This weekend I’ll be making a special trip south of Mason-Dixon to SEC territory for a basketball/football Fri/Sat, so I will not have a chance to watch a lot of games this weekend. So, here are a few good games to watch along with a few storylines to pay attention to.
- (24) Northwestern vs. Michigan: If you must watch a game at noon, this is the game to watch. It is the only noon game that features a ranked team playing a team above .500. Both teams are bowl-eligible, and Michigan is tied at the top of the Legends division with Nebraska. Nebraska has beaten Michigan twice (2000, 2008) in the past 10 meetings. Noon, ESPN.
- (11) Oregon St. vs. (14) Stanford: I know some of you love Gus Johnson (I do not; he is terrible), so he’ll be announcing arguably the second best game of the entire day. Update: Gus Johnson will be calling the Kansas State vs. Texas Christian game. If either team has hopes of playing in the Pacific-12 Championship Game, this is a must-win. If you have been under a rock for the first ten weeks of the season, Oregon State exceeded everyone’s expectations by winning their first seven of eight games in 12 years. Stanford has won three in a row and improved to 5-0 at home since losing to Notre Dame in October. This should be a high scoring affair. 3pm, FOX.
- (15) Texas A&M vs. Alabama: Surprisingly this is a day game in Tuscaloosa and if last week’s game is an indication of how good—or bad—Alabama is, Texas A&M’s offense will surely put them to the test. Alabama has not allowed an opponent to score more than 17 points all season and the Aggies have not scored less than 30 points, but average 45.5 points in nine games. In fairness, Texas A&M did score 70 versus South Carolina…State. Either way, this is the best game at 3:30pm. CBS.
- (21) Mississippi State vs. Louisiana State: I had to go full names on you there. Anyway, this is the only game worth watching at seven, and the only to feature two ranked teams. Both teams have the same record and are at polar opposite positions in the same division. MSU capable of beating up bad teams and losing to good teams; LSU only capable of winning games when Lucky Les has his horseshoe. That said, MSU needs to stop the run to win and LSU needs to do exactly what it did last week against Alabama, minus the last two minutes. LSU should win this game if it does that, but do not count out MSU and Dan Mullen. This would be a signature win for him and the Bulldogs.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s revisit an old post from this season. Earlier this season I told you about ten coaches who were on the hot seat. One of them, Joker Phillips – Kentucky, has already been terminated, but there are several others that should be fired:
- Derek Dooley – Tennessee: I have to be honest; I will be very surprised if he survives past this season. The Volunteers started well early, but have sputtered with less than awesome quarterback play. IF Dooley can manage to beat Missouri, Vanderbilt, Kentucky AND win a bowl game they’ll finish 8-5. ELSE insert a number of possible coaches including Jon Gruden who has personal ties to Tennessee. Dooley is a nice person, but not ready to coach at a program the size of Tennessee.
- John L. Smith – Arkansas: I ALMOST feel bad for John L. because he wants you to have passion for his football team, then I remembered he was making $850,000 for a 10-month contract. That is a contract any working person, public or private sector, would appreciate. That said this team is arguably this seasons most overrated team. Smith left Weber State without coaching a game to coach at Arkansas in what was supposed to help him return to a FBS school. Based on this year, that will not happen. Smith will be fired, but do not be surprised if he appears at another school next year. I doubt he gets another FBS opportunity, but he will be coaching somewhere next year…or collecting social security.
- Frank Spaziani – Boston College: Honestly Spaziani was a bad fit in Chestnut Hill from the beginning. Like Joker Phillips, he was an assistant that was promoted to coach at a high profile school. I know, BC is not considered “high-profile,” but it is a well-known school, in a big conference, in a big city. Spaziani is more than likely gone, but he can gain a little bit of leverage by beating Notre Dame this week. The last two times the Irish have been 8-0 they have lost to Boston College.
- Gene Chizik – Auburn: Truth—he would not have a job had Cam Newton won him a National Championship. Auburn is 4-4 (2011) and 0-6 (2012) in Southeastern Conference play since winning said national championship. No, Auburn is not Alabama, but it is a program that should be competitive every year. Chizik’s teams have been terrible on offense and defense over the past two years and even with a championship, he has not been able to recruit well. Chizik could possibly save himself with a bowl game victory this year, but in order to do that he has to beat Georgia and Alabama A&M in Auburn, then travel to T-Town and beat Alabama. Good luck with that.
- Mack Brown – Texas & Frank Beamer – Virginia Tech: Neither of these two terrible coaches are likely to be fired, but they have been poor performers when games have been on the line over the past four years. As I wrote about earlier this year, Beamer is terrible in any stadium not named “Lane Stadium As nice as Mack Brown is either he or his coaching staffs cannot matchup with the new look offenses Texas is facing in and out of the conference. These two men have to improve their programs or the grumblings for their ouster will continue to get louder and louder.
Enjoy this weekends games. Also, Josh (@RailbirdJ) and I will be recording a special college football edition of the MTAF Podcast tonight. If you have anything specific you want us to talk about tweet us or leave a note in the comments section.