Quiet before the chaos?

Mark Blaudschun

Here's the question of the week: Are we in the eye of the storm or will this be a non-controversial, orderly post season?

Certainly, it didn't look tranquil a few weeks ago.

Social media bubbled over when LSU made an early season decision to fire football coach Les Miles, Notre Dame and Texas each stumbled out of the gate, which kicked in the debate about the immediate future of Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly and Texas coach Charlie Strong, and Houston coach Tom Herman was being anointed as Urban Meyer II.

Elsewhere, the Big 12 was going to expand or implode, and the ongoing College Football Playoff argument about having to squeeze five or more teams into 4 spots was just beginning to percolate.

Now it is Halloween and look what we have:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

The first CFB Selection Committee rankings will be released Tuesday night and we have a consensus choice of the four best teams: Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington from four of the 5 Power Five conferences. Notre Dame is not in the mix, the Big 12 has a two loss team (Oklahoma) as its best choice and none of the early-season conference contenders (Louisville, Ohio State, Florida State, anyone in the SEC or Big 12) really has much of an argument for inclusion over the conference leaders.

The Coaching Carousel?

Kelly looks safe at ND, Texas came up with a win over Baylor which caused the sharks to back off from Strong, and Houston lost two games which dimmed the light just a bit around Herman.

The Big 12 maintained the status quo and has become yesterday's news (for the time being).

Right now, the most exciting topic has been reduced to where Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck will be - at Purdue next season? And, where will Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin re-emerge as a head coach (Fresno State, his alma mater?).

Could this change? Will this change? The odds say they will.

All it takes to start the tsunami will be for LSU to find a way to beat Alabama in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Or for a surging Auburn team to upset Alabama in a few weeks or for Ohio State to knock off Michigan in Columbus on Thanksgiving weekend. Those aren't stretches.

As for the silly season of coaching changes. Kelly quieted the critics when Notre Dame found a way to come from behind to win a game against Miami. But the Irish are still 3-5 with Army, Navy, Virginia Tech and USC ND's remaining opponents. The Irish could win all four or LOSE all four and no one would be stunned. If you question that, Duke beat ND in South Bend.

As much public support from the administration that Kelly has received, watch out how it evaporates if ND loses to USC to close out a 3-9 season. And if Texas loses three of its last four against Texas Tech, West Virginia and TCU (we assume they will beat Kansas), Strong's position to return will be much much weaker. Or non-existent.

If Houston can find a way to win its remaining games (including a home game against Louisville on November 17th) Herman will again become the flavor of the week in the Coaching Carousel.

As for LSU, which now is the prime jewel among jobs that are actually open, interim coach Ed Oregeron needs to upset Alabama and win the SEC West. If that doesn't happen, watch for the arguments to expand about whether the Tigers should go after Herman or FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.

And if FSU opens and Texas opens, we have chaos...and normalcy in a college football season that right now is way too calm.[/membership]


Mark Blaudschun