Starting 11: Bobby Petrino's Making Paper Edition
Last week Arkansas lost to Louisiana-Monroe and a crazy Razorback fan who goes by the YouTube name Liz Honey took the Internet by storm with her Arkansas athem.
Now, she's back.
And not wearing a BBB shirt, "Bring Bobby Back," like one enterprising Razorback fan did at this week's Bama game.
This week she's singing, "Ain't No Stopping Us Now."
Which is a bit ironic considering that's all Alabama did en route to a 52-0 loss.
Usually we wait to debut the entire Starting 11 at once, but this video is so absurd, I figure you need a little pep on your Monday morning to help ease the weekend hangovers.
1. It's Razorback song time.
2. How many SEC jobs will be open at the end of the year?
The over/under is three, and I think there's a good chance at four. (This doesn't even consider the possibility of an SEC coach leaving voluntarily for another job.)
Let's rank the firing odds:
John L. Smith is gone.
Joker Phillips has managed to take the SEC football brand and turn it into the third best team in Kentucky. (This is assuming UK can beat Trinity High School, which is not a foregone conclusion.) Being the third best football team in Kentucky is almost impossible to pull off.
Golf clap, Joker.
Now more serious analysis for the tougher calls.
3. 66% chance Dooley is out at Tennessee.
Dooley has to get to eight wins to keep his job. Which means he has to beat Akron, Troy, Mississippi State, Mizzou, Vandy, and Kentucky.
That's not exactly a murderer's row, but can Dooley even pull that off?
The odds are against him.
I wrote before the season started that the Vols would start 4-0 and then lose their next four -- at Georgia, at Mississippi State, Alabama and at South Carolina. Mississippi State will be favored over the Vols in Starkville. That's why the Florida game was so massive, the Gators aren't that good. At least not compared to what the Gators have been in the past. The Vols really, really needed to win this game. And they didn't. Want a really sobering stat? Muschamp's crew scored more points in Neyland than any Steve Spurrier team ever did.
As a result, I'm dropping my pre-season projection of 8-4 to 7-5. If the Vols quit against the Gators, they'll quit again this season.
7-5 and Dooley is fired.
Assuming Dooley can't upset Georgia or Alabama, which I don't think he can, then the Mississippi State game is beyond massive. That's probably the game that decides whether Dooley is back again or not. Is an 8-4 Dooley record with losses to Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina really worth rewarding with another year? That's a point worthy of the debate with the Dool-aid drinkers.
By the way, my favorite Dool-aid drinkers? The ones who believe Obama has to be thrown out of office for not fixing the entire country in four years, but believe that it's unfair to expect Dooley to fix a football team in three years. These people really exist.
4. 45% chance Auburn fires Chizik.
Make no mistake, Gene Chizik should be fired.
Even the most dyed in the wool Auburn fan recognizes now -- if they didn't before the overtime escape against Louisiana-Monroe -- that without Cam Newton Chizik would already be fired.
He is what we thought he was.
The airplane heckler has gone from Internet sensation to pariah to genius all in the space of a little over three years. Auburn will lose to LSU this weekend to fall to 1-3 and then the Tigers gets Arkansas at home for a pillow fight between two bad football teams. Auburn needs a win here, badly. Chizik's team then embarks on two road trips -- at Ole Miss and at Vandy -- as either a 1-4 or 2-3 football team.
Both of these road games are landmines.
Lose to Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Vandy and Chizik would go 0-8 in the SEC and deserve to be fired. His team would also be 1-6 returning home for a four-game homestand. Can you imagine what these crowds would be like?
But I don't think Chizik will lose all three.
I think he'll probably go 1-2 at the worst. Which, coupled with the three bought wins, gets Chizik to 4-8 or 5-7 if he manages 2-1 in that stretch.
At 5-7 he'll be back.
At 4-8, I think he'll be back.
At 3-9 he's fired.
5. Southern Cal was overhyped and is probably done in the national title race.
The biggest hit here for USC is this -- if the Trojans win the Pac 12 South they have to sweep Oregon now to even be on the fringes of the title race. The team that played on Saturday night has zero chance of sweeping Oregon.
This is assuming, of course, that USC even wins the Pac 12 South. Suddenly games at Utah, at Arizona, and at UCLA look like incredibly tough games.
Knoxville bars lost out in a fortune of drink money when the Vols lost to Florida. But can you imagine how much shot money they lost out on in from a USC loss? Can you imagine the rush to the bar that would have ensued if USC had gone done to Stanford while everyone was out celebrating a Vol win over the Gators?
6. LSU and Bama are now the unquestioned two best teams in the country.
Could we be heading towards a rematch of the rematch for the title?
I don't think voters will allow it, but should game aesthetics really dictate who plays for the title? Shouldn't we pick the two best teams?
And if we did, does anyone doubt that LSU and Bama are the two best teams?
It's early, but look at the polls, if Oklahoma, Oregon and Florida State all lose, is there any team that's going to leap a one-loss Alabama or LSU? I mean, aside from Notre Dame, who may do it next week if the Fighting Irish beat Michigan. (That's a joke, I think).
Alabama and LSU in the BCS title game part two is a very real possibility.
7. My $1,000 on Kentucky finishing with under 4.5 wins remains the easiest money I've ever made.
Did Western coach Willie Taggart really say, "WKU red is the new blue in Kentucky, baby!" after beating the Cats at home?
Yes, yes, he did.
8. Before the game Vol fan Liberty Anne Justice -- yes, that's her real name -- told me she was contemplating naming her unborn son Cordarrelle.
"Cord for short," she said.
She was joking, I think.
After the game, I assume she was going with Petrino.
At least she's not a Big Ten fan. It's September 16th and the Big Ten is eliminated from the BCS title race already.
9. Ranking the three easiest remaining schedules of the undefeated teams:
This schedule is just insanely easy. Charlie Strong may well go undefeated in the regular season.
The problem is the schedule is so easy there's no way Louisville gets in the title game mix.
2. Florida State
Other than the Gators and Clemson this weekend, this is one of the easiest regular season schedules I've ever seen. Right now FSU is set up to play just two ranked teams all season. Two!
Suddenly that USC road game doesn't look as tough.
10. My top five hottest coaching names. (This is like the reverse hot seat, guys who are about to make a killing on the open market if they choose to leave).
I'm restricting my five to current college coaches and Petrino, who isn't coaching because he can't, since the white whale of Gruden, who would definitely be interested in Tennessee and maybe other jobs out there, Bill Cowher, and Pete Carroll are just too problematic to rank.
These five guys are going to make a ton more money before the season is over, either via raises from their own schools or from taking new jobs.
1. Chris Petersen
I'm convinced he'll never leave for anywhere else, but you have to put him at the top of any list.
2. Dana Holgorsen
You think it's a coincidence that West Virginia signed him to a contract extension before the season started?
3. Charlie Strong
Has won big at a BCS level and produced dominant defenses at multiple SEC schools. He's a no-brainer success if he'll leave Louisville in the off-season.
4. Bobby Petrino
He's a risk off the field. But on the field? The guy will win for you, big.
5. James Franklin, Vanderbilt
I know he's 1-2, but the second half of the season opens up well for his team. A reasonable goal this year was 6-6. That's still doable. Get the Dores to back-to-back bowl seasons with the way he's recruiting and he can have just about any major job that comes open in the country.
11. Okay, my SEC rankings come in for a big shuffle after week three. Again, I'm ranking teams 1-14 based on what they've accomplished so far this season. Not on what I think they will accomplish. So stop with those emails in advance. This is through week three.
4. South Carolina
6. Mississippi State
9. Texas A&M
10. Ole Miss