All That and a Bag of Mail: College Coach Rankings

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Rejoice, it’s Friday.

And the Outkick mailbag is here to help you kill the time when you should be working. Or, if you live in much of the South, we’re here to save you from the white death falling from the sky.

All Outkick Gear is 20% off when you spend $50 and use the code “boobs” between now and the new year. So go spend money joyously.

So let’s get rolling.

The question I’ve gotten the most is this — how would you rank the college coaching hires?

So here’s my fully applied baseball analogies for all the hires:.

Walk off homerun in game 7 of the World Series:

Chip Kelly to UCLA


Jimbo Fisher to Texas A&M


Scott Frost to Nebraska

Stand up Double:

Dan Mullen to Florida

Willie Taggart to Florida State

Line drive single:

Chad Morris to Arkansas

Grounder between shortstop and third base for a hit:

Mario Cristobal

Bunt for base hit:

Matt Luke staying at Ole Miss

Strikeout on three pitches without swinging:

Herm Edwards to Arizona State

3-2 count with the bases loaded = coordinator hire

Joe Moorhead to Mississippi State

Jeremy Pruitt to Tennessee

Josh Heupul to Central Florida

Jonathan Smith to Oregon State

FYI, Greg Schiano would have been a hit by pitch.

It is worth noting on coordinators that three of the current four coaches in the college football playoff got their first head coaching job at the school they’ve taken to the playoff: Dabo Swinney at Clemson (Dabo had never even been a coordinator before), Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma, and Kirby Smart at Georgia. Only Nick Saban had been a head coach before he took the Alabama job.

Every coordinator offers the opportunity to become a grand slam or a strike out. We just have to wait and see.

Rich writes:

“What do you make of Disney/ESPN buying all the Fox regional sports networks? What does this signify and what impact does this have on you?”

I am absolutely fascinated by this story, but it won’t have any impact on me at all. The good thing about Outkick being 100% independent of all other media is that we really can’t be that impacted by the decisions of ESPN, Fox, NBC or CBS. Remember, my Fox Sports Radio show is actually distributed by I heart radio — they just license the use of the Fox Sports brand for their nationwide radio network so I’m not actually paid by Fox. So I don’t receive a single dollar from Fox.

I really enjoy working with the crew at FSR, but if they decided tomorrow that my show was cancelled, I’d just switch to doing a daily AM Outkick podcast and I don’t suspect my audience would change much.

Having said that, I’m always fascinated by big media decisions and this is a big media decision of the highest magnitude.

There’s a good article about the negotiations between Disney and Fox in the Los Angeles Times from yesterday. It breaks down the overall value of 21st Century Fox media properties and argues the reason Disney/ESPN wants the Fox Sports regional networks is to help boost ESPN at a time the network’s traditional business is collapsing.

The decision to sell the RSNs, regional sports networks, caught me off guard because Rupert Murdoch has spent the past sixty years of his life acquiring different media businesses. This seems like a surprising decision to suddenly jettison so many of those assets now. Especially in the world of sports.

But before we go any further let’s break down the companies making up 21st Century Fox and the values ascribed to each part of that company in a recent Guggenheim report:

Fox’s Regional Sports Networks are valued at $22.4 billion

Entertainment cable channels FX and NAT GEO are valued at $8.7 billion

21st Century Fox Movie and TV studios are worth $13.3 billion

International TV properties are worth $13.7 billion

SKY TV stake $8.8 billion

Hulu stake $1.75 billion

That adds up to roughly $69 billion and represents all the properties Disney is interested in so far. Reports are now that Fox would retain the Fox News Channel worth $14.6 billion and an additional $21.3 billion for the Fox broadcast network, local channels and FS1 and FS2. (Interestingly FS1 and FS2 are said to be worth just $1.8 billion.)

The current market cap of 21st Century Fox, by the way, as I write the morning mailbag is $62 billion. So that would suggest there is still a decent amount of value in these properties if they are broken up and sold off individually. (Guggenheim’s total value for 21st Century Fox media properties would be $105 billion.)

But from a sports perspective let me ask you this question — if Disney/ESPN is buying all 22 Regional Sports Networks from Fox, why not go ahead and buy all of Fox Sports, including FS1 and FS2 and all the sports rights owned by Fox Sports?

Look, Rupert Murdoch seems to be essentially making the decision that cable company values have peaked in selling off his regional sports networks. If he believes that to be true, why not go ahead and offload all of Fox Sports to Disney/ESPN too? It appears that Disney/ESPN, in making these purchases, is essentially doubling down on the sports business and taking the exact opposite direction of Murdoch. So why not take the big games that presently air on Fox and put them on ABC and turn FS1 and FS2 into additional ESPN channels?

If Disney/ESPN’s logic is we want to be buyers and Fox’s logic is we want to be sellers, what sense would it make to sell off most of the Fox Sports brands — via all the wildly successful regional sports networks — and retain FS1 and FS2 and the games that air on big Fox?

I just don’t see that logic, honestly.

If you believe the regional sports networks are no longer a good business and want to sell them, why would you not also believe the same is true of FS1 and FS2? Honestly, buying all of Fox Sports would be the biggest sports story in a generation if it happened. It would also be a smart move for Disney/ESPN because it would bring their top competitor in house and kill a top bidder for sports rights over the next generation. Now, you can argue there’s no way a purchase like this would be allowed due to antitrust scrutiny, but if I’m Disney/ESPN I’m arguing NBC/Comcast and CBS are still there as competitors. Plus, I’m arguing that Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and Google are now effective competitors too. So I actually think there’s a decent chance this merger would go through since there’s a strong argument to be made the market wouldn’t be drastically impacted given the growth of tech companies.

I’m going to write more on this over the weekend, but from a sports perspective this is a potential blockbuster move by Disney/ESPN.

This would be Disney placing a bold bet on the future of the ESPN brand and its streaming properties in the years ahead and it would be Fox essentially leaving the business and taking its profits.

Ryan writes:

“Hey Clay,

Watched the Sunday night football broadcast and they kept talking about Michael Bennett’s work in the community and some “cleats for a cause” he had on. Yet there still wasn’t one mention from any network or media outlet besides Outkick of him LYING about police brutality. Now he’s been nominated for man of the year? What is wrong with this world?”

Here’s the Seahawks Tweet and my response to that Tweet from this morning. The Seahawks actually Tweeted, “Few athletes have used their platform more effectively than Michael Bennett which is why he’s our nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year.”

It’s simply amazing that the Seahawks could make this decision when there is clear and overwhelming evidence that Michael Bennett lied about Las Vegas police racially profiling him because he was black. Go read this if you didn’t follow this story, it’s simply incredible that a story like this can happen.

The only explanation for how this can happen is that the media is dishonest and the Seahawks and Michael Bennett know that Outkick is probably the only place with a major audience that will point out this bullshit. Most sports media don’t report the actual news any longer, they report the agenda that supports their world view.

That’s why Michael Bennett’s allegations of racism was the lead story on ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC and the minute the Las Vegas police proved Bennett lied the story just disappeared. I mean, just totally and completely ceased to exist.

Now no one is even mentioning the Las Vegas lies in any article about the Seahawks nominating Bennett for man of the year. It’s incredible, as if the sports media can just wave their magic wand and make fans forget what happened earlier this year.

It reminds me of the scene in The Matrix when Neo takes the red pill. Once you take the red pill you see the world as it is, not as it wants you to.

And Outkick has gone fully red pill and I’m stunned I’m the only person in sports media willing to do so.

We have to stop presuming that because a big issue exists in the world — racism, sexism, homophobia — it means that a particular individual’s story is truthful just because it cites racism, sexism or homophobia. Believing someone because of their race, gender or sexual orientation is just as bad as not believing someone because of their race, sex or sexual orientation.

Micah writes:

“I was thinking about the Eli Manning benching for Geno Smith and I realized that this was a prominent white QB getting benched for a lesser black QB. After the reverse happened in Buffalo — when Tyrod Taylor was benched for Nathan Peterman — we got all sorts of statements from the media about how it wouldn’t have happened to Tyrod if he were white. However, when Manning was benched, I heard literally not a word about that. How do people in the media think that they can pretend to be unbiased, when it’s obvious how biased they are?”

If Eli Manning had been treated like this and he were black, the primary story in sports media would have been that the Giants would never have treated Eli Manning like this if he were black.

I mean, with 100% certainty.

I mean can you imagine the racism accusations and outrage if Eli Manning had been black, had the exact same career, and he’d been benched for a white quarterback the equivalent of Geno Smith?

Good Lord, the NAACP would have been marching in the street.

I believe racism exists, but I also believe race has very little to do with how pro athletes are treated today in sports. Primarily because majority white owners, commissioners, general managers and coaches are so afraid of being called racist that they won’t do things they would otherwise do that have nothing to do with race simply because they are so afraid they might be called racist. For instance, I don’t believe the Giants would have ever benched Eli if he were black and replaced him with a white quarterback for this exact reason, just so they wouldn’t have been called racist.

Blind to race? Get out of here. I believe white people in positions of power in sports are actually hyper aware of racism accusations so they bend over backward to give black players the benefit of the doubt now and ensure they aren’t treating white players more fairly. I honestly think this was one reason Roger Goodell went so aggressively after Tom Brady in deflategate. Because any time someone questions his application of justice in future years he can point to what he did to the great white hope as evidence he isn’t actually racist.

Of course that doesn’t stop the usual suspects in the sports media from immediately blaming race any time a white player is involved in a controversial story. For instance, the moment Rob Gronkowski speared a player, I saw the highlight and said to my wife, “This won’t take 24 hours to turn into a white vs. black issue. Just wait.” And what happens? Gronk gets a one game suspension — which is the exact same penalty that Mike Evans got for attacking a defenseless football player with a non-football move so it’s the perfect application of a precedential penalty regardless of race — and the usual race baiters in sports come out and make the argument that he was treated more fairly because he’s white.

It’s just a flat out lie to make this argument yet no one else pushes back against this story because if you push back against this story then you’re a racist. Which leads to an artificial marketplace of ideas where somehow I’m the only person in sports who says exactly what he means.

I honestly have no idea how miserable your life must be for literally every single thing to happen and for your immediate response to be that racism is the reason.

What’s funny about this is the sports media has become so liberal and left wing I actually get accused of race baiting when I’m clearly mocking and satirizing the absurdity of race baiting by other left wingers. That’s because most in the sports media, even those that might agree with me, are so afraid of being called racist that they actually treat white players tougher than they do black players so they can point to them in the event they ever have to say something bad about a black athlete.

The best example of this of late is Baker Mayfield. Think about the amount of attention Baker Mayfield got for grabbing his dick on the sideline. You would have thought he killed ten people with the vitriol he received. (I wrote some of this comparison in the Starting 11 a couple of weeks ago, but I’m expanding on that here). ESPN actually had multiple people arguing Baker Mayfield’s dick grab was an example of white privilege.


Yet consider all the things black players did that were just as bad, and frequently worse, which received no media attention at all.

What an insane double standard, that’s the South Florida quarterback jerking off onto the fans during a game that was airing for a national audience on ABC the Friday after Thanksgiving. Remember that Baker Mayfield’s dick grab came in the second half of a blowout against Kansas, in a game no one was watching.

The only reason anyone saw Baker Mayfield’s dick grab was because the sports media covered his dick grab like it was the goddamn Kennedy assassination tape. The sports media Zaprudered the fuck out of his dick grab. Back and to the right, back and to the right.

My favorite part was the decision to blur out the dick grab.

He’s wearing pants, is it obscene to grab your dick in your pants now? If so, don’t we have to blur out every baseball game since 14% of every baseball broadcast is guys readjusting their cock and balls?

As if that weren’t enough, how about this dog peeing on the field celebration from Ole Miss-Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night on ESPN?

That also happened in a national ESPN broadcast with millions watching on Thanksgiving night.

The coverage?


Look, I don’t have an issue with penis-related touchdown celebrations — in fact, I welcome them — but isn’t it crazy that Baker Mayfield grabbing his dick got a thousand times more coverage than both of these gestures did? Hell, isn’t it even more insane that Baker Mayfield’s grabbing his own dick got way more media attention than Jameis Winston’s alleged sexual assault where he was accused of grabbing an Uber driver’s groin?!

Oh, and if you want to argue the reason Mayfield got all the coverage was because he’s a famous college football player and these other two guys weren’t as famous, how about defending Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson starting a brawl this weekend against Kentucky. That’s pretty big news, right?

The resulting sports media coverage?

Absolute crickets. (The irony here was Cari Champion Tweeting imagine what would happen if Lamar Jackson grabbed his groin. Then Lamar Jackson, the defending Heisman trophy winner, starts a brawl on the sideline and no one even cares).

Baker Mayfield grabbed his cock and balls on the sideline, guys.

I’m pretty sure I’ve readjusted my cock and balls three or four times while writing this column. Most of you reading this column just noticed your cock and balls need readjusting too when you read that and did it too. (Adjusting your cock and balls is like yawning, when you see someone do it, you have to do it too.)

Grabbing your cock and balls is the functional equivalent of shooting a bird at someone. I’m not saying Baker Mayfield is a saint or I’d want my team leader doing this on a regular basis, but isn’t it absolutely insane to compare the amount of coverage his dick grab got with all of these more egregious on field incidents from the weekend after that aren’t receiving an iota of media attention?

I’ve got a crazy idea, I think the sports media should treat similar situations similarly.

And here that didn’t happen.

At all.

Baker Mayfield got the Grayson Allen and Johnny Manziel treatment from ESPN. The simple truth of the matter is this — if you’re a good white athlete who is cocky and plays with swagger you get held to a different, tougher standard than anyone else in sports.

And that shouldn’t be the case. We should treat all athletes — and people — the same regardless of what they look like, where they’re from, who they sleep with, or what religion they support.

And that’s what I do at Outkick.

Which is why everyone loves me so much.

I hope y’all have fantastic weekends and thanks for supporting Outkick.

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.