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Random Thoughts: Week Zero Primer

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

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 01 College Football Playoff Semifinal - Allstate Sugar Bowl
Big Al is ready for a big year from Alabama.
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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

From a Fulmer Cup standpoint, it was a mostly quiet off-season. Not too many run-ins with the law or guys tearing ACLs while blow-drying their hair. It seems all the off-season idiocy came from old guys in suits.

The Murder Of Caesar
I thought we were friends!
Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images
  • Et Tu, Warren? A year ago, it was announced that Texas and Oklahoma would be joining the SEC in 2025. Getting their panties all in a bunch, the ACC, PAC-12, and Big Ten all put their thick skulls together and announced a silly nebulous “Alliance” that seemed to impress nobody. Then this July while the PAC-12 bent over to smell some flowers, B1G Commish Kevin Warren pulled out a rusty butcher knife and plunged it into their “Alliance” partner’s back by poaching the PAC’s most storied football program, Southern Cal, and basketball program, UCLA. The two schools will join the Rust Belt league in 2024.
  • NIL - That loud THUD you just heard are the jaws dropping to the floor of foolish flat-footed companies handing out money to unproven teenagers and realizing that they are not going to get much for their investment. LSU quarterback Myles Brennan had signed NIL deals with Raising Canes, Smoothie King, GameCoin, Smalls Sliders, and Hollingsford Richards Ford. 19 days before the Tigers lace them up against Florida State, Brennan decided to retire from football. He hadn’t played a single game since signing the deals. Since NIL deals can’t be based on performance, he gets to keep all the money. To that I say hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!1!!!1
  • Transferpalooza - With what is basically free-agency being enacted, so many players are transferring without really thinking things through. First off, are the freshmen leaving a school after one frickin’ semester. Did they realize that by using their one-time transfer free pass that they are stuck at their new school until they graduate (unless they are okay sitting out a year)? Secondly, are the several instances of players who were starters at their original school who might be riding the pine at their new destination. Thirdly, are the ones who can’t find a new home. According to, “a total of 4,084 Division I football players entered the transfer portal in the 2021 academic year, a big increase from the 2,868 football players who entered the portal during 2020 academic year... Notably, just 54% of FBS players (2,323) who entered the portal in 2020 and 2021 enrolled at a new school, while 41% (1,798) are still exploring their options, transferred to a non-NCAA school, or left their sport, the NCAA data shows.” The 2022 numbers are likely worse. That is some bad parenting there. #LifeChoices
  • Targeting - Schools can now appeal second-half targeting penalties to determine if the player who committed the foul will be forced to sit out the first half of the team’s next game. We’ll see how that one goes.
  • Faking injuries (aka the Auburn Rule) - The NCAA came up with one of the lamest solutions of all time. Schools will be able to file a post-game complaint of a faked injury to Steve Shaw, the national coordinator of officials, who will review tape and submit feedback to offending school and it’s conference. It’ll be up to the conferences to do the wrist-slapping. My gawd, how hard is this? Make the guy sit more than one play.
  • The Fake Slide Rule (aka the Kenny Pickett Rule) - Enacting this rule should not have even been deemed necessary. If the refs had just gotten it right at the time - or at least corrected their mistake - we would not even need this rule. Bold...
  • Blocking below the waist (aka the Everyone Who Plays Bama Rule) will be allowed by linemen and stationary running backs inside of the tackle box, but blocking below the waist outside of the tackle box is prohibited. Groundbreaking...
  • Defensive holding will remain a 10-yard penalty, but will always carry an automatic first down. Stellar...


No games yet, but here is a schedule grid (click to enlarge on desktop):


Week Zero is an appropriate name. In honor of big stupid Irish Nebraska-Northwestern game, we bring back this Tweet by popular demand.

Frost is beginning Year 5 in Lincoln with nary a winning record or bowl appearance.


Lee Corso, by God, celebrated his 87th birthday a few weeks ago. He and all the usual cast of the clowns will be back on College GameDay.

Usually by now, they have made all their preseason prognostications for us to mock, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until next week.

[Side note: I am sure you all know, but the Colin Cowherd Top 25 that was recently making the rounds was a fake.]


Start thinking about who we are going to adopt this year. It should probably be one of those teams that has spoiler potential or has an up and coming coach we like. Let it be known in comments.


  • Troy (5-7 in 2021) - The Trojans kicked Chip Lindsey to the curb after three straight 5-win seasons. I’m not really sure if rookie head coach Jon Sumrall will do any better. An odd choice, Troy went with a former assistant of Neal Brown like that is going to recapture the magic or something (smh). The guy has never even been a full coordinator. At least they didn’t steal Alabama assistant Charles Kelly who was reportedly also up for the job. The Trojans travel to Ole Miss for a shellacking in Week 1.
  • South Alabama (5-7) - It was not a great debut for Kane Wommack but I still think he could be decent in Mobile. He hit the transfer portal hard and picked up dudes from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Miss State, Auburn, FSU, Va Tech and others. In all, the Jags swiped 14 non-walk-on players from Power-5 schools.


  • UAB (9-4) - It’s a new era for oo-ab after Bill Clark announced his shocking retirement this summer at age 54, citing back problems. We at RBR still get the feeling he will resurface somewhere in the very near future. The Dragons will be led by Bryan Vincent who was Clark’s OC during his entire tenure. Vincent has not lost the word “interim” from his business cards just yet.


In 2021, Army beat Air Force, Air Force topped Navy, and Navy upset Army. Thus, the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy was declared a tie for the first time since 1993.

  • Army (9-4) - The Black Knights were having a big season on their way to 10 wins until the unexpected loss to Army.
  • Navy (4-8) - It was another tough year for the Midshipmen. But all of that went away on December 11.
  • Air Force (10-3) - The Falcons had a good 2021 including a bowl win over Louisville.


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

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Army Training, Sir!
    (160 votes)
  • 14%
    (53 votes)
  • 38%
    Air Force
    (145 votes)
  • 5%
    Another tie!
    (20 votes)
378 votes total Vote Now



Everybody and their brother believes Bama, UGA, and anOSU are shoe-ins for the playoff. But there is no lack of drama. The Bulldogs lost a ton of talent and the Buckys are still the Buckys. They are always good for a faceplant. And then there is that fourth spot.

Last December for the first time, we saw the College Football Playoff Committee bend to the rage mob and allow a lame non-Power 5 team into the playoff. With all the best Cincy players off to the NFL, there is not much chance of them repeating.

In the past, I have always eliminated all non-P5s from the get-go. It would not have been a problem last season, but I just wasn’t banking on the CFPC being all weepy eyed and falling for the poor sad puppy dog in the corner. But RBR is all about bold stupid predictions. So here goes: I can’t see the CFPC being dumb enough to double up on their mistake. All non-Power 5s are eliminated.


_____ will make the playoff this year.

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    (16 votes)
  • 91%
    No non-Power 5
    (445 votes)
  • 5%
    A surprise non-Power 5 (see my adroit thoughts in Comments)
    (27 votes)
488 votes total Vote Now


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

Ya never know what can happen. Who saw Pitt winning the ACC over Wake or Baylor taking the B12 over Okie Lite?

  • ACC - Clemson’s dominance of this league is slowly evaporating. Many observers like NC State this year. However, their schedule is weeeeak and that could hurt them. Miami is the sexy choice but the ‘Canes will have to win at Texas A&M in Week 3 before they pass GO and collect $200.
  • SEC - Can anyone join the party with Bama and UGA? Could Arkansas be a dark horse?
  • Big 12 - Oklahoma has a new coach and new QB. And new bunch of other stuff. Tejas will get smoked in Week 2. Can Baylor run the table? They are at BYU in the second week plus road games against Okie and Tex.
  • Big Ten - IMHO, anOSU is no lock just yet. Can Michigan run it back again? Is Sparty ready? Will Wisky ever get off their asses and stop being Wisky?
  • PAC-12 - Oregon is not the favorite this year. It’s Utah. I could see them sneaking in. Winning in the Swamp next weekend would be a good start. Southern Cal is the choice of silly schoolgirl crushes, but I don’t see it.
  • Indies - Notre Dame is still shlubbing their way around. BYU will need to top Baylor, @ Oregon, Utah State, Notre Dame, Arkansas, @ Liberty, @ Boise State, and @ Stanford.


The CFP rankings are the only ones that count and they are several months away. So in the meantime, here is the AP Top 25:

  1. Alabama(54)
  2. Ohio State(6)
  3. Georgia(3)
  4. Clemson
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Utah
  8. Michigan
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Baylor
  11. Oregon
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. NC State
  14. Southern Cal
  15. Michigan State
  16. Miami
  17. Pitt
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Arkansas
  20. Kentucky
  21. Ole Miss
  22. Wake Forest
  23. Cincinnati
  24. Houston
  25. BYU

The first two out are Tennessee and Texas.

Krazy Kristi is still in Orlando, but has graciously offered to continue her segment here on RBR. #Blesst

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to the NCAA. These blowhards sit up there in Indianapolis and make all these ridiculous rules and then they don’t enforce them.

NIL and transferring has run amok. The NCAA acts like they are so overworked but it isn’t that hard to put in the smallest modicum of effort. If Joe Linebacker at State U. is getting $50,000 to endorse Jimmy Joe’s Dress Emporium & Hot Dog Stand, is he really doing anything to earn that money? Where are the commercials, the social media endorsement, the clothing sales, etc.? Is anyone really buying a t-shirt from the third string tight end? Make the universities work. Have the athletes and schools track everything they do and send in reports to the NCAA. Even if the NCAA doesn’t read them, it will make the university compliance officers nervous enough. You just know there are guys who aren’t doing a dang thing but cash checks.

As for transferring, I suppose there is not much to do about the one time free transfer fiasco. However, the grad transfer rule from decades ago is still on the books and there is no way that is being enforced. In short, this rule states that if an athlete wants to go to grad school and the area of study is not offered at his current school, he can freely go to another. Is this rule truly being followed? If so, how are they qualifying? JT Daniels, for example, is on his third school. What grad program is West Virginia offering that UGA does not have and how did Daniels get in?


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 11 Heisman Trophy Ceremony Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After years and decades of no Heisman Trophies ending up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama now has four - all under Nick Saban’s reign of Joyless Murderball. Tide players have claimed the last two and may get a third in a row but it won’t be easy. Aside from the bias of the votes are the silly unwritten rules of baseball Heisman voting.


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

Remember this time last year when the Heisman favorites were Sooner Spencer Rattler and Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei, and even J.T. Daniels of Georgia.? Well, Ratatouille lost his starting job and transferred to South Carolina. Ukelele would have lost his job had there been anyone worth a flip backing him up. Daniels hardly even played and could not even beat out a YOLO-passing former walk-on.

In the end, the statue went to Alabama’s own Bryce Young and he deserved it. That is not the Gump talking. If you are new to Random Thoughts, the think tank here put personal feelings aside and stumped for candidates such as Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Deshaun Watson in 2016.


The Heisman Trust is flawed in so many ways. They have improved in some areas but still lag into the 20th century in others. For one, they don’t vet their voters. Many voters are out of touch with the game and either let someone else like their son or wife or dog vote for them or they vote with home bias or they vote for whoever ESPN decides to put on the highlight show. Speaking of bias, there are a few voters in the media who are haters and will cast irresponsible and unprofessional votes. Another flaw is that all votes are cast before bowl season. How many winners have we seen faceplant in the bowls? Ewok anyone? There are other glaring issues but the final one for this exercise is that the voters simply despise a repeat winner. From 2007 to 2016, six freshmen and sophomores won the award and none of them repeated. [The others were juniors who went pro or seniors.] Did they deserve it? In most cases not, but that is a post for another time.

Below are the top early Heisman picks in order of the money lines. Odds are provided by DraftKings and many more options can be seen at that link including Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa at +15000. [Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.]

  1. QB C.J. Stroud (JR, Ohio State) +220
  2. QB Bryce Young (JR, Alabama) +380
  3. QB Caleb Williams (Soph, Southern Cal) +700 - Am I the only one not buying into this guy?
  4. EDGE Will Anderson (JR, Alabama) +1600 - Terminator.
  5. RB Bijan Robinson (JR, Texas) +2200- Here’s another guy to whom I don’t get the love. If you watched the ‘Horns last year, you would have seen a guy that disappears in the second half of games. In addition, he finished the season with 5.78 ypc - good for 72nd among qualifying players.
  6. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba +2500 (JR, Ohio State) - He has DeVonta to thank for this candidacy.
  7. QB Dillon Gabriel (RS-JR, Oklahoma) +3000 - Funny, he never got any consideration when he was at UCF.


  • RB Jahmyr Gibbs (JR, Alabama) +3500 - Might be worth dropping a saw buck.
  • QB Quinn Ewers (RS-FR, Texas) +3500 - Will he even be starting by the end of the season?
  • RB TreVeyon Henderson (Soph, Ohio State) +3500 - Primed for a big year.
  • QB Tyler Van Dyke (Soph, Miami) +3500 - I like this guy but he is playing on an also-ran team.


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

  1. QB Bryce Young (JR, Alabama) +380 - Bryce won last year, but this year his offensive line is a little better, his running back corps is deeper, and to be honest the schedule is a tad easier. He lost his two core receivers but he has plenty of new options. Young will have to kill it week in and week out to keep voters in his corner. There will be some who won’t want a repeat or three trophies in a row heading to T-town. It’s not good for clicks. Those factors might hurt his chances.
  2. QB C.J. Stroud (JR, Ohio State) +220 - Stroud is in an excellent position for a big year. Fortunately for his campaign, most of the hard games (Notre Dame, Wisky, Sparty) are in the first half of the season. He can get by with a bad game in that stretch. Just turn it up against Michigan over Thanksgiving weekend. Then have a decent game in an inevitable romp over sitting duck Iowa or Wisky in the B1GCG and he could be a shoe-in. He could win it on his own merit.
  3. BEAST Will Anderson (JR, Alabama) +1600 - It is highly unlikely they give this award to a non-offensive player or to a Bama player not named Bryce. However, DeVonta Smith’s win gave some hope that the voters are maturing beyond just recognizing quarterbacks or even more scarce running backs. He could break all of Derrick Thomas’s records this season but he will probably need something extra special like a couple of pick-6’s or scoop-and-scores - something he has yet to do in his young college career.
  4. APB Jahmyr Gibbs +3300 (JR, Alabama) - Are we over-hyping this guy? I suppose we’ll soon find out. To win, he will first have to outshine his teammates. Then, he will have to score multiple 3-way touchdowns: receiving, rushing, and special teams. I am pretty sure DeVonta Smith clinched his trophy when he returned a punt for a score against Arkansas.
  5. RB TreVeyon Henderson (Soph, Ohio State) +3500 - Perhaps the best running back in the nation, he will have to do something extra special to catch the world’s attention. And do so week in and week out.


  • Two projected starters down for the Longhorns and WR Agiye Hall is indefinitely suspended.
  • Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman is out for an extended period of time for a non-football related medical condition. He was second-team All-ACC in 2021 behind Kenny Pickett.


  • TIN FOIL HAT ALERT: New Jacksonville State head coach Rich Rodriguez claims that JSU’s Saturday opponent, Stephen F. Austin, allegedly had personnel with recording devices present and observing the team’s practices earlier this year. Maybe if didn’t have his daughter running security...
  • Marshall RB Rasheen Ali (1,401 yards and 23 touchdowns on 250 carries last year) is taking a “leave of absence”. Head Coach and former Bama assistant Charles Huff said in a statement that there’s no timetable on Ali’s return. The Thundering Herd visit Notre Dame on Sept. 10.
  • Tennessee suspended linebacker William Mohan after his arrest on a felony domestic aggravated assault charge. Fulmer Cup points!!!



Hot seat
  • For the first time in a long while, the SEC enters the football season with very few head coaches on the Hot Seat. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart are untouchable. Lane Kiffin, Mark Stoops, and Sam Pittman are pretty solid. Josh Heupel, Mike Leach and Shane Beamer are still new and good enough for now. Jimbo Fisher is too expensive to get rid of. Florida and LSU have newbies.
  • A few Aubies tried to pull a Guy Fawkes on Bryan Harsin and delightfully failed miserably. Unless the Tigers have a losing record, it will be tough to get rid of him because nobody will want that toxic job. I’ve never been a fan of Eli Drinkwitz as a head coach. I don’t know what the temperature on his hind parts are in Columbia but it can’t be good. And then there is that discount coach that embezzling Vandy hired who is not worth mentioning or completing this sente
  • Urban Meyer is still a unrepentant enabler creep. So, it makes perfect sense that he returns to the cesspool of Fox Sports and the “Big Noon Saturday” studio show.
  • Tennessee football was charged with 18 Level I violations by the NCAA last month and everyone wanted to finger-point at Jeremy Pruitt. But never forget and never let that jackass Vols fan neighbor/co-worker/in-law of yours forget that this all occurred under the watch of Fat F*** Phil Fulmer - especially the next time they want to name something after that back-stabbing scumbag snitch.
Black and White TV


ESPN, FOX, NBC, CBS and ABC will all be broadcasting games this season. College football may be the only sport in which all four of the major commercial broadcast television networks (i.e. non-cable) air live games.

I can’t wait for that big Indiana-Illinois/Rutgers-Purdue double-header.

The Big Ten’s six-year media rights deal with Fox and ESPN is set to expire in 2023. The top-heavy conference has a new deal that will add CBS and NBC to the league’s lineup with FOX while ending a long partnership with ESPN. I am sure the four-letter network will get over it. Starting in 2024, ESPN will be the exclusive carrier for SEC football and men’s basketball. Bye, Gary.

Below is ESPN’s major announcing line-up:

  • Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and long-in-the-tooth Holly Rowe will again handle ABC’s Saturday night marquee game.
  • The far superior Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, and Molly McGrath have ESPN’s Saturday night prime time game.
  • Joe Tessitore and Greg McElroy join up with newcomer Katie George (blonde beauty pageant winner of course);
  • Dave Pasch and Dusty Dvoracek with underrated Tom Luginbill on the sidelines.
  • Bob Wischusen and Dan Orlovsky with Kris Budden.
  • Mark Jones and (ugh) Robert Griffin III.
  • Dave Flemming and Rod Gilmore.

Other Broadcasting News:

  • Cousin Eddie (aka Dan Mullen) has joined ESPN’s studio coverage, mostly on ESPN2, but also additional studio appearances Thursdays and Fridays on ESPN.
  • The idiotic trio of Matt Barrie, Joey Galloway, and Jesse Palmer are back for Saturday night studio drivel.
  • I hate to say it but, yes, Beth Mowins is back on the docket, but fortunately not in major games. keep your fingers crossed.
  • SEC Network’s Thinking Out Loud with Brandon Boykin, Spencer Hall and Richard Johnson has quietly not returned to the airwaves this season. Former SBN writer Hall is a funny Tweeter and columnist, but God Bless His Soul he has a face for radio as they say. His dry humor just does not translate to moving pictures. Boykin and Johnson are JAGs.


Saturday, August 27

* Austin Peay at Western Kentucky 11am/12pm CBSSN - It’s never too early to scout the big Week 11 foe for the Tide! (sorry no, not WKU)
Nebraska (-13) vs Northwestern 11:30/12:30pm FOX - from Dublin, Ireland.
Nevada (-9) at New Mexico State 1pm/2pm The Cactus Network
Idaho State at UNLV 2:30/3:30pm CBSSN - “Idaho State” sounds like one of those made up schools on a TV show.
* UConn at Utah State (-27) 3pm/4pm FS1 - Bama’s Week 1 opponent vs Jim Mora.
Wyoming at Illinois (-11) 3pm/4pm BTN - BertBall is Back!
Duquesne at Florida State 4pm/5pm ACCN - Duquesne’s home stadium seats 2,200. How about a return trip, Noles?
* Charlotte at FAU (-7) 6pm/7pm CBSSN - This could be an entertaining one.
Florida A&M at North Carolina 7:15/ 8:15pm ACCN
North Texas (-1) at UTEP 8pm/9pm YeeHaw Network
Vanderbilt (-8) at Hawaii 9:30/10:30pm CBSSN

Lines when available are provided by DraftKings.


I see you Coach O... TWICE!

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). Brian Kelly won 118 games with something called Grand Valley State. 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 Ahead/Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 135
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 72
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 49
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 45
5 Nick Saban 26 274 67 -
6 Mack Brown 32 259 134 -15
7 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 -17
8 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 -19
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -36
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -38

Nick Saban could conceivably catch Pop and Bear with three straight 15-0 seasons. Can he really do that?? OF COURSE HE CAN! GET YOUR HEAD RIGHT! IT’S COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON!!1!1

When I started this count a few years ago, Mack Brown was actually ahead of Saban. Today, the Tide would have to go winless while the Tar Heels would have to run the table this season JUST TO TIE. Remarkable.


Enough of the preseason watch lists and such. Lace ‘em up and unleash some Saban Joyless Murderball!

GAME 1: Saturday, September 3, 2022

Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0) vs. Utah State Aggies (0-0)

Tuscaloosa, AL ~ 6:30pm CT/7:30pm ET, SEC NETWORK

  • The Aggies are coming off an excellent 11–3 season and a MWC championship under first season coach Blake Anderson. They were 8-0 away from their home stadium including wins over Washington State, Air Force, San Diego State, and Oregon State. USU is favored to repeat as conference champ.
  • Former Alabama WR Xavier Williams has transferred into USU.
  • Looking WAY ahead, that Saturday forecast calls for a high of 83° with scattered thunderstorms and a chance of rain at 50%. Don’t delay. Go buy your officially-licensed Bryce Young poncho.
  • TV Announcers: Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers with Cole Cubelic.
  • Radio: Eli Gold will not be on the call to begin the season due to a health issue (sad face emoticon). If you can handle Chris Stewart (meh face emoticon), he will tag in for the first couple of weeks on Alabama Radio.
  • The Crimson Tide have a 2-0 edge over USU all time. They last walloped the Aggies in 2004 and 2005 under that Shula guy.
  • The line provided by DraftKings has Bama as a -38½ favorite with an Over/Under of 62½.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.


Most likely to not cover in the Weak Week Zero:

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Nebraska (-13) vs Northwestern
    (196 votes)
  • 9%
    Wyoming at Illinois (-11)
    (37 votes)
  • 6%
    Charlotte at FAU (-7)
    (24 votes)
  • 32%
    Vanderbilt (-8) at Hawaii
    (124 votes)
381 votes total Vote Now