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Mind of Mike: Musings after the first weekend of college football

The middle of the college football week is always a good time to react to the aftermath of the previous weekend - and what’s ahead. National columnist Mike Farrell does just that in this edition of Mind of Mike.

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Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly (Photo by Mike Miller)

Let me start with something that simply ticks me off — the overreaction and fake outrage on social media about anything and everything. Case in point: Brian Kelly. After a difficult overtime win against Florida State, Notre Dame's coach mangled an old John McKay joke about his team being executed after the game and the social media world sensed an opening and jumped on it.

My timeline was filled with everything from “It’s inappropriate to talk about college kids that way” to “Well, Brian Kelly did murder someone,” in reference to the horrible 2010 practice accident and fatality of Declan Sullivan when he fell from a tower while videotaping during a windy practice.

So I’m here to clear up a few things. Brian Kelly is not funny. His attempted joke was bad. But what we have here in 2021 is not stupidity. It’s far from that. It’s a mob mentality to attack and express fake outrage over anything that’s said that could even slightly be viewed as inappropriate by someone.

This is the end game, the hobby, so to speak, of a world full of angry people who want to see anyone successful fail. Instead of buying into cancel culture can we perhaps start a movement to cancel cancel culture and stop pretending to be seriously affected by every little thing? That would be nice.

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Randy Edsall
Randy Edsall (AP Images)

OK, and now I’m not going to defend a coach, so that should equal things out. Randy Edsall screwed his team over by taking his “dream job” at Maryland back in 2011 after leading the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl. But for some reason a desperate UConn program rehired him in 2017.

How did he screw them over by taking a better job? He took a flight to Maryland to accept the new job after the Fiesta Bowl loss instead of coming home with his team and many players learned of his departure via media or text messages. Edsall later admitted that he didn’t play this out well.

At Maryland, he went 22-34 overall and 10-24 in conference, and he was known more for driving players off the team than anything else. His record in his return to UConn is 6-32, including double-digit losses by 40 - that’s right - 40 or more points. Now Edsall steps away a second time and wanted to so some odd 10-game farewell tour that would include 10 horrific losses, including perhaps a 70-80 point loss to Clemson.

But smarter heads prevailed and he has been forced to step down immediately. Few coaches are in my book as caring about only themselves through my long career, but Edsall is certainly one of them.

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Greg Dulcich
Greg Dulcich (USA Today)

Ok, enough about coaches. Let’s talk about some players that really shot up the NFL Draft boards even just one game into the season. These guys have already made themselves some money ….

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia No one should move like he does as a 350-pounder. He’s a quarterback chaser and not just a pocket pusher.

DT Fabien Lovett, Florida State No. 0 was all over the field for the Seminoles and in on so many plays that he’s instantly being mentioned in the top 10 by some at DT.

DE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame Foskey is long and fast as well as very athletic and he chased a ton of plays down for the Irish. I’m telling you this kid could be a first-rounder.

S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State It’s not easy to dominate a football game as a safety, but Brisker did just that and has jumped up my board at the position.

TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA I’ve been talking about him for a while, and maybe it took a breakout game against LSU for the rest of the world to notice.

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Looking ahead to this weekend, there are a couple of teams that lost their openers that could go 0-2 and put their head coaches in serious hot-seat discussion.

First, the Miami Hurricanes and Manny Diaz. After getting drilled by Alabama, they could very well lose to Appalachian State despite being a nine-point favorite. I’m dead serious. And if they do people will be calling for the head of Diaz very quickly.

The other one I’m watching — Washington. After a horrible loss to Montana in the opener, a loss to Michigan might put some strain on the job of Jimmy Lake. How is this possible, you say, as he’s coached only five games in his career? OK, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but I will say this: If he starts the season 0-2 he will have zero wiggle room in the next three games against Arkansas State, Cal and Oregon State. An 0-5 or 1-4 start would send him quickly to an early hot seat.

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And finally, Mike Norvell has things going in the right direction for Florida State, as we saw in the Seminoles' overtime loss to Notre Dame in the season opener. A team I thought was a good six or seven touchdowns away from beating Clemson looks like it has closed that gap quickly.

I’m not saying they beat the Tigers, but if the Seminoles play like they did this past weekend they should head to a bowl game and hang with teams like UNC, NC State, Miami and Florida.

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