We’ve reached the tip of the practice line for this function in 2023, and it occurred rapidly. Lots has been determined — we have now some convention championship matchups set, a number of coaches fired, and many enjoyable video games deliberate for our ultimate week of the piece this yr.
Don’t bore us — get to the refrain.
It’s time for the 4 largest tales from the week prior in faculty soccer. Settlement isn’t required, however I can provide you a nasty Yelp evaluation for those who don’t.
SEC sackings: It’s wild to say this, however we’ve had two SEC coaches canned within the span of every week. Mississippi State clipped Zach Arnett, whereas Texas A&M obtained Jimbo Fisher.
It’s an fascinating story of contrasts, in that Arnett didn’t even make it a full season in Starkville earlier than drawing the axe. Rumors swirled in regards to the relationships between Arnett and his workers. He additionally — allegedly — didn’t get alongside nice with the folks pulling the strings inside the program. Nonetheless, it’s fairly jarring to see the transfer come that rapidly.
Fisher, in the meantime, walks away from Faculty Station with a $76 million parachute. He all the time appeared an odd match for A&M, and now he’ll go someplace — the West Virginia devoted appear to need him there, regardless of Neal Brown lastly having a stable sufficient Mountaineer membership — for his subsequent endeavor.
Deion Sanders’ title instantly got here up — cease that foolishness, folks — and Dabo Swinney was talked about at A&M nearly inside minutes. I believe you may get a man like Jeff Traylor at A&M and be extraordinarily pleased with that rent. If it have been after subsequent season, G.J. Kinne’s title would possibly come up on a preliminary listing. I’m questioning if Mississippi State doesn’t attain out to Wealthy Rodriguez, which might not be the splashy rent it will have been a decade in the past, however may be the most secure title of the lot.
Time to Lea-ve: Might Clark Lea be the nest SEC coach to go? Vanderbilt obtained completely trounced by South Carolina final week, and Lea has 9 wins in elements of three seasons in Nashville. The Commodores appeared to at the very least be shifting towards the floor a bit final season with a 5-7 end, however they’ve fully cratered — once more — this yr in a 2-9 (0-7 SEC) marketing campaign. Lea being an alum would possibly purchase him one other yr, however Vanderbilt now finds itself in the identical malaise as Virginia and Stanford.
Vanderbilt is next-to-last in complete offense, final in complete protection, next-to-last in speeding offense — hilariously, main solely South Carolina in that class — and close to the underside in nearly each different statistical class of significance.
Hooking on: Texas held a 26-6 lead on the half towards TCU and appeared poised to pummel the Horned Frogs. As a substitute, Texas solely obtained a Bert Auburn subject aim within the second half in squeaking out a 29-26 victory. The win proved particularly Pyrrhic as working again Jonathon Brooks went down with a torn ACL within the recreation. The Longhorns survived Quinn Ewers’ damage, and now they get to play the remainder of the season with out Brooks.
Ava-loss: Together with the dismissals at A&M and Mississippi State, Boise State clipped Andy Avalos this previous week. Avalos wraps up his tenure at Boise with a 22-14 (17-6 Mountain West) document. The rumors have already began about Bryan Harsin coming again to Boise. That may’t occur, proper? Proper?
On this column, we wish Jason Eck to take that job. Do the proper factor, Boise. Convey our man to the Smurf Turf.
And now for the time that I exhibit my full lack of handicapping expertise. I make no claims on the contrary. With that, right here’s what you’ll learn each week:
I’ll choose 4 video games every week, with many not within the big P5 home windows, as a result of I have a tendency to paint outdoors these traces a bit. I’ll simply choose straight traces as they’re listed on the day I choose them — no cash traces, no teasing, nothing else. I’ll maintain monitor of my document because the season goes alongside, and you may trash me within the feedback every week for my lack of prediction prowess.
NOTE: Not one of the textual content inside is supposed to function playing recommendation. That is largely meant for parody and light-hearted evaluation. At no level ought to any of the picks on this article be construed as playing recommendation supplied by FBSchedules.com or me.
Maryland (-2.5) at Nebraska
WHAT HAPPENED: Maryland 13, Nebraska 10
This appeared actually dicey to your humble native correspondent till Jack Howes drilled a 24-yarder to stroll it off. This was Howes’ second three-pointer of the fourth quarter, as he had put dwelling a 35-yarder earlier within the interval. Taulia Tagovailoa had an honest sufficient day, going 27-for-40 for 283 yards, a landing, and a choose. This was almost double the throws made by three Nebraska passers, who totaled 21.
The Huskers are actually 5-5, with journeys to Wisconsin and Iowa remaining on the docket. Matt Rhule can nonetheless get his Nebraska squad to a bowl in his first yr, however that’s a troublesome couple-game stretch.
Appalachian State at Georgia State (-2.5)
WHAT HAPPENED: Appalachian State 42, Georgia State 14
Georgia State obtained to 6-1 below Shawn Elliott…after which the wheels fell off. The Panthers have dropped three straight, together with getting boat raced by the Mountaineers over the weekend. I assumed this may be the week GSU obtained proper, and I used to be incorrect. Now, they should go to LSU and Previous Dominion to shut the season. Seven wins appears to be an bold complete.
Joey Aguilar had a pleasant and environment friendly day, connecting on 14-of-21 throws for 255 yards and three scores for the Mountaineers. App wanted that win, as a result of they shut the common season with a visit to Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg to battle JMU earlier than Georgia Southern treks up the mountain to Kidd-Brewer to shut the marketing campaign. Apparently, App profitable this recreation might find yourself harming the possibilities of their subsequent opponent reaching a bowl recreation, because the six wins make the Mountaineers bowl-eligible.
Florida Worldwide at Center Tennessee (-10.5)
WHAT HAPPENED: Center Tennessee 40, Florida Worldwide 6
I wasn’t anticipating a FIU victory, essentially, however I anticipated a little bit of urgency from a 4-5 FIU group making an attempt to win two of its ultimate three to get to a bowl recreation. Yeah, about that…
Center led 31-6 on the interval and the Panthers simply by no means responded. Nick Vattiato was 18-for-25 for 275 yards and 4 scores for the Blue Raiders, who torched FIU within the victory. FIU now must win at Arkansas and towards WKU to make a bowl. Good luck with that.
Arkansas State at South Alabama (-11.5)
WHAT HAPPENED: South Alabama 21, Arkansas State 14
Butch Davis had an opportunity to make his group of life champions bowl-eligible, however the Jaguars weren’t having it. South Alabama obtained 163 speeding yards and a rating from La’Damian Webb within the victory. Carter Bradley threw for 2 scores to assist create area for the Jags earlier than the ultimate rating from the Crimson Wolves, which saved the nonexistent wager to your pleasant native sportswriter.
stAte must beat Texas State at dwelling or win at Marshall to make a bowl. South Alabama performs the identical groups, however they host Marshall and shut the season in San Marcos. The Jags additionally want at the very least one victory to go to postseason play.
Week 12 (2-2 in Week 10, 16-18-2 this season)
Coastal Carolina (-3.5) at Military (midday, CBSSN)
Appalachian State at James Madison (-8.5) (2pm, ESPN+)
UTEP at Center Tennessee (-7.5) (2pm, ESPN+)
NC State at Virginia Tech (-3) (3:30pm, ESPN+)
My ultimate take a look at .500 for the yr. Contemplating I’ve no playing ability by any means and haven’t achieved this within the column earlier than, no matter occurs occurs.
(I actually need that .500, although…)
And eventually, listed below are the
4 5 “under-the-radar” video games I’ll be watching this week and tips on how to watch them. I’ll additionally embrace traces if there are any — for informational functions solely, naturally, as outlined within the above disclaimer. I don’t but have a reputation for this part. All instances are Jap.
I’m doing one thing completely different on this area. I’ll choose two video games, however I need to honor one of many nice associates of the location and have.
This weekend we’ve obtained FIVE BOWLELIGIBOWLS between 5-5 Groups.
Which 5 lastly get to Bowl Eligibility by profitable their BOWLELIGIBOWL?? pic.twitter.com/VVss9XQK8v
— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) November 16, 2023
Our associates at Sickos Committee are one of the best. I like to throw a foolish week into issues, and this gave me the proper likelihood to each honor them and do one thing completely foolish.
Additionally, the traces — once more, for leisure functions solely:
Texas Tech -2.5 (vs. Central Florida)
South Alabama -10.5 (vs. Marshall)
Boise State -3 (at Utah State)
Wisconsin -4.5 (vs. Nebraska)
Georgia Tech -6.5 (vs. Syracuse)
Charleston Southern (4-6, 2-3 Large South-OVC) at Gardner-Webb (6-4, 4-1) (1pm, ESPN+): It’s Championship Saturday — once more — in Boiling Springs, N.C. Saturday. The ‘Canines are in line for back-to-back convention championships below future star coach Tre Lamb, and — regardless of the distinction in data — could also be a greater group this yr than they have been final yr.
GWU working again Narii Gaither — whom I coated in highschool and have seen do unbelievable issues for years — has eclipsed the three,000 profession speeding yards mark. Just one different GWU rusher has ever reached that mark. If Ty French will get a sack this Saturday, he’ll eclipse the varsity document of former Packer Gabe Wilkins.
A win by the Runnin’ Bulldogs would give Gardner-Webb simply its fourth convention championship and second playoffs look in Division 1.
LINE: None as of press time.
#4 Montana State (8-2, 6-1 Large Sky) at #2 Montana (9-1, 6-1) (2pm, ESPN+): The Brawl of the Wild is all the time — all the time — a must-watch. It’s particularly so this yr.
That is the 122nd version of some of the superior rivalries in sport. What does this recreation imply? Nicely, take it away, Montana Sports activities Data!
To the victor go the spoils. The spoils being an outright Large Sky Convention championship trophy, the 306-pound Nice Divide Trophy, a probable No. 2 playoff seed and home-field benefit within the postseason, and, oh yeah, bragging rights that each Montanan will lean on for the following 364 days.
A trophy that weighs greater than I do — I gained’t say by how a lot — to the winner? Let’s go.
One other excellent reality? For 20 years, Montana was really named Montana State College. Montana State was Montana State Faculty. That may be a stage of petty you have to respect, even for those who reside 1000’s of miles from the Treasure State.
Inject this recreation into my veins.
LINE: None at press time.
So slams the door on season 12 of this humble little function, with just a few breaks in between. I’m grateful to Kevin for having me alongside for the experience for this lengthy, and to all of you for the clicks, jokes, and assist. You’re the finest.
My want for you is that your vacation season — no matter you have fun, and even for those who don’t — be crammed with pleasure, companionship, and love. Could 2024 deliver you peace and prosperity. We’ll collect again right here in September — and at any time when I’m working the ship between every now and then — and begin this craziness yet again.
To cite the nice Billy Joel:
Life is a collection of hellos and goodbyes
I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye once more
Till subsequent yr, associates…