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Random Thoughts: Let’s Go Bowling!

All the College Football news, scores, injuries, gaffes, upsets, derps, and snark that you can handle.

NCAA Football: Cure Bowl-Miami (OH) at Appalachian State
A good ol’ fashion Mud Bowl is just what we needed.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a wild and wacky bowl season and we are just getting started.

Guacamole Bowl: App State 13 Miami-OH 9 - On a nasty rainy day in Orlando, scoring was at a premium and fumbles were aplenty. Appy had a scant 6-3 lead at the half. The Mountaineers put together the game’s only substantial drive of 11 plays and 73 yards to go up 13-3. After an ASU fumble at their own 23 yard line, M-OH was able to punch it in for a touchdown but muffed a vital extra point attempt. from there was a slopfest the rest of the way. This game had 13 combined fumbles.

New Orleans Bowl: Jacksonville State 34 ULL 31 (OT) - There was no issues with the weather inside the SuperDome, but JSU had problems protecting the football. Laffy scored first on a scoop and score and later had two pick 6s. Those gaffes did not deter the Gamecocks offense as they rolled up 526 yards of offense and 31 first downs.

The Rajuns missed an overtime field goal and Jax made theirs for a thumb-in-the-nose at the NCAA victory in their first bowl game appearance.

Myrtle Beach Bowl: Ohio 41 Georgia Southern 21 - With starting QB Kurtis Rourke heading to Indiana and the top two Bobcats rushers in the transfer portal, Ohio turned to little-used freshman running back Rickey Hunt who scored his first, second, third, fourth, and fifth touchdowns of the season. Four scores came via the rush and one from receiving. GSU turned the ball over five times in the loss.

LA Bowl: UCLA 35 Boise 22 - Starting Bruins quarterback Ethan Garbers was banged up in his last regular season game, so UCLA went with a back-up. Heading into the third quarter, the Smurfs led 16-7. When the back-up went down to an injury early in the third quarter, Garbers entered the game, threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns as the Bruins rallied for their first bowl victory since the 2014 season.

Independence Bowl: Texas Tech 34 Cal 14 - This one was a CLOSE EXCITING GAME... for about a quarter. The Red Raiders muffed the opening kickoff and the Bears would punch in the game’s first touchdown five plays later. After an exchange of touchdowns, Cal led 14-7 after one quarter. The left-coasters would score no more as Tech reeled off the next 27 points for an easy win.

Charlotte Bowl: WKU 38 Old Dominion 35 (OT) - Four Western Kentucky first half turnovers aided ODU in jumping out to a 28 point lead. But the Hilltoppers would not be dismayed. They came back from that 28 point deficit in the second half to win in overtime. WKU blocked a field goal late in the fourth quarter and later converted it into a game tying touchdown. In overtime, they blocked another FG attempt before making their own game-winner from 29 yards out.

New Mexico Bowl: Fresno 37 NMSU 10 - Fresno was basically playing a road game with an interim head coach. Despite head coach Jeff Tedford temporarily stepping away to address health concerns and playing on the campus of UNM, the Bulldogs stacked up 500 yards of offense while holding the Aggies to 200 yards and 12 first downs. NMSU was 5-14 on third down and 0-3 on 4th. If you need more details, ask an Auburn fan.


The Appy coach Shawn Clark might have gotten drier from the Gatorade bath.


Rajuns DB Jalen Clark is from Montgomery, AL.


What the...? When he started out talking, I think he was being a little serious and then he turned it into an LOL after he saw the other guys guffawing their lunches out. Now we know why they call him Booger.


Nick Mullens approves this play.


He was making a lot of sense... for about 30 seconds or so.


With Gabriel Dillon peacing out on Oklahoma, the Sooners turn to Jackson Arnold at QB. Or is it Arnold Jackson? Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Coach Venables? His back-up will be NAME OF THE WEEK Hall of Famer General Booty.


Consider for a moment the starting quarterbacks that Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman has had since taking over the Fighting Irish in 2021:

  • Jack Coan - Undrafted, splitting time in the XFL.
  • Tyler Buchner - quit football.
  • Drew Pyne - quit football (see DRAMA below).
  • Sam Hartman - NFL Draft stock plummeted after transferring in from Wake Forest.

Lotsa luck to Riley Leonard who transferred from Duke.


  • Appalachian State is 7-1 in bowl games since elevating to FBS in 2015.



  • New Mexico State (10-4) - Jerry Kill is a fireball! The story goes that prior to the start of this college football season, NMSU quarterback Diego Pavia was in his hometown of Albuquerque and inside the UNM indoor practice facility. As a way to spite the university for not offering him a scholarship, Pavia reportedly took a whiz on the Lobos’ midfield logo. Instead of being a grown up in charge of the lives of hundreds of student-athletes, New Mexico AD Eddie Nunez had to be the petty childish one and deny the Aggies use of the indoor facility during bowl week. After the New Mexico Bowl executive director got involved, NMSU was eventually allowed access. What an unprofessional way for an AD to act.
  • Tulane (11-2) will be without prima donna QB Michael Pratt is ducking out of the Military Bowl so he can prep for the draft. Thanks for letting us know a week before the game, champ!
  • Jamey Chadwell (41-6 over the last four seasons) has been named the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year given to the top Non-Power 5 coach. Not sure who votes on it or why it is named after Bryant who never coached a non-P5 team, but there it is.


  • Troy (11-2) Troy is hiring Notre Dame OC Gerad Parker (not a misspelling) as head coach. He is a 42-year old who played wide receiver at Kentucky in the early 2000s. Among other stops, he has coached at Purdue, Duke, Penn State, and West Virginia. He was tight end coach under Tommy Rees in 2022.
  • South Alabama (6-6) - Eastern Michigan’s QB skipped town. Now USA is a 16.5 point favorite in the Mobile Bowl
  • Jacksonville State (9-4)


  • Air Force (8-4) - The Falcons face James Madison (-2.5) in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Army (6-6) kicks off the 2024 season with the big bad Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
  • Navy (5-7) begins the next campaign with the mighty Bucknell Bison.


Eliminated: Everybody except Alabama, Texas, Washington, Michigan - yes, that means you too, FSU.

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

Odds to win the 2023 National Championship:

  1. Michigan +195
  2. Alabama +205
  3. Texas +260
  4. Washington +700
  • ACC - If this is how Florida State is going to act, I don’t want them in the SEC.
  • Big 12 - Texas Tech puts the B12 at 1-0
  • Big Ten
  • PAC-12 - UCLA made the PAC 1-0, but Cal’s loss evened them out at 1-1.
  • SEC - Roll Tide.
  • Indies - Notre Dame is a 6.5 pt fave over THE Oregon State.
  • Non-Power 5


  • Liberty is a 17.5 point dog with Bo Nix behind center for the Dux.


Top 10 Bowl Game Names of All-Time:

  • Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to UGA Academics. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s long-time Bulldogs beat writer Chip Towers:

According to the most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) data released by the NCAA on Dec. 6, Georgia has finished last in the 14-team SEC each of the last three years, and the numbers have been trending downward. The Bulldogs’ GSR of 41 for the period that ended with the 2022-23 academic year followed marks of 59 and 54 in the previous two reporting periods, respectively. The GSR represents the percentage of athletes that graduated after entering school six years prior. To put Georgia’s 41% mark into perspective, that placed 259th out of 260 Division I football programs. Only Texas A&M-Commerce, an FCS school located northeast of Dallas, finished lower.

Kirby Smart learned a lot of things from Nick Saban, but there are a few aspects of running a successful football program he has not brought to Athens, GA. One is not driving like a maniac. The other is getting a degree. Most Dwags fans will most likely use the excuse that so many of their players leave early for the draft. However, the Crimson Tide puts just as many players in the NFL and they don’t seem to have this problem.

As for Alabama, the school has been beating Georgia in the classroom as well. The Crimson Tide has finished considerably ahead of the Bulldogs in the last seven GSR cohorts examined. Alabama was second in the SEC this year at 93% and has averaged 87% since 2016-17.

Dig for all the theories you want. There is no excuse for 259th out of 260.


The hype machine never stops. Next year’s candidates are already rolling in.
(Year represents their current status)

  • QB Jalen Milroe (3rd YR, Bama) - Announced his return to Bama.
  • RB Ollie Gordon (2nd YR, Oklahoma State) - Not draft eligible this year.
  • RB Blake Corum (4th YR, Michigan) - Assuming he uses his Bonus/5th season.
  • QB JJ McCarthy (3rd YR, Michigan) - Assuming he returns.
  • QB Quinn Ewers (3rd YR, Texas) - Assuming he returns.
  • QB Carson Beck (4th YR, Georgia) - Announced his return.
  • QB Dillon Gabriel (5 FULL YRs with RS, Oregon) - Assuming he uses his Bonus/6th season.


Former Jacksonville State football coach Bill Burgess died Wednesday morning at 82 years old. He was 84–49–4 in 12 seasons for JSU and won the 1992 NCAA Division II Championship.


  • Texas back-up QB Maalik Murphy said A-River-Dare-Chee to Texas. Not only is he planning to transfer, but he done packed his s**t and left Austin. He has no interest in being with the team for the upcoming Sugar Bowl. This development means should starter Quinn Ewers get injured as he did for two games this fall, that would mean that Arch Manning and his 2 career pass completions would be in charge of the Longhorns’ offense. Murphy is looking at Duke, SCar, and Oregon State.
  • This Murphy incident exposes a glaring issue with the college football playoff schedule. Murphy wants to move on to be a starter with a new team for the coming semester. In order to do that, he needs to take visits and then decide by the time the Transfer Portal closes on January 2. He can’t do that if he is practicing with Texas up until January 1 and perhaps to January 8 should they defeat Washington. I don’t know about other schools, but the University of Alabama spring classes begin January 10. To take it a step further, next season’s 12-team CFP National Championship Game will be played on January 20, 2025.
  • You can’t spell FUSSY without FSU.


What is the heck is going on in Athens, GA? The Bulldogs have 15 scholarshipped players in the TP as of post. The list includes former 5-stars Brock Vandagriff, Nyland Green, Marvin Jones Jr., and A.J. Harris plus high 4-stars Xavian Sorey, Zeed Haynes, and Jonathan Jefferson. Also hitting the road is punt/kick return specialist Mekhi Mews who had a breakout year in 2023.


  • We have seen an unexpected trend this year in the Transfer Portal. Some teams are losing their starting AND second-team quarterbacks. Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei is in the TP and his back-up Aidan Chiles has already committed to Sparty. Cameron Rising missed Utah’s entire 2023 season with a knee injury that occurred during last year’s Rose Bowl. In his absence, Bryson Barnes got the bulk of the action with Nate Johnson coming in as a change of pace. Rising has said he will return to the Utes next season but there is no guarantee he will be his old self. With the state of modern day medicine, it seems like he was out an exorbitant amount of time - not to mention the rust. Even so, both Barnes and Johnson are now transferring out with Johnson committing to Vanderbilt. Wake Forest is losing their top two signal callers and Michigan State has their top three QBs in the QH.
  • Remember how former 5-star safety Sage Ryan jerked Alabama around with his recruitment in 2020 and landed at LSU? All the crootin “experts” were convinced he would sign with Bama. It felt like a case of the Cajun Mafia getting up in his ass so much, like they tried with DeVonta Smith a few years earlier. Whether it was authentic or pressure, it looks like he regrets it now because he is in the QH with two years to play.
  • Florida State linebacker DJ Lundy has hit the eject button from Tallahassee. He had 54 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and two sacks this season. More fuel for the nutjob Florida Man excuses after UGA stomps the ‘Noles in Miami.
  • UCLA freshman and part time starting QB Dante Moore has committed to the Ducks. He joins Dillon Gabriel/Gabriel Dillon in Eugene.
  • Arkansas RB Raheim “Rocket” Sanders (209 rushing yards, 2 TD) has committed to the South Carolina. 1 year remaining.
  • Former Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke is transferring to Wisconsin.
  • Former Vanderbilt WR Will Sheppard has foolishly committed to Colorado.
  • Clanga clang QB Will Rogers to Washington, one year left.
  • It should not surprise anyone that Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson entered transfer portal. One year to go.


  • QB Drew Pyne started his career at Notre Dame and then transferred to Arizona State. He has now re-enrolled back at South Bend, but won’t play football. He just wants to be a student for one semester so he can earn his degree at ND. Pyne says he plans to continue his playing career somewhere after graduation, but has no destination in mind.
  • Oregon State QB Aidan Chiles is following his former coach Jonathan Smith to the Michigan State dumpster fire.


  • Former Ohio State starting QB Kyle McCord looked locked into transferring to Nebraska. That all changed when 5-star Dylan Raiola started giving the Cornhuskers a good long look. Raiolaflipped from UGA. Now, McCord is going to Syracuse. #Downgraded
  • Can you believe this guy? UNC busted their asses to get WR Tez Walker eligible this season after transferring from Kent State. And now he is turning up his nose at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. He is not exactly Day 1 or 2 draft material.
  • UCLA DL Laiatu Latu skipped out on his team.
  • So Cal opt-outer WR Brenden Rice is the son of Jerry Rice. Junior had 791 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns this season and averaged 17.6 yards per catch.
  • Texas A&M LB Edgerrin Cooper will be sitting the Texas Bowl out.
  • Oklahoma will be without starting OL Tyler Guyton and OL Andrew Raym.
  • Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman is too good for the Sun Bowl.
  • Penn State DL Chop Robinson snubs the Peach Bowl game against Ole Miss.


  • UNC DL Myles Murphy will play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and then enter the NFL Draft. He recorded 23 tackles and a sack as a senior this season.


  • Notre Dame OT Joe Alt and running back Audric Estime have declared for NFL draft and won’t play in the Sun Bowl game against THE Oregon State.
  • UNC QB Drake Maye is also going pro. He won’t play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 27 against West Virginia. Back-up QB Conner Harrell has thrown 6 passes this season.
  • Oregon RB Bucky Irving and WR Troy Franklin.
  • Southern Miss RB Frank Gore Jr.
  • Former USC and USC RB MarShawn Lloyd
  • Utah S/RB Sione Vaki

The deadline for early entry into the NFL Draft is Jan. 15, 2024.


  • Tino Sunseri is the son of Sal Sunseri, brother of Vinnie Sunseri, and a former Alabama graduate assistant (2019–2020). He is really moving up in the coaching world. He spent the last three seasons as quarterbacks coach for Curt Cignetti (also from the Saban coaching tree) at James Madison and will now be his co-OC/QB coach at Indiana. Here’s to hoping they can wreak some havoc on B1G opponents for years to come.
  • Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has received a contract extension through the 2030 season. It is not the worst move by the school. They aren’t going to do any better than him. The Scarlet Knights are 6-6 this season and will face Miami-FL in the Pinstripe Bowl.
  • Former Alabama defensive lineman Rudy Griffin has been hired as defensive line coach at West Georgia. He previously served as defensive line coach at Northern Arizona.
  • Urban Meyer came across a distraught young man writing a suicide note. Urbie thought he would be helpful by correcting the misspelling of the word “useless”.
  • Fat F*** Phil Fulmer recently wandered into a shipyard when somebody smashed him in the back with a champagne bottle.
Black and White TV


Did you punish yourself by watching that 2-hour schedule reveal show? You did. Didn’t you? We basically had most of the schedule up for you last week, but here it is: The Alabama Crimson Tide 2024 Football Schedule:

08/31/24 vs WKU
09/07/24 vs USF
09/14/24 at Wisconsin
09/21/24 by
09/28/24 vs Georgia - already announced 6:30/7:30 on ABC
10/05/24 at Vanderbilt
10/12/24 vs South Carolina
10/19/24 at Tennessee
10/26/24 Missouri
11/02/24 bye
11/09/24 at LSU
11/16/24 vs Mercer
11/23/24 at Oklahoma
11/30/24 vs Auburn



Below are the Bowl Games for this week:

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Frisco Bowl: UTSA vs Marshall 8pm/9pm ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 21

Boca Raton Bowl: USF vs Syracuse 6pm/7pm/8pm ESPN

Friday, Dec. 22

Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Center Florida 5:30pm/6:30pm ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl: Troy vs Duke 11am/Noon ABC

Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State vs Northern Illinois 11am/Noon ESPN

Armed Forces Bowl: JMU vs Air Force 2:30pm/3:30pm ABC

Potato Bowl: Georgia State vs Utah State 2:30pm/3:30pm ESPN

Mobile Bowl: South Alabama vs Eastern Michigan 6pm/7pm ESPN

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs Northwestern 6:30pm/7:30pm ABC

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep...

Hawaii Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs San Jose CanYouSee State 9:30pm/10:30pm ESPN


Finalists for Bobby Dodd Coach of Year award, based on award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership & integrity, on & off the field:

Kalen DeBoer, Washington
Eli Drinkwitz, Mizzou
Jedd Fisch, Arizona
Mike Norvell, Florida State
Nick Saban, Alabama

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. So, let’s stop talking about his win record with such reverence. 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 46 409 136 112
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 49
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 26
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 22
5 Nick Saban 27 297 70 -
6 Mack Brown 33 276 143 -21
7 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 -40
8 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 -42
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -59
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -61

Mack Brown’s Tar Heels are a 6.5 point underdog to West Virginia.


  • Graduation: Justin Eboigbe, Seth McLaughlin, and Will Reichard, are each graduating with a Master’s degree. Former long snapper Thomas Fletcher returned to school to earn his Master’s as well.
  • Earning Bachelor’s degrees are Jalen Milroe, Tim Smith, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Trezmen Marshall, Jah-Marien Latham, Kneeland Hibbett, Kristian Story, James Brockermeyer, and medical redshirter Thaiu Jones-Bell. Also gradjiating were multi-year walk-ons Kyle Flood Jr. and Bennett Whisenhunt.
  • Eboigbe has committed to playing in the Senior Bowl.
  • Dallas Turner is a consensus All American. He is the 79th player in Alabama’s history to become a consensus All-America and the 41st player of the Nick Saban era at Alabama to earn that distinction.
  • Milroe, Turner, and Malachi Moore were named Alabama’s 2023 Permanent Team Captains as voted on by the players. They will get the honor of putting their hand prints and cleat prints in cement around Denny Chimes.
  • In a bit of a surprising move, OT Elijah Pritchett entered the Transfer Portal... and then changed his mind after sleeping on it. At the beginning of the year, the former 5-star recruit from Columbus, GA was battling for a starting job at left tackle but lost out to true freshman Kadyn Proctor. It was an perplexing initial decision considering that right tackle JC Latham almost certainly will go pro after the season is over, leaving a hole at the position. Pritchett will have a fight on his hands in 2024 against freshman Miles McVay among others.
  • WR Ja’Corey Brooks has found a new home at Louisville. After a breakout game in the 2021 Iron Bowl, Brooks came back to catch 39 passes for 674 and 8 TDs in 2022. This season, he dropped off to 3 catches for 30 yards. Perhaps it was injuries or being in the doghouse or some combination. We may never know. Jeff Brohm is a good offensive coach and former Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Tyler Shough will also be transferring in.
  • DL Anquin Barnes is off to chase rainbows with Deion Sanders at Colorado. He played in two cupcake games over three seasons in Tuscaloosa.

GAME 14: Monday, January 1, 2024 - ROSE BOWL, CFP SEMIFINAL

Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) vs Michigan Wolverines (13-0)

Pasadena, CA ~ 4:00pm/5:00pm ESPN

  • Recruiting is over and focus turns to the Wolverines. It sounds like the Crimson Tide is a healthy team. Kool-Aid McKinstry had a concussion in the SECCG and should be 100% come game time. Jase McClellan (foot) is still iffy.
  • Alabama is 5-1-1 all-time in the Rose Bowl. This record includes the CFP Semifinal game from the 2020 season against Notre Dame which was played in Arlington, Texas because California was going all ape s**t over Captain Trips.
  • The weather forecast is probably too far out to predict, but it should be mid 60s by kickoff.
  • TV Announcers will be Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit with the lovely and talented Laura Rutledge on the sidelines. Holly Rowe will be out there somewhere grazing around as well. [The Sugar Bowl will have the far superior Sean McDonough on the call with Greg McElroy. Blonde bookends bombshells Molly McGrath and Katie George are on the sidelines for that semifinal.]
  • Still no word as to who will be calling the Rose Bowl for Alabama Radio. I suspect it will be Chris Stewart over Eli Gold.
  • Michigan is STILL a 1.5 point favorite over the Tide. The Over/Under is around 45.


What are your thoughts on mid-level players opting out of bowl games?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Totally understand not wanting to get injured.
    (38 votes)
  • 38%
    Stupid. Why not play your ass off and show the NFL your skills.
    (197 votes)
  • 50%
    Do it for your teammates who you call your "brothers".
    (257 votes)
  • 3%
    (17 votes)
509 votes total Vote Now