Mr. CFB: What we learned, week 12


What we learned on the Saturday before Thanksgiving:

1 — For Florida and Dan Mullen, the season started off with a 20-13 loss to Kentucky on Oct. 2.

Mullen was fired Sunday after the Gators lost 24-23 in overtime to Missouri. The loss has left Florida at 2-6 in the SEC game this season and 2-9 in Mullen’s last 11 games against FBS opponents.

It was a quick and frightening fall for a coach who seemed to be on the right track when the Gators lost 52-46 to eventual national champion Alabama in the 2020 SEC Championship game.

Things still looked good for Mullen when the Gators lost 31-29 to No. 1 Alabama in Gainesville on September 18. Since then, Florida has only beaten Tennessee (38-14) and Vanderbilt (42-0). Mullen was 0-7 in one-point games for the past two seasons.

So what happened?

Theories abound, but things didn’t go well in a 20-13 loss to Kentucky on Oct. 2, where Florida committed 15 penalties. The Gators weren’t a well-trained team that night and have looked disjointed ever since.

Florida had the ball and the chance to win in regulation at Missouri with the score tied. But Mullen chose to miss the time and try his luck in overtime. It did not work. His Missouri counterpart Eli Drinkwitz pulled off a two-point conversion and the win. It worked.

It was clear after Saturday’s loss to Missouri that Mullen had no more answers.

“Dan is a very good football coach,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said at a press conference in Gainesville on Sunday. “He will have another opportunity to train and he will succeed. “

Mullen is the 13th FBS coach to come out in the 2021 season. Schools competing with Florida for a new head coach include USC, LSU and Virginia Tech. Among the first names proposed for the position in Florida, considered one of the best in the country, were former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin and Louisiana head coach Billy Napier.

Mullen will receive a $ 12 million buyback that will be done in seven installments. Half of this total will be paid within 30 days.

Mullen took Florida to three consecutive New Years Six Bowls. He spent nine seasons in Mississippi State where he led the Bulldogs to No. 1 nationally.

2-The ACC and the Pac-12 are not in contention for the college football playoffs. Cincinnati, I believe, will be there when the next round of rankings is released on Tuesday night.

The Oregon No.3 was hammered by Utah 38-7 on Saturday night, leaving the Ducks at 9-2 with a game to play against Oregon State. No.10 Wake Forest lost to Clemson 48-27, giving the deacons their second loss and putting the ACC out of action for the CFP.

Projected rankings:

1 — Georgia

2 — Alabama

3 — Ohio State

4 — Cincinnati

5 — Michigan

6 – Notre-Dame

7 – State of Oklahoma

A possible twist. The committee could move Ohio State to Alabama at No.2 based on the Buckeyes’ 56-7 victory over Michigan State No.7 and Crimson Tide’s 42-35 victory over the ‘Arkansas.

3 — Kirby Smart of Georgia should be seriously considered as SEC Coach of the Year:

Normally the COY goes to a coach who has exceeded expectations based on the level of talent available. There are a bunch of coaches in this conference that fit the bill, including South Carolina’s Shane Beamer (6-5), Tennessee’s Josh Heupel (6-5), Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (6-5), Mike Leach of Mississippi State (7-4) and Sam Pittman of Arkansas (7-4). Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss (8-2) has also done a great job coaching this season.

But what about the coach who guides a talented team to a historic unbeaten season?

Georgia are 11-0 for the first time since 1982 and have had only one 12-0 team in their history, the 1980 national championship team. Georgia will be heavily favored against Georgia Tech on Saturday. and will then play in the SEC Championship game (against Alabama) for the fourth time in five seasons.

He built the team around generational defense, efficient attacking, and beat all opponents on the calendar (except Clemson in Game 1) by 17 points or more.

Just something to think about.

4-A Heisman Trophy race that was wide open became much clearer on Saturday.

Alabama sophomore Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud hosted games for the ages and made it a two-man race for the Heisman.

Young, a sophomore, completed 31 of 40 passes for 559 yards (an Alabama record) and five touchdowns in a 42-35 win over Arkansas.

Stroud, a freshman, completed 29 of 31 passes in the FIRST HALF for 393 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-7 win over Michigan State.

Young (3,584 yards, 38 touchdowns, three interceptions) still has games to play with Auburn and Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Stroud (3,468 yards, 36 touchdowns, five interceptions) faces No.6 Michigan on Saturday, where a win puts Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.

Stay tuned.

5 — There is also going to be a serious quarterback game in the Egg Bowl Thursday night in Starkville.

First off, there aren’t two better quarterback coaches in college football than Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) and Mike Leach (Mississippi State). Here are the two quarters that they will put on the ground on Thanksgiving night.

Will Rogers, Mississippi: Rogers is the SEC’s top passer having completed 76.1% of his passes for 4,115 yards, 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions on 573 attempts.

Matt Corral, Ole Miss: Corral is the SEC’s No.3 passer having completed 67.5% of his passes for 3,100 yards, 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions on 345 attempts.


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