Fresh off the goal line stand of the century, Notre Dame advances to the BCS title game where it will await a crushing from Bama.
I turned up the volume on the final goal line series because I wanted to hear someone try and explain Lane Kiffin’s playcalling. Instead I heard Brent Musberger calling a goal line stop that ended in a wide open fullback dropping a pass thrown from a freshman quarterback, a goal line stand that will echo for generations.
Or is it more likely that no one will even remember Notre Dame, who was up nine points at the time, stopping a 7-4 USC team at the goal line?
I think that’s much more likely.
In fact, the only thing I can think for why Musburger got so fired up is because he had Notre Dame -6 in the game. Which, to be fair, I can’t complain about. I love when announcers actually reference the line.
I stand by my contention that Notre Dame would lose to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina on a neutral field.
1. What’s worse than Lane Kiffin’s playcalling?
That may be a rhetorical question, I’m not sure that there’s anything in college football that’s worse.
Every shot of Kiffin on the screen, I find myself thinking, just show us the song girls instead.
For most of the second half, I’m watching Notre Dame-USC on mute in a Mexican hotel room trying as hard as I can not to scream at the television and wake up my four and two year olds. Then USC scores and I turn on the sound because I see Lane Kiffin sprinting down the sideline calling timeout.
On a touchdown that would have cut it to two points.
You know what I wish.
I wish USC and Notre Dame could have kept playing to see how many consecutive plays in a row Lane Kiffin could have run off left tackle.
I counted four in a row, including first and second and goal in the previous drive that ended in a field goal.
Has it gotten to the point where I actually feel sorry for USC fans having to be subjected to Lane Kiffin?
Not quite, but almost.
2. Georgia fans are nervous as hell about the Bama game and about the potential BCS title game against Notre Dame.
Truth be told, I think the SEC title game is tantamount to the national title game.
This means that there’s a decent chance Georgia doesn’t show up at all and loses 35-0.
While I’m 100% confident that Bama will crush Notre Dame if Nick Saban has a month to prepare, I’ll admit to being a bit nervous about what Georgia will do if the Bulldogs pulled off the upset over Bama.
Basically, I’ll admit it, I have zero confidence in Mark Richt’s ability to get the Bulldogs ready for a big game. I also think Brian Kelly is a hell of a good coach with time to prepare. So this one would make me a little nervous even though I think Georgia has the much better talent.
Given truth serum, even the cockiest Georgia Bulldog fan feel the same way that I do — that there’s a good shot of a Georgia no-show in one of these two games.
Oh, sure, if they beat Bama there will be the usual bluster, but for the next month every Georgia fan will be secretly praying to the altar they have built to Herschel Walker in the den of their home. (FYI, every Georgia fan has Herschel Walker altar.)
Bama will beat Notre Dame 24-3 in the BCS title game.
Go ahead and call your bookies now.
3. The ACC needs to just give up football.
Florida and South Carolina both went on the road against hated rivals and emerged with double digit wins over the two best teams in the ACC.
I apologize to all of you for not taking Florida and South Carolina in the picks this past weekend. I only took Georgia — it was my guarantee of the week — but the other two teams won outright as substantial road underdogs.
When in doubt always pick a good SEC team to beat the ACC.
Remember that even Tennessee is 1-0 agaisnt the ACC this year, beating N.C. State by 14.
4. Florida has the most impressive resume of any one-loss team in the country.
That includes Alabama and Georgia, two teams that will play for the SEC title.
The Gators won at Texas A&M and at Florida State, no team in the country has two better road wins than this, plus the Gators also beat LSU and South Carolina.
That’s four top twenty BCS wins.
Do you know how many top 15 BCS wins that Bama, Georgia, Kansas State and Oregon have combined?
Four, the same number as Florida.
No other team has more than one. (Notre Dame has just two as well).
5. Vandy has eight wins for the first time in thirty years after hanging 55 on Wake Forest.
Think that’s wild?
If they win the bowl game the Commodores will have the most football wins since 1915.
I’ve been telling y’all for a while that every team in the country with an opening will be coming after James Franklin. Now that’s going to happen.
I’m not sure, by the way, that we’ve ever seen three better coaching jobs in the SEC than Kevin Sumlin, James Franklin, and Will Muschamp.
All three of these guys would win SEC coach of the year in a landslide in any other year.
6. Auburn fired Gene Chizik just over 22 months after he won the BCS title.
This is important news because in future years when you and your friends debate the worst coach to ever win a BCS title, Gene Chizik wins in a landslide and you can move on to other arguments. (This is assuming, by the way, that Auburn retains the 2010 national title. With NCAA investigators looking into everything on the Plains, might they turn up something that calls that title into doubt? Uh, considering Auburn cheated their asses of that year, yeah).
So who should Auburn hire? This is going to be a tough job to fill. Nick Saban has a dynasty rolling across the state, the NCAA could drop the hammer at any point, and Auburn’s talent is still suspect.
Basically, this is not a good football team and this is not a good job.
Go ahead and toss names like Jimbo Fisher, James Franklin, Charlie Strong, Gary Patterson, Larry Fedora and the like off the list. If you have a secure BCS-level job why would you leave for the mess at Auburn? (If any of you email me suggesting Jeff Fisher, you’ve truly gone insane. You’re already Tweeting me about him, which is just comical).
Why would anyone with a good job leave for Auburn right now? It’s like stepping out of security into the abyss. You have no idea what will happen with the NCAA and Saban isn’t leaving anytime soon. As if that wasn’t enough Les Miles and Kevin Sumlin have LSU and A&M humming. Hell, even Ole Miss and Mississippi State are in pretty good shape.
Who knows who Arkansas will hire, but the SEC west is unbelievably stocked right now.
Here would be my list if Auburn put me in charge of the search. (Note, this is a realistic list. No one with a good job is leaving for Auburn in the middle of this mess. They just aren’t. In addition to sucking, having to deal with the Saban dynasty, and looming NCAA issues, you also have zero job security. The guy who won Auburn’s second national title ever got 22 months after doing it.)
Your true options boil down to this: the wounded head coach with issues, the truly insane, coordinators, and Gus Malzahn.
1. Bobby Petrino
Put simply, you’re not going to do better. He’s wounded and the Auburn program is wounded. In a bad Southern romance novel they’d get healthy together. (And Petrino would clearly be pictured on the cover of this book driving a Harley with Auburn’s eagle riding on his shoulder.)
And I don’t buy the recruiting disadvantage.
Southern mommas are the most forgiving women on earth. They voted for Clinton in massive numbers.
2. Dana Holgorsen
Could you get him? I have no idea. Yes, West Virginia has tanked down the stretch this year, but at least he’d be exciting as hell.
Plus, he’s crazy.
Can you imagine Holgorsen just pounding Red Bull on the sideline? Can you imagine Holgorsen staying out of trouble on the Plains? Me either.
3. Gus Malzahn
You could probably get him back and you know he knows the Plains.
He could reinstall his offense and probably be an immediate upgrade.
Remember when Auburn fans were furious at me for saying Malzahn was the brains of the team?
4. Butch Jones
Would he leave Cincinnati for the Auburn job?
Have we really reached the point where I can write sentences like, would he leave Cincinnati for the Auburn job?
5. Sonny Dykes
You could probably hire him away from Louisiana Tech.
But you know Auburn’s in rough shape when Sonny Dykes would be thinking, “I just don’t know which is the better job for me, Kentucky or Auburn.
6. Kirby Smart
Can you imagine if Smart turned down Auburn to remain Alabama’s defensive coordinator?
Good lord, the pain of being an Auburn fan right now.
7. Kliff Kingsbury
Remember, it’s not gay if it’s Kliff Kingsbury.
Is he ready to be a head coach?
Is he cocky enough to believe he could win immediately win at Auburn?
Honestly, after this I have no idea.
I think this job is going to be really hard to fill right now.
Even if Auburn pays a ton. Which it will.
Last question on Auburn for the moment, what does Chizik do with the AU leather jacket? That deserves a story all its own.
8. Jesse Palmer apologzied to Texas fans for turning the hook’em horns upside down during Thursday night’s TCU at Texas game.
9. Tennessee’s interim coach Jim Chaney is 1-0 in the SEC this year.
This means he equaled Derek Dooley’s SEC wins over the past two seasons in one game.
10. Vacation interlude: you need to read Justin Cronin’s, “The Passage.”
I’m down in Mexico until Thursday and I’ve started reading the book.
If you like smart, gripping, though-provoking page turners, this book is it.
Seriously, check it out.
And, yes, there are vampires.
11. Here are my final regular season SEC power rankings based solely on what we saw on the field:
5. Texas A&M
6. South Carolina
7. Notre Dame
9. Ole Miss
10. Miss. State