Lang’s World: Amid college football chaos, Crimson Tide consistently rises above fray
MEMPHIS - Last weekend was a wild one in college football. Six of the top sixteen teams caught an L, which included four of the top eight teams. This traditionally means a big shakeup among the top 25, and this week’s rankings are no different, with several teams rocketing up the standings, while the losers settle into less lofty digs.
But there’s one team we should probably recognize at the top of this week’s Lang’s World rankings, and I personally thank them for their lack of volatility, for their ability to somehow stay above the fray. The elephant in the room this year and every year is the Alabama Crimson Tide, who have been in the number one spot all season long. Last season, Alabama opened as the number one team and, even after a brief dip down into the not-top standings, they still managed to finish as the number one overall team.
We live in a topsy-turvy world, where very little is constant. My phone is forever buzzing and bleeping and showing me something new. Every time I turn on my PS4, it seems like there’s some game or app that requires an update. I’ve only been a homeowner for a few months, but it feels like the upkeep required is endless. I spent all day on Sunday doing projects around the house, and at the end of the night when I pulled out my trusty old Weber grill to cook some fish fillets, I discovered a teeming colony of mold inside. My shoulders sagged. Really? Can’t something just work the way it’s supposed to work? Is this what getting old is all about?
Which is why I appreciate Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. I don’t *like* Alabama – I’m a UGA fan for goodness sakes – but I can respect and appreciate them for what they represent. Which is a bit of constancy in this ever-shifting world. They’re mostly boring and generally plodding, but man if they don’t stay winning.
2.All that being said, Alabama plays at Tennessee this week, which seems like a perfect time to revisit one of the greatest viral video clips of all time...
“They low down, they dirty, they some snitches.” That would be a fantastic yearbook quote. I also appreciate that this man managed to insult Tennessee for ninety seconds while keeping his rant clean, which is easier said than done for many SEC fans.
3.I guess we should address my UGA Bulldogs losing at LSU on Saturday. This was easily the toughest test UGA has faced thus far, and man did they fail with flying colors. UGA looked terrible in all facets of the game, and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who was a career backup at Ohio State before transferring to the bayou for his final season, was lights-out. Conversely, UGA quarterback Jake Fromm, who was so good last season as a true freshman, was 16-for-34 passing the ball and could not generate anything for the Dawgs.
This game was exactly what I worried was going to happen to UGA this season. They graduated most of their defensive starters from a year ago, as well as their two top offensive threats (Sony Michel and Nick Chubb). But they started the season winning, and they kept winning, and they entered the LSU game ranked number two in the country.
Then reality bit. LSU made UGA’s defense look toothless, and UGA offensive coordinator Jim Chaney called a game that did Fromm few favors, although Fromm also missed several wide-open touchdown throws that were available.
For LSU, it’s a big win for Coach Ed Orgeron, especially coming off a loss to Florida the previous week. The Tigers will still have to prove themselves on November 3 with a game against – who else? – Alabama. But this is a game from which they should be able to build.
As for UGA, they’re still undefeated in the SEC East. And if they can knock off Florida in two weeks and then beat Kentucky, they will put themselves in position to win the SEC in the championship game.
So keep tagging me in your trash-talking tweets and sending me your taunting emails (yes, I mean you, Karen Merritt). There’s still a long way to go.
4.Elsewhere around college football, by which I mean elsewhere in the South, Memphis lost to Central Florida in a really close game played in the rain. Memphis could fall to 4-4 this weekend with their game at Mizzou, which is especially disappointing considering the expectations that have been built around the Tigers’ program the last few years.
5.Catch of the week goes to Towson’s Jabari Allen. I’ve watched this a dozen times and I’m still not sure if or how he caught this, or what exactly happened…
6.The NBA put a concerted effort into eradicating flopping, and perhaps the NCAA should look into it as well. As we saw this weekend during the Ole Miss/Arkansas game, if at first your flop doesn’t draw a flag, just keep flopping until you get one...
7.This is the coolest thing Ohio State – sorry, THE Ohio State – has done in a while…
8.LSU gave us perhaps the most viral moment of the weekend when defensive end Breiden Fehoko and his father prepped for the game by performing the Haka, the traditional Maori posture dance.
Need to get the whole team to do it next week.
9.I went on a short vacation two weeks ago all over Northern California, where my family visited several cities over the course of several days. This meant we stayed in four different hotels, and while no hotel was perfect, they were each fine in their own way.
But what I was not prepared for was the avalanche of email I’ve received since the trip asking me, no, begging me to go onto various websites and give great ratings to these hotels. I have already paid these places hundreds of dollars for allowing my family to spend a night there. I checked out and gave you money. We had a transaction. I got a receipt. Our business should be over.
I get it if you send me one email and ask me to perhaps help you out down the road by writing a good review. But if you keep sending me these emails, I’m eventually going to just write a bad review. GET OFF MY LAWN!
(And, no, I’m not in a bad mood because of UGA’s loss.)
10.Last weekend was particularly brutal in the Grind City Media Pick’Em Pool, as many of us battled just to stay near .500. Here are this weekend’s records with our overall marks in parenthesis. Still time for someone to make a run!
|Guest Picker: Rick Fox||5-5||N/A|
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Memphis Grizzlies. All opinions expressed by Lang Whitaker are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Memphis Grizzlies or its Basketball Operations staff, owners, parent companies, partners or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Memphis Grizzlies and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.