This week of college football mostly upheld the status quo. There were a few close games, but everyone in the Top 10 won their games. There were no mid-game onside kicks. No coaches nearly got into fights. Everyone pretty much did what they were expected to do.
Georgia continues to win despite being the most overrated team in the NCAA right now (they haven’t thrown a single touchdown pass in their last three games, guys. And they’re not even playing with the big dogs yet). Ohio State and Michigan (yes, I know, I know) are playing the most consistent football of any two teams out there right now.
But chaos is in the eye of the beholder, and there were still storylines worth discussing this week. So without further ado, your weekly chaos roundup from around the NCAA.
The Fisher-Saban Showdown
When Wendy’s asked “Where’s the beef?” they clearly weren’t paying attention to the Jimbo Fisher-Nick Saban feud. It continues to be one of my favorite football spats, and not just because Fisher (a clown) has been out here spilling tea on Saban (the Muppet equivalent of a clown, disguised as a great coach).
The TL;DR on this feud is that Fisher was Saban’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at LSU. Last season, Fisher coached Texas A&M to a massive upset against Alabama, becoming the first of Saban’s former assistants to beat him on the field.
Then the Aggies edged out Alabama for the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022. Bama, which was No. 1 in 2021, fell to No. 2. Then both guys started running their mouths. Saban said, “A&M bought every player on their team.” And good old Jimbo didn’t like that.
The next day, Jimbo unleashed a metaphorical Kraken at a press conference, going on a rant in which he called Saban a “narcissist,” called him the “czar of football,” and encouraged reporters to dig into Saban’s past, calling Saban’s practices “despicable.” They’ve both since apologized and allegedly moved on, but college football requires a certain level of pettiness and I don’t believe for a second they’re over it.
That brings us to yesterday. Alabama went into Saturday’s matchup the heavy favorite. But this is a grudge match, so rules do not apply. Neither team had their starting QB, and boy, was this game messy. Bama’s 24-20 win did not come easily. The Crimson Tide had four turnovers and missed two field goals, and they left the door cracked for the Aggies at the end.
And the Aggies backup QB Haynes King made a valiant effort to seal the deal. As time ticked by in the Fourth Quarter, he led A&M on a 69-yard drive with a chance to win on the last play of the game. Bama hung on by a thread as King threw an incomplete pass from the 2-yard line, but the Crimson Tide had a good scare.
And next week they face an undefeated (and frankly, more consistent) Tennessee on the road, a game that is sure to bring more drama than “Game of Thrones.”
C.J. Stroud continues to keep his name top of mind, and Alabama’s Bryce Young (last year’s winner) has been kind enough to help him out. Young has been out with an injury the last two games, while my man Stroud continues to rack up TDs and yards and record-breaking stats.
Stroud, for his part, threw six (6) touchdowns yesterday against the Spartans, his fourth game this season with four or more TD passes. With that performance, he slid himself ahead of Justin Fields in OSU’s career touchdown list, moving Stroud into the 2nd spot (with 64) behind only J.T. Barrett (who recorded 104 touchdowns from 2014-2017). It also surely contributed to OSU moving up to the No. 2 spot over Alabama in this week’s AP Poll rankings.
Buckeye fans should keep their eye on Hendon Hooker down at Tennessee though, as the Vols seem to be the real deal and face Alabama next week. A great game could give Hooker some sort of edge.
All of this is discounting the possibility of Young repeating (which, let’s be honest, is a rare occurrence as is, and he’s been out with injuries so it’s not looking likely). But if Stroud carries on at this rate, he’s going to continue breaking school records and could quite conceivably be adding some hardware to his collection come Heisman time.
Tennessee and UCLA might actually be good this year?
You guys… is the world ending?
Alabama heads to Rocky Top next week to play an undefeated, top-10 Tennessee team? My dear friend’s baby who is just shy of a year only knows UCLA to be undefeated. The simulation is either entirely broken or finally working the way it was meant to. Tennessee annihilated a pretty good LSU team on the road in Baton Rouge, 40-13. Now they get Bama at home. I expect Bryce Young will return for next week’s game, and Alabama is favored as the No. 1 team, but as we’ve discussed here, Alabama isn’t playing super consistent football. Tennessee is. This could honestly be a tortoise and the hare situation — Tennessee has been slowly, steadily making its case, while Alabama is getting sloppy upfront.
With OSU’s bye week next week, this is the game I am most looking forward to watching (it doesn’t hurt that my brother is a Vol, and we all hate Alabama. See also, Muppety clown on the sidelines, discussed above). While Bryce Young could change the game, momentum is moving in Tennessee’s favor lately. Their QB is a legitimate Heisman contender in his own right. My money’s on the Vols, for the first time maybe ever.
Meanwhile, the Bruins are out here taking down No. 11 Utah in very impressive style. UCLA has also already beat Washington, giving us some reason to believe the Pac-12 might have some legitimacy this year. And where the Big Ten is concerned, it’s exciting to see UCLA on the up. If they bring that kind of energy into the Big Ten with them, it could heat things up and bring additional juice to our conference, all of which is very exciting.
Well Wishes for Michigan’s RB Coach
We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan, but we also don’t wish physical harm on their players, coaches, or fans, so I’m wrapping up this week’s chaos roundup with well-wishes for Michigan’s running backs coach Mike Hart.
Hart, who played at Michigan and coached for the Hoosiers before returning to Ann Arbor, suffered a seizure on the sidelines during the first quarter of the Wolverines’ matchup with Indiana and had to be transported to a local hospital. The Wolverines’ running backs were visibly emotional, and while all the updates we’ve received are that he’s doing well, we want to send well-wishes to Michigan and to Hart for a speedy recovery.