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American Family Insurance Championship - Round One
Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Wondering how we give the Shutdown Fullcast that special, worn-in feel episode after episode? Wonder no longer - we reveal the secrets within! Plus, we tackle BOLD PREDICTIONS, including:

  • Wisconsin goes undefeated but the Playoff Committee picks UCF over them
  • Miami beats Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, still winds up with 2 losses
  • Staying at Iowa State > going to Nebraska
  • LSU will win the Bama game by 10
  • Ok maybe we just said that last thing to make Bama mad, which is what Nick Saban wants

You're welcome, Nick Saban. Because we love you in a side hug kind of way, we decided to defend or reject some of your BOLD TAKES as a happy extra for your continued patronage.


Oh the chances of this happening seem so, so small at this point. UVA stands on the edge of a nasty three game run through Georgia Tech, Louisville’s offense and special teams, and Miami. (Louisville’s defense not found, thus not included with offense.) UVA has already lost two games in a row already, and could come into this game on the skids of a nasty five game losing streak if they’re not careful.

So what we’re saying is: Yes, UVA will definitely beat Virginia Tech as long as nothing makes sense. This being 2017, this is entirely possible.

You typed that just to type it and see what it looked like, and we respect that.

Okay this won’t happen for one reason and one reason only: Florida will not hire two coaches in a row from Colorado State. After the McElwain buyout, it’s safe to say that Florida has given the Rams enough money already. Then again: If Florida wanted to claim Mike Bobo, it’s entirely possible there’s a case to be made there since some of that McElwain buyout money probably went towards paying him his salary.

There’s also the matter of Mike Bobo being a very good offensive coach, but not the kind of capital letter Offensive Guru Florida feels like they have to hire. Those people, on November 2, 2017, are pretty much Dan Mullen or Scott Frost. Way too much money will be spent in order to write these two names down, but capitalism is all about making sure no simple, direct transaction requiring minimal knowledge cannot be interrupted and shortcut by an expensive intermediary process. Get that paper, search firms.

P.S. Still, get the Levin School of Law on building the argument just in case we need it.

Undoubtedly: They’ve already lost three of their five conference games so far by single scores, and took Ohio State deep into the second half before finally imploding. Put it on the football facilities’ front door on a brass plate. Indiana football: A series of noble implosions.

The hard part will be keeping this run of single score losses alive in the crucial three game run of Illinois, Rutgers, and Purdue. Losing that Illinois game in particular will be a challenge, but we have faith, Indiana.

The prospect of UGA losing two games they shouldn’t feels so distant now, particularly after watching the Bulldogs barely break a sweat beating Florida. Then again, a lot of teams could emerge from a game against Florida perspiration-free this year, and if there is one weakness Georgia might have, it’s making Jake Fromm do more than he’s had to do so far.

That’s a theoretical weakness, though, and those are the best kinds of weaknesses to have going into November. Michigan State has all kinds of proven, non-theoretical weaknesses, though it’s hard to say whether those make them any better or worse as a football team. The Spartans are football Swiss Cheese: They always have holes, but that’s part of the charm and character of the team. How did they even score, ever, on purpose?

But yeah, half of the original point stands: Michigan State is showing up for a quality bowl game in Florida and then getting absolutely paved by whoever shows up. AND THEY’LL TAKE IT LIKE MEN.

It’s terrifying how accurate this is. Iowa State, at this point, has outright wins over Oklahoma and TCU, the all-important transitive win over Ohio State and their entire kingdom, and potentially much more by extension once the playoff begins. Not the kings, but the kingsmakers call Ames, Iowa home.

The other terrifying thing to note: Iowa State, if they win three of their last four, could finish with nine wins in the regular season. Split ‘em and win a bowl game, and nine is also a possibility. The last time Iowa State won nine games: The year 2000, when Sage Rosenfels was their quarterback. The last time before that? In the year 1906, when Iowa State beat Iowa in the most ¡EL ASSICO! of ¡EL ASSICO!s with a 2-0 Cyclones victory.

Already done, really. Unless Texas A&M wants to upset a good recruiting class and is absolutely 100% positive Chad Morris is an upgrade on Sumlin, staying with what they’ve got is probably what they’ll do. It’s never, ever a completely bad sign for a coach to have people wanting to fire a coach early in the season. There’s time to recover, win a few games, and then ask the question most fanbases (besides Florida’s) have trouble answering: Would you really be better off with someone else instead of this proven, road-tested acceptable-level football? Most of the time the answer is no, especially when some of a school’s candidates suddenly get fat raises at their current jobs and decide to stay put.*

*If A&M loses three out of their last four to Ole Miss, LSU, and Auburn, this opinion is invalid, and Kevin Sumlin will be, like, super-fired.

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