BARNESTORMING: Thoughts Around the College Football World – Week 5
Editor’s Note: Our Steve Barnes continues with his weekly column — “BARNESTORMING: Thoughts Around the College Football World,” where he takes a look at interesting news and notes surrounding the game we all love.
OXFORD, Miss. – When Ole Miss visits Tuscaloosa Saturday, the Rebels will be decided underdogs against No. 2 Alabama. Each position group will be analyzed by the media, and the Crimson Tide will more than likely hold the edge in personnel.
But there is one place where Ole Miss holds the advantage.
Alabama has six players on the Senior Bowl watch list, while Ole Miss has a whopping 11 on the list.
The Senior Bowl is the annual premier college all-star game that features 110 players divided on North/South rosters.
Tide defensive backs Shyheim Carter, Trevon Diggs and Jaren Mayden made the all-star game’s list while fellow defenders Raekwon Diggs and Anfernee Jennings are also in consideration. Matt Womack is the only Alabama offensive player on the list.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss boasts defensive players Josiah Coatney, Vernon Dasher, Myles Hartsfield, Willie Hibler, Benito Jones, Jalen Julius, Austrian Robinson and Qaadir Sheppard on the watch list.
Offensively, the Rebels hoping to play in the Mobile, Ala., game in January are Alex Givens, Octavius Cooley and Scottie Phillips.
A LITTLE TRIVIA:
Quick–name ten FBS teams whose nickname does not end in the letter “S.”
AN OFFENSIVE OUTBURST:
Those fans who stayed up last Saturday to watch the PAC-12 late game were treated to an offensive performance.
UCLA beat Washington State, 67-63, in a game that did not go into overtime. The Bruins erased a huge deficit and scored 50 second-half points.
The two teams combined for 1,377 yards in the game. Washington State racked up 720 yards on 82 total plays (8.78 yards per play). UCLA had 657 on 75 snaps (8.76 ypp).
Cougars’ quarterback Anthony Gordon threw for 570 yards and a school-record nine touchdowns.
Gordon’s nine touchdown last week are more than all but two quarterbacks in the SEC. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow of LSU who each have 17.
SPEAKING OF OFFENSE:
The Ole Miss softball team opened its fall schedule last Sunday, pounding Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 31-2. The Rebels hammered out 28 hits in the game.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Tulane Green Wave, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Nevada Wolfpack, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Stanford Cardinal, Navy Midshipmen, Syracuse Orange, Illinois Fighting Illini and this week’s Ole Miss opponent, Alabama Crimson Tide are FBS teams whose nickname does not end in the letter “S.”
There are probably others, so keep thinking….
AGGIES AND RAZORBACKS, OH MY!
A&M and Arkansas kick off Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington with the Aggies listed as a 23.5-point favorite. Although the Aggies should win handily, there are a number of Aggie ties on the Razorbacks’ side that could make it at least a little interesting.
Arkansas head coach Chad Morris is an alumnus of A&M, while the Hogs’ defensive coordinator John Chavis served in the same role in College Station for three seasons before going to Arkansas. Safeties coach Ron Cooper spent one season at Texas A&M in 2017.
Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd originally enrolled at Texas A&M before going to junior college and ending up in Fayetteville. Boyd has 394 yards already this season and is averaging 5.4 yards every time he carries the ball. Did I mention the Aggies’ starting running back Jashaun Corbin suffered a season-ending injury in the loss to Clemson on September 7?
Perhaps most interesting, though, is that Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel transferred from Texas A&M just a few months ago and will be facing his old team in the Aggies. The quarterback transferred following last season after losing the job to Kellen Mond, the current starting signal-caller for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies.
A COOL TUNE:
For some reason, my DirectTV is missing a few channels. To ensure I get the stations I want, I ordered Sling TV. Now I get the SEC Network, ACC Network, PAC-12 Network and a few other channels that are cool.
One aspect that is unique is the SEC Network does not air commercials. Instead, that channel runs a graphic stating the programming is currently in a commercial break. During the break they play a very cool piece of music.
I don’t know the name of the song or the band who plays the great riff on a loop, but it is quickly becoming my favorite piece of music.
THE GROUP OF FIVE PLAYOFF TEAMS RIGHT NOW:
UCF fell to Pitt last week in the Knights’ first regular-season loss in two seasons. Sorry, but that drops you out of the playoff right , UCF.
If the Group of Five teams had its own playoff, the participants would be: Army, Boise State, Memphis and—new this week after winning at North Carolina—Appalachian State.