Pettey’s Pointless Ponderings – Week 5 2020
In this column, I will bring you my weekly musings from the ‘week that was’ in college football. It likely will be SEC heavy at times, because – well, they are the king of the mountain right now. However, I am a sports junkie, so I will discuss the entire landscape, even sprinkling in some glorious MACtion from time to time. Now that you know where this is headed, enjoy my insignificant thoughts of the week!
State of the Union – SEC
The SEC has become Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day for the last decade plus. And even in this weird season of “new normal”, one thing remains the same – the Tide is a machine. Last year’s version showed some weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball, for the first time in Saban Era. However, it appears those issues have been resolved – at least as far as the front seven is concerned. In the first two games, the secondary has shown signs of getting it together, but they still have room to grow.
Having said that, the Crimson Tide will get their toughest test to date this weekend when they travel to Oxford and take on former Bama Offensive Coordinator, Lane Kiffin, and the surprisingly efficient Ole Miss offense. Fortunately for the Tide, the Rebearsharks™ don’t appear to have the ability to stop a good high school offense. To anyone who watched closely, it felt like Florida passed for a thousand and Kentucky rushed for thousand.
The one sliver of good news for Ole Miss is they appear to have players in place on defense. Those players just aren’t making the plays. It’s the whole “Jimmy’s and Joe’s” deal, but with the success we are seeing this year, that should change.
Expect Bama to score at will this weekend. Seriously, Saban will probably have to threaten jobs and scholarships to stop folks from scoring. The question is: Can the Lane Train, led by Matt Corral, score enough to make this game interesting in any way outside the coach vs. ex-coach storyline. I’d be remiss not to mention those sweet powder blue jerseys that my beloved Rebearsharks™ pulled out in week one. Let’s hope to see more of those this year.
A Pirates Life
Yo Ho Holy hell… what was that? State fans, that was a two-week crash course in what life with the pirate will bring you. Emotional highs with amazing wins, where quarterbacks put-up eye-popping stats, to the complete WTF moments like the one that took place in Starkville this weekend.
No doubt there was some false hope due to Bo Pelini being a bonehead. More on that in a minute, but it wasn’t all smoke. The Pirate can coach and win big games. But this week, he showed his ability to look completely lost in games he should easily win. He has a 20 year track record of it, from Texas Tech to Wazzu. Still, he is hands down the best quote in football.
However, don’t get too upset State Fans. Things probably aren’t as bad as they on looked Saturday, either. After all, we’ve only seen 2 games. Let’s not expect Captain Jack Sparrow in the first season. This one will probably be a lot more like the pirate ship at the fair, so buckle up.
The Wheels on the Bus no Longer Go Round
There is no way Gus survives this year in Auburn, right? It will take a wiser man than I to figure out the rationale down on the plains. Fans have wanted him gone for 4 years, yet he somehow finds a way to beat Bama in contract years, only to get an extension.
It’s madness, it’s Auburn. But based on that showing between the hedges, the Tigers could be in for a long season. Without last year’s defensive line that could completely take over a game, there is no one to save the offense this season.
Speaking of offense, Bo Nix, now has a full year under his belt. However, he doesn’t look to have improved much from last season. Is it the player or the coach? I mean, look what Kiffin is doing with Matt Corral. You have to think a better coach would get more from Nix. I get the kid is still young, but we should expect more from a former 5 star recruit.
Good Game What’s His Name
Speaking of exposing Auburn, I’m pretty sure more people could cite the Preamble to the Constitution, than name the starting quarterback for Georgia. Funny thing is, this 5th string walk-on had the offense looking better than at any point last year under Fromm. UGA’s defense is nasty, and they have eleventeen stud running backs. They will be in contention at the end. Unfortunately for the dawgs, this year they get a Gators team that looks legit. Kirby has proven he can get there, but he still needs to prove he can win the big one.
Not So Fast, Dawgs… Gators Stirring in the Swamp
Mullen has a loaded group in Florida… hot take, I know. Once again, he is taking a lightly recruited QB and getting stupid results. Trask maybe his best one yet, and don’t forget, Dak is putting up solid numbers in the league.
It will be interesting to see what happens if Mullen ever gets an elite QB. However, Trask has a ton of weapons, and Hicks at TE is a game changing freak. The defense isn’t as nasty as last year, when they only gave up 15 points a game. But the offense is more than making up for it. We are on a collision course for the best Cocktail Party in a long time. With Florida dropping all their COVID restrictions, I’m sure that will be fully sanitary environment in Jacksonville. Godspeed…
IS Tennessee Actually Back?
Are the Vols really back? I get their fans claim this every year – queue “Pruitt gonna do it” chant – but it appears they are actually climbing back up the SEC ranks of respectability. This is something I never thought I would have to say about the fellas on Rocky Top.
The Volunteer offense isn’t flashy. It goes as far as Guarantano allows. But as long as he continues to play within their offense, they have enough talent to move the ball. And, with the help of what’s shaping to be a pretty nasty defense, they could have a strong enough team to be a real threat. The Vols continue to improve, and for the first time in a while, we might have a three-team race in the East.
We will find out a lot more about the Vols this weekend. They square off against Georgia between the hedges at 3:30 pm on Saturday.
LSU Gets an F on the Bama Test
If you listen to our podcast, you know what I’m talking about. If not shame on you – listen!
The Bama Test is something that really only Clemson has gotten to take, and it hasn’t been the full test, because Dabo has kept Venables. The Bama Test can be summed up with one question: How do you handle losing most of your coaches and players, year after year, due to insane success?
News flash, LSU and Coach O are failing. Exhibit A: Bo Pelini. Note his refusal to switch out of man coverage only to get embarrassed by the Pirate and State. There was a reason he was run out of Nebraska, several actually. If he wasn’t fired after getting torched by State, he should have been canned immediately after we saw how easily the Arkansas D shut down the Pirate’s air raid. On that note, Barry Odom was a great DC hire for Pittman. Seriously, they took a team that hasn’t won an SEC game in three years and figured it out.
Spitting Fire Around the League
Jimbo Fisher is Tommy Tubberville – sans Jameis Winston. Seriously, the dude is an 8-win coach and the epitome of mediocre. He’s a good recruiter, but look how he left FSU. That is his mess in Tallahassee. Look at the resources he has in Texas.
I want to make as much money as Muschamp, have his job security, and his ability to land an equal job after being average at best. But, I bet it would be fun to split a bottle of whiskey with him.
Kentucky’s kicker missed an extra point that gave Lane Kiffin his first win as head coach of the Rebels. And don’t forget, it was a missed extra point that got him the job… circle of life and stuff. Kentucky has some dumb players, well at least one. Here’s looking at you ‘deuces’.
Arky, congrats on the win. Seriously, enjoy it. This is your chance because I don’t foresee many more. I do think you are much better coached.
At least Vandy didn’t notice the stadium wasn’t at full capacity.
The Other People that Play Football
Insert the throw your head back and laugh gif.
I didn’t even have to tell you I was talking about Texas and Oklahoma, did I? Well Big 12, welcome to the Pac 12 Playoff Watch Party! Oklahoma is officially out after dropping their second in a row – that’s 0 -2 for those keeping count. To the Sooners’ credit, it was KState and Iowa St. who dealt those crushing blows. What team could have survived that gauntlet?
Texas has been playing with fire each week, needing overtime to beat Texas Tech and running out of luck with TCU. Fun fact, TCU has won 7 of the last 9 in that series. Talk about the most underachieving program in the country, hook ‘em.
I don’t believe in Gundy or Oklahoma St. as a program. He blows a few easy games every year, and he usually does it against someone he is favored to beat by 3 touchdowns. Trust me, I now because I’m usually betting on them when it happens.
We get to see how for real Miami is this week when they face Clemson. Clemson gets their one mild test per year from some ACC opponent that has looked good against other crappy ACC opponents. Here’s hoping this Miami team is legit and actually gives them a game. They have a great story in Houston transfer D’Eriq King, and they seem to have a little bit of that U swag back.
Virginia Tech looks like they want to take that next step, but I want to see Fuente do it for a whole season. You’ve got to give him credit for still almost covering the spread against Duke last weekend with 22 players out with COVID-19.
I will discuss the B1G when they are worthy of discussing. Same with the P1C (LOL!), if that ever happens.
See you all next week,