Mr. College Football blog 

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Four SEC West teams in top five, but how many survive?

  • 3:03 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

In  less than a week, the College Football Playoff selection committee will release its first Top 25 and the real fun of the 2014 season will begin. These would be my 12 teams still in the discussion for the national championship as of today:

THE FIRST FOUR

1) Mississippi State (6-0): The Bulldogs had last week off and I’m still giving them a slight edge over Ole Miss because they have the better road win at LSU. There are trips to Kentucky, Alabama and Ole Miss remaining.

2) Ole Miss (7-0): The Rebels get better with each game but should face a pretty [More]

SEC now has a shot at getting two teams in playoff

  • 4:14 pm Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

What we learned on another wild Saturday:

1) The SEC now has a shot of getting two teams in the College Football Playoff:  Undefeated and  previously No. 5 Notre Dame lost 31-27 at No. 2 Florida State. There were a couple of upsets in the Big 12 as undefeated Baylor lost to West Virginia and once-beaten Oklahoma lost at home to Kansas State (although any time a Bill Snyder team beats somebody it’s hard to call it an upset.) So there is some uncertainty in the Big 12 and everybody in the Pac-12 already has a loss with a lot of [More]

Mason must play well again for Georgia to beat Arkansas

  • 4:17 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Our Five Burning Questions about the SEC as we head for the third Saturday in October:

1) Can Hutson Mason keep it going? Lost in the spotlight of Nick Chubb’s 38-carry performance at Missouri is the fact that Hutson Mason, Georgia’s senior quarterback, played his best game with the Bulldogs. You could see Mason’s leadership of the team growing as he completed 22 of 28 passes with no interceptions. His 9-yard touchdown pass to Michael Bennett in the corner of the end zone was a thing of beauty.

Mason will need to show the same kind leadership with the same kind of [More]

State of Mississippi moves to top of First Four

  • 1:42 pm Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Mississippi State fans ring their cowbells in the first half of their NCAA college football game against Auburn in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct 11, 2014. No. 3 Mississippi State beat No. 2 Auburn 38-23. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

I’ve been covering college football for a long time. This is a sentence I never thought I would write: Mississippi State and Ole Miss are 1-2 in my rankings for the College Football Playoff.

But there it is.

Will it last until the two teams meet on Nov. 29 in Oxford? The odds are against it. The schedules are just too tough. But then again, the odds were against the two Mississippi schools ever being in this historic position.

So here are this week’s 12 teams that are in the discussion for the first College Football Playoff:

THE FIRST FOUR

1) Mississippi State (6-0): It [More]

It looks like the Egg Bowl, not the Iron Bowl, for the SEC West title

  • 11:40 am Sunday, October 12th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

What we learned on the second Saturday in October:

1) It looks like the Egg Bowl — not the Iron Bowl —for the SEC West title: After watching Mississippi State thoroughly control Auburn (38-23) and Ole Miss just physically overpower Texas A&M (35-20) is there any doubt that they are the best two teams in the SEC West — and maybe the country? It appeared that the SEC West would come down to the final weekend between Auburn and Alabama. But based on the data we have to date, it looks like we had better mark our calendars for yet another [More]

Can Mississippi State, Ole Miss, do it again?

  • 7:51 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Can this Saturday’s SEC schedule possibly match the drama of last Saturday? That’s a good Burning Question. Here are five more:

1) Can Mississippi State get sky high for the second week in a row?  Mississippi State (5-0, 2-0 SEC) posted one of the biggest home wins in school history last week in beating Texas A&M 48-31. They had exactly 24 hours to enjoy it. Now comes Auburn (5-0, 2-0), the defending conference champs, and the Tigers look to be hitting their stride after a embarrassingly easy 41-7 thumping of LSU. With QB Dak Prescott and a good defense, the Bulldogs (5-0, [More]

Mississippi State, Ole Miss crack First Four; but can they stay there?

  • 12:46 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Last week was sheer chaos and it was utterly delicious.  So who should be in the discussion for the first College Football Playoff? Just one man’s opinion:

THE FIRST FOUR

1. Auburn (5-0): For the third consecutive week we have Auburn at No. 1. The Tigers have beaten Arkansas by 24, Kansas State on the road by six and took apart LSU 41-7 Saturday night at Jordan-Hare. Now comes the big test Saturday at Mississippi State (5-0). Win that one and everybody will be on the Gus Bus.

2. Mississippi State (5-0): The Bulldogs have dominated everybody they’ve played and have the best dual-threat [More]

As good as Saturday was, we are just getting started

  • 3:55 pm Sunday, October 5th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

As late Saturday night became early Sunday morning I kept getting the same text message from friends around the country:

“Have you ever seen anything like this?”

By “this” they meant college football’s first Saturday in October. And no, I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it. Just to refresh:

It was the biggest football Saturday ever in the state of Mississippi as Ole Miss stunned No. 3 Alabama (23-17) and Mississippi State just dominated No. 6 Texas A&M (48-31). The scene on those two campuses before and after the games will be talked about forever.
Five of the top eight teams in [More]

For the Mississippi schools, it all comes down to quarterback

  • 1:46 pm Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Five Burning Questions about what could be among the best SEC Saturdays you’ll ever see:

1) Who will show up for Ole Miss–the Good Bo or the Bad Bo? No. 11 Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0 SEC) has the national stage and the golden opportunity to go from pretty good to potentially great as No. 1 (in the Coaches Poll) Alabama (4-0, 1-0) comes to Oxford in what some are calling the biggest home game in school history. There are a lot of great story lines but here’s the bottom line: If Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace can play mistake-free (no interceptions, [More]

After an uneventful September, look for a wild October

  • 2:25 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

When it comes to determining the four teams that will play in the first College Football Playoff, it was a relatively uneventful September. Oh, we had a bunch of really good games, but the basic landscape remained pretty much unchanged.

We won’t say the same thing about October.

After college football heavyweights spent the first month of the season shadow boxing, this Saturday they will start climbing into the ring with other heavyweights. At least nine of the 12 teams below play games this week they could conceivably lose.

The College Football Playoff selection committee will hold its first meeting in Dallas on [More]

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