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A lonely Athletic Director steps into his cold, autumnlike office on Monday morning and makes the phone call. “Hello, Chip. How’d you like to come to [pick your favorite: Knoxville, Westwood, Lincoln, College Station, Las Vegas, Oxford, Northern Jersey, Baton Rouge, Central BFE] and fix our program? Your Brinks truck is packed and waiting.”

Okay, so Ed O isn’t going to be toast after one year…probably. Also, there’s no one at home in Lincoln to make that call right now. (Though you know damn well that a couple boosters have already made it.) Anyway, if you’ve got a shiny new facility and some donors with mountains of money and more fondness for football than cancer research, you’re busily beseeching college football’s current answer to Urban Meyer before he went to Ohio State. Oh, and if you’re smart, you’re doing it NOW, because there are new suitors lining up everywhere.

And now, let’s meet the messes, er, masses:

  1. Baylor – Nice try with OU, but bad news, Bears: even if you believe there’s such a thing as moral victories, BU is decidedly not eligible for anything with the word “moral” in it.
  2. Tennessee – If last week didn’t seal bUTch’s fate (it did), squeaking by UMass at home sure took care of matters. This week, I’d call the Vols the current runner-up in the Chipstakes, but there’s plenty of SEC money floating around that could change things.
  3. LSU – Speaking of schools with unsatisfying victories, we’re just waiting to see when the Fire Coach Eaux movement begins for real. (And when you leave your freshman backup quarterback in the game while buried on your own 1, you’ve invited a movement.)
  4. Nebraska – See Tennessee and LSU, only with the ghost of your fired AD glaring down upon the Huskers. If only they didn’t have that peskily nice Mike Riley hanging around…
  5. UCLA – Speaking of sealing your coach’s fate, the Bruins joined the club this week. With their shiny new facilities and shinier new Under Armour money, they’ve got to be the current leaders for Our Hero, especially since they also have an ideal Chip QB coming to town this January.
  6. Florida State – From #2 in the nation to 0-2, the circumstances aren’t fair, but a school nicknamed Felony State can’t expect fair, can it?
  7. Texas – How’d your bye week go? Y’know, outside of Maryland getting dusted at home by Central Florida?
  8. North Carolina – Congrats on snaking the big quarterback recruit from Duke. Congrats on keeping the loss to Duke to ten points.
  9. BYU – One bye week is not nearly enough time to fix this mess, and with BYU’s rules and scheduling limitations, guess who isn’t coming to dinner.
  10. Texas A&M – It had to be fun to ruin Jerry Jones’s big day. Anyway, can you picture Chip wanting to be in the same division as Nick Saban? Nope, me neither.
  11. UTEP – 41-14 to New Mexico State = Sean Kugler’s swan song. Maybe there’s a Chip assistant who the Miners can latch on to.
  12. Florida – How nice that y’all didn’t actually lose that game. Have fun with Georgia when the time comes.
  13. Kentucky – The good news: the Cats are eligible for moral victories. The bad news: there’s no such thing as moral victories. There is, however, such a thing as a 31-year losing streak. Welcome to it.
  14. Rutgers – A little probation. Another ugly loss. In other words, it was a well-balanced week in New Jersey.
  15. Stanford – Nice win in rough circumstances. After all, your team is still a mess, and that mettle will come in handy in the Las Vegas Bowl.
  16. Nevada – Remember when the Pack were a big deal? They’ve actually managed to make the Rebels not the worst team in the state, which is really saying something brutal.
  17. UNLV – Howard playing Bethune-Cookman closer at home than they played the Rebs on the road had to make that beatdown at the hands of tOSU extra zesty.
  18. FAU – Yep, hiring Hello Kiffin sure has made a difference.
  19. Kansas – Do we even have to say it at this point?
  20. Oklahoma City Thunder – Yeah, it’s not football, but since the news of the ‘Melo trade was all over this week’s game, it’s necessary to point out what a year it will be when the MVP who’s from L.A. and might or might not want to be in OKC and the All-Star who definitely doesn’t want to be anywhere but L.A. join forces with the stabilizing force that is #7. By December, we may want to just drop the Thunder on North Korea and be done with it.