“We’re going back to the SEC Championship this season, y’all. And they’ll have to put us in the playoffs this time!” — an Auburn fan before last Saturday, probably
We’re just starting the fall sports season, but your prescient On Fire correspondent can already tell where things are heading — it’s as clear as the intentions behind that 3 a.m. text from your overeager “study buddy” from economics class. In the realm of college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide added a 62-7 pummeling of Ole Miss to their record, though they didn’t punch their playoff ticket yet.
But that’s OK. The rest of the NCAA did for them.
Bama fans had much to be vindicated by this weekend. The brilliant Head Coach Scott Frost, who led UCF to their 2017 “National Championship” alongside Alabama, demonstrated his ingenuity — this time, in finding a new way for his Big Ten Nebraska Cornhuskers to disappoint at home: a loss to the Sun Belt’s Troy University Trojans.
But wait, there’s more. The Auburn Tigers, whose 26-10 defeat of Alabama last year kept college football’s best team out of the SEC Championship, managed to lose to the SEC’s other tigers, LSU. Meanwhile, then-suspended Head Coach Urban Meyer’s Ohio State showed the Big Ten’s true colors in a near-defeat to TCU. Yet that was one of the Big Ten’s best performances this week: highly ranked Wisconsin choked against BYU while Rutgers fell to Kansas, who apparently don’t just play basketball.
Speaking of other sports that people watch to kill time between football games, the Atlanta Braves appear set for a playoff run with their commanding lead of the NL East. The Braves’ roster is loaded with talent poached from the 2014 Baltimore Orioles team: right fielder Nick Markakis and pitchers Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Kevin Gausman. The quartet seem likely to demonstrate the administrative incompetence of the somehow-still-an-Oriole General Manager Dan Duquette, whose impeccable resume includes giving former slugger Chris Davis $161 million to do … well, we’re not exactly sure what.
Over in the American League, your On Fire correspondent is impressed by the Red Sox’s remarkable hundred-win performance, which is the team’s first since 1946. Ever since pitcher David Price parted ways with “Fortnite,” they’ve seemed destined to avoid the legendary fried-chicken-and-video-games collapse of 2011. However, only time will tell if the franchise of slur-spouting fans can avoid a PlayStation-induced relapse.
Elsewhere in football’s shadow, Brad Keselowski locked himself into the next round of NASCAR’s playoffs after a chaotic race in Las Vegas, wherein half the playoff field found a way to wreck themselves before they checked themselves. Washed-up Jimmie Johnson continued the worst season of his career, securing a 22nd place finish that still put him ahead of half of the once-great Hendrick Racing’s other entries. Can — or will — Rick’s ex-superteam ever bring back the days of housing Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the same garage?
While we’re still wondering about that, we do know that a few things are certain: death, taxes and Alabama dominating college football.