Sprint Option: Week 3

If this week showed me anything, it’s that college football still has the ability to surprise you. We had everything; surprise wins, fluke touchdowns, favorites getting killed, and invincible teams looking beatable. All of which seemed to go against my bettor’s picks. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Also, we need a name for the featured image. I propose: Surrender Turtle! Anyway, let’s get to the option.

Ole Miss is the class of the SEC this year…

No, no. This isn’t an ironic lead line. They really are. Chad Kelly is Good Bo Wallace with voodoo luck. He also raps and goes by the name “Swag Kelly.” I harbor extreme vitriol for the word ‘swag,’ but he backed it up this week–granted a lot of things had to break the Rebels’ way. They scored 43 on Alabama…in Bryant-Denny. They looked incredibly poised and well-put-together on offense, and the return of Treadwell gives them the x-factor looking ahead in the west. Ole Miss won’t have an easy task left ahead of them, but they have a tie-breaker against Saban and Alabama. And that is a huge deal. Also, don’t go to sleep on Alabama. Ole Miss had a fluke touchdown on a play that should have been a sack or a pick, and the game was decided by 6 points. The fact that Alabama is still Alabama is enough to make the race for the west an interesting one. See why the tiebreak is so important?

Ohio State is vulnerable as long as they have two QBs…

The old adage goes: if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. OSU proved that this weekend as the focus on the team’s struggles shifted squarely to who was under center. In actuality, the whole team struggled against an exceptional Northern Illinois team–who is not in the same league as the Buckeyes, but is one of the best group of 5 teams out there. NIU played smart football against an OSU team that wound up leveraging its athleticism over game planning. Ultimately, the Bucks were able to edge NIU, but it revealed some major issues. To me, it seems clear that Urban Meyer now has to make a starting QB decision, publicize it, and stick with it. Also, Zeke Elliott is one of the best backs in the country, but he is falling prey to Urban’s offensive system, which features the quarterback over the halfback. This is a mistake; consider teams like Georgia (Chubb) or LSU (Fournette). These teams know their best player is their running back, so they scheme around him. Ohio State should be giving Elliott the ball 25-30 times per game. No one can stop him, give him the damn ball.

LSU put gas in the Fournette machine, and it cranks out nothing by offense…

Fournette’s statline: 19 carries, 228 yards, 12.0 YPC, 3 TDs. This all happened against an Auburn team that has its “highly dynamic Muschamp defense.” Clearly, that is spin without substance. Auburn is terrible, we knew that after the Jacksonville State game. But sometimes, teams respond to close calls, Auburn did not. LSU looks unstoppable as a result. Don’t look now, but they’re now 2-0 in the SEC in conference and divisional play. The LSU-Mississippi game is shaping up to be the best game we’ll see all year. Auburn can cash in their chips and take an Uber back to the airport at this point. Also, is there any doubt that Fournette will be a Heisman and Doak Walker frontrunner after this week. I don’t think so. No one at all should want to play LSU. One positive, if you can find a way to stop Fournette, LSU’s offense is fairly one-dimensional. I just don’t think it’s possible to stop Fournette. LSU will have to earn everything they get, but I think they’ll answer the bell.

Georgia Tech proves, yet again, that it is not ready for the national conversation…

I’ll probably write a longer post about this later this week, but I’m waiting for a movie called, “One Win Away: The Georgia Tech Story.” I say that because Georgia Tech, every year, has at least one game where they get absolutely overmatched by a team they should beat or at least go blow for blow with. I don’t want to sound like I’m taking anything away from Notre Dame; if you talked to me about this game, I killed the Irish over injuries and just expected them to get mowed over. They did not, and in the process looked like every bit of a top 10 team who is ready for the playoff conversation. The Irish committed 9 people to stop the option by selling out the linebackers to the perimeter to get numbers. This won’t work if you can complete passes over the middle or down the field. Tech cannot, and did not. Breaking News: if you can commit 9 to stop the triple option, you are going to stop it. Kudos to Vangorder for having his defense ready to play, and the Irish offense did what they were supposed to do. Tech couldn’t hang, and didn’t look like a top 25 team. The pressure got to them; if Tech wins this game, they’re in the conversation for the playoff. Analysts were giving Tech the game. The Jackets historically have not performed well from the favorite position. Just throw this loss on that pile. Who knows, now that the pressure is off, Tech may win the rest of their games while falling short of the playoff. But I doubt they’re going to win out based on what I saw this weekend.

Florida keeps nation’s longest win streak rocking in lackluster win over UK…

Florida played ok. They played better than a Kentucky team that is above-average by Kentucky’s standards. The offense proved yet again that it is a work in progress. Going back to the adage in the OSU write-up, two quarterbacks = no quarterbacks. To be fair to Florida, it appears that the situation is resolving more to Grier with Harris as the backup. Based on what I’ve seen, this is the correct call. But, Florida as an offense has a long way to go. And after the performances from LSU, Georgia, and Ole Miss this week, Florida is going to have as brutal an October as anyone. The point differential for the Gators in those three games combined may be -100. I’m not even joking. Florida fans have a long month coming up, and Tennessee won’t be a slouch either. Florida should feel good about keeping Kentucky down, but what lies ahead will be the true test of the Gators this season.

Georgia blows the doors off Spurrier, hits Carolina so hard they want a new coach…

Can we say “statement game?” Holy moly. South Carolina has been historically bad at defense. They spiked for a three year period between 2010 and 2013, but they are now showing a regression to the mean. Carolina has often had to rely on a high powered offense under Spurrier to simply outscore the best of their opponents. They don’t have a high powered offense this year. Now, they lost on a fluke to Kentucky, so fans had that to hang their hats on. But Georgia just removed all doubt that South Carolina is going to be a basement SEC team this year. The best they can hope for is speed bump games against other middling East opponents. Fans are now looking to get rid of Spurrier, but he’s done enough for that school to go out on his own terms. But let’s be real, Carolina had a bad break against Kentucky, and they were supposed to lose to Georgia this year. Let’s squash the overreaction and hot seat talk for Spurrier for at least two weeks. As for Georgia, good God. They have adopted the Fournette approach and decided to give Chubb a steady diet of the football. I still believe this team is all in for another head scratching loss, because Mark Richt. But, keep giving Chubb the ball. No exceptions. Unlike LSU, Georgia is not one-dimensional, and their passing attack was as precise as it was brutal this weekend. It’s hard to imagine anyone beating them in conference.

Boston College’s defense deserves better than what their offense can provide…

Holy hell. So. Many. Punts! I just saw from BC’s SBN blogger that this game was the highest rated Friday night game in three years on ESPN. That’s not surprise, FSU fans are very loyal as are BC fans, and it’s an intriguing matchup as BC gave FSU fits last year. That didn’t really happen this year. The Eagles worked FSU’s offense over, and only allowed one score–the other TD was scoop and score by the defense on a BC fumble. I don’t care what team you have, if your defense only allows a Jimbo Fisher offense to score once, you played your ass off. The Eagle defense deserves so much better than the offense it has. I won’t be surprised if the defense is top 20 in total defense and the offense is lower than 100 in total offense. The disparity is huge, and FSU just has too much talent to allow an offense that bad to score. Nice confidence builder for the Noles, and BC shouldn’t be too upset with how they played. They will have a tough one against NIU next week. Also, Addazio prices he still can’t operate heavy machinery–namely, an offense.

Arkansas gets “ass kicked” by Texas Tech, Bielema blames non-SEC officials for team’s pathetic effort…

This is my favorite. Bret Bielema is the arrogant bro from high school who has a persecution complex. Claims he can do all kinds of stuff, but can’t perform when called out on it. First, it was that Ohio State doesn’t play anyone, then the loss to Toledo. After that, it was the fact that plenty of teams came back from a bad loss to make the playoff, another shot at Ohio State. Then, Texas Tech ran them over. Now, it’s the fact that they didn’t have SEC officiating that led to Arkansas losing by 11. That’s not possible, especially when you look at the stats from the game. It was apparently officiating who caused Arkansas to be outgained 486-424 in total offensive yards. It was the officiating that caused TTU to stop Arkansas on their first second half drive and settle for a field goal. If I’m an Arkansas fan, I hate Bret Bielema. He is a bulletin board material machine for opponents. He needs to shut up and worry about SEC play. One thing is for sure with Arkansas, Texas A&M is going to boat race the team that’s showed up the past two weeks.

Clemson edges a crap Louisville team, thinks they’re the class of the ACC…

Clemson fans are so detached from reality that they buy delusions in bulk at the local CostCo. In fact, many were making excuses for the Tigers’ sluggish play by saying that they were on short rest and that the conference should actually “protect its elite teams.” Clemson has won one (1) ACC championship since 1991. I get that no one likes short rest, but get a grip on who you actually are. Clemson got the win because Louisville choked on the tying field goal in the waning minutes. Deshaun Watson was supposed to break out and wreck Petrino’s Cardinals. That didn’t happen. This was a horrible game. Louisville and Clemson looked equally bad, but Louisville is 0-3. Dabo did the whip and nae nae in the locker room after the game, because Dabo. I’m willing to give them a break on the celebration as the win was emotional, but Thursday’s Clemson team is losing to FSU, GT, and maybe even South Carolina. There are a ton of glaring problems for the Tigers that need sorting out before getting into the full swing of conference play. Expect Clemson to improve greatly as the season goes on, but they certainly looked overrated on Thursday night.

Mizzou wins 9 to 3, scores a touchdown apparently…

Briefly, this is the Mizzou team that every SEC fan has a mental image of. This is why no one wanted Missouri to join the SEC. Obviously, Pinkel’s team has been better than this in the SEC, but this didn’t help to dispel the red-headed step-child stigma associated with Mizzou. That’s all I had, but I couldn’t let this pass.

Southern Cal looks every bit as overrated as they actually were…

And it was awesome. Stanford, a supposed-to-be-good team that lost to Northwestern week 1, outplayed the Trojans. Sark after Dark may have posed a distraction to the team in the offseason, but this team just hasn’t done anything since Reggie Bush. Why are they still regularly in the top 10? This team shouldn’t be ranked. The reaction to this is not to rank Stanford, it is to strip USC of its “top 25 team” status. But, that’s not how any of this works.

Texas goes to the mat with Cal, loses by blowing the PAT to tie the game…

Just…damn. Texas and Cal traded leads, and scores. Texas looked actually capable on offense and looked to be every bit of a match for Cal. They were. And then, they lost in the most Texas way possible by missing the extra point to tie the game at 45. It’s a stomach turning way to lose. On the positive side, it looks like Texas is putting things together, downside: Texas may can Charlie Strong before they really start getting traction. I hear South Carolina is in the market…

That’s the option, sports fans. Bettor’s picks will be up Thursday. 

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