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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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…
- 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.
- 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?
- Texas – How’d your bye week go? Y’know, outside of Maryland getting dusted at home by Central Florida?
- North Carolina – Congrats on snaking the big quarterback recruit from Duke. Congrats on keeping the loss to Duke to ten points.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Florida – How nice that y’all didn’t actually lose that game. Have fun with Georgia when the time comes.
- 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.
- Rutgers – A little probation. Another ugly loss. In other words, it was a well-balanced week in New Jersey.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- FAU – Yep, hiring Hello Kiffin sure has made a difference.
- Kansas – Do we even have to say it at this point?
- 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.
So many dreams – from UT getting that first signature win of the Tom Herman era to UCLA pulling another comeback to UT finally getting over the hump of the Butch Jones era – all came crashing down in the second half this week. (Though Texas did a pretty good job of f-ing things up right at the end of the first half too.)
The next time you hear somebody talking about “finishing games”, feel free to dial up the lowlights from the third real week of this season for a reminder of exactly what that means. In the meantime, let’s see where the Wheel…Of…Misfortune is spinning most festively right about now.
- Baylor – At least they won’t get stunned by a team that’s never beaten someone from the Power 5 this coming week. Oh sure, they’ll get stomped by Oklahoma, but now you’re just nitpicking. You have to feel bad for Matt Rhule, but it couldn’t happen to a nicer school. (Remember, sarcasm is our stock in trade in these parts.)
- Tennessee – This is it. The Vols are finally going to break through under bUTch this year. Uh oh, it’s another semi-unexpected banana peel! Oh please, like you didn’t see the annual Big Orange Oops coming. On the other hand, you should didn’t see the banana peel slip being this heartbreaking, did you?
- UCLA – The West Coast’s answer to UT has the greatest quarterback ever! Look, he just dropped another dime to a wide receiver you’ve never heard of! Look, there’s a pick six. And now, college football’s mystery date is about to hook up with that bad boy who always does her wrong. Speaking of guys named Coach Kelly, whatcha doing come January, Chip?
- Stanford – Speaking of UCLA’s personal tormentors, while they may not be the hideous SDSU crew we all remember, losing to the Aztecs isn’t a good luck for the team that used to own the P12. Next week’s “showdown” on The Farm is going to leave somebody extra angst ridden. And, by the way, if you’re USC, that big win over the Cardinal doesn’t look quite so big any more, especially after you should’ve lost to…
- Texas – See! The Herman hire wasn’t the embodiment of false hope. Here comes his signature vict…aw hell, with 45 seconds left in the game?!?!?
- South Carolina – It’s weird: the action in Columbia feels like the love child of UT under Butch and UF under Coach Boom. Now that the Cocks’ big breakthrough season has run smack into the football dynamo that is Kentucky, it would be cruel to remind you that Deebo Samuel’s season is done.
- Louisville – Everything was about as set up for the Cards as it could possibly be, what with Clemson in total rebuild mode and Lamar Jackson looking like, well, Lamar Jackson. Sadly for The ‘Ville, the Cards – er, wait for it – Clemsoned! So, basically, third best in the ACC Whatever-It’s-Called is about the best y’all should ever hope for. Oh, and look – Wake Forest is absolutely en fuego!
- Texas A&M – If past performance is an indicator of future results, those unimpressive wins over two tomato cans indicate that the Texas Aggies should spend the first two weeks of October hiding under a table somewhere.
- Arizona State – If Paul Graham isn’t the first Power 5 coach capped this year, there is little justice in this world. Still, with nary a win in sight until they rendezvous with Oregon State, the Devil you know isn’t going to be a Devil for long.
- Missouruh – Remember when the Tigers were going to be an offensive dynamo this year? They’ve scored 16 points against teams not named Missouri State, which tells you what the current state of Missouri is. Betcha Butch Jones lands in Columbia next year.
- Nebraska – It’s been three years since Northern Illinois was a nationally relevant program. It won’t be three years before the Huskers have a new coach. Oh, and did we mention that Mike Riley just got extended?
- BYU – Boy is this thing sinking fast. Mormons are usually the nicest people on the planet, but if you’re not aware of it, there’s one big exception, and it involves their football team sucking. A third of the season gone with one win over Portland State and three ugly losses to Power 5 programs means that their football team sucks. Big time.
- San Jose State – Wouldja look at that! SJSU’s season is almost a carbon copy of BYU’s, and while the Spartans are basically irrelevant in college football, Mike MacIntyre created this nasty little thing called “expectations” in Silicon Valley.
- Boring College – Give BC this: they beat Northern Illinois by a field goal.Hell, they might even kick a field goal against Clemson next week.
- UNLV – With two whole weeks to prepare for Ohio State, here’s betting the Rebs can hold them to 70. Okay, maybe 80.
- UTEP – The Miners join the early-season-coordinator-firing-but-we’re-not-panicking club! Suhweet!
- The Schedule – Hate to sound like a broken record, but it suh-suh-suh-suh-suh-suh-sucks beyond description again this coming week when the alleged Game Of The Week involves Oklahoma State & TCU.
- LSU – Okay fine, it’s just one incredibly brutal maiming at the hands of a division foe. By the way, what does that make Coach Eaux’s SEC record?
- Kansas – Losing to Central Michigan and Ohio leaves the Jayhawks winless in the MAC for 2017, pretty much guaranteeing they’ll be winless in the Big 12 too. Maybe they should try their hands in the Big Sky.
- Morgan State – Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re not even an FBS program, but then, neither is Kansas, and you don’t question when we harsh on them. Any time you lose 65-0 to freaking Rutgers and are now down 101-0 after three games, you’re going to show up here.