Five Cavalcade of Whimsy footballey opinions and, like, other stuff
5. The fake punt
If you remember late in the first half of the SEC Championship game, Georgia had to punt, Alabama had everyone up, and if Kirby Smart had the stones, one completed pass would’ve gone the distance. If some idiot like me could see that, I’m assuming the Georgia coaches caught something they could exploit, too.
It’s not that Georgia went for the fake punt at the wrong time late in the game against Alabama. It’s that Justin Fields didn’t have a good option to try completing a throw.
Smart will forever be roasted for that, but I liked the idea that he was trying to win the game and had faith in his players – it’s the type of thing that wins a locker room, even if it doesn’t work.
That was Alabama on the other side, and if that play hit, it’s an all-timer of a call that knocks Oklahoma out of the College Football Playoff and puts Georgia in.
4. The unbreakable college football record
Middle Tennessee lost the Conference USA championship to UAB, but with his 362 yards, QB Brent Stockstill went past Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Tajh Boyd, and others to become the 32nd best passer in college football history. He has one more game against Appalachian State in your R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, needing 186 yards to pass Jared Goff and Matt Barkley to settle into the top 30 all-time, right behind Kilff Kingsbury.
Two things. 1) With Palmer getting pushed down, Phil Rivers of NC State is now the only player in football history to currently rank among the top 40 college and NFL passing leaders. Even better, he’s in the top 15 on both lists.
2) When looking all this up, it reminded me of what’s going to be among the most interesting records to try to break – Case Keenum’s mark of 19,217 career college football passing yards.
Back in 2004, I wrote that I never thought the mark of 17,072 by Hawaii’s Timmy Chang could ever be broken, partly because of the offense he played in, and partly because 53 games logged in. To hit get there, someone would have to average more than 322 yards per game, every game for more than a four-year career.
And then the perfect storm hit with Keenum at Houston. He got hurt in his junior year after starting out red hot – the 636 yards were added to the mix – and played an extra full four years, playing 57 games and averaging 337 yards per pop.
To take this further, to beat this, someone will have to 1) probably play four games somewhere, take a redshirt season, and play a full four years somewhere else, and/or 2) play on a team that gets to at least one College Football Playoff, and 3) be just okay enough to not turn pro early.
To put this into perspective, 337 yards per game would’ve made Keenum the fourth-leading passer this season behind Gardner Minshew, Dwayne Haskins and Will Grier. Someone has to produce like one of those three other guys for more than four years to approach the bar Keenum set.
3. My 15th annual Heisman issue …
I have a Heisman vote, and under signed penalty of castration – or worse, being forced to watch the 2018 Pac-12 Championship again – I’m not allowed to reveal who I voted for. However, I will say this in advance.
I reserve the right to change my vote after the College Football Playoff is over.
Again, not giving away anything on my ballot, but of course the voting changes one way or another if Kyler Murray goes off and Oklahoma beats Alabama on the way to a national title, or if Tua Tagovailoa goes 24-of-25 against the Sooners, or if they both stink and Dwayne Haskins throws for 500 yards in a Rose Bowl win over Washington.
And what if Dexter Williams (by the way, at the last possible second I caught an edit after writing Dexter Lawrence, which would be AWESOME if he …) runs for 500 yards and eight touchdowns over the next two games on the way to a national championship? What if Trevor Lawrence goes Deshaun Watson and carries Clemson to a title?
The Heisman should be about the best player in the entirety of the college football season. Let’s vote for this thing on January 8th.
2. Speaking of the Heisman …
Can we finally stop this ridiculousness and give Reggie Bush back his 2005 Heisman?
It’s 2018, and we’re still punishing the guy for working with a marketing company like he was – oh, I don’t know – suspended for betting on NFL games, or involved in a counterfeiting scheme, or convicted of armed robbery, or convicted of kidnapping, or in trouble for a cocaine addiction, or accused of shoplifting, or caught up in a sexual harassment allegation, or a key figure in one of the most famous trials in the history of the planet.
All those other things? Ehhhhh. But put together a deal with Subway just a wee bit too soon … NO NO NO BAD BAD BAD.
1. Let’s do this
Of course Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame for the national title would be amazing-fun, and I couldn’t be more geeked out to be going to the Orange Bowl to see Tua vs. Kyler, but …
Come on. We all want Bama-Clemson National Championship III, right?
Even within my own college football bubble, though, this just doesn’t resonate.
We’ve been on a crash course with these two all season long, but even after the historic games they’ve played, it’s not like there’s a buzz.
Maybe it’s because the Crimson Tide have been so good, and maybe it’s because the world hasn’t figured out how good Trevor Lawrence is, and maybe it’s because Bama throttled the Tigers in last year’s semifinal, but a third game for the national championship in four years between these two would and should be special – and there’s no hype for the possibility.
Maybe that will change if it actually happens and these two win their respective games, but I hope these two can make it to Santa Clara. I hope Dabo Swinney can see his friend and shake his hand. I hope these two put on a show as good as it has been in my dreams.