Bama and the 1988 NBA All-Star Game
In 1988, Larry Bird walked into the arena at the All-Star game for the three-point contest. He looked at the bench of the best players from the 80’s, and he didn’t confidently ask them – he knowingly asked them – “who is playing for second?” Spoiler alert: all those dudes were playing for second.
On Saturday, Nick Saban walked onto the field in Atlanta with the newest of Tide Superstars and asked the college football world the same question. This defensive line harkens to Saban’s earlier defenses at Bama, and it anchors a defense that makes it difficult to even run a play. Couple that with one of the most poised rookies QB’s I’ve seen in years, and you’ve got a dangerous mix. Yes, I said rookie. When you make the type of cash that Young makes, you are no longer a freshman or sophomore, you are a rookie. So I will now ask, who is playing for second?
As nasty as the Bama D looked, the Georgia D lead by Nakobe Dean – I may have mentioned him last week – was downright nasty, sacking Uiagalelei 7 times. The Dawgs D is good enough to stymie any offense they play and should give them a chance every week. However, to quote one of the most famous military leaders in American History, Major Payne, “if they don’t pop the tittay out that boy’s mouth”, the offense is going to cost them a game somewhere. I’m referring to the veteran QB that threw 15 of his first 20 passes for 5 yards or less. I’m not sure how much of that was dictated by the Clemson defense, but dang Kirby, take a shot. You have recruited blue chip athletes all over the field. If you have a turnover, it’s ok, your defense can bail you out. They did Saturday when JT threw a pick. Better yet, take a note from your boy Saban who had no issues letting his rookie QB take shots downfield.
Nothing More Manly than Yellow
Look, for two years we have joked about Coach O’chizick and touted the beginning of the end in Baton Rouge. Yaw Yaw got a pass last year due to Covid. Most preseason pubs saw all the returning talent and knew LSU would bounce right back. I don’t care that LSU looks like Bama walking off the bus and they recruit top 5 classes. Take away the year of the Joe’s and Coach Orgeron is a walking obnoxious pile of mediocre. That’s it. Actually, he may be less than mediocre because mediocre wins with LSU talent – queue the Mad Hatter shout outs. They don’t get dominated at the line of scrimmage by kids wearing sissy blue from the “weak” Pac-12. Enjoy your last few days coaching your dream school because make no mistake, these are the last days.
Speaking of Sissy Blue
I got told by someone during the game that they would wait until Ole Miss plays a decent team to judge the seemingly revitalized defense. I couldn’t articulate this point well enough to make sense: no further judgement is needed to say, without a doubt, they are better. If they get hammered by Bama in three weeks, it doesn’t change the fact that the exact same Louisville team scores 40 on Ole miss last year. And therefore, the defense is light years better than last year. With the obviously prolific offense, the Rebs only need to be a few possessions better to win those extra games.
By the way, if the “targeting” call on number 34, Robinson, was really targeting, it is time to stop the game and move to flag football. There was no launch. I saw nothing malicious. These tackles were performed exactly how we were taught to tackle since we were kids – head across and wrap up. I would argue that only 2 of the 4 were worthy of a penalty – the two on the QB’s. Having said this, I understand the rule states “forcible contact with the crown of the helmet”, but I disagree with it. Stadiums fill to see these gladiators compete and we are turning it into tea-time. At least these guys have a chance to get paid if they do well. If the old gladiators did good, they just avoided getting eaten by a tiger… that day. I clearly have strong feelings on this matter, and my co-host is one hell of a devil’s advocate – so don’t miss next weeks show. It could get heated!
Did I mention Matt Corral looked awesome! Also, T’s & P’s to the kid whose soul was taken by Snoop Conner at the goal line.
There’s Always Omaha
I have a feeling those words will get muttered around Davis-Wade stadium a few times this year – if last Saturday was a sign of things to come. Down 20 points in the 4th quarter to La Tech, Hail State staged their largest comeback in school history. State fans will accuse me of being a hater here, but a large part of the comeback was due to a meltdown on the La Tech sideline.
Skip Holtz there is a reason you have hit your ceiling at Tech. The Pirate is a different cat. He prefers to coach up talent over recruiting it. This is fine if the folks you are doing it for have patience, which is a lost art form in the college coaching world. It will be interesting to see how long this experiment lasts in Starkville – especially with the buzz and momentum in Oxford. State just fired a guy that beat Ole Miss twice. As much fun of a hire as it was, the square peg in a round hole analogy seems to be rearing its head in Starkville.
Stoops: A Closet Degenerate?
I’m pretty sure Kentucky coach Mark Stoops tipped his hat this weekend and let us know that he not only knows the spread of the games he is coaching in, but he also appears to be trying to cover them for his gambling buddies. It appears to be of the good side, like Pete Rose where he is betting on his team to win and not against them. This I respect. It means he will go for it, at all times. Exhibit A – his last game. Up 28 points with a minute to go and needing to be up 31 points to cover the spread Kentucky has the ball in the redzone. The majority of coaches “bend tha knee” at this point and take the win to the house. A 28-point win is perfectly respectable. But respectable doesn’t cover spreads or win money. In his “not all hero’s wear a cape” moment Stoops has his OC dial up the fade to the endzone, not once but twice. Kentucky finds their way to the endzone, and all is well in backdoor cover-ville for those who risked their fortunes on the Wildcats.
Scattershot From Around the League
Florida – The Gators looked pretty meh for 3 quarters against a bad FAU team, with Emory Jones leading the show at QB. Enter Anthony Richardson, a prototype in the Dan Mullen system, and things changed dramatically. Learn this kid’s name, because I have a feeling Dan has found his guy at the QB position.
A&M – People were already comparing Haynes King to Johnny Football with his style of play. You know what is dumber than player comparisons… really garbage player comparisons and that take is hot garbage. At no point was Manziel that clanky looking. I get that it’s week one and the kid is young. On the other hand, so is Bryce Young and he looked much more poised. From what I saw, the door to second in the West isn’t spoken for just yet.
Auburn – I saw one play from this game. It was of freshman back Jarquez Hunter steam rolling a guy into the endzone for his first TD as an Auburn Tiger. One of his high school coaches is one of my favorite people on the planet, and it’s cool to see the moments from the proud coach angle. I’m actually proud for both of those guys. Me and his coach played football together in high school and talked about coaching one day. He went after it and now gets to have a positive impact on these young men. I’m running my mouth on the internet… life is fickle. Coach Roy is kind of a badass, even though I still know more about football than him. Oh… the game, apparently that one play was emblematic of the whole game. I’ll know more on the tigerbirds when they play someone.
Arky – Through three and a half quarters you were losing to Rice – RICE – 17-7. Obviously, you woke up and somehow found a way to not only win but cover the spread. Kudos. Old Southwest foe Texas is coming to town for a preview of a future, old rivalry game. I have a hunch the Swine may have been looking ahead – which is probably all you can do when wearing a stupid plastic pig on your dome – and if they were, Texas may have a little bit of a fight on their hands in the Ozarks.
Missouri – They played their scheduled football contest and scored more points than the team they faced. That’s honestly all I got.
South Carolina – See Mizzou… rinse… repeat. Side note: Jamie Chadwell looking pretty good over at Coastal.. SC Administration should have listened to Week Zero!
Vandy – WTF man seriously… East Tennessee State? Isn’t that a prison camp? To be as smart as they boast, they sure suck at making the right coaching hire or decisions with their boundless SEC money. It’s time to cut them off, since all they are going to do is give it to baseball and buy books. We aren’t doing science projects at the 50.
Tennessee – Blank stare.
A word on the newcomers
Oklahoma – Joey Galloway had you as the lock of the week as a 31-point favorite over Tulane. Someone from this site may have called him out on Twitter to point the error of his ways. One of us was right and it wasn’t the guy getting paid 6 or 7 figures by ESPN to actually know stuff. Hey Oklahoma, not sure you are aware but every “S E C – S E C” chanter south of the Mason Dixon is watching your every step and that was a rough first one. You know who did pass test number one…
Texas – Sark had the offense looking efficient and Texas took care of what is supposed to be a top 25 team in ULL. We can only go on first game test, hey captain obvious, and the Horns passed. Let’s see what they do against a lower pack SEC team on the road this week where 1000’s will be doing that eerie ass hog call. It can get weird in Fayetteville, and I expect heavy weirdness this weekend.
And the Other Teams that Try to Play Football
North Carolina – Just wanted to say – haha told ya! It was a joke they were preseason top 10, and that played out. Mack “the talent squanderer” Brown can thank his buddies over at ESPN for that friendly preseason ranking. Virginia Tech is solid, but they aren’t great and have a generic offense that will be hammered by good teams. The Tar Heels play doesn’t match the beauty of the uniform. I want to be in Lane Stadium at night for Enter Sandman and I want it bad – speaking of awesomeness in a stadium.
Wisky v Penn State – You managed to set football back 35 years and still move me to emotions at the start of the 4th quarter. The game sucked and the style of play is pathetic. However, the “Jump Around” to start the 4th quarter – I happened to have the super speaker on, so it was perfect timing – made every hair on my body stand. It was absolutely awesome, and I hope to get the chance to be at Camp Randall one day to experience that scene.
Clemson – You just lost your shot at the playoff. Your conference is such hot garbage there will be no return and you don’t deserve one this year. Hopefully this won’t make Dabo more whiney and obnoxious.
Washington – I partied with your people just a few years ago in Atlanta for a playoff game with Bama. You just lost to Montana. Explain yourself. You get to face the Last Great Wearer of the Pressed and Pleated Khakis this weekend, can’t wait.
These are my thoughts and I’m sticking to them. I hope you enjoyed. If not I’m sorry and can’t believe you made it this far, so give it a try again next week. See you all then! Oh yea, almost forgot, LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!!