Five Cavalcade of Whimsy footballey opinions and, like, other stuff
5. Auburn is really, really good
It’s been assumed that LSU’s trip to Alabama in a few weeks is going to be sort of like a playoff game, but more like an exhibition. Of course the Tide-Tiger winner will be 13-0 with an SEC Championship, and of course the loser will be 11-1 and one of the four best teams in college football.
Auburn could absolutely beat LSU this week.
This is it. This is the last Auburn road game of the year, and then it’s Ole Miss, Georgia, Samford and Alabama all at home. LSU will probably pull it off in the Tiger on Tiger action, but if it goes to the other Tigers, the world of College Football Playoff theory quickly shifts to Oregon, and …
Just enjoy. This is going to be one of the biggest games of the season, and it’s sort of being blown off.
4. The ACC Coastal
Was the ACC Coastal championship played on August 31st? Hand raised high and long on this one … who else threw Pitt on the pile of indifference? No offense, mediocre defense, losses to Virginia and Penn State, and … a four-game winning streak to currently be second in the Coastal. It has an okay run the rest of the way, and Virginia gets at Louisville, at North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Liberty, Virginia Tech.
The Cavaliers already have a loss to Miami in the division, so if Pitt wins out, and Virginia loses once more – the Cavaliers have a wee bit of a hiccup issue against Virginia Tech – your 2019 Panthers might just be right back in the ACC Championship against Clemson.
I love Tim Brando. He’s as outspoken as it gets, and he’s still got his announcing fastball. However, if you watched the Baylor win over Oklahoma State, he went a whole lot further than this below, arguing that the Baylor turnaround was the greatest of all-time as well as …
This made me SO mad, and not because Brando is necessarily wrong.
It made me mad because now I have to argue for Penn State.
What Matt Rhule has done is remarkable considering where Baylor was at after the Art Briles era, but Penn State was all but nuked into the oblivion. The players were allowed to transfer, the NCAA was trying to invent ways to potentially hand out the Death Penalty, and the negative recruiting was at an all-time level when Bill O’Brien took over the brutal mess. When James Franklin took the gig, Penn State wasn’t going to be bowl eligible.
Penn State’s 7-0 resumé this year is a whole lot better than Baylor’s, too. And Franklin won a Big Ten title.
2. Georgia State
Remember how funny it was when Georgia State shocked Tennessee to start the season?
Ha, ha, ha … the Vols couldn’t even beat a dumb Sun Belt team that won two games in 2018.
Give all sides credit. As it turns out, Georgia State is terrific.
Senior QB Dan Ellington – the star of the upset – has thrown 16 touchdown passes and just three picks, the offense is rolling, the ground game is impressive, and after stoning Army in a 28-21 victory, the Panthers are on a three-game winning streak with a 5-2 start. They’re going to end up going bowling. Tennessee won’t, which sort of speaks to …
1. The Jeremy Pruitt show
There were problems with the refs, some on-field trolling, and there were a whole lot of issues all the way around in the 35-13 loss to Alabama. But I can’t help but giving the Tennessee a wee bit of a free pass for this.
You can send a kid out there to get concussed, potentially suffer a debilitating injury, and enjoy of lifetime of CTE, but a slight tug of the facemask? Oooooooohhhhh.
No, a head coach really can’t do that, but if you’re battling through a rough season, your program is in desperate need of something special, you’re about to go in for a touchdown to pull within a score of Alabama in the fourth quarter, and your QB, apparently, goes rogue … I sort of get it.