It never pays to falsify the record. We had a manager for the Toronto Blue Jays who lied about being in Vietnam. George O’Leary was coach of Notre Dame for about 15 minutes and then it was discovered he lied on his resume. Brian Williams lost his plum job as anchor of NBC Nightly News when he lied about getting shot at while covering the Iraq-Afghanistan War. And now, it appears that the statements Florida coach Jim McElwain made about he, his staff, players, and families receiving death threats were statements that McElwain invented out of thin air. Although calls for his ouster up until this point were less about wins & losses and more about not producing Steve Spurrier/Urban Meyer offenses, he gave the Lizards a chance to fire him for cause and avoid paying his $12 million buy-out. The next time we see McElwain, it will be when he’s hired at Multi-directional A&M State, an obscure school that is willing to give him a chance to resurrect his career.
Speaking of “for cause” – I think Butch Jones is probably getting bounced sooner rather than later. It’s funny how these coaches are hired to win games, but not winning enough games is classified “without cause” when they get fired, and the big buy-out kicks in. Florida fans were spoiled by the prolific offenses the Spurrier and Meyer teams always had, and Tennessee fans were spoiled by the appearances in the SEC title game every other year during the Phil Fulmer years. UT does have a long tradition of good football teams. It does not have a long tradition of championship football teams. Prior to Fulmer, they were quite rare. So here comes Butch Jones, who corrects the wreck the Derek Dooley years were, gets them to 2 straight 9-win seasons and everybody starts going ape about Jones not being good enough. Certainly UT lost some recruits as other coaches convinced players Jones was not going to last, and this year the lack of top-tier players has borne fruit. Now Jones is going to get canned, and the spoiled Rocky Toppers have to hope they get someone just as good. They’re far more likely to get another Derek Dooley than they are another Nick Saban.
Well then, what about Gus? Good question. Is 9 wins and a New Year’s 6 bowl good enough? For most Auburn fans, absolutely not. They want to be national title contenders every year. Again, it’s all about what you want. Personally, winning 9 games a year and making the CFP once every blue moon is fine as long as the coach has a winning record against The Evil Empire. Hell, a 2-10 season with the 2 wins being over ‘Bama and UGA is perfectly fine with me.
1. Alabama – As usual, no threat to this team’s position.
2. Georgia – See #1 above.
3. Ohio State – Epic win puts them in charge of Big 14 title.
4. Notre Dame – We now know we get to listen to blame-shifting Brian Kelly for another year.
5. Wisconsin – Last threat to Ohio State winning Big 14 title.
6. Penn State – No shame in lost to Ohio State. Now they have to win out and be Michigan fans.
7. TCU – Defense is still excellent.
8. Oklahoma – Bedlam game this week should be epic. Winner goes to Little 10 title game.
9. Miami – This week’s game should have another big dose of drama.
10. Clempson – Should have no issue getting to ACC title game.
11. Oklahoma State – See #8 above, but with more head coach hair.
12. Washington – With the conference a wreck, it’s hard to find an accurate place for them in the national rankings.
13. Virginia Tech – See #9 above.
14. Central Florida – Can they stay focused as their coach is guaranteed to be going to Florida and Tennessee and every other Power 5 opening?
15. LSU – Pull an upset this week in West Birmingham and we’ll talk.
16. Auburn – Need to keep the road winning streak in Auburn-Texas A&M games alive.
17. Stanford – See #12 above.
18. Iowa State – If they win out, CFP mayhem ensues.
19. Memphis – Headed to a clash with UCF to determine who crashes the New Year’s 6 party.
20. Misipi State – Trivia: every Jerry Clower U game this year has been decided by at least 21 points.
21. Arizona – See #17 above.
22. Michigan – Relegated to spoiler role.
23. NC State – Only a massive upset of Clempson can keep them in the big bowl hunt.
24. Michigan State – a win this week vs Penn State would ruin a lot of people’s holiday plans.
25. Washington State – See #21 above.
Not far away – Northwestern, South Carolina, South Florida, Georgia Tech, Toledo
The Absolute Worst – Georgia Southern, UTEP, Baylor, San Jose State, Ball State