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It’s college football season again!
This means every Monday morning, as we have for the past six years, we’ll bring you the Starting 11.
Today’s Starting 11 is running on Tuesday because I wanted to wait for the debut of Jameis Winston before bringing you an update on the top 11 stories of the weekend.
So without further ado, here we go.
1. Clemson’s in good shape, but Georgia’s not dead yet either.
We all, myself included, have a tendency to overreact to games just played in college football. They all have to mean SOMETHING MASSIVE.
Even though, plainly, that’s not always the case.
For instance, I was in South Carolina last October when Georgia lost by 28 points to the Gamecocks. In the wake of that game Georgia fans actually egged Aaron Murray’s house.
Then what happened?
Georgia won the rest of its games and came within five yards of a BCS title.
It’s far too early to dismiss the Bulldogs. Yes, they played a good team on the road and lost a tight game. It happens. (The better question is, why is Georgia even playing this game? Open with a cupcake, you’re still top five, and you’ve probably built yourself in an SEC loss that doesn’t eliminate you from title contention. Why play Clemson on the road at all, what do you gain?)
If you’re a Georgia fan and you had to split the opening two games, 100% of Bulldog fans would pick a win over South Carolina. Call me crazy, but I think Georgia beats the Gamecocks on Saturday.
In the meantime, Clemson’s in great shape. Of course, Clemson has been in great shape many times over the past thirty years and always finds a way to lose to a vastly inferior opponent. so pardon me if I’m not ready to assume that Clemson will be undefeated on October 19th when Florida State comes to town.
But if Clemson is undefeated then and beats Florida State, there’s a small chance that the Tigers could still be undefeated when they roll into Columbia on the final Saturday of the ACC and SEC regular season.
Can you imagine how huge that game could be? Especially if South Carolina beat Georgia this weekend?
Hell, what if South Carolina and Clemson were both undefeated on November 30th?
2. Johnny Manziel is the antichrist.
And the unabomber.
And probably a terrorist too.
Do you know what he did?
He got a taunting penalty!
All by himself!
No quarterback who ever wins a BCS title ever gets a taunting penalty!
Was there ever a word, spoken or written, condemning Tebow for this taunting penalty in the BCS title game?
Go read my column on Manziel yesterday. My thesis is sound — your opinion about Johnny Manziel tells us more about you than it does about him.
3. LSU has an offense.
LSU has an offense!
LSU. Has. An. Offense.
For those of us who have watched LSU cobble together punt return touchdowns and eight yard post-interception or fumble recovery touchdown drives, this is just stunning.
How good can LSU be this year if it actually has an offense? Really, really good. You know the John Chavis defense is going to get better and better all year. So will this offense.
Don’t sleep on LSU, they completely and totally dominated TCU.
Notwithstanding their typical LSU-ness, fumbling at the six, not covering well on returns, failing to convert in goal line situations, this game could have been a blowout.
And you know I can’t let you guys off the hook here without watching the final three minutes of the first half when Big Ten officials + Les Miles = complete and total disaster.
4. A TCU coed flashed her boobs for the entire stadium on the Jerry World screen.
Several of you emailed me about this.
The best email came from an LSU fan who was there and wishes to remain anonymous:
“Not sure if you already heard, but in the 4th quarter of the LSU/TCU game at Jerryworld, there was amazing wardrobe malfunction that may have set a world record. After TCU scored its last touchdown in the 4th quarter, the jumbotron (you know, the gigantic screen at ATT stadium) started showing jubilant TCU fans celebrating their score. One such celebrant, happened to be a college aged young lady wearing a strapless top. She was hopping up and down and then it happened…boom, the top came down and both breasts were released in all their glory. And let me tell you, they were spectacular. The stadium erupted in cheers (more LSU fans than TCU at this point), and the cameraman quickly turned away (which brought out the boos). Now, being from Louisiana, I’m no stranger to public nudity (Mardi Gras). But the pure unintended spontaneity (and the high quality talent on display) made it special. My question for you is, “Was this a world record for largest television display of naked breasts?” I mean, this is the biggest screen I know of, and aside from Jerry Jones privately screening x rated movies, I can’t think of a reason why there would have been previous incident. Also, most of the games played there are NFL. And you know that the level of craziness amongst hot coeds is practically non-existent in the NFL. So it’s doubtful it has occurred before. My second reason for bringing this to you, is to ask for your help in finding a pic or video of this spectacle. I have searched high and low and found nothing. There were 80,000+ people there that night. Around 90% have smartphones I’m sure. The screen is so big that just having your camera turned on and toward the field ought to pick it up. I believe that with your resources, you should be able to find someone with this video/pic. That will be the evidence needed to establish the world record.”
So her boobs outkicked their coverage on the Jerry World jumbotron?
Well played, indeed.
Given the size of the Jerry World screen I think your hypothesis is correct, these are probably the largest exposed boobs in the history of mankind.
So, yes, we’re on TCU boob search here at Outkick the Coverage.
With our audience I feel pretty confident we can track something down. Hell, TCU isn’t that big of a school. What’s it like to be the coed who everyone knows lost her top during the opening game? We’ll interview her too. Email us your investigative works — firstname.lastname@example.org
5. My five most impressive performances this week in no particular order:
6. Jameis Winston is the real deal.
It’s tough to live up to the hype, but Winston has twice as many touchdowns as he did incompletions last night.
Could there be back-to-back redshirt freshman Heisman trophy winners?
And please stop with your, “It was just Pittsburgh,” emails.
Let’s look at Florida State’s schedule.
Their next four opponents? Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, at Boston College, and Maryland.
Any of these teams look like the Steel Curtain to you?
In fact, outside of Clemson — which has a pretty mediocre defense too — and Florida, which has a great defense, which defense that Winston plays is really good?
None of them.
Winston’s going to keep putting up pretty big numbers. On the road at Pittsburgh was probably the fourth toughest regular season game for the Seminoles.
7. The Florida Gators appear to be the exact same team they were last year.
The Gators have a great defense, no downfield passing threat, and a pretty strong run game.
Late in this one Will Muschamp just acknowledged as much, when he lined up without a single wide receiver and ran the football.
If the Gators can get past Miami on the road this weekend, they should start 5-0.
But then that schedule gets a lot more difficult.
With this offense, it’s hard for me to see Florida winning at LSU, at South Carolina, or against Georgia and I wonder if Florida loses a close game this year against an inferior opponent just because they’re going to play a lot of tight games.
I think you’re looking at an 8-4 or 9-3 ceiling for the Gators in 2013.
8. Has the Dan Mullen luster worn off in Starkville?
After a woeful offensive performance against Oklahoma State, which led AD Scott Stricklin to take responsibility for scheduling the game on Twitter, I was deluged by State fans who want Bobby Petrino.
What a swing in emotions.
When Mullen’s name was mentioned in association with other job openings after the nine win season in year two, State fans wanted to fight me on Twitter if I suggested he might leave. Now? Now, I think some would be happy to see him go.
After a 7-0 start in 2012, State is 1-6 in its last seven games.
Two road games loom huge for Mullen and State this year, at Auburn and at Arkansas. If Mullen loses to both these first year coaches, which could very well happen, State is likely to go 4-8. (Here’s why: I’m projecting State will be double digit underdogs and lose in games against LSU, at South Carolina, at Texas A&M, and Alabama. Plus, State will be at least a touchdown dog against Ole Miss. That would leave wins against Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green, and Kentucky. At Auburn and at Arkansas are the swing games on this schedule and right now I think the best State could hope for is a pick’em in those contests.)
Mullen is 29-23 now and just 13-19 in the SEC.
If he went 4-8 this year he’d be 33-31, 14-26 in the SEC after five years in Starkville.
That’s much better than Croom’s five year record overall, but it’s just four games better than Croom’s SEC record.
Is that good enough? It better be, because State’s on the hook for tons of money to Mullen.
9. Western Kentucky beat Kentucky.
I liked this game because there was nothing fancy about it. Western Kentucky was a four point underdog and they were just flat-out the better team.
Bobby Petrino got his revenge over one team that wouldn’t hire him. Will he get his revenge over a second straight SEC team that wouldn’t hire him in Knoxville? That would be an extraordinary start for Petrino.
So let’s start the Bobby Petrino sweepstakes, who gets him by the end of this year? Or does he last until 2014?
I’ve been saying Mizzou is the most likely destination, but let’s wait and see what happens up in Columbia. Mizzou looked pretty decent in its opener. The Tigers should be 4-0 when they roll into Nashville to play Vandy.
10. Every week I will do my own Outkick top ten based entirely on what we’ve seen on the field thus far:
So here’s my top ten:
5. Florida State
6. South Carolina
9. Texas A&M
10. Oklahoma State
11. My SEC power rankings based entirely on what we’ve seen on the field thus far:
3. South Carolina
4. Texas A&M
6. Ole Miss
13. Mississippi State