 feet away was ridiculous. All sideline interviews I saw Saturday were conducted at a more sane six feet apart.

Black and White TV

TEEVEE

Gary Danielson was up to his old tricks on CBS for UGA-Tenn. He kept repeating himself, misidentifying players, often did not understand certain penalties, and kept repeating himself. It’s almost become a tradition like none other for fans across the South to shout “STFU, Gary” at their TVs.

As much as we despise Danielson, did anyone catch Gus Johnson calling the Oklahoma-Texas game on FOX? OMG, that guy is by far the worst network announcer I have ever heard. The man acts like every play is the most stupendous play ever. He thinks Sam Ehlinger is part Sgt. York, part Maximus from the Gladiator movie, and part Roger Staubach. Gary doesn’t seem so bad after Gus made me bleed from the ears.

THIS WEEK

(Below is an abbreviated list of highlighted games of interest. If you REALLY need to know about the big USF-Temple showdown, you can find the details here.)

Wednesday, October 14

Coastal Carolina at ULLaff-A-Lympics 6:30/7:30 ESPN - Big Sun Belt implications.

Thursday, October 15

Georgia State at Arkansas State 6:30/7:30 ESPN

Friday, October 16

SMU at Tulane 5pm/6pm ESPN
BYU at Houston 8:30/9:30 ESPN

Saturday, October 17

SEC

Auburn at South Carolina 11am/noon ESPN - Can SC grease the right palms this week to ensure they don’t get screwed?
Kentucky at Tennessee 11am/noon SECN
LSU at Florida 2:30/3:30 ESPN - Two teams with bad defenses looking to pick up the pieces.
Ole Miss at Arkansas 2:30/3:30 ESPN2 - Both teams are set up for a letdown.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State 3pm/4pm SECN - Can TAMU keep a level head and take care of business?
Vanderbilt at Missouri - I predicted back in June that if there is a cancellation in the SEC, it would involve Vandy.
Georgia at Alabama 7pm/8pm CBS - Hmm. This game might be important...

DURING COMMERCIALS

Clemson at Georgia Tech 11am/noon ABC - The Yeller Jackets won’t win, but they have shown some fight so far this season.
Cincinnati at Tulsa 11am/noon ESPN2 - Winner may be a favorite for a NY6 Bowl.
Center Florida at Memphis 2:30/3:30 ABC - Loser picks up loss number two.

SORRY, INSOMNIACS (-.-)zzZZ

No game starts later than UGA-Bama.

MACK and SABAN vs. OZ and LAVELL

Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 158
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 95
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 72
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 68
5 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 6
6 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 4
7 Nick Saban 25 251 65 -
8 Mack Brown 31 248 123 -3
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -13
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -15

Mack Brown and Nick Saban both picked up another W.

[For those of you new to RBR Random Thoughts, we count all on-field wins in Division I-A, aka FBS. So, before you go screaming about Frank Beamer, 42 of his wins came at Murray State. Brown had six victories in one season with Appalachian State when they were still in what was known at I-AA (FCS today). In addition, we don’t recognize NCAA sanctioned forfeits. If you won on the field, it counts in our books.]

Alabama vs Ole Miss
Saban’s high-tech mask.
Photo by Kent Gidley/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Have you noticed Nick Saban’s game day mask? It looks like some kind of sheer mesh in which you could see a faint outline of his facial features. I guarantee you, he had someone on his staff seek out the world’s leading mask expert who could provide or design the most effective mask possible - one that keeps his germs in and the evil ones out, while still letting his booming tirade voice be heard. The effectiveness and comfort level must be incredible because he never once took it off on Saturday. I’m a little surprised no reporters asked him about it. He does EVERYTHING so cutting edge. [Of course, Kirby is wearing the exact same mask.]

Meanwhile when Lane Kiffin bothered to wear one, he was wearing a doo-rag that looked like it was the bottom half ripped off of a t-shirt. Jeremy Pruitt wore a Russian babushka sponsored by Purina.

Boy, you got a panty on your face.

And then there is Coach O, bless his heart. Seriously, doesn’t that look like it was made from a female exotic dancer’s underwear or maybe a bikini. It’s hard enough to understand what this guy is saying. Now, he has to spit out his mangled backwoods Cajun words through a swath of satin?

#ALABAMA

  • Nick Saban notches another win against former assistants (21-0). Two more on deck: Kirby Smart, UGA; Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee.
  • Dylan Moses finished with a career-high 13 tackles, including half a stop for a loss (-1 yard). Jordan Battle totaled 11 tackles with half a tackle for loss (-1 yard) and a pass breakup.
  • DeVonta Smith recorded his 25th receiving touchdown against Ole Miss, leaving him one behind Jerry Jeudy for second and six behind Amari Cooper for career Alabama receiving scores.
  • Miller Forristall caught his first touchdown of the season and fifth in his career.

GAME 4: Saturday, October 17, 2020

Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0)

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL ~ 7:08pm CT/8:08pm ET, CBS

Can we talk here? As I mentioned up top, I truly believe Kiffin circled the Bama game the moment his phone ID caller lit up as “Keith Carter” back in December. He respects his “father” Saban, but he wants so badly to stick it to the old man and prove himself worthy as the successor to the crown. Though he has been gone from the Capstone since 2016, he knows Saban. He put together an excellent game plan but talent won out. Saban will learn from this game and make changes. All that said, I am still high on this Alabama team and so should you.

  • Announcers: Brad Nessler and... you-know-who. Random blonde from central casting will be on the sidelines.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • Alabama is 40-25-4 all-time against the Bulldogs. The Tide have won the last five meetings.
  • This game represents the first visit by UGA to Bryan-Denny since 2007 - an overtime win by the Dawgs in Saban’s Year 1.
  • The line on this game is around Bama -6. Over/Under is 59.

TEXAS A&M SCHEDULE:

Poll

Can Texas A&M win their next seven games?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Yes, if Mond keeps up this level of play.
    (229 votes)
  • 54%
    No, Saturday was a anomaly.
    (302 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (see my thoughts in comments).
    (22 votes)
553 votes total Vote Now