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BARNEStorming: Former Ole Miss coach beats Michigan and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

BARNEStorming: Former Ole Miss coach beats Michigan and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

Congratulations to the Indiana Rebels. Okay, officially Indiana is known as the Hoosiers, but a look at the sidelines has a decidedly Ole Miss look to it.

No. 13 Indiana crushed No. 23 Michigan, 38-21, Saturday to improve to 3-0 on the year. The Hoosiers have already beaten two ranked teams to make themselves relevant in the Big 10 this season.

Indiana is led by former Ole Miss assistant Tom Allen who is drawing some attention in his first head coaching gig. He also has some help from former Rebels.

Grant Heard, who was a star receiver at Ole Miss before becoming an assistant coach in Oxford is the co-offensive coordinator for the Hoosiers. Jason Jones is the IU safeties’ coach after serving as an assistant for the Rebels as well.

The Indiana defensive coordinator is Kane Wommack, who was a graduate assistant at Ole Miss when his father Dave Wommack was the Rebels’ defensive coordinator.

Another former Rebel coach had a good day Saturday. Hugh Freeze’s Liberty team improved to 7-0 as the Flames got a late field goal to beat Virginia Tech 38-35.

Both Freeze and Allen’s team scored 38 points in their respective wins Saturday. That number has a familiar ring to it for Ole Miss fans. 

THE COUGARS KEEP ROLLING

Don’t look now, but Brigham Young just keeps trucking through its schedule. Friday was supposed to be the Cougars’ biggest test of the season and BYU aced that one. At No. 21 Boise State, Zach Wilson threw for 359 yards as the Cougs drilled Boise 51-17.

That score was closer than it should have. Before emptying its bench in the fourth quarter, BYU led by 42 points.

All that is left on the Brigham Young schedule is FCS newcomer North Alabama and San Diego State.

Wouldn’t a game between BYU and another undefeated Group of Five team be fun as a play-in for the College Football Playoffs? 

A DUSTY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF TROPHY?

Saturday, Air Force was slated to play at Army, but that game was wiped out due to COVID-19. In addition, Navy had a date with Tulsa, but that one was scrubbed because of the virus as well.

Air Force has already beaten Navy this season, 40-7, and hopes to be able to play Army later in the season.

The annual Army-Navy is set for Dec. 12 at West Point. With the Black Knights already slated for the Independence Bowl Dec. 26, the most-likely date for a make-up game with Air Force is Dec. 19. 

Would Army want to play a game instead of having two weeks before it meets a Pac-12 team in Shreveport? 

One possible solution is for the bowl game to invite Air Force instead of a Pac-12 team. The Pac-12 already has a truncated schedule and Barksdale Air Force Base is in nearby Boosier City, La., so it would be a natural draw.

That scenario is not likely, so the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy may go unawarded in 2020.

EVIL KNIEVEL WAS NOT AN SEC GUY

Motorcycles and the Southeastern Conference may need to be separated. After Georgia beat Kentucky last week, Bulldogs’ safety Richard LeCounte decided to do a little two-wheeling when he got back to Athens.

It was not a smart decision.

The senior went for a ride on a dirt bike and bounced off a couple of cars to end up in the hospital with rib injuries and a concussion. He missed the Georgia game against Florida as a result. The Gators crushed UGA 44-28.

The Bulldogs secondary could have used him as Florida quarterback Kyle Trask sliced through what was left of the defense for 435 yards passing in just the first three quarters. 

SEC players should not be allowed near motorcycles. Nor should coaches. Does anyone remember why Bobby Petrino is not at Arkansas anymore?

WHO ARE THESE GUYS THIS WEEK?

Northwestern: The Wildcats are quietly 3-0 after beating Nebraska 21-13. The Big Ten is topsy-turvy this year, but who had Northwestern unbeaten early and the Cornhuskers winless?

SMU: The Mustangs got 27 fourth-quarter points to pull away from Temple and earn a 47-23 win. Southern Methodist is now 7-1 and depending what can happen with other Group of Five teams the rest of the way, the Ponies might have a shot at a New Year’s Six Bowl.

Marshall: Granted it was against UMass, but the 16th-ranked Thundering Herd rolled for the first three quarters before easing up on their way to a 51-10 victory. Marshall has won six straight games by double digits. As a top-25 team, Marshall is now 20-3 with coach Doc Holiday now 7-1 as a coach of a ranked team. One other thing to credit the Herd with for the win – this week is the 50th anniversary of the November 14th, 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Marshall players and coaches and almost caused the program to be dismantled.

WHERE DID THESE GUYS GO THIS WEEK?

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are now 0-3 this season. Saturday, Penn State was simply pasted by Maryland in State College. The final score was 35-19, but at the half, the Terps were up 28-7. It seems like an eternity ago that Penn State only lost to Ohio State by a touchdown.

UL Monroe: The Warhawks are not a good team, but this week, man. Winless ULM lost to Georgia State 52-34 Saturday. On the surface, that does not sound that bad. But last week, the team that just hung half a hundred on them, lost 51-0 to Coastal Carolina.

Michigan: Remember when the Big 10 announced its plans to attempt to play in the fall this year after initially cancelling its season? Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said his team would only need two weeks to get ready to play a regular season. Yeah, the Wolverines might have been ready to play, but they sure were not ready to win. The Big Blue is now 1-2 with losses to Indiana and an embarrassment to Michigan State in Ann Arbor. Ohio State is also waiting down the road.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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