Mailbag: Title Games Edition

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I have explosive diarrhea on a four hour flight to Atlanta. So if there are typos or errors or none of the mailbag makes any sense that’s because I’m writing this on a four hour flight to Atlanta while I clench my butt cheeks so closely together I’m starting to get butt cramps. (This is exactly what I picture every day in prison as being like).

I’m also throwing up. 

So I’m basically the worst person who could ever sit next to you on a cross-country flight. 

Our beaver pelt traders of the week are the UAB football team, who got royally screwed by Bear Bryant’s manipulative son. 

On to the mailbag. 

Dave writes:


As a Mizzou grad, I’m obviously still learning my way around the SEC.  Since we’re still new to the SEC, I’m trying to wrap my head around this “us versus them” mentality. I was amazed that so many SEC fans were upset about Mizzou’s loss to Indiana. If we were still in the Big 12, I would have found it hilarious if Oklahoma or Texas lost to Indiana, and I loved it when Kansas lost to DII schools. That said, I have no idea which team the rest of the SEC wants to take home the title Saturday in Atlanta. Are they cheering for Alabama to guarantee that the SEC is represented in the playoff, or is there enough hatred of Alabama (and the 85%) that the rooting interest leans toward Mizzou?  I’m assuming we have most of the Auburn fan base on our side, after that, I have no idea. Your thoughts?”

Mizzou’s loss to Indiana stripped all goodwill that any SEC fans might have felt for Mizzou in the conference. I mean all of it. It wasn’t just that you lost to a Big Ten team — a sin at all times — it was that you lost to the worst Big Ten team in the conference. The rest of the conference combined didn’t have an out of conference loss that even compared to the awfulness of that one. Worse, if you are an SEC fan there is a 100% chance that anyone you know who isn’t an SEC fan has brought up the Mizzou loss to Indiana a hundred times.

I bet I have been Tweeted about the Mizzou loss to Indiana ten thousand times this fall. (This is not even hyperbole. According to Twitter analytics I average a thousand mentions or so a day. That’s a ton of times to have to hear about this game.) I have been Tweeted Mizzou fan excuses several thousand more times so I don’t need to hear that either.  

We’re all in this conference together and you fucked it all up Mizzou. You’re like a guy who married Kate Upton and then got arrested for having sex with a goat a week later. Worse, you then McGyvered your way to a series of improbable victories in the conference — you somehow rigged a 7-1 conference record out of bubble gum, Maty Mauk’s erratic arm, and Gary Pinkel’s jumbo glasses of wine — and now you’re playing Alabama in a game that could totally screw the conference out of a playoff bid.   

So as much as it pains them to do so the vast majority of SEC fans are rooting for Alabama because they would rather have an SEC team in the playoff than have to spend the next ten years hearing how a team that lost to Indiana won the SEC title. Now if Mizzou were 11-1 and had beaten Indiana and would go to the playoff if they won, I suspect most SEC fans would be rooting for Mizzou. So really the Indiana game destroyed everything.   

Anonymous writes:

“Please keep this anonymous. My wife and I are both in careers where people around us won’t appreciate the topic. We both work for church related institutions. I was looking at February for a business trip and trying to make sure I schedule around Valentine’s Day. February is a relatively good month for sports. Super Bowl, beginning of Spring Training, Signing Day, and NBA All-Star game. But is there a bigger event for any guy this February than the release of the Fifty Shades movie on Valentine’s Day? How many guys are going to that movie with spouse, girlfriend, whatever, just because they know that afterwards they will get “special sex”? I’ve been married 17 years and have two kids. I can tell you this is my marriage Super Bowl. I’m already booking a hotel and baby sitters. Am I crazy for thinking that any guy, especially married guys, that don’t take advantage of this have completely given up? I realize that even gay Muslims probably get “special sex”, so I appreciate your input.”

I’m convinced that the amount of time married men spend trying to have sex with their own wives rivals the amount of time unmarried men spend trying to have sex with women they don’t know. 

If you can’t get special sex after your wife or girlfriend watches 50 Shades — which is basically an entire movie of a woman doing sluttier things than 95% of women have ever done in their entire lives, which makes women not feel bad for doing all sorts of ridiculous things — then you’re done for. If you combine the movie with alcohol and Valentine’s Day this is as close to a special sex guarantee as you can get.

(For the record, I’m not even talking about any of this bondage crap as “special sex,” I’m talking about sex with your socks off, your legs shaved, and the lights on. That’s all we’re asking for.) 

By the way, I’m going to write an entire column on dad Christmas gifts, but can wives go ahead and accept the fact that your husbands don’t want any gift other than sex? Don’t overthink this and buy us another goddamn tie. If you want to buy us a goddamn tie, send the kids somewhere else for the night and wear just that to bed.

Seriously, we don’t want anything else.

If one year we opened a Christmas card and it said, “Merry Christmas: I’m giving you a blow job tonight and eight additional blow jobs to be named later,” it would be the greatest Christmas gift any married man has ever received. 

And if you’re a wife and you’re reading this and thinking, “But my husband really said he wanted a new tie.” Your suspicions are justified; he’s either gay or he’s sleeping with someone else on the side.  

Jake writes:


I just recently had baby #2. I have been trying to figure why baby clothing companies are having a war on dads. Anyone who has tried putting a sleeper on a baby knows what I am talking about. The zipper has been around for over a hundred years, yet I would say 50% of sleepers have snap buttons on them. Snap Buttons are hell when dealing with a screaming baby. Why are these clothing manufacturers making miserable dads even more miserable? And more importantly, why do our wives buy sleepers with buttons in the first place?”


It’s just not they are impossible to fasten on a moving baby, it’s that I always end up with an extra snap button. Why are the snap buttons so hard to find and difficult to snap to the correct corresponding button?

I actually prefer the drawstring baby bottoms, that’s the ticket. 

Zippers are a little bit frustrating too because have you ever tried to zip a kid’s winter coat in a time crunch? It’s nearly impossible too. Plus, kids play with the zipper edge and it’s all screwed up and impossible to catch sometimes. 

But I totally agree with you on babies, I hate snap buttons. 

Clyde writes:

“I’m convinced the TV networks and bowl committees are still involved in shaping these committee rankings. Clearly the Orange Bowl prefers Michigan State to Mississippi State and I don’t blame them. Michigan State will deliver thousands of people to South Beach to get out of their miserable state where the sun won’t shine until May. If you don’t agree, how else can you explain Michigan State being ranked two spots ahead of Mississippi State when you lay out their resumes side by side?”

If Ohio State makes the playoff, I’ll totally agree with you. The only possible justification for why Ohio State should get in above Baylor or TCU is television ratings.

A ton more people would watch Alabama play Ohio State and Oregon play Florida State than will watch Alabama play TCU or Baylor. It’s just true. Now the payout doesn’t matter to the conferences and schools — it’s set — but the advertising dollars are predicated on ratings. 

As for Michigan State at number eight, I agree with you, the Spartans are the most overrated team in the playoff committee’s rankings. Michigan State has not beaten a single top 25 team all year. They played two top ten teams, Oregon and Ohio State, and lost both of those games by double digits. I don’t have Michigan State in my Outkick top ten. 

Mississippi State has beaten two top 25 teams and lost to the number one team by five points and the number 12 team.

Michigan State owes its ranking to the simple fact that they started off the season ranked highly, which the committee was supposed to factor out. The Spartans don’t have a single quality win and lost big against two top teams.  

Anonymous writes:

“I read Jamies Winston’s testimony earlier today. The way he tells the story is very interesting.

The oral sex part and the scooter part were the most asburd. That is just such a Winston move to ask some girl to give him a blowjob as soon as they got back to his apartment. Ballsy, but classless. Chivalry isn’t dead, come on bro. The scooter part needs no explanation. I mean Jameis just scooting along, dropping random sex buddies off at their dorms, top button buttoned and all.

What was your take on his letter?”

How about that’s a five page written testimony and his legal team let him include the line that the only thing worse than rape was being falsely accused of rape? I’m pretty sure having something done to you against your will is worse than someone alleging that you did something. Who okayed this? I mean, Jameis has an entire legal team — that has probably run up bills of several hundred grand — and no one flagged that line as a potential issue?

Can we also talk about the fact that it’s okay to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in free legal advice for criminal charges and the like and not get a few thousand dollars for your autograph? Free legal representation isn’t an NCAA violation so long as the attorney provides free legal representation to others as well. Except, you guessed it, the only reason Jameis is getting the free legal representation is because he plays football. This is the definition of improper benefits. Yet it’s okay. Why should you be able to get free legal representation for something that has nothing to do with sports? I mean, if you get investigated for rape, that’s on you, right?  

Anyway, let’s put Jameis’s comments in aother criminal context — is the only thing worse than murder being falsely accused of murder? Or is it worse to be dead? I’m going with dead. Like everyone reading this right now I would rather be falsely accused of murdering someone than be murdered. Because you know what, you can beat a false murder charge. Hell, if you’re Ray Lewis you can even kill two people, get a statue outside a stadium, and get hired by Disney to talk about football.

So nice work there by Jameis with his analogy. Even better work by Jameis’s legal team to read that sentence and think, “You know what, the kid’s got a point. It is worse to get falsely accused of rape than to get raped.”  

Louie writes:


I’ve seen your recent post about the elf on the shelf.  I say skip this stupid elf thing, sit the kids down and share with them the story of Krampus.  Oh you haven’t heard about Krampus.  Well he is just your typical eastern European Christmas demon who takes the bad kids back to his lair as punishment.  Depending on the region and how messed up the parents are he could either end up beating, torturing, or eating them. Nothing I mean nothing puts the fear of Christmas into a kid like the thought of a giant furry goat horned creature who will come steal them away if they can’t stop being naughty this Christmas.”

That sounds great in theory, but my kids already have nightmares without me telling them about a giant furry goat that will eat them. For the past three months I have been sleeping on a day bed in our nursery room. The baby is in my room with my wife. I barely fit on the damn day bed and it’s directly beneath an air vent that, even when the temperature is set on 75 degrees on our second floor, somehow releases air that is like 54 degrees. The other morning I woke up shivering and there was frost on the window in the room. 

Anyway, my kids have nightmares and come sleep on the day bed with me at least twice a week. A couple of weeks ago my four and six year old were both sleeping with me on a day bed on the same night. I slept like twenty minutes all night long.

So the last thing I’m doing is ever telling them a remotely scary story. 

Chris A. writes:


Nebraska fires Bo Pelini after winning 9 games consistently and hires Mike Riley from Oregon St with a .538 winning percentage. Exactly how high do you figure Shawn Eichorst is? I’ll hang up and listen.”

Nebraska decided they’d rather have a nice guy that might or might not win games than a jerk who won nine games but managed to lose every game that mattered.

This like the most Midwest move possible. 

When you get hired and one of the first things people say about you is how nice of a guy you are, it’s hard for me to foresee you building a dynasty. I know Oregon State’s not a great job, but Riley’s 61 years old and he’s taking over a job that requires a tremendous amount of national recruiting. 

This is why I Tweeted the other day that Ole Miss is a better job than Nebraska. Stop living in the past. Show me a team that consistently wins that isn’t in a fertile recruiting region. Everybody has good facilities now. How are you going to convince kids from Texas or Georgia or California or Florida to go to Nebraska? You just aren’t. 

Lawrence writes:

“Hey Clay. I know you’re not a big of Notre Dame. But I am and I was interested to get your take on ND head coach Brian Kelly. Most of the ND fans have drunk the Kool-Aid and seem to think he’s a good coach. In my opinion he has taken Notre Dame from bad to not as bad. His record year by year is 8-5, 8-5, 12-1, 9-4 and 7-5 right now. And that 12-1 season was the luckiest season in CFB history. So this brings me to my question: With the resources and brand recognition at his disposal, and top recruits we’ve been getting, is Kelly the worst coach in college football?”

I think Kelly’s a pretty good coach at a perpetual 8-4 job. Even that 12-1 season, when you go back and look at the games, was pretty much an 8-4 year. 

If Notre Dame ever got a great coach they could win at a good level again — the head coach is more important than the program in today’s college football — but I don’t think a great coach will ever take the Notre Dame job because it’s harder to win there than it is at other places that pay a similar salary. 

David writes:


Are you as worried as me yet about whom the Titans are going to pick in next year’s draft? I can see us ending up at No. 2 and lucking out as the Raiders pass on Marcus Mariota due to their foolish belief that a Carr can lead an NFL team to the playoffs. And then, with Mariota and a number of impact defensive players still on the board … Whisenhunt, Webster and Co. decide to snag another offensive lineman in their continued quest to create the most boring franchise in NFL history. Any insight on who the Titans should/will take in the first round? I need some hope if I’m going to make it through these upcoming Titans/Jets and Titans/Jags thrillers.”

Think about how hard you have to work to create an incredibly boring NFL team. The NFL is the most entertaining pro sports league in America by far and there are only 32 teams. Think about all the college teams, now imagine how entertaining they would be if there were only 32 of those teams in the country. Every team would be pretty incredible, right?

I mean, it takes years of blandness to pull this level of futility off. This is why I was so upset the Titans didn’t draft Johnny Manziel. Pro sports franchises exist for entertainment. That’s it. So at least give us the hope that Manziel could be really good. It takes three or four years to figure out whether a quarterback is good or not. There’s at least hope during this time. And if he doesn’t pan out then you go draft another quarterback. 

Ultimately whether you win or lose in the NFL is a direct reflection of who your quarterback is. Nothing else really matters. The difference between the best safety and the worst safety isn’t that substantial. The best left tackle is better than the worst left tackle, but not by that much. Now think about the difference between Aaron Rodgers and whoever we want to say is the worst quarterback in the NFL right now. It’s seismic, right? If you put Aaron Rodgers on the Titans right now and every other player stayed the exact same they would make the playoffs.   

Anyway, the Titans are awful. Hopefully you never have to watch them play. 

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.