THREE THINGS THAT BUG ME DURING THIS OFF WEEK
(1) I keep wondering when the national media is going to acknowledge what a seriously good coaching job Dan Mullen has done this season. The Gators are 7-1, 4-1 in SEC play and ranked seventh nationally and they haven't had a single game at full strength all season. Despite missing key players and dealing with numerous guys going at less than 100%, the Gators have kept on winning and you haven't once heard Dan Mullen say the dreaded words “if only” when describing what's been happening. In Texas there is this old saying “dance with the one what brung you.” There's a really good chance the Gators will be dancing with the healthiest team they've been able to field when they face Georgia a week from Saturday.
(2) Going all the way back to the spring, I thought there was a really good chance Georgia wouldn't live up to the hype. Even when the Poodles were 5-0 I hadn't seen anything to make me think they were the third best team in the country yet there were some national media types who were saying Georgia was going to win the SEC and go into the College Football Playoff as a favorite to win it all. Georgia is 6-1 now with that loss coming to four touchdown underdog South Carolina. The Poodles are looking like maybe the fourth best team in the SEC, not the country. For Georgia to be as good or better than Alabama, it needs a head coach who's got a clue when it comes to making good decisions when a game is tight. Another Texas saying: “All hat, no cattle.” That's Kirby Smart. He has the big reputation based on the fact he can recruit. I've yet to see anything that would make me believe he's one of the 10 best college football coaches in the country. From what I've seen of Kirby, he's Mark Richt, Part Deux.
(3) Florida State fans are all lathered up thinking they're going to Free Willie. I got text messages from friends who couldn't get in school at UF telling me that Willie Taggart was as good as gone and that Urban Meyer was their guy. I texted them back, “I think your mama dropped you on your head too many times when you were an infant.” First and foremost, FSU can't afford the buyout which is $17,708,333 per USA Today. Second, even if they hold enough bake sales and car washes to come up with the buyout money, they don't have enough to hire Urban, who was making in excess of $8 million at Ohio State. At Ohio State, Urban had everything he wanted and if he didn't have it all he had to do was ask and someone would write a check. One of the chief reasons Jimbo is at Texas A&M is that FSU didn't have anyone who could write big checks for things he needed. Not only is Urban not coming to FSU, neither is any other big name coach. My word to FSU folks comes from the title of one of my favorite books by my late friend Lewis Grizzard: “Shoot Low Boys, They're Riding Shetland Ponies.”
WHAT SEC FOOTBALL COACHES ARE PAID
(SEC rank/national rank)
1/2 Nick Saban, Alabama $8,857,000; buyout $34,100,000
2/4 Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M $7,500,000; buyout $60,625,000
3/5 Kirby Smart, Georgia $6,871,600; buyout $24,239,584
4/6 Gus Malzahn, Auburn $6,827,489; buyout $27,050,000
5/10 DAN MULLEN, FLORIDA $6,070,000; buyout $12,000,000