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The Itis: CFF Treats - Observations from Week Ten
On this week's recap: Hidden exchange between Lincoln Riley and Alex Grinch comes to light; two programs surpassing Y1 expectations; and who does VP think is the most dangerous team in CFB right now?
Yo homie! Is that my brief case?
- Tom Cruise, Collateral (2004)
Alex Grinch Has Been Officially Banished From USC
“Yo homie, is that my brief case?”
Lincoln Riley shouts to Alex Grinch, in a dark room somewhere within the annals of the OU Sooners football stadium.
“That’s right, all of your darkest secrets, your tampering behind the scenes, the closing lines of your recruiting pitch to five star QBs, it’s all here…” Grinch replies, “…and the contents of this brief case never has to see the light of day… all you have to do is promise me one thing…”.
Puzzled, Coach Riley asks “And what’s that?”.
Grinch explains: “I want a guarantee that I’ll have a position as DC on your staff for the rest of my life, no exceptions. No recruiting. No watching film. And we sure as shit aren’t live tackling in practice.”
“Really? Well… OK deal. I don’t believe in tackling in practice anyways… stymies the offensive flow.
And I should let you know in advance, we’re getting the **** out of this hell hole soon… I’m thinking LA—nicer weather, prettier girls, easier to attract talent, know what I’m saying? I’m actually headed down there later tonight on my PJ to see a Yellowcard concert on Ocean Avenue, wanna come with?”.
Full disclosure, I don’t know if a conversation like this ever transpired between now-USC head coach Lincoln Riley and former Trojans/Sooners DC Alex Grinch, but it’s the only scenario I can think of for why it took so long to finally address the defensive issues that have plagued the Riley-Grinch squads for years. What’s most alarming — after doing some digging — I am seeing chatter online that apparently, Alex Grinch didn’t care much for watching film…
I suppose that would partially explain the USC defence’s propensity for making the same mistakes over and over again, but why can’t anybody tackle? I imagine these were questions Riley had been battling with for the last five years or so.
He finally decided that keeping Grinch around wasn’t worth it, no matter what sort of dirt he may or may not have on CLR,firing coach Grinch on Monday. As such, I’m expecting some scandalous material to be released to the public in the coming days in light of Grinch’s firing—some collusion with Connor Stallions maybe? Might want to double check the tape on those OU/USC sidelines…
UNLV Rebels in Y1 Under Odom Surpassing Expectations
First of all, I just wanted to acknowledge the turn around that Barry Odom and Co. have engineered within the UNLV football program this season. The Rebels currently stand at a 7-2 record, and sure, the schedule isn’t a lot to write home about. But it’s still impressive considering they’ve been a bottom feeder within their own conference for a very long time. Fortunately for us, the success of the program is not just limited to a pure football standpoint, but also a CFF context.
This week on X, I reposted an old article I had done back in May on WR Ricky White, who began his career at MSU before transferring to UNLV in 2022. His first year with the Rebs showed some flashes, but he struggled mightily with consistency, and this kept him out of the relevant CFF conversations.
This season, however, after a slower start, he his beginning to flash more frequently and consistently. He has now gone over 34 points in three of his last four, and the one game that he didn’t he still scored over 16 points in 1PPR formats. What’s more, Ricky White Sr. follows me on twitter, which immediately scores his son brownie points in my book.
Jokes aside, I just wanted to give a hat tip to the UNLV program and its fans. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited to see where they go from here.
Interesting Stats/Update on RB1/WR1 Races
There are currently 20 RBs averaging over 20 points in 1PPR leagues. There’s probably some interesting 20-20 thing in there that a better writer could come up with, but alas, you’re stuck with me. This is also where I wish Fantrax kept stats from previous seasons, it would be interesting to see how that number compares to how many finished averaging 20+ points in the previous years.
Of active players, OK State’s Ollie Gordon is the leader in FPG average with 26.7. Ashton Jeanty remains as the only non-QB with over 30 FPG, but he has not played in a few weeks now.
FAU’s LaJohntay Wester leads WRs with 27.17 FPG. Only one other WR averages more than 26 FPG in 1PPR formats and that’s LSU’s Malik Nabers.
There are currently seven rushers with over 1000 yards.
The only two RBs that have 200 or more carries have both gone over 1000 yards. That fact is not surprising, but the two names are (based on preseason expectations): GState’s Marcus Carroll and UMass’ Kay’Ron Lynch Adams.
Update on Poggi-Ball Year One
The Charlotte 49ers have made me a happy man this season. Why is that, you ask? They have no relevant CFF assets, what could you possibly be satisfied with, VP? Before the season, I like to place a solid amount of cash down on CFB futures, usually that’s win totals and conference champions. Last year I hit big on a $60 ticket on KState winning the B12, and had another ticket on their win total (I actually also had a fiver on Deuce Vaughn to win the Heisman… that one was less fruitful). But there were several others that cashed also, so much so that I decided to try my luck again this year. One of the teams I honed in on was Charlotte and their 2.5 O/U win total. With three games left in the regular season, the 49ers have already cleared that total with a grand sum of… three wins. Hey, I’ll take it.
I’m also encouraged by what I’ve seen in the CFF context, which I’m sure will surprise many. Obviously, the output is not good enough at any position, but the fact that they have divvied up 20+ touches to its RBs several times—including second year player Terron Kellman, who now has back to back games of 20+ carries, gives me hope for the future. This will be a volume pig program under Biff Poggi, I remain confident in that assertion. How long will it take for them to match the production with the touch volume? Hard to say at this point, but I will be tracking the backfield of this program closely this offseason regardless.
HUGE Weekend for CFB
There is no other way to describe what transpired on Saturday—that was an epic day of college football. So many great games all in on 12-14 hour period almost feels dirty. At one point I had to ask: what did I do in my life to deserve this level of satisfaction on a random November Saturday?
The final instalment of Bedlam (for now, at least) went out with a bang, as usual. It just feels like CFB justice that the Pokes would send off OU — who’s move to the SEC along with Texas almost single-handedly destroyed the B12 — with a fat L, eviscerating the Sooners’ playoff hopes in the process. Also — looking at the photo above — how did former OU Sooner QB Spencer Rattler pull a Conor Stallions and end up in an OK State uniform on Saturday? Putting my conspiracy hat on, could this have been some excellently executed plan of revenge on his former program?
Kidding aside, OK State QB Alan Bowman does strike a resemblance to the current USCjr. gunslinger in that photo. I’m just going to pretend that my conspiracy theory is true.
The UGA/Mizzou matchup was also excellent. It was touch-and-go for awhile, but champions do what champions do. Even without Bowers, the Dawgs — shockingly — kept it moving at a pretty good clip. It’s unfortunate for CFF managers that Luther Burden got nicked up, though he did finish the game. I don’t own Burden in any of my leagues, but I might be a bit anxious about starting him this week.
Capping the night off was (in my opinion) the greatest rivalry in CFB—LSU vs. Alabama. Another back and forth banger, with the more complete team pulling ahead in the fourth quarter. LSU’s passing attack remains ridiculous, but they simply don’t have the horses on defence, particularly in the secondary, to stop anybody. That bodes well for Graham Mertz and the Gators coming into town this weekend, but it does unfortunately waste one of the more exciting offences we’ve seen in CFB for awhile. A trip to the Duke Mayo Bowl in store for the Tigers? I think so.
Alabama The Most Dangerous Team in CFB?
CFB needs Alabama to be great again. You’re probably reading that and thinking: huh? I say it genuinely even as a fan of the Dawgs. The year of 2022 was sweet, don’t get me wrong. Basking in the glory of dethroning the longtime bully at the playground tastes like fresh cake out of the oven. But 2023 has been something else entirely. I would almost say it’s been sad to watch what’s happened to Alabama fans, like an old friend in the neighbourhood that you had a friendly competition with, slowly losing his mind as he struggles to get a grip on his new reality. He’s no longer the one everyone admires, nor reveres. No longer the standard everyone aspires to. It must be difficult… Meanwhile, I’m over here talking shit like I play for UGA, drinking champagne every night for all you know… I can’t even remember the last UGA regular season loss.
But this year’s Alabama team is coming into peak form at the right time. I think the makeup of the team, while maybe not technically as gifted as the previous two years, is better. They’ve got more ‘gas-station gangsters’ as I call them. The optimal roster in CFB has a healthy mix of up-standing young men who are conscientious and articulate individuals, balanced with dudes that simply get it out the mud, as the kids say. Kirby Smart has mastered this philosophy beautifully, I guess his understudy in Tuscaloosa is catching up.
More important than my superficial judgements of the personalities of 18-22 year old kids that I’ve never met, is that the QB—Jalen Milroe, is improving every week. We all know first impressions loom large. CFB fans made the mistake of letting their first impression of Stetson Bennett cloud their judgment of his ability later in his career. It made a lot of people look silly. Milroe is a better football player than when Alabama played Texas. He’ll be better in the SECCG than he is now. And with a stout defence to back him up, who’s going to stop the Elephants this year?
Well, think of CFB as an analogue to Gotham City, and Kirby Smart as Batman. Simply signal the need for help, and the Dawgs will be there to neutralize any and every threat. A collision in Atlanta seems likely—it even might turn out to be the real national championship game this season *non-SEC readers collectively roll their eyes*.
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