Week 9 of the college football season — and cold and rainy weather for your friends here in the east — is upon us! There are a number of interesting games to watch this week while you’re sitting inside because of the weather, and I’ll tell you which games you need to see. Before we get to any of that, though, you had some questions! Let’s answer them.
What season will the 12 team playoff start ?
— RDW (@dcowboy777) October 25, 2021
This is an outstanding question, and after the inevitable rogering Cincinnati’s going to get to end the year, probably sooner than later. I am vehemently opposed to a 12-team playoff, though, and here’s why: it won’t be used to benefit the “little” guys who get jobbed out of the current system. It will be used to squeeze in more P5 teams, just like the 68-team NCAA basketball tournament. This is not about getting the 12 best teams, but the 12 most profitable.
Conference realignment has changed the game, to be sure, but this will be portrayed more as a means to get the Cincinnati’s (though, again, they won’t be the “little guy” much longer) into the playoff instead of the reality, which is to get more 21-point underdog P5’s in to get wrecked while earning more cash for everyone.
Speaking of the Bearcats…
Cincinnati: Contender or pretender?
— Two Months left in the Key Demo (@nikkiaredhead) October 27, 2021
They’re a definite contender — assuming, of course, they don’t lose before the postseason arrives. Luke Fickell is a legitimate Power 5 coach, and Desmond Ridder is a fun dude to watch.
Cincinnati’s sports information department was kind enough to point out where the Bearcats rank among FBS teams:
That said, if they lose, they’ll be doomed to a lower-tier bowl outside the playoff and NY6 system. This is just how it works, unfortunately. If Cincinnati were Iowa and suffered a bad loss after being ranked second, they would still be right there in the hunt. Instead, all the voters and officials who don’t actually watch this team will shriek, “oh, but their schedule!” and send Cincinnati off to their well-deserved penance for daring to be outside the “club”.
Could we possibly have a 2-loss team in the playoff?
— Austin Nalley (@Unashamed_76) October 27, 2021
It’s funny you ask this — I just had an exhausting, seemingly hours-long argument with someone about why — in their view — a two-loss Alabama would be a shoo-in for the playoff. The flaw in that logic, though, is that Alabama could easily end up with three losses. Oregon’s not going if it loses again. Another loss eliminates the Ducks. Ohio State might make it — if, of course, they lose to either Michigan or Michigan State. If that loss comes to a damaged foe in the Big Ten title game, they’re also in trouble.
The only other two-loss team that might have a look at it — and I know the mojo I’m bringing by saying this — is Notre Dame. A loss to Virginia — double mojo! — is something it could withstand.
The really fun aspect of this is if it comes down to Oregon and Notre Dame, and Notre Dame has a win over Stanford that Oregon doesn’t have. Chaos would reign, and I would be here for it.
Love the question, love the momentum! Let’s go!
what's up with sailor hat mascots why is that a thing.
— riboflavin (@riboflavinLLC) October 27, 2021
I…I didn’t know sailor hat mascots were a thing. You’ve now sent me down a rabbit hole for them, though, and here we go.
This old thing from Banner Society was one of the first things I discovered in my quest. They had a sailor hat version of Bevo, and good mercy, look at this thing. This is TERRIFYING.
If I encountered that thing in a real-life scenario, I wouldn’t know whether I should shoot it or dismiss its hot takes.
There’s still the Oregon State beaver with a sailor hat, Rameses from UNC, and some others, but I’m really up in the air on whether or not these should be a thing.
(Please keep up the hot streak of awesome questions.)
Is it true that Winthrop University is undefeated?
— Kind of a BDill (@BDillon612) October 25, 2021
Let’s see. I could be all serious and journalistic about this and link to the study for people to read, or I could take you to the piece Bristow wrote (with the “Still Undefeated” t-shirts prominently featured), or I could just placate you.
Yes, Dillon, you’re still undefeated — both on the gridiron and in banishing me to the upper tank in the Coliseum while you bask in the grow of sitting courtside.
ANYWAY, I digress…
TRIVIA (answer at the end of the column): The last ACC Championship game that featured neither Clemson nor Florida State was the next-to-last game for one of the coaches. Which teams faced off in that game, and who was the coach who was coaching his penultimate game?
Now, on to what I’m watching — one game per conference, as usual. First, though, as usual:
DISCLAIMER: This article will reference gambling lines and game odds. This feature is not meant to offer gambling advice or influence any financial transaction, and should not be construed as such.
All lines from Caesars Sportsbook, except where otherwise specified. All times Eastern. All games Friday night or Saturday considered for selection. All times Eastern.
American: #19 SMU (7-0, 3-0) at Houston (6-1, 4-0), 7:00pm Saturday, ESPN2 (PK)
ACC: Louisville (4-3, 2-2) at NC State (5-2, 2-1, -6.5), 7:30pm Saturday, ACCN
Big Ten: #6 Michigan (7-0, 4-0, -4) at #8 Michigan State (7-0, 4-0), noon Saturday, FOX
Big 12: Texas (4-3, 2-2) at #16 Baylor (6-1, 3-1, -3), noon Saturday, ABC
CUSA: UTEP (6-1, 3-0) at FAU (4-3, 2-1, -11), 6:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Independents: Virginia (6-2, 4-2 ACC) at #25 BYU (6-2, -2.5), 10:15pm Saturday, ESPN2
MAC: Bowling Green (2-6, 0-4) at Buffalo (4-4, 2-2, -13.5), noon Saturday, CBSSN
Mountain West: Fresno State (6-2, 3-1) at #21 San Diego State (7-0, 3-0, -1), 10:30pm Saturday, CBSSN
Pac-12: Washington State (4-4, 3-2) at Arizona State (5-2, 3-1), 3:00pm Saturday, FS1
SEC: #10 Ole Miss (6-1, 3-1) at #18 Auburn (5-2, 2-1, -2.5), 7:00pm Saturday, ESPN
Sun Belt: ULM (4-3, 2-2) at Appalachian State (5-2, 2-1, -27), 3:30pm Saturday, ESPNU
AQ7: Central Arkansas (3-4, 2-2) at RV Jacksonville State (3-4, 1-1), 2:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Big Sky: #15 Sacramento State (5-2, 4-0) at Northern Colorado (3-5, 2-3), 3:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Big South: Gardner-Webb (3-4, 1-2) at #12 Kennesaw State (6-1, 3-0), 1:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
CAA: RV William & Mary (5-2, 3-1) at #4 Villanova (6-1, 4-0), 1:00pm Saturday, FloSports
Ivy: RV Dartmouth (5-1, 2-1) at Harvard (5-1, 2-1), noon Saturday, ESPN+
MEAC: SC State (3-4, 2-0) at NC Central (3-4, 1-0), 2:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Missouri Valley: #3 Southern Illinois (6-1, 4-0) at #16 Northern Iowa (4-3, 2-2), 5:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Northeast: Saint Francis (3-4, 2-1) at Duquesne (4-2, 2-1), 3:00pm Saturday, ESPN3
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay (3-4, 1-1) at #13(t) UT-Martin (6-1, 2-0), 3:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Patriot: Lafayette (2-5, 1-1) at Georgetown (2-4, 1-1), 12:30pm Saturday, ESPN+
Pioneer: Davidson (5-1, 4-0) at Morehead State (5-2, 4-0), 2:00pm Saturday, ESPN+
Southern: Furman (4-3, 2-2) at RV Chattanooga (4-3, 3-1), 1:30pm Saturday, ESPN+
Southland: McNeese State (3-4, 2-2) at #8 SE Louisiana (6-1, 4-0), 7:00pm Saturday, ESPN3
SWAC: Alabama State (3-3, 2-2) at Alabama A&M (3-3, 1-3), 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN3
TRIVIA ANSWER: I asked earlier: The last ACC Championship game that featured neither Clemson nor Florida State was the next-to-last game for one of the coaches. Which teams faced off in that game, and who was the coach who was coaching his penultimate game?
Virginia Tech clobbered Boston College, 30-12, on December 6, 2008, in Tampa. The Eagles then went on to the Music City Bowl, where they suffered their first loss in nine bowl games to Vanderbilt, 16-13. Jeff Jagodzinski, then the BC head man, interviewed with the New York Jets days after the game. Then-Boston College athletics director Gene DeFillippo fired Jagodzinski for interviewing, as he had threatened before the meeting took place. Jagodzinski would never be a head coach again, save for one season guiding the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks, in which he went 3-5.
Get your question in next week’s feature! Ask me at my Twitter inbox, or click the Follow button below!