Sprint Option: Week 13

So, this is obviously a day late. I’m annoyed about that. But, Thanksgiving travel coupled with decking the halls and my overall personal milieu of this past weekend’s games had me less than motivated to write this. Not that I could have written this any sooner. Before we get into the option, I would like to give a shout out to Caleb and his (stupid) Seminoles. Once I explained the rules of football to him and pointed out which team was his, he was very excited to learn that his team won (#shade). Final thing, five days off is great, it’s better when you’re not driving on four of them.

Shall we?

Florida’s offense couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel…

But, really. Florida got demolished, and not because FSU’s offense was a rolling death machine. In fact, this is the worst team Florida State has put on the field in 5 years, which is a serious positive for their program. Still, the fact that the Gators were not even able to put a competitive effort together against the weakest FSU opponent since 2010 is just sad. Treon Harris is not a college quarterback. He’s not trying to be terrible, but he is. Florida felt out of this game at 10-0. Hell, I was ready to go at 3-0. Florida State put forth a good enough effort to win, but watching Florida was like watching someone face down in a bed choose to suffocate on his pillow instead of rolling over. Yeah, it’s like that. Florida State went with Cover 1 against the fairly talented Florida receiving corps, loaded the box, and dared the Gators to beat them with the diminutive Harris throwing the ball. It was a safe bet. The worst part for the Gators is how well the defense played. And, honestly, they stuck with it a lot longer than I would have. Then, they inevitably got too frustrated to continue, and began giving up chunks of yards to Dalvin Cook. Cook gained more than half his yards in garbage time and notched two TDs late when the Gators were well out of the game. Part of it was quit, part of it was being worn down by a capable, if not stellar, FSU offense. Mac has proven that his system is QB dependent and that it will not change to accommodate a quarterback that does not fit, like Harris. Now, Florida heads up to Atlanta to play the Crimson Tide for the SEC title. The opening line was 12, it lasted for a millisecond; now, it’s Alabama -17.5. Honestly, if Florida can’t score against FSU, how in the hell are they going to score on the Tide? FSU plays no one this week because they lost to Clemson and Georgia Tech, but beating the Gators allowed them to retain bragging rights and improve their target bowl by adding a win.

Georgia beats Georgia Tech in the game nobody is talking about…

Georgia was very lackluster, and well, so was Georgia Tech. This was a horrible game. Every player on the field looked unmotivated, uninspired and just wanted to get the hell out. Georgia managed to win, but both schools likely agree that this game is better when the teams both have winning records and something to lose. That was not the case this year. Georgia is going bowling, Tech is not. It’s tragic that a game with this much emotion was not even worth attending/playing this year. Mercifully, this season is over for Tech. And, Georgia has just fired Richt. 52 losses in 15 years and the guy gets shown the door without a “do or die” season. It’s a bad look. All signs point to Richt coaching next year. My bet is on Maryland first and Miami second. As much as I hated his team, Mark Richt is a net positive on the sport and hopefully he will be successful wherever he goes. Tech fans should pray he doesn’t come to the ACC Coastal; otherwise, he isn’t done wrecking the white and gold.

The Game was…well…not a game…

This was the most talked about B1G matchup this year after September. Resurgent Michigan, flailing OSU; it was every bit a recipe for a rivalry renewed with Blue on top. I picked Michigan to win earlier this year. Boy, I was wrong. OSU finally put it all together and just buzzsawed Harbaugh’s crew. OSU lost to Michigan State, so they will not be representing in the championship game. Now, if there is any surprise this week, OSU will be in the debate for the last playoff spot. This is notionally ridiculous due to the fact that OSU will not be a conference champion. I will not endorse a system that allows a team to be beat out of its own conference championship, but then make the playoff. No way the committee makes the championship games a liability like that. Sorry, OSU fans. I don’t think you’re making it this year. Meanwhile, Michigan is in a similar spot to UF. They were basically playing with house money this season and Harbaugh vastly exceeded expectations. The future is bright in Ann Arbor.

South Carolina exposes vulnerabilities in Clemson’s armor, is too bad to actually exploit them…

If I’m UNC, I’m pissed. Clemson had its swoon game against a lousy opponent. Now, Dabo and his coaches are doing everything they can to patch those holes in time for a good UNC team this coming weekend. The Tarheels will have a tougher time with the Tigers as a result. South Carolina made it a game and almost willed themselves to victory, which is impressive in and of itself. Now, the Gamecocks can begin their coaching search in earnest. Honestly, Carolina is not a premier job; it’s second tier of the open jobs at best, but the SEC East is a palatable place to play these days. Still, Ray Tanner is giving serious consideration to hiring Will Muschamp as the next head coach of Carolina. I just can’t. Do they want to suck forever? Not all former Florida head coaches are created equal. Look somewhere else. Anywhere else!

Stanford kicks Notre Dame out of the playoff…

Literally. Stanford beat Notre Dame on a last second field goal. I wish I had watched this game live. It had lots of lead changes and, if the highlights paint a fair picture, a lot of good football. Notre Dame has effectively been eliminated from the playoff. A loss to two loss Stanford hurts the Irish and it’s a loss too late for them to recover. It’s just as well, since I genuinely believed Notre Dame to be vastly overrated by the committee. No other team in the top ten had as flimsy a resume with as high a rank, especially given how few games were left and the fact that Notre Dame is independent. Now the Irish are headed for a New Year’s Six bowl, but their opponent is still very much up in the air. Stanford may be headed to the Rose Bowl if they can win the PAC-12 championship this weekend. The bowls are actually shaping up to be pretty interesting.

The Tide rolls over Auburn in the Iron Bowl with Henry driving the steamroller…

Derrick Henry is much man. He rumbled for 271 yards against Auburn and caused Muschamp to make another meme-worthy face on the sideline (see cover photo). It was pretty hilarious. This game clenched the SEC West for Alabama and ensured the Tide a spot in the SEC CG; with a win, they will also have a seat at the table. Auburn played some of its best football (especially defensively), but were just no match for Saban’s boys. They tuned up Malzahn and Auburn to get ready for the push to the playoff. Only Florida stands in Alabama’s way, and…well, yeah. It’s going to be ugly. With his stat line, I believe that Derrick Henry has solidified himself as the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy. It’s his to lose, despite the fact that Dalvin Cook for FSU may be more skilled at the position. Henry runs in a more punishing fashion and has superior blocking to Cook. Florida will give Henry hell, but the Tide are just too talented. A big game against the run defense of the Gators will be all Henry needs to grasp the brass ring and hoist the trophy in New York. This is especially true given that Dalvin has played his last game of consequence before the trophy is awarded.

Oklahoma demolished Oklahoma State in Bedlam…

Honestly, this is exactly what Stoops had to do. He not only had to beat his in-state rival, but he had to crush them to win the Big XII. The reason for this is simple: the lack of a conference game crushes the conference’s credibility. If the Sooners had limped to victory over the Cowboys, the committee would have every reason to leave Oklahoma out. Now, they will have a tough time not putting them in the top 4 to end the season. I hate the Big XII for this very reason. The lack of a conference game cuts both ways. Last year, TCU and Baylor needed a championship game to determine “One True Champion.” This year, people want Oklahoma to have to play a championship game, as it isn’t fair that their season is over, while the other contenders have to play the best opponent from across the conference. The Big XII is in a Catch-22 situation until they add two more teams and have a final game. My vote: add Houston and Memphis from the AAC. Boom! I have just solved your problem, Bowlsby.

That’s it, that’s all I can take. There were a bunch of other games, but storylines have stemmed from Black Sunday firings and they’ll keep bleeding into the writing as I go. Once the conference championship games are complete, I’ll do a more detailed inventory of the season.



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