Saturday, September 4th, 2021- week one of the college football season and after over 14 hours of games and people talking about games, I am left with two overriding thoughts.
One- thank GOD college football is back with full force. All the pageantry and sheer unpredictability that is college football has been on full display. This leads to my next thought.
Two- Inspired by one of my favorites – Taylor Swift and hearing a modified version of her lyrics in my head
“'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
and I'm just gonna call out the fake, fake, fake, fake, fakes”
That’s right, Today, as the final games are winding down, I realize most of what talking heads and coaches and fans have spewed out all over America is FAKE.
We don’t know half about these teams that we thought we knew. Some are WAY better like my Longhorns, but so many are early candidates for being complete frauds. At LarryTheGM.com we shoot straight and come with data or admit if we don’t have the data that what we are saying is our OPINION. This is my OPINION about the OPINIONS. The constant narratives spewed on behalf of these fakers seem to show that the experts don’t really know crap and they are just repeating what someone else said.
For my purposes here a "faker" is any team that performed far below the expectations that the collective college sports media and coaches and even Las Vegas put out regarding these teams.
Let’s take it from the top and call out the ranked fakers. The list is long.
What the hell was that Sooners fans? I predicted the Sooners to be in the Natty because they were supposed to be so great on defense now. The only thing that would have been worse for the Sooners would have been to lose. Did Oklahoma feel sorry for Tulane? Were they confused and thinking it was a road game? I have no explanation for Oklahoma today. They were favored by 31 points and barely won by 5. One of my Twitter best friends (who is a Sooner) gave me his assessment.
“Overhyped and overconfident. They will get sharper, but Tulane out coached and outplayed us. Our OL played terribly. We have more talent on defense but still not getting it done. Frustrating.”
As far as this Longhorn goes, I am gust fine with the Sooners being inexplicably fakers for the rest of the year. I am shocked that they struggled today.
Clemson (3) and Georgia (5)
Disclaimer- I did not watch these two fakers play. I was watching other fakers play. Both clearly have GREAT defenses or epically bad offenses for two top 5 teams. Which is it? The over/ under for this game was 51.5, so clearly the talking heads and Vegas knew nothing about how these two would match up. When the only touchdown scored in the game is on an interception return, that is some terrible offensive football. I call both of these two fakers because as of today. Neither one of these have any chance of beating Alabama if this is who they really are. Is the season done already? If two top five teams can look this bad offensively, what hope can we have for an interesting and competitive season?
Texas A&M (6)- Faker watch
Initially I did not have A&M on the list of fakers, but then I saw more detailed reports about their game. Aggies will say we
were 29.5 point favorites and beat a decent Mid-America conference team by 31
ran up 595 yards of offense
had a 35:43 to 24:17 time of possession advantage
They will scream this is unfair Longhorns biased reporting. Well, yes, it is. Get used to it again little brother. Your team is temporarily ranked number 6. You have Longhornsesque level expectations right now. If you want to be considered a big boy, you have to play like one. Here is non-fake truth, the Ags looked mediocre in winning by 31. Here is why.
Were in a 13-3 Collie fight (pun intended) until five minutes into the third quarter when the effects of the Texas heat wore down the team from Kent, Ohio
game time conditions in Aggie world were hotter than anything Kent State has seen all year
one could argue the Texas heat was your player of the game
Kent State ran for 226 yards. How does the vaulted Aggie defense give up 226 yards to Kent State? Imagine what Bama is going to do to that defense.
Turned the ball over 5 times
So yes, Aggie you won and beat the spread doing it. You aren’t a full-blown member of the Faker list, but we are watching you.
Iowa St. (7)
I initially left the Cyclones off this list as well. I saw they won and left it at that. Then, I realized the 28.5-point favorite won by only six. In looking at the stats, they just look mediocre. Nothing stands out. Maybe, both teams just have good defenses, but Purdy (49.6 QBR) and Hall (23 carries for 69 yards) sure didn’t look like the stars we have been led to believe they are. Again, Cyclones if you want to be considered a top 10 team, you have to play like one. For failing to meet expectations, you are on the early fakers list.
North Carolina (10)
Perhaps the biggest fraud exposed this week was North Carolina. For months we have been told North Carolina was probably the second-best team in the ACC. To be honest, given the weekend the ACC is having perhaps the ENTIRE ACC should be labeled fakers. I love Mack Brown as a man. I think he is an incredible program leader and an amazing recruiter. I saw a familiar site Friday night- Mack Brown looking completely lost and let down by the “smart” football people he trusted to run the Xs and the Os for his team. His Heisman quarterback looked like a bad version of Sam Ehlinger. To me, the Tar Heels are fakers and will need multiple major victories to convince me otherwise.
Oregon (11)- Faker watch
I am not prepared to label Oregon a full faker yet, but they are on the faker watch list. Perhaps, this is more of a reflection of how little I tend to think of the Pac 12 in general. It’s hard to consider any fakers in the Pac 12 after last season because what is the Pac 12. I don’t listen to most of what is said about Pac 12 football where it just means less. Fraud evidence is this. They were favored by 19 to a Fresno St. team they were losing to in the fourth quarter and had to score a touchdown on with 2:57 left to give them a seven-point win at home. Sounds like a fake duck…. we shall see.
This one hurts for the one-time Wisconsin boy. Childhood memories of disappointing Saturdays were triggered today. This game was SO frustrating to watch as I kept thinking the Badgers are in complete control and it seemed like they were. The Badgers fraud was their inability to score. The game answered how a team that
· Had a 29 to 11 first down advantage AND
· Had a 42:51 to 17:09 time of possession margin advantage
could STILL lose a football game. Coaches may study this game for decades. I never want to see this game again.
Wisconsin seemed to event a new way on how not to score in the red zone every quarter. If the Badgers ever play this way again, they will lose that game too no matter how much they are favored. The 5.5-point Vegas favored Badgers lost 10-16 in one of the most frustrating games of this season- hopefully.
Miami (14)- Faker watch
Is Miami a faker too or is Bama just that much better than anyone? I have a feeling we will find out very soon. Miami is on the Faker watch list.
I don’t want to say this. LSU is my second football team. Family members went to LSU. The great people of Louisiana have been through too much this week already. Their flagship program (let’s hope they were just distracted) played like frauds. Their head coach was no help. Their coordinators looked as lost as last year’s coordinators looked. LSU was favored by 1.5 and needed a late TD to only lose by 11. I am hoping they can bounce back as the state heals. Until they prove otherwise, they are on the faker list.
I hate this too. I wanted to believe Indiana was what they appeared to be last year- an excellently coached and outplaying growing juggernaut. Instead, the 3.5-point underdog goes out and gets hammered by 28 by Iowa. Is Iowa really a top ten team? Maybe. It’s far more likely that Indiana has been and are fakers.
Penn St. (19)- Faker watch
This may be one of most controversial to add to the faker watch list. I would say look at James Franklin after Penn St. miraculously wins today. He looks like a man that know the massive issues his team has were exposed and only by some miracle did they win. For now, they go on faker watch to see if other teams take advantage of Penn St. too.
The Huskies LOST to Montana at home 13-7. They were favored by 22.5. If the Tar Heels are not the biggest frauds of the week, the Huskies probably are. Turnovers were again the key to Washington’s demise.
Louisiana (23)- Faker watch
Again, the effects of Hurricane Ida are hard to quantify. Is Texas REALLY THAT good or was Louisiana overrated? It’s probably too early to tell, but the performance today puts the Ragin’ Cajuns on the faker watch list.
Nearly half of the rankings were of possibly faker teams. It is what is beautiful about college football and what can be so frustrating as a fan.
There are more frauds not ranked, but let’s see what happens in the weeks ahead to call out those teams.