It was a wild week of SEC football and believe it or not, I have a few opinions on the weekend. Strap on your oven mitts because these takes will burn you. You’ve been warned.
Dan Mullen and MSU: Put a fork in 2016, it’s over
By halftime on Saturday, Dan Mullen jogged in to the locker room down 35-0 in a must-win game. When you break down his salary, MSU paid him over $300k for that game. Not bad work if you can get it. Again, the offense looked terrible. There is no leadership from the QB position and Nick Fitzgerald’s lack of command leads to penalties and no rhythm. In modern-day college football, offenses are rhythmic and everything runs better when it’s on schedule. MSU’s offense is clunky and has no identity. That’s on Mullen. Then you look at the defense and they put together 4 of the worst quarters of MSU defensive football in its history when you string together the 2nd half vs UMASS and the 1st half vs Auburn. Peter Sirmon’s 3-4 experiment is an adulterated disaster. Why they thought putting Torrey Dale at NT against a power running team is beyond me. I don’t see how he can coach his way through this. MSU’s next 2 are on the road and the 4 game stretch to end the season has 4 teams in the top 25. As of now, I can’t see more than 4 wins and I wouldn’t bet my house on that.
Jeremy Foley is a brilliant coward
Hurricane Mathew wreaked havoc on the Eastern seaboard this weekend and had a great impact on college football. With was a terrible storm, Foley saw a chance to exploit the situation and a weak SEC office post Slive. He looked at the schedule and saw a chance. First, what needed to happen was an A&M win and it did. What now needs to happen is UT losing to Bama this week and the Gators winning out their SEC slate. It’s certainly possible when you factor in the return of a healthy Del Rio and a schedule whose stiffest test looks to be Arkansas on the road. The last time this situation occurred during Katrina, Slive stepped in a made a ruling moving a game. Foley dragged his feet and strung out an SEC office that doesn’t have the same intimidating muscle. What makes the brilliant play even more egregious is the fact the FSU vs Miami and Georgia vs SC both figured out a way to play despite dealing with the same storm. If the scenario plays out and Florida back doors its way into the SECG, it will be one of the biggest travesties in SEC history. One would think there would be major blow-back from the SEC office for any AD who tried such a stunt. Oh ya, Foley is done next month.
Go for freaking 2 Butch!
There was a stunning moment when Trayveon Williams is sprinting down the sideline for the dagger TD in the 4th quarter. I’m not a Butch fan and it was nice to see his luck run out. What happens next? Arguably the best defensive personal effort you’ll ever see. Tennessee defender Malik Foreman didn’t give up on the play, hustled his ass off, and had the awareness to punch at the ball with his left hand at an upward angle to put it through the end zone for a touch back. At that moment I had to come to grips with the fact that Jesus was a Vol for Life. There was no other plausible explanation other than divine intervention. Dobbs leads his guys right down the field for the score to make it a 1 point game. Me and all my buddies look at each other thinking the same thing: go for 2. You have to. You’re on the road and just got gifted this opportunity. It looks like the Heavens are supporting you. What does Butch do? He has no faith in the higher power that is supporting him and makes the puny, small man decision to play for OT. His lack of faith was rewarded with a predictable OT loss that he deserves. When you’re entire season has played out with an angel sitting on your shoulder, you cannot go conservative in the last moment. You go for the kill. Now, instead of next week being the pinnacle of SEC football for the UT vs Bama game, it’s in 2 weeks when A&M plays Bama after they wipe the floor with a Vols team whose luck ran out.
Salute to Navy
To be a quality American, you have to root for the Service Academies. I know this won’t be popular but the best rivalry in CFB is Army vs Navy and if you don’t think so, you should be deported. When you think about the fact that they compete vs other schools in FBS despite the massive recruiting disadvantages, it’s mind-blowing. There are usually at least 1 solid program of the 3 but this year looks to be different. Army is 3-2, Air Force is 4-1, and Navy is 4-1. Navy came in to the Houston game coming of their first loss of the year at the hands of Air Force. In a game that no one gave them even the most remote of chances, they had the mental toughness to come in fresh in the mind and compete. Not only did they compete, they finished the job. They rolled out over 300 rushing yards against a top 15 scoring defense in America. Just awesome. Kudos to the Navy Midshipmen and their coach Ken Niumatalolo. You saved fans from having to watch Houston in the playoff. We salute you.