Crowley Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: The SEC's Bad Weekend

Crowley Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: The SEC's Bad Weekend

Week 12

Crowley Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: The SEC's Bad Weekend

2017 Crowley Sullivan’s Thoughts & Prayers

Crowley Sullivan is a 20-year sports-media veteran having spent ten years at ESPN as a producer, programmer, content creator, business developer, and brand manager.  He now serves as EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.

Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan

Thoughts & Prayers – Week 12


I’ve scoured the Internet.

I’ve watched and re-watched all of the shows I recorded on my TV featuring Booger McGuilicutty, Paul Finebaum, Jesse Bachelor, Colt McElroy, David Pollack, and Jim Donnan.

I couldn’t find anyone – anywhere – that screamed or printed in BOLDFACE TYPE what a DISASTROUS day this past Saturday was for the SEC.

The No. 1 ranked team in the nation got throttled – the game wasn’t even as close as the final score – and might be looking at three losses – possibly four with the bowl to come – on the season after failing to show up at Auburn.

Alabama was lucky to get out of Starkville, Mississippi – a location that nobody has ever confused with Columbus, Ohio in terms of college football denizens – with its season intact.

Tennessee reminded us that the SEC Coaches Clown Show is a weekly series that never fails to deliver – more on this shortly.

The people in Fayetteville, Arkansas apparently think their university deserves someone other than their current athletic director since they are, after all, Arkansas.

This, of course, means that Arkansas will contribute to the SEC Coaches Clown Show very soon.

Kentucky continues to field a football team.

It’s going to come as a shock to people everywhere to eventually see that Alabama will win the SEC and will be the lone SEC team to earn a spot in the CFP.

After all of the intense discussions about six teams from the SEC making it to the CFP, the world has started to regain its footing and Booger McFontaine will have to come to terms with a lot of things.


My mom said this to me during a phone call yesterday:

“Your Aunt Margie and I were wondering, does anyone ever say that Notre Dame’s coach looks just like Miss Piggy?”

Someone does now.


Despite the efforts of every Georgia fan, every Auburn fan, every Arizona basketball fan, and every vegetarian that thinks eating bratwurst irresponsibly contributes to Global Warming, the “case” for the eventual undefeated Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers being in the CFP gets simpler each week.

No matter what anyone in Athens/Atlanta/The Plains wants to say, the paunchy Badgers have a resume that speaks – and will continue to speak – for itself.

Wisconsin treated No. 20 Iowa like it was Tennessee this past Saturday.

You can whine about Iowa’s ranking until the grits come spewing out of your pores – the Hawkeyes were No. 20.

That’s a fact.

Wisconsin’s victory over Northwestern – pausing for the laughter and snickering from Athens, Atlanta, and……The Plains – came over a team currently ranked 23rd in the nation that will finish the season 9-3 and with a Top 20 ranking.

When Wisconsin defeats UMAA this Saturday, the win will be over the 24th ranked team in the CFP rankings.

Wisconsin’s eventual victory in the Big Ten Championship Game over a Top 10 Ohio State team will be the fourth win for the Badgers over a team that the CFP has put in the Top 25.

None of this is subjective.

These are all facts.

Despite what the barfly geniuses want to say, reality has a weird way of mattering when it comes to this stuff.

Four wins over Top 25 teams.

Undefeated season.

Champions of the best conference in college football.

End of discussion.


The Chain was shimmering.

The duds in the stands were hilarious and awesome.

The Hard Rock Café Arena Field was rocking and while it won’t ever be the rickety and creaky Orange Bowl that was charming in the way your WWII veteran grandfather was charming when he’d tell a few good, salty jokes, the place has the potential to be the new insane asylum that opponents of the Canes will need to deal with when the stakes are big.

Ah – but there’s the rub.

This Saturday, the Canes face Virginia at 12n in a game that compares to this past Saturday’s game the way Hendrik Hertzberg’s stuff compares to Peggy Noonan’s.

Will the joint even be half-full?

More importantly, will the Canes be firing on all cylinders?

Show me U can put an intense beat down on an opponent in a game that will feel like it’s being played at an empty municipal camp ground on a dreary November Wednesday morning and I’ll give you even more props than you’re getting right now.

The electricity for ND was impressive – but that’s not exactly been the norm.

You folks still have a lot of ground to make up.

Up until about five minutes ago, this was the norm –


It’s time for everyone associated with Tennessee Volunteers football to acknowledge that the football program is Jeff Goldblum.

Coach Jones’s ouster means that this football program will have its fifth head coach in eleven years.

Aside from making it clear that dysfunctional dysfunction is the norm in Knoxville, this illustrates very clearly that there is an astounding lack of self-awareness here.

I’m not even going to offer comment on the fact that Brady Hoke is now the interim head coach.

You can fill your stadium, have people in some sections wear orange and in other sections wear white, talk about the way people hang around on boats prior to kickoff, talk about the silly checkerboard design in your endzone, talk about Peyton Manning, talk about General Neyland, and try to pretend that you treated Phil Fulmer the way he deserved to be treated since he did, after all, win the National Championship a generation ago.

But, when you strip all of that away, you’re not even Kansas State.

And if you have a problem with the Jeff Goldblum thing, that’s fine – you’re Steve Guttenberg.


When Auburn loses to Alabama and then loses its bowl game and finishes the season with four losses, will we still all be required to talk about how they belonged in the CFP?

We need to all come to terms with this situation soon because Bonnie gets home from work in an hour and a half – the graveyard shift at the hospital – and if she walks in and sees us all talking about how Auburn belongs in the CFP, we’re all gonna get divorced.

Good team?

Yes, Auburn is a great team.

But people never seem to want to remember a very important part about college football – just because a team puts together an amazing performance one Saturday doesn’t mean it should be anointed.

Teams put together great performances every week.

When Charlie Weis would lead his troops to some win that everyone thought was finally the Opening Act of the Charlie Weis Era, he’d never fail to show everyone that winning one big game like that is easier than winning all of the games over the long haul.

If it comes to be that a two-loss Auburn team gets snubbed, here’s the simple analysis: When you have Coach O down 20-0, win the game.

And good luck this Saturday against the ULM Warhawks.

Auburn vs the ULM Warhawks.


We send best wishes – as well as thoughts and prayers – to Alabama as they prepare for their game this Saturday against the Mercer Bears.

Alabama vs Mercer.


Just like that, Dabo is right back where he’s supposed to be.

The U vs Dabo is going to matter.

When Dabo runs across the field and grabs The Chain and reminds everyone that he’s the current National Champion, it will sort of be like how Larry Holmes had to remind people he was the Heavyweight Champion of the world well after he had bludgeoned Ali and dealt challenger after challenger with boring beat down after boring beat down.

If Dabo goes ahead and wins this thing again, he should have the Easton Assassin join him on the podium to lift the trophy.

That’s a match made in heaven – Dabo and Holmes.

It’s so good that it belongs on a bumper sticker – DABO/HOLMES, 2020.

Jayne Kennedy as Press Secretary –


Despite the fun I have on a weekly basis pointing out the dysfunctionality and overrated nature of the SEC, it’s not about the conferences. It’s about the teams.

Still, the SEC provides free beer every single week. It’s Busch – but’s it’s free and Bob Egan of Halsted Liquors is on call to deliver more kegs any time necessary.

But, it’s about the teams.

But, sometimes it isn’t.

Pac-12 – any time you guys want to roll up your sleeves and get in on this thing, please feel free to do so.

Washington made it last year – and that counts.

But we’re creeping into a space where the Pac-12 has contributed to the CFP in the way that Dave Wannstedt contributes to the college football TV shows he’s on.

There are some people who are trying to make a case for USC.

I’d like to make a case for Toledo – the Rockets are 9-2 and had the balls to play The U – but I’m not going to do that.

The Pac-12 loves to whine about the East Coast Bias.

The Pac-12 also loves to stage football games where around 63% of the seats have people in them.

The Pac-12 has a jaw that is more brittle than Cicely Tyson’s pelvis.

Next season, if you fail to make the CFP again, I will begin to petition the NCAA for a re-brand of your conference.

Possible new names for your conference:

Warm (Or Room Temperature) Milk Conference
Mud Bath Spa Conference
Whine About East Coast Bias and Be Very Whiny Conference
Whining Conference
Bad At Football Conference
Conference That Whines About Everything
Softer Than Bing Crosby’s Sweater Conference
The Conference That Does Not Matter

Have ideas/suggestions? Please share.


I came across an interesting article this week written by a really smart college football writer for the Detroit Free Press.

The headline of the article was “WHICH TEAM IS BETTER – MICHIGAN STATE OR MICHIGAN?”

It’s a great question for people who care about the topic.

If only there were a way to really determine which team is better so that the question could be answered.

Here’s a suggestion – just spit-balling here, try to follow me, Detroit Free Press really smart college football writer:

Find a Saturday within the Autumnal calendar when both of the teams are available to play a football game against each other.

It would be especially cool if this could happen every season.

Hold the football game at one school’s campus one year and then the other school’s campus the next year and repeat that approach over and over again.

Sell tickets to each season’s football game for people who might be interested in watching the game in person.

Collaborate with the people at the TV stations around the country and see if you can find a way to have the football game broadcast into people’s homes so that people who can’t attend the game in person can watch it on television.

At the end of the game, whichever team has more points can be (should be?) determined the winner of the game.

The winner of the game can then be determined the “better” team.

Detroit Free Press college football writer – see if you can get support for this idea and work on bringing it to life.

Let me know if I can help with logistics and stuff.


College basketball has crept up on us, as it does every year at this time.

And we all know what that means – we get to benefit from the bottomless pit of wisdom that lives inside of Jay Bilas’s soul.

Not sure if anyone is aware of this but Jay Bilas has a law degree and is, in fact, a lawyer.

He has answers.

He wrote an opus spelling out how college basketball should be fixed.

It’s 437 pages long.

I got to page 276 and hadn’t come across anything pertaining to basketball but I sure did get my fill of sanctimony.

I’m not saying that Jay Bilas is an arrogant know-it-all who spends more time pointing out how wrong everyone else is than he ever does talking about basketball.

I’m just saying that Jay Bilas should open up his own university that should be called Jay Bilas University where he bestows his wisdom upon the people.

Or he should start a new religion that should be called Jay Bilasism.

Or he should establish a new state in our Union that should be called Jay Bilas.

I’m also saying that when Jay Bilas decides to run for governor of some state – he’s too humble to just start right off with a run at the presidency – he’ll do so as a member of a brand new political party that rises above the fray and focuses on the needs of the people.

The political party to which Jay Bilas will belong should be called the Jay Bilas Party.

Comedy Central is preparing a press release announcing a rebrand to coincide with the announcement of Jay Bilas as the new Head of Content Development & Programming Strategy. On January 1st, the network will no longer be called Comedy Central and will change its name to Jay Bilas.
Jay Bilas will continue to work as an ESPN college basketball analyst and shaman because he’s extremely capable.

I’m very anxious for Jay Bilas’s thoughts on immigration.

I’m also very anxious for Jay Bilas to fix the obviously broken College Football Playoff and the entire college football system.

Jay Bilas should be the Pope.

One thing is for certain when it comes to Jay Bilas – he is Jay Bilas.

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