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Random Thoughts: Pre-Season Fluffer

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College football is back! We’ve got all the news, scores, injuries, gaffes, derps, and snark that you can handle.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Illinois
Rut-Roh!
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

College football is back and I am like a kid on Christmas morning hyped up on chocolate and candy canes.

Is it just me or did this offseason just fly by as compared to others? Perhaps it is because we celebrated for so darned long after the Crimson Tide thumped the Buckeyes for NC17.

That season really was a special one. It was different. First, we had to fight off the alarmists and idiots who tried to cancel the season on us. When Greg Sankey finally said “play ball”, we were treated to a delectable ten-course meal of SEC regular season games. I fully expect to some day be talking to my grandkids about this past season. It will likely go something like this: “Well, CB, the Third. National Championship number 32 was pretty awesome tonight but let me tell you about the 17th one. Ah, 2020! The season before everything went to Hell. Hashtag GOML...”

Just some of the ways that the CFB needs to get off my lawn.

  1. NIL - I guess I have no problem with some of these guys making a little money, but I don’t want to hear about it. Keep that ish to yourself. That said, I have a feeling many of them will not be making much more than some walk-around money. Only the tip top ultra-elite will be making anything substantial. And besides, are you going to make tire purchasing decisions based on what a 19-year old kid says?
  2. The no-sit-out transfer rule. All but about ten or so programs are going to regret letting this happen.
  3. The Super Senior ruling - The NCAA hastily thought they would be the big heroes back when they thought the season would be cancelled. Ridiculous.
  4. This damn silly ACC-B1G-PAC Alliance - What, are they going to form a 40-team conference? I can’t wait for that big Wake Forest-Oregon State match-up! It’s like some of the cool kids went to a party but didn’t invite the whole school. So everybody else said “well, we’ll just have a party of our own and NOT invite them!” They had this painfully boring Zoom announcement with the three rookie commissioners and said absolutely nothing. Here is a recap of the Alliance presser in case you missed it.
  5. Yet ANOTHER stupid overtime rule change - Teams will now be required to run a 2-point conversion play after a touchdown in the second overtime. That’s okay, BUT THEN after the third overtime, teams won’t start from the 25-yard-line anymore. They will immediately start alternating 2-point conversion plays until someone wins. Idiotic.
  6. #StopBullying - They are unnecessarily cracking down on taunting. Explicitly against anyone who plays Texas who does a “Horns down” symbol, which is the “Hook ‘em ‘Horns” (pinky and fore finger) but pointed down. Why is it okay for Texas to do their taunt but foes can’t do it back at them? Are we really letting these crybabies in the SEC?

There are a few good things in college football though.

  1. There will be no more backing out of games because of fake Captain Trips outbreaks, lest ye suffer the fate of a forfeit. Coach O, I am looking your way. Speaking of LSU, what a delicious cup of comeuppance for them in 2020. Here’s to more in 2021.
  2. Butch & Bert - it’s good to see Bret Bielema (Illinois) and Butch Jones (Arkansas State) back coaching FBS teams.
  3. Faking injuries - A new 2021 rule says if a player is believed to be faking an injury, the opposing coach can send video of the incident to the national coordinator of football officials, Steve Shaw (a Bama grad BTW). He would review it and then communicate the findings with the athletic directors. However, there is still no penalty for such a thing. At least it’s something...
  4. Team sidelines areas went from the 25-yard-line to the 15-yard-line in 2020 because of you-know-what. I’m sure it saved thousands of lives. In 2021, it goes to the 20-yard-line for some reason.
  5. Video boards and audio & lighting operations can no longer create any distraction that obstructs play this year. If they are found guilty, the home team will receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. For years, stadiums have gotten away with playing Kerncraft 400 - Zombie Nation which sounds like mass crowds chanting. To me, this fell under the category of artificial crowd noise which has been outlawed for years. We’ll see if it continues.

SEC

No games yet, but here is a schedule grid:

THE REST

Week Zero is an appropriate name. It had five games but nothing much to look at.

Check out the date on this Tweet^^^

Illinois 30 Nebraska 22 - A punt fielded at the one yard line that was fumbled out of bounds, two missed extra points, and an allowed scoop and score were just a few of the gaffes by the Cornhuskers. Adrian Martinez is in his fourth year as starting quarterback and is godawful. The Huskers were favored by 6.5 points for some reason. I hope like Erik and me, you took the Illini. If you know a good Tuscaloosa real estate agent, Scott Frost will soon be looking for one for his analyst job next year.

Fresno 45 UConn 0 - Lawd, UConn is a joke of a program. They had 107 total yards of offense. The Huskies don’t need to move down to FCS. They need to disband, dismantle, and we never speak of them again.

UCLA 44 Hawaii 10 - The Bruins scored early and often converting points on each of their first five possessions. Former Bama player Ale Kaho blocked a punt that was converted for a score and also recorded a sack for his only tackle of the game. He is not a starter.

UTEP 30 New Mexico State 3 - A nice tune-up for NMSU for their game with Bama Nov 13.

San Jose Canseco State 45 Southern Utah 14 - Nick Starkel has been in college longer than Bluto Blutarsky. Now with his third FBS team after stints at Texas A&M and Arkansas, he had 394 passing yards and 5 TDs for the Joses.

STAT OF THE DAY

You may want to mute this video while you watch.

  • UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet had six rushes versus the luau crew. Half of them went for touchdowns. He finished with 106 rushing yards in a laugher.

THE WACKY WORLD OF DESI

College GameDay began the year covering the Alcorn-NCCentral game. If you didn’t see that coming, welcome back from your 18 month coma.

The GameDay crew unanimously predicted Alabama in the playoff but none of them see the Tide winning it all.

CONFERENCE CHAMPS

Poor Corso has really lost his marbles.

Talking Head ACC B1G B12 PAC SEC
DESI Clemson anOSU Okie Oregon Bama
POLLOCK Clemson anOSU Okie Oregon Bama
HERBIE Clemson anOSU Okie Oregon Bama
CORSO Clemson anOSU Okie So Cal UGA
CB969 Clemson anOSU Okie Oregon Bama

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

Talking Head 1 2 3 4 FINAL
DESI Bama ND Okie Clemson Okie over Bama
POLLOCK Bama UGA anOSU Okie UGA over Bama
CORSO Okie anOSU UGA Clemson UGA over Okie
HERBIE Bama Okie Clemson Okie Okie over Bama
REESE Bama Okie Oregon anOSU Okie over Bama
CB969 Bama Okie anOSU Clemson Bama over Okie

ADOPT-A-TEAM

So, who are we gonna adopt this year? LMK in comments. Here are last year’s teams:

  • Indiana (6-2) - The little engine that could, didn’t.
  • Iowa State (9-3) - Everyone is in love with this team but I’m not buying that they will unseat Okie as B12 Champs. Those two face off Nov. 20 (and probably again in December).
  • LaLaLaffy! (10-1) - The Rajuns had a great year. Can they build on their success? Billy Napier’s team starts the season at By-God Texas!
  • Coastal Carolina (11-1) - I’m getting a little CCU fatigue. How about you?

LOVE-HATE

  • Liberty (10-1) - The Libbies are another team the wonks are yapping about. Mostly because of QB Malik Willis who Gus Malzahn ran off because Aubie’s favorite son was scheduled to walk on water. The move may have cost him his job.

COUSINS

  • Troy (5-6) - The Trojans have struggled since Neal Brown left for WVU. Alabama graduate Chip Lindsey is beginning his third year in what may be a make or break season. They play Liberty, CCU, ULL, and South Carolina this year. Yikes!
  • South Alabama (4-7) - Will the Jags EVER take that next step? Rookie head coach Kane Wommack hopes so and he has brought along Major Applewhite as offensive coordinator for the ride. USA plays Tennessee Nov 20th.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER

  • UAB (6-3, bowl game cancelled) - Somehow HC Bill Clark has still not been scooped up by a big program. The Dragons christen their new stadium this fall.
RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

By defeating Navy and Air Force in 2020, Army is the defending Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy champs.

  • Army Training, Sir! (9-3) - The Black Knights had a nice season but didn’t really beat anyone of substance. They are at Wisconsin Oct 16 and host Wake Forest a week later.
  • In the Navy (3-7) - The Midshipmen toiled mightily in 2020. In addition to the AAC schedule, they travel to Notre Dame this year.
  • Air Force (3-3) - The Falcons struggled with the sniffles last year

Poll

Who wins the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy this year?

  • 69%
    Army Training, Sir!
    (261 votes)
  • 20%
    Navy
    (78 votes)
  • 10%
    Air Force
    (39 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now

COMMANDER-IN-CHUMPS TROPHY SCHEDULE

9/2/21 Bowling Green at Tennessee
9/11/21 South Alabama at Bowling Green
11/20/21 South Alabama at Tennessee

WHO WILL WIN?!

boxers

ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION

Kansas might just be the worst Power-5 team in the nation this year. I think it’s safe to give them the axe. A few others include Rutgers, Duke, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, BC, Pitt, Vandy, Arky, South Carolina, Missy State, Tennessee, Oregon State, Illinois, and Cal.

ENDANGERED:

Washington State, Sparty, Louisville, Texas Tech, Baylor, Virginia, Purdue, Kansas State, San Diego State, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Florida State, Minnesota, Stanford.

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

Ya never know what can happen. Who saw Mizzou winning the SEC East in 2013 and 2014?

  • ACC - This is Clemson’s to lose. Behind them are UNC and Miami.
  • SEC - Bama, Bama, and Bama. TAMU could make things interesting. UGA is singing that same ol’ tune of “This Could Be The Year!” Florida could make a run. Can LSU?
  • Big 12 - Once again, Oklahoma is the favorite. Iowa State is getting SO MUCH love, but paint me skeptical. They just seem like overachievers. Might someone else in the league use Okie’s jump to the SEC as motivation to play them a little tougher?
  • Big Ten - anOSU. Maybe Wisky. Was Indiana for real?
  • PAC-12 - Oregon has the best shot at a playoff spot from this league. Southern Cal could get an outside shot.
  • Indies - Notre Dame is back to being an independent. Cincy gets way to much love IMHO. BYU lost their RoboQB and they STILL have a pretty easy schedule. Their toughest game is at Southern Cal. Second hardest: home with Utah. Third, home with Arizona State, You get the idea.
  • Non-Power 5 - I can’t see any non-P5 team getting into the four-team playoff until all four of their non-conference games are against P5s. Cincinnati is close with Indiana and Notre Dame but no cigar. I predict Luke Fickell gets hired away after this season. Don’t know where, but it’s time.

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

The CFP rankings are the only polls that count. The first one drops on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. In the meantime, here is the whatever AP Top 10:

  1. Alabama (SEC)
  2. Oklahoma (B12)
  3. Clemson (ACC)
  4. Ohio State (B1G)
  5. Georgia (SEC)
  6. Texas A&M (SEC)
  7. Iowa St. (B12)
  8. Cincinnati (non-P5)
  9. Notre Dame (IND)
  10. North Carolina (ACC)

Florida is No. 13. LSU is No. 16. No other SEC team is ranked.

Even though Krazy Kristi has moved to Orlando, RBR is proud to announce that she will still be contributing to this feature.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to the Rage Mob who say the Fighting Irish is an offensive mascot. KK detests Notre Dame but if anyone tries to change that mascot, she will burn every Vegan restaurant to the ground.

HEISMAN HYPE

Most 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. of course there are exceptions.

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.

Funny how last year everyone was in love with Kyle Trask for so long. Sunshine in final the Top 3 was a joke. Should been DeVonta, Mac, Najee. But seriously, who saw that one coming??? Even the Gumpiest of Gumps could not have predicted the 2020 Heisman. That said, I get the feeling, they will go back to picking a quarterback. Based on hype, hear your leaders:

  1. QB Spencer Rattler (RS-Soph, Oklahoma) - The voters prefer their winner have an unblemished record. The Sooners could go unbeaten in the B12 even without Ratatouille.
  2. QB Bryce Young (Soph, Alabama) - If you are the Alabama quarterback, you are going to get a million dollars. After Hurts, Tua, and Mac, you are going to get Heisman love as well.
  3. QB D.J. Uiagalelei (Soph, Dabo Cult) - A similar thing at CU: Deshaun, Sunshine, and now Ugie. Also, the Tigers have a soft-serve schedule after Week 1.
  4. QB J.T. Daniels (RS-Jr, Georgia) - If UGA goes 12-0 in the regular season and he has a spectacular SECCG, it could happen.
  5. QB Sam Howell (Jr, North Carolina) - Another team that will need to go undefeated in the regular season. If UNC can beat Miami and Notre Dame in back-to-back games (with a bye week in between), watch the hype machine crank up.
  6. QB D’Eriq King (Super-Sr, Miami-Fl) - Why?
  7. QB Kedon Slovis (Jr, So Cal) - aka Sedon Klovis, could be a dark horse.
  8. QB Malik Willis (RS-Jr, Liberty) - No way, but some of these guys are click-whores.
  9. RB Breece Hall (Jr, Iowa State) - Token running back.
  10. EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Jr, Oregon) - Token non-QB/RB.

WHO SHOULD WIN

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

Kayvon Thibodeaux may be the most talented player in college football in 2021, but he won’t be the most outstanding. Let’s face it: this game is a quarterback game and a team’s chances usually ride on his shoulders. It is WAY WAY early but my top two signal callers right now are Sam Howell, Kedon Slovis, and D.J. Uiagalelei. I’m just not impressed by Rat-Boy just yet.

Poll

If you had to bet REAL U.S. dollars of your hard earned money, who would you pick for Heisman? Be honest.

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Spencer Rattler
    (222 votes)
  • 20%
    Bryce Young
    (95 votes)
  • 16%
    D.J. Uiagalelei
    (78 votes)
  • 3%
    J.T. Daniels
    (16 votes)
  • 6%
    Sam Howell
    (31 votes)
  • 0%
    Kedon Slovis
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    Other
    (31 votes)
474 votes total Vote Now

THE SICK REPORT

  • Illinois starting quarterback Brandon Peters was knocked out of the game with Nebraska with a shoulder injury. And the Illini still won.

QB DRAMA

  • Tennessee named Michigan transfer Joe Milton as their starter. He is awful.
  • Notre Dame is going with former Wisky starter Jack Coan, who got Wally Pipp’d by Graham Mertz in Madison after injuring a foot in preseason last year.

KOACHES KORNER

  • R.I.P. Bobby Bowden (1929-2021). Born in Birmingham, he would grow up a Crimson Tide fan and star at Woodland High School. He accepted a scholarship to play quarterback for the Alabama but returned home after only one semester and eloped with his high school sweetheart. He would continue his playing days with Samford and later coach the Bulldogs (31-6). He would then coach six seasons at West Virginia (42–26) and an amazing 34 seasons at Florida State where he would go 304–97–4 and 377–129–4 overall. He won National Championships in 1993 and 1999, and may have had a few more if not for some choke artists placekickers. Most of all, he was a really nice guy.
  • Urban Meyer is about to go 3-14 with Jacksonville and suddenly contract a rare nonlethal illness.
  • Fat F*** Phil Fulmer is out of his dream job. RBR sources report that he is still a fat snitchin’ POS.
Black and White TV

TEEVEE

No ratings released at time of post.

THIS WEEK

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

Wednesday, September 1

UAB vs Jacksonville State 6:30/7:30 ESPN - This is kinda cool. The two Alabama teams will be playing in the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, AL. Both Alabama and Auburn used to play games there back in the day.

Thursday, September 2

Boise at UCF 6pm/7pm ESPN – The Gus Bus vs the Smurfs
East Carolina vs Appalachian State 6:30/7:30 ESPNU - Played in the Carolina Panthers’s Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Ohio State at Minnesota 7pm/8pm FOX – This one will not be as close as the pundits are saying.
Bowling Green at Tennessee 7pm/8pm SECN – Admit it. You’re curious.
UT Martin at Western Kentucky 7pm/8pm ESPN+ - Check out Ty Simpson’s dad who coaches UTM.

Friday, September 3

North Carolina at Virginia Tech 5pm/6pm ESPN – Justin Fuente is on the hot seat for the Hokies.
Michigan State at Northwestern 8pm/9pm ESPN – Sparty gonna get whupped.

Saturday, September 4

GAME OF THE WEEK

Georgia vs Clemson 6:30/7:30 ABC - Charlotte, NC (Chris Fowler & Kirk Herbstreit with Holly Rowe) - UGA can overcome a loss and get to the playoff as long as it’s somewhat close. Clemson may have a tougher time in that scenario due to their weak schedule. CU -3

SEC

UL Monroe at Kentucky 11am/noon SECN
Rice at Arkansas 1pm/2pm SECN - Former SWC rivals reunite after 30 years.
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State 3pm/4pm ESPNU - Mindblower of the day: Skip Holtz enters his 22nd year as a head coach, ninth at LaTech.
Central Michigan at Missouri 3pm/4pm SECN
Akron at Auburn 6pm/7pm SECN - Terry Bowden put this game together but got fired.
Eastern Illinois at South Carolina 6pm/7pm SECN Alt - NO JOKE: SC is starting a graduate assistant offensive coach at quarterback.
FAU! at Florida 6:30/7:30 SECN - Gators are branching out to play the locals schools.
Kent State at Texas A&M 7pm/8pm ESPNU - Massacre (sorry...again)
East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt 7pm/8pm SECN - Vandy’s chance for a rare win.

+ LSU at UCLA 7:30/8:30 FOX - The Bruins have the advantage of a “warm-up game” and looked good, but da Tigahs gain the benefit of having film to study. LSU favored by ONLY -3½.

OTHERS ON SATURDAY

Oklahoma at Tulane 11am/noon ABC – Game has moved to Norman because of the hurricane. What a bummer for Tulane.
Penn State at Wisconsin 11am/noon FOX
Fresno at Oregon 1pm/2pm PAC12
Indiana at Iowa 2:30/3:30 BTN
* LaLaffy at Texas 3:30/4:30 FOX – Maybe the most intriguing game of the day.

SLEEPY TIME

BYU at Arizona 9:30/10:30 ESPN - How will the Mormons do without Zach Wilson?
New Mexico State at San Diego Maradona State 9:30/10:30 CBSSN
Utah State at Washington State 10pm/11pm PAC12
Portland State at Hawaii 10:59/11:59 Alohavision

Sunday, September 5

Notre Dame at Florida State 6:30/7:30 ABC - Joe Tessitore & Greg McElroy on the call.

Monday, September 6

Louisville vs Ole Miss 7pm/8pm ESPN (Atlanta) - I’d be surprised if OM doesn’t win by double-digits.

SABAN vs. POP and BEAR

Below is a count of career FBS/Division I-A win totals for coaches.

For those of you new to RBR Random Thoughts, we count all on-field wins at the FBS/Division I-A level. So, before you go squawking about Frank Beamer, 42 of his wins came at Murray State. Mack 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.

Rank Name Years Wins Losses Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 148
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 85
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 62
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 58
5 Nick Saban 25 261 65 -
6 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 -4
7 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 -6
8 Mack Brown 31 253 127 -8
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -23
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -25

Nick Saban continues to climb the ladder but has a ways to go to catch Pop and Bear et al. He is once again predicted to win double-digit games - a feat he has accomplished the last 13 campaigns. Mack Brown continues to play catch up after recently being lapped by the GOAT. His Tar Heels have a pretty cush schedule and should tally at least nine wins.

#ALABAMA

  • Nick Saban released a depth chart but it’s anyone’s guess how close it will resemble Saturday’s starting lineup.
  • OL Pierce Quick was missing from the depth chart and it’s believed he will be out of action due to injuries.
  • Defensive lineman LaBryan Ray is still battling injuries that have plagued him his entire Alabama career. He may be limited on Saturday.
  • Reserve linebacker Quandarrius Robinson is suspended indefinitely after weekend DUI, per Saban. He wasn’t close to starting but that isn’t what some Aubies will have you believe.

GAME 1: Saturday, September 4, 2021

Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0) vs. Miami Hurricanes (0-0)

Atlanta, GA ~ 2:30pm CT/3:30pm ET, ABC

  • Alabama will be wearing the classic all-white uniforms. The ‘U’ will be in orange jerseys, white pants.
  • The forecast for Atlanta is mostly sunny, high of 82. The stadium roof will be open for the game, meaning fans will not be required to wear you-know-whats since it is an open-air venue.
  • Announcers: YAY!!! Sean McDonough and Todd Blackledge with Todd McShay and Molly McGrath on the field.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • The Crimson Tide has a 14-3 edge over Miami all-time. Their last meeting was the George Teague National Championship game on 1-1-93.
  • The line on this game is around Bama -19½. Over/Under is 61½.

Poll

Clemson-UGA:

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Clemson by 7 or more.
    (149 votes)
  • 24%
    Clemson by 6 or less.
    (140 votes)
  • 35%
    UGA by 6 or less.
    (202 votes)
  • 13%
    UGA by 7 or more.
    (77 votes)
568 votes total Vote Now