football Edit

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.

MORE: Last week's Shine and Shame | Who topped Farrell's Midseason 50?

SATURDAY SHINE 

J.T. Barrett
J.T. Barrett (AP Images)

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.

CeeDee Lamb – Remember when some were worried about who would step up and replace DeDe Westbrook? How about CeeDee replacing DeDe so early? This kid is going to be special, as I have said previously.

Mason Rudolph – A nice bounce-back game after looking so horrible against Texas. It was a huge game for Rudolph to come up big.

Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech– I haven’t given him props as a freshman killing it in the ACC, but he’s been consistent and just broke a Michael Vick record, so there’s that.

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.

Khalil Tate – The Heisman talk is ridiculous, but Tate has been the difference for Arizona and continues to put up pinball numbers as a runner.

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.

Sam Darnold – He fumbled again, but he didn’t throw any picks and took care of the ball a bit better in a key win for USC and a nice bounce-back game.

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.

Dredrick Snelson – Did you see the TD catch he made? If you didn’t, watch the UCF highlights and see why he was so coveted as a high school player.

Greg Dortch, Wake Forest – Four touchdowns as he scorched (rhymes with his name, see that?) the Cardinals. This kid is a big-time player no one has ever heard about.

Shane Buechele, Texas – He looked excellent, as he possibly took his starting job back and he even ran the ball well, a la Sam Ehlinger. Well, at least on one play.

Malik Jefferson, Texas – Remember when he looked lost against Maryland in week one? He is arguably the most dynamic defender in college football now.

Brandon Peters – Finally an efficient Michigan quarterback with an arm. OK, I know it was Rutgers, but this kid at least gives the offense a chance.

Tanner Lee – Good to see him win a close one after the awful start to the season for the Huskers. He is a great example of tenacity overcoming a lack of great natural talent and never giving up.

Cole Kelley – Have you seen how big this kid is? Yet he was moving around a little bit and extending the play for Arkansas. It was like watching an offensive lineman play quarterback.

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?

SATURDAY SHAME

TCU's Kenny Hill (No. 7)
TCU's Kenny Hill (No. 7) (AP Images)

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.

Kenny Hill, TCU – It was bound to happen that he would have a bad game, but this game was especially bad and cost his team a shot at the national title.

Butch Jones – Just because he’s 0-5 in the SEC and lost to Kentucky.

Vols brassFlorida found an excuse to fire its coach, yet they let Jones, winless in the SEC, continue to survive?

Miami – A win is a win, but UNC is horrible and Miami struggled. If the Canes do that against a good team, they are done.

Will Grier – There was a little bit of Heisman talk, but having your worst game in a must-win situation killed that - and West Virginia’s Big 12 hopes.

Luke Falk, Washington State – Benched again?

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.

Charlie StrongUSF has more talent and was set to battle UCF for a New Year’s Six Bowl, but he let his team lose to Houston.

Louisville defense – It can’t get any worse than this, can it?

Kansas State – A win is a win, just like for Miami, but beating Kansas by 10 almost feels like a loss.

A FINAL THOUGHT ON MCELWAIN 

Jim McElwain
Jim McElwain (AP Images)

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.