The most exciting weekend in perhaps the greatest season in college football history recently brought us to this: 10 games for the collegiate championship will decide at most three spots in the Soccer Round. University.
If we can take the 1st place Georgia will make it to the knockout round win or lose with 3rd place Alabama in the SEC championship game on Saturday followed by the Crimson Tide with Cincinnati, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame are competing for three positions. Fighting Irish is the only team that won’t be playing this weekend. Since the knockout round began in 2014, 24 of the 28 participants have been congress champions.
After a flurry of shuffling, coaching changes, and possibly another dose of chaos going on, here are some college football overreactions:
Brian Kelly joined LSU with his reputation intact
Last week, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters that “unless that fairy godmother comes with that $250 million check” he won’t be leaving Notre Dame.
Apparently, because of inflation, the fairy godmother can only earn between $100 million and $150 million, according to published reports.
Kelly, who won 113 games in 12 seasons at Notre Dame, is leaving for a bigger paycheck from LSU. That is the only way to explain his sudden departure, which comes just five days before the Irish find out if they will be among the four teams competing in the knockout stages. If Georgia beat Alabama and Baylor beat Iowa State in the Big 12 championship or Houston defeated Cincinnati in the AAC title game, there’s a good chance Notre Dame could once again make it to the CFP field.
Unfortunately, the Irish won’t have their head coach.
Kelly had the opportunity to be remembered as one of the top three or four coaches in Notre Dame history. If there was Mount Rushmore of Irish coaches, he would be up there with Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz. The big difference between Kelly and the other three is that his teams have never won a national championship. Now, he will be remembered as someone who started when the Irish still had a chance to win the national championship.
Perhaps that was another reason why he departed for LSU. Three of the last four LSU coaches have guided the Tigers to national titles. And it could certainly be argued that only one of them – Nick Saban – is an above average coach.
There is still absolutely no excuse for how Kelly treats his players, assistant coaches and administrators. In a text message to his players on Monday night, Kelly apologized for not being able to directly tell them he was leaving. “[F]or now, just know that my love for you is limitless and I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished,” Kelly said. A team meeting is scheduled for 7 a.m. hours ET Tuesday.
In a sport that has suddenly turned frenzied, loyalty is gone – along with Kelly’s reputation.
Lincoln Riley scared of the SEC
Oklahomamove to SEC pending and Riley’s sudden departure because the USC Maybe it’s not coincidental, but I think it’s unfair to assume that he left because he didn’t want to play games like Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M every season.
Riley left, in large part, because USC could be a better job than the one he had. That might not be a better chance right now, but given his track record with the quarterback (he coached two Heisman Trophy-winning laners at OU) and the abundance of high school prospects in the state, he shouldn’t have much trouble building a roster upgrade.
Many of the top quarterbacks in FBS are now California natives: Alabama’s Bryce Young (Pasadena), Ohio State‘NS CJ Stroud (Rancho Cucamonga), Ole Miss‘ Matt Corral (Ventura) and Clemson‘NS DJ Uiagalelei (Inland Empire). According to ESPN Recruiting, Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos, California, is the 2nd most promising midfielder in Division 2023, behind Arch Manning of New Orleans. Nelson was committed to the Sooners, but he’s been out of business, and it should come as no surprise that he overthrew the Trojans.
As my colleague Tom VanHaaren notes, USC signed only 30 of the ESPN 300’s 143 recruits from California in the past five hiring cycles. That is about to change. In addition, having OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch follow Riley to LA will significantly improve USC’s defense, placing last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (32.5 points) and 10th in total defense (420 yards).
Because of its location, tradition, and hiring base, USC is one of the top five jobs in the country. It was NS best job when Pete Carroll was the coach at USC and Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart were playing there. Interest in the program dwindled because of mismanagement at the top, but Riley was creative enough to bring the Trojan back. He didn’t leave Oklahoma because he was scared; he went to USC because he’s smart.
Alabama can’t stop Georgia
In recent history, few defenses have had the depth, fitness and talent that Georgia has this season. The balls inside Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt are all worthy of being an All-American and Jalen Carter may end up being the most talented when all is said and done. Even after losing is suspended Adam Anderson, Bulldogs have a lot of advantages rushing in Nolan Smith, Robert Beal Jr. and Travon Walker.
So, after watching Alabama’s struggling offensive line get tackled by Auburn’s defense during Saturday’s Iron Bowl, it’s safe to assume Tide couldn’t stop the Bulldogs in Saturday’s SEC championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, right?
“Well, first, Auburn played them in a very different style,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said Monday. “It’s not what you see Auburn playing all the time. They used some different methods with the receiver and different things, but they did [five] First round draft selected on that offense last year. So any time you have, you will have people who must have time to play, gain experience. … They’ve had some trauma, they’ve had people moving in and out, like all of us in the SEC have to do to find the right combination. “
In last week’s 24-22 win over four over Auburn, the Tigers sacked midfielder Bama Young seven times. The Tide has 17 zeros or negative yards. That leads to two changes on the attack path, with Chris Owens, who started before, return to replace the right settlement Damion George Jr., and Seth McLaughlin replacement center Darrian Dalcourt.
Smart attributed some of the problems with Alabama’s offensive line at Auburn – and in a 41-38 loss at the Texas A&M on October 9 – to crowd noise and difficult road play.
“I don’t know how you guys look at it, but it’s a really tough place to play – so is A&M,” Smart said. “That doesn’t fall on deaf ears with our employees, and [we] understand perhaps two of the hardest places to play in the country are right there. We haven’t been to A&M yet, but I have been to A&M, and we always go to Auburn. It was a difficult environment. “
However, Alabama did allow 35 sacks, 2.92 per game, ranking 108th in the FBS.
Big 12 is dead
When Oklahoma and Texas unexpectedly announced in July that they would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC no later than the 2025 season, we all assumed it could be the death knell for their old league. Without its two top shows, how can the Big 12 remain as relevant as the Big Ten and the SEC?
Well, the Big 12 may not have the extra strong branded shows like Longhorns and Sooners, but its future position looks pretty good right now. Oklahoma State, a current Big 12 team, and Cincinnati, a future team, could both make it to the knockout stages. Baylor There are also outside opportunities, and it looks like the Bears could keep sophomore coach Dave Aranda, who has received some interest from LSU and USC. TCU just got rid of Sonny Dykes, one of the sport’s best attacking minds, away SMU. Houston, another prospective Big 12 group, was in the top 25 of the CFP selection committee.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was hot when the OU and Texas passed a side in his league, but he has to smile for now. The Longhorns, who hadn’t won a conference title since 2009, lost 5-7 under freshman coach Steve Sarkisian. The Sooners have lost Riley, most of their nationally ranked recruiting class, and a few of their key aides. Karma.
A defensive player will win the Heisman Trophy
Unless Young throws 300 yards with four touchdowns and leads Alabama against the No. 1 Bulldogs on Saturday, I’m not sure a single player in the country really deserves to win the Heisman Trophy. No one has had a year like Joe Burrow; then again, the former LSU defender may have had the greatest statistical season of any player in college football history in 2019.
At the very least, there should be at least two defensive players invited to the Heisman ceremony in New York: Davis, Georgia’s mammoth-nosed tackle, and Will Anderson, The dynamic passer of Alabama. End of Michigan Defense Aidan Hutchinson and defender of Georgia Nakobe Dean There could also be an argument to be included in the top 10 voted.
In the past two decades, only 4 defensive midfielders have made it into the top 10. One of them is NebraskaNdamukong Suh, who had one of the all-time great performances by a defender in the Cornhuskers’ 13-12 loss to Texas in the 2009 Big 12 title game, in Nebraska’s final game of the tournament. In that match, Suh had 4½ tackles, 7 saves and 12 tackles. That was the last time I submitted my Heisman ballot before the convention championship games. Davis, Anderson or Dean could very well end up with a lot of Heisman votes with a similar performance on Saturday.