5-at-10: College football playoff thoughts, election takeaways, a 108-point victory

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Georgia running back Kenny McInstosh stiff-arms Tennessee's Doneiko Slaughter during Saturday's game at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

Playoff rankings

So, UT is fifth in the playoff rankings. OK. We thought as much on Tuesday around these parts.

But, with the looming expansion of the playoff field from the current four spots to the expected dozen, let’s explore what the bracket would look like in that scenario.

Georgia would be the one seed, and the rest of the month — including the SEC championship — would be scrimmages in terms of chasing a national title. Sure, seeding matters, but after the bye, how much really.

THE winner between THE Ohio State and Michigan will be the two seed this year, and would be the two seed in a field of 12.

This year’s field of four will be filled with two from the collection of TCU, Tennessee, THE loser of Michigan-THE OSU and possibly a one-loss Pac-12 champ or if everything breaks really wonky, a one-loss Clemson. Maybe.

That’s it. That’s not a lot of drama, and 12 would invite more folks to the party. That’s good.

But making sure Tulane gets a chance to take a tail-kicking from Tennessee in a 12-5 game does not feel like championship stuff to me.

And that’s not even taking into account what it will do to some of the best games we’ve seen in recent years. 

To that end, if you check the polls, Alabama still is in. And then there is this: If there were 12 teams in the playoff field, LSU going to Atlanta — if the Tigers got pushed around by Georgia for its third loss — would hurt LSU’s chances of getting in the playoff.

So there/s that.   

To the polls

So Election Day came and went. Want to know a secret?

I did not watch a single minute of the TV news coverage. Sure, I searched for the results and read about the results. But I refused to watch those carnival barkers fan the flames of division any longer.

Done. With all of them.

As for the takeaways of the voting public, let’s review.

> It was nowhere close to the "red wave" of Republican success that was forecast. I do not believe that is a sign of support for the president, however, especially since he has the lowest approval rating in 40 years of a first-term president at the midterm elections. I think — at least I hope — that folks are starting to move more toward the middle, and certainly can hope to believe it’s a growing movement of folks voting for the person more than just the party.

> The unpredicted closeness of a lot of these races also points to the two clear issues that voters carried to the polls. The biggest of those is the economy, and I think when all the dust settles and the votes are counted, the Republicans will have a slight majority in each chamber of Congress. But the energy created on the left because of recent abortion decisions — the clear No. 2 issue in play — was bigger than anyone guessed.

> Control of Congress remains too close to call, which will mean we get a bunch of folks clamoring for recounts. And, it looks like my one wish from Tuesday — no run-offs in and around our area — is not only not going to come true. We may be in store for the mother of all run-offs since the U.S. Senate race between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock could decide control of the Senate. If we thought the ads were over the top before, wait until the national party officers wade into those muddy waters and bring their nine-figure budgets with them.

> He did not run, but Tuesday has to be viewed as a loss for Donald Trump as a majority of his hand-picked cast of candidates across the country either lost or are trailing as the final results are being tallied. 

> In this day and time of far-too-many losing candidates and parties complaining about the accuracy and the results, shouldn’t every voting commission and election organization everywhere have their machines triple-checked and their processes perfected by now? Jiminy Christmas, people. Let’s look at it this way. If you’re dating a crazy person who is filled with jealousy, they may overreact about work calling. But, if you're texting your ex, then you are giving them a reason to go into a jealous rage, you know? Kari Lake was going to complain about something in the election if she lost her bid to be Arizona’s governor regardless. But malfunctioning voting stations gives her a legit reason to base her complaints on now.   

> It is far past time for Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams to move along. You have each run multiple times. You have each been defeated multiple times. Go find something else to do. For your sake, and for ours. Heck, go to CNN. That way I’ll never hear you again.

Too many?

Is the Bryant basketball coach right? Or is he a poor sport, jackwagon who ran it up against an inferior foe?

Could it be some of each? 

OK, normally, Bryant basketball — unless we’re talking Kobe or maybe Big Country Reeves, the former Oklahoma State, buzz-cut-donning big man — is not a big talking point.

But after his team delivered a 147-39 win over Division III Thomas College — c’mon Tommy, play better D — BU coach Jared Grasso took offense to the suggestion that he ran up the score.

"I'm never going to tell my guys to stop playing hard,” Grasso told reporters afterward, “whether we're playing Thomas or we're playing Kentucky.”

Side question: Can we make Bryant vs. UK a thing and tell Coach Cal that Grasso hates Italians?

I understand his point. And I have always thought the poorest of sportsmanship would be a football team up 56 at halftime starting to take three knees and punt in the third quarter.

And this likely won’t surprise many of you but I have coached more than a few youth basketball games that got one-sided in a hurry. I did everything in my power to let all the girls score, but in youth hoops do you really want to tell your second-graders, “No Lisa, no more shooting” because it’s 24-2?

Now Grasso said he spread the minutes out but Bryant was still pressing until about 10 minutes left in the game, according to the report.  

More from Grasso after the blowout: “We play really hard, we pressure, we play fast and right now we have to improve. In terms of style of play, I can’t change what we’re going to do.”

OK, but like Ron Burgandy told Champ Kind, “Why don’t you stop talking now.” Yeah, maybe sit the next few plays out.

More from Grasso: “I don’t care about the score, I don’t care who we’re playing, it’s about us being mature enough to be up 50 points right now and show up and play the right way in the second half.”

Yeah, it can be some of each I suppose.

This and that

Brittney Griner is being transferred to a Russian penal colony. Is there an age that men can get to that "penal colony" does not elicit a chuckle? Discuss. 

— You know the rules. Here is Paschall on the Vols falling to fifth in the college football playoff rankings. Here’s Paschall on UT’s offensive minds lamenting the down-and-distance struggles against Georgia’s stellar defense. Side question: Of the modern-age clichés and word salads that have become common in football, the theories behind the importance of "getting behind (or ahead) of the chains" or "staying on schedule" as some call it, is downright 100% true, you know? 

— Example No. 3,201 of our selective outrage, especially when it comes to sports. Man, it’s downright staggering that Qatar is hosting the World Cup if you really think about it. Here’s one of the country’s ambassadors to the event saying that homosexuality was caused by “damage” in the brain. 

Today’s questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way:

Which feeling did you have this morning from Tuesday’s elections?

Which view do you have on Jared Grasso’s comments after a 108-point win over an overmatched foe?

Which is the proper pronunciation of Qatar, is it cutter or kah-tar, like guitar with a K? Thanks in advance.

As for today, Nov. 9, let’s review.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” debuted on this day in 1984.

Does fedora-wearing, claw-swinging demon Freddy Kruger make the Rushmore of Freddy? Discuss.