Lang’s World: The Georgia Bulldogs are good enough, after all

I did not believe.

Let’s start right there. On Monday night, the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in the college football National Championship Game, to win UGA’s first title in 41 years.

But yeah, in retrospect, I’ll admit it: I did not believe.

In whom did I not believe? Well, there’s a long list.

First and foremost, Stetson Bennett: I did not think the former walk-on was a good enough quarterback to lead the Georgia Bulldogs to a National Championship. He certainly has an inspirational story, but a great background tale is traditionally not enough to beat the devil himself, Nick Saban.

I also did not believe that Kirby Smart was a good enough football coach to defeat Nick Saban. After all, Kirby Smart had lost four straight times to Saban, and didn’t really seem to be any closer to solving that puzzle than he had been four years ago, when Saban last beat UGA in a title game. Smart is undeniably a gifted recruiter, but he has not been able to get his football team past Saban’s.

Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning had recently been hired as the head coach at Oregon, but I didn’t believe that he was any closer to understanding how to stop Alabama than he had been 37 days ago when Bama put up 41 points against this vaunted Dawgs defense.

Zamir White? George Pickens? William Poole? Dan Jackson? AD Mitchell? All terrific players, who contributed to UGA being 13-1 heading into the National Championship game. But were they the kind of players who would help UGA win their first title in 41 seasons?

Well, I didn’t believe that they were. In fact, I didn’t think UGA was going to beat Alabama in the National Championship game. Perhaps this was a conditioned response to years of Alabama beating UGA, but in the days leading up to the game, I found myself at peace with the thought of Alabama beating UGA. There is an order to life, after all, and Georgia losing to Nick Saban’s Alabama teams just seemed like part of that natural order.

I also had trouble believing because I’d been hurt before. I still clearly remember 2017, and I remember 2012. I remember Eric Zeier and Jacob Eason and all the QBs who were supposed to lead us to titles. As someone who has rooted for the University of Georgia Bulldogs for my entire life, I was led to believe that we just weren’t good enough.

And the Dawgs certainly began the game like they were outmatched. On the opening drive, Stetson Bennett fumbled (and recovered) the ball, then drew a delay of game penalty before UGA was forced to punt. Better warm up JT Daniels, our five-star back-up QB, I thought. When UGA had 6 points at halftime, I once again thought about Daniels and wondered if he would get a chance.

The good news, at least for UGA, was that they blitzed the Tide early and often, and continued to bring it throughout the night. It was a simple adjustment, one even a pedestrian like myself noted might be prudent, and it turned out to be correct—when Bryce Young was on the run, he struggled to complete passes. Once Jameson Williams went down with a torn ACL, the Tide seemed even shorter on options to stretch the field.

(I understand that Alabama was already without wide receiver John Metchie III, and then they lost Williams. Yet I find it hard to believe that a team with a top three recruiting class year after year after year only has two wide receivers who are any good on their depth chart. But I digress…)

UGA opened the second half with another punt, and I was really getting antsy. UGA’s defense was playing well, holding Alabama to field goals whenever they reached the red zone. UGA got an interception and took over inside the 50, but had to punt again. This much I knew for sure: Stetson Bennett was not good enough. Kirby Smart wasn’t going to take Bennett out. And UGA was not going to beat Alabama.

Then UGA ran the ball four plays in a row and went 80 yards for a TD. Alabama ripped off 9 points to go ahead 18-13.

Which was when Stetson Bennett turned into Aaron Rodgers, leading UGA on consecutive TD drives (one 75 yards, one 62 yards) to go up 26-18. I didn’t think he had it in him. I didn’t believe. But Bennett believed.

Stetson Bennett celebrating

In the waning moments, when Kelee Ringo picked off Bryce Young and weaved his way to the end zone, running 79 yards for a TD, putting UGA up for good, 33-18, I stood in my mancave and silently danced in a little circle. In that moment, I thought about the symmetry of Ringo wearing number 5, like Garrison Hearst wore back when I attended UGA, and like DB Damian Swann wore a decade ago. I thought about all the other players who have come and gone without winning a title. I thought about all the time I spent on that campus, all the days I spent wandering around downtown Athens, wondering what I was going to make out of my life. And I realized that it was happening. UGA was actually going to win a National Championship. I sat back down on the couch and smiled and felt a little woozy.

Your favorite teams aren’t supposed to win titles every year. Championships are the rarest of achievements, built through years or even decades of work. Alabama could go one hundred years without winning another title, and I would feel no sympathy. You aren’t supposed to get six titles in 13 years, or whatever it is that Saban has done at Alabama, or what Jordan did in Chicago, or what Wooden did at UCLA. Maybe you have an incredible circumstance and get back-to-back rings or something like that, but for the most part, a championship is an incredibly rare and precious thing.

Which is why we cherish the sensation the way we do. That’s why we cry when our teams win, it’s why we hug strangers and high five random people because of the t-shirt they’re wearing. It’s why I got a million text messages and DMs on Monday night, and it’s why I’ve been making intermittent barking noises in public over the last few days.

It was a journey to get here, but finally, my college football team won it all. And now I’m sitting in my office, listening to R.E.M. (shoutout Athens) the morning after the Georgia Bulldogs finally beat Nick Saban to win a National Championship. What a time to be alive.

Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof.

Lang’s World: Alabama, Georgia, and rat poison

It started with a squirrel.

A few months back, one day we heard what sounded like a scratching noise coming from inside the eaves over our garage entrance. Well, I thought, I guess we have a critter in there. My wife, an aspirant naturalist, immediately told me that under no circumstances would we call an animal control specialist to remove the little beast. It must need shelter, she reasoned. Why else would it colonize our home? And since the eaves isn’t actually attached to our home, how much damage could it do?

A few days later, my neighbor texted me a video of the squirrel poking his head out of his forced entrance hole on the edge of the eaves. The squirrel was calmly looking up and down the street, surveying the neighborhood like Tony Soprano wearing a bathrobe at the end of his driveway. This is ridiculous, I thought.

A few weeks later, I woke in the middle of the night and heard the squirrel scratching against the interior wall that separates the eaves from the actual house. A day later, an animal control expert we had to pay dearly rousted the squirrel, sealed the hole and set a trap in case Lil Tony Soprano managed to return. If we’d just dealt with it at the beginning, maybe we would have avoided the cash expense? Letting it linger only caused problems.

The squirrel seemed to move on, perhaps to a roomier home in the suburbs, but literally one day later, I was outside the back door of our house when I saw a small brown mouse dart past me toward a weep hole in the foundation. Nah, I thought, there’s no way he’s going into the house. We’ve lived here for almost five years, and we’ve never had a problem with rodents. Now they’re all coming after me at once, like I’m Doctor Doolittle?

A day later, I opened the pantry and found several packages of food chewed through, and the bottom shelf sprinkled festively with tiny turds. After cleaning up the party detritus, I found a slim gap in the back of the pantry, which we taped over until we could manage to seal it more effectively. A day later, the tape was chewed through, and a different shelf had been turded.

Immediately, I drove to Home Depot and picked up a half dozen glue traps, as well as some of that expandable hardening foam stuff I could use to fill his entryway. But first, before filling the hole, I baited the traps with peanut butter and chocolate and left them in the pantry. A few hours later, while I was at work, my wife reached out.

“The mouse is stuck on the trap,” she texted.

“Great,” I responded. “I’ll be home in a bit.”

“I’m putting it in a box in the laundry room. Our son is in love with him, by the way. He’s super cute.”

“I’m going to kill it,” I said.

It had taken me a while to reach this moment, but I was at a breaking point. I had done my best to be understanding, to forgive and accept, to respect life and nature. But in doing all of those things, I was losing. I was ready to win. It was time for me to win.

Next week, my Georgia Bulldogs will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the college football National Championship game. The Dawgs are currently 3-point favorites in the game.

Alabama has beaten UGA seven straight times, which includes Tua coming off the bench four years ago to throw a game-winning score in UGA’s last trip to the National Championship game. Of course, those seven games stretch past the beginning of the Kirby Smart era, as Smart himself is on the hook for just four of those losses against Saban. It feels like it stretches back forever: My son was born nine years ago, and we were discharged from the hospital just as Aaron Murray led UGA on a final, fruitless drive down the field against Alabama in the SEC Championship.

For years now, Alabama coach Nick Saban has called media attention “rat poison,” but after Alabama beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game a few weeks ago, he spun “rat poison” in a different direction. “The rat poison that you usually give us is usually fatal,” Saban said, “but the rat poison that you put this week was yummy.”

Kirby Smart and Nick Saban handshake

It was a strange analogy, and his delivery made it a bit creepy, but I think what Saban meant was all the experts and pundits predicting an Alabama loss were feeding into the underdog narrative Saban was selling to his squad. (How in the world Nick Saban convinced his team of defending national champs and five-star recruits and a Heisman winner that they were the underdogs in any matchup is another column altogether.) What’s really wild is Saban had Alabama believing they were the underdogs, and that tactic worked and they won, and now this week they’re playing the same team that they beat before, and somehow now they actually are underdogs!

I love the Dawgs, but I don’t know if I believe UGA can actually beat Bama. A large part of the blame for Georgia’s recent failures has fallen at the feet of QB Stetson Bennett, who is 0-2 when he starts against Alabama. At the same time, EVERY QUARTERBACK who has started against Alabama over the last three seasons has gone a total of 3-37. Beating Alabama is really, really, really hard, and there’s no shame in Bennett failing at the two chances he’s had to defeat the Tide. Would backup QB JT Daniels be a better option for the Dawgs? Perhaps – you could argue he wouldn’t do any worse than Bennett has done — but Bennett was terrific last week against Michigan (20-30, 313 yds, 3 TDs/0 INTs), and it’s hard to believe there’s anyone in the UGA quarterback room who is any hotter than Bennett at the moment.

Perhaps UGA is favored because Alabama will be without WR John Metchie, who helped Bama torch UGA’s secondary in the last matchup. But Alabama has plenty of fine receivers, and that “next man up” mentality is particularly applicable at a school loaded with five-star recruits.

The only way I think UGA stands a chance is if they try and speed up Alabama QB Bryce Young. During the SEC Championship loss, UGA seemed content to sit back and let Young pick them apart. And so he did. As Seth Emerson wrote in The Athletic

“Yes, Georgia did use plenty of four-man rushes: By my count on re-watch, 22 of Young’s 48 dropbacks saw Georgia only rush four, while there was also one three-man rush. Almost all of Alabama’s big plays came out of those. Meanwhile, there were 12 five- or six-man rushes, and they went much better. There were also 14 other passes where the ball got out so quickly it either wasn’t evident how many rushed or it didn’t matter.

The results: Young was 13-for-19 for 297 yards and three touchdowns when Georgia rushed four or fewer defenders. When Georgia rushed five or more, Young was 1-for-11 for 24 yards. So…yeah, pretty stark.”

Alabama is great because they drill down on whatever your weakness is and they relentlessly attack that weakness. Against UGA they passed down the field. Last week, against a smaller Cincinnati team with a good secondary, Alabama ran for over 300 yards on their way to a blowout win.

Bryce Young vs. Cincinnati

Alabama hits you where it hurts. Now it’s up to UGA to be prepared for that possibility. It’s been a long haul for UGA to get to where they are this week, and they’ve got the mouse (the elephant?) cornered. Instead of poison, however, perhaps this time they’ll try a glue trap? A wooden trap? Anything other than rat poison. We’ve seen how Nick Saban loves rat poison.

By the way, I got home from work and found myself summarily overruled regarding the mouse. My wife and son had rescued him from the glue trap and placed him in a shoebox. My son and I then drove to a field a few miles away and released the mouse, where he cautiously stumbled out of the box and trotted off into the tall grass. As my son and I drove away, I started doing the math in my head, trying to figure out how long it might take that mouse to make it back to my house for another all-he-can-squeak buffet.

To be honest, I am totally expecting that mouse to show back up at my house in a day or so. We removed our pest from the equation, but we didn’t take him out when we had the chance. If there’s anything we’ve learned from Nick Saban, it’s that you have to take advantage of that opportunity when it’s presented.

Because otherwise, the rat can start to enjoy the poison.

The Odds Couple: The Gift Suite (CFB Week 16)

On today’s show: Coach Prime doing things at Jackson State, bowl matchups with Mizzou/Army and Florida/UCF (1:30), NFL with Chiefs/Chargers, more bowl action with BYU/UAB and gifts for players at bowl games (20:40). The guys finish up giving their picks for the weekend (46:12).

The Odds Couple: Football Players On the Football Field Make Football Plays In The Football Game (CFB Week 15)

On today’s show: Rob, Lang and Roser discuss UGA falling apart against Alabama, Nick Saban’s thoughts on the media “rat poison”, Kyle Shannan’s struggles with the Seahawks and more. Lance Taylor hops on for a convo about what went wrong for UGA in the SEC Championship Game and if there can be an upset in the CFP semifinals. The fellas also give their picks for this week’s action.

Lang’s World: All Hail Saban

The moment I knew the University of Georgia was in serious trouble against the Alabama Crimson Tide came with 12:25 remaining in the second quarter of the SEC Championship Game. UGA was leading 10-7. Alabama had the ball, but a holding call had backed them up near their own end zone. On first and 20, quarterback Bryce Young dropped back and lofted a spiral high into the air down the left sideline.

Thanks to a fortunate turn of events, I had been gifted two tickets to the SEC Championship game. We were sitting twenty-two rows up behind the Georgia bench, nearly perpendicular to the goal line. When Young threw that pass, it looked as though he was throwing the ball directly to me. The ball stayed up in the air forever, spinning and spinning tightly, and while the ball hovered I had time to look down at the field to see Alabama WR John Metchie III busting it down the sideline. I then shifted my eyes to the left a bit in time to see UGA safety Dan Jackson, who was apparently supposed to be defending Metchie on the play, stumbling along a few yards behind Metchie. Well, I thought, that isn’t promising.

Sure enough, the ball fell out of the sky and landed perfectly in Metchie’s hands for a 40-yard gain. And that was when I knew. As vaunted as UGA’s defense had been all season, Jackson was a walk-on back-up player, who saw a lot of playing time this season filling in for injured safety Christopher Smith. Of course, that didn’t really matter much, because UGA led late in every game this season, and opposing quarterbacks never had the time or wherewithal to stand calmly in the pocket and find their receivers. But the UGA secondary was not going to be able to keep up with Metchie and Jameson Williams.

UGA didn’t seem to want to blitz Bryce Young, despite that working when Texas A&M and Auburn played Bama, and when UGA did bring pressure they quickly lost contain and let Bryce Young do Bryce Young things outside the pocket. Once Bama got the lead in the second quarter, and scored on five consecutive possessions, UGA’s offense was exposed as being the afterthought we knew that it was all season long.

Bryce Young throwing a pass

Alabama may not be the team they were in seasons past, but they were good enough. The Tide shored up the offensive line just long enough to give Bryce Young time to get the ball out. They ran a variety of quick passes to the sides, and even outschemed UGA by splitting their backs out wide as a decoy, essentially taking UGA’s top linebacker Nakobe Dean out of plays altogether.

You dared doubt the Tide? You doubted Nick Saban?

Perhaps you’ve heard that the Disney+ streaming service recently debuted Get Back, a documentary about the greatest rock band of all-time, The Beatles. I was never a Beatles obsessive as a kid, but as I grew older and started to learn to read music and play instruments and played in bands, I appreciated them more and more, particularly as I began to understand just how impactful The Beatles were.

Still, I was not prepared for how much I would enjoy Get Back, once it showed up on Disney+. I’ve enjoyed many rock documentaries—The History of the Eagles was my previous favorite, and I don’t even like the Eagles—mostly because I enjoy drama and creativity. But no band matches The Beatles in terms of scope and breadth and just the sheer number of hits. And this footage is astonishing. Visually, it’s clear and vibrant, with cheerful splashes of color on the walls. I love the vase of yellow flowers on the riser in front of Ringo’s kick drum, and the shaggy fur coats the guys routinely show up wearing for rehearsals. There’s probably more smoking in just the first part of Get Back than in every other Disney+ video combined.

Yet it’s the content of Get Back that has enthralled me. To see one of the most prolific bands of all-time on deadline, trying to write new music, resonated loud and clear with me. I’m sitting here right now, with a deadline ahead of me, trying to write this column. And just like The Beatles, apparently, I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid having to actually produce new material, as we see them go to lengths to avoid actually finishing new music.

While there is an interesting narrative thread—George Harrison decides he’s had enough of being a third wheel to Lennon/McCartney, and he quits the band at a crucial time, just as they’re prepping for a big concert—it’s watching these creators create and work on their craft that I loved. Getting to watch Lennon and McCartney actually brainstorm song lyrics? Watching George Harrison help Lennon figure out the bass line to “Let It Be?” Stunning stuff.

One of my big takeaways so far is that if Paul McCartney wasn’t a Beatle, I’m not sure the Let It Be album would have happened. So many people in and around the band seem to be focused on the wrong things, such as when George Harrison walks out, and the documentary director tries to pivot the discussion to the search for an upcoming concert venue. “It’s just…,” he says, “I just think we ought to have a good location.” (To which longtime Beatles producer George Martin blithely responds, “Location isn’t really our main problem at the moment.”)

Whenever things seem to be getting off track, McCartney is the one who seems to figure out how to get them headed in the right direction. Whenever one of their managers or producers or helpers needs an answer, they all head to Paul first. When a song’s arrangement is out of kilter, Paul seems to have a helpful suggestion.

When I was watching Get Back, I kept thinking about how being in a band is similar to being a member of a sports team. If you want success, it requires work, discipline, and above all, sacrifice. It also requires someone to be in charge, the mastermind who lays down the blueprint everyone else believes in and follows.

Nick Saban on the sideline

Nick Saban, I believe, is Paul McCartney. Yes the Tide were shaky for most of the season, but he did whatever he needed to do, and all of a sudden Alabama looks great. The line provided enough time for Bryce Young to throw the ball. Alabama had a banged up running back group, but they deployed their backs strategically, and it was enough, just enough, to make UGA have to account for them.

Why does Nick Saban get the credit? Because of another reality show: A few years ago, ESPN aired a program called “Rollin’ With the Tide,” which I wrote about at the time. Saban was the opposite of a magnetic personality — he seemed alternately meek and glum — but he put the right people in the positions to have the right results. And I don’t know how else you can explain Alabama’s success, not only in the past but this weekend, other than as a result of Saban’s processes.

On Saturday, as all of us UGA fans silently filed out of Mercedes Benz Stadium into the cool Atlanta night, there was a bit of relief. UGA may have lost the SEC Championship, but they would get another crack at the National Championship. Would Kirby Smart ever pick the right quarterback, or would the 7-0 JT Daniels continue to ride the bench? That worry would last until another day. On this night, Alabama showed the world why they’ve been considered The Beatles of college football.

If there’s anything we’ve learned from Nick Saban, it’s that success requires adherence to process. You have to keep the main thing the main thing. And in real time, this is rarely exciting. But it works. Does it ever.

It took him an entire season, but Nick Saban finally helped Alabama get back to where they once belonged.

The Odds Couple: Championship Week...Aight! (CFB Week 14)

The Odds Couple: Championship Week…Aight! (CFB Week 14)

On today’s show: Rob, Lang and Roser discuss Michigan’s win over Ohio State, the Big 10 championship game and take a look at the SEC championship game. Lance Taylor hops on to delve deeper into the Alabama v. UGA matchup, talk Cincy v. Houston and more. The fellas also give their picks for this week’s NFL and college championship games.

The Odds Couple: The Re-rebuild (CFB Week 13)

The Odds Couple: The Re-rebuild (CFB Week 13)

On today’s show: What we learned in College Football, some open coaching positions, Fish Scales, CFP Rankings + Alabama/Auburn and Arkansas/Mizzou. We’ll hear from Sad Dan Mullen and be joined by Lance Taylor from Lanceslock.com and Next Round Live to give us picks in College Football and the NFL. In our final segment, we’ll give our picks for the weekend.

Lang’s World: Giving Thanks for not being a College Football Coach

Every year on Thanksgiving, my Mom prefaces the big meal by making each family member offer a reason (or reasons) that we are thankful on that day. As a kid, this was nothing more than a speed bump on the road to turkey, dressing and gravy.

These days, now that I am several decades older, I understand and can even relish the exercise. Giving thanks is a worthwhile endeavor, at any time, and perhaps being forced to be circumspect isn’t such a bad thing after all.

This year, I am thankful that I am not a college football coach. Because buddy, it is tougher than ever to keep a job on a college sideline.

Florida fans have been sick of Dan Mullen for weeks now, perhaps understandably, despite Mullen taking the Gators to the SEC Championship game not even a year ago. After losing to South Carolina a few weeks back, Mullen fired his longtime defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, presumably in an attempt to improve the defense. Florida responded by promptly giving up 52 points against Samford. This week they lost in overtime to Missouri, who were 5-5 coming into the game.

  • On Sunday, Dan Mullen was fired. Florida reportedly still owes him $12 million.

  • Texas coach Steve Sarkisian is finding out what the hot seat feels not even a full year into his tenure in Austin, after the mighty Longhorns lost to friggin’ Kansas, 57-56. (Sark, of course, replaced Tom Herman, who got fired after going 22-13 in four seasons at Texas.)

  • Gary Patterson, who actually has a statue of himself on the TCU campus, was fired by TCU.

  • Washington fired head coach Jimmy Lake last week, who didn’t even make it through two seasons but was still above water, with an overall record of 7-6.

  • Ed Orgeron got bounced at LSU after winning a national title two years ago.

  • Texas Tech fired coach Matt Wells, who had a 5-3 record at the time.

Matt Wells on the Texas Tech sideline

  • Nick Rolovich is out at Washington State, mostly because he wouldn’t get vaccinated.

  • USC fired Clay Helton two games into their season.

  • Butch Davis has apparently been out at FIU for weeks, even though we all just recently found out.

  • Troy fired Chip Lindsey before he could complete his third season.

  • Georgia Southern fired their coach and hired a new one all during this season. (Texas Tech and UConn also hired permanent new coaches before the season was finished.)

  • Former Memphis coach Justin Fuente was reportedly sitting on a very hot seat at Virginia Tech, but before I could finish writing this column, he, too, was shown the door.

And it don’t stop. There are plenty of familiar names who may be safe for now, but who are in no way completely out of the woods. Just last week, Oklahoma lost their first game of the season(!), and Twitter was ready to run coach Lincoln Riley out of Norman. Scott Frost is keeping his gig at Nebraska, but the team fired four of his offensive coaches, even though they still have a few games remaining on their schedule. Plenty of people in South Florida seem ready to move on from Manny Diaz, but Miami’s athletic director got fired before anything could happen to Diaz. Penn State’s James Franklin has seemingly been linked to every open job this season, even though the Nittany Lions are just three games over .500 and recently lost a 9-OT game where they somehow scored only 19 points. And rumors are circulating around Herm Edwards at Arizona State, Chip Kelly at UCLA, and even here in Memphis, where if you listen hard enough you can hear people grumbling about Ryan Silverfield.

Heck, after Alabama beat Arkansas on Saturday, even Nick Saban was taking so much heat that he was trending on Twitter. After a win!

We’ve seen coaches get canned before, but looking through this list, it sure seems as though it’s tougher than ever to keep a college football coaching gig.

Why?

Well, losing doesn’t help. Even when a coach gets fired just a few years in, such as with Dan Mullen in Gainesville, there are usually a few red flags flying high before we ever get to that final moment. Expectations are higher than ever, regardless of how realistic they may be. Even considering how short many of these tenures have been, I don’t think any of these coaches can claim they were surprised when the axe fell.

And while losing is clearly a big part of it, it’s not the only thing. Mullen won some big games, but falling to teams like South Carolina and Missouri (in the same season!) are unacceptable for a school that fancies itself as fancy as Florida does. But what was probably just as damaging to Mullen was Florida’s seeming failure at recruiting.

Was Florida actually doing a bad job recruiting? Well, that’s all subjective. Some players who have low ratings from the recruiting services turn out to be great players. Still, one metric had the Gators’ current recruiting class ranked ninth in the SEC, and whether or not that was accurate, it was a number that fans could point to as a failure metric. (And at least one player from that class de-committed when Mullen got canned.) Recruiting is taking more and more of a central position in all this mess, as fans use these random recruiting rankings as some sort of measure of how effective their coach has been when they aren’t coaching. Because other than the actual games, these days recruiting is one of the only quantifiable games.

Ed Orgeron coaching for LSU

And that drifts into how coaches need to engage their bases. Ed Orgeron didn’t have a stellar resume when he ascended to the top spot at LSU, but with his funky voice and Cajun pedigree, Orgeron certainly seemed like an LSU guy. Fans loved him, until LSU started losing more than they won, and then, rather quickly, it no longer mattered how humorous Orgeron’s voice sounded.

(You could also probably make a case that the stakes are higher than ever for coaches thanks to the NIL rights players are now being paid. The success of a coach now has a direct monetary connection to the success of his players, and that can and will affect recruiting. I don’t think any of the coaching changes we’ve seen this season are specifically tied to this, but I won’t be surprised when this starts being talked about.)

And let’s be clear, none of these coaches went into this unaware of this scenario. Other than very few situations, when any college coach steps onto campus for the first time, there are high expectations, and a ticking clock. It’s not ideal, but it comes with the territory.

College football is the ultimate venue where recency bias combines with winning and losing to ask, over and over, “What have you done for me lately?”

If it isn’t enough, you might find yourself giving thanks without a job this holiday season.

Hey, we’ll save you a plate.

The Odds Couple: Throwing Shots (CFB Week 12)

On today’s show: Rob and Lang break down the biggest games from this week’s college football and NFL action, discuss the Fish Scales, talk about the anticlimactic feel to the college football season and break down jus throw good UGA’s defense is. Lance Taylor hops on to discuss Florida’s struggles, to help the guys breakdown Arkansas v. Alabama, and to give his locks in the NFL this week. As always the guys end the show with picks of their own.

The Odds Couple: First Fish Scales of the Year (CFB Week 11)

The Odds Couple: First Fish Scales of the Year (CFB Week 11)

On today’s show: Rob, Lang and Roser discuss the release of the Fish Scales, ask if there is anyway Dan Mullen can get fired this year, give trends for UGA v. Tennessee and for Ole Miss v. Texas A&M. Lance Taylor stops by to discuss the job Sam Pittman is doing at Arkansas, answer who is the third best team in the SEC, and to break down the action across the NFL. The Syndicate also gives their picks for this weekend’s football games.