College football look back
Lots of college football to get to on this, the final day of the 2010s.
First, looking back, have we undersold Trevor Lawrence's potential candidacy as Sportsman of the Year?
Dude torched Bama last January. He still has lost as many college starts as Spy and Chas combined. He had so much guts Saturday night against THE Ohio State, dude was spilling guts everywhere and sliding' around on the guts. (Side note: "Parenthood" is a sneaky great movie, and the Cowboy Gil scene at the birthday part is aces. "Ambush you little 4-footers.")
And he has one more year. CUH-razy.
(Cue the predictable sidebar in which media gasbag wonders how just the system is when Lawrence would be no worse than the second pick if he was eligible for the 2020 draft. In fact, if I was Oliver Luck and ran the XFL, I am telling Vince McMahon to offer Lawrence $15 million guaranteed for one season and land a marquee star for the league's first season. If I was Lawrence, I'd listen to the offer because a) that is life-changing money that you will forever have, and b) I would then challenge the NFL draft system and claim I was already a free agent with a year of professional football under my belt and open the bidding at $25 million a year rather than the slotted rookie deals.)
As we look back on the decade in college football, the face certainly is that of Nick Saban, who not only lifted Alabama to a place that even the most spoiled Alabama fans could not have imagined but reshaped the expectations of almost every major program and escalated the ticking clock on coaches' rebuilding programs.
My other top 5 college football moments/players of the 2010s:
Cam Newton, Trevor Lawrence, the Transfer Portal, the Kick Six, and (sorry Dro and Jules) Second-and-26.
We got our one official pick last night with Louisville. That makes us 9-7 in bowl picks against the spread. And that tail-whipping the Cards dropped on Mississippi State makes every Johnny Bulldogs Fan I know very uneasy for the immediate future, considering that Ole Miss just made the jazzy hire of the silly season and you're staring at the Yankee fellow who is daring folks to drag his tuckus out of Starkville.
And while we are in "immediate overreaction" mode in the bowl season, man, Dan Mullen and Florida are going to be a problem for the foreseeable future. That dude coaches his whistle off.
Let's get to the scores of the Bowling for Bowls of Bowl Game Success (Bowler optional):
Hudson C — 42
GoodLunch — 41
Lil 5-at-10 — 41
Jason G — 41
Gardner G — 40
Bo C — 40
Ernie — 39
Mrs. 5-at-10 — 39
Richard J — 38
Andrew W — 38
BackUpQB — 37
Andrew G — 37
BigBlue — 36
Sparky H — 36
Mark W — 34
Kevin C — 34
WarEagle! — 34
Spy — 33
Justin S — 33
Andrew O — 33
Ted P — 32
Mike W — 31
Mr Spud — 31
Gatorman — 30
Fat Vader — 30
Dawg747 — 30
CommodoreScot — 30
Big Brained Hal — 30
Jason T — 30
Bill H — 30
Jim L — 29
Chuck H — 29
Brent R — 28
IronBowlChamps — 28
Kyle O — 28
Michael J — 28
VFL (Bill) — 26
George A — 26
HGLIII — 26Chris B — 26
Chas — 25
TideTerry — 24
LionScot67 — 23
DC22 — 23
Pat B — 22
Kevin K — 22
Michael P — 22
Chris J — 22
Scott B — 22
Uch — 22
Ellis M — 22
Ted T — 22
Todd G — 22
GoDawgs — 22
Andy M — 21
Mark P — 21
BamaMike — 19
Mike R — 18
SportsFan — 18
Mike B — 17
Jeff N — 16
Tom P — 15
Bob V — 14
GBO (Mike) — 14
Gary M — 12
(As always, if you have a different score, please let me know and I will double-check the results.)
Who doesn't love a good carousel ride? Well, NFL coaches and quarterbacks likely don't.
It's an interesting spin cycle that comes on the Monday after the final Sunday of the NFL season.
Yes, we all expect that Jason Garrett will be shown the door in Dallas.
But, and please remember that I believe the Falcons should have canned Dan Quinn, the names being bandied about make it a little more feasible why Arthur Blank gave Quinn one more season in Flowery Branch.
What are the names that wow you on the coach market right now? I'll wait.
When Ron Rivera is by far the hottest girl at the dance, it's time to find a better dance.
Which brings us to the crazy fun QB carousel that will pick up speed soon, and will approach ludicrous speed (visor tip to the sorely underrated "Spaceballs") when February gets here.
Think of the names that will be available. Start with the possibilities of Tom Brady and Drew Brees being on the market, and know that future Hall of Famers like Rivers, Manning and Roethlisberger could be on the market or walk away from the game. (Yes, I think Big Ben will be back in Pittsburgh, but the others? Pack your helmets, boys.)
Then there are the wave of relatively younger QBs like Mariota, Winston and Bridgewater. Andy Dalton's time in Ohio is done. What happens in Miami?
Yes, Ryan Tannehill has played to a level that the Titans will be forced to give him something along the lines of four years for $80-90 million, especially if he takes the Titans into Foxboro and walks out with a "W" on Sunday.
But the rest? Who knows, and the biggest question will not be whether someone thinks they can get the most out of Mariota or be the QB whisperer that gets Jameis to protect the ball.
The biggest question with that many names in the hat could very well be affordability.
Because in a hard-cap league, would you rather have Andy Dalton at $8 million (roughly) — or possibly draft a Tua or a Herbert or a Jacob Eason in round one for less than that — or sign Winston at $18-20 million when that extra $10 million could be the difference in adding Amari Cooper or AJ Green to help whomever the new QB may be?
Buckle up, friends, because once this carousel starts spinning, it could be a wild ride.
This and that
— Speaking of the coaching carousel, I thought this was a very well-done story about the human side of firing a coach.
— Speaking of QBs, here's a look at the end for Eli Manning in NYC. I can say this, Manning was one of the nicest and most genuine superstars I've ever dealt with. When he was at the Times Free Press Best of Preps banquet, he could not have been approachable and respectful. Not sure where he lands next, but here's hoping he gets to leave the game on his terms.
— College picks today, yeah, I've got a few. First, a side question for the group: Should these count on my bowl record even if they are not part of the Fab 4? (I lean toward yes. Thoughts?) If Monday's picks count, we missed Florida — thought they would cover and the UVa quarterback made way more plays than I expected — but hit the Western Kentucky and the under. If those count, we are 11-8 rather than 9-7.
— As for our picks today: Give me Utah minus the 7 (buy that to 6.5, friends) over Texas. Yes, Utah was a win from the dance, but with this many seniors — and Kyle Winningham on the sideline — this feels like a chance to leave with a statement. I will take UK plus-3, Arizona State minus-4 and Navy minus-3 (buy it down).
— And I have a slew for New Year's Day. Give me the SEC sweep of Bama (minus-7), Auburn (minus-7), and Georgia minus-5.5. I also will ride with Oregon plus-3. Buy those convenient numbers, friends.
— In the non-football world, the voters' ballots for the baseball Hall of Fame are due today. Here's an interesting breakdown of 10 potential names, but if I had a ballot, I'm not sure I could get past six or seven names. (And yes, my ballot would include Bonds and Clemens.)
— I love the "End of the" whatever lists. Here's a strong one on the best 10 golf majors in the 2010s. Yes, Tiger last spring in Augusta was an easy 1, but there were some great picks and several of those majors were majorly entertaining. And man, the British Open had a heck of run in the 10s, all things considered, with four of the top six on that list. And Phil Mickelson was prominently featured in three of the top seven. (And his shot from the pine straw on 13 in '10 may have been the shot of the decade.)
— And here's TFP sports editor and prep ace Stephen Hargis on the top high school moments of 2019. Good times.
— One more college note, as TFP college football guru David Paschall shared here, the Alabama defense had to deal with a slew of hurdles. Among them was the injury to Dylan Moses, who was going to be the linchpin linebacker of the defense. Well, it appears that Moses is coming back in 2020 for another try to be that dude for the Bama D.
True or false on a Tuesday. True.
True or false, the XFL should break the bank for Trevor Lawrence.
True or false, you would rather have Andy Dalton for your NFL team than Winston. You'd take Dalton over Mariota.
True or false, Florida is back.
True or false, Dan Mullen is the second-best coach in the SEC.
And in honor of the last day of the decade, let's roll with the Rushmore of sports moments of the 2010s. Go.