10 things I'm absolutely overreacting to after Week 9
What was that (fill in your complaint here; I left plenty of room)?
Oh, the masses were angry Saturday night.
Can you blame them?
From lame games to lamer nicknames for games, here are 10 things I’m absolutely overreacting to after Week 9 in and around the SEC.
1. Friends don’t let friends watch boring football: It’s Florida-Georgia, I get it. Cocktail Party, River City, The Landing. Heck, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q is reason enough to get jacked. But that game was so boring that midway through the third quarter I texted a buddy: “I miss Alabama.” That game reminded me of watching a Big Ten game, which, fortunately, I’m no longer
required paid to do. No wonder they were drinking.
2. Ah, Georgia, we meet again: Kirby Smart takes up so much space in this column every week I should start charging him rent. Or send him a thank-you card.
I can’t put Saturday’s lackluster effort entirely on Smart, though others are starting the clock. There isn’t an offense in the world that works without an effective offensive line, and Georgia clearly does not have an effective offensive line.
What Georgia does have, however, are some funny fans. I particularly enjoyed this one.
— UGA Spike Squad (@UGASPIKESQUAD) October 29, 2016
I’m guessing the Squad’s drive home wasn’t nearly as entertaining.
3. River City Showdown? Who thought of that? The firm responsible for the Big Ten’s short-lived “Legends” and “Leaders” divisions? Or the group who insisted we call Division I-AA “FCS” because it had a championship — even though Div. I-A does now, too?
Fortunately, everybody outside of the RCS marketing room thinks the suggested change is silly.
What the hell is a River City Showdown. Baaaaaaa. #WLOCP
— Greg Cody (@Codydawg) October 24, 2016
— E. F. Bartlam (@e_f_bartlam) October 26, 2016
Easy now, this is a family show.
4. That reaction was mild relative to Knoxville’s on Saturday night: Tennessee fans are angry, but they can’t agree where to direct their anger.
Many want to fire Butch Jones. Others want to fire Mike DeBord. Some want to fire both.
Some are mad at other Vols for suggesting they should fire Jones/DeBord.
This is what happens to a fan base that has waited as long as Tennessee’s has when all of those preseason expectations come crashing down.
I’d be angry, too, but as I pointed out in our power rankings, this Vols team is so battered it in no way resembles the one we expected to see.
Still … losing to South Carolina? More specifically, losing to a quarterback who should still be playing high school football? More specifically, losing to said quarterback while your quarterback is among the most veteran starters in the conference?
Patience only goes so far.
And here come the "Fire Butch Jones" tweets…
— Trey Fields (@Treyfus3) October 30, 2016
5. Why didn’t Auburn build the offense around Kamryn Pettway in August? Pettway dominated the spring game. I know, I know … it’s the spring game. But guess what: Everybody else had a chance to dominate too, and yet he stole the show. He was a 240-pound mass of unstoppable-ness.
And yet Gus Malzahn stopped him. All’s well that ends well, but please don’t pretend Malzahn is some kind of offensive genius when the entire reason for Auburn’s turnaround are injuries that led to more carries for Pettway. Oh … and Rhett Lashlee taking over the play-calling.
Speaking of which: oh, my goodness was his touchdown call against Ole Miss a thing of beauty. Line up in one look, shift five skill players, re-set quickly, snap and fire to an uncovered Jalen Harris for a 15-yard touchdown.
It was the play-call of the year.
Auburn TE Jalen Harris finds the end zone. pic.twitter.com/lPIrPWM4Fw
— Lauren Shute (@LShute13) October 30, 2016
6. Clemson and Louisville belong in the Playoff: This year’s first ranking will be released Tuesday night. Clemson should be No. 2, behind Alabama. I’ve got Louisville No. 3, ahead of Michigan.
The CFP ultimately needs to decide whether it merely wants conference champions or it wants the four best teams.
Louisville is clearly one of the four best teams in America, but it won’t even get to the ACC Championship Game. That’s simply by dumb luck. Had they been assigned to the ACC Coastal, they’d be walking away with the division and planning a trip to Orlando and later New York, where Lamar Jackson might win the Heisman.
7. Playoff pretenders: Four undefeated teams lost Saturday, the most notable being then-No. 7 Nebraska and then-No. 8 Baylor.
Baylor’s loss ends the Big 12’s Playoff hopes, not that they were large to begin with. With all of the turmoil surrounding the Bears’ program, including new details this week about rampant sexual abuse, it was almost impossible to see the committee extending an invite to the Final Four.
It might be unfair, to punish this team for previous sins, but it would look even worse to reward that program in light of the sickening scandal.
As for Nebraska’s loss, the Big Ten’s playoff spot is the East’s to lose, anyway. But now it gets a lot more interesting if a one- or two-loss West champion can somehow upset Michigan or Ohio State in the B1G title game. The B1G would obviously lobby for both to make the Final Four.
I’d argue to leave them both out as long as Washington finished unbeaten, and Clemson and Louisville didn’t lose again. Those three would join Alabama on my ballot.
Leaving the Big Ten out of the Playoff actually would benefit college football because it would hasten the switch to an eight-team playoff, which is where this thing is headed. Just not nearly fast enough.
8. Didn’t you used to be Ole Miss? We knew things were going to be bad in Starkville, but what has happened in Oxford is even worse.
No need to bore you with the history, but it’s hard to imagine that after years of playing games as a top-10 program, these two will enter the Egg Bowl with, perhaps, as few as eight combined wins.
9. Didn’t you used to be Kentucky? Among the many bold predictions we made last offseason, I wrote that Kentucky would end its dreaded drought of not having a winning record in the SEC since 1977. It’s crazy to think that every Power 5 team in the country — even the basketball schools like Duke and Indiana and Kansas — has had a more recent winning record in their respective conference than the Wildcats.
Kentucky is on the verge of handing off that dubious distinction — to hated border rival Indiana, which hasn’t posted a winning record in the Big Ten since 1993.
Kentucky has two chances to pick up that fifth SEC win: at home Saturday against reeling Georgia and then Nov. 12 at Tennessee.
10: Hello, Hate Week: I’ll let y’all take it from here.
— Derek Kopp (@DerekKoppTV) October 30, 2016
— Parker Horne (@PohHorne) October 30, 2016
— The 3rd Wheel (@DuhhhhhhKota) October 30, 2016
— Frazier Wilson (@frazier_wilson) October 30, 2016
Hold on to the ball Mark #Bamahateweek
— Chris Cotton (@58percentCotton) October 30, 2016
— ♠️♦️BOPP♥️♣️ (@BamaBopp) October 30, 2016
Chris Wright is Executive Editor at SaturdayDownSouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @FilmRoomEditor.