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Random Thoughts: Crunch Time

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and who?

Auburn vs Alabama
Najee and the Tide are flying high.
Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

quiThis past Saturday was the 2020 version of “Rivalry Week”. For Alabama, it felt like just another ho-hum four-touchdown victory.


Alabama 42 Auburn 13 - Alabama has scored 35 or more points in 21 straight games. Since halftime of the Georgia game, the Crimson Tide has outscored opponents 215-33. On Saturday, Mac Jones completed 8 of 12 passes with four touchdowns when Auburn blitzed. On the other side, the Tide defense caused three Auburn turnovers, two of which were Bo Nix interceptions, and recorded three sacks, eight TFLs, and nine QB hurries. There has been talk that tmuch of the improved defense comes courteous of analyst Charlie Strong who has been an invaluable resource in recognizing first half defensive issues and recommending adjustments. fAU forever and ever, Amen.

Texas A&M 20 LSU 7 - Just when you think Kellen Mond has broke his curse of inconsistency, he goes out and lays this rotten egg. The senior completed a putrid 11 of 34 for 105 yards, often throwing into coverage and flat out missing open receivers. The saving grace for TAMU was Isaiah Spiller’s 141 rushing yards and an Aggies pick-6. LSU’s TJ Finley was pretty bad too: 9-25, 118 yds, 2 INT. LSU averaged a tepid 1.4 yards per rush.

Ole Miss 31 Mississippi State 24 - The Egg Bowl is always a tight game but this one lacked the zany. It was a whole lotta MSU’s Will Rogers (45-61, 440 yds, 3 TD) and OM’s Matt Corral (24-36, 385 yds, 2 TD) just chucking it as far as they could. The Rebels’ Elijah Moore was able to run under 12 pitches for 139 yards but neglected to find the end zone. For Cloanga-clangs part, they have shown some heart and become more competitive. Maybe Mike Leach’s “purge” has actually helped the Bullies.

Florida 34 Kentucky 10 - The Gators needed a fake punt and a “trick” punt returned for a touchdown just to keep ahead of the Wildcats 14-10 at halftime. Florida’s Kyle Trask took way too many hits. UK QB Terry Wilson was good for a half but then reverted back to his awfulness in the second half with a pair of interceptions. Tight end Kyle Pitts was back in action and caught all three of Trask’s touchdown passes on the day as UF pulled away.

Folks, there are nothing in the world like delusional Georgia fans. Welcome back, you crazy SOBs.

Georgia 45 South Carolina 16 - After totaling only 8 rushing yards last week, the Bulldogs found more success on the ground with 332 yards. Four different UGA backs had 77 or more yards. JT Daniels was meh 10/16, 139 yards, 2 TD, INT. The big story was the Georgia defense holding SC’s Kevin Harris to 53 rushing yards and the Gamecocks to 83 total ground yards. The Dawgs notched four sacks and 10 TFLs.

Missouri 41 Vanderbilt 0 - I will refrain from commenting on this game.


Ohio State - Illinois (Nov 28) - CANCELLED! You want chaos? Here is chaos 2020-style. The Buckeyes willingly dropped out of this game despite being above the B1G stringent protocols. It is amazing Gene Smith has survived all these years as AD through countless scandals and now this idiotic decision.

Ohio State - Michigan State (Dec 5) - CANCELLED? Dan Patrick was first to report the possibility that anOSU could be dumping a second straight game. To date, that has not happened. If this comes to fruition, the Buckys (4-0) will no longer be eligible for the B1GCG and thus play five games max. With so few games, there is no way they make the playoff.

Oregon State 41 Oregon 38 - LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!! Backup quarterback Chance Nolan put the Beavers ahead on a quarterback sneak on 4th & goal with 33 seconds left on the first snap of his Oregon State career after entering for the injured starter. The Ducks blew a 31-19 fourth quarter lead.

Michigan State 29 Northwestern 20 - Told ya. It truly is amazing how stupid these guys on TV with microphones propped in front of their mouths are. There was so much salivating over the wiLDdcaTs SHoUld bE iN tHE pLayOfF.

East Carolina 52 SMU 38 - You are probably wondering “why in the heck did CeeBee include this stupid score?” It’s because Cincinnati has been hanging their hat on their big win over the very same SMU, a 42-13 win back on Oct 24. If anyone sees an impressive win on the Bearcats schedule, please LMK. Hopefully, Tulsa will take care of this silliness.


Clemson 52 Pitt 17 - Sunshine was back on a football field for the first time in five weeks. Pitt threw three first quarter interceptions, putting this one away early.

Notre Dame 31 North Carolina 17 - The Irish pretty much clinched a playoff spot with this win. The only thing that would stop them would be if they get absolutely destroyed by Clemson in the ACCCG.


Iowa State 23 Texas 20 - The moment Sam Ehlinger committed to the Longhorns, he was anointed as the Messiah of college football in Austin. Fast forward to Senior Day 2020, coach Tom Herman put his faith and perhaps job security in the hands of the Golden Boy to get one yard up 20-16 at the ISU 12-yard line on fourth & inches instead of aking the field goal. He failed.





Texas kicker Cameron Dicker faced off against Iowa State kicker Connor Assalley.


It wouldn’t be an Auburn game if Tigers weren’t diving at knees of the opposing team’s top running back.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OF THE WEEK

Virginia at Florida State - For the second straight week, the Seminoles called off a game on Saturday morning with the opposing team already in town. FSU was scheduled to travel to Duke this coming week but magnanimously gave the Blue Devils a whole week’s notice that they would be backing out of that game as well. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say that FSU is doing all this as a way of “proving” the Clemson cancellation was not a one time thing in a dumpster fire season. It’s funny how every other team in FBS has the capabilities of knowing if they need to halt a meeting before the other team travels to their city. Miami will play at Duke instead.




Holy mackerel. Where did this guy come from? Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson is listed as 5’9” but that might be in high heels. Against Kent State, he ran for 409 yards on 36 carries and scored 8 TDs. He had 301 the week before versus Bowling Green. And of course every lazy idiot with a microphone compares him to Darren Sproles. Because he’s short, ya know? That means they are exactly the same.

falling asleep


  • Texas A&M and LSU both gained 267 yards and both converted two of 16 third downs in one of the worst games of the year. They also combined for 20 penalties (TAMU 9, LSU 11) and punted 23 times (TAMU 12, LSU 11).
  • Wisconsin now has as many cancellations (three) as they do games played.


College GameDay was in Tuscaloosa and Broadway Joe did the picking for Alabama. He was the only one to pick Penn State over Michigan. Nick Saban also made an appearance with Rece Davis. He didn’t look too sick to me.

For some reason, Cleveland, Ohio native Desmond Howard was wearing a heavy coat and gloves for GameDay despite it being 60 degrees in Tuscaloosa at the time. I guess it helped because he correctly picked Rutgers as his superdog while everyone else picked Purdue.

Everyone was wrong on Northwestern over Sparty.


  • Coastal Carolina (9-0) - The Chanticleers defeated Texas State 49-14. This week is a big showdown with Liberty and GameDay will be to cover it.
  • LaLaLaffy! (8-1) - The Rajuns destroyed UL-Monroe 70-20. A Friday game at Appy State will end the regular season and perhaps Billy Napier’s tenure in Laffy.


  • Liberty (9-1) - The Flames beat up on UMass 45-0. They have one final chance to make a statement at Coastal Carolina on Saturday before Hugh Freeze moves back up the ladder.


  • Troy (4-5) - The Trojans were destroyed by Appy State 47-10. They are at South Alabama followed by two make up games.
  • South Alabama (4-6) - The Jags upset Arky Lite 38-31. USA wide receiver Jalen Tolbert had 10 grabs for 252 yards and three scores. The Troy game will wrap the season.


UAB (4-3) - The Dragons may never play another game. They have been on the shelf since Halloween.


UAB moves to a new stadium next year, taking with them the Birmingham Bowl.



The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy is back in play. As suspected, the Army-Air Force game has been reslotted for Dec 19.

  • Army (7-2) - The Black Knights had a week off. Next up is the Navy game on Dec. 12 taking place in Army’s stadium in New York instead of the traditional matchup in Philadelphia.
  • Navy (3-5) - The Midshipmen lost to Memphis by the unlikely score of 10-7. They will likely get shellacked by Tulsa this Saturday.
  • Air Force (2-2) - The Falcons had another game thrown into the shredder. That game against Colorado State will probably not get rescheduled. They’ll try again on Thursday vs Utah State.


  • Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland, Purdue, Indy, Nebraska, Illinois, Sparty, Minnesota, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, Wisky. Northwestern was already on the list.
  • Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, WVU, Oklahoma Lite, Oklahoma, Texas
  • Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse, FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State, L’ville, Pitt, UVa, BC, Va Tech, UNC, Miami
  • BYU
  • The entire PAC; Oregon being upset is a win for the CFPC after some sportswriters and fans on the Left Coast criticized the Committee for ranking the Ducks #15 last week. (ED.NOTE: It’s also a win for CB since he already eliminated them weeks ago. LOL) In retrospect, they might have been generous. Southern Cal is the only other ranked P12 team at #18.
  • Vandy, Arky, Missouri, UK, SC, MSU, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn - just waiting for the other shoe to drop, UGA - not enough chaos.


  • Clemson
  • Texas A&M, Florida
  • Ohio State - ya can’t win if ya don’t play!

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

  • ACC - The ACC has still not announced any potential rescheduling of Clemson-FSU for some reason. Both the Tigers and Notre Dame have played nine games. It would seem odd for the Irish to play an eleventh game and CU not the week before their rematch.
  • SEC - Bama and Fla are on a collision course for Atlanta. Similar to the ACC, there has been no announcement of the Tide adding a tenth game while the Gators already have two officially scheduled. TAMU is hoping to backdoor the number four spot but ugly wins like the one against LSU aren’t going to get them there.
  • Big Ten - There are no times available for make-up games in the Big Ten. In my book, an Ohio State should be eliminated from a spot in the playoff now due to their lack of games combined with the unnecessary cancellation. We’ll see tonight what the Committee thinks. Should Bucky-Sparty be called off, anOSU would not qualify for the B1GCG and the problem will take care of itself.
  • Big 12 - Every team has at least two defeats on their resume.
  • PAC-12 - Now that Oregon has fallen by the wayside, expect to hear some drum-beaters for Southern Cal. Ain’t gonna happen.
  • Indies - IMHO, the Committee will not include BYU or Cincy in the Final Four. We’ll see.


The second CFP rankings will be revealed tonight on ESPN 6pm CT / 7pm ET.

Alabama will stay on top and likely be followed by Notre Dame and Clemson in some order. The real fun begins with what they decide to do with Ohio State and their truncated schedule. Does a 6-0 or 7-0 team with an iffy resume deserve inclusion over a potential 8-1 Texas A&M who beat Florida? Should Cincy even be in the conversation?

Week 1 College Football Playoff Rankings

  1. Alabama
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio State
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Florida
  7. Cincinnati


  • The sad little Sun Bowl is also cancelled. That is the ONE bowl that CBS and Gary always do. This game has been held every year since 1935. Not even World War II could halt it. The Sun Bowl pitted teams from the ACC and Pac-12. The ACC has now lost four bowl games that it had tie-ins with (Fenway, Holiday, Pinstripe and Sun) and the Pac-12 has lost three (Holiday, Redbox and Sun).
  • This year’s Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs Big Ten) will not be played so them Yankees up north can all cower in the corners of their $2500/month studio apartments with their grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk and read old copies of Utne Reader.
  • Nine bowl games will not be played this season: Bahamas, Celebration, Fenway, Hawaii, Holiday, Motor City, Pinstripe, Redbox, and Sun. None are affiliated with the SEC.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to the GUS!


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.


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

Mac Jones ALA 173 227 76.2 2728 12.0 90 23 3 8 208.0
Zach Wilson BYU 176 237 74.3 2724 11.5 78 26 2 7 205.3
Kyle Trask FLA 195 273 71.4 2810 10.3 71 34 3 8 196.8
Trevor Lawrence CLEM 161 228 70.6 2236 9.8 83 19 2 11 178.7
Ian Book ND 157 249 63.1 2097 8.4 75 12 1 15 148.9
Kellen Mond TA&M 128 216 59.3 1573 7.3 52 16 2 3 143.0

  1. Mac Jones started off a little shaky but settled in for 302 passing yards and five touchdowns.
  2. Trevor Lawrence (QB, Dabo Cult, Jr.) After five weeks off, you knew ol’ Sunny-boy would be looking to show off. He was good but not mind-boggling (26/37, 403 yds, 2 TD) against Pitt. Will out-of-sight-out-of-mind hurt his chances? It did when the far-superior Tua Tagovailoa got hurt and missed the end of the 2019 season.
  3. Kyle Trask (QB, Jorts U., Sr.) - For the second straight week the Gators had an opportunity to showcase their quarterback against a downtrodden team. Yet, UF again struggled and Trask was good but not great. he completed 21 of 27 for 256 yards and 3 TD - all to All-World tight end Kyle Pitts. On the other hand, Heisman voters are lazy idiots and often just look at stats instead of watching the games. They might just see the 35 TDs and knees turn to jelly.
  4. Ian Book (QB, Notre Dame, Sr.) beat UNC, but not enough buzz and only 12 touchdown passes.
  5. Justin Fields (QB, anOSU, Jr.) The Buckys’ ridiculous game cancellation basically took their quarterback out of the running.
  6. A token running back - Najee Harris played only three quarters 11 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD. Travis Etienne of Clempson scored twice but only had 58 yards in 11 carries. Iowa State’s Breece Hall still not blowing anyone away (20 car, 91 yds, 1 TD).
  7. BYU QB
  8. Kyle Pitts (TE, Fla, Jr.)
  9. DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama, Sr.)


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

It still feels like a three man race between Mac, Trask and Sunny.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 28 Louisville at Boston College
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham got knocked around versus Boston College.
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


  • No serious injuries for Alabama to speak of. Roll Tide. Linebacker Christopher Allen was in the injury tent on Saturday but should be good to go. Slade Bolden is still dealing with an ankle injury from the Kentucky game.
  • Reserve Alabama wide receiver Xavier Williams was is in street clothes for the Iron Bowl. DB Kristian Story, OL Pierce Quick and DL Jah-Marien Latham were the only members of the team not on the sidelines for the Tide.
  • Tight end Miller Forristall was back in action after sitting out the Kentucky game. The senior made a nice 11 yard reception on 3rd & 10, but it was negated due to an absolutely ridiculous B.S. illegal formation call on Alex Leatherwood.
  • Former Crimson Tide Coach Gene Stallings is recovering from a total right hip replacement at the ripe age of 85.
  • Derek Stingley was back for LSU against Texas A&M. He will get one last reunion as amateurs with his daddy on Saturday.
  • Indiana Hoosiers QB Michael Penix tore his ACL and is out for the season.


  • Texas State defensive back Khambrail Winters was fatally shot in San Marcos, Texas during a drug deal gone bad. Two men have been arrested and charged in the killing.
  • “Stanford plans to travel to Seattle tomorrow and practice there this week for Saturday’s game at Washington. Like the 49ers, Stanford is affected by a new Santa Clara County health directive that prohibits contact sports for three weeks. Because of the county’s 14-day quarantine rule, Stanford also won’t likely be able to return home before its next game. Plans for next week, and for the Dec. 12 Oregon State game that was going to be played in Palo Alto, remain TBD for now.” (Report from Stewart Mandel)


  • LSU WR Terrace Marshall is scared to go up against an Alabama secondary that will make him look like a second-day draft pick.
  • Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman. This guy. What a dick. He opted out earlier this year, SIGNED WITH AN AGENT! and was still allowed to come back to Minnie. And now things aren’t quite going his way, so he is taking his ball and going home. Lest I remind you when this happened to Alabama in 1993, the NCAA hammered them.
  • UGA freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis. Have these guys not learned anything from Mac Jones and Kyle Trask? JT Daniels will probably be the Georgia starter next year and then go pro. Pay your dues. Hone your craft. Start in year three.
  • Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph (formerly at LSU so it’s in his blood).
  • FSU CB Asante Samuel Jr.
  • Texas OT Samuel Cosmi and defensive back Caden Sterns quit after the Longhorns lost to Iowa State.
  • Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins.


  • Shockingly, Woke Forest Vanderbilt fired head coach Derek Mason. The ‘Dores are 0-8 and just got their arses handed to them by Mizzou 41-0. In his seven seasons in Nashville, Mason did not record a single winning campaign. His overall record with the program finishes at 27-54 and 10-46 in the SEC. He is a nice guy but was a poor choice as a hire. The Vanderbilt administration doesn’t seem to care if football is competitive as long as they keep raking in their share of the SEC money.
  • Shane Beamer is emerging as a leading candidate for the South Carolina job. If the name sounds familiar, yes, that is Frank Beamer’s son. He has thorough SEC experience assisting at Tennessee, Missy State, UGA and was with the Gamecocks under Steve Spurrier. He was also at Va Tech for daddy’s last few years. Currently, the 43-year old serves as the assistant head coach/offense for Oklahoma where he has been since 2018.
  • A buyout for Jim Harbaugh would be in the $10 million range. His contract runs through 2021.
  • James Franklin has a $30M buyout. Since Penn State doesn’t have any more witnesses to buy off, they may be able to afford to can him. More likely, he gets another year.
  • Kirby Smart thinks Raiders owner Mark Davis has a cool haircut.
  • Urban Meyer spent Thanksgiving reminiscing about the good ol’ days of how he used to bribe cops out of arresting his players. Speaking of this arrogant jerk, Texas delusionals think he will be their next coach.
  • Fat F*** Phil Fulmer takes selfies in panoramic mode.

Black and White TV


Another longtime sports TV fixture has ended his tenure with the sinking ship that is ESPN. Trey Wingo is officially out the door after 23 years.


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

Thursday, December 3

Louisiana Tech at North Texas 5pm/6pm CBSSN
Air Force at Utah State 8:30/9:30 CBSSN - fingers crossed.

Friday, December 4

ULLL-Laffy at Appalachian State 6pm/7pm ESPN2
Boise at UNLV 8:30/9:30 CBSSN

Saturday, December 5


Texas A&M at Auburn 11am/noon ESPN - Will Aubie quit or be spoilers?
Arkansas at Missouri 11am/noon SECN - Battle of the Ozarks or something like that.
Florida at Tennessee 2:30/3:30 CBS - TOO.MUCH.ORANGE.
Vanderbilt at Georgia 3pm/4pm SECN
South Carolina at Kentucky 6:30/7:30 SECN
Alabama at LSU 7pm/8pm CBS - soon...

The SEC did some shuffling to get the Alabama-LSU game back on the docket. The likeliest reason they did such a thing is for the potential ratings bonanza for poor CBS over what a Bama-Arky game might have brought. The network has suffered some cancelled Saturdays.

As of now, there are only three SEC games set for the following Saturday Dec 12: Texas A&M-Tennessee, LSU-Florida, Auburn-Mississippi State.

Another oddity is that Ole Miss has played eight games but has no more games scheduled at this time. We may see the Rebs play LSU on 12/19.


Ohio State at Michigan State 11am/noon ABC - PENDING!
Liberty at Coastal Carolina 1pm/2pm ESPNU
Indiana at Wisconsin 2:30/3:30 ABC - No playoff ramifications, but could be entertaining.


Wyoming at New Mexico 9:30/10:30 CBSSN

Sunday, December 6


Washington State at Southern Cal 8:30/9:30 FS1


Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 154
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 91
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 68
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 64
5 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 2
6-T Nick Saban 25 255 65 -
6-T Tom Osborne 25 255 49 0
8 Mack Brown 31 251 126 -4
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -17
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -19

We have a dilemma here. We really don’t care what the NCAA or ESPN thinks. So the question for us, the Bama Nation, is “Does Nick Saban deserve credit for the Iron Bowl win?” It is still his team that he built. The game preparations and strategies were his. However, he had no control over in-game management and decisions. What do you think? The above graph has not been updated just yet except for Mack Brown’s loss LOL. The graph will be updated next week to reflect the majority vote.


Should Saban get credit for this win?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Yes, Saban’s win.
    (670 votes)
  • 18%
    No, it’s Sark’s win.
    (149 votes)
819 votes total Vote Now

[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 squawking 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.]


With Thanksgiving being this past week, it is a good time for Gumps of the world to reflect on things they are thankful for:

  1. Thankful that Najee Harris returned for his senior year to rush for 17 touchdowns - most of any individual FBS player this season and more than 99 FBS teams have rushed for all season.
  2. Thankful that DeVonta Smith returned for his senior year to lead the nation in receiving scores and break SEC and Alabama school records.
  3. Thankful for an offense that is averaging 48.5 point per game, second only to a pair MAC teams that have managed only four games each against defense-optional conference mates.
  4. Thankful for a defense that continues to improve and has only given up three touchdowns over the last 18 quarters, and one in the last three games.
  5. Thankful for a kicker who is 8 for 8 on field goals and 52 for 52 on extra points.
  6. Thankful that whoever the punter is, hasn’t really mattered to this point.
  7. Thankful for a team that can win the Iron Bowl by 29 points even with their head coach bunkered down at home incommunicado.
  8. Thankful for a strength and conditioning program that wants to be there and wants healthy athletes.
  9. Thankful for the GOAT.
  10. Thankful for RBR. No refunds.

GAME 9: Saturday, December 5, 2020

Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) vs LSU Tigers (3-4)

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge ~ 7:00pm CT/8:00pm ET, CBS

  • LSU thought they could sneak their way out of their comeuppance. Instead, they will get a hometown butt-whupping just 11 days before the Early Signing Period.
  • Announcers: Ugh. Brad & Gary. This is going to be a nauseating pre-game. Do yourself a favor and tune-in about 8 minutes after the hour when the kickoff is scheduled. The Over/Under on mentions of last season’s game is set at 35.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • Alabama is 53-26-5 all-time against the Tigers.
  • The line on this game is around Bama -28. Over/Under is 67½.


Who is your fourth playoff team as of now?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Ohio State
    (138 votes)
  • 37%
    Texas A&M
    (248 votes)
  • 25%
    (171 votes)
  • 13%
    (89 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (hear me out in comments!)
    (19 votes)
665 votes total Vote Now