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Georgia Football

What if Kirby Smart Were 0-4 Like Some in the Big Ten? Yikes!

November 15, 2020

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ATHENS - It sure does look like Notre Dame is for real - what that means for the College Football Playoff isn’t totally known yet. 

But the Irish looked about as good as anyone outside of Alabama so far this season. Ian Book is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He makes all sorts of trouble for defenses with his legs. 

He’s good, and Notre Dame does, in fact, look like the second-best team in the nation. Florida, meanwhile, continued to score at will Saturday. Arkansas showed some fight, but this senior-laden Gator squad is playing the best football of the year right now. They are surging at the right time. 

I’m skeptical that will be enough to top Alabama, but if that happens you will have two SEC teams in the College Football Playoff again. The breakdown, right now, is pretty simple. Both Alabama and Notre Dame are in. Even with a loss for either team, they’ve done enough to get into the playoff even as one-loss teams. 

Ohio State will probably have to win out, but not much is in their way (more on that soon). Like much of the SEC, the Buckeyes didn’t play Saturday. That leaves the other spot in the playoff, and that will come down to if Clemson beats Notre Dame in the ACC title game. 

If Clemson takes another loss in that game, or before it, the Tigers will miss the playoff. That seems unlikely. But, once more, Norte Dame really did look good for the second week in a row. In the event that the ACC doesn’t send two teams to the CPF you are looking at Texas A&M entering as the No. 4 team. That would be quite a way to get into the playoff. 

But nothing has to make sense generally speaking, and certainly not in 2020. A&M has a solid win over the Gators, and while the back end of their schedule has name-brand teams like Tennessee, LSU and Auburn on it, the likelihood is that the Aggies won’t lose a game from here no out. 

Imagine a team with a five-point victory over Vanderbilt being in the CFP. Clemson had a loss to 4-8 Syracuse in 2017... so it happens. 

Speaking of brand names - the Big Ten is a wreck. When I say nothing is in Ohio State’s way I mean that Michigan and Penn State have a combined win between one another. Clearly change is coming in the upper midwest. 

One win. I’m not sure were to start. The natives are past restless with Jim Harbaugh. According to numerous reports his buyout is about $10 million. This is year seven for him at Michigan. The Wolverines have one top-ten finish in that time to show for it. He’s never finished a season with fewer than three losses. He’s got a losing record to Michigan State and has yet to defeat Ohio State. 

That Wisconsin carved Michigan up Saturday night is going to raise the level of chatter even higher that Harbaugh is done. Frankly, it is obvious he is done - the question is when it will happen. You can’t keep on like this. This isn’t getting better. It is getting worse. 

It is time. 

Then there’s James Franklin. That guy. No one in the SEC is surprised by anything Franklin does, or the sort of foolishness he participates in. Maybe a lack of fans in the stands has prevented Frankling from getting into it with them this season. Maybe he needs more of that in his life. Post-game confrentations have been a pattern with Franklin. 

Going 0-4 to start the season at Penn State is eye opening. Florida State has a win in 2020. This just after a contract extention for Franklin.

How in the world is Penn State 0-4? They’ve played Indiana, Ohio State, Maryland and Nebraska. There’s no excuse for not scratching out a win. None. I get that the Big Ten is straight garbage (please don’t use Indiana or Purdue as your excuse to tell me that league is good), but Penn State - a place that has resources the likes of which nearly everyone in the country outside of Ohio State and Michigan would love - can’t win once in a month?

Thing is, Franklin was the guy folks were talking about taking over what has become a mediocre USC program this past winter. He leveraged that into a fancy new contract at Penn State. The buyout right now?

$38.4 million. 

Could you imagine the reaction in Athens if Kirby Smart were 0-4? 

Who agrees to these contracts? In what world is James Franklin worth that sort of money? You think things have been bad this season for athletic departments? Wait until reality hits at places like Penn State, Michigan, USC, Tennessee and South Carolina, and you have to or want to making a coaching change and you can’t because of the idiotic financial burden you have put on your school. 

South Carolina knows it is going to have to make a decision at some point on Will Muschamp. I have been told that could come as soon as Sunday, but that’s very foggy right now. His buyout after this year is $13.3 million. I speak with full confidence when I tell you Carolina doesn’t have that sort of money to pay after a 2020 season that’s rocked schools - even those in the money-flush SEC.

One thing that’s become more clear as this season has gone on is how important the SEC is to the sport. Today we missed out of Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama playing. Those are three of the top four teams in the league. That LSU-Alabama wasn’t played today - you start getting confused by the calendar. I am having to calibrate that we are more than halfway through November.

The Masters is on. I can barely tell what’s going on out there. This is the time of the year when Auburn and Georgia get together in games that always seem to matter so much. The two teams played what seems like months ago. 

My yearly equilibrium is off in a major way. At this point we think Georgia will play Mississippi State and its high-flying circus next Saturday night… but we don’t know that. There’s a stipulation in the SEC now that teams can change who they are playing so long as those teams are still on the schedule. 

That means Georgia will likely still play State at home Saturday night, but they could host Vanderbilt or even travel to Missouri or Carolina. 

Got that? 

What a mess. Georgia needs to play as many games as it can this season. There are a slew of younger and inexperienced players on the roster that need to play. That we can’t tell who the Dawgs will be playing, or even where it will be played (Monday night is the deadline for the games to be moved) is extremely difficult. 

We don’t even know when UGA’s makeup against Missouri will take place - that could happen this week, or next week, or December 12th or 19th. Some of us have lives to coordinate. But, again, no matter where they play Georgia needs to play.

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