Starting 11: LSU Grandma Does Keg Stand
Editing note: the Starting 11 is coming. But I knew you guys would be in early Monday morning doldrums so I went ahead and linked this, the 11 will slowly materialize as its written.
In the meantime, enjoy.
Okay, now on to the Starting 11.
1. LSU has three top 25 road/neutral victories. The rest of the top 25 has five.
I was in Tuscaloosa to watch Arkansas-Alabama on Saturday and I now have zero doubt: LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in the country and their November 5th showdown in Tuscaloosa will be the default national title game. Until then, let me ask you this: how many teams in the country could have their starting quarterback charged with a felony and suspended a couple of weeks before the season starts, could lose their top playmaker on offense, Russell Shephard, to an NCAA suspension, and still win three road/neutral top 25 games in the first month of the season?
I don't know if there is any other team in the country.
LSU's Les Miles comes in for a lot of criticism, but this year, dare we say it, his coaching has been pure brilliance.
2. Robert Griffin III has more touchdown passes this season than he does incompletions.
That's 13 touchdowns against 12 incompletions.
I didn't believe this so I had to go check his stats for myself. You will too. Click here.
These are his completion percentages this season: 77.8, 90.0, and 87.9.
He's. Not. Human.
If Baylor ends up suing anyone for conference realignment, they should let Giffin III draft the brief. I like his odds better than Ken Starr's.
3. You might have noticed the picture on the front page of the site: That's real, during the USC-Arizona State game Saturday night ESPN spelled Oaklahoma thusly.
Errors like this make me feel pretty good about the misspelled words on this site. We're operating without spell check in the software -- by the way, Gawker used to be set up the same way back when I was at Deadspin, the absence of a spell check is infuriating.
This graphic popped up after midnight as USC and Lane Kiffin were choking away a road game at Arizona State. (Are USC fans finally starting to believe me on how Lane Kiffin would run your program into the ground? If Matt Barkley leaves early you guys are going to struggle to make a bowl game in 2012.)
But back to the misspelling, it's an easy mistake to make for anyone who believes that the state of Oklahoma was named after a tree.
4. North Carolina lost to Georgia Tech thanks to the ten second runoff.
You'll recall that last year UNC won the Music City Bowl thanks to errant clock management. Well, this year against Georgia Tech the Tar Heels were attempting to drive for a scoring touchdown. With nine seconds left the Tar Heels were guilty of an illegal shift.
Rather than enforce the penalty Georgia Tech took the ten second runoff to end the game.
This means the Tar Heels were the last team to benefit by the old rule and the first to be penalized under the new rule.
For those of you who doubted it: Karma is real.
My favorite part of this clip is Matt Millen saying, "That is not well done."
He should know all about failure.
That and how Blackmon gets up and claps his hands like he's just missed a block or something. "It's alright guys, we'll get it back."
Can you imagine if this had actually lost the game? Or if it happened in overtime? This would be one of the greatest fails in sports history.
Instead Oklahoma State went on to win and this play has slid under the national radar.
Garcia's regression is amazing to watch. He's throw seven interceptions against three touchdown passes and has somehow managed to complete less than half of his passes against bad to mediocre teams.
Yet the Gamecocks are still 4-0.
So how did the Gamecocks cover? Because Vanderbilt's offensive line is incapable of blocking. The Commodores tallied -- and this may be the lowest yardage I've ever seen -- 77 total yards in this game.
What's even more amazing about this? Vanderbilt completed 16 passes!
Think about how hard it is to complete 16 passes and run the ball 25 times and still end up with only 77 yards of offense. It's remarkable, borderline impossible.
Need more? If you add in the penalty yardage -- the vast majority of which was offensive -- Vanderbilt actually produced -2 yards of offense on the night.
7.Toledo gets jobbed big time.
Okay, let's look at the first video of the kick.
It's pretty clear it's a miss, but only the referee knows for sure. After all, he has the perfect angle. All he has to do is stand at the upright and look up to see whether or not the ball is inside or outside of the upright. (It could be a difficult call if the ball was above the upright, but that isn't the issue here.
You'd think this would be clear from watching on replay, right?
You'd be wrong.
Well, too bad they didn't have this camera angle which shows this extra point wasn't even close.
Why does this matter?
Because Toldeo kicked a field goal to put the game into overtime tied at 30. If the extra point hadn't counted Toledo would have won the game in regulation.
Immediately the line was bumped up to near twenty. Meaning this might have been the easiest money Las Vegas will give you all season.
The Gators went out and covered the spread in the first quarter en route to a 48-10 victory over the hapless Wildcats. The next day I had a conversation with one of my friends who is a huge Kentucky fan.
I asked him how many points I'd need to give him to take Kentucky at LSU for Saturday.
"You'd have to give me 35.5 points," he said.
We also debated the future of Joker Phillips at Kentucky. It's clear that he's not getting it done. So I'll throw it out to Kentucky fans, if you knew you could have Mike Leach, a former Kentucky assistant who loves Lexington, next season, don't you have to fire Joker at the end of this season?
If I was Kentucky I would do it in a heartbeat.
9. Could LSU and Alabama play a rematch in the national title game?
I may be the first to ask this question, but I don't think it's very farfetched.
Basically, what I'm asking is simple, what are the odds that either Alabama or LSU goes undefeated this season? Pretty decent, right?
In fact, each team will be favored in every other game from here on out. (I think Bama will be a 3.5 point favorite in Tuscaloosa).
Let's say that LSU loses a tight game at Alabama on November 5th. Alabama goes on to win the west and the SEC title, LSU finishes 11-1.
Isn't it fair to say that LSU would be the highest-ranked one loss team in the country? And that a one-loss LSU, which may well have beaten the Pac 12 and Big East champ in neutral site games, would even be ranked above an undefeated Boise State?
I know we're treating LSU-Alabama as a default national title game, but I'd just like y'all to consider that there are pretty decent odds of a rematch provided no Big 12 or Big Ten team emerges undefeated. (The same could hold true for the ACC, but no ACC team ever goes undefeated.)
10. Welcome to the SEC Texas A&M.
I'll have an official column welcoming you guys tomorrow, but in the meantime, we're glad to have you.
Now bring along Missouri so we don't have to play an incredibly complicated 13 team SEC schedule.
11. Would Gus Malzahn take the Ole Miss job?
If he did, can you imagine how much enjoyment there would be in replacing Houston Nutt after Nutt hired him as offensive coordinator and immediately relegated him to the backburner at Arkansas?
Ole Miss can't do any better than Malzahn; the question is whether or not Malzahn would take the job. If he did it would be a reverse Tuberville, Ole Miss cutting the legs out from under the Auburn coaching staff.
I asked it a while ago of Auburn fans, but I'm interested in y'all's opinion now, would you really not fire Gene Chizik to keep Gus Malzahn? Especially if Malzahn was taking Trooper Taylor to recruit with him in Oxford.
What, exactly, is Chizik doing that makes him a desirable coach? If Cam Newton doesn't get paid to come to Auburn, Chizik is staring down his third consecutive .500 season and y'all are ready to fire him. Malzahn is the reason you've won at all. Without him...good luck.