in

All That and a Bag of Mail: Best Thursday in College History Edition

Okay, it’s an early mailbag this week because I’m traveling out to LA on Thursday instead of Friday. 

Tonight’s the best Thursday night slate in the history of college football, so you’ll have to make do with #cbsdrink tomorrow for LSU at Alabama instead of the mailbag. 

I know, I know, try and find the ability to go on. 

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is former college football coach Rick Neuheisel singing “Born in the SEC.”

Neuheisel is rapidly rising on my top candidates to replace Lee Corso on College Gameday list. 

 James B. writes:

“How many teams in the country would be undefeated if they’d also played Ohio State’s schedule?”

I’m flying with limited WIFI right now so instead of doing the entire country, let’s just do the SEC since I can do every team off the top of my head. But it’s clear that Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Baylor would all be undefeated if they’d played Ohio State’s schedule. 

But let’s dive into the top teams in the SEC. 

The most difficult game on Ohio State’s schedule so far this year was Wisconsin at home. Ohio State was a seven point favorite in that game. The second most difficult game on the Buckeyes schedule was on the road at Northwestern, Ohio State was right at a seven point favorite in that game as well. Since that game Northwestern has lost four straight Big Ten games. (No top SEC game is losing to Buffalo, Florida A&M, California, San Diego State or Purdue. Losing to any of these five teams is impossible. Losses to Iowa or Penn State at home? Not happening either.)

So those are the only two games that I think you’d really have to focus on to determine whether an SEC team would be undefeated, the rest would be relatively easy wins.  

Let’s start at the top of the SEC, I already told you Alabama would be undefeated. Mizzou’s played a much more difficult schedule than Ohio State and won a Big Ten road game at Indiana by a substantial amount. So I don’t think there’s any doubt Mizzou would be undefeated as well. Even though they’re not undefeated Auburn has a road win at Texas A&M and a road loss at LSU, Ohio State’s schedule would be infinitely easier for the Tigers. (Put it this way, do you think Ohio State wins at Texas A&M and at LSU if it’s playing Auburn’s schedule? No way, right?) LSU lost at Georgia and at Ole Miss. The Ole Miss loss is indefensible, but Ole Miss is much better than Northwestern. There’s no way LSU loses at Northwestern. And I don’t think there’s any way that Wisconsin would come to Baton Rouge and win this year either. So LSU’s unbeaten too. Texas A&M has two losses this year, Alabama and Auburn. The latter loss is because Johnny Manziel got knocked out of the game. Otherwise A&M wins that one too. Does Ohio State, even playing at home, beat Alabama? No way. Does A&M lose at Northwestern? Please. Would Wisconsin come to A&M and win? I don’t think so. So A&M’s undefeated too. 

South Carolina is a more difficult proposition because the Gamecocks lost to an awful Tennessee team on the road. Otherwise South Carolina has beaten Central Florida on the road and boasts a road win at Mizzou. The Gamecocks have been a bit erratic. Put it this way, do you think Ohio State would be undefeated playing at Georgia, at Missouri, and at Central Florida? Especially if you toss in a Clemson game at the end of the year. On a neutral site I think South Carolin and Ohio State would be pretty much a pick’em. 

So South Carolina’s unbeaten.

Even with their injuries would Georgia have won at Northwestern and beaten Wisconsin at home? I think so. After all, Georgia beat LSU and South Carolina at home, two teams that are much better than Wisconsin is. Sure, the Bulldogs lost at Vandy, but Vandy would beat at least half the Big Ten teams on a neutral field this year. If Ohio State had played Georgia’s schedule do you think the Buckeyes win at Clemson and beat LSU, Mizzou and South Carolina at home?

No way, right? Ohio State would probably have lost two games against Georgia’s schedule as well. (Georgia with a healthy Todd Gurley, by the way, beats Ohio State, I believe, at a neutral site).

Finally, what about Ole Miss.

The Rebels beat Texas at Texas by 21 and took down LSU in Oxford. Both of these games are infinitely tougher than Wisconsin at home and Northwestern on the road. Plus, Ole Miss has lost at Alabama, at Auburn, and at home against Texas A&M.

Those teams are a combined 23-3.

No way Ohio State is undefeated against Ole Miss’s schedule, but I think Ole Miss would be undefeated against Ohio State’s schedule.  

So my answer in the SEC alone is that eight teams would be undefeated against Ohio State’s schedule.

The other six teams — Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Arkansas — would all have a loss.  

Luke J. writes:

“Is Oregon playing at Stanford on a Thursday night the most Pac 12 move ever?”

Yes. 

I’ve tried to get an easy explanation for how the Pac 12 ended up putting its best game of the year on a Thursday night, but it isn’t that simple to explain.

It has something to do with every Pac 12 team having agreed to a certain amount of Thursday night games and Stanford not having been featured enough yet.  

I do know that ESPN selected this game as its top Pac 12 pick after FOX had the top overall Pac 12 game draft pick this year and selected Notre Dame at Stanford. (Yeah, I know, I know, I would have taken Oregon at Stanford as first pick too, but I’m told by TV people that when you get an opportunity to take Notre Dame, you do it. While the game may not be as good, the ratings are better.)

Anyway, the ratings will definitely be lower than they would have been if the game was slotted for Saturday.

There’s no doubt about that.

But how much lower? It’s hard to quantify. Especially since the game will be going head-to-head half the time against Baylor at Oklahoma on FS1, a game that will draw a ton of eyeballs as well. 

Which is why playing Oregon at Stanford on a Thursday night is a quintessential Pac 12 move.  

Tim D. writes:

“So when the dumbest fan base in America sues you thus setting up the SEC trial of the century, how would it go? Who would represent you? Who would be the witnesses for both sides? Think they’d dig up the Bear and bring him in for his testimony and a shot at another mythical national title?”

If I ever get sued for a ridiculous reason by someone for something I write on Outkick, I’ll tell you this much — I think we would have a legal dream team. 

I’m not kidding about that. 

You should see how many lawyers email Outkick on a regular basis. Most of these lawyers email and read Outkick because they hate the cases they are working on and they’re looking for a few minutes of escape from the billable hour. Trust me, I’ve been there. That’s why I started writing online in the first place.

So I think it would make a ton of lawyers’ weeks if Outkick got sued by Alabama fans for writing bad things about them on the Internet.

Unfortunately, we’d never reach trial for most of the things I’d be sued for, we’d knock out the opponents in one of the most hysterical motions for summary judgment ever filed. (And you can bet that every legal filing would show up on Outkick too).

As much fun as it would be to depose average Alabama fans to determine how dumb they were — could we retain Nick Saban as an expert witness for the defense — we’d never get there.  

What would be really oustanding though is if we could get a published opinion someday about an Outkick article.

If Outkick could make a future legal textbook that would be a homerun.  

John P. writes:

“Clay, settle a debate, what do you think the most common thing wives get mad at their husbands for is?” 

Number one is undoubtedly lack of cleanliness. This is defined broadly as not cleaning enough, leaving dirty clothes laying around, not changing the sheets, dirty towels, you name it, this is number one by a landslide. It’s not that men are messy, per se, it’s just that we have diffferent standards for what being clean actually means.

Number two is probably cluelessness with kid routines, bedtime in particular. Kids are like little NSA operatives, they know when they can take advantage of a dad’s lack of knowledge and exploit for their own devices. Are they supposed to be able to play iPad in bed? What about fruit juice vs. milk vs. water after dinner? When is too late for treats? What are appropriate bedtime snacks? I’m sure my wife has told me all of these things a million times, but I still don’t know the answers.

Neither one of my boys can read a book yet — they’re five and three — but they can already play me like a fool.

Five year old: “Oh, yeah, mommy always lets us have chips and beer before we go to bed?”

Me: “Beer, are you sure?”

“Oh, yeah.”

Next thing you know my wife comes home after bedtime and we’re all splayed out on the couch watching late night Max and Ruby with empty potato chip bags and juice boxes strewn all over the place.  

It’s like a pre-school frat party. 

Number three is clearly sex. 

Primarily, not having enough sex. 

I can’t remember what shirt I’m wearing right now, but I know how many times we’ve had sex each week and month.

This infuriates my wife. 

Number four — and for some people this could be three instead of sex — is finances. 

Either she’s spending too much or you are, there’s always some dispute about exactly how the finances are working out. 

My wife bought $500 rainboots at Nordstrom the other day. I was like, “$500?! Are you going to drown otherwise? Do the rainboots come with an inflatable dingy that we can fill with our kids and animals in the event the rain never stops?”

How did my wife stop my complaining.

She was like, “Shut up, I’ll sleep with you tonight.”

For the record, women you could end every fight that married couples ever have if you’d just say this.   

Anyway, I’m convinced these are the top four for married men in every state in America. 

Lots of you on Twitter, what’s your take on Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins situation:

One of the things the media is most guilty of is deciding that one guy is setting up a false dichotomy that demands that one guy be good and the other guy be bad. 

That’s what we saw happen here. 

Jonathan Martin was a saint and Richie Incognito was the devil. 

I don’t buy into these constructs of individuals because they’re lazy. So I didn’t spend much time jumping into the media fray on this story.  

Especially since, as if the flaw in reporting Incognito as the devil wasn’t enough, the media decided this was a case of bullying. That was the wrong term to use. This is a case of workplace harassment. Which is a very common allegation no matter where you work. I used to investigate workplace harassment cases, sexual or otherwise. They’re difficult to analyze because everyone’s story is different. No one has ever admitted to harassment.  

Calling it bullying immediately made it a bigger story, because it connected to all the school age bullying that is currently in the news. 

Incognito is a cartoonish lout. But we all know a ton of cartoonish louts in our lives. Whether at school, your job, or a social setting. I happen to like a lot of cartoonish louts because they’re funny. And if you’re funny I’ll forgive you most flaws. 

Based on everything I’ve read about this case, I think Martin had a mental breakdown and that the pressures of his job, and the pressure brought to bear by other players as well, contributed to that breakdown. 

There’s nothing wrong with mental illness, it’s a very real issue, but I suspect Martin kept his struggles with mental illness private until he finally snapped and that’s why his teammates had no idea how close he was to the edge. He finally hit his breaking point.  

I hope Martin gets the help he needs.

But so far most media has done an awful job covering this story. 

Just awful.  

Davis B. writes:

“Clay,

I am a big believer of your “Grown Men Don’t Wear Jerseys” law. The only time I have recently worn a jersey was for my wife and I’s engagement photos last November (Her in an Alabama #14 and I in a Tennessee #14). However, as she is an avid reader of yours, she has called me out for wearing a Red Sox Jersey during their recent World Series run. I contest that it isn’t really a jersey since it doesn’t have a name or number on it, just “Red Sox” and is a button up front. My wife promises to stop making fun of my hypocritical ways if you rule that this is appropriate garb for grown males to watch a baseball game in. She also wanted me to tell you, “your gay.”

If you have to ask whether the shirt that you’re wearing is a jersey, it’s a jersey.

Deep in your heart you know this to be true. 

Your wife is correct.

The only exception to the jersey rule I’ll permit is for soccer fans and that’s because what else do you wear to a soccer game to demonstrate support for your favorite team? I’m not wearing one of those Uncle Sam beards or draping myself in the American flag. 

It’s not like there’s a yay America coaches polo. (And you clearly can’t wear an American flag shirt). 

Plus, soccer jerseys actually fit normally. 

Which brings me to a bigger question that no one seems to know the answer to — why do football jerseys have to be made so huge and bulky like they’re actually being worn over pads? No fan is wearing his jersey over pads, right? Why can’t they just make a normally fitting football jersey shirt?

I mean, I still think you’d look ridiculous wearing another man’s jersey shirt — it never gets old to point at 45 year old white accountants and pretend it’s the actual person in the jersey — “Hey, look, it’s Ray Lewis!” — but at least the jersey wouldn’t also dangle down around your knees like a broken potato sack. 

No grown man regardless of race, sex, age or fan affiliation looks decent in a jersey. 

One of my favorite things, by the way, is when jersey guy is also anti-dressing up for Halloween guy.

“What are you 12?” asks jersey guy on Halloween, “You expect me to dress up like someone else?” 

Meanwhile he’s got a Dez Bryant jersey on at the company’s Christmas party. 

Kyle B. writes:

“I feel like you are going to be the next big sports guy. Do you feel like the radio gig is holding you back of any dreams? I am enjoying the podcast and listen to 3hl daily. I really enjoy your takes and how you can change perspective on subjects. Also will you resign the contract for radio? I believe you have said it’s up Aug 2014? I know you love Nashville, but it would suck if you left.”

Look, I’m not leaving Nashville.

When I get my TV paychecks half of them are gone because of California taxes. I’ve actually thought about this when it comes to James Franklin leaving Vanderbilt for USC. From a purely monetary perspective, Franklin, who makes over three million a year at Vandy, would have to make over six million a year just to equal his paycheck at Vandy. And that doesn’t even consider the cost of living in LA vs. Nashville. 

In my own position, I’d have to make about four times as much money as I do now to have the same lifestyle in LA that I have in Nashville.

That’s crazy.  

We’ve got it good in Nashville and no state income tax and limited taxes in general are a big deal when you start making big money like coaches, executives or entertainers do. 

There’s a reason so many musicians move to the city and never leave and it’s not just because Nashville is awesome.

So while I’m not going anywhere my radio contract is up in August.

I’m really not sure what I’ll do because I’m not sure what my options will be.

Needless to say I really enjoy 3HL and radio in general. But what options will be out there? I just don’t know. 

So we’ll see.

My mom thanks you, by the way, for having the same opinion as her.

She’s like Jerry Seinfeld’s mom, she consider me to be the greatest person in the world.

Of course she’s right, but it’s an opinion that my wife doesn’t share.   

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.