Welcome to the third edition of the sophomore season of The Hangover, where I recap the previous weekend in college football. This week, The Hangover comes from Auburn, Alabama (gross), where I watched the LSU Tiguhs (Shout-out Coach O) roll into Jordan-Hare and upset a second top ten team this season. A lot of things happened this weekend, including (finally) some upsets,so let’s dive right in.
Three weeks into the season, I think we were all waiting for that Saturday when upsets would go down and some playoff dreams would get shattered. This weekend proved to be that time. Let’s see which games did the most damage:
Wisconsin lost at home to BYU
Wisconsin isn’t done, but they have to run the table to make the College Football Playoff. The Badgers looked like the average team a lot of people thought they were last year, as the defense gave up big plays on the ground and Jonathan Taylor couldn’t really get going. If Wisconsin wants to stay relevant this season, Alex Hornibrook has to be better. So far this year, the southpaw has been average under center. That won’t work going forward.
Auburn blew it at home against LSU
I was in attendance for this game and projected a 27-10 Auburn victory. Up 21-10 in the third quarter, I thought the Tigers would make me look like a genius. Then, the Tiguhs woke up, with Joe Burrow doing just enough to win. This LSU team isn’t explosive, but they get the job done. As for Auburn, well, it’s an uphill climb from here. Gus Malzahn’s squad has a really tough road schedule, and I didn’t think they could afford a home loss if they wanted to contend for a CFP spot. After watching how things unfolded Saturday, I’m not certain Auburn will go 8-4 at best this season. Losses on the road to Mississippi State, Georgia, and Alabama seem almost inevitable at this point. Side note: the complaints I heard from Auburn fans (and the Auburn radio crew, go check out that audio if you haven’t heard it yet) about the officiating could make sense because some of the calls were controversial, but it doesn’t matter. Auburn didn’t lose because of flags; they lost because they allowed LSU to covert some key third down and fourth down conversions down the stretch. That’s why. Don’t blame the officials entirely for a game you should’ve won, Auburn.
Boise State got drilled by Oklahoma State
Boise State had looked good through two weeks, but I didn’t think the Broncos would win Saturday in Stillwater. I definitely didn’t expect the blowout that Oklahoma State dealt, though. The Cowboys can play defense now, and the offense looked like it wasn’t missing Mason Rudolph and James Washington whatsoever. Boise State could’ve had an outside at the playoff with a win in Stillwater and an undefeated season. That hope is gone.
Texas smoked USC
USC wasn’t a playoff contender going into this game, and neither was Texas. This contest was meant to serve as a litmus test to see which program is in more disarray. Congratulations Trojans, you win. Texas looked “back” against a bad USC that couldn’t run the football and made countless mistakes in special teams. Neither of these squads will do much I don’t think.
Gray’s Top 10
- Ohio State
- Penn State
Alabama stays at the top after a dominant win on the road against Ole Miss. I expected the offense to shine, but the defense was superb as well, holding Jordan Ta’amu to 133 yards on 7/22 passing with two interceptions after the 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game for the Rebels. The secondary was the question mark for this team (if we have to pick a question mark), but not anymore. I don’t think anyone will beat Alabama this year if the Tide continues to play like this. Georgia stays in the second spot after another efficient victory. Ohio State moves past Clemson following a good win over TCU. The defensive line was very impressive, although the Nick Boss injury could prove problematic going forward. LSU moves up to six after a shocking victory at Auburn that sinks the Tigers down to the nine spot. Joe Burrow may not be a game-changer, but he’s doing just enough to help LSU win ball games. Stanford and Penn State took care of business, as did Washington.
Coach of the Week
We’ll give COTW to my dear friend Ed Orgeron. Okay, “friend” might be an exaggeration, but my encounters with him over the years led me to believe that he’d be successful. I didn’t buy in to the talk that he should’ve been on the hot-seat coming into this season, although I did think LSU would be down. Consider me a full believer now in whatever special gumbo Coach O has cooking in Baton Rouge. The offense looked much more creative than I’ve ever seen from LSU, and the defense is as salty as ever. The schedule is still very tough, but now I’m certain that my preseason prediction of LSU over Georgia in a few weeks will prove true. LSU is for real, and that’s all because the Tigers’ players are buying into Ed Orgeron.
Idiot of the Week
This week’s winner of IOTW goes to the new head coach with the most disastrous season so far (yes, worse than Chip Kelly). Willie Taggart, what are you doing? Can you not find someone to teach your offensive line how to competently block?
I genuinely don’t understand how Florida State is this bad. I get that Jimbo Fisher left the cupboard a bit bare, but this is ridiculous. Willie, find a way to fix this, or else your dream job will become a living nightmare.
Last week, I hosted a watch party for America’s Got Talent. It’s my favorite of the talent shows on TV because of the variety we get from this program (and Simon Cowell, of course). The finale airs on Tuesday night, so I’m going to tell you my Top Five acts still remaining. You should tune in to NBC this week to see how these folks do, and make sure to vote; otherwise, good acts like We Three (more on them later) won’t be in the running. *Disclaimer*: per usual, once Random Rankings are posted, they aren’t changing. So if you like Miss Screamer Courtney Hadwin (and how could you?) or Zurcaroh (who is good, but doesn’t compare whatsoever to last year’s Diavolo, who probably deserved to win) , you’ll be disappointed. Now, without further ado, my top five favorite remaining acts in the thirteenth season of America’s Got Talent.
1. Shin Lim
This man has a gift. Every time he performs, I have to go back and watch in super slow motion to see how he does it…and I still can’t figure it out. Shin Lim’s slight of hand tricks are masterful, and I genuinely believe in magic every time he takes the stage. Could his showmanship use some work? Sure. Would I buy tickets to his Vegas show right this second? 100%. Shin Lim should win this season of America’s Got Talent, even if solely based on his semifinal performance. I watched this trick hours after the live show and legitimately went and woke my roommates up to make them see this act. Shin Lim is the real deal.
2. Glennis Grace
This girl has pipes. While I’m always a bit bullish on singers in AGT, Glennis deserves to finish near the top. The Dutch singer has graced the stage with some unbelievable performances, and I can’t wait to see what she pulls out in the finale. If I had to pick her songs, I’d suggest “All By Myself” by Celine Dion or “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. She has the vocals to tackle those classic diva songs, and that’s why she’s my second favorite in the competition. This woman is a star. Also, in this semifinal performance, that key change is EVERYTHING (starts at the 1:15 mark):
3. Michael Ketterer
Does Michael Ketterer have the best vocals in the competition? Not at all. But there’s something about him that hits home. The genuine emotion he puts into each song makes you feel something, and it’s understandable why his quarterfinal performance brought Simon Cowell (yes, SIMON COWELL, who shows ZERO emotion) to tears. Do I think he’ll win? No, not really. Will he have a career as a singer? Probably not as a solo artist. Still, it’s been a genuine pleasure to see him week in and week out on stage. Plus, apparently Garth Brooks is very down to write a song for him. (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a23116703/simon-cowell-michael-ketterer-garth-brooks-agt/)
4. Duo Transcend
To be perfectly blunt, there’s a big gap for me between 1-3 and 4-5. Most of my favorites went out before the finale this season, so I had to make some tough calls. For the fourth spot, I picked Duo Transcend, the trapeze couple who finds a way to astound with each performance, despite the husband suffering from a sight deficiency. The tricks they pull are spectacular, and the trust that this married couple has is really awe-striking. They’re incredible, and I felt like I had to give them a spot, because this act takes real talent. Side note: these two very ripped and very athletic people have a son. I can’t imagine what an athlete he’ll be growing up.
5. Vicki Barbolak
Who wants to get a little Trailer Nasty??? (#TrailerNastyTuesday) Okay, so I do not, but Vicki Barbolak is one talent comedian. Her ability to make fun of the trailer park lifestyle (which I know a bit too much about) is really quite hilarious. Not every joke hits, but she rolls with it and that makes her act even better. Is she the best comic to come on the show? No way. But she’s pretty dang funny, and I find myself belly-laughing every time she comes on stage. What makes her semifinal performance so great is Simon Cowell’s complete befuddlement at the concept of Denny’s, plus the DUI joke at the end. Also, the boxed wine bit? So relatable, as I’m sure all pledges across America can agree.
Honorable Mention: We Three
WE THREE GOT ROBBED. I’ll say it on each and every rooftop in America. This sibling band is spectacular, and I have no idea why the judges didn’t put them in the finale and why America didn’t give them enough support in the votes. We Three lost their mom right before their audition, and that emotion translated into each and every performance. When I found out they didn’t make the finale, I was hosting The Student Section on 90.7 FM in Tuscaloosa (we had Greg McElroy on last week, and he talked about Week Three games, Herm Edwards, and…Fortnite? Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/grayrobertson15/the-student-section-on-907-fm-tuscaloosa-9122018) and I threw papers up in the air upon checking Twitter. We Three has a fantastic sound, and I hope they get big very soon. I think they’re perfect for Contemporary Christian music just based on the theme of their lyrics and their sound but, honestly, I’ll download anything the put out. I’ll say it again…WE THREE GOT ROBBED.
SEC Power Rankings
I’m an SEC guy through and through, so I have to include my SEC Power Rankings. LSU winning at Auburn changed things, and Mississippi State continues to impress. Ole Miss plummets after an embarrassing home performance against Alabama. Let’s see how these shift the next few weeks:
- Alabama (1)
- Georgia (2)
- LSU (4)
- Mississippi State (5)
- Auburn (3)
- Texas A&M (7)
- Kentucky (8)
- Missouri (9)
- South Carolina (10)
- Vanderbilt (11)
- Florida (12)
- Ole Miss (6)
- Tennessee (13)
- Arkansas (14)
So Who’s Ready for Week Four?
Lots of great match-ups coming up. Here’s what we have to look forward to this weekend:
Florida Atlantic at #16 UCF (Friday)
#22 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama
#2 Georgia at Missouri
#8 Notre Dame at Wake Forest
Nebraska at #19 Michigan
#3 Clemson at Georgia Tech
#17 TCU at Texas
#14 Mississippi State at Kentucky
#24 Michigan State at Indiana
#7 Stanford at #20 Oregon
#18 Wisconsin at Iowa
Arizona State at #10 Washington
South Carolina at Vanderbilt
It’ll be an action-packed weekend of football, and I cannot wait! I’ll be in Tuscaloosa enjoying my first Alabama game with all of my Texas A&M friends and family in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday (we have a divided house). Until then, thanks for reading The Hangover!