Forty names, games, teams, and minutiae making news in college football (projectiles sold separately in Knoxville):
QUARTER ONE: IT ONLY MEANS … TOO MUCH
This weekend, the Southeastern Conference (1) He completed his inevitable crossing of the Rubicon. The best soccer league in the nation went from Just Means More to By Any Means Necessary. They have gone from the passionate to the pathological, from the intense to the desperate, from the urgent to the ruthless.
A descent that began with adding Texas and Oklahoma (2) To the league over the summer – to improve the league’s results but to the detriment of the sport and even most of the rest of its members – accelerated on Saturday and Sunday.
A tense and passionate game at Neyland Stadium turned into chaos when Tennessee Fans (3) they doused the field with debris because they did not like an official’s decision on a very closed call. The game against Mississippi was delayed by nearly 20 minutes due to fan behavior, and many longtime college football watchers couldn’t recall a similarly long hiatus that was solely attributed to fans putting everyone on the field in danger. Tennessee had to send its own squads of spirits off the field for their safety: cheerleaders, dance team and marching band leaving, some of them covering their heads with whatever they had to avoid getting stoned. It was an embarrassing scene, a total abdication of responsible fan behavior, and a deep stain on what had been a great game.
This is yet another example of the raging fringe that has poisoned Tennessee’s fanbase. Most of the school’s sports fans support their teams in a positive and graceful way, but not everyone, and the faction that feels entitled to act like a vigilante mob is neither small nor silent. Saturday night showed the mindset that led to the kidnapping of the school’s soccer coach search in 2017, the smearing of Greg Schiano, the firing of John Curry, and the hiring of an incompetent athletic director (Phil Fulmer) and a coach (Jeremy Pruitt). We get away with it or we rebel not a great way to support a soccer program, but that behavior has yet to be adequately addressed. It’s easier to dismiss it as “passion” when it’s actually something darker.
The sputtered justifications from some fans that followed the debacle were even more embarrassing. Being robbed by the referees (the call was borderline, and probably correct) is not an excuse to throw hundreds (maybe thousands) of objects on the field. A golf ball was thrown at Ole Miss’s coach, Lane Kiffin, and if it had hit him in the head or face, he could have been injured. The same goes for many of the liquid-filled bottles – not all of them were empty, as some apologists have tried to argue. Resorting to whataboutism digging up old videos of other fans throwing objects onto a court or field does not excuse anyone. Attacking anyone who is critical of rude behavior is also wrong.
Chancellor of Tennessee Where Plowman tweeted that she was “sick” from the scene. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey tweeted a statement. saying that the fan behavior was “unacceptable” and that the league office will evaluate whether to penalize the school. A fine from a league that regularly punches schools in the pocket for assaults on the field in the name of safety seems likely, but that would be a pretty empty gesture in this case. If what happened is truly “unacceptable,” then the penalties must be severe enough to strongly discourage the behavior from reoccurring. Tennessee’s next home game, against Georgia on Nov. 13, should be played in an empty stadium other than that of family members of the players. We’ll see if the school and the league have the backbone to resist the backlash that would come from taking a real position.
The Tennessee tantrum was the hot topic at the SEC for about 12 hours, then came the next wave of evidence that soccer has gotten too big to fail. As Dash’s colleague Ross Dellenger reported Sunday, LSU (4) he’s pushing ed orgeron walked out the door at the end of this season, a decision made just 17 games after Orgeron led the Tigers to the 2019 national championship in one of the most dominant seasons in recent history. The glow of that epic achievement had the shelf life of raw fish.
For more than a year, The Dash has been comparing Orgeron to Gene Chizik, the latest coach to be brutally caught two seasons after winning it all. That happened at Auburn in 2012, when the magic of a 2010 Cam Newton title season was exhausted and the Tigers finished 3-9. For many years, Auburn has held the title of America’s most ruthless soccer factory. That title now changes to the school in Baton Rouge.
This LSU team is not as bad as the Auburn team, which won zero games against the Power 5 competition. This LSU team is 4-3, with a pair of SEC wins, including Florida upset the Saturday. However, mid-season, it was decided that Coach O should leave. While Orgeron caught lightning in a coordinator / quarterback bottle with Joe Brady and Joe Burrow in 2019 and will likely never repeat it, getting a native Louisiana son out of his dream job quickly shows that loyalty is disposable. . LSU only cares about winning and only cares about winning lately. Are you 15-0 with 9-8 in the next 17 games? Have you gone.
Reports surfaced Sunday citing Orgeron’s alleged off-field actions while going through a recent divorce. The school has been embroiled in a Title IX lawsuit that names Orgeron among the defendants. And there have been some NCAA violations under Orgeron’s command. But if Coach O were undefeated again this season, does anyone think his job would be in the least danger?
Look, perspective has been in short supply in the league for decades. But now we are left with emergency rations. In Alabama, a fan shot and killed another last week while arguing during Crimson Tide’s loss to Texas A&M (5). That’s the same A&M that extended coach Jimbo Fisher’s contract a couple of months ago to a more than $ 90 million, 10-year contract. And future member Oklahoma (6) proved last week that he can get obsessed at the SEC level. He closed access to all media presumably because the student newspaper had the ingenuity to watch the practice through binoculars from a public building near the practice fields and report what everyone knew would happen: Caleb Williams was going to start out as quarterback against TCU.
In many places in the SEC, every expense, every shortcut, and every paranoid stance is justified if it leads to victory. And if not, scapegoats must be found: the officials, the head coach who handed over a national title but hasn’t endorsed it, whoever. And when the conference expands to 16 teams and the money stakes rise even higher, guess what? It will only get worse.
FOUR FOR THE PLAYOFF
The Dash’s weekly view of how the college football playoff would shake up, if today were Selection Sunday:
Orange Bowl: top seed Georgia (7) against the fourth sown Michigan State (8).
The No. 1 Bulldogs crushed another opponent who felt good about himself, beating Kentucky 30-13 in Athens. That was a third straight win over SEC teams coming off big wins of their own, by a combined score of 101-23. Georgia’s ridiculous defense did not allow the previously undefeated Wildcats a single run of 10 or more yards or a single pass play of 20 or more. The Bulldogs also blocked two kicks, for good measure, and connected several big plays in the passing game behind backup quarterback Stetson Bennett IV.
Next up for Georgia: Florida in Jacksonville on October 30.
The Spartans (7-0) are the new team in the draw after notching their fourth road win of the season at Indiana. It certainly wasn’t easy, falling behind at halftime and being outscored by 81 yards, but Michigan State once again showed its ability to find ways to win. This time the recipe included a defensive marker and a touchdown that began with a shortstop after securing an interception.
Next for the state of Michigan: Michigan arrives in East Lansing on October 30.
Cotton bowl: second seed Cincinnati (9) against the third seed Michigan (10).
The Bearcats (6-0) continue to roll without obstacles and continue to take advantage of the teams that lose in front of them in the classification. Iowa’s shock loss to Purdue, combined with punishing Central Florida 56-21, further solidifies them on the right side of the playoff bubble, for now. Running back Jerome Ford set a new career high for rushing yards in each of the past two games, with 149 against Temple and 189 against UCF.
Next up for Cincinnati: on Navy Saturday.
The Wolverines were on an open date, resting and bouncing back after a strong 6-0 start. His offense is showing signs of diversity in recent weeks after relying heavily on the running game to start the season. Yards per pass have increased in each Big Ten game, from 163 against Rutgers to 253 against Wisconsin to 255 against Nebraska. Quarterback Cade McNamara is finding new targets after Ronnie Bell’s early-season loss to injury.
Next up for Michigan: Northwestern visits Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Dropped out: Iowa.
Also considered are: State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Alabama, State of Penn, Oregon, State of Ohio.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.