Cavalcade of Whimsy: Who Will Bounce Back? FSU's Bright Side, The Jalen Hurts Process

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Who Will Bounce Back? FSU's Bright Side, The Jalen Hurts Process

Cavalcade of Whimsy

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Who Will Bounce Back? FSU's Bright Side, The Jalen Hurts Process

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Which down teams will bounce back? FSU’s bright side, and the Jalen Hurts Process, in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.


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CFN 1-130 Rankings | Bowl Projections
Coach Hot Seat Rankings | Heisman Trophy Race
Early Week 2 Line Lookahead & Projection
10 Quick Thoughts On Oklahoma 49, Houston 31
– Projecting The Polls: AP | USA Today Coaches
3 Quick Thoughts On Every Game
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12SEC

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

I tried to write it while in bed and looking out the window. However, unlike the Liberty football team that lost to Syracuse 24-0, I’ll at least make a point.

Because putting on a shoe is a terrific way to make sure she’s your soulmate, and no, I didn’t go with solemate, because there’s a special place in hell for punny people …

There’s no such thing as a Cinderella story when it comes to the College Football Playoff.

This isn’t college basketball. You can’t win your mid-major conference or finish ninth in your power league, get hot for three weeks, and then go all 1985 Villanova and win the national title. In this, either you’ve got the guys, or you don’t.

There’s a difference between being a national championship contender and a College Football Playoff contender.

Of course it’s possible for great teams to get to the College Football Playoff – like Notre Dame last year, or 2016 Washington, or 2015 Michigan State – and that’s a whole lot of fun, and then they have to play Alabama or Clemson. If they somehow win that first game, the reward is … Alabama or Clemson.

Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma. Those are your national championship contenders, with Texas A&M and Texas submitting their application to be reviewed on Saturday. Those are the teams that have the NFL talent across the board, the depth, the elite recruits, the skill, the coaching, and everything in place to win it all.

Everyone else? They’re all just College Football Playoff contenders.

Michigan can get to the CFP. Washington, Oregon or Utah could take the Pac-12 at 12-1 and get in, and it wouldn’t be totally stunning if Michigan State or Wisconsin put something impressive together to get the No. 3 seed.

But can any of them actually win it all?

Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and Oklahoma. Your national champion is coming from this group, and if it’s another team that gets it done, fantastic. It would be wonderful to add a touch of magic to the CFP chase.

At least he didn’t say the word process …

You want to know why I’m picking Oklahoma to take that one extra step and finally get to the College Football Playoff National Championship? It’s because its quarterback is bringing this …

Yeah, Jalen Hurts’ postgame interview with Holly Rowe seemed overdramatic and a tad staged, as he refused to acknowledge his amazing performance – one that ranks among the greatest in the history of Oklahoma football – in the terrific blowout win over Houston. But for this guy, on this team, in this case, it all worked.

If this was ANYONE else – like, if Georgia State QB Dan Ellington tried to downplay the performance as “sloppy” after beating Tennessee – it would be totally silly. From Hurts, this might just be exactly what Oklahoma needs.

All offseason I was trying to explain why Hurts could be the difference for an OU program that hasn’t been able to get over the hump, and I couldn’t quite articulate it. No, he’s not Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray as a passer, but he’s a different kind of leader with a different set of skills.

So if the dude who was the starting quarterback for one national championship Alabama team, and a pick play away from possibly being on another, thinks his new team was “sloppy,” he’s correct.

Dog him all you want for sounding like Nick Saban and maybe having his former coach in his head, but that’s not a negative.

Why wouldn’t you want to bring some of the attitude and, yes, process, from the greatest college football head coach ever to a program that could be one tweak away from winning a national title?

This week’s sign that football is finally back, and not that there’s anything wrong with that …

We once again get to enjoy – as FOX/FS1 color analyst Brock Huard described – the “girth” of “large men” while “loving to see men on the ground” as the Minnesota offensive line was taking over in the win over South Dakota State.

“The problem, Willie, is that Charles and yourself are not the quickest of cats at the best of times.”

And you think you had a bad weekend. Try being a football program that Florida State head coach Willie Taggart cares about.

Taggart turned Western Kentucky from nothing into a winner before taking off for the USF gig in 2012.

Your 2019 Hilltoppers suffered the indignity of being the only FBS team to lose to an FCS team this weekend, dropping its date to Central Arkansas.

It took a few years, but Taggart built up USF into an 11-2 team in 2016 before leaving for Oregon.

Your 2019 Bulls got obliterated by Wisconsin 49-0 at home.

It was up to Taggart to restore the glory at Oregon, and he set the foundation for the turnaround with a seven-win season in 2017 before leaving for Florida State.

Your 2019 Ducks outplayed Auburn for just over 58 minutes before seeing it all go away with one Bo Nix touchdown pass.

And, of course, there were your 2019 Florida State Seminoles failing to properly hydrate in a collapse to freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier and Boise State.

To add another twist of the knife, that was true freshman QB Sam Howell – who was all but in at FSU this year before being stolen away in the recruiting process – leading North Carolina to the win over South Carolina.

With all of that said …

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