clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Random Thoughts: SEC Takes Center Stage

New, 143 comments

ACC takes a back seat; Chaos in the Big Ten.

the interwebz

The Southeastern Conference birthed their 2020 season and dominated the airwaves with exciting and crazy games. The novelty of the ACC has worn off with a slate that further exposed the level of their brand. Meanwhile in the B12, disaster struck.

CHAOS

Mississippi State 44 LSU 34 - Even before the big sick and the opt-outs came along, we knew the Tigers would take a step back this season. This was more than a step back. It was get in your car and put it in reverse until you hit the Gulf of Mexico. Bulldogs QB KJ Costello torched the alleged “DBU” for a ridiculous 623 yards and 5 TD on 36-60 passing. It’s baffling that LSU seemingly made no adjustments at halftime. Regardless of the absence of All-American CB/PR Derek Stingley, giving up those kinds of numbers to a quarterback who got beat out as a starter of a 4-8 Stanford team a season ago and only arrived on campus in June is bad scouting and bad coaching. Costello had two interceptions (one a pick-6) and two lost fumbles, yet the Bullies still came out on top. The Bayou Bengals committed two turnovers, were 5-17 on third down, and had only 80 yards rushing.

Kansas State 38 Chokelahoma 35 - Skylar Thompson is one of those guys who seems like he has been around for a decade. If the senior chooses to come back for another bonus season, he will have a chance for three straight over the Sooners. It’s a new year but a very familiar scenario in Norman. OU has that one game where they seem distracted. The Sooners built a 34-14 3rd quarter lead and decided to kick back and enjoy the early fall weather. Meanwhile, the team that lost to Arky State two weeks prior, scored the next 24 points. Down 35-28, the ‘Cats blocked a punt and drove for the tying score. A 50-yard field goal with 4:32 remaining turned out to be a game-winner. The Sooners offense stalled on their final two possessions with a three and out and Spencer Rattler’s third thrown interception of the game to seal the upset.

KNOCKING OFF THE RUST

Auburn 29 Kentucky 13 - You may want to sit down for this one: The on-field and booth referees negated what looked like a clear Kentucky touchdown that would have put UK up 14-8 near the end of the first half. Auburn intercepted two plays later and took momentum into the locker room. The second half was all Tigers. The Wildcats’ offense was straight up garbage in the second half with 4 three-and-outs, 2 fumbles, and one touchdown. Terry Wilson looked bad at QB for the ‘Cats, yet Mark Stoops left him in the game to languish.

UGA takes an early lead in moral victories.

Georgia 37 Arkansas 10 - With Kirby resorting to goofy uniform changes looking like Texas Tech or NC State, the Dawgs came out as flat as Carl Lewis’ National Anthem at a Pancake Breakfast against the doormat of the SEC West. The final score does not reflect how blah UGA looked trailing by the ridiculous score of 7-5 at the half. After five punts and a pick, Kirby benched his starting QB freshman D’Wan Mathis - the latest second coming of Quincy Carter - in favor of Sir Stetson Bennett, the Fourth, of Blackshear Court. The junior finally got things going thanks to the predictable miscues by Arky’s offense. Down only 20-10, Gators outcast Feleipe Franks threw a pick-6 on the second play of a 3rd quarter drive. On the ensuing possession, the Hogs tried a double pass that was intercepted as well. It was all over at that point. UGA committed 12 penalties for 108 yards and had two turnovers in an ugly win. The Dawgs defense is good again, but the offensive line and running game (42 att, 121 yards, 2.9 ypc) have serious issues to be addressed.

Texas A&M 17 Vanderbilt 12 - No, I did not invert the “1” and the “7”. The Aggies did indeed squeak out a 5-point home victory over the dreadful Commodores. They too led by 7-5 at the half. You just have to laugh at all the prognosticators who exclaimed “don’t sleep on Kellen Mond”. The TAMU quarterback needs to put “Serta” on the back of his jersey. The four year starter was 17 of 28, for a scant 189 yards, 1 TD, fumbling 3 times and losing two. He also ran 7 times for 22 yards - something that is suppose to be a forte.

Both teams had 17 first downs, and neither gained over 200 yards passing or rushing. 30% of TAMU’s rush yards came on one attempt.

Texas 66 Texas Tech 56 (OT) - The Red Raiders squandered a 56-41 lead in the final 3 minutes and lost in overtime. Sam Ehlinger gets all the accolades but remember, we are talking Big XII defenses. Don’t be surprised if several B12 quarterbacks end up at the top of the stats come the end of the season.

LOOKING GOOD

Alabama 38 Mizzou 19 - Here again is a final score that does not reflect the story of this game. Alabama was clearly the better team. Nick Saban took his foot off the gas after the first possession of the second half up 38-3 - which is early for Saban (maybe Tua going down vs. MSU last season spooked him?). Mizz scored 16 points against Ben Davis and other Tide practice dummy holders. Bama QB Mac Jones (18-24, 249 yds, 2 TD, 0 turnovers, 0 sacks) proved he is more than just the “next man up”. He is worthy to be mentioned among the top quarterbacks in the league. Najee Harris (17 rush, 98 yds, 3 TD) was solid and Jaylen Waddle (8 rec, 134 yds, 2* TD) was phenomenal. Bama does have a few things to work on. The defense looked so much better than last season. They are flying around and getting more pressure, but they are still plagued by a few missed tackles and not wrapping up. Also depth on the OL is a concern.

Florida 51 Ole Miss 35 - Gators tight end Kyle Pitts might remind some Tide fans of O. J. Howard. The 6’ 6”, 240 lbs junior caught 8 passes for 170 yards and 4 TDs. The outstanding performance by the offense was offset somewhat by the issues of the UF secondary. OM put up 443 passing yards against the maligned Florida defense. Rebs QB Matt Corral topped his previous passing game high by 129 yards. Kiffinball should be Must See TV this fall.

Tennessee 31 South Carolina 27 - This was one of the more competitive games. UT QB Jarrett Guarantano (19/31, 259, 1 TD) was far from great but he didn’t do anything incredibly stupid, which is the most you can ask of him. SC’s x Collin Hill was better (25/39, 290, 1 TD) but he made one big error in a pick six to the Vols LB Henry To’o To’o. Tennessee blew a 21-7 lead as the Gamecocks stormed back to tie it. The game went down to the wire until a Tennessee punt touched a South Carolina player’s leg and the Vols recovered.

PAC-12

Not that it really matters, but the Pac-12 season will begin Nov. 6. All twelve teams will play seven games, playing each of their five division rivals and one crossover game, plus SURPRISE! SURPRISE! an additional conference game at the end against a team from the opposite division based on finish. *** If the Big Ten decided that all teams will play their home games 100 miles to the west, half of the PAC-12 teams would drown. ***

At the conclusion of this negligible exercise, Oregon will then stomp Southern Cal in the lame title game played on Dec. 18. Now, let’s never speak of them again...

THE WACKY WORLD OF DESMOND HOWARD KIRK HERBSTREIT PREDICTIONS

Well, everything got convoluted with Oklahoma losing. Nobody expected them to win a playoff game but it sure looked like they would run roughshod through the conference and be one of the Final Four. This upset increases the chances of two SEC teams getting in.

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.

THE NAME GAME

UGA’s Stetson Bennett is not the only “Fourth” in college football this fall: Georgia State QB Cornelious Brown IV, SMU RB Ulysses Bentley IV, Virginia RB Billy Kemp IV, Iowa State DL Will McDonald IV, Tulsa DB Allie Green IV, and Duke DB Lummie Young IV among others.

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • LaLaLaffy! (3-0) - For the second straight week, the Ragin’ Cajuns escaped disaster against a Sun Belt foe. Incredibly, a ULL 53-yard field goal on the game’s final play was the difference against Georgia Southern. College kicker, right? Laffy has a week off to get ready for a crucial trip to Appy State - a team they have yet to beat in 8 tries.
  • Arkansas State (1-1) - The Red Wolves postponed their game against Tulsa. They hope to get in a game at Coastal Carolina on Thursday.

COUSINS

  • Troy (1-1) - The Trojans got decimated by BYU 48-7. Up next is a third straight road trip. This one to South Alabama. UPDATE: postponed because of you-know-what.
  • South Alabama (1-2) - The Jags got crushed by Birmingham U 42-10. It’s going to be another looooong season in Mobile. Troy is next.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER WHO DOUBLE DIPS

  • UAB (2-1) - While the Blazers dominated South Alabama, they did so in an undisciplined way. The Dragons committed 11 penalties for 122 yards, including a targeting foul, roughing the passer, a wide receiver throwing a punch, a blindside block, and several late hits - some of which were not called. I’m not saying UAB is a dirty team... Wait. Yes, I am. A better opponent would have taken advantage of the free yardage. Bham U hosts UTSA for Homecoming on Saturday.
RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

  • Army (2-1) - The Black Knights defense had an interception, a scoop-and-score, and a goal stand in the first half, but could never get their offense going against the powerful Cincy lineup. Up next is a cupcake game with Abilene Christian.
  • Navy (1-1) - The Midshipmen had the week off to prep for a trip to Air Force this Saturday.
  • Air Force (0-0) - The Mountain West is now back on as well with an 8-game slate starting Oct. 24. It is unclear what that means for the Falcons who already have games with Navy and Army on the docket that are far more important to the school than any MWC game.
boxers

ELIMINATED

  • With only 9 games, a B1G team would likely have to go undefeated. For Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland, Purdue, Indy, Nebraska, Illinois, Sparty, it ain’t gonna happen.
  • Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, WVU, TCU
  • Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse, FSU, Georgia Tech, NC State, L’ville
  • BYU - That schedule is too weak.
  • The entire PAC; Sorry, Oregon.
  • Vandy, Arky, Missouri, UK

ELIMINATION, ENDANGERED:

  • The entire B1G
  • Oklahoma Lite, Oklahoma Classic, Tejas
  • Ole Miss, LSU, SC
  • Boston College

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

  • ACC - Clemson, Notre Dame, maybe North Carolina.
  • SEC - LSU will still get the benefit of a doubt, but they can afford maybe one more loss at the most. Remember they play Bama, @Aub, @TAMU, and @Fla.
  • Big 12 - Oklahoma is in deep doo-doo. They will have to win out. Tejas needs to start winning big. None of this OT win crap against the bottom feeders of the conference will do.
  • Big Ten - ?
  • PAC-12 - Nope.
  • Indies

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

All those idiot conferences who have come back are now eligible for inclusion in the AP Poll. The number of ranked SEC teams is still at eight.

I figured out who had been voting LSU No. 1: a @15-year old@ baseball writer from Indiana. This homer and this rando obviously missed the NFL Draft in April and had LSU second. Their tunes have dramatically changed since Saturday.

Pat Dooley, who is a pretty respectable writer for The Gainesville Sun (he is the Gator version of Cecil Hurt) was the lone voter for the Tide at the top spot. He has been joined by two other believers this week. But let’s keep Clemmy at the top for now.

  1. Clemson (55)
  2. Alabama (3)
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Ohio State (4) *
  7. Auburn
  8. Miami
  9. Texas
  10. Penn State *
  11. Center Florida
  12. UNC
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Oregon *
  15. Cincinnati
  16. Mississippi State
  17. Oklahoma State
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Wisconsin *
  20. LSU
  21. Tennessee
  22. BYU
  23. Michigan *
  24. Pitt
  25. Memphis

* Opting back in.

STAT OF THE DAY

  • LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan did so in a 1998 loss at Notre Dame. The Tigers had their 16-game winning streak, the nation’s best, snapped like a twig.
  • KJ Costello’s 623 passing yard performance is the most compiled in a game by an SEC QB. Right behind him are UGA’s Eric Zeier’s 544 against defensive gargantuan Southern Miss in 1993 and Vol Tyler Bray’s 530 versus behemoth Troy in 2012.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman who wants to opt back in despite the fact that he hired an agent. If you have a good memory, you will recall that Alabama got put on two years of probation, lost of 13 scholarships, slapped with a postseason ban, and forced to forfeit 8 wins and a tie just because cornerback Antonio Langham signed a cocktail napkin “contract” with a shady agent in the French Quarter in the wee hours after the Crimson Tide won the 1992-1993 Sugar Bowl. If Bateman gets a waiver, the NCAA better reinstate those Alabama wins and send a formal apology to the University.

BONUS Krazy Kristi “SHUT UP!”: What in the heck are sideline reporters going??? Is it really necessary to stand a city block away while conducting halftime interviews with coaches - while wearing a mask? It was like this throughout CFB this Saturday. Both Gus Malzahn and Jeremy Pruitt could not even hear the questions being asked with the Grand Canyon of Contamination separating them.

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, ECDD, Jr.) - Did not play. Still America’s sweetheart.
  2. Justin Fields (QB, an Ohio State, Jr.) - Did not play.
  3. A token running back - Travis Etienne of Clemson (Did not play) or Najee Harris of Alabama. Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State had 101 yards on 22 carries but teammate LD Brown had 103 yards on 11 attempts. Forget this guy.
  4. A token defensive player.

WHO SHOULD WIN

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

  1. KJ Costello... just kidding. Still too early to say. Let’s give it a few weeks.

THE SICK REPORT

  • No Alabama injuries! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Coach Ballou! Thank you, Dr. Rhea!
  • Alabama assistant Charles Kelly missed the opener at Missouri. Obvious rumors have been floating around but there is no confirmation that it was “Captain Trips” that has laid him out. Alabama analyst Mike Stoops filled in for him.
  • FSU head coach Mike Norvell returns to practice this week and he will coach the ‘Noles on Saturday.
  • DeVonta Smith’s son, Derek Stingley, did not suit up in LSU’s opener against Mississippi State. He was hospitalized overnight for a non-C19 related issue.
  • JT Daniels has been medically cleared to play this week and UGA has a dilemma as to whether to go with the Southern Cal transfer or to stick with Bennett who had a solid outing (20-29, 211 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) against Auburn.
  • Auburn sucks.
  • All-Name first teamer Chaz Ah You is out for the remainder of 2020 season due to an injury that required surgery on his “lower leg”. The BYU linebacker also had shoulder surgery in March.
  • The Georgia State-Charlotte game was postponed because of some moron(s) read the C19 tests wrong. The incorrect results showed four positive individuals and contact tracing identified 17 others, including one coach, who would require quarantining and was probably scared out of his mind. According to the GSU AD, those in question were retested and all their results came back negative. Discuss.

DRAMA

  • Ironically, MSU reserve tight end Powers Warren, the son of B1G commissioner Kevin Warren, did not play against LSU on Saturday.
  • It was a bit surprising to hear that UGA-to-Tennessee OL transfer Cade Mays, who won his eligibility appeal with the NCAA had still not been cleared by the SEC, meaning he missed the Vols’ opener with South Carolina. Logic would dictate that this would be a open-and-shut rubber stamp case. However, it seems that SEC Commish Greg Sankey is sticking to the ol’ SEC’s rule of requiring transfers within the conference who haven’t graduated to sit out a year before they can play. KUDOS! Auburn-to-Kentucky quarterback transfer Joey Gatewood and UGA-to-Ole Miss defensive back Otis Reese have yet to be cleared to play this season. They are both undergraduates as well.
  • A few high-profile opt-back-inners, Ohio State DB Shaun Wade and Ohio State OL Wyatt Davis, have already been cleared. Wow, that was fast. @I wonder how that happened?@
  • Purdue WR/KR Rondale Moore is also opting back in. [Side Note: Ohio State does not have to play Purdue during this truncated season.]
  • The MAC will play a 6-game schedule starting in November. No word if they will be weekday games.
  • That makes all ten FBS conferences playing some semblance of a schedule. Independent UMass announced they will begin in mid-October, but still needs to find someone anyone to play. “Central Arkansas is on Line 1 and Austin Peay is on Line 2.”
  • No word on independents UConn and New Mexico State. It’s doubtful the Old Dominion bedwetters comes back.

KOACHES KORNER

  • Tennessee gave coach Jeremy Pruitt (13–12 overall record) a two-year extension with $400K annual raise on Thursday - before the Vols ever took to the field in 2020. The new deal runs through the 2025 season. FFPF figured since Butch Jones’s salary comes off the UT books on February 28, 2021, they will have a bunch of money laying around doin’ nuthin’. Tennessee math is hard.
  • Kirby Smart has started a new charity called “Kirb’s Kids”. According to the UGA coach, it will benefit “ya know, kids and stuff.”
  • With the recent passing of Gale Sayers, Urban Meyer was able to catch Brian’s Song on cable. The former wife-beater enable was quoted as saying “Funniest damn movie I seen since Porky’s II!”
  • Fat F*** Phil Fulmer was in line at Popeye’s. When he got to the front of the line, the cashier said “I’m sorry for your wait.” FFPF replied “I can’t help it. It’s a glandular problem! I’ll take the 12-piece family meal.”
Black and White TV

TEEVEE

Did you happen to catch the premier of the new and disproved Thinking Out Loud on the SEC Network? More like Stinking Out Loud. Amirite? Ah, Ah, Get it? I’m here all week. But seriously folks... that show is pretty lame. It’s poor Alyssa Lang feeding softball questions to three random dudes. Once RBR gets their 1,000,000th subscriber, we can afford to get the RBR Network going and we’ll have a show that is more insightful than this drivel.

THIS WEEK

MLB has wisely opted NOT to try and go up against CFB or NFL. The Wild Card First Round Playoff starts tonight and finishes on Thursday. They pick it up again on Monday.

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

Friday, October 2

La Tech at BYU 8pm/9pm ESPN2

Saturday, October 3

SEC

South Carolina at Florida 11am/noon ESPN - Will the Gators get a big head?
Mizzou at Tennessee 11am/noon SECN - Will the Vols get a big head?
Texas A&M at Alabama 2:30/3:30 CBS - Get your radio synced up.
Ole Miss at Kentucky 3pm/4pm SECN - Worth looking in during commercials.
Auburn at Georgia 6:30/7:30 ESPN - Almost exclusively reserved for mid-November, the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” gets its earliest start ever.
LSU at Vanderbilt at 6:30/7:30 SECN - Think you can handle this one, Tigers?
Arkansas at Mississippi State 6:30/7:30 SECN Alt - If it was anyone else, I’d say this is a big ol’ trap game for Clanga-Clang. As it is, it’s a small trap.

THEM OTHERS

The ACC has six games this week. Four are on the ACCN and one is only available online. What is that all about?

TCU at Texas 11am/noon FOX
Baylor at West Virginia 11am/noon ABC
North Carolina at Boston College 2:30/3:30 ABC - BC could put a scare into UNC.
Navy at Air Force 5pm/6pm CBSSN - This should be a fun one.
Oklahoma at Iowa State 6:30/7:30 ABC - Will Okie come out mad or will they be in quit mode?
Virginia at Clemson 7pm/8pm ACCN - Really, ACC?

NO INSOMNIACS GAME THIS WEEK (-.-)zzZZ

Get a good night’s sleep so you can get up early and rake them leaves!

MACK and SABAN vs. OZ and LAVELL

Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 160
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 97
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 74
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 70
5 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 8
6 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 6
7 Nick Saban 25 249 65 -
8 Mack Brown 31 246 123 -3
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -11
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -13

UNC had no game this past Saturday, which means Mack Brown drops one back of Nick Saban.

[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

* Center Landon Dickerson, linebacker Dylan Moses and wide receiver Devonta Smith were team captains for the Mizzou game.

* Alabama had 10 players make their Crimson Tide debut:

  • Will Anderson - starter at Jack LB.
  • Malachi Moore - starter at STAR DB.
  • Carl Tucker - starter at second TE.
  • Drew Sanders - special teams and back-up Jack LB.
  • Trey Sanders - special teams and back-up RB.
  • Jase McClellan - special teams.
  • Roydell Williams - special teams.
  • Sam Johnson - Freshman walk-on punter from Birmingham (Oak Mountain).
  • Chase Allen - Freshman walk-on kickier from Colleyville, Texas.
  • Bryce Young - Have you heard of this guy???
  • [The official UA GameBook lists senior walk-on WR Joshua Lanier from Tuscaloosa Academy as participating but I have a feeling that is a mistake. I don’t know what is up with rolltide.com but their stats content has sucked the last couple of years.]

* Junior safety Daniel Wright recorded a game-high and career-high 11 tackles.

* On the Tigers muffed punt in the fourth quarter, the ESPN announcers neglected to mention that senior long snapper Thomas Fletcher was the one who came up with the recovery.

* Nick Saban is a perfect 14-0 in season openers as coach of the Tide. That is pretty impressive considering they are so seldom cupcake opponents. And he is still not moving to Austin, Texas or the NFL.

* Looking ahead: Alabama-Ole Miss kickoff time is set for 5pm CT. The game will air on ESPN.

GAME 2: Saturday, October 3, 2020

Texas A&M Aggies (1-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0)

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL ~ 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET, CBS

The opposition gets a little tougher for Alabama this week. Jimbo Fisher is in Year 3 - ample time for him to put together a competitive team. The Aggs have 17 returning starters and have had top 5 recruiting classes the last two years. There is not much room left for excuses for Jimbo.

  • Announcers: Brad Nessler and ... ugh... Gary. Jamie Erdahl is the designated blonde.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • Alabama is 10-2 all-time against the Aggs. The Tide have won the last seven since JFF went all YOLO.
  • The line on this game varies between Bama -16 and -17. Over/Under is around 51½.

#RollTide

Poll

Can Okie get in the playoff?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Yes. Run the table and pray for multiple losses.
    (75 votes)
  • 33%
    Maybe. Too soon to tell.
    (164 votes)
  • 51%
    No way. Losing a home game to K-State who lost to Arky State is too much.
    (251 votes)
490 votes total Vote Now