All That and a Bag of Mail: Most Likable Playoff Team Edition

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Sep 6, 2014; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks cheerleaders preform against the Michigan State Spartans at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports Scott Olmos USA TODAY Sports

Okay, boys and girls the mailbag’s here to save you from a Friday of pretending to work. So let’s dive right into the mix. 

But first, our beaver pelt trader of the week is Dak Prescott, who is presently suing Mississippi State fans for selling t-shirts bearing his likeness. Remember, this is the exact loophole I predicted boosters would exploit to legally pay players. 

How do you do it? Start selling t-shirts with a player’s likeness on it, refuse to stop when he and his lawyers send cease and desist letters, and then settle with him as soon as the lawsuit is filed. Voila, legal pay for play in the NCAA.

It’s genius.


One bit of news before we get to the mailbag, for the lawyers reading this right now we’re doing a CLE on gambling, beer, and sports ethics at Good People Brewery in Birmingham on Tuesday the 16th. It’s three hours of credit and it comes with beer. 

If you’re a lawyer in Birmingham, come hang with us.

Also, as all of you lawyers start to scramble for your CLE hours, we’ve got six hours of sports CLEs up on Every SEC state but Arkansas included.

On to the mailbag.  

Riley writes:


I’d like to get your take on the playoff teams in terms of likability. Normally, as an Auburn fan, I would say Alabama is the least likable team. However, this FSU team might be the most unlikable team of all time. OSU isn’t a whole lot better than Alabama either. I think a lot of people view Urban as a fraud, which makes it hard to cheer for the Buckeyes. So, I guess this leaves Oregon as America’s team?”

America hates Florida State so there’s no doubt that the Seminoles are the least likable by far. In going up against Oregon you’ve got the most likable team playing the least likable team. If we did a map polling the country for which team they’re rooting for, I don’t think FSU would get a single state. (Florida and Miami fans would be rooting for Oregon.) Have we ever had a big game like this in any sport where all fifty states were united in rooting for the same team?

I can’t think of one.

So there’s a decent argument that Florida State is the most hated team in the history of college football. Hell, FSU might be the most hated team in the history of American sports. After all, aside from the Patriots can you think of an NFL team that the nation despised? And clearly the New England area loved the Patriots. I think FSU is up there with the Detroit Pistons of the Bad Boy era. But at least the state of Michigan was rooting for the Pistons. 

There is no doubt that Oregon is America’s favorite team in the playoff, but I think Alabama is a strong second this year. Ohio State is the third most likable but they are way ahead of FSU in the rankings. If FSU ended up playing Ohio State for the title, this would be the first time America would root for a meteor strike. 

Tyree901 writes:

“Have you seen the season 3 trailer for ‘The Americans’? Is that currently the best show on TV? Do you have a current top 5?”

“The Americans” is fabulous. I feel like the show is still woefully under watched. For instance, this trailer for season three that I’m posting has just 9200 views on YouTube. Tons of y’all aren’t watching this show. Do yourselves a favor and watch the first two seasons and tell you aren’t giddy to watch season three. It’s fantastic television. So well done.   

As for my current top five shows, the way that I rank these shows is simple, how excited am I to watch a new episode when it pops up on my DVR? “Game of Thrones” is my unquestioned leader. I get big college football game excited to watch Game of Thrones. It’s the only show on here that I won’t let the DVR record. I have to be sitting in front of the television screen ready to watch it live. The only comedy on my list is “Veep.” Every episode of Veep is a work of comedic art. I watch them all multiple times. 

Here’s my top five shows that are CURRENTLY AIRING on television: (Despite the caps here I’m going to get people emailing me about how they can’t believe “Breaking Bad” isn’t in my top five).

1. Game of Thrones

2. The Americans

3. House of Cards

4. Veep

5. Homeland

If you don’t have Netflix, “House of Cards,” is so good it’s worth signing up for Netflix to watch. Last week the official “House of Cards,” Netflix account retweeted me and I was embarrassingly excited by it. I bragged to my wife. “So, guess who “House of Cards,” Tweeted today?”

She was not impressed. 

Patrick writes:


First of all TCU and Baylor got screwed by the Big 12 and the selection committee.  Both are great teams and would smoke FSU.

Ok, here is my question. I think there are some amazing similarities in the leadership principles that make a good military leader and football coach.  Recruiting, planning, strategy, motivating, scouting…  So let’s go back 200 years. If Saban and Belichick had been hanging out in Boston in 1759 would they be the guys we talk about from the  Revolutionary War? Would Saban have changed the course of the Confederacy if he had been born in 1830? For instance, if Nick Saban were in charge of Vicksburg, could he have withstood Grant in 1863? If George Washington were born today would he be successful coaching the Skins to the Super Bowl?  Do great leaders naturally rise to prominence and could great military leaders and football coaches crossover?

I love reading your mailbag and hope you will include my question this week. Go Horned Frogs!!!”

What if we flip this, would Robert E. Lee be an incredible SEC coach if he were alive today? I think probably so. He’d definitely run the spread offense, he’d be fearless in his play calling, and everyone, players, coaches, fans, and media, would love him. By the way, can you imagine what an asshole Stonewall Jackson would be with the media? What if Civil War coaches had press conferences back in the day after battles? Can you imagine John Bell Hood walking in on crutches after the Battle of Nashville?

His opening statement: “Not a good day for the Rebs out there. Poor execution. It’s cold, we got no food. I don’t know what you want me to say. We got our ass whipped.” 

Moderator: “Any questions for General Hood?”

Clay Travis: “General Hood, why should the South have any faith that you can ever win the big battle?”

This reminds me that I need to update my SEC coaches as Civil War generals list.

As for would great coaches today be successes in history, let’s not underrate how rare education was back in the 1860’s. Saban and Belichick are really well educated. In 1860 there were only 31 million people in the United States. There were probably only seven or eight million people who could read and write at a decent level. (By “decent level” I mean like most Bama fans read now). Of those people half were women and they couldn’t really do anything but get the vapors and die in childbirth. So we’re down to four million men who could read. Of these four million there are probably three or four hundred thousand people who are actually smart and healthy enough to dominate in society. That’s in the entire country. 

Figure that even back then the majority of the people who were actually smart lived above the Mason-Dixon line and we’re probably talking about 125,000 actually smart and educated Southern men. (There were obviously a lot of smart relatively uneducated southern men like Nathan Bedford Forrest, but most of these men wouldn’t have been able to rise to a high rank without entering the war as wealthy businessmen). Toss out people over sixty, kids under eighteen, and those not debilitated by syphilis and you basically have the Confederate officer corps left. (A.P. Hill was a Confederate general who was also debilitated by syphilis. Hill’s the most famous guy with a sexually transmitted disease of the antebellum era. He was like the Civil War’s Magic Johnson).  

Saban, of course, would have fought for the North, but assuming he’s born to a wealthy family in the South there’s a really high chance that he ends up at West Point. Which, if he were born in the early 1820’s, would have put him on the path to be a general in the Civil War. I definitely think Saban would have been a great general. Could he have held Vicksburg? Doubtful. But I don’t think he would have gotten caught up in a siege like Pemberton did. (Pemberton, by the way, was from Pennsylvania. Are we really sure that he didn’t pull a first half Jameis Winston and rig that loss for the North side? I’ve always been suspicious). 

I’m just fascinated by this question. What about if we put Belichick, who I believe is the smartest NFL head coach, in Independence Hall? Is Belichick a founding father? Is he on our currency today? I can see that happening. 

Anonymous writes:

“Please don’t use my name, I’m not sure if she and her friends read your site. I recently started dating a former sorority girl from Alabama. We both live in Tennessee now and I have no affiliation to Alabama.  (I have extremely outkicked my coverage) While we were on a date the other night she walked by another Alabama fan and yelled “Roll Tide, Fuck Auburn.” Is this something I should be concerned about or just overlook it due to her extremely good looks and turn a blind eye to this behavior? Is there hope that since she isn’t living in Alabama anymore that these behaviors will disappear?”

You ever wonder why such a high percentage of really attractive women end up such hot messes? This exact sentence: “Is this something I should be concerned about or just overlook it do to her extremely good looks and turn a blind eye to this behavior?”

Really hot women have different standards of behavior than the rest of us, they’re like top athletes, coddled since birth with tons of handlers constantly making excuses for them. It’s why athletes and hot women have no clue what the real world is like, because neither group has ever had to deal with the actual real world. If you are a woman and you are hot enough you can basically get away with anything, including murder. If there were a jury of all men between the ages of 18 and 50 and Kate Upton was charged with murder — and there was actual video of her murdering a man — there’s a decent chance Upton would get off for the crime if she testified in a plunging top with abundant cleavage and claimed self defense.

My point: We all have our biases. I don’t give athletes or hot women total passes, but if you’re funny I’ll forgive any character flaw. Like if O.J. Simpson was really funny, I’d pay him to write for Outkick. Sure, he killed two people, but did you read that dick joke? It was incredible.

As for your question, I’d keep dating her. She graduated from college, she’s hot, and her biggest flaw so far is hating an SEC rival, you can work with that.   

Dodson writes:

“Has Homeland made the greatest comeback in television series history? Seriously, this show was dead in the water a month ago, and has now made the equivalent of the Bills comeback against the Oilers in the 1992 playoffs. Has any other series ever been able to pull off something like this?”

There are always spoilers when you talk about current television shows so if you don’t want a spoiler stop reading this question now. By the way, someone got mad at me on Twitter for giving a spoiler about the man gets eaten by a snake show. Who DVRs a show like that? And then gets on Twitter and expects people not to be talking about it. I need to write my spoiler rules for the modern social media era. Anyway, back to your question. 

Confession: I actually stopped watching this season in the episode where Carrie made out with the young med student. I’d lost all faith in the show. I was the equivalent of the Bills fan who turned off the game down 35-3. Without you guys telling me that it got much better over the next month all of these episodes would still be sitting in my DVR untouched. Homeland was about to join “Big Love,” as the only show that I’d invested years of television viewing in — once loved — and then totally abandoned before it even finished because it got so bad.   

As is, however, Quinn is becoming one of my favorite characters in television. He’s up there with Saul Goodman from “Breaking Bad” and Tim Riggins from “Friday Night Lights.” Every time he comes on the screen I find myself sitting up higher in my chair.

The only similar television comeback I can think of is “Friday Night Lights” after the Landry and Tyra murder debacle. I didn’t hate that plot twist as much as some of you did, but it was definitely a strange melodramatic departure for the show.   

James writes:

“What should be the penalty for a fellow male employee that regularly turns off the bathroom lights without checking to see if anyone is in the stall? Anyone being forced to wipe in the dark and have zero confidence in how effective the wipes are should have proper recourse. What would you suggest?”

Turning off the lights while someone is in the bathroom — especially in a public place like this — is terrifying. When I was in church day care we used to do this to each other — this was back in the days when we were all terrified the Bell Witch was real so you can imagine the howls — and you’d have kids go totally insane after like five seconds in a pitch black bathroom. The only kid who didn’t freak out at the age of eight when this happened became a Navy Seal. This is probably how the Seals should identify their next generation of warriors, honestly. 

Here’s what you do, you wait for him to be in the bathroom alone and turn the lights off. Then you hold the door closed to not allow him to exit. As he fumbles for the wall socket with his ass full of poo — he’ll suspect an inferior poo wipe but won’t know for certain until later when he starts to itch while sitting down at his desk — you lecture him on the necessity of asking before he turns out the lights. 

Also, can I ask why the light has to be turned off at all in a large public bathroom? Are profit margins really so slim at your business that the eight dollars a year your company saves in electricity really makes that big of a difference? If so, maybe it’s time for a new business model? One that includes electricity being used in the expenses line.  

Anonymous writes:

“My thought is that wives buy presents for their husbands that the wives want their husbands to have not presents that the husbands actually want. New clothes are to make the husbands stop wearing the old t-shirts and ratty jeans they want to wear so that the husbands are more presentable to friends of the wives.  If the husband got what he really wanted it would be a call mid-afternoon while stuck in his miserable office job. The call would say that his wife was in room ____ at a hotel down the street, dressed like his favorite (schoolgirl, hooker, female superhero, etc), watching a porno and waiting on him to do bad things to her as soon as he could get there. 

Given that my wife reads Outkick, consider me anonymous.”

If every wife did this once a year the divorce rate would be cut in half. I’m not kidding. Every husband reading this right now would spend the entire year waiting for this phone call. If women spent half the time they spend at Zoomba or hot yoga or pilates or whatever trendy workout class they’re taking now screwing their husbands instead, the national happiness meter would skyrocket. 

We need to make “Screw you like a pornstar day,” a real thing.

It’s like Valentine’s Day for men. (And no, that’s not steak and blow job day. This version is better). 

Sleepless dad writes:

“I’ve been married four years. My wife and I had our first child in April. The baby slept well for the first six months but now wakes up as soon as you put her in her crib. I was raised to let the baby cry herself to sleep to learn to soothe themselves but my wife can’t stand to hear the baby cry and rocks the baby back to sleep even if it takes five tries each night. And if I don’t want to look like a jerk I have to do my share and get up as well on alternating nights. What is your point of view on this? Please help I’m really tired.

P.S. I never thought sleep would come close to sex in my priorities in married life.”

I’m a huge sleep guy. Other people like to brag about how little sleep they get, I like to brag about how much sleep I get. I’m convinced that the vast majority of our national ills could be cured if we all slept more. Our bodies need more sleep than we get. 

I mean, I wish I was the asshole who only needed three hours and fifty two minutes of sleep a night, but, guess what, I’m not. I’m miserable if I don’t sleep at least seven hours a night. Plus, I’m less efficient because I’m miserable. So the best thing I can do to feel better and work more efficiently is sleep.  

We’ve got a three month old right now so I feel your pain. But my wife is like a Jedi with this baby. She can point at him and he’ll stop crying and go to sleep. Partly I think it’s this being baby number three and she’s just more comfortable with babies now, but she also read this book, “Happiest Baby on the Block,” that moms pass around like it’s crack.

I’d buy it and read it and see if it helps you guys. 

Listening to a baby cry is torture, but I think not sleeping is a greater torture. I’d give you advice, but let’s be honest, your wife is not taking your advice and you’re not winning this argument. Good luck.  

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.