Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (flame retardant training pants sold separately in Ann Arbor):
MORE DASH: Quick Triggers | 12 great karmas | Status quo disorder
FOURTH QUARTER: CONFERENCE COACHES OF THE YEAR, AND NON-COACHES OF THE YEAR
It’s almost awards season, and The Dash has opinions on who has done the best coaching jobs in 2021, with the caveat that things may change in the next two weeks. So here are the Power 5 COY picks and how they might be altered by the big games yet to be played.
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Mel Tucker (31), State of Michigan. It’s probably the national COY right now as well. Tucker has the Spartans in the Big Ten races and for the national title in his second season, having been hired late before last season and taking over a declining program amid a pandemic. If you beat Ohio State on Saturday, hand him all the hardware and a fat new contract, and watch out for LSU and others knocking on your door to sign you.
Possible last minute alteration: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan. If the Spartans don’t beat Ohio State and the Wolverines do, advancing to the Big Ten championship game for the first time, you can probably change that conference vote. Give it to the guy who had his contract restructured and staff revised, then produced while on the bench.
No COY: James Franklin, Penn State; Tom Allen, Indiana. There is no happiness in Happy Valley. No LEO in Bloomington.
SEC Coach of the Year: Smart Kirby (32), Georgia. This dominant season has not been as simple as a high-level draft that resulted in an overwhelming talent advantage, although that’s part of it. Georgia is doing it with defense, but also doing it with the guy who was supposed to be the quarterback (again) and with a corps of receivers that has been radically revamped since expected when camp opened. preseason.
Possible last minute alteration: none. The ballot box is closed here.
No COY: Ed Orgeron, LSU; Dan Mullen, Florida. From national champion to dismissal in 19 games. From the Gainesville toast to the need for a second half rally to beat Samford.
Big 12 Coach of the Year: Dave Aranda (33 years old), Baylor. Hitting Oklahoma to bring the Bears’ record to 8-2 was strong, especially after a debut COVID-19 2-7 season. There were questions about whether Aranda was prepared to be more than a great defensive coordinator, and he’s answering them in the affirmative quite emphatically this season.
Possible last minute alteration: Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, if the Cowboys win and crash in the playoffs. Gundy has already beaten Aranda and Baylor. If he can solve his perennial Oklahoma problem and get the Sooners out of the game for the Big 12 title, that would be a huge step forward.
No COY: Steve Sarkisian, Texas. I can’t lose to Kansas in Austin. I can’t lose five in a row. You can’t have an emotional support monkey sidebar attached to your debut season. It was bad.
ACC Coach of the Year: Dave Clawson (34 years old), Wake Forest.
Possible last minute alteration: If Wake tanks, Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi and North Carolina State’s Dave Doeren are options.
No COY: Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Mack Brown, North Carolina; Manny Diaz, Miami. While Clemson’s downfall has been more shocking, it shouldn’t completely obscure the extremely disappointing seasons for two teams that started the year in the top 15 and are now both 5-5.
Pac-12 Coach of the Year: Mario Cristobal (35), Oregon. He has the biggest win of the season, for any team, on his resume. He has dealt with injuries and even an emergency absence from his offensive coordinator. And he’s three wins away from landing CFP’s first offer for the Pac-12 in five years.
Possible last minute alteration: Jonathan Smith, State of Oregon; Kyle Whittingham, Utah. They both still have shots at the Ducks. The Beavers are going bowling for the first time since 2013, and the Utes have gone through a tragic year with the opportunity to block the Pac-12 South.
No COY: Clay Helton, USC; David Shaw, Stanford. Helton is no longer around. Stanford is no longer competitive.
Christmas is coming, not as soon as some of you fans would like, you are already setting up your trees and decorations outside, and The Dash has gift ideas. the Holiday Reading List (36) it’s here:
Across the River: Life, Death, and Soccer in an American City, by Kent Babb. The story of the often tragic challenges life throws at the football players (and all the students) at Edna Karr High School in New Orleans is told without hesitation by Babb, the talented writer for the Washington Post.
It’s better to be afraid, by Seth Wickersham. The NFL insider on ESPN delves into the New England Patriots’ rise to become, as the breakthrough material calls it, “the greatest dynasty in soccer history.” Wickersham has the inside stories and backstories, good and bad, that have influenced the Patriots’ two decades of triumph and controversy.
The Big East: Inside the Most Entertaining and Influential Conference in College Basketball Historyby Dana O’Neil. The Athletic’s college hoop writer breathes new life into one of the great periods in the sport, from the league’s inception to its explosive growth in the 1980s. She also chronicles its demise, near death, and return. full to prominence.
I keep trying to get their attention: a memory of loss, pain and loveby Ivan Maisel. This one hurts, whether you know Ivan personally or not. But it is a painfully articulated and stark narrative of what happens when a young man takes his own life, as Ivan’s son Max did in 2015. No one should have to write that book, but Ivan did it with courage and honesty that it could help others to move on. through something similar.
STATUS OF THE WEEK
the Georgia Defense (37) is on track to establish an all-time FBS mark for performance against the national scoring average. To date, the Bulldogs are allowing 7.6 points per game in a season where the average team is scoring 28.7. That is a differential of 21.1 points.
The current highest spread belongs to 2011 Alabama, which gave up 8.2 points in a season where the national average was 28.3 – a spread of 20.1.
There are more difficult games to come, of course, against better offenses. But the next opponent is FCS Charleston Southern, and it seems highly possible that the Bulldogs’ point average will drop this week before it goes up later. Stay tuned for this stat clock.
COACH WHO WON HIS COMP CAR THIS WEEK
Blake Anderson (38 years old), State of Utah. After his wife passed away from cancer in 2019, Anderson spent that season at Arkansas State and the next before seeking a fresh start at Logan. In their freshman year, the Aggies have quietly put together a great season and could win their first Mountain West Conference championship.
COACH TO TAKE THE BUS TO WORK
Butch Davis (39 years old), Florida International. On his way to unemployment, Davis attacked the administration this week, including a claim that the football program is underfunded. Then sportswriter Alex Kirshner unearthed this helpful information showing FIU had a higher total. soccer operating expenses that no one in the US Conference. in 2019-20. Maybe the lost record is your problem, Butch. It is not their problem.
When you’re hungry and thirsty in Cincinnati, The Dash recommends a pilgrimage to The Holy Grail (40) center. It’s a sports lover’s paradise, with millions of TVs, solid food, and an excellent range of local beers. Get a pint of what’s available at Taft’s Brewing and thank The Dash later.
MORE DASH: Quick Triggers | 12 great karmas | Status quo disorder
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.