SDS Mailbag: SEC coaches as Parks & Rec characters, aliens affecting college football, best kickoff times and more
We’re already entering Week 5 of the season. Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday that the season was starting, but here we are, about to cross over into October.
Compared to basketball, hockey and baseball seasons, football season seems to be over in the blink of an eye. Seems like a good reminder to appreciate it while it is here, because before you know it, it’ll be February again.
Anyway, here are your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
With Alabama complaining about noon kickoffs, what’s your opinion on the best kickoff times for college football games if you’re actually attending the game?
To start, I’ll answer a completely different question and say that the 3:30 p.m. Eastern time slot is the best when you’re watching games on TV. For attending games, that changes.
I always liked 11 a.m. Central time kickoffs when I was at Mizzou. Since I was there during a very good time for Mizzou football, there were always plenty of wins to celebrate. Therefore, I’d prefer to do my drinking after the games.
Tailgating is fine, but those night games mean you can’t do anything else for the rest of the day. Kickoff at 11 a.m. allows time for a couple of beers. Then, you go to the game (now, you can even get drinks at the game in some places!) and then have plenty of time to celebrate a win afterward at the bars.
That’s my ideal situation, anyway. However, when the temperature is above 100 degrees, all bets are off, because that is legitimately dangerous for a number of fans. For non-ridiculous weather during noon games, though, I bet the people who complain about the heat are the same people who complain that November night games are too cold.
Which Parks & Rec character would each SEC coach be?
Parks & Recreation is one of my favorite shows (other than The Office, of course), but there aren’t a lot of perfect comparisons between SEC coaches and characters from the show. However, I’m willing to give it a shot, and the comps that work are really good, in my opinion:
- Nick Saban, Alabama: Ron Swanson — Grumpy, but a natural leader and full of wisdom. Nick Saban is definitely the Ron Swanson of the SEC.
- Chad Morris, Arkansas: Chris Traeger — Full of energy and always willing to try new things, but everyone knows Leslie Knope runs the town of Pawnee.
- Gus Malzahn, Auburn: Ben Wyatt — Kind of a nerd, but has flashes of brilliance every now and then.
- Dan Mullen, Florida: Tom Haverford — Tom loves his clothes and Mullen loves his sneakers. They both bring a lot of flair to what they do.
- Kirby Smart, Georgia: Leslie Knope — At the start of the series, Leslie is second in command to Ron, before eventually surpassing him. Will Georgia eventually leapfrog Alabama?
- Mark Stoops, Kentucky: Ann Perkins — Just sort of there a lot of the time, but when Ann has a big moment (which are few and far between), she makes the most of it. Similarly, Stoops took advantage of last year’s team to have one of the best seasons in school history.
- Ed Orgeron, LSU: Andy Dwyer — Fun, entertaining and prone to taking his shirt off? It’s possible Coach O is just a Cajun Andy Dwyer.
- Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State: Donna Meagle — Not really a major factor in the show, but when Donna has a moment, it’s usually a big moment. Same for Moorhead and the Bulldogs.
- Barry Odom, Mizzou: Jerry/Gary/Larry/Terry Gurgich/Gengurch — As much as this pains me to say, no one in the SEC seems to want Mizzou around. Sounds a lot like Odom and the Tigers are the Jerry of the conference.
- Matt Luke, Ole Miss: Mark Brendanawicz — A likable enough character who wasn’t around for long. Foreshadowing for Luke’s future, maybe?
- Will Muschamp, South Carolina: Craig Middlebrooks — Always seems angry? Check. Frequently yelling? Check. Yep, this is a perfect comparison.
- Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee: Ethel Beavers — Grumpy, succinct and not really a big factor in the course of the show.
- Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: Councilman Jeremy Jamm — Much like Jimbo came into the SEC in the past couple of years with big plans to mess things up, Jamm came on in later seasons to be a thorn in Leslie’s side.
- Derek Mason, Vanderbilt: Harris — When Harris had his moments on the show, they were always incredible. When Vandy and Mason are relevant nationally, it’s for a good reason, too. Harris is one of my favorite characters, and Mason is one of my favorite SEC coaches.
So there you have it. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @AdamSpencer4 to tell me who you’d compare your team’s coach to!
Is it good or bad for college football that UCF finally lost a regular season game?
For the first time since 2016, the UCF Knights lost a regular season game on Saturday at Pitt. The Knights fell 35-34 against the Panthers only a week after making a statement with a big win at home over Stanford.
If you ask Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU fans, this is a very good thing, as those fan bases are mostly tired of the Knights and their insistence that they were the real 2017 national champions. However, elsewhere, it does take a lot of shine off the Group of 5, which clung to UCF as its bell cow the past couple of years.
Now, those hopes will be pinned to Boise State, which is 4-0 and sitting at No. 16 in the AP Poll. The Broncos have a very manageable remaining schedule, so we’ll see if they can remain undefeated.
If they can, we might have another UCF situation on our hands. For now, though, expect the UCF chatter to die down a bit. Is that a good thing for college football? In the SEC’s neck of the woods, yes.
If friendly aliens arrived on Earth on a Thursday, do we still play college football that weekend?
A lot of this depends on where the aliens landed. Are they in Australia? Who cares? Play on!
However, if they landed in the United States, it depends on what they wanted. Whether they’re friendly or not, it doesn’t matter if they’re politely asking us for all our coal or water or something else vital to our survival.
If that’s the case, Trump probably nukes the aliens, even if they’re in D.C. and he’s there, too. That would certainly get college football canceled.
Assuming no nukes are detonated, though, we can probably get our fix of SEC football on that Saturday.
BONUS: Dobbe’s Locks of the Week went 1-2 last week, continuing to prove that you should be fading these picks! Here are the picks guaranteed to be wrong this weekend:
- Kentucky at South Carolina (Over 51) — Kentucky’s over streak ran into that Mississippi State defense last week, but I expect fireworks on both sides in Columbia.
- Washington State at Utah (Over 56.5) — Maybe you shouldn’t fade this one. Just picture yourself watching this late at night on FS1. Is it a defensive struggle? It sure isn’t.
- Ohio State at Nebraska (+18) — The Buckeyes would put up 70 if this game was played at noon. However, it’s a night game with the season on the line for Nebraska. That’s worth a few freak turnovers.
Dobbe Locks of the Week season record: 4-11
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.