Sprint Option: Week 3

As promised, the Option is back! Sorry for the lag from last week. We had some really odd games this weekend. A few of them I’m still processing. On the bright side, Bet the Board fared pretty well. The same can’t be said for FSU football. 

Let’s get to the option!

The Angry Birds of Louisville absolutely obliterated FSU…

That’s not hyperbole. The Cardinals smoked the Noles in every single facet of the game. The defense made the FSU Offensive Line look like turnstiles. The other side of the ball had FSU’s front seven on skates the whole game. Lamar Jackson is amazing and would win the Heisman with 80% of the vote if it were held today. We’re choosing to ignore the fact that he can’t really pass for crap and will likely play a position other than QB on Sundays. Dalvin Cook, my preseason Heisman pick, is sleepwalking through the season and my wife is accusing him of shaving points because of his lackadaisical play and apparent unwillingness to go after his own fumbles. I think he has plans for Sundays and has no interest in getting hurt. That sucks, but can you blame him?

Georgia Tech beat Vandy like a talented football team should…

I blew the Vandy cover pick on this game. Tech looked capable. Still, Vandy is Vandy and the Jackets host Clemson on a short week this week. It would appear now that game is not the foregone conclusion it was in August, but Tech faces a major upgrade in opponent and will have to compete against a potential Heisman finalist in DeShaun Watson. Still, Bobby Dodd is where seasons go to die these days, and Clemson has everything at stake now that FSU is behind the 8-ball. 

Texas blows it against Berkeley, is still the same old Texas…

I say “same old” because take away Vince Young and Texas has been plodding through mediocrity since the 90s. They lost a winnable game against Berkeley and clearly don’t have the defensive chops to hang in close games. We’ll have to wait and see, since they’re still the team to beat in the Big XII. Odds are good that this is Strong’s last season, especially if they keep losing to teams like Cal. Strong will likely be demoting his straw man defensive coordinator and taking over, but you’re a fool if you think anyone but Chuck calls the plays. 

Alabama scrapes by Ole Miss, Tide fans tell folks how it was “never in doubt”…

This game for Alabama is apparently going to be high on the pucker factor scale for the foreseeable future. This is the only game where anyone scores more than 30 on Alabama all season and is clearly the game where Alabama does the least Alabama thing imaginable: play shootout football. Alabama really stole this game, which is good for Lane Kiffin since he would have been strung up and lit ablaze by the Sabanites had they lost. In typical Tide fashion, fans–like Boris from GoldenEye–are proclaiming their invincibility. The Tide have a lot of shortcomings in personnel this season, but they are still the team to beat. I’m not looking too highly on a repeat championship, though. 

Ohio State seals the deal on Stoops in Norman, crushes Sooners…

Here’s how it went down: Oklahoma called Ohio State’s defense “basic,” then Ohio State basically took so much of Oklahoma’s lunch money that economists are calling it generational theft. There’s an old phrase: don’t start what you can’t finish, and I’m pretty sure that’s the best way to describe what happened. You can’t give a team that already has the best athletes bulletin board material. With this loss, the Big XII is out of the playoff conversation unless Armageddon happens. Stoops has to be gone after this–despite my personal convictions that it would be a huge mistake to do so. You can only take so much Big Game Bob, and that’s understandable. 

Stanford blasts USC, McCaffrey still doesn’t score touchdowns…

Spare me the east coast bias conversation. There’s a great deal more teams east of the Mississippi Valley than west. It’s not bias, it’s the population. McCaffrey is doing the same stuff he did last year. And while he is looking flashier, he’s not scoring. For perspective: Lamar Jackson is second in rushing yards in all of college football and tied for first in total rushing touchdowns with 10. McCaffrey has 4 TDs and is 24th in total rushing yards. When you’re a halfback competing against a quarterback for the Heisman, pro tip: you need to outgain him on the ground and be close to him in rushing touchdowns. (FYI: Jackson has accounted for 18 total touchdowns already.) McCaffrey has more opportunity against weaker competition, but he has to get in the end zone. Otherwise, Jackson is going to cruise. 

Tennessee edges Ohio, Butch Jones fires up the hype machine…

My ire for Butch Jones grows by the week. The man is a snake oil salesman. Tennessee sucks, along with the rest of the SEC East, but everyone would have you believe they’re world beaters. How do you only beat Ohio by 9?! You were favored by 28! Tennessee finally gets a ranked team this week in Florida. Moreover, they’re catching Florida on a down week since starting quarterback Luke Del Rio is out for the balance of September at least. That said, Florida’s strength is always defense and you can’t win if you don’t score. Look for Tennessee to be up at home for GameDay, but this is probably going to be a pretty crappy game to watch. An eleven year streak is on the line, and it’ll probably be a yawner of ineptitude for both teams. 

Here is my favorite SDS article year to date about Tennessee. 

Georgia edges Missouri on late touchdown, wins SEC championship…

Well, you’d think that based on how people are talking about the game. West Virginia ran Missouri out of the stadium on opening weekend, and Georgia was supposed to have a knock down, drag out with Tennessee for the east. Turns out, both of them suck and the SEC East is wide open–unless you’re Vandy or coached by Will Muschamp. I still think Smart was a great hire for Georgia, but this is how it’s going to be until Kirby gets his recruits in. From the looks of things, the East won’t fare well in the conference title game or the Playoff for that matter. 

Florida charged $1,000,000 for Del Rio’s medical bills…

Seriously. I think I’m going to write my own version of Monopoly. Make it the college football edition with updated dollar amounts. This would be a Chance card: FBS cupcake injures your starting quarterback, pay $1,000,000 to the owner of that school and lose your next turn. The hit that injured Del Rio was late. It was low. It was also not entirely deliberate. Wheeler had intent to hit the quarterback, late or not, and should not have been going for him. He had no play. Goolsby clipped him and sent him lower than he was planning. No one aims for a quarterback’s legs if the goal is to inflict pain–that target is chest and up. It would have and should have been a penalty either way, and was absolutely illegal. But, he wasn’t trying to take out the knee. Come on, people. Do I think targeting should expand for those hits against passers? Yes, I most certainly do. But, I’m not willing to say he had clear intent to injure either. The Gators now have to travel to Knoxville to defend the streak of 11 straight. It’s going to be ugly. 

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