All That and a Bag of Mail

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Another season, another year worth of me attempting to write the mailbag with Southwest’s awful wifi as a I travel cross country for college football from the Fox lot. This year we’ll have our Countdown To Kickoff Show every Friday night at midnight eastern. As I tweeted earlier this week, the only people on the east coast who will still be awake to watch are college kids, gamblers, and drunks — aka 98% of my readership. 

I’m going to try and be fast in responding to questions this week because I have no faith in this wonky wifi and I want to make sure that there’s at least something up to help distract y’all at work.

Before I start answering questions, how about Vandy pulling the perfect Vandy ending last night? Fail on a two point conversion that would have tied the game and then recover an onside kick by touching it a foot before it went ten yards. That’s after throwing two awful end zone interceptions, dropping a guaranteed touchdown pass, and missing a chip shot field goal. I feel bad for Derek Mason because his defense was pretty great last night — and the Commodores didn’t look totally incompetent unlike last year — but it’s really hard to see Vandy beating anyone other than Austin Peay and, maybe, MTSU this year. If the defense plays great all season, maybe they can give Kentucky a run and sneak up on a couple of SEC teams that totally overlook them, but where are the points on offense going to come from? I’ll tell you this much though, I’m taking the under on every Vandy game all year. In fact, I don’t even know what the over/under in Georgia-Vandy will be, but I’m hammering the under the moment it’s released. Georgia’s bringing a new quarterback on the road in the SEC and doesn’t have much offensive explosiveness outside of Nick Chubb. Meanwhile, Vandy’s offense is going to be totally dominated by Georgia. The score in this one might get into the twenties combined. Might…

Anyway, there’s probably no sports fan in Nashville who feels worse than Derek Mason does this morning. If his team goes 3-9 or worse this year, what has he done to deserve a third year?   

Anyway, here we go with the mailbag:


I think it’s only a matter of time before Lane Kiffin gets another shot as a head coach. He seems to be one of the most celebrated assistants in the SEC at the moment.  The question is, where does he go?  He won’t get another shot at USC, and I suspect he won’t leave Alabama without getting a fairly prominent position.  My best guess is that he ultimately ends up at South Carolina when Spurrier decides to step down.  But another rather devious outcome makes me smile:  How much would it burn Tennessee fans if Kiffin were to take over at Vanderbilt?  Would that be enough to bring out all the Vol Updykes (we all know they exist, they’re just not as prominent as the Bama variety)?”

I was actually discussing whether Vandy would ever hire Lane Kiffin with a couple of buddies this week. This was in the midst of our inevitable, who will Vandy hire when they fire Derek Mason discussion? That’s a discussion, by the way, that every Vandy fan — yes, they exist — is having this morning. I know David Williams pretty well — I love the guy — and I think it’s unlikely he’d go with Lane Kiffin. I’m also not sure how good of a fit Kiffin would be or whether he would take the job. I think Kiffin is more likely to take an ACC job, personally. He’s been in the SEC and the Pac 12 now, why not take a good job in the ACC or the Big 12 or the Big Ten and try and win there? It’s easier. Would UVa hire Kiffin? How about Miami if they fired Al Golden? Hell, how about the most average coaching job in America, Illinois? (Although granted Kiffin is like Ron Zook 2.0, only without the likability).

As for Vandy, here’s some early names I’d keep an eye on — Justin Fuente at Memphis, Jake Spavital at Texas A&M — I think the Aggie offense is going to be explosive as hell, and Spavital will get a ton of the credit — and maybe Rhett Lashlee at Auburn. To be honest, I’d go get the most exciting offensive football coach I could find anywhere in the country and try to reclaim some of the energy that James Franklin bought to bear. It’s incredible how quickly Vandy football tanked when he left. From back to back nine win seasons, and three straight bowl trips, to abject misery in the span of just over a year. 

If you ever doubted the difference a head coach — and the staff he hires — can make, Vandy going from James Franklin to Derek Mason is one of the best possible examples we’ve ever seen.  

Walt writes:

“Dear Gay Muslim,

My friends and I were engulfed in your favorite type of debate, a mythical one. We were drunk watching a UFC fight and got in the following argument. We were trying to decide what type of non-firearm weapon would you need to defeat a UFC guy like Conor McGregor in a fight to the death. We are all later in our college years and average size and strength. We work out regularly but clearly aren’t football players. We initially thought baseball bat or golf club but if they successfully block your initial strike than he’s into your body and before you know it he’s on top of you with no ref to stop the fight. One of our friends says brass knuckles would be all he needs but the rest of us think the bare minimum would be a sword. What do you think would be necessary and what odds would you put since you love to make mythical odds. 

P.S. If you bet the mortgage on Tennessee beating Florida this year you’re dead to me. 

P.P.S. We are the ones who painted the beer pong table so thanks for the retweet.”

You’d need a violent weapon to beat a UFC fighter in a fight to the death. There’s no way that a baseball bat or a golf club would work at all. The odds of a perfect strike are minimal and once you hit them once, they’d disarm you. The same is true of your friend’s ridiculous idea that he could beat a UFC fighter if he had brass knuckles. Just stop. The fighter would break the arm that you were wearing brass knuckles on, take the knuckles off and beat you to death with your own weapon. 

I think you’d have to go axe or sword, both razor sharp. You’d need something where even if you don’t use it perfectly you inflict seriously bodily harm, and potentially could kill them with one strike. Because I think you’d only get one strike. Anything less than an axe or sword and they take the weapon and use it against you. They still might end up taking the axe or sword and using it against you, but at least you’d have a decent chance of disabling or seriously maiming them with your initial swing. 

As for Florida, rest easy, I am betting on Tennessee in every game, except for the Florida game, when I will bet my mortgage on the money line for the Gators to win. 

Chad T. writes:


As we approach the college football season and everyone still thinks their team has a legitimate chance to win the national championship, it seemed an appropriate time to ask you a very important question: Would you take the chance of delivering a baby in the stadium if your team makes it to the title game?

By way of background, my wife and I are diehard Georgia fans.  My wife is also due with our second baby on January 14th.  The playoffs are December 31st.  The Championship is the 11th.  Your prediction last week that Georgia would make it the playoffs (and then the title game) prompted the following conversation:  

Wife:  Ummmm.  What are we going to do if Georgia is playing in the title game?

Me: What will we do when an asteroid strikes in the Atlantic Ocean and decimates the eastern seaboard?  Both seem comparably likely… we should game plan for both. 

Wife: Seriously! It could happen.

Me: Seriously… Asteroids are everywhere.

Wife: We should ask Clay Travis, he will know what to do.

So, if Georgia does the most Georgia thing ever and actually get to the National Championship THE ONE YEAR we also have a baby due the same week, what should we do? Go together and risk delivery on the plane — or better yet, in the stadium?  Do I go alone and take the risk my child will be born while I’m at the game? 

For the record, I nixed the “go alone” option.  It seems like a recipe for a disaster.  The current, EXTREMELY hypothetical plan is to hope they end up in Arlington for the playoff game — €”we live in Houston so it seemed feasible to make the three plus hour drive two weeks before her due date. 

But of course, we need your opinion before making further plans!  


Chad and Rebecca

P.S. One semi-unrelated final thought: If this gets put in the mailbag then you, dear random Outkick reader, may be thinking “Is this THAT Chad and Rebecca who live in Houston and are diehard Georgia fans? I didn’t think she was pregnant…”  If that is you, then the answer is yes.  Yes, that’s us.  Sorry we chose this medium to tell you Rebecca is pregnant.  Also… Rebecca is pregnant.”

I think y’all could probably make the drive to Dallas on December 31st without too much trouble. But there is no way on earth I’d let my nine month pregnant wife make the trip to Arizona for the title game. You can’t go either — even though it’s your second kid. You just can’t risk it.

Because let’s be honest, do you have any doubt at all that when Georgia inevitably Georgia’d the national title game at the most stressful time possible — I’m predicting a fumbled hand off at the one yard line as they go in for the winning score, either that or a player drops the ball just before he crosses the goal line as he prepares to score the winning touchdown — your wife will actually go into labor inside the stadium?  

By the way, is there a more Georgia way possible to lose a game than a player dropping the ball too early as he scores what would have otherwise been the winning touchdown? If Georgia had played Alabama and had a kick six opportunity, I’m totally convinced the player would have done this. 

Congrats on kid number two though. Just think of how many Georgia’d plays he or she will live through.   

Zach writes:

“Let me preface anything I’m about to say with I am the best man in a destination wedding the entire Labor Day weekend aka college football opening week. This destination is a remote island in the southern Caribbean. While this is a very significant issue, positive thinking lets me think I can prevail and survive thanks to what we now know as Wi-Fi, IPad, smartphones, and of course the hope the island cable includes a sports package. (I repeat….the HOPE). 

Now, while this is a big enough issue for some, I have what I feel like is an even bigger, long-term situation that will come to a head this weekend. My wife recently found out she’s pregnant (I assume it’s mine) and she will not be partaking in any drinking activities and most likely get annoyed at a lot of things during the trip. My problem is what do I do? As best man, there is zero fucking chance I breathe a sober breath on this island. There’s also zero chance I will not eat every single piece of sushi (my wife LOVES sushi), rare meat, random Caribbean appetizer, or anything else pregnant women cannot or should not eat. (*Side note, I figure if I can consume enough free shit I might be able to pay for this fiasco. Obviously the wife will not entertain this logic.)

So my issue is what to do with a pregnant wife on a destination wedding trip to a remote Caribbean island that serves her favorite foods/seafood and pretty much free drinks all around???

I’ve contemplated a couple options but am open for suggestions. I can throw some money at the situation (as you always can) like buying her a massage while I’m playing golf, paying for activities, and probably some shopping. I figure this might get me a good ways but it might not get me free and clear from the wrath of a hungry, sober, pregnant women surrounded by: 1) food she loves but can’t/shouldn’t eat, 2) drinks she loves she can’t drink, and 3) a husband that might end up peeing in the hotel room closet later that night.

I figure you have a few children (that you know of) and have possibly been in this wedding situation a few times. This seems extra delicate as we are not going down to party in Nashville on Broadway. We are going to a Carribean island destination.

I need something else I can do ASAP! This situation is approaching quickly!! H.E.L.P.”

The best thing about a pregnant wife — aside from the clear advantage of a baby — is you’ve got a designated driver everywhere you go for nine months. The worst thing is I can only imagine that being pregnant really, really sucks. Especially at the end when you’re huge and at the beginning when you’re sick as hell and tired all the time. You guys are going to be on a remote Caribbean island and she’s probably been excited about how much fun she’ll have. Now she can’t drink or eat all sorts of food that a resort like this specializes in. 

So here’s what you do, you definitely pay for her to get a massage every day that you’re there. (Don’t worry, you’ll recoup the money that you spend on the massages using my gambling picks this fall. Trust me. I’m going to be en fuego this year. 3-1 on opening night? I may break Vegas before Halloween). You also, and this is a really strong play by you, at least one of the days, don’t drink during the day and spend the entire day with her. Make a big deal of the fact that you aren’t drinking and want to spend time with her — but not too big of a deal where you’re acting like you just won a purple heart. Go sober paddleboarding or just hang out by the pool. No booze for an entire day. 

Good luck getting the games. It has been my experience that you’re probably fucked on that, by the way.

Andrew writes:

“Hey Clay,

I love the mailbag and for starters I just want to say your gay. I have currently graduated from the University of Alabama, part of the 15% officially now, and have a job as an engineer making decent money; however, I still live with my parents. I planned on getting an apartment right away, but to save money for possibly buying a car and/or house I decided to live with my parents for a bit. So my question is how long is it acceptable for me to live with my parents? The amount I am saving each month is crazy, and when I talked about getting an apartment my mom asked, “Is living with us that bad?” 

Do I move out and spend a lot of money I could easily save by living at home (where I am welcome) or do I stay at home and watch my savings go up and up and possibly even have enough to make a down payment on a house? Of course dating is the major issue here. I am 23, so would me living at home be a deal breaker for most women?”

First, it’s not uncommon for recent college graduates to move home and live with their parents. How long you can do this, I think, depends on several factors:

Let’s begin with this one: All houses are not created equal. Do you have entrance and exit to your own room or do you enter through the first house? Are your parents rich and do they have an awesome pool house with free cable and wifi with an outdoor grill and patio and a fully stocked refrigerator full of beer? If so, can I live there when my wife divorces me? Because that’s an awesome place and no one will blame you for taking advantage of that for several years. But that’s probably a rarity.

Another thing to consider is where is their house? Is it in a cool part of town with access to places where other people your age go out, or are you a half hour away in a suburban wasteland? Finally, and this is probably the most important, where is your bedroom? Do you share a wall? Do you have to pass your parent’s bedroom to get to your own bedroom? The more space between you and your parents the more acceptable living at home is. 

As for how long you can do it, I would say two years after college is probably your maximum length of stay unless your parent’s house is just incredible. That puts you at 24 years old. It’s fine to stay with your parents for longer if you have financial difficulty of some issues that force you there, but you’re an engineer making good money. Why waste your twenties when you’re young with disposable income living at home? I’d say save money for two years. You can buy a place then. If you can buy a place, even if it’s a shitty place, by 25 years old, you’ll make up for whatever derision you got for living at home by blowing them away with the fact that you own a home. 

Plus, to be fair, no one knows what anything actually costs until you’re around 25 years old. That’s when guys or girls with good jobs start outkicking their coverage in a major way. Making your own money is a big deal by this age. Prior to that, just about everyone in college is living, to some degree or other, off their parents.   

Okay, I’m bouncing now before the wifi dies. I’m expecting all you drunk, gambling, college kids to be watching our college football kickoff show on FS1 tonight at midnight. I’m the host this year, so there’s no telling how many ways I’m going to mess up. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.