Five Cavalcade of Whimsy footballey opinions and, like, other stuff
5. Minnesota 27, Georgia Southern 20 …
I’ll continue to ask teams to think harder about this scenario.
Late in the game, Minnesota scored a touchdown against Georgia Southern to go up 27-20. It kicked the extra point to be up eight, but why not go for two?
Conservative coaching wisdom dictates that you don’t lose on the opponents’ next drive if you kick the extra point to go up eight, but in almost every situation down seven, the losing team will kick the extra point to tie it up. So if you’re Minnesota, why not go for two to be up nine? It’s a low-risk shot to be up two scores with one play.
The Gophers kicked the extra point and ended up fighting to win 35-32.
4. Minshew and Wazzu
Seriously, NFL types. Did you not pay attention to Washington State at all last year?
It’s not like the current Jacksonville starter was a high-end pro prospect, but because of his funky name and because he’s no Kyler Murray, over and over again this week he’s been sort of dismissed by NFL talking heads because, well, he’s Gardner Minshew.
All he did last year was hit 71% of his passes for 4,779 yards and 38 touchdowns with just nine picks, leading a Washington State team that was one blizzard Apple Cup loss to Washington away from playing for the Pac-12 title. Going forward …
His name is Anthony Gordon. After three games, he’s hitting 79% of his passes for 1,324 yards and 12 touchdowns and two scores for a 3-0 Wazzu team. It’s okay to watch him play.
3. 2001 Miami
Come on, fellow college football media types of a certain age – my certain age – who should know better. Do more research and know your stuff.
If you want to argue that the 2001 Miami team was the most talented of all-time, okay. No beef there. But to call it the greatest team to ever play in the 148 seasons of college football? It’s not fair, because …
2017 UCF played a tougher schedule than that Miami team.
Before the BCS Championship, 2001 Miami beat one team – Syracuse, who got stomped on by Tennessee 33-9 and beat a fat load of nothing, too – that finished with more than eight wins.
Did those Canes play or beat an SEC team? No. Did they play or beat a Big Ten team? Yeah, a really awful Penn State squad in the season opener.
They won the BCS championship by beating a Nebraska team that was annihilated by Colorado 62-36 in the regular season finale, and by a strange series of events, got into the national title game.
Miami lucked out by missing out on playing Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and Oregon, who all won their respective bowl games in huge blowouts over great teams. They would’ve all given the Canes a big problem if there was a College Football Playoff.
Of course that Miami team probably could’ve beaten any of them, just like the 2002 version was a mortal lock to beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
2. Is Kansas a thing now?
Seriously, good for you, Kansas.
That wasn’t just some strange 48-24 win over Boston College with seven takeaways, or in a hail storm, or because of anything other than being a real, live, order from the adult menu win on the road over a team that’s probably going to go bowling.
There was offensive balance, there was explosion, there was … execution. Under Les Miles, Kansas won a football game over a Power Five program because it played a whole lot better than the other side did.
If this is true, and if Kansas is good, then the Big 12 really will have to start brushing its teeth, because that means there’s no free-space game anymore in the conference.
1. The 2018 stars are shining
It’s only three weeks in, but if you can memory dump all you know from 2018, who’s the better quarterback so far in 2019?
Side-by-side Pepsi challenge time. Player A has hit 61% of his passes for 831 yards and five touchdowns with five picks, to go along with 55 rushing yards and three scores. Player B has hit 70% of his passes for 657 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions, and rushed for 114 yards and four scores.
Player A has a quarterback rating of 139.49. Player B’s rating is 184.98.
It’s sort of a strange question considering Trevor Lawrence is a national championship-winning quarterback and the be-all-end-all No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but is Player A better right now than Player B, Justin Fields?
The two were 1A and 1B in some order in all the 2018 recruiting rankings, and they’re both playing like it. To be fair, Lawrence played Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Syracuse, and Fields played Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati and Indiana. It’s still fun to see the other guy playing up to the hype, and it’s going to be a blast watching these two go at it over the next two seasons.
So to put this bug in your head. How’s this for a College Football Playoff? Lawrence and Clemson vs. Fields and Ohio State in one semifinal, and Jalen Hurts’ Oklahoma team vs. Tua Tagovailoa and Alabama in the other?
No storylines there.