Amid life’s many uncomfortable necessities, apologies may be the most crucial. The same is true in the world of college football, in which fans draw wild conjecture before players have even set foot on the gridiron. Every once in a while, you simply have to be the bigger person and own up to your mistakes.
“But what if I am a small, small man with a stale fart for a soul and a shriveled raisin where my heart should be?” you ask.
I totally get it, but never fear. As someone who makes incorrect sports predictions like it’s his birthright, I could write the book on eating your words in the most digestible way possible.
Just follow my lead. Today, I offer a mea culpa to six players, coaches, and teams about whom I was dearly mistaken. Whether or not they actually deserve it.
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (beat No. 12 UCLA 45-30)
For forgetting he spent his first three years at Auburn
Nix has caught a lot of flack since his true freshman campaign in 2019, but he has been remarkably efficient the last few weeks, making smart decisions in the passing game and keeping things interesting on the ground. Sure, Oregon was seven touchdowns behind Georgia in Week 1, but it’s not Nix’s fault he couldn’t play all 11 defensive positions.
Yes, three and a half seasons is longer than you’d like for a quarterback to develop. But come on, three of those were Auburn Years. If you convert them to Competent Program Years, that’s like, nine games, tops.
Mississippi State (lost to No. 6 Alabama 30-6)
For playing Alabama immediately after its first loss for the third time in four seasons
To be clear, the Crimson Tide losing the week prior isn’t why Mississippi State always gets blasted by them. If your defense can figure out how to stop roughly five passing plays, you have a decent shot against Mike Leach’s Post-it note offense.
Nevertheless, it does feel like Alabama plays with a special level of aggression the week after a loss. It’s as if the Tide summon all the hate and self-loathing in Alabama — which is really saying something — and channel it into a righteous ass-kicking.
Next season, Bama gets Ole Miss the week before Mississippi State, so the Bulldog faithful had better hope the Rebels look as awful as they did against LSU on Saturday. Speaking of which…
LSU head coach Brian Kelly (beat No. 15 Ole Miss 45-20)
For thinking his team would be as bad as his accent
Don’t look now, but everyone’s favorite lifelong southerner has his squad tied for first in the SEC West.
If LSU somehow beats Alabama in Kelly’s first year, the ripple effects will be devastating. We will see a bare minimum of three big-name Midwest coaches bolt for the Bible Belt and adopt entirely new personalities along the way.
Greg Schiano comparing his defense to a woman’s scorn? James Franklin launching a grassroots senatorial campaign in rural Mississippi? If clumsily embracing southern culture means winning National Championships, it’s only a matter of time before the PJ Fleck megachurch sets up a chapter near you.
Listen to our Week 8 Reactions:
The hypothetical normal Texas fan (watched Texas lose to No. 9 Oklahoma State 41-34)
For existing (in theory, I mean)
Suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine a perfectly normal, well-adjusted Texas football fan. Think of all they’ve undeservedly gone through the last decade.
Horns down. “Texas is back.” The cruel, yet probably true prediction that Texas will be a mid-tier SEC team.
Life can’t be easy for the Longhorn who watches every game passionately, but doesn’t tweet at recruits. The fan who, sure, occasionally fantasizes about seceding from the union, but isn’t a recurring character at local school board meetings. If you’re this beautiful, mythical creature, I pity you.
Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (sort of helped beat No. 16 Syracuse 27-21)
For being recruited when he was recruited
Uiagalelei was benched midway through Saturday’s win over Syracuse in favor of freshman Cade Klubnik, prompting some fans to question whether the benching should be permanent.
Is Klubnik actually better than Uiagalelei? Uh… maybe? He is better at not fumbling, and it felt like he generated more positive yards just by drawing penalties than Uigalelei did through the air all of last season, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Uiagalelei appears to be a perfectly serviceable quarterback. He just happened to follow two Clemson quarterbacks who are now (technically) in the NFL. He isn’t amazing, but if he loses the starting job I’m sure there are plenty of high-profile coaches who would love to have him. For example…
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher (got to four losses even faster this year)
For believing in him
My bad. I won’t let it happen again.