The recap of the college football weekend! Grab your WCE shirts for the season here.
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Let’s start with my Top 10, and move into other interesting topics after an unexpectedly interesting Saturday.
My Top 10
- Ohio St
Auburn whipped Alabama’s ass up and down the field on Saturday.
But I can’t make Auburn #1 with Clemson only having 1 loss and a head-to-head win over them, even if it was in the 2nd game of the season.
Here’s the deal… Losses have to matter. Good wins can help a lot, but Auburn’s loss to LSU has to matter, along with Auburn’s loss to Clemson.
That’s why we have Ohio St all the way back at 8 here. Ohio St might have been able to claim a mulligan for a lackluster effort in September at home against Oklahoma, who I’ve got at #2, but a 31 point beatdown at the hands of a 7-5 Iowa team is not going to help their playoff push, even with a Big 10 championship.
Miami’s loss to Pittsburgh didn’t really hurt them much, because they were going to have to beat Clemson to make the playoffs anyway. If they beat Clemson, they’ll still find a way in, but not as the #1 seed, like they might have been.
There are only 8 teams with a shot at the playoff right now:
- Auburn / Georgia
- Clemson / Miami
- Wisconsin / either Alabama or Ohio St
- Oklahoma / either Alabama or Ohio St
Here’s how this is going to go.
The winner of the SEC Championship, either Auburn or Georgia, is in.
The winner of the ACC Championship, either Clemson or Miami, is in.
If Wisconsin beats Ohio St in the Big 10 Championship game, then Wisconsin is in.
If Oklahoma beats TCU in the Big 12 Championship game, then Oklahoma is in.
The Pac 12 Championship game has no bearing on the playoff whatsoever. Friday’s Stanford / USC game is just going to be a fun football game.
UCF has no chance to get in the playoff, even with a win over Memphis and a 12-0 record.
Things get hairy if Wisconsin and Oklahoma do not win their games.
If TCU beats Oklahoma, and Wisconsin beats Ohio St, then Wisconsin is in, and Alabama appears to be in.
If TCU beats Oklahoma, and Ohio St beats Wisconsin, then Alabama and Ohio St appear to be in.
If Oklahoma beats TCU, and Ohio St beats Wisconsin, then Oklahoma and Alabama appear to be in.
So here is what I think will happen:
- Auburn beats Georgia
- Clemson beats Miami
- Oklahoma beats TCU
- Ohio St beats Wisconsin
So the playoff matchups would be this:
- #1 Clemson vs #4 Alabama
- #2 Oklahoma vs #3 Auburn
At that point, and it’s incredibly unlikely, but it’s very possible that we could get Iron Bowl II in the national championship game in Atlanta. Which… honestly, how ridiculous would that be for Auburn to have to beat Georgia a 2nd time, in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, to win the SEC and make it to the playoff, and then have to beat Alabama a 2nd time, in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, to win the National Championship? It would definitely be must-see TV.
Coaching Rumors / Hires
Here’s the rundown on coaching situations:
- Florida: Dan Mullen
- Ole Miss: Matt Luke
- Texas A&M:
- Mississippi St:
Florida: They finally had to go with their 3rd choice, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, after being turned down by Chip Kelly and Scott Frost. Mullen should do well there – he did more at Mississippi State in 9 seasons than anyone in that program’s history.
Ole Miss: seemed like a rush hire with Matt Luke. I get why they’d do it – he’s been there, he led this team to a 6-6 record when it looked like they could have given up at several different points in the season, and he won the Egg Bowl. The issue here is that they made the hire before getting the NCAA’s COI report, which, to me, means they don’t feel good about avoiding major sanctions. Even Luke’s contract terms show that they don’t anticipate winning much — base salary will average $3.15M per year, and Luke gets $150,000 for every win over a P5 non-conference school, and $150,000 for every SEC win, starting with the 3rd SEC win of each season. Luke wasn’t going to be hired elsewhere, so there was no rush to get this done.
Tennessee: Apparently, there was a deal in place for AD John Currie to introduce Ohio St defensive coordinator, and former Tampa Bay Bucs and Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano as the new Voluteers head coach… and then Tennessee twitter got involved, and protestors started walking around Neyland Stadium, and the AD had to back out on the deal, which will now end up costing Tennessee money since both parties had already signed an agreement on the contract terms. As of Monday, the hot name for the head coaching job is Tee Martin. Martin, the last Vols QB to win a national championship (in 1998) is the offensive coordinator at USC, and everyone in LA wants him fired. So, honestly, I’m not sure which direction this thing really ends up going. John Currie has totally screwed up this hire.
Arkansas: I will be absolutely amazed if Mike Norvell is not named the Arkansas head coach after Memphis plays in the AAC Championship game this Saturday against UCF in Orlando. Firing Bielema before he even got to the post-game press conference after losing a heartbreaker to Missouri on Friday was bush league, but that won’t matter in this case. The only thing that might make it more interesting is if Auburn loses the SEC Championship game to Georgia, which might make Malzahn available. But, at that point, Arkansas would have to get into a bidding war with Auburn… and I just don’t believe that Gus Malzahn is worth $7M+ a year, at ANY school.
Texas A&M: Rumors are pretty rampant that Jimbo Fisher to A&M is a done deal. The school wasted no time Sunday on firing Kevin Sumlin, and they deal for Fisher is said to be around $8M a year. Just bananas.
Mississippi St: After Mullen left for Florida on Sunday, John Cohen already had his short list ready, and interviewed Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama’s defensive coordinator, on Monday morning. I would give anything to see Lane Kiffin land this job, because it’s a better gig now than just having to bring in coordinators / first time head coaches, but Pruitt could absolutely be the best man for the job.
- UCLA: Chip Kelly
- Arizona St: