All That and a Bag of Mail

ARLINGTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 05: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on as his team prepares to take on the Wisconsin Badgers during The Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 03: Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers watches from the sideline during the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Tiger Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Good news today: we’re testing Outkick the Show, our new daily one hour show that will air live on Periscope, Facebook, Fox Sports Go, and Outkick. It will then be turned into a podcast for those of you who prefer to have an audio file. Fingers crossed that the test goes well and we’ll be able to start it soon. 

In other news, I’ll be on Colin Cowherd’s show at 2 eastern, so if you need some afternoon entertainment flip it on FS1.

For those of you who missed last night’s Countdown to Kickoff show, I think it was our best show yet. We’re having an awesome time. Here I am coming off the top rope on Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. 

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Dak Prescott, who would be one of the most famous SEC football players of all time if he played for LSU instead of Mississippi State. I’m serious about that, he’s under the radar because of where he plays. The guy is fantastic. State’s in a perfect spot to pull off an upset over Alabama next weekend no matter what happens this weekend against LSU. You’ve got the Tide going on the road the week after what will be a physical show down and Mississippi State with several extra days to recover and prepare. In fact, I’m taking State no matter what the line is.   

Okay, here we go with the mailbag:

Jeff writes:

“American Pharoah’s stud fee has been set at $200,000. The fee is owed upon birth of the horse. Ahmed Zayat, American Pharoah’s owner, already has 200 stud sessions set for the next 5 months. A horse’s gestation period is 11 months. That’s $40,000,000 Ahmed will make in the next year from breeding one horse if all of the stud sessions work.

Seeing this news reported by Darren Rovell got me thinking. If human stud fees were legalized, who would gain the most?

Logically, one would think Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, David Beckham and Lebron James’ sperm would all go for top dollar but what about other human genre’s? Intelligence has been known to be linked genetically. What would be the going rate for Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson? Or what if someone wanted to roll the dice on birthing the next multi-Oscar winning actor? What would Daniel Day-Lewis’ sperm go for?

Keep in mind, race horses cannot be artificially inseminated. Humans can. One sample size could create millions of possibilities so time would be a lot less of a factor.

Who do you think would make the most off the sale of their sperm and who might get the best bang for their buck in finding hidden value for talented sperm (the equivalent of getting a 3-star athlete in recruiting who ends up being an All-American, first round draft pick)?”

I would love to see a large scale test on this. How commonly do high level genetic gifts actually pass on to the offspring? For instance, what percentage of LeBron James’s kids would have elite level athletic talent? It seems like an awful lot of pro athletes have successful, athletic offspring right? But they only have a few kids so it’s hard to know how common their genetic gifts would pass to the kids. 

So let’s presume that there are 10,000 LeBron offspring. Half are boys and half are girls. What percentage of them play pro or college sports? Am I crazy for thinking half of them would play pro or college sports? Doesn’t that seem realistic? Of course, the athleticism of the woman would also factor in here, but don’t you think women athletes would self-select male athletes? That is, if women were picking men to father their children, then I think the women who picked LeBron would be more athletic and more of sports fans than the women who picked, for instance, George Clooney.

Having said that, I think intelligence would be more sought after than athletic ability. And I suspect that what you would find is some otherwise anonymous guys would become incredibly famous based upon their genetic gifts. For instance, you know there is some Nobel prize winning genius somewhere who has an IQ of 180 and is well over six feet tall and gorgeous. No one knows that guy now, but once his sperm got on the market, he’d turn into a five star. 

Women’s eggs from gorgeous and intelligent girls would also be sought after — as they already aer, check college newspaper ads — but getting eggs is infinitely more complicated than giving a sperm sample. 

What would the reaction be if a top athlete announced he was auctioning off his sperm to the highest bidder? Is it even legal right now? I would love to see this happen just to read all the outrage columns. 

A. writes:

“So I married a Bammer 6 months ago. I’m a Gator. Nobody’s perfect. Anyway, the stars and divorce papers are aligning for a clash in Atlanta. I’m going to the LSU-Bama game this weekend with my wife and in-laws. My question to you is this: what would be your craftiest and seemingly most heartfelt argument for pulling against Bama for the sake of a healthy marriage?”

You argue that since both of you are SEC fans you’re concerned that the SEC might get left out of the playoff if Ole Miss runs the table. So you’re rooting for LSU to beat Bama, run the table and go undefeated and play against Florida in the SEC title game. 

The winner of 11-0 LSU and 11-1 Florida is 100% headed to the playoff. 

If Bama beats LSU and then Ole Miss does too then Ole Miss goes to the SEC title game and if they beat Florida I really think the SEC could end up getting left out of the playoff. How do you take an 11-1 Alabama over 11-2 Ole Miss that beat the Tide head-to-head and won the conference title?

See, you aren’t rooting against Alabama or Florida, you’re rooting for the best outcome for the conference.

Geaux Tigers.  

Erich writes:

“I see a lot of parallels between Georgia’s current situation and Phil Fulmer in 2008.

The consensus then was Tennessee’s offensive system had become too predictable and with the departure of Cutcliffe for Duke, they needed a change. So Fulmer did exactly what the critics wanted, he took a chance and hired the up and coming Dave Clawson and the whole thing was about the worst implementation of a new offense since probably predating the start of jousting. For this, after one season, the second most storied coach in the history of the program is fired.

Richt seemed to make a reasonable hire with Brian Schottenheimer and obviously it’s not going so well. Tennessee has proved, as have many programs before and since, it is a lot easier to hire a bad coach than a good one. Georgia would probably be in the top two of vacant positions this year (Southern Cal?) and could likely get most any candidate they want but do you risk dismissing what has proven to be a pretty good coach for an unknown?

Furthermore, as a Tennessee fan, I know we’ll always have a chance at a “quality win” with him there, but what if we had to face an Art Briles or Gary Patterson (although as an actual TCU alumnus, I seriously doubt he’s ever leaving) coached team each year?”

The only school I can find to ever fire a coach with a 75% winning percentage in college football and replace him with someone more successful is Florida State. (And you can even argue that Bobby Bowden wasn’t technically “fired” and replaced by Jimbo Fisher. In which case it would have never happened. By the way, where does Jimbo Fisher getting new hair after his divorce rank on the funniest coaching moves of the season scale? I think it’s number one. Even above Butch Butch’ing the Florida game.) Other than FSU, everyone has done worse with their new hire. Tennessee, Michigan, Texas; replacing a big time winning coach with someone who wins at a higher level is really, really difficult. 

Right now Richt has won 73.4% of his games at Georgia. Over the past four seasons and eight games he’s won 45 and lost 17, which is a 72.6% winning percentage. If he wins the final four games this year to finish 9-3 then Richt will be winning 73.8% of his games over the past season. So he’s still pretty consistent, in fact, there’s not really much slippage at all. So I don’t buy the idea that Georgia is getting worse. At least not yet. 

That’s why I will go on the record as saying that Georgia fans who want Mark Richt fired are crazy. The odds of you hiring someone who wins at a higher level are low.  

Plus, Georgia could have easily won national titles in 2007 and 2012 if they’d just gotten a few more breaks. I know this is the eternal lament of a Georgia fan and we’ve coined the term “Georgia’d” to reflect losses that should never happen, but Richt wins a lot of games, more than just about any coach in college football. Are the Bulldogs slipping against Florida and Tennessee? Maybe. But would this team be totally different if Nick Chubb never gets injured? I think so. Richt is like a lot of teams, he needs to find a good quarterback and right now he doesn’t have one. 

If Georgia loses to Auburn and Georgia Tech to finish this season then I might change my mind, but right now I think replacing him is crazy. 

And while I don’t think he would do it, how incredible would it be if Mark Richt turned heel and just bolted town and took over the South Carolina job? Or Miami, even? It would be the most Georgia outcome possible for Richt to leave for another job and then beat Georgia to win a championship at one of those new schools.

Jack writes:

“My roommates and I were arguing about how many girls Justin Bieber has slept with. A few of them are dumb enough to think it’s under 200, while I’m almost sure it’s above 1000. Let’s say he’s been having sex for 5 years, while maybe 2 years in a relationship (and that’s if he wasn’t cheating, which he definitely was) so 1000 nights of single Bieber hunting for chicks. If he averages 1 girl a night that’s 1000. So how many notches do you think Bieber has?”

As many as he wants.  

Kyle writes:

“How do we get Halloween changed to the last Saturday in October? Seriously…what would have to happen? Why can’t it be like Thanksgiving?

Halloween on a Tuesday night is the worst.”

I agree with you here, we need to get Congress to pass a law mandating Halloween as the final Saturday in October. 

As an added bonus it would help to stretch out the holiday calendar too. How much does it suck that Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are all within 62 days of each other? I like to let my holidays breathe, give us all something to look forward to, at least this way we’d have a bit more time between holidays. 

Thanksgiving is honestly the one that gets really screwed here. This may be controversial, but Thanksgiving should be in March.

We need an American sports and holiday czar to remake our calenders. For instance, basketball shouldn’t start until after January 1st. College basketball should end in May and the NBA should end in mid-August, just before college football starts.

Our calendar is all out of sorts right now.  

I’m just the guy to fix it. 

Michael K. writes:

“I love your work and realize that you normally focus on the SEC and college football teams that are actually relevant, but I was hoping to get your take on my beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers. As a gay, Muslim Tennessee Volunteers fan, I’m sure you can relate to the Huskers’ plight of the last 15 years.

Anyway, the 3-6 start has me down. Doing some quick research this morning, I found that something like 44 programs have made BCS or CFP/New Year’s Six games since Nebraska backed into the 2002 Rose Bowl against Miami. I was on board with firing Bo Pelini, but was hoping to get a more proven winner as coach. Instead, we get Mike Riley. Great guy, overall good coach, but likely not the guy to win big at Nebraska.

I realize things have changed since the 90s and don’t expect that type of dominance, but fielding a top 10 team every 3-4 years would be nice. Is there any hope for us Husker fans? Are there any coaches that would even consider coming here that could actually get the job done?”

Nebraska’s challenge is unique, Because I think they’re the only top ten all time winningest program that has a chance not to fail over the next twenty years. 

Every team is cyclical to a certain extent. That is, you cycle through peaks and valleys over the history of your prorgram. We have a fixation on the present, but llook at these top ten all time winningest college football programs that are currently in FBS:

1. Michigan

2. Notre Dame

3. Texas

4. Nebraska

5. Ohio State

6. Alabama

7. Oklahoma

8. Penn State

9. Tennessee 

10. Southern Cal

All of these schools have been really good and really bad over the past 25 years. 

But of all of these top ten programs I think Nebraska’s in the worst spot for two reasons: 1. There aren’t many players close to campus and 2. Most big schools have good facilities, fan support, and are on television.  

Leaving the Big 12 for the Big 10 made a ton of sense in terms of revenue, but it also cut off Nebraska from Southern football players in Texas and Oklahoma. Where do the Cornhuskers recruit now? And why would any player not from the Nebraska area want to go to Nebraska? Is that Big Ten West schedule really that appealing? Are there kids out there right now dreaming of playing Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota and Illinois every year? The best thing that could happen to Nebraska football would be Texas and Oklahoma joining the Big Ten. 

The only saving grace for Nebraska now is that coaches matter more than programs. So if you got a coach who could win at a high level, he could overcome these disadvantages and dominate weak competition in the Big Ten West. But who is that coach? I think Nebraska needs to go back in time and become a system school again. To me, it’s a Scott Frost running Oregon’s system or a Dino Babers running Baylor’s.

Mike Riley is not the answer. 

Lucas writes:

“Why is it that so many peers / competitors / colleagues feel the need to preface one of your articles or re-tweets with this caveat “You may not always agree with Clay…” or “People don’t often like what Clay has to say…”? I have seen it so many times, and I can only assume it’s based on some fear of backlash from followers or their parent company? 

To begin with, of course I may not always agree with you. It would be absurd to always agree with anyone. Clearly this goes without saying, so why say it? Secondly, you aren’t THAT controversial. Especially when you are writing your serious pieces (social mobs, the future of cable TV, realignment, etc.). Many of these articles are undeniably accurate, and I would be concerned if people didn’t agree with you. As for the fan base troll jobs, why would a peer feel the need to distance herself from those people? Could any professional really be concerned with the views of a person that gets fired up over one of those articles? Surely not.

Anyway, does this bother you, or do you understand their position?”

No, this doesn’t bother me. All publicity really is good publicity. Even more so in a social media age. The funniest thing to me is that I’m considered edgy or controversial. I honestly don’t think anything I do is that edgy or controversial since I just talk the same way most guys and girls do at bars. 

The most important talent I have is not caring what people say about me online. If I cared what people I don’t know said about me, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. But I just don’t. In fact, the exact opposite, it entertains me. I mean, I care what people who know me think about me — my family and friends and co-workers — but Internet strangers? Whatever. Their opinions don’t impact me. In fact, so long as they have an opinion, positive or negative, it’s helpful. 

Here’s something that I realized a long time ago — what I write or say produces reactions, positive and negative. That surprises me because, again, I really don’t think I’m that controversial. I just say what I think and people react. As a result, there’s a huge group of people that love me and a huge group of people that hate me too. I’m like a politician in that respect. That’s what happens when you’re in the opinion business. I’ve basically got the Howard Stern effect going on in sports, the people who hate me read and listen to more of what I say than the people who love me. It’s really incredible.

And here’s the deal, we’re moving towards an era in media when having people feel strongly about you one way or the other is all that matters. If you could be sort of liked by everyone or loved or hated by everyone, you have to pick the latter. You can build audiences off being loved or hated, people pay attention to what moves them. Just being sort of blandly liked? You’re expendable. 

SD writes:

“Concerning the guy who watched a game at his grandma’s visitation, that was 100% great-grandma’s fault. She should have arranged her death at a more convenient time.

My grandma died in 1998. She was a total Razorback fan. She was in the hospital for the two weeks leading up to her death. She knew that her death was coming so one of her last requests was “If I die tonight, don’t let them bury me on Saturday. That is the Tennessee game and I don’t want you to miss it.”

Mamaw died a few hours later and my mom and her siblings followed Mamaw’s wishes. Her funeral was scheduled for Sunday. Visitations were not common in this area at the time, but if she died today her funeral would be scheduled for Monday so her visitation could be held on a Sunday and still not mess up the sports schedule of the family.

This was the year that Clint Stoerner fumbled in the last seconds of the game and Tennessee made their comeback before eventually going on to win the championship. We are positive that Mamaw and God were celebrating the Razorback’s domination of the Vols and God got distracted for the last 28 seconds of the game, allowing the Vols to sneak in there for the win. That is the only explanation that makes sense to us.

The next year (1999) they stayed focused for the entire game and God and Mamaw were calling the Hogs to victory!
On a serious note, wouldn’t it be nice to be on your deathbed and your biggest concern be the upcoming football game? I am afraid that my conscience will not be that clear.”

And with that, hope y’all have great weekends. 

Fingers crossed that the Outkick the Show test today goes well. 

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.