A couple of my college roommates (cough, Robert, cough, Dobbe) got to go to Mizzou’s homecoming game against Ole Miss last weekend, and I’m pretty jealous.

Homecoming games are an incredible experience and I haven’t gotten to go to one since my first year out of college. Sadly, I now live a 28-hour drive from Columbia, and since I write about college football for a living, I don’t anticipate having a fall Saturday off for the foreseeable future.

Why can’t college basketball teams have a homecoming game? I could actually (probably) go to one of those. Just an idea for you, Mizzou, if you want to have your most famous alum (since Brad Pitt never technically graduated) return to the campus.

Anyway, now that I’ve put that food for thought out there, here are your questions for this week’s SDS Mailbag:


It’s good to be undefeated, but is it good for the Big Ten that Minnesota is unbeaten? They’ll lose to Wisconsin, but their Big Ten East crossovers are manageable. They could go 11-1 and then have their butts kicked in New Year’s 6 bowl (by Florida, Mizzou, Auburn, Texas, Boise State, etc.). That wouldn’t be good for the Big Ten’s perception.

Minnesota and Baylor are the 2 teams I’m most surprised to see still among the ranks of the unbeaten, although a look at their schedules shows maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at all. The Golden Gophers’ most impressive win has been against Nebraska, while the Bears have had 3 wins (including an 8-point victory against a Rice team that is 0-6) by one possession.

But as far as being bad for the conferences? I’m not sure I buy that. So let’s say Minnesota finishes 10-2 (I’m not as willing to give them a win over Penn State as you are) and bumps the Nittany Lions and Iowa Hawkeyes down to lesser bowl games. Yes, the Gophers would likely be overmatched in whatever NY6 bowl game they got, but those other bowl games would feature strong Big Ten teams against likely lesser opponents.

Basically, what I’m saying is that I think everything more or less balances out in the end. The only problem is when a conference like the SEC gets 2 teams into the Playoff and another team into the Sugar Bowl. That makes for some lesser teams being bumped up into tough bowl matchups. Still, I think with a month to prepare for those games, things are pretty even by kickoff. Long live the Gophers!


Is it time to give up on Joe Moorhead?

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 3-3 with a bad loss to Tennessee and a home loss to Kansas State that looks worse by the week. However, I wouldn’t give up on him yet. There’s still hope for this season.

Here’s a look at the Bulldogs’ remaining schedule:

  • LSU
  • At Texas A&M
  • At Arkansas
  • OFF
  • Alabama
  • Abilene Christian
  • Ole Miss

If he can go 4-2 the rest of the way (which won’t be easy), that’s a 7-5 team. That’s not what fans want, but Mississippi State lost a ton of talent last year. Clearly, the loss of Nick Fitzgerald is hurting the offense, and when you lose guys like Johnathan Adams, Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat on defense, it’s going to be tough.

If he finishes 7-5 and gets the Bulldogs to a bowl game, I think he gets another year. Regardless of what happens, I wouldn’t fire him before the end of this season. However, if he goes 5-7 or, gasp, 4-8, then it might be time to reevaluate the hire.


Is Pete Golding the right man for the job at Bama?

Alabama is an offense-led team now. I know that seems crazy in the Nick Saban era, but that’s just a fact. The problem with offense-led teams is that it puts an insane amount of pressure on the defense.

You know who hates it when Henry Ruggs III takes a screen pass 80 yards for a score? Alabama’s defenders. Therefore, your expectations for the defense need to change.

This year’s Alabama team, with Tua Tagovailoa and the receivers putting up 51 points per game, was never going to have an elite defense. Wisconsin is leading the nation by allowing only 4.8 points per game, but you know what they have? A Heisman-worthy running back and a game-manager quarterback. That leads to ball control, and indeed, the Badgers are leading the country with an average time of possession of 37:35. Alabama is No. 50, controlling the ball for 30:48 per game.

Add in injuries to Dylan Moses and Josh McMillon and I think Golding is actually doing a great job as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. If Alabama loses this season, it’ll be because the offense struggles and doesn’t put up 40 points.


Which team has the best, most recognizable uniforms, not just in the SEC, but in all of college football? I’ll go with Alabama and Penn State.

Alabama and Penn State definitely have iconic uniforms, but I’m probably a bit more new-school than you, Tom. I honestly like Oregon’s constantly changing uniforms and (I know y’all are going to hate on me for mentioning this) Mizzou has come out with some truly inspired combos in recent years.

If I were a top recruit (I wasn’t), I would have loved all the swag that those schools can offer. Alabama and Penn State are … well, plain.

That said, your question was about recognizable, iconic uniforms. So, I’ll go with Texas. I don’t even like burnt orange all that much, but the Longhorns’ all-white uniforms are some of my favorites in all of college football. Just look at how clean this uniform is:

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t agree with me? OK, cool. Hook ’em.


How much does UK win by down in Athens?

Let’s pump the brakes here a bit. Yes, the Bulldogs looked vulnerable in a loss to South Carolina last weekend, and yes, Lynn Bowden Jr. was incredible stepping in at quarterback in a 24-20 win over Arkansas last week. However, and this is a big however, it was against Arkansas.

Bowden’s performance was the stuff of legend, as he ran for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns while throwing for 78 yards and another score. No one is questioning that. But I will qualify it with the fact that it was against a team that lost to San Jose State earlier this year.

I know nothing about you, Ben, but I bet you could have run for 80 yards and a score against Arkansas’ defense last week. I think Kentucky keeps this game close — Mark Stoops-led teams are really tough — but Georgia won’t lose back-to-back games against SEC East foes.

BONUS: Dobbe’s Locks of the Week went 1-2 last week, so it’s probably a good idea to continue fading him. Here’s what he has for us this week:

  • Florida (-5.5) at South Carolina — Who wins — a bounce-back game or a letdown game? I could see this being close if it was at night, but it’s an early start, so there’s no shot at back-to-back upsets for the Gamecocks.
  • Air Force at Hawai’i (+3) — I would typically take Air Force for their awesome uniforms, but I’ll keep riding the Rainbow Warriors on the island.
  • Boise State (-6.5) at BYU — I love home, night, homecoming, dogs… but the Cougars have completely lost it. Broncos stampede.

Dobbe’s Locks of the Week 2019 record: 7-17

Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.