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Weekend Summary

This has been a crazy year with the COVID postponing games, moving venues, opt outs by players and other unforeseen events. Fortunately, most of the games were played. Despite all of this craziness, CFB is still the same, Alabama and Clemson. These two concurrent dynasties are once again on a title collision course. I expect the 30 for 30 documentary on this any time now, at least part 1.

When the playoff picks are announced I expect it to be Bama, Clemson, Ohio St and Notre Dame. The top two are hoping it's the Irish and not Texas A&M. Earlier I said the best five teams were Bama, Clemson, A&M, Florida and Georgia and I still believe it. However, with the SEC knocking each other off you had to put other teams in the playoff.

After last week's debacle Gator fans were wondering how bad the SEC Game would be. The pundits all said they needed a perfect game to beat the Tide in the 10th overall meeting in this game. This was the 11th time Florida has played in Atlanta in the SEC Game and the first time that I was not there in person. It turns out that the Gators were indeed almost perfect as they came back from a 17 point halftime deficit to lose 52-46. The stars showed as Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith had big games but so did Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts and Kadarious Toney. I was proud of the Gators and surprised they kept it close, but never happy to lose.

Does missing Trevor Lawrence mean anything? Uh duh yeah. Notre Dame has had some good years but they just are not the elite team that they think they are. To be fair and despite their tradition, ND is a rigorous academic institution and probably does not engage in the "recruiting practices" of many other schools. Clemson won this game easily 34-10.

The other championship games saw Ohio St overcome a sluggish start to beat Northwestern 22-10. Justin Fields has not played well against the two decent teams he has seen. Oregon bested USC 31-24 in the Pac 12 game. Oklahoma may be better now than a couple of playoff teams and they beat Iowa St 27-21 to win the Big 12. COVID struck again cancelling the Sun Belt title game so Coastal ends the regular season 11-0.

We can discuss the playoffs and fired coaches tomorrow.

I imagine the 4 seed will be Notre Dame, even though I personally thought they blew it, and don't deserve it.  I gotta believe that if Trevor Lawrence played in the first meeting, the Irish would have 2 losses this season and wouldn't even be in the conversation. If either A&M or ND are the 4 seed, both would get beaten badly by Bama.  I would like to see Cincinnati get a shot (can you have 2 teams from Ohio in the playoff?), or if you're talking about the 4 best teams at the moment, maybe Oklahoma should be in the conversation.

Does Auburn hire Sark and continue the SEC trend of trying to beat Saban by hiring his former assistants?

Welcome back Greg Schiano to Rutgers- #nomoredoormat

@scbeerman posted:

Weekend Summary

This has been a crazy year with the COVID postponing games, moving venues, opt outs by players and other unforeseen events. Fortunately, most of the games were played. Despite all of this craziness, CFB is still the same, Alabama and Clemson. These two concurrent dynasties are once again on a title collision course. I expect the 30 for 30 documentary on this any time now, at least part 1.

When the playoff picks are announced I expect it to be Bama, Clemson, Ohio St and Notre Dame. The top two are hoping it's the Irish and not Texas A&M. Earlier I said the best five teams were Bama, Clemson, A&M, Florida and Georgia and I still believe it. However, with the SEC knocking each other off you had to put other teams in the playoff.

After last week's debacle Gator fans were wondering how bad the SEC Game would be. The pundits all said they needed a perfect game to beat the Tide in the 10th overall meeting in this game. This was the 11th time Florida has played in Atlanta in the SEC Game and the first time that I was not there in person. It turns out that the Gators were indeed almost perfect as they came back from a 17 point halftime deficit to lose 52-46. The stars showed as Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith had big games but so did Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts and Kadarious Toney. I was proud of the Gators and surprised they kept it close, but never happy to lose.

Does missing Trevor Lawrence mean anything? Uh duh yeah. Notre Dame has had some good years but they just are not the elite team that they think they are. To be fair and despite their tradition, ND is a rigorous academic institution and probably does not engage in the "recruiting practices" of many other schools. Clemson won this game easily 34-10.

The other championship games saw Ohio St overcome a sluggish start to beat Northwestern 22-10. Justin Fields has not played well against the two decent teams he has seen. Oregon bested USC 31-24 in the Pac 12 game. Oklahoma may be better now than a couple of playoff teams and they beat Iowa St 27-21 to win the Big 12. COVID struck again cancelling the Sun Belt title game so Coastal ends the regular season 11-0.

We can discuss the playoffs and fired coaches tomorrow.

Bama, A&M, Florida, and Georgia?  As my son likes to say, 'SEC bias'

As a Buckeye fan I have severe doubts about the secondary against Clemson WRs.  That being said would love to see Dabo get that stupid, condescending smirk smacked off of his face in this revenge game from last years playoffs. 

As to SEC bias, check out the list of national champions, bowl wins, draft picks and any other measure from 2000 on. Other than Ohio St, Clemson and Oklahoma, it is the SEC's show. The SEC has earned it.

Congrats to San Diego St. After watching BYU destroy the "national champion" UCF Knights (whom Cincy beat by 3 points), it confirms that Coastal Carolina has a pretty good team.

In the win or go home SEC world, there are 3 dismissals at Vandy, SCar and Auburn. Combined with last year, 6 of the 14 members have new coaches. Tenn's Jeremy Pruitt is on thin ice. And you heard it here first, there could be a change at LSU. There is an ugly Title IX lawsuit coming up that even Coach O may not survive. We already know that their hoops has been caught giving cash to players. Can you say "lack of institutional control". The Bayou Bengals may have sold their soul to win the Natty last year. Finally, we have the curious case of Louisiana coach Billy Napier who has turned down Miss ST, Ole Miss, SCar and Auburn (booster control seems to be the issue there). Napier is very confident that he can get the lottery job and it may well be LSU.

Semifinal Round Summary

The primary discussion has been that the four team playoff format has produced a limited amount of playoff teams who in turn dominate recruiting creating a limited amount of teams making the playoff. Add to that money, ratings, etc and it is almost impossible for a group of five team to make the FF. This is a year where an eight team playoff may have resulted in a 5-8 seed at least winning one game if not two. Case in point was the Gators, down 10 starters and 25 players thus writing the Cotton Bowl off as a scrimmage, resulting in an embarrassing Oklahoma rout. OU may have well been that proverbial team that no one wanted to play as they finished strong. Dan Mullen better learn that you have to put your best effort forward in every game. Also, Cincinnati was for real as well.

Quoting NBC golf announcer Dan Hicks (his most famous call on Tiger's tying putt on the 72nd hole in the 08 US Open), "expect anything different". Of course I am referring to the continued futility of Notre Dame competing at the highest level. The Irish, despite their storied history to most of us over 50, just do not recruit at the level of the current elite. Facing an Alabama offense with too many weapons (minus Jalen Waddle), the Tide scored on their 1st three drives and never looked back 31-14. Brian Kelly was well aware of the criticism as ND had a backdoor cover TD, forced an onside kick and actually called a TO with one second left trying to save face.

The second playoff game produced a surprising result as Ohio St dominated Clemson 49-28. The game pitted the top 2 QB recruits of 2018, Georgia natives Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Clemson started fast but OSU scored on five consecutive drives for a 35-14 lead and essentially the game. Fields threw for 6 TDs and likely played himself back into the 2nd pick in the draft behind Lawrence. This was despite playing with maybe broken ribs after a vicious hit. If there was ever a "revenge is a dish best served cold" game, this was it. The OSU staff had the score of last year's game displayed everywhere in the training room for a year making it personal. As for Clemson, this is the first chink in their armor I have seen in a while as their offensive line is average for an elite team.

If Fields is healthy we could see a great title game, something like we saw in the SEC Title Game.

@scbeerman posted:

Semifinal Round Summary

The primary discussion has been that the four team playoff format has produced a limited amount of playoff teams who in turn dominate recruiting creating a limited amount of teams making the playoff. Add to that money, ratings, etc and it is almost impossible for a group of five team to make the FF. This is a year where an eight team playoff may have resulted in a 5-8 seed at least winning one game if not two. Case in point was the Gators, down 10 starters and 25 players thus writing the Cotton Bowl off as a scrimmage, resulting in an embarrassing Oklahoma rout. OU may have well been that proverbial team that no one wanted to play as they finished strong. Dan Mullen better learn that you have to put your best effort forward in every game. Also, Cincinnati was for real as well.

Quoting NBC golf announcer Dan Hicks (his most famous call on Tiger's tying putt on the 72nd hole in the 08 US Open), "expect anything different". Of course I am referring to the continued futility of Notre Dame competing at the highest level. The Irish, despite their storied history to most of us over 50, just do not recruit at the level of the current elite. Facing an Alabama offense with too many weapons (minus Jalen Waddle), the Tide scored on their 1st three drives and never looked back 31-14. Brian Kelly was well aware of the criticism as ND had a backdoor cover TD, forced an onside kick and actually called a TO with one second left trying to save face.

The second playoff game produced a surprising result as Ohio St dominated Clemson 49-28. The game pitted the top 2 QB recruits of 2018, Georgia natives Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Clemson started fast but OSU scored on five consecutive drives for a 35-14 lead and essentially the game. Fields threw for 6 TDs and likely played himself back into the 2nd pick in the draft behind Lawrence. This was despite playing with maybe broken ribs after a vicious hit. If there was ever a "revenge is a dish best served cold" game, this was it. The OSU staff had the score of last year's game displayed everywhere in the training room for a year making it personal. As for Clemson, this is the first chink in their armor I have seen in a while as their offensive line is average for an elite team.

If Fields is healthy we could see a great title game, something like we saw in the SEC Title Game.

I didn't expect Ohio State to dominate like they did, so I guess a bit surprising there, but when they play as an underdog they are very dangerous, so not surprised by the win.  As you stated, there was a lot of motivation for the last 12 months to stick it to Dabo the Fraud, and they kept pounding them until the end.  Hopefully Fields is healthy and we all get a championship for the ages. 

I'll also add the ACC was 0-6 in bowl games and the SEC had a lackluster record as well.  What Florida and Mullen put on the field was embarrassing. 

@patespo1 posted:

I didn't expect Ohio State to dominate like they did, so I guess a bit surprising there, but when they play as an underdog they are very dangerous, so not surprised by the win.  As you stated, there was a lot of motivation for the last 12 months to stick it to Dabo the Fraud, and they kept pounding them until the end.  Hopefully Fields is healthy and we all get a championship for the ages.

I'll also add the ACC was 0-6 in bowl games and the SEC had a lackluster record as well.  What Florida and Mullen put on the field was embarrassing.

lol - With identical W-L%, it seems the B10 had a lackluster bowl season too. And head-to-head, they split their 2 games, with an unranked Ole Piss beating the #11 Hoosiers, whom ironically, complained about not being invited to a NY6 bowl.

But I'm glad to see "The O" finally show up for a game that mattered. Can they do it again?

@greendrazi posted:

lol - With identical W-L%, it seems the B10 had a lackluster bowl season too. And head-to-head, they split their 2 games, with an unranked Ole Piss beating the #11 Hoosiers, whom ironically, complained about not being invited to a NY6 bowl.

But I'm glad to see "The O" finally show up for a game that mattered. Can they do it again?

As an FYI Indiana lost their starting QB to injury, but yeah they lost.  As to your question, as long as Fields is healthy I think they'll be fine.

Honest opinions sought. I don't watch very much college football so I have a limited data set.

Two years ago when I watched Lawrence play as a Freshman I though it was the best performance I'd seen by a Freshman QB in a situation against top teams.  He clearly outplayed Tau in the Championship game.  He was far from perfect, with lots of small flaws but far ahead of what one would expect from a true Freshman QB.   Against the top teams in the country with NFL talent all over the defense he played well above his age and experience

Last year he had a poor game against LSU and was outplayed by Burrows.  I didn't think a lot of it, mainly because I caught about a 1/3 of the game.

Against Ohio State I got to watch almost all of the game.  My first thought was WTF?  He doesn't look any better than he did two years ago, like he's been in limbo for two years with no improvement in any area.  Good QB, but essentially the same product he was as a Freshman.

Those of you who read the NFL thread know that I have a serious 'dig' against QB's coming out of top programs that you really have no to very little useful game film on how they will perform under NFL pass rushes.  Watching Burrows last year he was mixed against Clemson.  He could get the ball out under 2.5 seconds, but he also held for 4-6 seconds a lot. 

Both Fields and Lawrence held the ball with good options far longer than they could in an NFL game.  It's a hard, hard habit to break.  You end up dead, or like Prescott or Mariota, with lots of 3 yard scrambles and tons of sacks.  You also get a lot of yards because you're behind all the time.

I watched Nick Starkel the most this year at San Jose State, and I don't think he's a top 5 round draft prospect next year, but the ball does come out under 3 seconds consistently.  That's what made Herbert such a great pick, he didn't have that habit to break.

I have no doubt the way these things go that Lawrence and Fields will go 1-2.  Given that means coaching from the Jags and Jets it could turn out really badly for both of them.

So did I miss something?  Was that just a middling performance by Lawrence?  Has he shown more improvement than I saw in that limited data set?

If going 6-2 is lackluster, then the SEC is lackluster. That is on top of 8-2 last year. That said, I am souring on Mullen until he learns to be a boss (firing Grantham) and owning up to his mistakes (you always prepare and try to win).

I agree that Lawrence is essentially the same level as he was as a frosh. I still believe he is a generational talent as maybe is Fields. I go by high school recruiting rankings a lot as more than you think 5 stars make it to the league. The holding the ball observation is astute and I will look for this going forward.

I repeat that I believe the best two players that I saw were DeVonta Smith (who the Heisman voters may agree) and Kyle Pitts. Any team that does not draft either, other than the two QBs, is making a mistake.

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