A too-damn-old Nick Saban has done his part to quash speculation, brought about in large part by a reported meeting Texas regents held with the Alabama head coach’s agent, connecting him to a job that may or may not be open in the near future.
The man currently manning that job, Mack Brown, has consistently sidestepped the rumors about his future with the Longhorns. A recent surge that’s left the Longhorns tied with Baylor (in the loss column) atop the Big 12 standings has quieted the speculation somewhat, but the ever-present whirring of the rumor mill machine can still be heard off in the distance.
Appearing on the Tim Brando Show Friday, Brown (somewhat) addressed the speculation regarding his future and Saban’s name being attached to a future opening at his expense.
“Nick is a friend and he’s done a tremendous job at Alabama,” Brown said by way of al.com. “Nick’s not trying to get my job, I mean, I know Nick. So I don’t have to worry about that. And if I do my job, there won’t be any job to be open to get, so I think that’s the other thing.”
Of course, up until mid-September, Brown hadn’t been doing his job for the last couple of years, at least not doing it up to his previous standards. More than anything, the malaise the UT football program has found itself in under Brown has been the overriding factor in the Saban speculation.
If Brown continues to win, the rumors will fade into the background. If he doesn’t? Regardless of how baseless most consider it to be, the Saban-to-Texas speculation will be the ever-present elephant squatting in Brown’s living room.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.