Matt’s Mind: Friday Football Frenzy (October 4, 2013)

by Matt Fischer

I thought I’d bust out a new weekly portion that’s part of my “Matt’s Mind” column strictly about my thoughts on the upcoming weekend of NFL and college football.  So welcome to version 1.

It’s been a very interesting week in college football.  With two coaches getting cut loose before we’re even at the midpoint of the season.  Do the AD’s think the season can be salvaged still?  The USC firing looks bad for Pat Haden.  He fired Kiffin when he got off the plane from their loss at Arizona State Saturday night.  That’s bad form if you ask me.  Midnight firings just seem shady.

I wonder how much of an impact the Rams versus Jaguars game will play into Jeff Fisher’s interest in the USC job?  He’s a former player there so there’s a natural interest.  If his Rams play poorly against the Jags, may he try to take the job in LA instead of trying to rebuild the Rams?

The gift Texas got kept Mack Brown’s seat at just simmering instead of scorching this weekend.  The refs bailed Texas out as they were driving late in the fourth and fumbled at the 1.  Iowa State clearly recovered the ball and was heading the other direction when the referees blew the play dead and ruled the runner down by contact.  Very questionable call.  It allowed Texas to take a 31-30 lead.  As disappointing as the call was for the Cyclones, they at least had a chance to get in field goal range to win when they threw a pick that ended it.  Brown escapes but the Sooners loom next weekend and could put the final nail in his coffin.

The Texas job is going to start looking very attractive to Nick Saban.  He has a great situation at Alabama but the recent scandals of players being paid while playing for the Crimson Tide could lead to NCAA penalties.  He has nothing left to accomplish at Alabama.  He’s won titles and put ‘Bama back atop the college football world.  Texas has the best of everything.  He’d go to a league not nearly as strong as the SEC and dominate it.  He’ll probably be offered $10 million a year to coach.  Alabama fans have to be nervous now about Nick Saban leaving.

I’m interested to see how LSU bounces back from a tough loss at Georgia last weekend.  It was their first loss of the year in a hard fought game.  Those two teams put on a tremendous performance last Saturday.  They go to Mississippi State which always tends to play well at home.  I don’t see an upset but think LSU.

SportsFormulator is located in Columbia, MO so I keep an eye on the Tigers but am not a big fan by any means.  They’re 4-0 but haven’t faced a good team yet.  They travel to Vandy so all of that will change on Saturday.  I’ll be surprised if they can win on the road against a good SEC team.

How will Notre Dame fans react when the Irish drop their third game of the season to Arizona State tomorrow night in Dallas?  The Irish had a perfect regular season and went to the BCS Championship last year and it’s been downhill since.  They got blown out by Alabama in that game, Vernon Golson was suspended and now they’re looking at their third loss as we start October.

Arizona State and Notre Dame will both have new unis for tomorrow night’s clash at Cowboys Stadium.  Check out ASU’s helmet for the game.  In full disclosure, I went to Arizona State and have been looking forward to this game for months now.  I wish I were in Dallas for it but will be watching instead.  I can’t wait for kickoff!  I think the Sun Devils’ speed will be too much for the Irish.

I’m a Chiefs fan too and am so excited about their start!  I had high hopes coming into the season.  I knew they had talent but just need a coach to light the fire and get them headed in the right direction.  Their game at Tennessee I’m nervous about.  The formula has it very close.  Jake Locker is out but Tennessee is very good at home.  I expect it to be a pretty defensive battle and if the Chiefs keep protecting the ball the way they have they should be 5-0 come Sunday evening.

The situation in Tampa has gotten ridiculous.  Greg Schiano is going to be gone before the end of the year I think.  If the Bucs don’t get headed in the right direction soon, there are going to be bigger changes than cutting Josh Freeman.  It seemed like there was a smear campaign against Freeman.  I don’t know what the whole story is down there but it’s ugly.  This is a team with talent but in disarray.  Their bye week better get them straightened out.

The NFL has a lot of good match-ups this weekend.  When the Chiefs are in a timeout or after the game, I’ll be watching Red Zone channel for sure to see what’s happening around the league.  Andrew Luck hosting that Seattle defense is the game that I’m most interested in on Sunday.  If Luck has a big game, comparisons between him and any of the other young QB’s should stop.  This is the type of game that can set him apart.

I’m intrigued to see if Cincinnati can beat New England.  The Bengals are at home and need this win after a bad performance in Cleveland last week.  If they want to be a contender in the AFC, they need to win this game.  The Pats were impressive Sunday night but lost Vince Wolfork and that’s a huge loss for the defense.  I expect the Bengals to run right at the Patriots and see if they can be stopped.

Well that’s it for the first edition of my Friday Football Frenzy.  It’ll be back every Friday of the football season so stop by and check it out.  Let me know what you think.

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