College Football desperately needs an eight-team play-off

After penning an overly-long article about Alabama and Ohio State and why Ohio State didn’t get into the play-off but Alabama did, we at the SEC Football Blog also thought it was time to say what should be done about College Football.

Why? Because if we’re honest, we’re getting bored of the arguments about who should be in, and who shouldn’t.

In the past, we hated the BCS and its computers, we hated the pollsters, we hated everything that defined a National Champion.  We hated the BCS so much that we put in a play-off committee to decide things.

Who then screwed things up. They seemed to be able to shoot themselves in the foot, be inconsistent, and seem like they are bias. In other words, they were faulty….like all humans are. Accusations will fly back and forth between Tuscaloosa and Columbus about that, and we simply don’t know. All we know is that Ohio State won its Championship, Alabama didn’t, and yet Alabama got into the Play-Off and Ohio State didn’t.

But this could have all been sorted by an 8-team play-off.

So here’s our idea.

THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

You would have five spots for Power 5 Conference winners.

In 2017, that would be Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State and USC ranked in that order.

THE AT-LARGES

Then you would have two at-large teams and the top Non Power-5 school.

Our two at-large teams would have been Alabama (11-1 record) and probably Wisconsin (one loss). The non-Power 5 school would be UCF.

OUR PLAY-OFF RANKINGS

Our rankings:

  1. Oklahoma (Big XII Champs, better strength of schedule)
  2. Clemson (ACC Champs, beat 11-1 Miami)
  3. Georgia (SEC Champs, 11-1, only loss to then 10-2 Auburn )
  4. Ohio State (Big Ten Champions, wins over two Top 5 schools)
  5. USC (Pac-12 Champions)
  6. UCF (Highest-ranked Power-5 school by AP, 13-0 record)
  7. Alabama (Best at-large bid (11-1 record)
  8. Wisconsin (Best at-large bid (12-1 record)

THE MATCH-UPS

That would set up: Oklahoma vs Wisconsin, Clemson vs Alabama, Georgia vs UCF, Ohio State vs USC.

IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR SEASON KEPT

Of course, those bemoaning it hate the fact that an 8-team play-off would ‘reduce the importance of the regular season’ and ‘might have to reduce the regular season’.

The importance of the regular season is still going to be there. Teams will still have to get to Championship games, win them, and guarantee themselves a play-off spot. Losing a Championship Game but having a better record than anyone there becomes important (see Wisconsin over Auburn would be the only one to cause the controversy, although Wisconsin only has 1 loss compared to Auburn’s 3).

AND WE ALSO HELP THE SMALL SCHOOLS STILL

Here’s the argument for a reduction in games: While Applachian State beating Michigan (or in SEC terms, Mississippi State over South Alabama or Troy over LSU or ULM over Alabama) happens ever so often, it’s not a regular occurrence. Sorry you won’t get to see your team play Mercer, Alabama and Auburn fans. Bigger non-conference games means more fun for us all.

Or alternatively, don’t reduce the games at all. In the NFL, players will have to learn to play 16+ games anyway (unless you play for Cleveland, where it’s a straight 16!). The players themselves are at the peak, and against smaller oppostion, play the back-ups immediately. The average team size is 118, with 85 scholarships. The back-ups at Alabama should be able to hammer Alabama A&M. The small teams get their $1 million, the fans get their victory, the back-ups get to play, the starters get rested, and everyone’s happy. This happens in professional soccer all the time when a team’s trying to balance cup games and European games and league games. It works. And if fans complain that they aren’t seeing their superstars play Mercer and stay away, someone else will take their place. And  you know what happens there? A FBS’ fanbase enlarges.

WE CAN’T WAIT

Can’t wait to watch the Oklahoma vs Wisconsin, Clemson vs Alabama, Georgia vs UCF and Ohio State vs USC play-off games.

Oh….wait….. in my dreams.

Alabama’s in, but the Crimson Tide deserve it?

I love SEC Football as much as the rest of ’em, but there’s no way I can look at myself straight in the face and say: ‘We had the best conference. We deserved two teams in the play-off. College Football is great.’

Why? As a conference (apart from Georgia, Auburn and Alabama), the rest of the conference weren’t particularly great…or stank out right. As a conference, big names like LSU and Florida were a side conversation, Mississippi State lurched from looking like world-beaters one week to ‘world’ the next, Texas A&M wasn’t in the discussion, Ole Miss and Missouri were mostly interesting because of their great offenses and terrible defenses….and we all know how bad Arkansas, Tennessee and Vanderbilt was.

When your three biggest teams are effectively crapping on the opposition, that doesn’t make you a great conference. It makes you one-sided. In terms of interest as a college football fan, it wasn’t as competitive as the Big XII, Pac-12, or arguably even the ACC.

The fact that the SEC was so lackluster ensured that Alabama couldn’t make the argument about strength of schedule, because it simply wasn’t there.

And now to Ohio State…

Ohio State may have looked like world-beaters against crappy B1G opposition, but when it came down to it, the Buckeyes struggled against the biggest game of the season, losing in a blow-out to Oklahoma. Later during the season after an emotional win over Penn State, they were hammered at Iowa. After beating Michigan and its joke of an offense, the Buckeyes then won the B1G Championship Game. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, who controlled the game (if you don’t believe me look at the yardage stats), they only won by six points and not the 31 that probably would have swung a spot in their favor.

There was also the argument that Ohio State won its conference while beating two Top 5 teams in its own conference (No.2 Penn State (that went 10-2) and No.4 Wisconsin (that went 12-1), while Alabama’s only Top 5 win outside of its conference was a No.3 Florida State, who had to re-schedule Louisiana-Monroe (and pay it $1 million in the process) to ensure bowl eligibility. And the fact that Ohio State won its conference, and Alabama didn’t.

But still, it was all about the Iowa loss.

Nick Saban – as he’s so good at – lobbied the NCAA incessantly, to the point of appearing on College Gameday as a guest (and looking befuddled when some guys dumped food on the desk), and throwing shade at Ohio State for the loss in Kinnick.

However much you could argue about Kinnick being a tough place to play (just ask Michigan in 2016), the fact that the Hawkeyes had played Michigan State and Penn State tough (losing by 7 points or less both times) and was 5-3 at the time and hadn’t had a stupid loss yet (they sure made up for that with losing to Purdue!), getting spanked by 31 points was never going to be a good look for the Buckeyes – who still don’t understand what in the hell happened that afternoon.

And when that type of loss is given to someone as brilliant with the media as Nick Saban is (its helped by the fact that he’s won so many National Championships, he’s the best recruiter in the land, and Alabama is the biggest brand in the game), and you give him a head start of a week because you’re playing in a Championship Game, then the game for Ohio State almost looked over – even if they had shelled Wisconsin.

The College Football Play-Off Committee helped…

Also helping Alabama was the duality of the College Football Play-Off Committee, who was able to put forward one argument but then not back itself every week. They also seemed to look at team’s past reputations, not look at strength-of-schedule in the way that it should have done, and seem to have one rule for one team and one team for another. Alabama was also helped by the fact that while the Committe was happy to talk up losses when convenient (see the time they put Notre Dame in the Top 4 even with the UGA loss and UGA in the Top 4 win the ND rode win), but then ignore them when it didn’t seem necessary (see Syracuse loss for Clemson and Iowa State home loss from Oklahoma), yet when it came to talking up the Crimson Tide’s whooping of Florida State in Dallas on Opening Weekend, they did so with vigour, while forgetting that Alabama’s next best win was over Mississippi State and LSU. LSU lost to Troy.

But at the end of the day, Ohio State was frustrated. And sadly with this system, there will be others until something changes.

 

 

 

 

Will Georgia or Auburn win the SEC Championship Game?

Wow. The 2017 SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Auburn will be the first SEC Championship game since 2013 not to feature Alabama.

It’ll be Auburn’s first trip to the SEC Championship Game since it won a 59-42 shoot-out against Missouri in 2013, and it’ll be Georgia’s first trip to Atlanta since they lost 32-28 to Alabama in 2012 in one of the greatest SEC Championship Games in living memory.

This year, both teams come with one spot in mind: The College Football Play-Off. Basically, the winner will go to the College Football Play-Off, while the loser will be on the outside looking in.

Of course, there’s a revenge factor for Georgia. On November the Bulldogs were schooled at Jordan-Hare, losing 40-17. Auburn comes with momentum, having toppled two No.1 teams in a row in Georgia and Alabama in the Iron Bowl (with an untidy performance against Louisiana-Lafayette in the middle).

In other words, no-one in the South – or in college football – can wait for this one.

Here’s why both teams will win.

WHY GEORGIA WINS

The revenge factor. Georgia was hammered at Jordan-Hare. There are arguments that if WR Riley Ridley had caught Jake Fromm’s throw, things might have been different. Of if Georgia had decided not to give 75 yards on seven, stupid penalties. Having said that, that wasn’t the real reason the Bulldogs lost. The Bulldogs lost because they couldn’t stop Kerryon Johnson, who pummeled Georgia’s offensive line. They lost to an Auburn defensive line that shut down Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and they lost to the better quarterback in Jarrett Stidham. But now, all this doesn’t matter. Kirby Smart’s team have been looking forward to this for a week (they are pretty well-rested after easily dusting Georgia Tech in ‘Clean Old-Fashioned Hate’ (or whatever that rivalry’s called), and they now know how to stop Malzahn.

Georgia’s also going to win because they are sick to death of being told how they will ‘Georgia’. In other words, how they will miss out on the epic victory, like Mark Richt managed over and over again (with the exception of the 2005 SEC Championship Game – the last time the Dawgs won the trophy). This time it’s different, it’s personal. Chubb and Michel are both fit – unlike Johnson, who is listed as ‘probable’ by the Tigers, but we both know that with the pain that he left the Iron Bowl in, he’s unlikely to be at the top of his game. They also know how to win, and how to take advantage of what is still a week Auburn secondary.

Oh, and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium isn’t going to be a game at Jordan-Hare, either. It could feel like a home game for Georgia.

WHY AUBURN WINS

There is no team in college football with greater momentum than Auburn at the moment. After all, they’ve dispatched of two No.1s. And not only have they beaten Georgia and Alabama, but they’ve comfortably beaten them. No-one’s playing as well as their defensive line, led by Jeff Holland, Marlon Davidson, Derrick Brown and Dontavius Russell. They’ve got back-up players (Nick Coe and Andrew Williams) who are nasty as well. This defensive line didn’t just stuff Georgia – they stuffed Damien Harris and Bo Scarborough. Unless Jake Fromm turns into the new Baker Mayfield, the invasion of the Georgia offensive line will continue.

Oh, and there’s the offense, too. QB Jarrett Stidham played two of the best games of his season against Georgia and Auburn – even if his TD stats didn’t show it against the Tide (he threw for 3 TDs and 214 yards against Georgia). He’s taken control of the offense at just the right time, and he’s going to cause Georgia’s defense problems on broken plays with his legs as well as with his arms. And we ‘almost’ (hee! hee!) forget about Kerryon Johnson. Not only does he throw touchdowns, but he’ll also run over defenses. He was IMMENSE before getting injured against Alabama, and even better against Georgia. All season long he’s been incredible, running for 1,276 yards and 17 TDs, running over defenses who have tried to stop him. Gus Malzahn’s confident he’ll play.

And in terms of offensive brains, you’d take Malzahn over Kirby Smart or his offensive coordinator, Jim Chaney. So we can’t wait for the pack of cards to come out.

WHAT VEGAS THINKS

Auburn’s a two-point favorite.

WHAT WE THINK

This is going to be a damned classic. There’s no way this is going to be as one-sided as people think. We think Georgia’s D is going to come in angry as hell, and they are going to target Johnson’s shoulder (fairly or unfairly). That’s going to mean that Stidham will be forced to throw more against a very good Georgia secondary. And the revenge factor – and the fact that it will be a home game for the Dawgs – is huge.

Oh, and we’re still quite smug about Vegas only making Georgia a 11-point favorite against Georgia Tech last week. They blew that out mid-way through the third quarter. Thanks for the money!! 

SO OUR PREDICTION…

Georgia 35, Auburn 28.

Other predictions: Oklahoma will slam TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game, Clemson will have no problem with Miami (thanks to the fact that not only is it the better team but also Charlotte’s a home game for the Tigers), and Ohio State will beat Wisconsin by 14 in the Big Ten Championship Game, and USC will beat Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game. And Lane Kiffin will win with FAU (beating North Texas) and Scott Frost will take UCF to an unbeaten season by beating Memphis in a high-scoring, must-watch classic.

Why can’t Lane Kiffin get a head coaching job?

This year the rumors were hotter than ever that Lane Kiffin would get a prized coaching job. And even hotter that they would be in Houston, following Tom Herman’s decision to go to Texas to be the new head coach.

It looked a slam-dunk. The good people at USA Today reported so. And then suddenly, there was a U-Turn in the Houston ranks, who instead decided on former UH offensive coordinator Major Applewhite to be the head coach.

The school’s logic? Houston’s board of regents chairman Tilman Fertitta (great name, by the way sir) called into a radio station and said: ‘”Lane Kiffin did not show me anything that Major Applewhite did not show me. Sure, he’s been a head coach, and he’s been an OK head coach. But I can tell you this: It was not a safe hire.”

OK, so what did he mean by safe hire?

Was the term ‘safe hire’ about really being an ‘OK head coach’?  At Tennessee he moved the Vols from a 5-7 record to a 7-6 record, but his mouthing-off about Alabama and Florida didn’t help him when lost to them. And there seemed to be a bunch of hope. So when he left for SC, Kiffin was actually better than most people believe at USC – particularly after the postseason bans and loss of scholarship players in the 2010 season that dropped his would-be 85 scholarship players to just 71….and he came with an 8-5 record. The next season – with another bowl ban – USC had a 10-2 record. In 2012, he showed a lot of self-confidence — even voting the Trojans to No.1 in a preseason poll….and finished with an 8-5 record. In 2013, the most famous move for him was being fired at LAX after starting the season with a 4-7 record. And as an offensive coordinator at Alabama, he’s seen nothing but success, helping Nick Saban to a National Championship in 2015 (and probably in 2016, since the Crimson Tide looks unstoppable under his offensive tutelage) and back-to-back-to-back SEC Championships. Oh, and there’s been a Heisman Trophy thrown in there for Derrick Henry, too. But there is this fact: In two out of three of his head coaching jobs, Kiffin has been fired. And both of them have been unceremonious. Houston probably couldn’t face a controversy like that again.

….But he’s proved to be excellent offensive coordinator… As an offensive coordinator at Alabama, he’s seen nothing but success, helping Nick Saban to a National Championship in 2015 (and probably in 2016, since the Crimson Tide looks unstoppable under his offensive tutelage) and back-to-back-to-back SEC Championships. Oh, and there’s been a Heisman Trophy thrown in there for Derrick Henry, too.

Was the term ‘safe hire’ about loyalty? The University of Houston probably looked at Kiffin’s one-stop ‘drop’ of Tennessee (and the way he did it) and thought to themselves: ‘As soon as ‘bigger job’ comes up, he’ll walk. And we don’t want to be seen as a ‘feeder school’ to big-time programs.

But remember this… Kiffin was fired at the Oakland Raiders. And he was fired at the Trojans. He didn’t leave them.

Was the term ‘safe hire’ about his mouth and actions? OK, so here’s the problem that Houston probably thought about Lane Kiffin. While every time you’ve seen Kiffin on the sidelines next to Nick Saban, Saban’s been the one giving out the abuse (Kiffin’s taken it…much to my admiration, if I’m honest). But that hasn’t always been the case. He was called a ‘flat-out liar’ by Oakland’s ownership in 2008 because the rumors were floating about his considering college football roles…and then he denied it. That probably didn’t score any points with the Houston guys. Then, there was his arrival in Tennessee, when not only did he say in an overly-confident arrival that he would beat Florida and Alabama (he didn’t), but a few weeks after said that Urban Meyer – then the Florida coach – of cheating and NCAA violations. That probably didn’t go down well. Then he was rude about other SEC competitors.

Was the term ‘safe hire’ about his actions? And speaking of actions, there have been a bunch of accusations  – that we won’t print – about Lane Kiffin’s off-the-field behavior that certain boards of regents might be unhappy with. But then again, Major Applewhite didn’t exactly do himself any favors in that department, either.

So how will it play out? We don’t know. Kiffin’s obviously an offensive genius but he’s got the hirers really, really worried about his mouth, his history with ownership, leadership, and SEC and NCAA administrators when a head coach. Nick Saban has openly supported Lane Kiffin finding a head coaching job, and has said that he’s ‘ready again’ to take the job. That’s an excellent reference if you ask us. Florida Atlantic are said to be going for Kiffin, but the talks have stalled. How does this blog think things will go? Kiffin will stay for another year as OC of Alabama. And God Help Us All. 

Saban tops CBS Top 25 College Football Coaches Poll

This isn’t the most surprising news in the world, but Nick Saban’s just topped the CBS Sports Top 25 College Football Coaches Poll.

The Alabama coach beat Ohio State’s Urban Meyer to the No.1 spot, with TCU’s Gary Patterson, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio rounding out the Top 5.

Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, LSU’s Les Miles, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Stanford’s David Shaw and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh rounded out the Top 10.

 

Other SEC coaches include Auburn’s Gus Malzahn (13), Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss) (21), and Bret Bielema (Arkansas) (22).

The whole poll is here.

If you’re a big-time recruit, why go for the big school?

It’s National Signing Day, which means that Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson will be topping the charts, and everyone will be talking about their beautiful collection of players. Other than Jim Harbaugh, who’s sleeping with the parents of a potential 2017 recruit in an effort to get the top-rated from Wisconsin to play in Ann Arbor.

Anyway, we know that a ton of players decide to go and play in Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge and Columbus. But we’ve been thinking: If you’re a four or five-star player, why would you want to go to a big school like an Alabama, LSU or Ohio State?

Here’s the reasons why going to the likes of a big-time program is stupid, recruits:

  1. The depth chart: The depth that these schools has is insane, which means that you’ll probably be starting in  your junior year. You’ll probably want to go to the NFL immediately, come out as a sixth round pick, and then not even make it through OTAs. If you’re sensible and make it through to your senior year, everyone’s asking: “Was he not good enough to get out as a junior?” If you go to a smaller school (let’s say a Mississippi State, Penn State or even (laughs) Texas) you’ll get more playing time, which means more exposure, which means more money in the long run.
  2. You’re not going to be The Big Man On Campus: As much as Nick or Les persuade you, it ain’t gonna happen. Unless your name is Jacob Eason or another QB who’s going to start immediately. If you go to a big-time school, the girls aren’t going to give a crap about a guy who’s got no playing time. You’re a nothing.
  3. The next year’s going to suck: This is along the lines of No.1, but it’s likely that Coach Saban’s going to get another 6-5, 300lb DE who’s probably going to overtake you. Why? Because he does that every single year. What does that mean? If you put a foot wrong, you’re not going to start. Why not go to a smaller school where you can make a mistake or two and still play all three or four years?
  4. They offer tons, and deliver little: The big schools are big because they have the facilities to tell recruits how ‘wonderful’ and ‘valued’ they’ll be as part of the team. I call B.S. on that. It’s simply not true. They aren’t valued because everyone’s a 4 or 5 star recruit.
  5. If you play in a big-time conference and succeed, the school won’t matter when it comes to the NFL Draft: If you play for a lower-tier SEC, Big Ten or ACC school and you stand out, you’re going to a high draft and make money in the NFL. NFL scouts are getting better and better at not looking down at kids for where they played. See Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt, for example….
  6. Top NFL players have played at small schools: Kahlil Mack played at Buffalo. Tony Romo at Eastern Illinois. This year Carson Wentz from North Dakota State is getting love. Remember Malcolm Butler, the cornerback who made that incredible play against Seattle in Super Bowl 49? He played for Alcorn State. If you go to a smaller school, you’re going to be hungrier….and that’s better for your career long-term, right?

Will the SEC continue to dominate recruiting in 2016?

For years, it seemed as though the SEC would go 1-14 in recruiting. Like, every year. OK, so there were years when Florida State challenged the might of Alabama (failed), and other schools like Clemson and Notre Dame were pretty exciting, but really, high school football has seen recruits WANT to come and play SEC football, with everyone else picking up the scraps.

And then Florida State won a National Championship in 2014. And then Ohio State won one in 2015. And the SEC looked a little weaker during the 2014 season. Everyone got a little worried.

This year, the recruiting leaderboards are still chock-full of SEC teams, although Ohio State is the No.1 team in the nation so far, thanks to picking up the commitments to three four-star athletes on Monday.

LSU is second on the list, Michigan is third, followed by Florida State and Ole Miss. Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Clemson and Alabama round out the Top 10. That’s 50% of the Top 10 in the SEC, people.

Auburn is in 11th place, Texas A&M is in 19th, Tennessee is 22nd, Arkansas is 25th, South Carolina and Kentucky are 29th and 30th respectively, and Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are 41st and 48th.

You can expect Alabama to make a big run in the last few weeks of the signing process, simply because there isn’t a better person at meeting the family and chatting to recruits than Nick Saban. He’ll do just about anything to get a recruit to play for Alabama, including arcade basketball with vaunted recruit AJ Brown. He’s trying to beat Mississippi State to the signature of Brown – who hails from Starkville.

You’d actually make Saban the favorite because Dan Mullen simply can’t be trusted to try and stay in Starkville – however much he’ll say the opposite to recruits.

Where’s he interviewing next? The Wall St Journal?

Dan Mullen’s getting close to leaving Mississippi State

If you believe the news, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is talking to Miami about the head coaching job in Coral Gables.

The connection for Mullen and Miami isn’t a particularly difficult one. Mullen was the offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida between 2005 and 2008, and is know as one of the better quarterback coaches in the game.

Under Mullen’s leadership at Mississippi State, Dak Prescott became one of the best quarterbacks in college football in 2014 and 2015, and Mullen’s team also managed to get to No.1 in the polls in the regular season for the first time in the school’s history last year.

Mississippi State had a 54-35 record with Mullen, who is currently God in The Land Of The Cowbell.

But it’s getting obvious that Mullen’s looking for a better opportunity, and with openings available from Athens to Charlottesville to Miami opening up, the opportunities are there for the former Florida man to be well paid once this off-season is over.

So why would he be leaving? It’s pretty easy. Miami and the State of Florida are two of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the nation, and is one of the biggest names in college football – far bigger than Mississippi State. You can also expect Miami – one of the wealthier private schools in the nation – to be able to stump up around $5m – more than the current $4.2m he’s being paid by MSU.

And will Dan Mullen leave? Well, now with the graduation of Dak Prescott, Mullen’s going to have to rebuild again. MSU’s currently 18th on the 24-7 recruiting ranks – good for 8th in the SEC. Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley would be battling it out for the starting QBs job on the team, which loses six starting seniors and could lose as many as 10 starting juniors (although that’s unlikely).

In Miami, Mullen might have to rebuild again, but he’ll be able to rebuild quicker – especially with the talent at his hands in South Beach.

 

SEC Bowl Predictions: Will Alabama Roll?

We were thinking of going with such articles as “SEC bowls we’re looking forward to”, but if we’re honest, we’re looking forward to all of ’em, unless we get drinking and then we stop watching football because we’re too busy catching up with THAT GUY who we went to high school with who’s back for a while to show off his new wife and tell everybody how he got that BIG CAREER in the city. Let’s face it, the guy who’s come out of this Christmas best is Will Muschamp. Gets fired by Florida, gets $6.2m for his trouble. Picks up $1m job as defensive co-ordinator at Auburn a few weeks later. And has a smoking hot wife to boot. We love you, Mrs Muschamp.

Anyway, rant over. Here’s our predictions:

JAN 1 – SUGAR BOWL / PLAY-OFF SEMI FINAL – ALABAMA VS OHIO STATE

We didn’t really believe in Lane Kiffin’s offense until the Auburn and Missouri games. And now, we believe. We believe in the strategy of speed, a mobile quarterback, and one of the best wide receivers in the league. We believe in a defense that still struggles against high-speed offences, but believes in themselves in the red-zone. We’re starting to believe in the secondary. We believe that Alabama’s going to beat Ohio State, and it’ll probably be by 10, if not more. Cardele Jones, Ohio State’s QB, has got a CANNON for an arm, but this Alabama pass rush is not Wisconsin’s.

PREDICTION: Alabama by 14 in a game that’s not that great. You know, except for Bama fans. We are hoping for lots of ESPN fan shots of wasted fans stumbling around the ‘Dome after overdoing it on New Year’s Eve and topping it up on New Year’s Day. 

(By the way, we think OREGON’S GOING TO BEAT FLORIDA STATE AND JAMEIS WINSTON’S GOING TO BITCH ABOUT IT).

AND NOW IN DATE ORDER….

SOUTH CAROLINA VS MIAMI (INDEPENDENCE BOWL), DECEMBER 27TH

We’ve never been to Shreeveport, LA so we don’t know what the place is like, but we’re sure it would be a great place to spend a post-Christmas vacation to watch the Independence Bowl. Or not watch it, because this game’s going to be ugly. South Carolina has been awful this season, and Miami has had no real identity, apart from being involved in an awesome night game in Nebraska. Which they lost. South Carolina’s got Spurrier, so we hope he’s got some cracks about the “U” in the 1980s.

PREDICTION: Miami beats South Carolina by 3 in a close game. Spurrier throws his visor a lot. 

TEXAS A&M VS WEST VIRGINIA (LIBERTY BOWL, MEMPHIS), DECEMBER 29TH

The over/under’s is 67 for this game. You are kidding, right? 167’s the better bet. And we’d still take the over. This is going to be fun.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M wins 143-141 in the longest college football game ever. 

ARKANSAS VS TEXAS (TEXAS BOWL, HOUSTON), DECEMBER 29TH

Arkansas ****ing hates Texas. They really do. We remember a few years ago when Texas came into Arky for a game in Fayetteville. The smell of hatred was in the air. These two teams have played each other 77 times in the past, so it’s not exactly a new rivalry. If they get a 14-point lead, there’s no other winner in this game than the Razorbacks. The Horns just have no offense. But can they get through Texas’ born-again ‘D’?

PREDICTION: Arkansas by 7 in a great one.

GEORGIA VS LOUISVILLE (BELK BOWL, CHARLOTTE), DECEMBER 30TH

Georgia will just be hoping to get through the bowl game without MORE big-time injuries/suspensions. Don’t be surprised if the Dawgs mail it in. The fans will be tailgating (those who actually go, who won’t be many) and talking about Todd Grantham, the Louisville DC. Since he came to Louisville, the Cardinals have been really good at getting off the field on 3rd downs, which wasn’t really a concept at UGA. Look out for DeVonte Parker, the Louisville WR, who’s really, really good.

PREDICTION: Louisville by 7. Also take the “over” on 56.5, too. 

NOTRE DAME VS LSU (MUSIC CITY BOWL, NASHVILLE), DECEMBER 30TH

CATHOLICS VS CAJUNS!!!! We can’t wait. We can’t wait for the comedy quarterbacks – Notre Dame’s Everett Gholson (who sucks), and LSU’s Anthony Jennings (who really, really sucks), some pretty bad defence, and ESPN trying to sell us on this fantastic rivalry. The last time these two met, LSU beat the crap out of Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, and it was AWESOME. The crowd was really drunk, and one of them had a great sign that said: “Even Rudy can’t save you!!” Can’t wait to see LSU fans in Nashville’s country bars. Should liven ’em up….

PREDICTION: LSU by 3 in game everyone would like to forget. 

MISSISSIPPI STATE VS GEORGIA TECH (ORANGE BOWL), DECEMBER 31ST

A pre-New Year’s Bowl for Mississippi State is a real disappointment for a team that was at one stage No.1 and an almost-cert for a play-off. You know, until they lost to Alabama and then Ole Miss. We love Dak Prescott, but we’re not sure how much more this team has in its tank, especially against a Georgia Tech that beat Georgia on the road and gave Florida State the time of their lives.

PREDICTION: Georgia Tech by 7 in the monster upset. 

OLE MISS VS TCU (PEACH BOWL), DECEMBER 31ST

Ole Miss and TCU fans: You should definitely go to Atlanta for Christmas. Atlanta’s got some really cool areas and is a lot of fun. We think it’s going to be 80:20 Ole Miss fans in the Georgia Dome thanks to the geography. The question we’ve got is this: Will TCU be going into this game with a chip on its shoulder after getting left out of the play-off, or will they be so distraught that Robert Nkemdiche & Co eats their offense alive? Oh, and keep Bo Wallace out of the Clermont Lounge before the game, the offense might click (after the game, Bo, Clermont away!!!).

PREDICTION: This is going to be one of the closest games of the bowl season. I’m stumping for Ole Miss in the upset because their D is better than TCU’s. A lot better. 

AUBURN VS WISCONSIN (OUTBACK BOWL), JAN 1

To quote an Alabama line, Auburn’s going to beat the hell of Wisconsin. Wisconsin was scuppered by head coach Gary Anderson deciding that he suddenly loved Oregon State, and Paul Chryst’s hiring from Pittsburgh is hardly inspiring. And it might be Barry Alvarez coaching the bowl game, it might be Chryst. Melvin Gordon will go at half-pace to try and not get injured (and still go for 150 against Auburn’s ‘D’), while Wisconsin’s D will not be able to cope with the fast pace of the Tigers. The big eyes will be on Will Muschamp and the defense, which will no doubt get criticised if they do one thing wrong.

PREDICTION: Auburn by 21. 

MISSOURI VS MINNESOTA (CITRUS BOWL), JAN 1

TRUE HOPE: Let’s hope Jerry Kill doesn’t have an epileptic fit. OTHER TRUE HOPE: Let’s hope some fans show up to the game. PROBABLE FACT: Seats will outnumber fans for this one.

PREDICTION: If anyone cares apart from degenerate gamblers, Missouri probably wins by 7. Maybe.

TENNESSEE VS IOWA (TAXSLAYER BOWL, JACKSONVILLE), JAN 2

When you’re playing the day AFTER the New Year’s Day Bowl and the College Play-Off, you know that you didn’t have a particularly great season. And this is the case for these two teams. Look, we think Tennessee’s got talent at wide receiver, but the offensive line’s so young, and Josh Dobbs has a lot to learn. And as for Iowa, we’re still wondering how Kirk Ferentz is in a job after inspiring nobody for about a decade.

PREDICTION: Iowa scores one for the Big Ten, winning by 7.

FLORIDA VS EAST CAROLINA (BIRMINGHAM BOWL, BIRMINGHAM, AL), JAN 3

Um….Er….Yeah. Great. Can’t wait. If Jim McElwain deals with 50% of UF’s offensive issues in this game, he’s an offensive GOD. That’s how bad the Gators are on offense (and still managed to dump on Georgia). The Gators ‘D’ is going to be tested by East Carolina’s offense, too.

PREDICTION: Florida by 14, although this game is pretty entertaining for the 500 fans in attendance.

 

 

 

Why hiring Lane Kiffin would be a bad idea for Alabama

Lane Kiffin is interviewing for the Alabama’s offensive co-ordinator’s job, according to CBSSports.com.

He was asked to come in and ‘evaluate’ the offense before the Sugar Bowl by ‘Bama head coach Nick Saban, who incidentally shares his agent, Jimmy Sexton.

But would this be a good idea?

Let’s get this clear, if there’s a person more persona non grata in college football than Lane Kiffin, we’d really to know who he is.

Here’s a list of fanbases who loathe him:

1) Tennessee’s fanbase: He preached loyalty, and then left to the University of Southern California after 14 months. The team who signed up for him were shocked and outraged. The fans still are.

2) Florida’s fanbase: During his stay in Tennessee, he accused Florida of recruiting violations, naming a recruit by name. SEC God Mike Slive gave him a vocal reprimand, so he’s probably not liked by Slive either.

3) Alabama’s fanbase: Nick Saban must have a short memory. Because when Kiffin brought linebackers coach Lance Thompson from Alabama, Kiffin basically said that Saban was nothing without Thompson’s recruiting skills. Way to go, Lane.

4) USC fans: Promised championships and the world. And failed to even get into a Pac-12 Championship. He also lied about putting the Trojans as pre-season No.1, which didn’t go down to well with the pollsters. He also violated a number of other NCAA rules, which USC hardly needed bearing in mind the situation that Reggie Bush had put the school in. Kiffin was fired mid-way through the season after Arizona State put 60-odd points on the Trojans….at LAX. And the team, who seemed to HATE playing for him, immediately improved.

5) Penn State fans: During the first year of Penn State’s problems, schools were allowed to try and pick off Penn State players with no NCAA one-year transfer issue. Kiffin didn’t ask about 1 player…..he asked about 25. Including some very junior players and some walk-ons. According to friend of the SEC blog: “O’Brien – infuriated – called Kiffin and said: “I can’t believe you’ve done that! No wonder no-one likes you”, and before Kiffin could try and weasel his way out of the situation, the phone was down.” Kiffin, by the way, only managed to get Silas Redd….who has spent most of his time in California injured.

BOTTOM LINE: If you want someone who’s been in continuous trouble with NCAA for underhanded stuff not only off the field, but on the field, then please, go for Lane Kiffin, Alabama. You haven’t been in trouble with the NCAA in a while, and Lane Kiffin will probably make sure you find trouble again. But the menace of Kiffin isn’t only that. He’s got to be disliked by Mike Slive, who probably doesn’t want him back in the SEC. Multiple fanbases really don’t like him. Not only that, but he’s not loyal. In the least. See what he did to Tennessee for details. Does Alabama, who’s done everything to rebuild its reputation after FulmerGate, really want to go back there? 

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