Three-Point Stance: Saturday's Shine, shame, more on McElwain
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s thought-provoking Three-Point Stance is here with Saturday Shine and Saturday Shame from the weekend, as well as why Jim McElwain should have been fired.
J.T. Barrett – OK, maybe I was right before I was wrong. What? I picked Barrett to win the Heisman and for Ohio State to win the national title, but then I cursed myself for such predictions after the OU loss. Now I may be looking smart again?
Ohio State defensive line – I was critical of this unit, deemed the best and deepest in the country at the beginning of the season, after the OU game. But it dominated the second half of Saturday's game and lived up to the hype.
Matt Campbell – Two wins over top 5 teams? Iowa State had one such win in the program’s history. The Cyclones control their own destiny in the Big 12, and this guy could be this year’s Tom Herman as one of the hottest names out there for major programs.
Notre Dame offensive line – The most physical unit of its kind in football did it again, wearing down a talented N.C. State defense and also protecting Brandon Wimbush. The Irish simply roll over teams with that run game.
Georgia offensive line – Remember when the Georgia offensive line was a problem last year? It is just a shade behind Notre Dame and perhaps Alabama when it comes to the best run-blocking units in the country.
Memphis offense – I haven’t given this offense and Riley Ferguson enough props as well: The Tigers are fun to watch. They just put up points week after week and Anthony Miller is a guy to watch at the next level.
Clemson defense – In a downpour it’s easier to dominate, but Georgia Tech isn’t easy to play no matter what the circumstances and holding it to under 200 yards rushing is impressive. This defense is playing as expected.
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern – It’s about time he put together a game we expected, right? Michigan State’s defense is tough and the amount of points is bolstered by the overtimes, but Thorson was on point in knocking the Spartans out of the Big Ten race.
Steve Addazio – His seat isn’t that hot anymore after wins over Louisville, Virginia and Florida State. Had you told me Boston College would beat the Cardinals and Seminoles before this season, I would have called you crazy.
Dan Mullen – I was high on him when Mississippi State beat LSU, then down on him when Georgia clocked his team and now I’m high on him again as he’s righted the ship. The bottom line: After the win over the Aggies, Mississippi State is bowl eligible for the eighth time under Mullen. That’s amazing. Florida, are you seeing this?
Jim McElwain – Getting fired for an awful offense is one thing, but making up stories about death threats to give your bosses an excuse after a drubbing against Georgia is just plain dumb. More below.
Florida defense – It gave up, and gave up early. It was 14-0 when it started to mail it in; that’s sad.
FSU – This is an awful football team with zero leadership and a bunch of players who didn’t show an ounce of fight as Boston College destroyed them. The coaches looked equally disinterested. How does FSU turn into a dumpster fire?
Penn State defense – You let J.T. Barrett look like Tom Brady in the second half and down the stretch. The Oklahoma defense held him in check, but you couldn’t? Maybe Barrett has improved that much since the OU game - but still.
Butch Jones – Just because he’s 0-5 in the SEC and lost to Kentucky.
Michigan State – No one was talking about Michigan State while everyone was focused on Penn State, Ohio State and Jim Harbaugh. All the Spartans had to do was keep winning and thrive on the lack of attention, but they blew it.
Ole Miss defense – Talk about blowing a lead, Ole Miss did that and then some and gave Bret Bielema an SEC win - something I wasn’t sure would happen this season.
Louisville defense – It can’t get any worse than this, can it?
A FINAL THOUGHT ON MCELWAIN
I’ll make this brief, because I don’t have a ton of room left. By allegedly lying about death threats received at Florida toward family and players, Jim McElwain did the ultimate disservice to Gators fans. He besmirched the fan base, the donors and the program itself with such fiction. Some people might think this isn’t a reason to dismiss your coach and that a simple apology is in order, but to me it was clearly a fire-able offense.
As a leader of young men, it’s irresponsible to say such things if they aren’t true to attempt to gain sympathy from those being critical of you. The “woe is me” attitude isn’t acceptable at any level of coaching, but making things up to further enhance your victim role? That’s not someone I’d want leading my football team. Football is a great tool to teach players how to overcome adversity, not a vehicle to push an agenda in a world already filled with excuse makers.