The Baker Mayfield kerfuffle, the Michigan touchdown that wasn’t, and the five biggest college football turkeys.
Cavalcade of Whimsy: Nov. 21, 2017
Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
I tried to set a tone for it by not shaking Baker Mayfield’s hand. About two hours ago I finished removing the 41-3 atomic wedgie from my backside.
“Nevertheless, here in Chickasaw County, a deal ain’t done till the two parties have shook hands. Even after all that paper signin’, don’t mean (bleep) you don’t shake my hand.”
I get a team not wanting to shake hands before a game. It’s low-rent and silly, but okay, fine.
You want to set a tone. You want to establish a mindset from the start, and you want to show – as misguided as it might be – that you mean business. And that’s cool …
If you’re the 1987 Miami Hurricanes.
If you’re the 2017 Kansas Jayhawks, and you play college football as effectively as Papa John’s tweets, not shaking hands at midfield is the badass equivalent of blasting Imagine Dragons in your Prius outside the high school.
And Kansas, when there are two little kids standing at midfield for the fun of a pregame handshake, that’s not the time to turn the dial to Faux Jerkweed.
However, if you grab other people’s business, you might just be elected to something important
No, you aren’t offended by anything Baker Mayfield did against Kansas, and if you are, you’re either 1) pretending to have an opinion, 2) haven’t watched a real news channel in two years, and/or 3) a Texas fan having a great time yucking Oklahoma yum.
Really, ESPN and others … you fuzzied up the Mayfield crotch-grab on the highlights?
I lived through the Michael Jackson/Madonna era. My generation made the sacrifices charging up that hill so we could live in a world where grabbing one’s genitals would no longer be seen as an obscene gesture.
If you want to argue that Mayfield’s off-season issues – being arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest – might speak to his overall character, okay. But trash talking, adjusting the goal line package, and planting a flag into Field Turf have nothing to do with the concept of integrity when it comes to voting for the Heisman.
At least at the moment, if you’re putting anyone but Mayfield in the No. 1 spot on the ballot, you’re making it all about you and your pathetic attempt to get someone to care about your contrived “hot take.”
All that’s missing is the mega-watt charisma of a Jason White or Sam Bradford
Here’s the problem with the Baker Mayfield Heisman campaign – it all seems so … prickly.
Here’s a guy who’ll go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history. He’ll have two, possibly three Big 12 titles on the resume, a Heisman, and at least one trip to the College Football Playoff, possibly two, making him – arguably – the best walk-on of all-time.
He’s gritty, he’s feisty, and he’s a consummate battler and baller. But all that fire and all that fight doesn’t seem to have any wit or fun attached to it.
For all the problems and demons we now know about, at the time, Johnny Manziel was a blast. He lived the dream of every college guy – party all the time, date the most beautiful women, ball out against Bama, repeat.
Cam, Reggie and Jameis might have had their issues to various degrees, but they all won national titles on their way to being mega-stars at the next level. It was a no-brainer to vote for them because their greatness was so obvious.
Let us love you, Baker. Or, at least, let us like you a little more.
Or don’t, win another Big 12 title, grab the Heisman, go to the College Football Playoff, win the national title, and close it out by throwing down a giant two-handed junk-crank to all those who ever doubted you.
Chip Kelly is smarter than you, and richer
Fantastic work, Chip Kelly and your representation.
Of course you met with Florida about the possibility of taking over the Gator head coaching job.
You don’t want that gig. You don’t want to live in Gainesville, or deal with a rising Georgia superpower, or occasionally butt heads against Alabama.
And you surely don’t want to run that tippy-tappy, quick-pitch, gimmicky offense against SEC defenses that will eat that thing for a refreshing snack.
But you can sure-as-shoot make that thing fly again in the Pac-12 South, and live in Los Angeles, and have another million thrown onto your treasure mountain of money you’ll never be able to spend.
And it’s all because you had a conversation with the Florida types.
Don’t shake Mason Rudolph’s hand, Kansas, and he might just make you look at his spring break pictures of him with his shirt off
Alright, Kansas. this is it. Your long, miserable march of sadness is about to be put to a merciful end.
I started this five weeks ago, setting the over/under on points Kansas would lose the final six games by at +190.5.
And now it all comes down to the date with Oklahoma State.
After the Mayfield debacle and the 41-3 loss, now Kansas has to keep this upcoming defeat to the Cowboys to under 56 points to cover.
The actual spread is 40.
Five Cavalcade of Whimsy footballey opinions and, like, other stuff
Five conversation starters at your next dinner party, and/or to impress that special someone at the right moment …
Because it’s that time of year, welcome to the Five Biggest College Football Turkeys of 2017.
5. Conference championships (potentially)
They’ve always been a cash grab for the conferences, and for the most part, they’ve been entertaining. But this year, they might be a problem.
Auburn already beat Georgia. Badly. But the Tigers might have to prove themselves all over again if they beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
Oklahoma already beat TCU, but that doesn’t matter if it can’t do it again in the brand spanking-new Big 12 championship.
Washington State already beat USC, and USC already blew out Stanford. Either way, there’s going to be a repeat Pac-12 title, and Fresno State and Boise State play this week before going at it next week when it matters.
If UCF beats USF, it’ll get to play Memphis again for the American Athletic title – even though it already won 40-13 earlier in the year – and the MAC Championship will likely be a redo of Toledo’s win over Akron or Ohio’s win over the Rockets.
In all there’s a chance that six of the nine conference title games will be redos.
4. The post-Kansas State game Vanderbilt defense
Vanderbilt held Middle Tennessee, Alabama A&M, and Kansas State to 13 points total in those first three games, puffed its chest out, made America think it could shut down Alabama in a home game with everyone watching, lost 59-0, lost seven of its last eight games. Now it’s 113th in the nation against the run, 12th in the SEC in scoring D, and generated just eight takeaways on the year.
3. Ohio State vs. Iowa
The Iowa offense couldn’t get past the 125-yard rushing mark in any of its five Big Ten games, and was held to under 100 three times. In its last two games, it was held to 25 yards on the ground by Wisconsin, and followed it up by 82 against Purdue. In between, it ran for 243 yards against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes were warned, and coached, and prepared for a letdown following the great win over Penn State. Instead, it didn’t get off the bus in a 55-24 loss.
There’s still a chance the Buckeyes could get to the College Football playoff by winning out and getting a little help, but if they didn’t clunk so badly against a mediocre Hawkeye team, they’d control their own destiny.
2. Florida State
No. 3 in both the preseason AP and Coaches polls, Florida State won’t go bowling if it loses to Florida this weekend.
The loss to Alabama hurt, and not having QB Deondre Francois was a problem, but that doesn’t excuse the three points scored against Boston College. Or the struggle to get past Duke. Or that the 26-19 win at Wake Forest will be the only victory over a bowl bound team.
This is a team loaded with NFL athletes and talent, and it should’ve been in the ACC championship picture no matter what. Instead, the season was effectively over after four games.
1. The Heisman race
There isn’t even a good No. 2 option.
Sam Darnold’s candidacy fizzled early. Jake Browning was never in it, and Derrius Guice was always a bit too banged up.
Just when it seemed like Saquon Barkley was going to take it over, he couldn’t seem to run for 100 yards, and no one who didn’t go to bed earlier than 1:00 am ET saw Bryce Love on a regular basis.
One week after being deep in the race after beating Penn State, J.T. Barrett’s run ended with one throw in Iowa City.
Lamar Jackson and Josh Rosen have been amazing, but their respective teams couldn’t hold up their ends of the bargain.
And now, really, who’s No. 2, much less an obvious challenger for No. 6?
This week’s reason why Nick Saban didn’t suspend me for the season opener against Florida State …
I should’ve been. I blew it. I blew the call, the replay officials – even though they were able to break it down by the frame just like I did – blew the call, and even the great Dean Blandino in the Fox studios blew the call.
All we had to do was Zapruder the catch by Michigan’s Donovan Peoples-Jones for an apparent touchdown against Wisconsin – and pause it at the right time – to come up with the right call.
It was ruled that the feet came down simultaneously – which is almost humanly impossible; one has to come down a microsecond before the other – and the wrong call was upheld.
On the next play, Michigan QB Brandon Peters fumbled the ball away lunging for the goal line, and the Badgers went on to win 24-10 to keep their dream season alive.
The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid lock, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it picks of the century for this week
PICK SO FAR: 58-25 SU, 43-38-1 ATS
Okay … going 4-2 against the spread last week was fine, but we can do better. You come here for more than just fine fellowship – you want to know what’s going to happen. So let’s not mess around. It’s Rivalry Week, and here’s what’s going to happen.
– Ole Miss +16 over Miss State (Miss State SU)
– Virginia +7 over Virginia Tech (Virginia SU)
– USF +11 over UCF (UCF SU)
– Purdue -2.5 over Indiana
– Ohio State -11.5 over Michigan
– Kentucky +10 over Louisville (UofL SU)
– Georgia -11 over Georgia Tech
– Washington State +9 over Washington
– Wisconsin -17 over Minnesota
– South Carolina +14 over Clemson (Clemson SU)
– Arizona over Arizona State PICK
– Oregon -26 over Oregon State
– Alabama -4.5 over Auburn
– Florida state -5 over Florida
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …
The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
5) Overrated: Getting fired on your birthday
Underrated: A $12 million buyout … after getting fired on your birthday
4) Overrated: Sometimes you’re the Georgia Dome and …
Underrated: Sometimes you’re the bus
3) Overrated: Beating your rival
Underrated: Beating everyone else
2) Overrated: A ten-team conference that calls itself the Big 12
Underrated: The War on I-4: USF vs. UCF
1) Overrated: Thanksgiving
Underrated: International Bacon Day (Sept. 1 of next year, by the way)
Sorry if this column sucked, I wasn’t my fault …
This is how you act when you beat anything named FIU.