At this time next week, you'll be reading my always humble and gracious online words as I celebrate Nick Saban's public execution and, subsequently, Ohio State's ninth national title.
Word of the Day: Timorous.
CLEMSON'S KRYPTONITE. We've been talking for days about how Ryan Day pounded Brent Venables' defense into the ground with his hurry-up offense on Friday night, but actually seeing it happen in real-time is a different kind of hilarious.
Ohio State was going so fast that Clemson had no time to get a signal and then get set, and on the rare occasion they did, they were in the completely wrong look anyway.
I think the way games are broadcasted in general obscured some of Clemson's very real alignment issues against Ohio State for the viewers. This is Ohio State's first offensive play. Huddle, break quickly, line up quickly and snap it quickly. Clemson's holds up, but .... pic.twitter.com/F7BTiD4RXQ— RichardJohnson (@RJ_Writes) January 4, 2021
This is two plays later.— RichardJohnson (@RJ_Writes) January 4, 2021
Clemson subs 2 for 2. No problem .... but wait ... Ohio State runs a WR off for a TE late. Clemson tries to match it and then it becomes a fire drill.
Clemson gets lucky because Ohio State actually calls a timeout here. They're just not ready. pic.twitter.com/uc0yjzgwE9
This is the Sermon TD which came right after Sermon had that attempted hurdle. While the broadcast was showing that hurdle replay a trillion times, Clemson subbed a few guys (no big deal). They had plenty of time to get the call in. And yet ... (right side of the D at snap) pic.twitter.com/4YfflMF20h— RichardJohnson (@RJ_Writes) January 4, 2021
Again, Clemson subs but not anything ridiculous.— RichardJohnson (@RJ_Writes) January 4, 2021
They're waiting on the call.
Ohio State's running the play. pic.twitter.com/5ONegEuV4y
The leak TD?— RichardJohnson (@RJ_Writes) January 4, 2021
Ohio State shifts 1 (one) player.
Clemson shifts the entire middle of their defense. pic.twitter.com/sqArNma3pS
I would pay money to hear the headset communications of Clemson's defensive staff. It would be just the most delightful bit of schadenfreude.
JIM TRESSEL'S MISERY. I was a child of the Jim Tressel days where punting was damn near a religious rite that brought only good things and happiness.
But it seems Bama has turned what is good into bad this season and – cover your ears, Mr. Tressel – the Buckeyes might actually be better off just straight up going for it on every fourth-down they face.
If you pinned 2018 Bama, there was an okay chance that you’d keep them from putting up points on that possession. But in 2020, backed-up Bama is more likely to score than not, and that score is almost certainly going to be a touchdown.
Consider the terror of this development! Trapping an opponent with poor starting position is supposed to fill you with hope and inspire your defense. Get a stop, flip the field, and see if you can grab a quick score of your own. It’s not a foolproof strategy against a team as good as Alabama, but it should give you a shot.
In 2020, it just delays the same outcome.
So what do you do when faced with an offense that turns the idea of winning the battle of field position completely on its head? You basically have two choices:
1. Believe your defense is the exception, and those who came before you were simply too weak or undisciplined to stop the Tide and reap the benefits.
2. Get way looser about going for it on fourth down, especially around midfield. There’s no point in punting near the logo if Bama’s just gonna get right back there in three plays. Notre Dame punted on 4th and 5 from their own 44 and 4th and 8 from their own 43. They got a stop after the latter, but the former developed into that 97-yard touchdown drive. Field position is a lie!
The good news is, Bama's defense is low-key ass – it gave up 46+ points to the only two competent offenses it faced this season. So maybe Ohio State should just try to not even let it get to fourth down?
URBAN WANTS BIG MONEY. If you've been even moderately online this week, there's just no way you haven't heard the Urban Meyer to Jacksonville rumors.
Well if it's gonna happen, it ain't gonna be cheap!
It’s become the worst-kept secret in NFL circles that the Jaguars coaching job will go to Urban Meyer if he wants it. As of Sunday, the question was whether he wants it.
If he wants it, he’ll want to be paid for it. Handsomely.
A league source tells PFT that Meyer is looking for $12 million per year.
If that seems like an absolutely absurd amount of money to you, that's because it is! Even for an NFL coach! Currently, the only coach in the NFL making more $12 million is Bill Belichick, who – as you may know – has won six Super Bowls.
So basically, Meyer is saying that if the Jaguars want to hire him – a retired college coach with absolutely no NFL experience – they're going to have to make him the highest-paid coach in the NFL.
My esteemed colleague Andy Vance said it best:
First guy I ever bought a cow from put it this way: Every cow is for sale at any time. I may not want to sell it, so I price it for four or five times what it’s worth. But if the guy comes along who is willing to write the check, load the cow up and cash the check.
You, dear readers, will be shocked to learn that I have never in my life purchased a cow, but that sure seems like the "I may not want to sell it" price.
HARBAUGH OUT SHOPPING. If you're wondering why Michigan hasn't announced an extension for Jim Harbaugh yet, it's because he's currently out there shopping himself to any NFL team that will listen.
A source tells me Jim Harbaugh has been actively working to find a NFL job. That has been the #1 thing holding him up on him signing an extension at Michigan.— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) January 4, 2021
This isnt exactly the most shocking news, but his desire right now is certainly to return to the NFL.
Since many have asked: Unclear exactly how much interest NFL teams have in him, but right now I'd say 80% chance Harbaugh will return to Michigan, and 20% to the NFL. Harbaugh is flying back to Michigan today. If it starts stretching out the odds shift gradually to the NFL.— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) January 4, 2021
The funniest possible outcome at this point is that Harbaugh doesn't get an NFL offer and then reluctantly returns to Michigan with all parties knowing damn well it was his last option.
It's absolutely amazing that Michigan has fallen so low that they're being held hostage by a guy that's 0-5 against Ohio State, couldn't win a Big Ten title in six seasons and has a losing record against ranked teams.
The leaders and the best, baby!
SONG OF THE DAY. "I Need My Girl" by The National.
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