And another two go down.
On Sunday morning, Karl Dorrell was fired at Colorado. By the afternoon, Wisconsin did the same to Paul Chryst. Early season fired football coaches should all gather on a beach somewhere to drink margaritas and Mai Tais. Or at the very least start a Facebook Group page. Misery loves company, right? And save a few hot seats by the pool because there’s more to come – welcome to the party!
Keep a few seats in storage, too. Brent Venables may be joining them in next couple of years because the Boomers are sliding down that greased pole as fast as a fireman on an emergency call. They gave up 55 points and nearly 700 yards to TCU and that was by early in the fourth quarter. He’s suddenly looking like the second coming of Chad Morris, another Dabo coordinator who seems better off as, well, a coordinator.
Hapless Harson is likely to be next. Perhaps the Auburn fat cats are waiting for the team to get run out of Athens this weekend before making it official, tho traditional coach-firing protocol calls for announcements of “making a change” to take place with an upcoming bye week and that doesn’t occur until the following week after Ole Miss. As everyone who has been around the Plains knows, tho, things there involving coaches do not follow any predictable pattern.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Red River Rivalry, Texas vs. Oklahoma (9 a.m., ABC, Cotton Bowl)
The Horns haven’t hooked their top rival in five years and only three times in the past 13. Last year they gave up 35 points in the second half after scoring 28 in the first quarter to lose. The red and burnt orange coolers hauled around by fans around the Cotton Bowl are even but the series has not been for more than the past decade. However, things are looking quite rosy for the Horns this year in the wake of Lincoln Riley’s lightning-bolt departure and the much-ballyhooed arrival of Venables. The Sarks experienced the expected Bama Factor in losing at Texas Tech but then showed they would not completely collapse like, say, Florida of last year. Boomer fans might want to consider changing shirts and escaping to the Texas State Fair during halftime while Texas fans will show why they are PubClub’s #1 Party School. Winner: Texas
Tennessee at LSU (9 a.m., EPSN)
They are used to night games in Death Valley, not nightmare morning kickoffs. Kegs and eggs will be prominent in the Red Baton on Saturday morning. UT’s road win over Pitt took on a whole new perspective after the Panthers were declawed by Georgia Tech last week (Georgia Tech!?) and Kelly’s Maybe Heroes relied on another second half collapse by Harsin’s Horror Show to win on the Plains. The Prognosticator had planned on picking the kegs & eggs tailgaters but then took a deep look at that Auburn game and the fact of the matter is, the Bayou Boys aren’t really very good. They have little offense, butter-fingered receivers and a quarterback who can’t throw and if his ankle is still injured, can’t run too well, either. Winner: Tennessee
TCU at Kansas (9 a.m., FS1)
College Game Day is in Lawrence for the first time ever. If the Frogs blasting of OU last week is any indication of this team then they will have the happy homesters suddenly looking forward to the start of basketball season. Not too long after Game Day transforms into game time, those fans could be saying, “well, it was nice while it lasted.” Winner: TCU
Auburn at Georgia (12:30 p.m., CBS)
The expected slaughter of the Tigers from Missouri did not materialize last week as the Kirby Canines found themselves in a dogfight right down to the final minutes. Of course, Missouri being Missouri there was no upset. Now they face the Tigers from the Plains in the South’s oldest rivalry, which began in 1892. Anyone expecting the Dawgs to roll over are barking up the wrong tree. Awful Auburn, down at least one quarterback, has about as much punch as an ESPN sideline reporter. Plus, the Dawgs know that if for some reason these Tigers get a first-half lead, they will blow it, for Harsin’s teams have had double-digit leads disappear in five consecutive SEC games. Only bad coaching from the other side and the hex of Jordan Hare has kept them from losing all five of them. Instead, they have lost four of them. Winner: Georgia
Utah at UCLA (12:30 p.m., FOX)
The Prognosticator fumbled on the Baby Bears last week. Apparently, I did not consider the should-have-lost escape against South Alabama as a faceplant because, well, it was South Alabama. There is a reason I call them the Trampolines – they have a remarkable ability to bounce back up off the ground when all seems hopeless. Then the next week, they do another faceplant only to spring back up and so it goes and has gone since Gary Beban won the Heisman back in the 60s. So by this philosophy they should get routed by the Utes in what might make Chip Kelly look like Custer at Little Big Horn. But that’s the thing about the Trampolines; sometimes they bounce up when others think they will flop. Expect a game of many momentum swings. In the end, the Baby Bears just don’t have the strength to keep up with the Beehive State Indians. Winner: Utah
Ohio State at Michigan State (1 p.m., ABC)
Sparty fans should join Notre Dame and Iowa supporters and just forget watching their teams this season. Instead, they should go on vacation together far away from the games. They could call it Club Dead. Suddenly, the Nuts schedule so far looks like a giant cupcake. Spartan Stadium is so spartan in victories that it will soon be spartan of fans, as well. With nothing but the equivalent of human pylons opposing them, the Nuts will go nuts scoring on this day. Winner: Ohio State
Washington State at USC (4:30 p.m., FOX)
The Trojans are riding high these days, undefeated, the sixth-ranked team in the country and with an offense routinely scoring 40+ points. Caleb Williams is the real deal at quarterback. He slips through offensive line collapses and not only avoids sacks but delivers first downs right on target to receivers, often while falling to the field. The guy is accurate. At some point Troy will fall off its high horse. But not this week. Winner: USC
Texas A&M at Alabama (5 p.m., CBS)
Will he or won’t he? Nick Saban won’t say. Bryce Young has an AC joint separation, which means it’s not a serious injury and he is”day to day” in coach speak. Last week in Hogtown, the Heisman Trophy winner was watching from the sideline as the Tidal wave began to turn into a mere ripple. But then a backup quarterback with whom only the most diehard of fans could name ripped off a 77-yard run on third and long to help the Tide rise to the W. The Cadets may hope to build a seawall to hold back the Crimson wave but they are just 3-2 and should really be 1-4. Their offense is dead in the water and the defense goes from leaky to porous. This highly-anticipated game before the season, played in a rare CBS prime time telecast, suddenly looks like a lopsided landslide, no matter whom is taking snaps for Saban. Winner: Alabama
Florida State at N.C. State (5 p.m., ACC Network)
So much for all that “Florida State is back” talk for the Spears got speared by Wake Forest. (What is it about teams from Florida always getting that preseason/early-season accolade from the media? That’s so 90s.) This could be considered a season-saving game considering next week they host Clemson. If that goes sideways they might even face another Wide Left (or would it be Wide Right) the following week against Miami. But that’s looking ahead to doom and the ‘Pack will probably pack ’em in again even after falling in their prime time test against Clemson. The Wolfies don’t have much of an offense but they have enough to chase off the invadors. Winner: N.C. State