A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO BASTE
No, I'm not talking about the time Michael Jackson's hair caught on fire, but about my mind, which is all over the pace the last couple of days. So, here are a few meanderings from some of my more lucid moments:
A really good reason why the Gators will score a win in Lexington: Everybody in the ball yard last week at Kentucky knew Eastern Michigan was going to get off the bus throwing the football. The Eagles (I like it better when they weren't politically correct and known as the Hurons) chunked it 54 times, gained 337 yards and allowed only two sacks. That was with an O-line from the MAC with only two returning starters. Florida will be able to run the ball on the Wildcats and the O-line will keep Feleipe Franks upright. Franks has only been sacked twice in two games. Expect a really big night.
Another really good reason the Gators will score a win in Lexington: This also has everything to do with the passing game. Kentucky starts three newbies in the secondary and if they can't get to Franks with the pass rush by halftime folks at Kroger Field will be asking around to find out who's got spare tickets for Midnight Madness next month.
Shall we go for three?: Yet a third reason the Gators will win in Lexington. Liberty, South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette, Georgia Southern,Texas State, Appalachian State and Buffalo. Those are the seven teams Sawyer Smith started games against last year, none of which had a pass rush even remotely close to what Smith will see Saturday night against Florida. And because it's Kentucky, Jonathan Greenard is drooling.
Ranking the most dysfunctional college football programs (the top five):(1) Tennessee; (2) Southern Cal; (3) UCLA; (4) Florida State; (5) Arkansas. Any school that had a chance to hire Mike Leach and instead got Jeremy Pruitt has to be #1. They want to fire Clay Helton at Southern Cal and all he's going to do is win nine or ten games. UCLA thinks it can compete with Southern Cal in football. They can't even when Southern Cal is dysfunctional. They're a basketball school, damn it! FSU's athletic department is broke and stuck with Willie Taggart. Somebody needs to remind Arkansas that it is in the same SEC division as Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M.
If Southern Cal has a brain (questionable), they'll hire this guy as their AD: They will do something seriously stupid at USC and hire another former USC football player, who will go down in flames like the previous USC football players.The smart hire would be UCF's Danny White, who has shown how smart he is by hiring Scott Frost and Josh Heupel as his football coaches and Johnny Dawkins for basketball. You may laugh that he proclaimed UCF the 2017 national champ in football, but he's put the school in the national football conversation.
If South Florida loses to Bethune-Cookman will Charlie Strong be fired?:Yes.
Phil Fulmer wouldn't fire Jeremy Pruitt and name himself the UT football coach, would he?: The short answer is yes. The more detailed answer is if he could get a booster like Jimmy Haslam (owns Cleveland Browns, Pilot Travel Centers) to spring for $10 million (his net worth is in excess of $3.7 billion) it would take to buy out Pruitt, then Phattus Maximus will exact revenge on the same school that fired him as football coach after the 2008 season by hiring himself as the replacement football coach.
If I were an AD thinking I might have to hire a new football coach (young guys and head coaches only), I'd have these three guys on speed dial:Josh Heupel, UCF; Miike Norvell, Memphis; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Nick Rolovich, Hawaii; and Seth Littrell, North Texas.
SEC FOOTBALL STUFF
#2 Alabama (2-0, 0-0 SEC): Center Chris Owens, who missed last week's game against New Mexico State with an injury, is back practicing with the first team again which moves Landon Dickerson back to right guard. Saturday: at South Carolina (1-1, 0-0 SEC)
Arkansas (1-1, 0-1 SEC): Arkansas will try to bounce back from its loss to Ole Miss last week against non-conference Colorado State. On the SEC Coaches Teleconference, HBC Chad Morris said, “I think how we respond will tell a lot about us.” Saturday: vs. Colorado State (1-0)
#8 Auburn (2-0, 0-0 SEC):True freshman quarterback Bo Nix is 2-0 and though there have been some rough patches in both games, doesn't seem overwhelmed by anything he's seen. Said HBC Gus Malzahn, “I think you will see him get more comfortable each game … Mentally, the moment hasn’t been too big for him … He can tell you want he saw and when we go to the film, he’s correct.” Saturday: vs. Kent State (1-1)
#3 Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC):Kirby Smart seemed to be channeling his inner Vince Dooley on the SEC Coaches Teleconference when he stated that Saturday opponent Arkansas State has “as good athletes as we will face.” Dooley wanted everyone to believe a homeless shelter was the second coming of the Vince Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers. Saturday: vs. Arkansas State (1-1)
Kentucky (2-0, 0-0 SEC):HBC Mark Stoops says the Kentucky offense won't change at all with Sawyer Smith at QB. Stoops says Smith is a very accurate passer who throws an excellent deep ball. Saturday: vs. #9 FLORIDA (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
#4 LSU (2-0, 0-0 SEC):As good as LSU's offense has been, Coach O knows it can be better. “There is another level and it starts with protection; we gave up two sacks we shouldn’t have given up [against Texas],” he said at his Wednesday morning press conference. Saturday: vs. Northwestern State (0-2)
Mississippi State (2-0, 0-0 SEC): At this point, it appears QB Tommy Stevens will be able to go Saturday when K-State comes to Starkville. Stevens suffered a first half injury to his arm last week in the Bulldogs' win over Southern Miss. Saturday: vs. Kansas State (2-0)
Missouri (1-1, 0-0 SEC): Backup corner Chris Mills suffered a knee injury on a special teams play last week and will be out indefinitely per HBC Barry Odom. Saturday: vs. Southeast Missouri State (1-0)
Ole Miss (1-1, 1-0 SEC):MoMo Sanogo's injury (fractured tibia, torn ligament) means Willie Hibler will have to step in at the inside linebacker slot opposite Lakia Henry. Sanogo was injured in the win over Arkansas in which the Rebels held the Razorbacks to 61 rushing yards. Saturday: vs. Southeastern Louisiana (1-0)
South Carolina (1-1, 0-0 SEC):D-lineman Kier Thomas (infection in his ankle) is out for the Alabama game. Running back Deshawn Fenwick (shoulder) and D-lineman Brad Johnson (groin) are listed as doubtful while WR Randrecous Davis and O-lineman Eric Davis are listed as questionable. Saturday: vs. #2 Alabama (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
Tennessee (0-2, 0-0 SEC): Corner Bryce Thompson, who has been suspended due to an altercation he had with his girlfriend and threats to shoot up the university, has been allowed to return to practice. Saturday: vs. Chattanooga (1-1)
#16 Texas A&M (1-1, 0-0 SEC): With Jashaun Corbin done for the year (surgery for a hamstring injury), freshman Isaiah Spiller takes over as the #1 running back. Spiller has 14 carries for 130 yards so far and two receptions for 22 yards. Saturday: vs. Lamar (2-0)
Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-0 SEC): Vanderbilt has a week off to shore up some problems in a secondary that has given up six touchdown passes and is allowing 8.9 yards per pass attempt by opponents. Next up for the Commodores is LSU and QB Joe Burrow, who has thrown nine touchdown passes in two games while averaging 11.3 yards per attempt. Saturday: Open
GOOD QUOTES FOR THURSDAY
From Gary Danielson of CBS Sports on what he's seen so far from Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa:
“Tua has improved a ton … is handling the progressions better. He’s taking first-down throws instead of AAU throws. I like to call them AAU throws because it is all flash and dash, and there aren’t consequences if you don’t make the big throw.”
From Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic on Rutgers' Australian-born punter Adam Korsak and his stunningly good performance against Iowa last week:
“Korsak punted 10 times against the Hawkeyes, with a net average of 46.5 yards per punt. He had seven punts downed inside the 20-yard line, and an astonishing four punts downed inside the 5. His longest was a 69-yard punt that ended up on the 1-yard line.”
From Stewart Mandel of The Athletic on the possibility that Chip Kelly of UCLA could lose his job during or after this season:
“I don’t think the UCLA administration is anywhere near throwing in the towel on its 3-11 coach, either. This is not Tennessee, where there’s a crazy NFL owner booster and a former national championship coach in the athletic director’s office just itching for an opportunity to don the whistle himself again. UCLA AD Dan Guerrero is not known for an itchy finger. He’s invested a lot in Kelly, whom he outmaneuvered both Florida and Tennessee to get back in 2017. The school itself has invested a ton in its football facilities. And all parties are fully aware that Kelly walked into a full-on rebuilding job in Westwood that was bound to take some time.”
From Tim Rohan of Sports Illustrated on whether Florida State should panic with Willie Taggart as its football coach:
“Florida State is lucky to be 1–1, but may not be as fortunate going forward. These second-half collapses seem to be symptoms of a larger issue, a lack of composure and discipline across the board, and that falls on the coach, Willie Taggart.”
From Ryan Kartje of the Los Angeles Times, former Southern Cal linebacker Riki Ellison on what USC president Carol Folt plans to do now that Lynn Swann has resigned as the athletic director:
“She’s setting up Clay Helton now a little bit with more pressure. She’s going to have her own athletic director, and if Clay doesn’t perform, that athletic director is going to pick the new head coach.”
From The State (Columbia, SC) newspaper, South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn on the pending matchup with Alabama All-American wide receiver Jerry Jeudy:
“As a competitor, you always want to take on the best, just to match yourself up against them, so as a competitor you gotta want that matchup.”
From Jose Iglesias of the Miami Herald on the sad state of the Miami Dolphins:
“The Dolphins are really bad, OK? A natural disaster. Deal with it.”
RANDOM THOUGHTS:T. Boone Pickens, the oil gozillionaire who donated $652 million to Oklahoma State including $260 million to upgrade the football stadium (now named T. Boone Pickens Stadium), died Wednesday at the age of 91 … The Houston Texans have released corner Aaron Colvin one year into a $34 million deal that included $4 million at signing and $18 million guaranteed. Prediction: He will somehow wind up with the New England Patriots and his career will get jump started again playing for Bill Belichick … The US Patent Office has denied Ohio State's request to trademark The (as in The Ohio State University) for use in its merchandise sales … Also denied by the Patent Office was LeBron James' attempt to patent the name “Taco Tuesday,” claiming it's too commonplace to be patented … Florida State reportedly will hire Jim Leavitt to an analyst position to help figure out what's wrong with its defense … A high school swimmer from Anchorage, Alaska was disqualified after winning a 100-meter freestyle event in competition because of what is being deemed a “suit wedgie.” No, I'm not making this up ... Team USA went belly up at the FIBA World Championships in China, losing to France.