Is Florida's matchup with Georgia Will Muschamp's last chance to keep his job? Are Ole Miss and Mississippi State both set to collapse? Andy Staples answers these questions and more in this week's #DearAndy.
The releases of the first College Football Playoff committee rankings and my controversial Halloween candy rankings have inspired some outstanding questions. Here’s what we tackle in the video…
- Tommy Bowden’s suggestion that Condoleezza Rice isn’t qualified to pick the playoff teams.
- Are the SEC’s Mississippi schools about to fall out of the playoff mix?
- Why do I hate candy corn so much?
Read on for more questions and answers…
From @velvetbarstool: What difference in seat temperature are you predicting for Will Muschamp pre- and post-Cocktail Party?
Barring a debacle similar to what happened against Missouri, Muschamp’s seat will remain at the same bun-toasting temperature. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley does not want to fire Muschamp. The people inside Florida’s football complex do not want to see Muschamp fired. This isn’t always the case, but it is in Gainesville and it probably is in Ann Arbor, too, where Brady Hoke has an equal or slightly worse good-guy-to-his-employees-but-doesn’t-win-enough-football-games problem.
Foley’s dream scenario is a miracle run in which the Gators beat Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina and at least keep things competitive against Florida State. That way, he could point to on-field progress and keep a coach he likes and believes in.
The problem is that nothing Florida has shown so far this season suggests that will happen. Even without tailback Todd Gurley, Georgia is playing its best football. Freshman Nick Chubb has filled in nicely to keep the offense humming. After Georgia kicked most of the starting secondary off the team in the offseason, the Bulldogs struggled in pass coverage early, but they have improved as elite athletes have gotten game experience.
Treon Harris will start at quarterback for Florida, and maybe that will make all the difference. This will be the first game for which Harris took the first team reps in practice, and Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and his staff only have a limited amount of film from which to design a game plan. That definitely helps Florida. But that advantage will be nullified if the Gators simply hand the ball to the Bulldogs as they did to the Tigers on Oct. 18.
Muschamp played at Georgia for Ray Goff, who went 1-6 against Florida and 0-6 against Steve Spurrier-coached Florida teams, so Muschamp knows exactly what happens to coaches who can’t win in this rivalry. A loss Saturday would make Muschamp 0-4 against his alma mater. That would be almost impossible to overcome. A win, however, might give him a fighting chance.
From @t3mauk: The tent stake incident reminds me of the Josh Groban incident. Compare and contrast.
This is a great question. It refers to the motivational tactic employed by Michigan coaches Saturday that resulted in the Wolverines planting a tent stake in the field at Spartan Stadium before getting planted by Michigan State. To show their appreciation for the gesture, the Spartans added an F-you touchdown at the end of the game.
The prompt also refers to former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez’s playing of Groban’s schmaltzy “You Raised Me Up” at Michigan’s 2010 football banquet. Rodriguez was fired less than a month later but not because of his song choice. He was, however, soundly mocked because of the song choice -- by Groban himself.
The song incident was embarrassing. The tent stake incident is something different. If you know you have a bad football team -- and coaches know these things even if they won’t admit them publicly -- you don’t allow said team to do anything that might enrage the very good football team you’re about to play. That only invites further embarrassment.
Now, the problem could be that Hoke doesn’t realize he has a bad football team. In fact, that might explain a lot about the Wolverines’ lack of development since Rodriguez was fired. If that’s the case, then the long-term solution is simple. In the short term, try a less public motivational tactic. Perhaps use a song that has pumped up athletes before games since its release in 1987. Josh Groban would approve.
From @AndeWall: You can only have one condiment for the rest of your life. Which one?
This is a brutal choice. My first instinct was to say spicy mustard, because all deli sandwiches and hot dogs would remain properly covered. I could probably live with dipping fries in it, too.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized this leaves out huge swaths of food groups. It also eliminates my ability to jazz up most bland food -- which is the very reason condiments exist. So I need to choose a hot sauce. But which one? My favorite is Huy Fong Sriracha, but that works better on some foods than others. I need something with broader appeal. It must be able to invigorate fried chicken, soup, greens, burgers and deli meats. After carefully considering the candidates, I reached a verdict.
The only answer is original flavor Cholula.
From @HistoryOfMatt: Better Southernism: “Oh Lawd no/yes,” or “Bless your heart”?
While bringing “lawd” into the equation does allow a person to answer a question more emphatically, there is no better phrase in the Southern lexicon than “Bless your heart.” It is the single most withering insult an 84-year-old woman named Beulah can offer, and it is shockingly more effective than any overtly negative response.
You’re mad because your barista left too much foam on your $6 latte? Oh, bless your heart, sugah.
See? Works every time.