Starting 11: Kid Kliff Kingsbury, Guns Up
Published on: October 28, 2013 | Written by: Clay Travis
This kid, dressed as toddler Kliff Kingsbury, just stole your wife or girlfriend.
So far this kid is the unquestioned winner of the Outkick the Coverage Halloween costume contest of 2013.
If you really liked your own costume or you saw one that you particularly loved this weekend, email or Tweet me pictures of the costume and I'll feature it this Thursday on the site.
And now, without further delay, it's the final Starting 11 of October.
1. Why can't we start the playoff a year early?
I've been arguing this for a while -- over a year, actually -- but it's never made sense to me that we should have a college football playoff announced and then have to stick with the BCS for another year.
Why can't we just just go ahead and start the playoff?
That's particularly the case this year when there's a decent chance we may end up with four undefeated teams from four major conferences.
Just use the BCS standings to seed the top four teams in the playoffs.
That means if the season ended today your final four would be #1 Alabama playing # 4 Ohio State and #2 Oregon playing #3 Florida State.
Hell, if the bowl sites won't work, play these two games in the stadium of the higher ranked team and then let the Rose Bowl still host the BCS title game.
Would anyone object to this?
Wouldn't it be the perfect solution for the mess we've got brewing?
I'm going to write more on this later in the week, but it makes too much sense not to do.
2. The BCS standings work better the larger the playoff pool is expanded.
I've come to enjoy the actual unveiling of the BCS standings, ridiculous and flawed as they are.
That's because the weekly BCS standings allow fans to survey the entire college landscape and provide fairly predictable patterns for the weeks ahead. Look at the standings and you can pretty well divine what your team needs to do to play for the title.
Sure, the BCS is imperfect, but it definitely lets you know where your team stands in relation to other teams.
With the college football playoff selection committee will we have any of this same predictability?
My top preference for seeding the playoff would be to let Las Vegas do it. My second preference would be to use the existing BCS standings to pick the top four teams. This committee is actually my third favorite method to pick teams. I think it's less reliable and more prone to horse trading and political intrigue.
3. Don't sleep on undefeated Baylor moving up in the BCS standings.
The Bears play three top 15 teams in the coaches poll in the month of November. (Plus Texas, who may well be ranked, in the first weekend in December in a game that's likely to decide the Big 12 title). These three top 15 teams left on Baylor's schedule -- Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State -- are all higher ranked than any team that Urban Meyer's Buckeyes have thus far played in his nearly two years in Columbus.
Why does this Baylor schedule being backloaded so much matter?
Because each of these games will give Baylor a chance to prove how good it is for a national audience while also sending Baylor's computer ranking surging.
There's a very good chance that a 12-0 Baylor would jump a 13-0 Ohio State.
Honestly, Baylor should jump the Buckeyes if both finish undefeated, Baylor's better. Las Vegas would peg Baylor as a touchdown or more favorite over Ohio State on a neutral field.
4. Mizzou, good Lord, Mizzou.
Many have focused on Mizzou's missed 24 yard field goal as the reason for the Tiger collapse, but I think that play misses the point.
It's college, kickers miss easily makeable kicks all the time because most college kickers are totally unreliable.
To me the biggest story is the failed 4th and 15 overtime defense.
How was Mizzou in man to man there?
This was a complete coaching failure.
Remember the situation, it's 4th and 15 and South Carolina has to score a touchdown to prolong the game.
So you have zero reason to defend any part of the field short of the the goal line.
How do you not drop at least eight players to the end zone and play zone there?
With eight men actually in the end zone, there's no way South Carolina can complete a pass to an open receiver, right?
The pass has to cover at least twenty yards in the air -- probably more -- meaning that all you have to do is react to the ball in the air.
Sure, South Carolina could still complete a pass but it would just have to be a jump ball or a tip ball situation.
You don't have any threat of Connor Shaw running the football in because he has to cover 15 yards even after he gets to the line of scrimmage. (Not to mention Shaw's playing on a gimpy leg). Meaning your entire team can swarm him well short of the goal line if he actually scrambled.
Instead, Mizzou played man-to-man and got burned.
This is a clear example of a coaching staff confronted with a scenario they weren't prepared for.
Mizzou's coaching staff failed its players in this situation.
5. Plan your work excuses for Friday November 8th already.
Thursday night, November 7th, is better for college football fans than Saturday that week.
I'm just giving y'all a head's up in advance, take Friday off from work and hang out with your buddies -- or, more likely, sit up in your house drinking alone -- to watch both of these games.
At 7:30 eastern on FS1, Oklahoma's at Baylor.
Then at 9 eastern, Oregon at Stanford kicks off on ESPN.
This is the greatest Thursday night college football slate in the history of the sport.
You don't want to miss any of it.
But that Stanford game isn't going to end until around one in the morning on the east coast.
So why not go ahead and take Friday off?
Come Saturday you've got LSU at Alabama, but otherwise the day's games are much worse than Thursday night's.
6. Our weekly Homeland interlude.
Yes, episode five was much improved, the best so far of the season, but if you've been watching the show you're going to love this youtube clip from last year.
It's titled -- Dana passes the salt.
And hardly anyone has actually seen it.
How perfect was that?
7. I can't find the YouTube video, but Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech pulled off an awesome punt return trick play that I've never seen before.
Kingsbury sent his returner running up the left sideline to signal a fair catch.
The Oklahoma punt defense followed the returner.
Only the ball was kicked further toward the right sideline.
Tech peeled back an upback who fielded the kick on a bounce and ran 32 yards -- most of the time with no one near him because everyone had followed the returner -- before being tackled out of bounds.
(If anyone has a link to this play I'll put it up here. I was watching live when it happened, but I haven't heard anyone talk about it.)
Kliff Kingsbury, I love you.
8. The top five undefeated teams in the country won their games this week by a combined 189 points.
That's an average victory margin of 37.8 points.
I understand that the BCS has worked out every year except 2004 -- sorry Auburn fans -- but this year feels different.
It isn't just that the top teams are winning, it's that they are mauling the competition.
What's more, Alabama, Florida State and Oregon will be double digit favorites in every game remaining on their schedules.
And Baylor might be as well. (Ohio State figures to be favored around 5 or 6 at Michigan, in the Buckeyes closest remaining challenge).
Sure, upsets could happen, but it would take a series of pretty big upsets at this point to ensure that no major undefeated team is left out of the title game.
That's why we need the playoff a year early.
9. Mack Brown's probably going to be back at Texas next year.
Ever since the officials gave Texas a gift at Iowa State, the Longhorns have played very well, destroying both Oklahoma and TCU at a neutral site and a road game, respectively.
Now the Longhorns come back home for three of the next four weekends.
Here are the next four games for Texas: Kansas, at West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech.
There's a pretty decent chance that Texas is 8-0 in the Big 12, 9-2 overall, when the season finale at Baylor arrives.
If that's the case then Texas at Baylor will probably be for the Big 12 title.
Can you really fire Mack Brown in that situation regardless of the outcome?
Sure, Mack Brown could agree to step down, but that doesn't seem very likely.
It now appears more likely than not that Mack Brown will be back next year at Texas.
3. Florida State
6. Ohio State
10. South Carolina
11. The SEC power ratings. (I've pulled Ohio State out of the mix because it appears the Buckeyes have a very slim chance of actually playing for the title this year. It's important to note that Vegas would still favor Bama, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and potentially Mizzou over the Buckeyes.) You can read my rationale for these SEC rankings here.
4. South Carolina
6. Texas A&M
8. Ole Miss
12. Mississippi State