It’s the Friday Tailgate, the plucky fullback of a post that selflessly seals the A gap as you dash untouched toward another weekend of college football. Maestro, the music for a trip to Kneeland:
We’re now five full weeks into the college football season, which means that some patterns have begun to emerge. I now feel comfortable saying that the PAC-12 is a mess, and that Clemson would have to try really hard to lose a game in what’s left of the ACC (last week they came close, but ole Mack Brown would not be denied his moral victory).
However there’s still plenty of opportunity for Gridskinivus, the pagan god of college football anarchy, to pull one of his classic pranks. A USC team reputed to be among the ten best ever losing to Oregon State and a 5’2 scatback? Gridskinivus. Three of the top five teams in America losing in one night to send Les Miles to a national title game? Gridskinivus.
So, I decided to challenge us to collectively guess how this college football season might go unexpectedly off the rails. I ask you: what is your pick for the most likely chaotic event yet to happen during the 2019 college football season?
I’m picking two. I’m not saying these are going to happen. Just that, if they did, you’d be able to see Gridskinivus’s telltale trail of chicken wing bones and Bud Lite cans all over the crime scene.
No. 1: Alabama loses two regular season games. The Tide haven’t lost more than one regular season contest since 2010, when the proto-Death Star in Tuscaloosa lost an early game to the Ole Ball Coach at South Carolina, then at #10 LSU, and finally dropped the Iron Bowl to eventual national champion Auburn. Injuries and youth played a part in that season’s uncharacteristic results.
And would you look a’here? Right on schedule, Alabama finds itself banged up with top ten LSU and Auburn squads still looming on the schedule. If you watched Ole Miss keep things uncomfortably close last weekend before the Tide pulled away, you know this Alabama team has some defensive vulnerabilities. LSU in turn has the most explosive offense in the SEC, and Gus Malzahn has freshman Bo Nix doing all he needs to do to allow the stout Plainsman defense to bludgeon people.
I place the odds of the Taahhhhddd losing both of those games at less than 40%. But 33.3% is still a greater chance of catastrophe than any rational decision maker should ever be comfortable with.
No. 2: The Big Ten eats itself. Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Penn State are all ranked in the top 15, and Michigan isn’t far behind them at #19. While it’s possible the Buckeyes really are the best team in the league and emerge undefeated from the demolition derby sponsored by Rotel, the above teams play each other a collective five times before the end of the regular season, meaning there’s a ton of opportunity for sleet-coated, fog-enveloped mayhem to wreck one of the deepest fields of playoff contenders the league has produced. You really hate to see it.
So what are your predictions for mayhem over the remaining weeks of college football?