Mr. College Football blog 

Welcome to November in the SEC: Can anyone survive with only one loss?

  • 9:44 am Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Our Five Burning Questions for Saturday now that the CFP standings are out:

1) Will Ole Miss recover in time to play Auburn? After a gut-wrenching 10-7 loss at LSU  last Saturday night, Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1 SEC) was beaten up both physically and emotionally. But the Rebels got a lift Tuesday night when the CFP selection committee put them at No. 4 despite the loss. Auburn (6-1, 3-1), ranked No. 3, really looks to be rounding into form after a 42-35 victory against South Carolina. This is first Top Five matchup in the history of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Alabama game [More]

Four SEC West teams in the CFP top six; but it won’t last

  • 8:46 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Impressions of the first Top 25 released by the College Football Selection committee Tuesday night:

As expected there were four SEC teams ranked in the top six: 1) Mississippi State, 3) Auburn, 4) Ole Miss, 6) Alabama. But now reality hits home: each of those four teams has two games against the other three in November, starting Saturday when No. 3 Auburn goes to No. 4 Ole Miss in an elimination game. The point is these rankings are going to change a lot and that every single one of those six games is going to be a war.
There has been a [More]

Buckle up your chin straps as we head into a November to remember

  • 3:15 pm Sunday, October 26th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

There is really only one thing we learned on the last Saturday in October:

Everything that has happened in college football has been merely to set the table for a November that we are going to long remember.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday,  the 12-member selection committee for the College Football Playoff will release its first Top 25 for the 2014 season. These  rankings will give us a template for what promises to be a heated discussion that will not end until Dec. 7, when the committee will announce the pairings for the four-team playoff.

Here are just a few of the questions the [More]

Should Ole Miss be on upset alert at LSU?

  • 12:20 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Our Five Burning Questions as we head into the last Saturday in October:

1) Should Ole Miss be on Upset Alert at LSU? Few units in college football have been more impressive this season than the “Land Shark” defense at Ole Miss (7-0, 4-0 SEC). The Rebels are second nationally in points allowed (10.6 ppg). They are second only to Alabama in SEC rushing defense (97.1 ypg). Ole Miss is on a real high right now with three straight impressive wins over Alabama, Texas A&M and Tennessee. But Saturday night the Rebels go to LSU (6-2, 2-2), a team that is starting [More]

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:


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:


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]