Back for a special one time, bye week engagement it's the Monday To Do List, in which we take a look at all of the things we'll just have to do now that week 8 of the college football season is in the books. Today's list is a little long, but I think you'll find that if you complete each of these tasks your life will be enriched, your hair will be fuller, your socks will match, and George Clooney will stop you on the street to ask how you got so obviously wealthy and devilishly good looking. With no further ado, here's what needs doing going forward. Add it to your action plans and other corporate documents.
1) Ask Les Miles a stupid question in order to get an awesome answer.
Never change, Le Smiles. Never change.
2) Start thinking about bowl destinations. Sure, we've already been doing a little of this with a little help from our friends at Eastern Carolina, but after picking up their sixth win of the season your Georgia Bulldogs are now officially bowl eligible. In this they join such luminaries of the gridiron as Duke, Minnesota, FSU, Louisville, Colorado State, Oregon, Mississippi State, and Marshall. Okay, some of those are a little more luminous than others.
3) Start the "SEC! SEC! SEC!" chant everywhere I go. SEC teams currently hold four of the top five spots in the AP Poll and Georgia at #9 gives the conference a full half of the top ten. Two observations about this: first, it's not sustainable given that all four of those are SEC West teams and cannibalization and yada, yada, yada. Second, one of two things is about to happen. Either the playoff selection committee is going to hew fairly closely to the polls, in which case two SEC teams may very well be in the top four and much of the rest of college football America is gonna go nuts. Or, the committee shies away from ratifying SEC dominance and throws a one loss Michigan State, Oregon, Notre Dame, or TCU team in there. SEC Country goes nuts. Doubly so if that non-SEC team gets beaten soundly in the round of four. This is why four is just a layover on our way to eight.
4) Polish up the old resume. The midpoint of the college football season is the juncture at which athletic directors begin to have enough of a sample size to tell their football coaches that "it's definitely not me. It's you. So, so much you." The villagers at the gate tend to demand a sacrifice as embarrassing conference losses start happening (M-I-Z! . . .Z-O-U!). This is also the point at which coaches at smaller, less tradition rich schools with great records begin looking less lucky and more accomplished, and therefore more sought after.
One such coach might be Marshall's Doc Holliday. The Thundering Herd won 10 games for him last season and are 7-0 (and averaging over 47 points per game) after three mediocre seasons from 2010 through 2012. Though they did win the 2011 Beef O'Brady's Bowl and you can never take that away from them. Holliday was Urban Meyer's Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at UF from 2005 to 2007, then joined Bill Stewart's West Virginia staff for a short stint before taking over at Marshall. Holliday's 57, so he may not be anybody's coach for 20 years. But then if you're hunting a head football coach right now as an athletic director you don't have the luxury of thinking past Saturday.
5) Feel a little bad for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. But just a little. Kelly was agitated about that late pass interference penalty on the "rub" route by a Notre Dame receiver. Kelly's right that his team and most every other team in America runs that play. However it is also technically a penalty to impede the defender in this way, and the ACC office knows this. It's a judgment call, and judgment calls require making bright line decisions out of the gray blur of college football players flying in every direction. People screw up, but in the end its a judgment call.
I feel less for Kelly than I do for Georgia players who watched a Todd Gurley touchdown against South Carolina get called back on an absolutely erroneous holding call on Brandon Kublanow. Could it have been a non call? Sure. But there's a difference between saying a penalty didn't occur and saying that it wasn't egregious enough in the writer's opinion to be called late in a crucial game. That being said, I'm not sure an America struggling to deal with Florida State fans was ready for a Notre Dame fan base coming off a win over a top 3 opponent. So maybe it all worked out for the best.
That should keep you busy until dinner time, or Todd Gurley's reinstatement, whichever comes first. Until then . . .