We may be almost a full week removed from Week 5’s college football slate, but most of the college football world is still buzzing from what was an epic weekend of games.
Count college football insider Jerry Hinnen among those who still hasn’t fully come to grips with the anarchy that was last weekends games, most notably with the Tennessee Vol’s miracle Hail Mary to remain unbeated against Georgia and the slugfest between Top 5 teams in Louisville and Clemson, which took the cake for Hinnen.
“Those teams, went at each other like a couple of rabid bears,” Hinnen told CBS Sports Radio’s Scott Ferrall on ‘Ferrall On The Bench’ Thursday night. “The first half was a little sloppy, but the second half — you are not going to see a college football game with any two better quarterbacks than DeShaun Watson and Lamar Jackson. Like I said, I’ve been having trouble sleeping this week just trying to get over that game pretty much.”
Joining Hinnen in the trouble sleeping department has to be the entire Georgia football team and fanbase, who, let’s face it, let one slip away against the now 5-0 Tennessee Volunteers.
“It’s as bad as you can blow it,” Hinnen said of Georgia’s collapse. “First of all, there’s a completely ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. You throw what you think is the game-winning Hail Mary with three seconds left… just let ’em celebrate. You don’t have to flag them for the 15 yards every single time. I’m not a fan of that rule, I’m not a fan of that call. But then all you have to do is knock down the Hail Mary, go up and knock the ball down. It was terrible. It was awful.”
So long story short, Tennessee escaped with a victory and their playoff/SEC title hopes are still alive and well. But for how much longer?
“The SEC East is wide open and I don’t think anybody looks at Tennessee as a collection of world beaters,” Hinnen said. “I don’t think they have any shot against Alabama, I don’t really think they have any shot at Texas A&M this coming Sunday. I don’t see Tennessee running the table by any stretch of the imagination.”
Hinnen put it even more bluntly, stating “I don’t think the Vols are good. Credit to them for hanging in there against Appalachian State and for recovering eight fumbles against Virginia Tech and for the Hail Mary against Georgia, but Georgia’s not good. They struggled so much with Nicholls State, they needed fourth and 10 to beat Missouri, who is not good. If you are the equivalent of a team that struggles to beat Nicholls State and needs fourth and 10 to beat Missouri, you’re not all that good.”
In the SEC West, nobody has any doubts about Alabama’s ability once again as they’re off to another 5-0 start and are tied atop the division with Texas A&M.
This week they face No. 16-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks, which kicks off a key stretch in which they face three Top 25 SEC opponents in the next three weeks.
Arkansas shouldn’t pose any problems for the Crimson Tide, right?
“The last time Alabama went to Fayetteville and played Bret Bielema’s team it was an extremely close game. Arkansas outgained Alabama by about 100 yards and only lost 14-13 after a missed extra point early in that game. I think Arkansas’s going to be really ready. I think it’s obviously a mirror matchup where both teams want to run the ball, kind of manage the game a little bit with their quarterbacks and their defense. Obviously Alabama’s a lot better at it, but you know Bielema’s been a creative guy with that framework — a little bit of Jim Harbaugh in him in some ways — we’re going to see some trick pulled out. I can’t pull the trigger on an upset because it is Alabama, but I absolutely expect it to be a competitive game. Would not surprise me at all if it’s decided by seven points or less at the final.”