Looking back at college football’s weekend

by Gary Shelton on November 8, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Mullen has. a decision to make at quarterback./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. What's so hard about calling the plays at FSU. On first down, you call it "a loss of four." On second down, you call it "an incomplete pass." On third down, you call ... Jimbo Fisher and apologize.

2. It occurs to me that Luke Del Rio criticizing Feleipe Franks on Twitter is a duel between unarmed men. It's like Screech engaging in a debate with Horshack.

3. Charlie Strong may indeed get a big coaching job this off-season. He's bright, and he's got a resume. But the Maryland job is a coach-killer. The school has one conference title (in 2001, when it played in the ACC) since 1985. If I was Strong, I'd look harder.

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4.  FSU plays basketball? Who knew?

5. While the world is talking about the college football playoffs, how about a Bottom Four matchup? Chip Kelly could play Scott Frost, and Bobby Petrino could play Randy Edsall. We should show game films to hardened criminals.

They Said It

“We won seven games, did we not? We were 7-0, were we not? Why would there be coaching changes?”

-- USF coach Charlie Strong, on his staff.

"I'm not a big ego guy. I'm going to always do what's best for our program. And just because I give up play(calling) doesn't mean I'm not involved in it. I'm still going to be involved in everything and make suggestions when I need to. But I felt like this is what our football team needed."

-- FSU coach Willlie Taggart, on giving up the play-calling.

“That’s how it works. I’m gonna be honest with you, this is how it works too, when we sell out the stadium, we win a championship. It doesn’t go the other way. It’s not we win, you sell out. You sell out, you win. Go watch teams that have built programs. That’s how it works.”

-- Florida coach Dan Mullen, on his team's attendance.

"I will say this, and I’ve said this from Day One. I’ve said that as far as the head coach calling the plays -- (and) I used to have this discussion with Norv Turner -- Norv is as good an offensive coordinator as there was — or is. And yet as a head coach, he continued to call plays. I told him, I said, ‘Norv, you’ve got to oversee the whole thing.’

“There are so many demands on your time that I’d much rather have a guy calling plays that spends night and day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, working on that one thing."

-- Former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson, on play-calling.

"It's funny. Just a couple small details can kill you. A little bit of communication, caught us in the wrong defense a couple times. Up front, not staying in our pass rush lanes. Giving the quarterback the ability to get out in some of our too-high coverages and escape and make plays. Second half, we came back and we defeated blocks. Our communication was better. We were in better position.

-- UCF coach Josh Heupel, on his team's defense.

“Running the ball and stopping the run — 439 yards rushing to 96. You’re going to win every game if you do that. That’s probably why I was most excited after the game, besides the rivalry part of it — that we finally played how we should’ve been playing all year long.”

-- FAU coach Lane Kiffin, on the keys to beating rival FIU

Player of the Week

The early momentum that Will Grier had built in the discussions of the Heisman Trophy seems to have faded a bit.

Perhaps they should not.

Grier steered the West Virginia Mountaineers to a 42-41 comeback victory over Texas on Saturday, hitting receiver Gary Jennings on a 33-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds to play. Grier, who hit 28 of 42 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns, wasn't done yet.

After West Virginia chose to go for two, Grier hit David Sills for the win. But Texas had called time out. On the next play, Grier ran for two yards for the winning points.

Team of the Week

How good is Alabama? Good enough that the Crimson Tide could be the Team of the Week in most weeks.

Take Saturday, when the Tide smothered the No 3 team in the nation. Alabama beat LSU, 29-0, and allowed just 12 yards rushing. LSU had to punt on its first nine possessions of the game.

There are those who suggest this could be Alabama's best-ever team. If so, that might be bad news. The two most talented teams I've seen in college football were the 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers and the 1986 Miami Hurricanes. They both lost their bowl games.

Heisman Front-Runners

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

2. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

3. Will Grier, West Virginia

4. Gardner Minshew, Washington State

5. Ed Oliver, Houston

College Computer Rankings

Team   Colley   Billlingsley  Sagarin    A&H  Wolfe    Massey

UCF     8         11            23     10    11       9

Florida 14         14            29      12   12      10

USF     47         57            88     53    56       73

Miami   59         59           34     61    60       47

FSU     74         70            60      7     71       61

FIU     77        66           111     82    87      94

FAU     91         75           96     92   84       88

5 Computer Oddities

1. I'm kind of a natural contrarian myself, but how about the Anderson-Hester football poll? It has once-beaten Georgia ranked ahead of Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson. I suppose it had Battlefield Earth rated ahead of Star Wars, too, just to be different.

2. No one is defending USF, which has a program built on oragami. But Jeff Sagaran has the 7-2 Bulls ranked 88th in the nation. Among the teams the Bulls trail are UCLA (2-7), Kansas State (3-6), Eastern Michigan (5-5), Wake Forest (4-5) and Air Force (3-6).

3. The Massey Ratings has Florida ahead of Ohio State, which Urban Meyer should find interesting. A reminder: These computers used to decide the national championship, which is like using math to decide a spelling bee.

4. In the Colley Matrix, FSU is 10 spots behind Coastal Carolina. And deserves to be.

5. In the Billingsley Report, 7-2  LSU is ranked sixth after getting squashed by Alabama. That's ahead of once-beaten Oklahoma, once-beaten Ohio State, once-beaten West Virginia, once-beaten Washington State and unbeaten UCF. Oh.

Easy Pickin's

Picking one computer at random, let's go with Sagarin's. Here's where USF's opponents' rank.

Elon                                123

Georgia Tech                  39

Illinois                           104

East Carolina               132

Tulsa                             108

UConn                          171

Houston                         55

Tulane                            79

Cincinnati                     40

Temple                          52

UCF                               23

The Road Ahead

No. 1 Alabama: Opponents: No. 16 Mississippi State, The Citadel, No. 24 Auburn, No. 5 Georgia (SEC title game).

No. 2 Clemson: Opponents: No. 17 Boston College, Duke, South Carolina, ACC Title Game (Pitt leads the other division).

No. 3 Notre Dame: Opponents: FSU, No. 13 Syracuse, Southern California.

No. 4 Michigan: Opponents: Rutgers, Indiana, No. 10 Ohio State.

No. 5 Georgia: Opponents: No. 24 Auburn, UMass, Georgia Tech, No. 1 Alabama (SEC title Game).

No. 6 Oklahoma: Oklahoma State, Kansas, No. 9 West Virginia (Oklahoma and West Virginia might play a rematch in the conference title game).

State's Leading Passers

10. Milton, UCF 301.3

19. Barnett, USF 267.9

27. Francois, FSU 265.9

49. Morgan, FIU 224.3

71. Robison, FAU 192.8

State's Leading Rushers

10. Cronkrite, USF 118.3

11. Singletary, FAU 113.4

53. Homer, Miami 78.0

73. McRae, UCF 71.5

76. Ford, USF 70.9

State's Leading Receivers

40. Davis, UCF 79.4

46. Durante, FAU 77.0

68. St. Felix, USF 69.1

69. Murray, FSU 63.4

101. McCants, USF 59.8

State's Leading Sackers

5. Burns, FSU 9.0

20. Polite, Fla. 7.0

55. Garvin, Miami 5.5

69. Jackson, Miami 5.0

Quarterman, Miami 5.0

Black, USF                5.0

Bowl Projections (Yahoo.com)

New Mexico Bowl FAU vs. Utah State

Boca Raton Bowl Memphis vs. FIU

Gasparilla Bowl USF-Wake Forest

Quick Lane Miami-Purdue

Outback Michigan State-Florida

Peach UCF vs. Georgia

Best Ever (Ohio State)

1. Archie Griffin

2. Orlando Pace

3. Eddie George

4. Chris Carter

5. Zeke Elliott

Arguing For UCF, USF

(Why should a power conference want these two? Here's why.)

1. North Carolina. 1-7

2. Rutgers 1-8

3. Louisville 2-7

4. Arkansas 2-7

5. UCLA 2-7

Random List

(Best College Football movies)

1. Horse Feathers

2. The Junction Boys

3. We Are Marshall

4. Rudy

5. The Waterboy

College Coches Hot Seat Rankings

1. Chris Ash, Rutgers

2. Randy Edsall, UConn

3. Lovie Smith, Illinois

4. Bobby Petrino, Louisville

5. Clay Helton, USC

State Predictions

Cincinnati 34, USF 17

Notre Dame 28, FSU 14

Florida 17, South Carolina 13

FAU 20, Western Kentucky 10

FIU 21, USTA  20

National Games

Ohio State 29, Michigan State 24

Alabama 30, Mississippi State 7

Georgia 26, Auburn 14

Clemson 35 , Boston College 10

West Virginia 28, TCU 14

Closing Thoughts

1. I think James Carville is being summoned to his home planet. The guy should be proud. If he found anyone giving LSU and 30, he's in great shape.

2. A year after losing Scott Frost to his alma mater, UCF has a chance of losing Josh Heupel to his (if the Browns hire Lincoln Riley). Oklahoma might be interested in bringing him back home.

3. I don't get all the fuss that Alabama wasn't a unanimous No. 1 in the coaches' poll this week. Yes, the Tide is great, and if I had tow wager the house on someone winning, I'd go with the Tide. But one coach out of 65 saying Clemson may be better isn't exactly heresy.

4. It was a little annoying that New Jersey reporter Joe Giglio, who no one has ever heard of, said that Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa was "overrated," comparing him to ex-Flordia quarterback Tim Tebow. Hey, think what you will of Tagavailoa, who leads all candidates for the Heisman Trophy. But the slam against Tebow is the raving of a knucklehead. Tebow was in the Heisman's top five in three different years. Name another player who did that. Once again, a critic has related a player's lack of success in the pros to his college game, which is absurd (Tommie Frazier, Danny Wuerffel, Charlie Ward, etc.).

5. Just wondering: Looking back, how did Jim McElwain's request for Will Grier to leave Florida work out?

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