10 things I'm absolutely overreacting to after Week 9 in the SEC
Like Lewis Grizzard said, I don’t even want to talk about it.
I’m not kidding. That was worse than getting a flat tire on the way to a job interview. Or a laptop crashing on deadline. Or an out of control Sooner Schooner getting squirrely in the turns.
I know upsets happen. I’ve been tracking them. But it wasn’t supposed to happen to that guy. Anybody but that guy.
Here are 10 things I’m absolutely overreacting to after a wild Week 9 in and around the SEC … while still trying to cope with an incredibly cruel Saturday.
10. Oh, no, Jalen … not like this
The Playoff dream is gone. His. Certainly mine. Maybe yours, too.
There will be no Jalen vs. Tua dream matchup for the national championship.
Nor will there be a 3rd consecutive Heisman Trophy awarded to a transfer Oklahoma quarterback.
Jalen Hurts held up his end of the deal Saturday, as he had all season. Oklahoma’s defense deserves every bit of the blame for the Sooners’ 1st loss to an unranked team since 2017.
This wasn’t part of the Process. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
Any Given Saturday wrecked the Sooners. It didn’t do much for my mood, either.
Updated with Oklahoma's loss to unranked K-State.
Power 5 teams last loss to unranked team:
2017: 3 (Clemson, Michigan, LSU)
2016: 1 (Notre Dame)
2007: 1 (Alabama)
— Chris Wright (@CWrightSDS) October 26, 2019
I’ll get over it, eventually. And there’s always the very, very slim possibility that Alabama doesn’t make the Playoff, either. But even if we got a Tua vs. Jalen matchup in a New Year’s 6 bowl, it wouldn’t be the same.
9. Not everybody was as sad as I was …
SEC teams celebrated Oklahoma’s loss. With the Big 12’s Playoff hopes obliterated (especially after Texas subsequently lost again later Saturday), there now is a very clear and real path for the SEC to send 2 teams the Playoff.
It might be 2 SEC West teams, too.
The Big Ten (i.e., Ohio State) certainly celebrated. Its champion is going to the Playoff for the 1st time in 3 years. (Maybe this year they’ll score.)
Wisconsin showed it is what I thought it was in a lopsided loss to the Buckeyes. It doesn’t matter which Big Ten West team shows up in Indianapolis, the Big Ten East champion will celebrate that title and a Playoff berth.
Clemson also celebrated. As ludicrious as it sounds, some actually doubt the Tigers, going so far as to suggest they could finish 13-0 and be left out.
That was utter nonsense before Saturday. And it was rendered a non-starter after Saturday.
8. This might be the last pass Derek Stingley defends …
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 26, 2019
I mean, are you going to challenge him? If so, why?
My God, a freshman.
7. I wonder why Arkansas stopped payments to Bret Bielema …
Actually, I’m not wondering. I know why.
Paying Coach No. 2 not to coach while still paying Coach No. 1 not to coach is not fiscally responsible.
I’m not a lawyer, but I am wondering about the Hogs’ legal grounds. Bielema’s contract stipulated that he must actively pursue employment. He is gainfully employed by the best football organization in the world. Why would anybody leave that for some mid-major head coaching job?
Of course, Arkansas would much prefer he pursue a more lucrative head coaching position, thus mitigating if not eliminating what it owes him. Tough.
Both parties signed the same contract. You fired him. You pay him.
6. QB controversy in Tuscaloosa!
I’m kidding, but Alabama fans no doubt exhaled a bit after Mac Jones went 8-for-10 for 74 yards and 2 TD throws in the 1st quarter against Arkansas.
Of course, the operative words in that sentence were “against Arkansas,” but last week Jones struggled “against Tennessee.”
Jones kept going. He finished 18-for-22 for 235 yards and 3 TDs before giving way to Tualia Tagovailoa.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Tide come out throwing. In Saturday’s weekly Pick-6 column on topics to follow, I wrote I wanted to see the Tide throw it 40 times, to essentially give Jones and Tagovailoa as many live reps as possible before potentially asking them to match throws with Joe Burrow in 2 weeks.
5. Bottom 5 of Power 5
The worst of the weak, in order of ineptitude, because the alphabet is far too forgiving.
1. Oklahoma’s defense (Big 12): Kansas State hadn’t scored 48 points since beating Kansas in 2014. It hadn’t topped 30 points since beating Mississippi State 31-24 earlier this season. Oklahoma hadn’t allowed anybody to reach 30 since Houston scored 31 in Week 1. So, of course K-State hangs 48 on the Sooners. Well, at least they won’t be able to rip the Sooners’ defense during this year’s Playoff games.
2. Wisconsin (Big Ten): Y’all got worked. For the 2nd week in a row. Best defense in the country, right? Remember when the Big Ten media were talking about the 4 shutouts the Badgers posted? Best defense ever! Please. The opponent matters.
3. Mizzou (SEC): In a season defined by strange losses, Mizzou now has the 3 strangest. Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden had more passing yards at halftime than Kelly Bryant. He finished with 204 yards rushing — more than Mizzou’s team. That’s not bad … for a wide receiver.
4. Texas defense (Big 12): The signs of trouble have been there for a while. The Longhorns gave up 48 points to Kansas last week. They’ve allowed 30 points in 5 consecutive games. I don’t know if that’s a program record, but I know it’s not a winning recipe. Texas became the 50th Power 5 team to lose to an unranked team this season.
5. Arkansas (SEC): I’m surprised the AD didn’t meet Chad Morris at halftime.
4. The 4 Playoff teams are …
1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Ohio State, 4. Clemson
Saturday created the most realistic view of the 4 best and most deserving teams in the country.
LSU knocked off its 3rd top 10 team. Nobody else has done anything close to that.
Sure Wisconsin was overrated from the jump, but give Ohio State credit for its best win to date. The Buckeyes dominated both lines of scrimmage. Justin Fields did just enough with his arm — in the same type of sloppy conditions that Jake Fromm struggled in last week — and remained a viable threat to run. The Buckeyes looked legitimate. More important, Fields looked legitimate. Chase Young continued to look like Myles Garrett.
We won’t get a Jalen vs. Tua Playoff game, but ex-Buckeye Joe Burrow vs. Ohio State wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
3. No, Big Ten, you don’t deserve 2 teams in the Playoff
I can already hear the argument.
Penn State might be in the top 5 by the time it travels to Ohio State, which will safely be in the top 4. Both could be undefeated.
Basically, it’ll be the Big Ten’s version of LSU at Alabama. Right? I had already finished this segment when I saw Joel Klatt’s tweet. On cue … and most certainly on brand.
Seeing a lot of narrative pushers out today talking about getting multiple SEC teams in playoff…that very well may happen, but lets not pretend that @OhioStateFB and @PennStateFball aren't on the exact same course…Could easily argue for both of them
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 27, 2019
The Big Ten’s version is not the same thing, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise. Penn State and Ohio State have combined for exactly 0 wins over teams ranked in the top 12.
My advice to Big Ten fans?
Be happy with the 1 team you will get … and try to score this time, OK?
2. Jarrett Guarantano just saved the Vols’ season … and maybe his coach’s job
Jeremy Pruitt wasn’t too “pissed” after watching Guarantano come off the bench and lead Tennessee to its best win of the season.
Credit this one to the Vols’ upperclassmen. They took over.
Jauan Jennings had 7 catches for 174 yards and 2 TDs. Marquez Callaway added 102 yards receiving and a TD. Guarantano topped 200 yards and threw 2 TD passes as the Vols kept their bowl hopes alive.
After all he has been through, Guarantano deserved a night like this, a moment like this.
Jeremy Pruitt said that Jarrett Guarantano would help the #Vols win games this season, he was right.
This moment was special. pic.twitter.com/Qpwxgc2ZaZ
— Jordan Crammer (@JordanCrammer) October 26, 2019
1. Who’s No. 1? LSU
Three wins vs. top 10 teams. Another 300-yard day from Joe Burrow. A punishing ground attack, led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire. And finally a defensive effort worthy of a championship contender.
LSU is the No. 1 team in the country.
Give me all of the hype videos.
Alabama-LSU can’t get here fast enough.