Couch Potato National Championship Edition: Alabama vs. Clemson again; yawn, can Clem beat Bama this time considering that Deshaun Watson is in the League?

I’ve been watching all kinds of sports TV to prepare this column for the 68 loyal readers who follow this thing, and I’ve got a burning question before I start answering how Clemson could beat Alabama for real, and how the line is down from Bama -6 to -4.5 despite the supreme confidence of Tide fans that the Dabos will be vaporized before the middle of the second quarter, kind of like Oklahoma and Notre Dame were in last week’s boring as hell semifinal games, which proved we really, really don’t need an eight-team playoff.

Outrage at men’s fashion commentary

We can do this like a video game – skip to the game commentary, or go down this rabbit hole with me. Somebody who knows, please, fill me in: Why do the hippest possible youth of today’s sporting media broadcast talent wear brown shoes with blue suits? See below.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: National sports commentator wearing brown shoes and athletic socks with a blue suit. Image: Couch Potato via iPhone X

OK, OK, this is a picture I took of an NFL show and not the College Football Playoff one because it went off before I could find my iPhone. But all those TV guys do the shoe and suit atrocity. Jesus said it and I believe it: blue and brown don’t go together. America’s ruined.

Actual Clemson vs. Alabama commentary

Is this getting old or is it the greatest rivalry in the history of all sport? Alabama and Clemson have played each other in three of the five national championship games, and last year Alabama beat Clemson in the semifinals on the way to an overtime win over Georgia, which is located in Athens, about halfway between Tuscaloosa and Clemson.

In the five-year history of the CFP, Alabama and Clemson have combined for 10 of the 14 games won. It’ll be 11 of 15 after Monday night.

So again we have two teams from the nation’s boondocks playing in Santa Clara, California, and anybody who actually wants a ticket has to travel 2,500 miles to get there.

Will the bold College Football Playoff experiment prove that college football is a regional thing, or will it be like chicken and waffles and bring the wonder of Southern Culture to the whole of America, which has yet to realize that the greatest NFL game ever played is twice as dull as watching Alabama and Clemson play twice a day from now until the 2019 college football season opener on Aug. 31?

Bama-Clemson matchups

Here’s the deal: If Clemson can knock Bama’s OL off the ball and control the line of scrimmage, limit big runs by Alabama’s 47 future NFL tailbacks and keep Tua Tagovaila scampering around so he can’t take deadly aim on his four blue-streak receivers, they have a chance to win. It would also help if they force several costly turnovers and injure a key player or two.

See, that’s what Georgia did and Georgia almost won as we have been incessantly reminded by video, gif, static image galleries and written content on all platforms available to the modern media. That doesn’t take into account that Tua was playing on a leg so bad that if he was a horse they would have shot him. The minute Bama put in a quarterback with two good wheels, the whupass poured down from the sky like a righteous rain of eternal vengeance so much that Kirby Smart called for a fake punt on fourth-and-long at midfield with four minutes left and the score tied because he knew no matter where Alabama got the ball they’d score in four minutes or less. Monday after the ball game, Tua had a surgical implantation of bionic, indestructible stainless steel tendons placed into his ankle and less than a month later he beat Oklahoma’s ass like a kettle steel drum in a reggae band, scooting around and throwing dimes at will to every eligible receiver in a red shirt. That doesn’t take into account that Oklahoma has the worst defense I ever saw.

Clemson will be missing defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who is the greatest player in human history as we have been constantly reminded three times an hour by somebody on ESPN since Dexter got caught with ostarine coursing through his veins. That’s some drug that’s supposed to make you do football better. I never tried, saw or heard of it, which shows you how out of the drug abuse loop I am.

Dexter plays the right side of the Tigers DL, but guess what? Deonte Brown, who would have been playing for Alabama right across from him, has also been suspended for some drug that Nick Saban won’t identify.

Clemson has plenty of good defensive linemen and Bama’s got a lot of good offensive linemen, but Albert Huggins isn’t as good as Dexter and Lester Cotton isn’t as good as Deonte or they’d be starting, wouldn’t they? I’d be tempted to call that one a wash if I hadn’t with my own eyes seen Notre Dame blow a couple of massive holes in the Clemson line over where Dexter would have been. Notre Dame is awful and their running backs couldn’t outrun a glacier so they couldn’t do anything with a five-yard-wide hole and the safety 20 yards downfield being the closest opponent to the ball. Alabama will definitely be able to generate maximum harm should a similar situation arise.

I can’t get over the fact that Clemson’s defense gave up 500 yards passing to South Carolina, either. South Carolina is a lot less good than Alabama, though I guess Clemson should be a tad more focused this week, it being the national championship game and all. But damn. Five. Hundred. Yards.

Clemson’s offense should be able to bang at the edges of the Alabama defense and make things unpleasant for the red boys. Alabama cornerbacks Savion Smith and Patrick Surtain got lit up like Salem witches by Oklahoma. But that was Kyler Murray holding the torch, and though I really like Clemson’s baby quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who’s going to play in the NFL when he grows up. He doesn’t play like a pure freshman, but he is, and Kyler is a stone killer, a battle-hardened Heisman Trophy war machine. Kyler’s best play is when he goes back to pass and nobody’s open so he can unleash his 4.3 forty on baffled linebackers who can do little more than watch him go by and holler to the safety to look out, he’s coming hard. Trevor’s got some scoots, but you will never see him playing centerfield for the Oakland A’s, which Kyler could be doing later this year if he wants to.

If it comes down to the kicking game – we might play overtimes until Wednesday morning, because they both suck.

I think Alabama’s a little better than Clemson and has two or three more horses. They’re good enough to win, and probably to cover 4.5 points.

I could be wrong, It wouldn’t be the first time.

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Coach Potato: OK, damn it, the College Football Playoff is here: Win or Go Home, bitches

I’ve been watching TV about the Alabama – Oklahoma game and I guess Kyler Murray has never been tackled in his life.

Looking at Oklahoma’s stats this year, I guess that could be true. I haven’t been able to find any pictures of the small, elusive quarterback taking a solid lick, and he does play in the Big 12, where they play defense only because it’s required.

He’s a world-class centerfielder playing quarterback, he was drafted in the first round by the Oakland As and got a few mil, but decided to play quarterback anyway, and he won the Heisman Trophy. He averaged 500 yards a game.

But he’s little. He’s listed on the roster at 5-11, 195 and I don’t buy it.

Dwayne Haskins, 6-foot-3; Kyler Murray 5-11; Tua Tagavaiola, 6-1

Here’s a picture of him standing between the two other Heisman finalists. Dwayne, over there on the left, goes 6-3, and Tua, on the right, is 6-1, and the two big boys weigh about 220. I’m going to say they both look like they outweigh him by more than 25, but it’s hard to tell when guys are wearing suits. But y’all, that guy is about 5-8. That would make Tua 5 inches taller, and Dwayne 7 inches taller. Look closely – he comes up to about the middle of Tua’s nose, and Dwayne could eat a doughnut off his head.

He’s definitely a blue streak and runs an honest-to-god 4.4 40-yard-dash. That’s faster than most wide receivers and all quarterbacks except Michael Vick. He’s got a good enough arm to throw out Trea Turner tagging up after a line drive to deep center.

But I’ve got a feeling that one of those creatures on the Alabama defense who weigh about 270 pounds and run a 4.8 could get an angle on him break him in two. Dylan Moses could spy him and meet him head on after a gain of about two, or Quinnen Williams could beat that freshman center and get in the backfield and say BOOM. At which point, Kyler’s agent may come running onto the field with an armful of bubble wrap.

And I think Alabama will win because they have a defense and Oklahoma doesn’t. Alabama’s defense gets a little confused sometimes and gives up big plays, but Oklahoma’s defense gives up big plays when they all know what they are doing.

Also, Alabama’s guys are mad because Kyler beat Tua in the Heisman. Tua played most of the season hurt.

Maybe they’d like to see how Kyler does after his head bounces off the ground a few times.

Alabama could lose this game, but I’d be really surprised.

Notre Dame vs. Clemson

All the gamblers are loading up on Notre Dame, and the line dropped from 14 to 12. Sometimes lines drop because smart money comes in, and sometimes they drop because a lot of stupid people bet more than a few smart ones.

The few times I have seen Notre Dame play I have been stunned by how slow they are. That is a bad thing to be against Clemson, who is really fast.

I’m sorry, I just think Clemson is going to beat these guys unmercifully. I know you all hope I’m wrong, but how often does that happen, really?

Couch Potato: OK, so you’re the CFP Committee, what do you do? Who gets in? Who gets screwed?

Georgia kicked Alabama’s ass for 58 minutes and 54 seconds before second-team quarterback Jalen Hurts, in for a busted-up Tua Tagavaiola, ran that winning touchdown in and ascended into Bama Heaven borne on the wings of an angel chorus singing OOOOoooooOOOOOO!

Alabama’s undefeated. They played some cakes along the way but with two hurt quarterbacks and their best defensive back on the sideline they mowed through the last four games of the season and in their wake left broken enemy warriors weeping by the waters of Babylon.

They’re in. Still No. 1.

Clemson and their freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who looks exactly like Sunshine in “Remember The Titans,” stomped Pittsburgh’s guts out and ate them, as anticipated. Could you make a case for Clemson to jump Alabama to the No. 1 slot? The ACC is a clown conference of stiffs and guys who play football because they weren’t tall enough to make the basketball team, so no.

Clemson’s in, No. 2

Georgia played an all but flawless game and would have probably won if not for the dumbest call in the history of football, a fourth-quarter fake punt on fourth-and-11 with the score tied that miraculously gained 2 yards instead of being stoned in the backfield because Alabama saw it coming and blew it up. Jake Fromm played his best game and looked better than the two guys who are going to finish first and second in the Heisman voting – Tua and Kyler Murray. Would you watch these two teams in a rematch? I would. 

Screw it. Georgia’s in, at No. 3, jumping Notre Dame because Notre Dame is slow as smoke off of shit and should be playing UCF in the Astro Bluebonnet Bowl.

But Notre Dame’s in at No. 4 because they’re Notre Dame and nobody else is.

Oklahoma doesn’t make it because their defense is godawful. Ohio State doesn’t make it because their defense is godawful, too. It’s not like their defenses take a lot of chances, give up some big plays but make a lot of interceptions and fumbles and sacks and force the game into the breakneck pace that favors their outstanding offenses. No. Their defenses just suck and suck defenses don’t get in the playoffs because Alabama will score 70 on you with two well quarterbacks and a month to get ready.

There are my picks. What are yours?

Couch Potato: Championship weekend – Oklahoma vs. Texas and Bama vs. Georgia only ones that matter

Championship weekend would be a lot more exciting if the games weren’t meaningless. Well, except for two, which might affect seeding. 

If things shake out the way everybody thinks it will, Alabama will beat Georgia and Oklahoma will beat Texas, which means we’ll have the battle of the electrifying quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa vs. Kyler Murray in the opening round. Good. Maybe a few people will watch it, which has been a bit of a problem for the College Football Playoffs. 

The viewership of the CFP hasn’t been as colossal as ESPN hoped when it signed a 12-year contract for seventy jillion pillion dollars. People aren’t watching TV as much as they used to because the Internet is destroying the world, and college football fans tend to watch their team with ardor and ignore any other team that they haven’t laid a bet on. 

That’s why we won’t be having an eight-team playoff until they figure out how to make it rain. That, and have eight teams that deserve to be there. 

If Georgia wins, Alabama and Georgia will both go to the playoffs and Oklahoma gets screwed, and so will the advertisers who bought time on the semifinal broadcasts. Ohio State is probably going to get screwed no matter what because Notre Dame went undefeated against a cake schedule, and Notre Dame is Notre Dame and they’re not. 

Anyhow. Whatever. Here we go.  

Big 12, Oklahoma vs. Texas, noon on ABC 

The only reason this game isn’t a yawn is because Texas somehow beat Oklahoma 48-45 during the regular season, which goes to show it can be done.  

Texas is weird this season and Oklahoma scores billions and plays no defense at all. The teams hate each other, which always improves watchability.  

Kyler Murray is amazing and fun to watch, but he’s listed at 5-foot-11 in the program and is probably more like 5-9, which means if he goes to the NFL he’ll be a punt returner. 

Sun Belt, Louisiana-Lafayette at Appalachian State noon on ESPN 

Lafayette, Louisiana is one of the greatest towns to eat in that ever was if you like fried food and gumbo, which I do. Boone, NC, is really pretty with mountains and trees and stuff.  

That is all I know about these teams. 

AAC, UCF vs. Memphis, 3:30 p.m. on ABC 

UCF lost its quarterback last week to a pretty grim-looking knee injury, and the new guy is a good runner but doesn’t pass as well. Memphis only lost 31-30 to these guys earlier in the year and could ruin a perfect season and incessant talk of fake national championships and deserving a berth in the playoffs. I have yet to meet an Alabama fan who is not fully in favor of UCF earning the right to challenge the Crimson Tide in the first round of the playoffs, which should tell you something. Memphis got beat by Navy and slaughtered by Tulane, so I gotta think UCF’s got a chance even with McKenzie Milton on crutches. 

SEC, Alabama vs. Georgia, 4 p.m. on CBS 

The one thing I see in Georgia’s favor is that there’s a close-to-unanimous consensus that Alabama will beat the hell out of them, and when that happens, a lot of the time the underdog wins. However, I’ve felt that way about Alabama’s games with LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn, and Alabama beat the hell out of all of them. Nevertheless, Georgia has an elite defense, even if it did give up 36 points to LSU, whom Alabama shut out. The Dawgs also have an excellent running game and Alabama has been less dominant against the run than usual – even underachieving Auburn had a 75-yard TD against them only it was called back by a holding penalty because of course it was. If Georgia can establish the run, make first downs, keep Tua off the field and score about 38 points … yeah, sure. 

ACC, Clemson vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. on ABC 

OK, last week Clemson looked so shitty against South Carolina that Dabo got mad at fans who said so and acted like he might leave and go somewhere he would be better appreciated. Within hours, Auburn started negotiating a cheaper buyout for Gus Malzahn if he wants to keep his job, which would be the dumbest financial decision ever made if Gus signs that piece of paper. Oh, I can have $32 million now and never have to work again, or I can keep my $7 million job another year if I take less than $32 million if you fire me next year after I lose all my best players? Sure! (Pro tip: Take the $32 million and go somewhere you don’t have to play Nick Saban every year). I don’t think Dabo will go to Auburn, but I never thought we’d be getting ready to send people to Mars in a few years, either, so I guess anything’s possible. Except Pittsburgh beating Clemson. Pittsburgh’s just fucking awful.

Northwestern vs. Ohio State, 8 p.m. on Fox 

Ordinarily, I’d say Northwestern and snowballs in Hell have a lot in common against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. But the Buckeyes are so flaky, it wouldn’t surprise me if they lost,  which would make Rose Bowl officials start playing Russian roulette with a full clip and one in the pipe because Northwestern has about 43 fans. But OSU looked good last week exposing Michigan as a big, slow team that played a weak schedule, and with a convincing win today would probably back into the playoffs if Texas could beat Oklahoma. The last time OSU backed into the playoffs against Alabama, they upset the heavily favored Tide and went on to win the national title. Past performance is no indication of future results.

COUCH POTATO: Former sports writer nightmare flashback – cell phone journalism yet haunts my dreams; UPDATES on Thanksgiving weekend games

I’m back covering Alabama. I’m at the university before a press conference with Nick Saban. I get a call from my editor. He tells me the state has declared bankruptcy and one of the editorial page writers has done a “humorous” piece on how we could solve this problem by having Oprah Winfrey buy the state of Alabama. As an “amusing” multimedia accompaniment, he wants me to get cell phone video of Saban saying “Roll Oprah,” as if to lead the rest of the population in a great cheer for our new overlord. It is the Friday before the Auburn game, I tell my editor. Saban won’t do it. The editor is mad at me. What’s wrong with me? Am I a fearful reporter? Am I not attuned to the new journalism? Perhaps somebody younger could do my job better than I could. Yeah, probably. Send him over. Bye.

The Egg Bowl Wrap-up; State ass beats Old Mississippi

Mississippi State’s ruthless obliteration was highlighted by a bench-clearing fist fight at the end of the third quarter that resulted in every single player on both teams being assessed a personal foul for being an asshole. It happened after Ole Miss scored a touchdown on a long pass after the clock had expired and the referees neglected to blow the whistle.

So anyhow, the players scuffle, an Ole Miss reserve QB comes off the bench to break up a tussle and then gets wailed by a Mississippi State DB and all hell broke loose. Guys were pulling off each others helmets and the refs waved their arms and the coaches ran on the field and half-heartedly tried to break up the melee. It was awesome.

Mississippi State won 1,000,000,000 to 3 or something. Good fight, though.

And as the weekend of mayhem continues:

No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State 8:30 p.m. (Friday), FOX 

One of Washington’s band buses slid off the slick road and tumped over on the way to Pullman. Nobody was hurt, but 58 kids had to go sit in a grammar school gym on Thanksgiving while school officials got them a new bus or something. But hey, people from the nearby towns brought them turkey and dressing and shit and fed them, which was very nice. I still want Washington State to win, but I hope the Washington band does a good job playing whatever bands play these days, probably Beyonce shit or something.

I’m for Washington State because Mike Leach is fucking insane (in a good way) and his quarterback Gardner Minshew started his career at Troy and transferred because he couldn’t beat out a guy named Brandon Silvers, the two coolest names for quarterbacks on one team in America at that time. Now Gardner Minshew has a silly-ass mustache and is on the cusp of a Rose Bowl berth or horrific disappointment and everybody at Washington State has has glued on fake mustaches because that’s what you do when your school is in a fucking desert.

One of Washington’s band buses slid off the slick road and tumped over on the way to Pullman. Nobody was hurt, but 58 kids had to go sit in a grammar school gym on Thanksgiving while they got them a new bus or something. But hey, people from the nearby towns brought them turkey and dressing and shit and fed them, which was very nice. I still want Washington State to win, but I hope the Washington band does a good job playing whatever bands play these days, probably Beyonce shit or something.

No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State Noon, FOX 

If Ohio State fucks up and wins this game they screw the Big Ten out of a playoff berth and cost the league millions. I actually think Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer may really be sick because he looked like death eating a cracker last week during his team’s 52-51 win over Maryland in the ugliest game ever played. He’s got some brain thing that makes his head hurt worse than mine does every time I think about him letting a wife beater stay on his staff for 12 years or so. But bless his heart anyway. Ohio State has bumbled around and managed to win all of them except a ruthless ass-beating at the hands of Purdue. Michigan is all the way up to No. 4 and will play probably Alabama in the first round of the playoffs if it wins this one and then slaughters Northwestern or whoever in the bullshit championship game which can accomplish nothing but screwing the Big Ten out of millions if Northwestern or whoever wins.

Georgia Tech at No. 5 Georgia Noon, SEC Network 

This one’s worth watching if you are an SEC fan and want to see if there’s a chance Georgia can upset Alabama in the SEC Championship Game next week because there’s a 13-1 chance you hate Alabama and hope anybody beats them.

No. 13 Florida at Florida State Noon, ABC 

As bad as Florida is, Florida State is worse. What a shitshow. USF and UCF got just enough good players away from them recruiting to make the state standard bearers suck against real competition while the lesser lights post fantastical records against teams that couldn’t beat Thompson High School in Alabama, where Tua Tagovaiola’s little brother is imposing his will upon all who come forth to challenge him.

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama 3:30 p.m., CBS 

Even if Auburn wins, which is highly unlikely since the War Damns are bad at scoring and Alabama is good at tackling ballcarriers and making quarterbacks pee their pants. Even if Alabama lost, it still goes to the SEC Championship Game and probably beats Georgia and goes to the playoffs to face Clemson in the first round. Yawn. Alabama looked like shit in the first half last week against Citadel and retired to the locker room tied 10-10, which means Alabama’s shitty November game was against a team that could not have won if it had deployed a small thermonuclear weapon in the second half. Also, Tua’s out of his knee brace and Jalen is back healthy, and the defense got lethal while they were both hurt. The only thing Auburn has to play for is to save Gus Malzahn’s job again like they did last year, and do they really want to do this? Get real. Despite all the public assurances from Auburn officials that Gus’ job is in no danger, we all know that’s bullshit and if Alabama wins 50-0 or something his ass is as gone as the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. And like all former members of the U.S. House of Representatives who got ass-beat in their last elections, Gus will depart public life bearing a suitcase of memories and the sort of wealth that can only be amassed by playing the game (not football, the real game) just well enough that The Man wants you to leave happy, lay low, stay out of the way, say all the right things and do whatever you’re told if ever called upon, a day that may never come.

No. 3 Notre Dame at USC 8 p.m., ABC 

Way back a long time ago when Notre Dame was really good, that Notre Dame went to Southern Cal and that Southern Cal beat them on the last play of the game or something, and the parallels are so similar commentators have reached back to that distant time to see if they could find something to write about this week. Could this happen again with this Notre Dame and this Southern Cal? Fuck, no. USC is awful, and Tua stayed at Alabama instead of transferring because he wasn’t playing much last year. I watched Notre Dame beat the snot out of Syracuse last week in New York, dressed like clowns in pinstriped uniforms to resemble those of the New York Yankees. You know, maybe if Notre Dame does get in the playoffs now and then, and if they come to their senses and join a shitty conference they can win a lot in football and get nice chunks of change from the NCAA basketball tournament (ACC, cough, cough, ACC), they’ll make enough money they don’t have to wear goofy-ass uniforms so they can sell replicas online to create a revenue stream.

 

 

Couch Potato: It’s Rivalry Weekend! And all the rivalry games this season suck except Michigan at Ohio State and it sucks, too, if you think about it (Michigan will probably beat their ass).

No. 22 Mississippi State at Ole Miss; 7:30 p.m. (Thursday), ESPN 

If this game was worth a damn, it wouldn’t be on Thanksgiving night. Ole Miss is riding a one-game win streak in this godawful series, a miracle in itself considering that Ole Miss was awful last year, too. It’ll be the last hurrah for State’s giant quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who during his career has lit up defenses like a candle in the wind, never knowing who to cling to when the rains set it. His Heisman candidacy went over like a turd in a punchbowl, but he might make a middling NFL H-Back so he’ll make more money than we ever will. Whatever. Watch this game if you have absolutely nothing else to do and there’s no more pumpkin pie. They play for a big-ass trophy that’s supposed to be a giant, gold football but looks more like an egg, so they call it the Egg Bowl. That, and jokes about public hangings by candidates for the U.S. Senate, are what pass for humor in Mississippi.

No. 8 UCF at USF 4:15 p.m. (Friday), ESPN 

Well, I guess this is a rivalry because these are the two directional Florida schools that have popped up like fungus in a tidal pool since Florida has gotten way too many people and gone to hell. Fake national champion UCF will be looking to extend its billion-game win streak and add to its legend as the greatest football team in the history of Fuck.

No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 12 West Virginia 8 p.m. (Friday), ESPN 

If you ever wondered what football would have been like if back when it was invented they decided not to use people on defense but instead made the offense hide their eyes while they randomly placed 11 cinderblocks around the field to see if the offensive guys tripped over them before scoring — this game is what that would have been like.  Which isn’t all bad, and probably would have resulted in fewer players getting CTE so that they have dementia when they are 42.

No. 16 Washington at No. 7 Washington State 8:30 p.m. (Friday), FOX 

I’m for Washington State because Mike Leach is fucking insane (in a good way) and his quarterback Gardner Minshew started his career at Troy and transferred because he couldn’t beat out a guy named Brandon Silvers, the two coolest names for quarterbacks on one team in America at that time. Now Gardner Minshew has a silly-ass mustache and is on the cusp of a Rose Bowl berth or horrific disappointment and everybody at Washington State has has glued on fake mustaches because that’s what you do when your school is in a fucking desert.

No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State Noon, FOX 

If Ohio State fucks up and wins this game they screw the Big Ten out of a playoff berth and cost the league millions. I actually think Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer may really be sick because he looked like death eating a cracker last week during his team’s 52-51 win over Maryland in the ugliest game ever played. He’s got some brain thing that makes his head hurt worse than mine does every time I think about him letting a wife beater stay on his staff for 12 years or so. But bless his heart anyway. Ohio State has bumbled around and managed to win all of them except a ruthless ass-beating at the hands of Purdue. Michigan is all the way up to No. 4 and will play probably Alabama in the first round of the playoffs if it wins this one and then slaughters Northwestern or whoever in the bullshit championship game which can accomplish nothing but screwing the Big Ten out of millions if Northwestern or whoever wins.

Georgia Tech at No. 5 Georgia Noon, SEC Network 

This one’s worth watching if you are an SEC fan and want to see if there’s a chance Georgia can upset Alabama in the SEC Championship Game next week because there’s a 13-1 chance you hate Alabama and hope anybody beats them.

No. 13 Florida at Florida State Noon, ABC 

As bad as Florida is, Florida State is worse. What a shitshow. USF and UCF got just enough good players away from them recruiting to make the state standard bearers suck against real competition while the lesser lights post fantastical records against teams that couldn’t beat Thompson High School in Alabama, where Tua Tagovaiola’s little brother is imposing his will upon all who come forth to challenge him.

Auburn at No. 1 Alabama 3:30 p.m., CBS 

Even if Auburn wins, which is highly unlikely since the War Damns are bad at scoring and Alabama is good at tackling ballcarriers and making quarterbacks pee their pants. Even if Alabama lost, it still goes to the SEC Championship Game and probably beats Georgia and goes to the playoffs to face Clemson in the first round. Yawn. Alabama looked like shit in the first half last week against Citadel and retired to the locker room tied 10-10, which means Alabama’s shitty November game was against a team that could not have won if it had deployed a small thermonuclear weapon in the second half. Also, Tua’s out of his knee brace and Jalen is back healthy, and the defense got lethal while they were both hurt. The only thing Auburn has to play for is to save Gus Malzahn’s job again like they did last year, and do they really want to do this? Get real. Despite all the public assurances from Auburn officials that Gus’ job is in no danger, we all know that’s bullshit and if Alabama wins 50-0 or something his ass is as gone as the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. And like all former members of the U.S. House of Representatives who got ass-beat in their last elections, Gus will depart public life bearing a suitcase of memories and the sort of wealth that can only be amassed by playing the game (not football, the real game) just well enough that The Man wants you to leave happy, lay low, stay out of the way, say all the right things and do whatever you’re told if ever called upon, a day that may never come.

No. 3 Notre Dame at USC 8 p.m., ABC 

Way back a long time ago when Notre Dame was really good, that Notre Dame went to Southern Cal and that Southern Cal beat them on the last play of the game or something, and the parallels are so similar commentators have reached back to that distant time to see if they could find something to write about this week. Could this happen again with this Notre Dame and this Southern Cal? Fuck, no. USC is awful, and Tua stayed at Alabama instead of transferring because he wasn’t playing much last year. I watched Notre Dame beat the snot out of Syracuse last week in New York, dressed like clowns in pinstriped uniforms to resemble those of the New York Yankees. You know, maybe if Notre Dame does get in the playoffs now and then, and if they come to their senses and join a shitty conference they can win a lot in football and get nice chunks of change from the NCAA basketball tournament (ACC, cough, cough, ACC), they’ll make enough money they don’t have to wear goofy-ass uniforms so they can sell replicas online to create a revenue stream.

 

 

Couch Potato: Notre Dame and UCF play teams good enough to beat them; Alabama, Auburn and Georgia face pay-for-play opposition; UAB carries hope and courage forward to Texas A&M, who really needs to win for appearances’ sake

For the most part it’s Cupcake Saturday, with most relevant teams playing patsies clocking in to take a beating and a million-dollar check for their trouble. Think of it as intercollegiate football sadomasochist prostitution for the entertainment of the masses. DOMINANCE! and submission… Notre Dame and Syracuse is a more-or-less real game with actual consequences. Harvard v. Yale is important if you went to either school, but if you did, you probably are too busy oppressing the proletariat to read this shit. Cincinnati will cause a lot of trouble for the AAC (Awful, Awful Conference) standings if it upsets UCF this week.

Ohio State at Maryland, 11 a.m., ABC 

The Buckeyes can beat up on the most dysfunctional team in football this week in preparation for their real game next week against Michigan, the de facto Big Ten championship since the winner plays Northwestern, which is a good school but so-so in football. Maryland put their coach on probation because last spring a player got heat stroke and they did everything you can do wrong for a kid with heat stroke before they called an ambulance, so he didn’t make it. As it turned out, the whole program was about as fucked up as you’d think it had to be for something like that to happen. Then they rehired him, then they fired him like two days later when everybody who knew anything about the mess went “WHAT????” It may be the worst shit I’ve heard since Jerry Sandusky. Go Buckeyes, and that’s the last time you’ll hear me say that.

Michigan State at Nebraska, 11 a.m., Fox

Michigan State, the worst offensive team imaginable, is a 2-point favorite over the wretched Nebraska. I guess they think the Spartans will manage a safety while holding the Corn Boys scoreless. This has a chance to be the worst game ever played.

Arkansas at Mississippi State, 11 a.m., ESPN  

Mississippi State is mad because they didn’t score against Alabama and only managed to hurt Tua a little bit. Can they cover the 21-point spread. Probably, but one of the few things Arkansas has been good at this year is covering point spreads against teams that are much better than they are.

Harvard vs. Yale (at Boston), 11 a.m., ESPN2 

It doesn’t matter who wins this game to anybody who didn’t go to one school or the other, but all the real people really should watch for a quarter just to see how slow these people are. If I had been smart enough, I probably could have played at least defensive line for Harvard, and I might have made the track team as a middle-distance runner if they’d let me drink whiskey before races.

The Citadel at Alabama, 11 a.m., SEC Network

The only mystery surrounding this game was if gimpy-kneed Tua would step foot onto the field of play, which Nick Saban said he would because you never disrespect an opponent by not beating the shit out of them to the full extent of your capability to do so. Alabama has the two best quarterbacks in the SEC and they’re both hurt. Jalen Hurts’ alleged “high ankle sprain” required surgery and he’s still walking around like I do when the gout kicks up. Alabama always fades a little in November because of injuries. Last year it was all those linebackers when the defense was carrying the team and this year it’s the quarterbacks. So the defense is back to carrying the team again, as usual, which as worked out pretty well shutting out LSU and Mississippi State. True science fact: If the other team does not score, you will win.  It might be a good idea to take Citadel and the 52 points, because that’s a metric fuck-ton of points under the circumstances. Will Auburn put up a fight next week? For a couple of quarters, yeah, but they’re not so good at scoring.

Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (at Bronx, N.Y.), 1:30 p.m., NBC 

Syracuse is the last, best hope of keeping Notre Dame out of the playoffs. The Irish schedule has been softer than a basket of kitties. Syracuse is a top-20 team and has beaten some people that field teams that look like they’ve seen a football a time or two. They’re playing in Brooklyn, and the Irish are wearing pinstripes to honor the Yankees. Why? Who knows why Notre does all that kinky shit with their uniforms. What do they have to prove? Doesn’t being Notre Dame inspire enough enthusiasm to play one’s hardest? Do you have to dress up like a clown? Just put on the gold hats and the blue shirts and go beat asses. :::Sigh::: Murca’s rurned.

Missouri at Tennessee, 2:30 p.m., CBS 

Tennessee, rising like a phoenix from ashes that have been scattered, pissed on and buried, is getting better every week and has one good conference win already against Auburn, but that was on the road. Missouri is pretty good but bad enough to lose at historic (that is to say, crumbling) Neyland Stadium. A win here would be outstanding public relations before the loyal fans who have suffered indignities untold for about 20 years or so, since last the proud Vols showed any indication of being worth a shit.

Massachusetts at Georgia, 3 p.m., SEC Network; Liberty at Auburn, 3 p.m., SEC Network alternate.

Jesus. What a fucking joke. I wonder if the Citadel could beat Massachusetts or Liberty? And can Auburn or Georgia beat Alabama? If Tua’s hurt and Jalen can’t play, yeah, they can.

UAB at Texas A&M, 6 p.m., ESPN2 

UAB’s football program got strangled in its crib in 2014 when the university president called a meeting and told the team they were disbanding after a 6-6 season, which was really good under the circumstances of being not very good but gritty and well coached. After great hue and cry from the  approximately 923 people who gave a shit, the Blazers have been resurrected and are 9-1 this year against a schedule that included wins over, oh, North Texas, Southern Miss, Rice and La. Tech.

So today, it’s on to College Station and Texas A&M, which could have won all its games this year except Alabama, but Jimbo Fisher really doesn’t need a home loss to UAB if he’s going to continue the illusion of competence necessary for resurrecting the Aggies, who didn’t drop their program, but just sucked ever since that lunatic Johnny Manziel went on to ignominy in the pros.

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network 

Ole Miss has had its moments this year, but accumulated a lot of bad karma by running the score up on the poor kids who played for schools who sacrificed their teams on the altar of a big guarantee check. They enter today’s contest having lost three straight games to Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M, and this is their last realistic shot at a league win. They beat poor Arkansas 37-33 a few weeks back in a game that was sort of exciting to watch if you didn’t have two praying mantises to drop in a jar so they’d fight, which would have been more entertaining by far. Vanderbilt beat poor Arkansas, too, and needs to win this one and beat Tennessee next week to qualify for a shitty bowl. Lots of luck. Commies.

Cincinnati at Central Florida, 7 p.m., ABC 

Cincinnati is 10-1. Fake national champion UCF is undefeated, as their fans will tell you if you make eye contact with one. If Cincy wins, it will create a three-way tie for their half of the AAC (Awful, Awful Conference), at least for this week. Cincinnati’s only loss came to Temple, whom UCF beat but gave up 10,000 yards. In next week’s season finale, Cincinnati has to play East Carolina, another Awful, Awful standard bearer, which is incredibly terrible, even by this league’s standards. UCF has to play South Florida, which is nothing much, but has shown signs of life. Temple plays South Florida this Saturday and UConn next week, so I guess they could lose one of those, and I sort of hope they do. If there’s a three-tie and a disputed crown in the Slightly Better Division of the Awful, Awful Conference, I don’t want to hear about it. But we will. We sure will.