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Random Thoughts: Back to the Playoff

It’s down to four teams for the championship.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama at Florida
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

For a season that took soooo long to get going, it seems to have sprinted to its inevitable conclusion at lightning speed. Four teams remain in the hunt for the Big Beer Tap Trophy, two of whom probably don’t deserve it. But we’ll see. Crazier things have happened.

BYU 49 UCF 23 - Center Florida finishes 6-4. This college football season just keeps getting better.


Appalachian State DL DeAndre Dingle-Prince


Appy State (9-3) running back Camerun Peoples tallied 317 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in the Mountaineers 56-28 win over North Texas (4-6) in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.


Liberty 37 Coastal Carolina 34 (OT) - The Flames had the ball 1st & goal with 1:35 when tragedy struck in the form of a fumble at the goal line. However, redemption awaited them in overtime as Libby connected on their field goal and CCU had theirs blocked to end the game.

La-Laffy 31 UTSA 24 - Auburn may have dodged a bullet. I like Billy Napier but his second half game plan was baffling. After the Roadrunners fumbled at their own goal line early in the third quarter, Laffy went up 24-7 and had all the momentum. UTSA could not stop the two-headed rushing monster of Elijah Mitchell (127 yds) and Trey Ragas (98 yds). ULL had several dropped passes and an erratic QB (12 of 22 passing). It would seem like just running the ball down the RRs throats and melting the clock away would seem like a good plan. Alas, ULL kept passing and kept punting while UTSA chipped away at their deficit. The Rajuns held on but this is a game they should’ve won by three touchdowns.


  • Troy (5-6) All over.
  • South Alabama (4-7) But the crying.


  • UAB (6-3) - South Carolina dropped out of the Gasparilla Bowl against the Dragons. ESPN could not find a replacement so Bham U’s season is over.


Army wins the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

  • Army (9-2) - The Black Knights were supposed to play a PAC team in the Independence Bowl, but they all wussed out. When Tennessee (3-7) thankfully backed out of the Liberty Bowl, allowing Army to step in. They will face West Virginia on Dec. 31.
  • Air Force (3-3) - Over
  • Navy (3-7) - And out.



Saturday, December 26

Gasparilla: South Carolina vs. UAB 11am/noon (Tampa, FL) ABC

Wednesday, December 30

Music City: Iowa vs. Missouri 3pm/4pm (Nashville, TN) ESPN
Cotton: #6 Oklahoma vs. #7 Florida 7pm/8pm (Arlington, TX) ESPN NY6

Thursday, December 31

Armed Forces: Mississippi State vs. Tulsa 11am/noon (Fort Worth, TX) ESPN
Liberty: West Virginia vs. Tennessee 3pm/4pm (Memphis, TN) ESPN
Texas: TCU vs. Arkansas 7pm/8pm (Houston, TX) ESPN

Wednesday, January 1

Chick-Fil-A Peach: #8 Cincinnati vs. #9 Georgia 11am/noon (Atlanta, GA) ESPN NY6
Citrus: #14 Northwestern vs. Auburn noon/1pm (Orlando, FL) ABC
Rose/Jerry: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Notre Dame 4pm/5pmArlington, TX) ESPN NY6

Thursday, January 2

Gator: Kentucky vs. NC State 11am/noon (Jacksonville, FL) ESPN
Outback: #11 Indiana vs. Ole Miss 11:30/12:30 (Tampa, FL) ABC
Orange: #5 Texas A&M vs. #13 North Carolina 7pm/8pm (Miami, FL) ESPN NY6

Vandy (0-9) and LSU (self-imposed ban) will not be playing in a bowl.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to MIZZOU. You know why.


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.

The Finalists


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

Below is how I thing they finish.

  1. DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama, Sr.) - A WR winning the Hypesman is on brand for 2020.
  2. Mac Jones (QB, Bama, R-Jr.) - The Tide quarterback should be second.
  3. Trevor Lawrence (QB, Dabo Cult, Jr.) - Sunnyboy has been getting a lot of accolades this post-season despite being far from the best quarterback much less the best player this season. He is 11th in passing yards13th in passing touchdowns, 12th in QB Rating, and 13th in completion rate. As I have said, there are a lot of dumb lazy people in the media.
  4. Kyle Trask (QB, Jorts U., Sr.) - A nice participation trophy for you.

The winner will be announced during a virtual event starting at 6pm/7pm on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 on the four letter.


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

This is tough. Mac Jones has been the glue that holds this offense and team together but DeVonta Smith has been SO good. He is just so smooth and makes everything look so easy. His hands are like glue. If I had a vote, it would go to DeVonta.


  • Utah running back Ty Jordan died over the weekend from an apparent accidental self-inflicted gunshot. He was the PAC Offensive Freshman of the Year after tallying 597 yards and six touchdowns in 5 games.


  • Former Clemson and Duke quarterback Chase Brice announced Wednesday he is transferring to Appalachian State. he will be leaving Duke without any sort of degree, but he has that Clemson golden ticket diploma to fall back on! #LifeChoices
  • Miami QB D’Eriq King will return to South Beach for his sixth collegiate season.
  • Yahoo’s Pete Thamel noted over a week ago that there are more than 850 players in the transfer portal. #LifeChoices


Some of the notable entries in the transfer portal last week:

  • FSU linebacker Leonard Warner
  • South Carolina DB Jammie Robinson
  • Penn State DT Judge Culpepper
  • Syracuse WR Nykeim Johnson
  • Temple DE Arnold Ebiketie
  • Iowa State DT Latrell Bankston


  • As you have heard, Auburn has hired Bryan Harsin as their next head coach. He is Boise born and bred, played QB for the Smurfs, and was an assistant at BSU for ten years. After two seasons as OC for Mack Brown at Texas, he succeeded Gustavo Malzahn at Arkansas State (7-5) for one year. Next, was a return to his alma mater as head coach. In seven seasons with Boise, Harsin was 69-19 but had at least two losses in every season – not quite up to par of his predecessor Chris Petersen. Harsin won three MWC titles and was 3-2 in bowl games. He has no ties to the south and will probably be forced to work with many assistants left over from the previous regime. His one and only game experience against the SEC is a 35-13 loss to Ole Miss in the 2014 Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
  • Speaking of Chris Petersen, I wonder why nobody has bothered to try and talk him into getting back into coaching. He is only 56 years old and sports a 147-38 career record.
  • La-Monroe has made the baffling decision to hire former Aubie coach Terry Bowden. In his most recent gig, he recorded a flabby 35-52 record in seven seasons at Akron with only one winning campaign. The Warhawks were 0-10 this season.
  • Arizona hired Jedd Fisch as head football coach who has a name that sounds like a character name from Hee Haw. The 44-year old has bounced around the NFL most of his career with 2-year stints each at Miami-FL (under Al Golden), Michigan (Jim Harbaugh’s first two seasons) and one year at UCLA under Jim Mora. Since 2007, he has been employed by 10 different football teams, college and pro. Papa is a rollin’ stone. He was the New England Patriots quarterbacks coach this season.
  • Boise has the only current head coaching vacancy in FBS. Former Smurfs QB Kellen Moore is the leading candidate to fill that role because, you know, being an alum is SO important. The 32-year old has been serving as OC for the Dallas Cowboys over the last two seasons and was quarterbacks coach the year before that. And that is the extent of his coaching experience. He would be the newest youngest head coach eclipsing new South Alabama coach Kane Wommack by 15 months.
  • Rumored but only Monday confirmed, Alabama offensive analyst A.J. Milwee has been hired as Butch Jones’s offensive coordinator and QB coach at Arkansas State. Milwee spent his freshman year of eligibility as a member of the Alabama football team but graduated from North Alabama where he broke many school records as a quarterback. He served as Akron’s offensive coordinator 2013-2018 before joining Saban’s coaching rehab program.
  • In this weirdest of weird seasons, only eleven FBS coaching changes were made out of the 130 FBS programs, two of which were to replace coaches changing teams. Three were SEC teams, one B1G and one PAC. All ACC and B12 coaches have managed to get a pass this year.
  • Every time Fat F*** Phil Fulmer gets in bed, the Smoky Mountains raise in elevation 1.0387 millimeters.
  • Urban Meyer will celebrate New Year’s in the usual way: throwing kittens off a bridge at passing cars.

Black and White TV



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

#21 Oklahoma State vs #18 Miami 4:30/5:30 ESPN
#20 Texas vs Colorado 8pm/9pm ESPN

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wake Forest vs Wisconsin 11am/noon ESPN
#7 Florida vs #6 Oklahoma 7pm/8pm ESPN

Thursday, December 31, 2020

#24 Tulsa vs Mississippi State 11am/noon ESPN
Ball State vs #22 San Jose State 1pm/2pm CBS
West Virginia vs Army 3pm/4pm ESPN
Arkansas vs TCU 7pm/8pm ESPN

Friday, January 1, 2021

#9 Georgia vs #8 Cincinnati 11am/noon ESPN
Auburn vs #14 Northwestern Noon/1pm ABC
#4 Notre Dame vs #1 Alabama 3pm/4pm ESPN
#3 Ohio State vs #2 Clemson 7pm/8pm ESPN

Saturday, January 2, 2021

#23 NC State vs Kentucky 11am/noon ESPN
Ole Miss vs #11 Indiana 11:30/12:30 ABC
#25 Oregon vs #10 Iowa State 3pm/4pm ESPN
#5 Texas A&M vs #13 North Carolina 7pm/8pm ESPN


Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 150
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 87
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 64
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 60
5 Nick Saban 25 259 65 -
6 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 -2
7 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 -4
8 Mack Brown 31 253 126 -6
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -21
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -23

No changes.

[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.]


The AP, USA Today, ESPN,, and CBS Sports/247Sports have all released individual All-American teams. Below are the Alabama players selected to first teams represented in parentheses ( ):

  • QB Mac Jones (AP, Athletic, ESPN, USAT); Jones was second team by CBS/247 in favor of Kyle Trask.
  • RB Najee Harris (AP, CBS, ESPN); USAT and the Athletic named him second team behind Breece Hall and ridiculously Jaret Patterson.
  • WR DeVonta Smith (AP, Athletic, CBS, ESPN, USAT); Smith was also named first team all-purpose by CBS/247.
  • OC Landon Dickerson (AP, CBS, ESPN); USAT second team.
  • OT Alex Leatherwood (AP, Athletic, CBS, ESPN, USAT)
  • CB Patrick Surtain II (AP, Athletic, CBS, ESPN, USAT)
  • DL Christian Barmore (CBS); USAT second team and third team AP.
  • K Will Reichard (CBS)
  • LB Dylan Moses - third team AP, second team CBS

[Notre Dame OL Aaron Banks and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah make 1st team AP; OL Liam Eichenberg is a 2nd-teamer; S Kyle Hamilton and OL Tommy Kraemer are 3rd team.]

(ESPN did not do a second team; If the Athletic has a second team, it is behind a paywall.)


ESPN will be holding an excruciatingly annoying College Football Awards show on January 7. Several Crimson Tide players and coaches are up for awards.

Chuck Bednarik Award - College Defensive Player of the Year - Surtain is one of three finalists.

Biletnikoff Award - Outstanding Receiver - Smith is the favorite over Elijah Moore and Kyle Pitts.

Lou Groza Award - Nation’s Outstanding Placekicker - Reichard is one of three finalists.

Maxwell Award - College Player of the Year - Jones and Smith are finalists along with Sunshine for some reason.

Davey O’Brien Award - Nation’s Best Quarterback - Jones, Trask and Sunny.

Outland Trophy - Nation’s Most Outstanding Interior Lineman - Leatherwood and two others.

Jim Thorpe Award - Nation’s Best Defensive Back - Surtain, one of three finalists. Note: Derek Stingley was not even in the final 12.

Doak Walker Award - Nation’s Premier Running Back - Harris with Breece Hall and Travis Etienne.

Coach of the Year - Saban and others.

William V. Campbell Trophy - Scholar-Athlete - As a grad student, I assume Mac was not eligible because he is not a finalists. That or his GPA is just TOO high.

Disney Woke Spirit Award - Most Inspirational Player or Team - No way they’re giving this to Bama.

Rimington Trophy - Outstanding Center - Dickerson, one of three.

*** Broyles Award - Top Assistant - Steve Sarkisian, WINNER *** - Sark is the third Alabama assistant to win following Mike Locksley (2018) and Kirby Smart (2009).

Joe Moore Award - Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit - Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas A&M.

CFP, ROSE BOWL/JERRY BOWL: Friday, January 1, 2021

Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1)

JerryWorld, TX ~ 3pm CT /4pm ET ESPN

  • Announcers: Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge with Todd McShay and Allison Williams on the sidelines. Personally, I prefer this duo over Fowler and Herbie.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • Alabama is 2-5 all-time against the Irish. The two teams last met in the 2013 BCS Championship game for the 2012 season. All the other games were played in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The line on this game is around Bama -20. Over/Under is 65½.


Thoughts on Will Reichard?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    He will go down in Alabama history as one of the greats.
    (209 votes)
  • 58%
    Solid and deserving of accolades but I will hold off on calling him "great" just yet.
    (407 votes)
  • 11%
    He hasn’t had much to do. We’ll see.
    (83 votes)
699 votes total Vote Now