Quick Hitters

— Nothing wrong with the College Football rankings this week.. Yes, everyone ( including yours truly) needs something to talk about, and the Top 4 is OK in my book.  Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama all control their own destiny. The only spot that’s up for grabs (if everything stays the same) is the four spot. Notre Dame, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Florida, are in the mix…. Any other team that wants in needs to hope for complete and utter chaos.

— North Carolina is not getting in. Every team in the top 10 needs to lose. A great season, especially if they cap it off with a win over Clemson., and their  defenisve coordinator has done a hell of a job this season. But you can’t lose to South Carolina early, when you have a number of other one loss or undefeated teams ahead of you.

–If Oklahoma State wins out, I have no problem with them jumping into the fourth spot. Undefeated and beating the likes of TCU, Baylor (Saturday) and Oklahoma in the season finale is a pretty good resume….

—BUT, if they don’t get in, the program can only look back at a pair of non conference games this season: Central Arkansas and Texas-San Antonio. The committee told everyone last season, go out and play people. That’s a program problem if teams decided to go against that and continue play cupcake state University.

—Your only hopes  Power Five leagues:

SEC- Florida, Alabama

Big Ten- Iowa, Ohio State

Big 12- Oklahoma State

ACC- Clemson

Notre Dame

Unless chaos happens, four of these teams will be in the Final Four. you can banter, get upset, whatever. It is what it is, and I believe the above teams are the best in the country.

Funday Thursday

—Anyone seen the dude happy about sweet potato pie? Hilarious. (some strong language)

—I don’t watch alot of movies, but checked out The Gift last week. Pretty good.

—I love reality TV. The DVR is full of shows. My better half told me there are Two new Real Housewives shows are coming to Bravo. I’ll be all over it.

—A fun show to watch over the years on E! was the Soup. Wednesday, it was announced that it’s saying goodbye after 22 years.

Derek and Hansel are back.

—So Ronda loss. Breaking news. It happens. As a boxing fan, styles make fights. Congrats to Holly Holm, who also was gracious in her win. UFC are the big winners in this once these two meet again.

— Excited about the Cotto/Canelo fight. Too close to call for me (along with rooting for both fighters)… If I had to make a pick today, I’ll go with the younger guy in this one in a action packed, fight of the year candidate bout.

I’ll be back with another post after Thanksgiving….so eat everything in sight and I’ll chat again in two weeks. Questions? Comments? find me on Twitter @CarlPratherWAFF or leave a message here

Enjoy the week, and Happy Thanksgiving!




CP’s Top 6

We have 12 undefeated teams in the FBS Top 25. I’ve not watched a single minute of Toledo, or Iowa… so there’s that.

I decided to do a top 6. Four teams will make the College Football Playoff, and two on the outside looking in. So without further ado… CP’s top 6:

1.Ohio State (8-0)

I can name teams that have more impressive wins, or even multiple wins in and across the top 25. Fact is none of these teams have won 21 straight and the reigning and defending National Champions. If they lose during the regular season, that’s another discussion. But right now, there’s no way you leave them out when they’ve beaten everyone on their schedule thus far. And the way JT Barrett played last week, it’s going to be tough beating them. Those last two games in November will tell us everything we need to know.

2. Alabama

They may have the best resume in the country. Wins over two top ten teams (at the time) on the road (Georgia, Texas A&M), with the only loss to a Ole Miss team that will play for the SEC Championship if they win out. They have been shaky at times, and were a final drive away from a lost last week at home against Tennessee.  Still after 8 games, I’ve gotta put Bama in my top six. November 7th will change things one way or another.

3. Clemson

Two quality wins (at the time) over  Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, puts the Tigers in my top four. A big game with Florida State looms (Nov 7th).

4. Baylor

Should LSU be here? You have a case if you believe so. I put Baylor here because of the way they have bludgeoned everyone they’ve played this year.  yes, it’s not been against the best opposition, but they way they are winning, I had to give some credit. I believe their biggest strength (offensively) is better than anyone else’s strength in the country. Of course the Bears were dealt a major blow with the loss of Seth Russell. We’ll  see if the Bears are for real with a three game stretch mid November (Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, TCU).  For right now, I put them in the final four

Outside looking in

5. LSU

Alabama and the Bayou Bengals are basically interchangeable right now. Bama got the nod for having one more top ten win than LSU. The Tigers win November 7th, they’re in, and Bama’s out. No more, no less.

6. TCU

How they’ve kept winning with athe rash of injuries on defense is impressive. If Lenord fournette wasn’t being Leonard Fournette, Trevone Boykin would be your Heisman front runner right now. Like the rest of the teams above and below them in the Top 10, a lot can change, as we head down the final stretch.

College Football Playoff Committee

Remember the first poll will be released Tuesday night. The criteria for their rankings are as follows:

  • Championships won
  • Strength of schedule
  • Head-to-head competition (if it occurred)
  • Comparative outcomes of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory)

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Four for Thursday

After a two week break, The Clipboard is back with four thoughts heading into this week:

1. Jeremy Johnson or Sean White?

The preseason hype surrounding Auburn was as hot as this song still is right now. Fast forward to five games into the season, and the Tigers are hoping for a decent bowl game that’s warm, and a starting quarterback that can jolt the offense and gain momentum toward a potential bounce back year in ’16. Jeremy Johnson got benched, Sean White came in, and now what? It appears that Gus Malzahn’s making everyone wait till tonight to see who will start.

My two cents: I have no earthly idea who will be the starter, and I have no earthly idea what Auburn will do from here till season’s end. Fair or not, one thing’s for certain. If they look awful tonight on the road against Kentucky, Tigers fans may want something more than just a new quarterback.

2. Another shootout in College Station?

I picked Georgia to beat Alabama on October 3rd. Didn’t turn out so well. Any Alabama fan worth their hounds tooth had reservations about that game for one reason. Jake Coker. Nothing more, nothing less. Turns out Grayson Lambert was the weak link for the Bulldogs in the 38-10 drubbing.

Now it’s another game I’m picking against the Tide, and it’s at Texas A&M. The Tide defense has been outstanding, with some players even saying they have the best unit in the country. Doesn’t hurt that a Huntsville native is playing the best within the unit. I picked the other QB (Lambert) against Coker earlier this season, I’m picking the other QB (Kyle Allen) Saturday along with the 12th man to knock off the Tide. Feel free to vent your frustrations at me Saturday night if the Tide (for the 1 trillionth time) prove me wrong and win similar to last season’s victory.

3. Khaki’s. Ann Arbor’s new fashion trend.

I’m a San Francisco 49ers fan. I love Jim Harbaugh.  Much like many college football fans, it wasn’t “if” but “when” Michigan would return to relevancy. Guess we have our answer after 6 games:

5-1 (only loss to the 4th ranked team in the country).

Since that loss, the Wolverines have surrendered a grand total of 14 points.

The last three games. 31-0. 28-0. 38-0.

The biggest test is Saturday when Michigan State comes to Ann Arbor. The Spartans already short handed with a handful of key players MIA due to the injury bug.

If the Wolverines find a way to win Saturday, that hype train will keep pushing to that game on November 28th.

4. The HBC

As a tyke growing up in Kentucky, with a rooting interest  in a football team from South Bend, all while watching every Jefferson Pilot SEC televised game, I had ZERO clue who Steve Spurrier was coming to Florida from Duke of all places. Once he made his presence felt in Gainesville as a head coach (visor and all), It was a rude awakening for the rest of the league. I even remember watching college football as a teenager, and seeing a score pop up that I couldn’t ever believe I would ever see again.

Jack Jackson, Danny Wuerffel, Javon Kearse, Errict Rhett, Reidel Anthony, Jabar Gaffney, Jacquez Green, Ike Hillard, Kevin Carter, Ellis Johnson, Alex Taylor, Fred Taylor, Lito Sheppard, were some of my favorite Gators ever.

The South Carolina run was fun to watch as well (let’s forget the Redskins happened), and getting to see the HBC in person at a handful of SEC Media Days was fun also in my professional career.

Here’s to you Stephen Orr Spurrier. You’ve made this great game of college football better. I hope to see you on a sideline just one more time before you turn in your visor.

Enjoy the games this weekend everyone.

Four for Friday

Four things as we head into the weekend:

1.Auburn Panic Meter at 1,000

Look, I thought Jeremy Johnson would flourish in Auburn’s offense. Fell in love with a first half performance against Arkansas last year and, well you know the rest (at least til this point):

5 TD’s, 6 INT’s. Demoted to backup this week in place of Sean White, who like Johnson, had a number of accolades coming out of high school, including high praise from Trent Dilfer.

He has yet to take a snap in a college game, so to assume we know what the heck the young man will do, is crazy. For Auburn’s sake, here’s hoping it’s a positive performance against a Mississippi State team who’s quarterback is confident of generating offense Saturday.

2. Alabama Panic Meter at 1,000

Or so it seems. It’s safe to say the following will lead to a loss 99.9 percent of the time:

  1. Playing a quality opponent (Ole Miss)
  2.  Turning the football over 5 times.
  3. Shaky quarterback play till late in the game.

Alabama didn’t quit, rallying late in the 4th, with a chance to win the game in Tuscaloosa. Jake Coker will get the start Saturday against the Warhawks of UL-Monroe, with a trip to Athens looming. If you’re a Crimson Tide fan, there’s many questions left to be answered. Those questions will have to wait till October 3rd.

3. Must win for the Vols?

Tennessee had a big game two weeks ago against Oklahoma, and couldn’t find a way to put away a Sooner team that showed some mettle in rallying from a 17-3 deficit to win on the road. Last season against Florida, the Vols led 9-0 heading into the 4th. Treon Harris is inserted, and the Gators find a way in Knoxville.

The Vols need this win, the Bleacher Report thinks so as well.  Florida will rely on Will Grier who gets the nod, by default with the suspensions handed down by Jim McElwain earlier this week..

4. Empire

I watch a lot of awful, putrid TV. I LOVE reality everything on the tube. Every Real Housewives show, basically every reality show on E! You name the show, I’ve probably watched it. I also watch Empire. Yep, if you want to hate on the over the top, hip-hop soap opera, go ahead, not mad at ya. I still watch. Every episode. My better half doesn’t miss it live for anything. She has a running text commentary with a handful of her closet friends on Wednesday nights. I have a feeling Cookie Lyon and company aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And yes. I’m OK with that.

Enjoy the weekend.


Week 1 is over. And as you SHOULD imagine, Overreaction is at a 100. Quick 4 downs on this Friday.

1st Down:

PUMP THE BRAKES.  From Jeremy Johnson and Auburn being the worse football team ever, To Ohio State being “overrated” (heard that from a caller on sports talk radio this week), To TCU not that impressive against Minnesota, you would think that week one was week 12 and we have our playoff teams set.


You know nothing more than what you knew before kickoff last Thursday night. We all have ideas, but we don’t have enough of a sample size to know who’s headed where. So if Jeremy Johnson throws for 45o yds, 5 TD’s and no Interceptions against Jacksonville St, he’s back on the Heisman train? If Tennessee beats Oklahoma Saturday, they’re a National Championship contender? Jake Coker the second coming in Tuscaloosa? WE. DON’T. KNOW.


No one even in the conversation for a Final Four berth has a loss, and even if they lose between now and week 5, said team is still in the conversation. All together now….


2nd Down

Because teams in the conversation had a close win in week one, that means that they aren’t good or their opponent isn’t good? TCU played a quality Minnesota team Thursday  night. Probably the best defense they will face all season. If Minnesota goes on to play for a Big 10 Championship, then the “well I didn’t know Minnesota was that good talk” will begin in late November/early December.

Auburn plays a quality Louisville team. Jeremy Johnson throws three bad interceptions. Even Gus Malzahn says Johnson was greedy trying to make some “splash” plays. So that means that Johnson is the worse QB in the country. Sure.

Ohio St trails 17-10 at the half. OMG! They should be unranked! They’re not as good as we think! Further analysis says the Buckeyes were a holding call away from leading 21-0 and completely blowing out the Hokies. In the first half. After the half, Ohio State flexed, Braxton Miller showcased another weapon for Urban Meyer, and, well you know the rest.

Teams that play other teams that have quality players will be better for it late in the season, than those that want to play teams they have no business playing. What good is it doing for Program X to play FCS Z and win 100-6? That’s unless you root for Wazzu. Then, you got me there.

3rd Down

True Freshman. Ballin. From christian Kirk at Texas A&M, to Mr. Rosen’s performance, to the lone bright spot for Texas in week 1 , true freshman are slowly becoming then norm, and making impacts for programs across the country. Cool to see, how coaching staff’s are getting these youngsters on campus in the spring, or during fall camp, evaluating how they can impact a game, and then watching the youngsters go to work. Look for more guys to show up on your radar in the coming weeks.

4th Down

Pick Time….

Michigan State over Oregon: East Lansing will be bonkers, Connor Cook will have a great senior remembrance game, and a running back will emerge for the Spartans en route to a win. NEITHER team is eliminated from the CFB Playoff with a loss.

Tennessee over Oklahoma:  I want badly to pick Oklahoma, and It wouldn’t surprise me if the Sooners win going away, BUT Butch Jones (one would think) is due. He’s had some heartbreaking loses in his tenure on Rocky Top. Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd won’t hurt matters  either for the Vols.

 LSU over Mississippi St: The Bayou Bengals could be the most talented team from top to bottom in the SEC not named Alabama, and I believe Brandon Harris will show that he has the right stuff to lead LSU to a win. Much like Tennessee, Leonard Fournette doesn’t hurt matters, along with a insanely talented front seven.  Not having Jalen Mills hurts but the Tigers have enough to win  behind what could be one of the best offensive lines at the end of the season in a entertaining game.

Enjoy week two. And Remember…



It’s here. Well, almost. The college football season . Game week. The kickoff for the 2015-16 (FBS) season begins Thursday. If you love the college game, a must have during the summer:

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine.

It’s become the go to for all your college football info prior to the season.

I reached out to Phil earlier this month to talk. We chatted via phone, and as you would imagine working in Huntsville, a lot of the questions were SEC-centric. But we also dove into Ohio State, “surprise” teams in the SEC and a “sleeper” that could crash the four team playoff and become a National Champion.

It’s Monday. Work is overrated. Wet your football appetite just a little more.

Take a listen:

Odds and Ends:

—The College football season actually got underway between two powerhouses in FCS. Kinda like that Bob Stitt guy.

—Just seeing Jim Harbaugh, khaki’s and all, on a college sideline again, is good for the game. Should be a rocking atmosphere at Rice-Eccles Stadium Thursday.

— TCF Bank Stadium will be a great atmosphere, at least early. TCU, with their #2 ranking facing a Gopher team that has took on Jerry Kill’s hard work, grind em out type personality. Media experts think this is his best team… we’ll see.

—My alma mater, Western Kentucky University, has one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and will try to knock of Vanderbilt, who needs, REALLY NEEDS to win this game. SB Nation does the best it can to try and talk Vandy fans off the ledge heading into the season.

—TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma St are getting the headlines in the Big 12 this off season, but, I personally like Oklahoma. Glad that that Bob Stoops is getting back to the air raid, that got the Sooners on the map early in his tenure. Some new offensive lineman will need to get adjusted, but Baker Mayfield threw it around the yard at Texas Tech as a Freshman, and should (I know, he hasn’t played in a year) thrive in the offense under new Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley. And if for nothing else, he can move a little bit, well, a lot.

—Excited to see UCLA’s first year starter.

Picks and more picks:

Alabama over Wisconsin:

Defense rules the day for the Tide. Badgers will have less the 200 yards of offense. It only gets interesting if Alabama’s (insert here) QB struggles.

Auburn over Louisville:

The Cards shouldn’t be measured on this game. Louisville will have a good year. No clue who gets the start for Bobby Petrino, but it won’t matter. Auburn comes out smoking, with the the way-to-early-send-him-to-New-York-now Heisman hype in mid season form for Jeremy Johnson by the half.

Notre Dame over Texas:

Under the lights in South Bend, this is Brian Kelly’s best team with the Irish. Malik Zaire will have his growing pains throughout the season, will it be enough to derail some playoff aspirations? No clue there, but he should play well enough Saturday, along with a elite offense, and a defense that will hound Longhorn quarterbacks Tyrone Swoops/Jerrod Herd all night. BUT… if Swoops/Herd come out hot, The Irish haters may have some added ammunition by midnight Saturday.

Ohio St over Virginia Tech:

Urban Meyer could suspend whomever. They win the game. The Hokies will make it entertaining in spots, but it reminds me of the last time a #1 ranked talented team came to Blacksburg.

Texas A&M over Arizona St:

A sleeper in the SEC, Stewart Mandel picked the Aggies to win the league. The game Saturday in the desert won’t have anything to do with that, but could show that the Aggies have the right guy at Quarterback (Kyle Allen) and an improved defense and/or scheme (John Chavis). The Sun Devils will bring pressure from everywhere… If Allen gets it out of his hands, he may have 450 plus through the air. If he doesn’t Kevin Sumlin’s prized recruit of 2015 may be the answer sooner rather than later.

My Final Four Picks:

(1) Ohio St     Vs (4) Notre Dame

(2) TCU          Vs (3) Auburn

National Championship:

(1) Ohio St Vs (2) TCU

Winner: Ohio St

Enjoy the games this week. Football is back. Football. Is. Back.

My two cents on SEC Media Days 2015

Les Miles

The 2015 edition of SEC Media Days, was really tame, to be quite honest. Really laid back. The issue… just too long. 4 days, really just needs to be three long days, and be over with. But, doesn’t seem that will change anytime soon, so it is what it is.


My two cents

I understand that during this time of the year, fans hear the same thing year in and year out from coaches.

“We’re trying to get better”

“We’re excited about the season.”

“We have a long way to go.”

The list goes on and on.


I thought that all 14 coaches were candid, and answered questions honestly. If they didn’t want to answer something, they found a way to “politely” maneuver away from it. The student athletes were great too… Lenorard Fournette is one player that stood out as far as the interviews went… his coach (Les Miles) and Brett Bielema (Arkansas) were the best coaches with interviews.


Two cents on each program

These are just some quick hitters on each program:



Georgia- It was almost like Mark Richt believes he has a team good enough to win the league, and make a College Football Playoff berth. The only thing he needs is a reliable quarterback.  Faton Bauta,  Brice Ramsey and freshman Jacob Park all will battle. We have no clue who it will be, but if they are just average or above that, punch the Dawgs ticket to Atlanta the first Saturday in December.

Tennessee- Butch Jones seemed as relaxed as he’s ever been on his tenure on Rocky Top. Could you blame him? He came to Knoxville and entered a dumpster fire. Now he has a bunch of young guys that are a little more mature. The talent is everywhere… but have the Vols grown enough to win the East? The Vols are playing with house money this season, so whatever happens in ’15 is just a springboard for ’16 when UT will be EVERYONE’s favorite in the league.

Florida- Honesty. That’s the impression I got from Jim McElwain. He understands he basically will try and find guys off the street to play offensive line, with little or no depth, and go from there. The defense has some studs, especially in the secondary (Vernon Hargreaves III, Jalen Tabor and Brian Poole). Coach Mac can manufacture some offense, but can Will Grier or Treon Harris take the reigns at QB?

Missouri- Gary Pinkel still wanting some respect. He looked to me that it doesn’t bother him, but it does. One of his student athletes even said so, while watching Media Days earlier in the week. Everyone talks about Tennessee and Georgia, wouldn’t be surprised at all Mizzou wins the East for the third straight year. A new defensive scheme may be a concern (4-3 to a 3-4), but freshman Terry Beckner Jr cold help matters.

South Carolina- Steve Spurrier said that he was “rejuvenated” at Media Days last week. My hunch is that this is his last season in Columbia. The only way it’s not is if they are battling for the East late in the year, and barley miss out, or they come away with a out of nowhere monster season (wining the East, winning the league). Outside of that, I believe the Spurrier era is over, and the ball coach will go and become a full time golfer.

Kentucky- The recruiting has went well for Mark Stoops and his tenure in Lexington. I got the feeling that he will adjust his scheme defensively to what he has on campus. Stoops will run a 3-4 scheme, and go away from the 4-3. Always good to have Patrick Towles, who may be the best QB, pure QB in the league.

Vanderbilt- If anyone can win the press conference, it’s second year coach Derrick Mason. I talked to a friend who works in the Nashville media and covers the Commodores on an everyday basis. “He’s done. If they win 4 games I’d be shocked. They have no speed whatsoever on either side of the ball.” Another friend in the media just said, “We’ll have to see.” That doesn’t bode well. Can’t get any worse in Nashville… could it?



Alabama- Nick Saban, Ryan Kelly, and Reggie Ragland all talking about getting an “edge” back. For those that forget last season… 12-2. SEC Champions. College Football Playoff Berth. And they want their edge back. Such are the expectations in Tuscaloosa. We’ve went down the quarterback road before with The Crimson Tide, this year will be the same. Jacob Coker, David Cornwell, freshman Blake Barnett, Alec Morris, and Cooper Bateman all vying for the job. If I was a betting man, I’d say Cornwell. The defense may be one of Saban’s best at Bama. Will the offense give that unit enough this season is a question for me. And it all comes back to that position under center.

Auburn- Gus Malzahn, Kris Frost, Jeremy Johnson, and Jonathan Jones were the most confident of all the coaches and players at Media Days. Almost felt that not winning the league and being in the playoff would be a epic failure. Ellis Johnson out, Will Muschamp in, and with Malzahn saying Muschamp is “the best defensive mind in all of football”, it appears the Tigers are going for it all. Right now. Malzahn had a air of supreme confidence last week. Almost felt that Muschamp and his attitude has not only rubbed off on the defense, but the entire coaching staff, including the man at the top.

Arkansas- Brett Bielema was the second coach of the week that came in with major confidence. The Hogs turned the corner a year ago, and come into this season with the best offensive line and the best 1-2 punch at running back (Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins) in the league. The question is whether or not Brandon Allen can be reliable enough to make plays when the Hogs need him most (see Alabama game last season). Outside of Les Miles, Brett with the best sound bites of the week.

LSU- Les Miles, well, being Les Miles. From talking about Leonard Fournette’s pants, to a camera guy falling down in front of him, he had the TV room lively to say the least. Quarterback (see a theme throughout the SEC?), the concern… Anthony Jennings, or sophomore Brandon Harris will get the start… one of those guys emerge, look out. The Bayou Bengals may have the best secondary in the league.

Ole Miss- Just felt that Hugh Freeze has more questions than answers heading into fall camp. Three guys fighting for the quarterback job, the defense should be solid yet again… just felt that he was a little uncertain overall heading into camp. With that said, you only need answers starting with week one. Freeze the architect of building programs, with the win totals growing year to year.

Mississippi State- No one in their right mind thought the Bulldogs would reach number one a year ago, and be just five points away from an SEC West title. Dak Prescott back, De’Runya Wilson one of the best WR in the league, along with Ashton Shumpert and Brandon Holloway in the backfield. The problem. Trying to replace three offensive lineman. The front seven on defense need to find some difference makers. With all that said. I never get a read on Dan Mullen because he’s always upbeat and excited about the year. So there’s that.

Texas A&M- Kevin Sumlin another coach that is always upbeat and positive. He may end up having one of the best QB’s in the league, if not the best in Kyle Allen, and he also has freshman Kyler Murray in the  mix as well. The Aggies,  in my opinion, have the best WR corps in the league. If they can get anything from the running game the offense will be devastating. Now to the defense. That’s what has hindered the Aggies since they made their entrance into the SEC. In comes the Chief. John Chavis, much like Will Muschamp, can change the attitude of the Aggies unit. they may not have the most talent of other teams on that side of the ball, but the confidence that Chavis can bring could make the Aggies a dark horse to win the West.



—The food was pretty solid all week at the Wynfrey Hotel. Kudos SEC.

—May sound crazy, but I miss the box of media guides that we would get on day one. Now we get this:

SEC USB…..Tech savvy


—We also got this:

SEC WalletSupposedly it’s supposed to hold your money and bank cards.

Gonna pass on that.


— Fans normally file into the lobby of the Wynfrey Hotel to get a glimpse and autographs of their favorite teams. This year, was a little down relative to past years…Maybe because Auburn and Alabama were on day one and at 9 AM respectively.


That’s it for now…I’ll be back with another post in the next week or so… Enjoy the week!