Pearls & Vodka

Does anyone in College Football have Nick Saban’s number the way Gus Malzahn does?

What a weekend for College Football!

Having your laptop stolen and traveling for the holidays can really put a kink in running a blog.

But we are home, and I’m back online.

By the way, stealing from others sucks, just a personal thought.

I missed out on getting to post my picks for football this week, but I think we all know I had at least one right. America really is a better place when Alabama loses, just saying.

Without further ado, here are my top ten thoughts on college football for the week:

10- Urban Meyer sounded like a crazy man ranting about his quarterback being injured by a cameraman before the game started. Whoever the guy in gray with a camera is, I hope he doesn’t find you. I hated seeing JT Barrett go down though, I’ve been a fan for a while. But the perks of running a recruiting mill like they have at Ohio State is, when #1 goes down, #2 and #3 are typically 4 and 5 star athletes as well. Harbaugh was allegedly going to receive a lifetime contract yesterday had Michigan won. I’m assuming if their powers that be thought it was a good idea before Saturday’s rivalry game, they still do, they are just looking for better timing for the announcement. Barrett says he will play this coming Saturday in the Big Ten championship game, that remains to be seen. Hopefully he is thinking of his future career, doing more damage to a knee is not ideal before the NFL compound and draft. Michigan started their third string quarterback, fifth year senior John O’Korn. The Buckeyes play the undefeated Wisconsin next weekend for a chance at a playoff spot. Hopefully JT Barrett is truly healthy to give them their best shot.

9- If you had told me at the beginning of the season, that Florida State would enter their state rivalry game with the same 4-6 record as the Gators, I would have laughed. The Gators have got to find a coach and a quarterback who can restore Gainesville to their perennial football power. Felipe Franks threw for 2 touchdowns, but back that up with 3 touchdowns. That’s just not going to work for any team, but especially Florida fans. Florida State’s day was marked by fumbles, penalties and interceptions as well. Seminole fans are not use to their quarterback registering negative yardage on the ground. Jimbo better get his act together and the Florida boosters need a homerun hire.

8- Wisconsin remained undefeated by shutting out Minnesota yesterday. But that’s Wisconsin’s problem. They are shutting out teams like the Gophers. Their weak schedule will make them less of a shoe-in for the College Football Playoff than a 1 loss Alabama. And the Buckeyes are still looming for the Badgers as well. Wisconsin has not had an undefeated season since 1912, so that’s an exciting statistic for Badger fans. But the thought that they are a definite CFP team is not so. Wisconsin suffered some injuries to their backup tight end and backup running back, those could be detrimental in next week’s Big 10 championship game.

7- The rumors began early in the week that Texas A&M’s coach Kevin Sumlin would be relieved of his duties following Saturday’s matchup with LSU. That’s just a tacky, horrible position to put a coach and his players in. Having your 7-5 team on the road, in Baton Rouge against a 9-3 LSU Tiger team is hard enough, without the added pressure of job security. Last night was likely Sumlin’s farewell game as the Head Aggie and it did not go well. Danny Etling seems to have finally found his stride under center for the Tigers, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns as LSU defeated Texas A&M 45-21. Ed Oregron has done exactly what he was hired to do in Baton Rouge, after falling to Troy at the beginning of the season he has finally righted the Tiger ship. A&M’s QB Nick Starkel threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, unfortunately he also was intercepted three times and lost a fumble as well.

6- Notre Dame had a very outside chance of making the playoffs, but all that was lost with yet another loss, this time to the nerds of Stanford. At some point the Irish fans are going to get sick of mediocrity in South Bend and Brian Kelly will be on the chopping block. I think that time is coming sooner rather than later. There’s always so much hype around their team, and yet it never fully comes to fruition. Stanford did what they always do, quietly builds a team and makes their way to the Pac-12 championship game. K.J. Costello threw for a career best four touchdowns to take down Notre Dame. The Cardinals started their season in opposite fashion of Notre Dame; they were 1-2, and now they are in the championship game. Their season is a great reminder that it is not how you start, it’s all about how you finish.

5- A lot of folks said Miami’s number was up, that they were not as stout as they seemed and that they would not finish the season undefeated. And they were right. There’s still a chance that the Hurricanes could appear in the playoffs, if they defeat Clemson in the ACC championship game. But that’s a big if, though not unrealistic. Both teams have shown a lot of weaknesses this year. Pitt’s freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the Panthers upset over Miami. The Hurricanes seemed lackadaisical and sluggish threw most of the game, a case of over confidence perhaps. A year ago, Pitt handed Clemson it’s only loss of the season and the Tigers went on to win it all. Who knows what’s ahead for the Hurricanes.

4- Baker Mayfield threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns after serving his punishment for his lewd gesture in the Kansas game. Neither defense was exceptional in the game. West Virginia’s defense struggled at every position from the line, to the linebackers to the defensive backs. With 646 yards on offense the Sooners took control quickly. The college football playoff implications are huge in the Sooners matchup with TCU this coming weekend. A one loss team is getting in for sure, but how much worse does a loss to Iowa State look than an Alabama loss to Auburn? That will be for the committee to decide.

3- Missouri quarterback Drew Lock finally had the opportunity to showcase his talent when the Tigers took on Arkansas Friday afternoon. Lock threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns in Fayetteville to defeat the depleted Razorbacks. Lock took over Andre Woodson’s record of the post touchdown passes in a single SEC season and the Tigers won the game. Arkansas fired Coach Bret Bielema as he came off the field Friday. It was not done on the field, it was done in a small office just off the field. Bielema said he was glad they did it then so he didn’t have to wonder, so he could say goodbye to his guys and before he left on a recruiting trip the next day. Bret Bielema is a fine man. He is a good, salt of the earth type. His players love him. And he loves them. That just didn’t translate on the field to wins. I wanted Bielema gone. And after he was let go, I felt sorry for him. I didn’t like how it was done. And I’m left hoping we can get a coach who cares about his program as much as Bielema did…but who can win more ballgames. We need a master recruiter. We’ve got to get better players in Fayetteville. End of story. I wish the Bielemas well though, they seem like really good people who deserve the best.

2- WAR DAMN EAGLE. Y’all, I felt like we’d win that game. I really did. That whooping of Georgia made me think it was possible. I always believe in Gus, but this game was just amazing. The offense led by Stidham and Kerryon Johnson looked like a Gus Malzahn offense. Just unstoppable. The defense was incredible. Hurts never got in rhythm, I forgot Ridley was even playing. That’s just how good the Tigers were. I love seeing Alabama lose. My friend Summer said it best, Saban probably sacrificed a freshman last night because of that win! The SEC championship is up next. Johnson is banged up and with Pettway out that is a scary position to be in. But I still believe it’s possible. Georgia will be out for revenge, but we’ve done it once, we can do it again. Gus will have them ready. Win the SEC, in the playoffs. Let’s go Auburn!

1- There are quite a few open jobs already in college football. Some are being filled already with Chip Kelly making a fortune in LA now with the Bruins. Personally, I’m glad he didn’t come to the SEC. It’s unfortunate for a lot of these coaches to have folks like Nick Saban in the same group. When you have made every college football playoff, when you consistently win your division, when you have maybe 2 losses a season, on a bad year, you show fans of other schools what it could be like. And it’s just not realistic. Not everyone can make a deal with the Devil like Nick. The point is there are some good 8-4, 9-3 coaches on the hot seat and I’m not sure that’s warranted. Just think, a few games ago, Malzahn was on his way out the door according to reporters, and now he’s on the verge of a contract extension. We as college football fans expect to win, but perhaps we should inspect what we expect.

All that being said, I’d love to see Gus back on the sidelines in Fayetteville, but he sure fits in well in Auburn. No one has Nick Saban’s number the way Gus Malzahn does, and I absolutely love it.


Photo Credit: Auburn Football Facebook Page