Confession time: While everyone justifiably hyped up Week 1 all offseason, Week 3 is what I’ve been eyeing. For the first time in the history of the AP Top 25, the No. 1, 2 and 3 teams each play a true road game against a ranked opponent in the same week.
Look at this week’s loaded schedule. Eleven of the top 25 teams are on the road this week, meaning there will be shakeups.
Now let’s see what’s on your mind.
Hugh Freeze is going for three wins in a row over Nick Saban. Has anyone ever done that against Saban? Why aren‘t people talking about this more? — Chris S.
Yes, but you have to go back to Saban’s early years at Michigan State Spartans . Purdue Boilermakers ‘s Joe Tiller (1997-99) and Michigan Wolverines ‘s Lloyd Carr (1996-98) each beat Saban three years in a row.
Last year, Freeze joined Les Miles and Steve Spurrier as the only SEC coaches to beat Saban in consecutive meetings. None of the all-time great SEC coaches win rematch games at a better rate than Saban. Needless to say, if Ole Miss Rebels beats Alabama Crimson Tide for a third straight year during a period when Saban rules the sport, Freeze will earn an impressive spot in college football history that won’t soon be forgotten.
Here’s another interesting twist: Drew Brees is the only college quarterback to beat Saban in consecutive years. Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly could join Brees in this club. By the way, if Saban had gotten Brees to the Miami Dolphins he wanted, Saban might still be coaching in the NFL now.
How much will the absence of Derwin James hurt Florida State Seminoles ? — Tim K.
James’ knee injury is arguably the biggest development of the playoff race so far. Pro Football Focus graded James as the best returning safety in 2015. He’s a hybrid player with terrific athleticism and versatility against the run and pass. Think the Seminoles could use James this week against freakish Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson ?
The Seminoles still have tremendous talent on defense, so it’s not like they have to throw in the white towel. The defensive line must get controlled pressure on Jackson without losing containment. But yes, it would be a lot easier if James was lurking to defend Jackson.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says James will be out 5-7 weeks. That could allow him to return for the Clemson Tigers game on Oct. 29. One potentially intriguing question for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee: How would it view a loss to Louisville in Florida State’s first game without James if the Seminoles then run the table later?
Why did the NCAA not move the Belk Bowl from the state of North Carolina Tar Heels ? Don‘t they license/approve those games as well? — M.A. Lewis
This is a fair question about the NCAA’s decision to move championships out of North Carolina due to the HB2 law, which is viewed by many people as discriminatory toward the LGBT community. The NCAA does certify bowl games, though it’s usually a rubber stamp. The NCAA bowl handbook says the association and the bowls strive to be associated with entities and messages that support diversity, gender equity and nondiscrimination, among other principles.
Given that the NCAA and ACC say it’s no longer OK to play neutral-site championships in North Carolina, the logical question is why it’s OK to play a neutral-site bowl game in North Carolina? The NCAA said its action for North Carolina was specific to NCAA championships and NCAA-organized meetings. “An important distinction with bowl games is that unlike NCAA championships, the participating conferences/schools are the contracting parties,” NCAA spokesman Christopher Radford said in an email to CBS Sports.
The Belk Bowl is operated by the Charlotte 49ers Sports Foundation, which told the Charlotte Observer that it has no reason to believe the bowl game’s certification from April 1 will be revoked this year. But the SEC, which annually plays the ACC in the Belk Bowl, doesn’t sound totally committed to putting a team in Charlotte this December. “The SEC has a contractual relationship with the Belk Bowl,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “The current circumstances merit further dialogue with our Conference membership.” Stay tuned.
Will an SEC coach get fired before the end of the season? — John Pitts
I’ll guess yes. Who? We’ll see. But there are enough SEC coaches under scrutiny — LSU Tigers ‘s Les Miles, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Auburn Tigers ‘s Gus Malzahn, Kentucky Wildcats ‘s Mark Stoops — that I suspect at least one firing announcement will occur before the regular season ends.
Texas A&M at Auburn this week could go a long way toward determining whether Sumlin and/or Malzahn survive after 2016. There’s reason for those schools’ fans to have some optimism. But it could quickly disappear with a string of bad performances starting Saturday.
Why doesn‘t Jim Harbaugh have a sense of humor over the Colorado Buffaloes depth chart?
I thought Colorado sports information director Dave Plati’s fake depth chart with pop culture/historical figures was hilarious. Harbaugh, who doesn’t release depth charts because he says they’re outdated since every game is on TV, wasn’t amused by Colorado. “I was trying to imagine how many people sat around and how many hours they worked on that,” Harbaugh told 97.1 The Ticket, a CBS Sports Radio affiliate.
Lighten up, Jim. You enjoy “Judge Judy,” wearing tucked-in khakis with classic sports jerseys, coaching exhibition baseball games, starring in rap videos and needling people on Twitter. Colorado got you. It was funny. Laugh.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / College football mailbag: SEC coaching hot seat, Harbaugh’s lacking sense of humor