1) Maybe Georgia isn’t indestructible…?
Hand up, I’ll admit that I was POTENTIALLY wrong about Georgia cruising to another National Championship. In the last two weeks, Georgia had a tough time putting away Kent State at home and had to make a fourth quarter comeback against Missouri. Of course a win is a win, but if I’m a Georgia fan, I’m starting to feel a little uneasy.
Now a few weeks in, their schedule doesn't look as simple as it seemed before the season started. This version of Tennessee is a top 10 team, Mississippi State is starting to show some life, and facing Kentucky on the road will be a tough test. Throw in that Billy Nappier will have his Florida team fired up for the World’s Largest Cocktail Party and I’m starting to see more than one hurdle in their quest to go back to back.
2) Chip Kelly will have UCLA ready for the Big 10.
The impact has taken a lot longer than everyone expected, and to be honest I kind of forgot all about good ol’ Chip Kelly. When UCLA announced Kelly as their new head coach a lot of people expected immediate results. Looks like turning around the second best football program in Los Angeles isn’t as easy as one may have thought, but I think we can all now say that Chip is on his way. UCLA got their first big win of the Kelly era this past Friday with the manhandling of top 15 Washington. Yet more importantly than the win, is the fact that you can finally see Kelly’s stamp on this roster.
Initially it seemed as if UCLA was the Los Angeles afterthought within the Big 10 merger, but they might be clawing their way to primetime.
3) Stay away from the Dabo coaching tree.
On paper, hiring a coach away from a perennial National Championship contender makes complete sense… Let’s review though:
- Longtime Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venebles took his dream job at Oklahoma this offseason. However, bad losses to Kansas St. and TCU, where his defense was gashed for four straight quarters, may have him re-thinking his schemes that previously worked so well in the ACC.
- Former Clemson wide receiver coach, Jeff Scott, has been at the helm of the University of South Florida for three years now and managed ONE win against a FBS team. ONE. Not much more to say about.
- It’s a little too early to get a read on Virginia’s ‘Clemson hire’ Tony Elliot, but sitting in seventh place with a 1-4 record can’t be what the Cavalier Brass had in mind when they plucked Elliot from the Dabo tree.
4) Some college program is about to hit the Matt Rhule lottery.
Matt Rhule in the NFL hasn’t worked out, it just hasn’t. Carolina is going to move on from Rhule at the end of this season, if not sooner. What’s the NFL’s trash will be a college programs treasure.
Rhule made the jump to the NFL, and who could blame him? Rhule more than proved himself in college, and it seemed like a natural next step. Unfortunately, not all dreams go to plan.
The Matt Rhule superpower seems to be that he can turn around any college program, no matter how dire the situation. Which college program wins that jackpot?
At one point in his coaching career, Rhule had Temple in the top 25…TEMPLE. He also took the helm of a heavily sanctioned Baylor football program on the brink of exile, and lead them back to a top 10 program on the path to a Big 12 title.
No known suitors yet, but if I’m a program desperate for hope, I’m backing up the Brinks truck for Matt Rhule.
5) The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Let’s simply soak in that this is the best time of the year for sports fans:
- the MLB playoffs “pitch off” this weekend with the new Wild Card three game matchups
- college football conference games are upon us
- one month into the NFL season and the universe is beginning to separate contenders from pretenders
- NHL and NBA are right around the corner
- MLS Playoffs start in two weeks
What a time to be alive.