By Jeremy Dennis
Another tremendous week of college and football action has ended. There were a lot of great stories out there. However, there were many more instances of bad coaching, missed calls, and horrendous play. Just like anything else in life, it seems that the negative is much more fun to cover. So, let’s throw some people in hell, shall we?
Circle 1 - Limbo
The Oklahoma Sooners. After a devastating loss to Kansas State and a bye-week. The Sooners sit at #9 in the AP rankings. The first College Football Playoff rankings come in next week and it will not be a good report for Oklahoma. The good news? Alabama and LSU play each other this week and a match-up between Penn State and Ohio State looms in a couple of weeks. The bad news? The losers of those games will probably stay ahead of Oklahoma because of the schedule strength. The Sooners will need a blow-out win versus Baylor plus a lot of help to be considered for the Big Dance.
Circle 2 - Lust
The New England Patriots. So many people singing the praises of this Brady-led team. Lots of talk about being undefeated. The defense is one of the best ever. What I found interesting is that with all this talk, I think I only heard one media outlet reference how abysmal the New England schedule had been. Before Sunday’s loss to Baltimore, the combined record of the teams the Patriots had played was 18-47 including four teams who had only one victory. Don’t think the Pats want to see the Ravens in the playoffs.
Circle 3 - Gluttony
Offenses that play the Massachusetts Minutemen. How do you know that you are bad? When you allow 63 points to the Liberty Flames! Here are the scoring outputs for teams playing against UMass this year: 48, 45 (FCS school), 52, 62, 29, 44, 69, 56, 63. That math equals a defense giving up 52 points per game. Probably not going to get much better with Army, Northwestern and BYU left to play.
Circle 4 - Greed
Chase Young of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Dude is about to get PAID next year. Let’s look at this stat line for the year: 29 tackles (5 less than he had all last year), 13.5 sacks (to go along with the 10.5 from 2018) and 5 (?!?) forced fumbles. The man is otherworldly right now. Oh, and his next two games are against Maryland and Rutgers. All of these numbers could be doubled by the time he sees Penn State.
Circle 5 - Anger
Chicago Bears fans. The Bears had such high expectations for their defense and their quarterback. While the defense has held up their end of the bargain, the offense has been lethargic at best. Mitch Trubisky has a quarterback rating of 80 which is in the lower half of starting quarterbacks. At 3-5, they are going to need a drastic turn around to even think of sniffing the playoffs.
Circle 6 - Heresy
To the NCAA Transfer Portal. I want to state right now that I am all for athletes getting as many opportunities as they can. With that said, I think the Transfer Portal is doing more harm than good in college football. When looking at high profile cases such as Tate Martell from Miami and Joey Gatewood from Auburn, it seems to be promoting a quitters attitude. I understand that these young men are used to the success that they achieved in high school. But with the portal, folks can up and leave at the first hint of adversity. They should at least allow for a cooling-off period and maybe some arbitration type thing to allow the team and the player to talk it out before the decision is made to leave.
Circle 7 - Violence
To the Chicago Bears fans. There was sooooooo much blame to go around after the Bears poor showing against the Saints. While I can see that Trubisky can shoulder some of the blame, there was no excuse for the play calling. The Bears ran the ball seven times. Yes, that is George Halas rolling in his grave. The defensive play calling wasn’t much better as they let a back-up QB and running back go up and down the field pretty much at will. You know you are in trouble when the high point of your day is getting an onside kick.
Circle 8 - Fraud
Willie Taggart. The embattled Florida State coach was fired yesterday after a demoralizing loss to the Miami Hurricanes. It is tough to see any coach get fired in less than 5 years in college just because it takes a while to get staff together, recruit, and establish systems. However, let’s be honest. The cupboard is never bare in Tallahassee. To go 9-12 was unacceptable. The jobs he had at USF and Oregon while well done, were against lesser competition than the ACC. Here is hoping that he gets another gig so he can bounceback.
Circle 9 - Treachery
To the Washington Redskins medical staff. What a bunch of quacks. There have already been several documented cases of poor diagnoses from these clowns including beleaguered quarterback Colt McCoy and his bad leg. However, this Trent Williams thing takes the cake. According to reports, Williams talked to the staff six years ago about a growth on his skull. Come to find out this week, that growth was cancer. That is a high level of ineptness. Of course, the team as a whole has sustained this level of ineptitude since Daniel Snyder bought the team.
Now that Halloween has come and gone, it will be time to focus on the hell that is the holiday season. At least this week there is the #1-#2 match-up in Tuscaloosa to look forward to. Hopefully, your week won’t go to hell in a hand-basket.