This week, the nation wonders about the man who will be at the top of its chain of command in 2017. His supporters say he is dedicated to greatness. His many detractors consider him a despot who cares only for his own kind. And really, the evidence is clear.
Nick Saban is indeed a tyrant, reigning down upon college football with an iron fist. After this weekend’s implosion at the top of the rankings – all while the Tide were sneaking by the team that knocked out last week’s #4 by the narrow margin of 51-3 – is there really any point of continuing this little charade that we call the season? Okay, so there IS a reason: we love tailgating.
Otherwise, this thing is about as done as can be did.
The Main Victims Of Repression
- College Football Playoff – Let’s see if we’ve got this right: after last year’s games got torched on New Year’s Eve, they’re playing the semifinals on the 31st again, and this time with approximately zero drama? The only thing more of a lock than Bama is seeing the words “ratings slipped for the second straight year” in print come January.
- The Pac-12 – Louisville Cardinals come on down!!! Yeah, USC is playing well, but they’ve rebounded against…wait for it…the Pac-12, which is now going to be on the outside looking in again this year. A Washington State-Colorado conference championship game will be a real ratings magnet too. At least the conference champion against Michigan or Ohio State would make a pretty traditional-looking Rose Bowl. Y’know, unless Colorado or Utah wins on December 2nd.
- The Big 12 – It must feel good to know that you’re not going to be on the outside looking in for the second time in three years, right? Y’know, unless West Virginia loses your conference title game. Just kidding; you really shoulda found a way to play a championship game this year.
The Embarrassingly Bowl Ineligible…Or About To Be
- Oregon – Remember when Stanford-Oregon was essentially the P12 Championship Game every year? Forget it. Remember when the Civil War was maybe the worst big rivalry game on the planet? You’re going to get a flashback to those bad old days this year.
- Notre Dame – Army’s improved a lot, so that was actually an impressive win. Now if y’all can just manhandle two ranked teams, one of which is on a roll, and the other of which is going to win its division, you can go visit a garden spot like Shreveport.
- Michigan State – Sparty finally breaks through against, er, Rutgers. How does it feel to know that Idaho is bowl eligible and you’re not?
- UCLA – They started the year as favorites to win their division and darkhorse playoff contenders. Now, not so much. If you want to see a lesson in how not to play mistake-free football, find a replay of this week’s trainwreck against Oregon State. You can imagine what a hot USC team will do to them in this week’s rivalry game.
- Northern Illinois – How did the Huskies end up here with four major conference “powers”? Simple, have you noticed that they haven’t lost their division since, give or take a couple years, the Truman administration? That changed fast.
The Rest Of The Mess
- Clemson – Yeah, your playoff spot is safe. Your chances of actually winning the whole thing…not so much.
- Texas A&M – TAMU remembers how it felt when Johnny Football came out of nowhere in his freshman season, so hopefully, they enjoyed watching Shea Football come out of nowhere this week. Oh, and maybe the Aggies weren’t really a top-4 team with playoff possibilities after all.
- Washington – Ditto U-Dub. Apparently, playing Rutgers, Idaho and Portland State in non-conference doesn’t set you up for success. Who knew?
- Texas – The Charlie Meter spins back the other way…again.
- Auburn – Speaking of coaching carousels, help us out here, War Eagle. Does this mean Gus is back on the hot seat again, or what?
- Baylor – And now, the wheels are all the way off in Waco.
- Cal – Giving up almost 46 points a game? Dayummmm! That’s some serious commitment to sucking.
- Cincinnati – Speaking of commitments, it’s nice to see Tommy T’s commitment to douchebaggery being rewarded with the appropriate kind of karma.
- Rutgers – 49-0 to a team on a seven-game losing streak? It’s nice to see that last year’s complete nightmare has been replaced by…oh, never mind.
- Virginia – Maybe Mike London wasn’t doing such a bad job after all.
- Rice – We work hard not to pay attention to the Owls (and we’ve been to their yard more than once, so we know we’re not alone). So help us out here: how did this total collapse stay this far below the radar (or did we already answer that question)?
- Kansas – And there went their last chance for a real win this year. At least the basketball team started off…oh dammit, now that stings.