Postscripts: Week 9


Postscripts is my weekly wrap of the week that was on the road and in college football. Look for my travel news and notes here each Thursday, along with some of my opinions about what’s happening in the college game we all love. – Matthew Postins

I’m going to be home this weekend. This is going to be weird.

Can Penn State and Heisman candidate Saquon Barkley bounce back from last week’s devastating loss to Ohio State?

This will be the first time I’m home for a weekend since early in the season, and I’m home this weekend taking care of my dog, Ferguson, who just had his second knee surgery on Monday. He tore his second ACL. So he gets the good drugs.

So I’ll be watching college football this weekend. What’s on my plate?

11 a.m. — Penn State at Michigan State (Fox). Time to see if the Nittany Lions can bounce back.

2:30 p.m. — Time to catch the start of the Clemson-NC State game (ABC). That should be quite a bit of fun.

3 p.m. — Set up the remote so I can toggle between the Tigers and Wolfpack and Bedlam, as Oklahoma travels to Oklahoma State (FS1). Heck, let’s find the directions for the TV and see if we can do picture-in-picture. I would usually be checking my phone for SFA updates, but my Lumberjacks are off this weekend.

6:15 p.m. — As Clemson-NC State and Bedlam wind down, it’s time to fire up Texas at TCU (ESPN).

7 p.m. — It’s November so it’s time for the CBS/SEC double-dip. The back end is a good one as LSU heads to Alabama (CBS). I will need updates on Virginia Tech-Miami (FL) (ABC) and UT-TCU.

9:45 p.m. — Arizona is ranked? Holy cow. And the Wildcats are at USC (ESPN). Time to finally get a look at QB Khalil Tate.

I’ll be back on the road next weekend, but this weekend’s slate gives me a nice opportunity to rest up.

My adventures in media. A quick look at the weird stuff that happened to me as I covered my game this week:

Tip of the hat to the Texas A&M sports information department for supplying me with a credential and a non-requested parking pass for last Saturday’s game, and putting it in an easy-to-pick-up location at the College Station Hilton. It sure beats the Dunkin’ Donuts in Hartford, Conn., which is where I picked up my UConn parking pass (but not my credential).

Always make sure you have everything you need when you leave your car to cover a game or you’ll have to walk back 10-15 minutes to go back and get your regular glasses. The perils of being someone who wears prescription sunglasses. But I didn’t want to be the weird guy on the sideline of a televised game wearing his sunglasses at night.

It’s hard enough to get room on the sideline to shoot at a Power 5 FBS game. But do we really need Aggie Corps members taking up 10-15 yards along the sidelines just to STAND there and, you know, stand there?

My post-trip quick note. We have plenty of content coming at College Football America and RoadTripSports.com from our Week 9 travels. But for me, here are my quick notes on the stadium I visited last week:

Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, aka, the ‘Home of the 12th Man.’

Texas A&M: I hadn’t been to Kyle Field in several years so I was interested to get a look at the recent renovations (after all, it is, for the moment, the largest college football stadium in Texas). There is a lot to like about that stadium. From the outside statues dedicated to the 12th Man and the Yell Leader, to the inside of the stadium with its large expanse of suites, they’ve done a good job keeping up with the times (Kyle Field was built in 1927). One thing I’m a big fan of is that the Aggies haven’t given in and gone with Field Turf. It’s still a grass field on gamedays. It was my first time on the field and I can tell you that the ground doesn’t move when the Aggies sway to the Aggie War Hymn. It’s just the stadium combined with the inertia from the fans’ movement. But if you’ve never been there, you’ll feel it.

Also, check out the galleries from some of the stadiums I’ve visited this season (more are coming):

Abilene Christian

Hardin-Simmons

Princeton

Yale

Iowa State

Wartburg

Army West Point

Cincinnati Christian

Arkansas

Central (IA)

William Penn

UNT

Coe

Villanova

Stadium counts. According to our handy FBS Stadiums We’ve Visited list at RoadTripSports.com, I am now up to 51 FBS stadiums visited. I had previously visited Kyle Field.

My photos. My gallery from my Week 9 game is below. Plus, to see all of our game and stadium galleries, click here to go to our Facebook page.

Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett

Heisman candidate of the week. I think it must be Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who had a huge game against previously undefeated Penn State and led the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind victory. That game was more than enough to vault him into the conversation. Barrett has been on a slow burn statistically this season, but he’s gathering steam at the most important time of the year. He could end up with the best statistical numbers of his career and piloting the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title. If he does, he’ll be in New York City for the ceremony. I’m not saying he’ll win. But his case is gathering steam quickly.

Previous Heisman Candidates of the Week profiled: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 1); Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (Week 2); Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (Week 3); Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 4); Stanford RB Bryce Love (Week 5); San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (Week 6); Arizona QB Khalil Tate (Week 7); Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (Week 8).

Hot seat coach of the week. Butch Jones of Tennessee. I’ve been remiss. He should have been on this list much earlier. The fact that he’s still employed is inconceivable. The Vols are coming off a loss to Kentucky, Jones survived a Sunday meeting with his athletic director and the Vols are preparing to face Southern Miss this weekend. At this point, that game is not a gimme for Tennessee. USM is 5-3 this year and hoping to clinch a bowl berth. If the Vols lose that game, I can’t see Jones surviving any longer. He has a massive buyout, so Tennessee will have to keep paying him. But he hasn’t met expectations. The Vols are looking for, at the least, SEC East titles, and Jones has failed to deliver. Even if he survives Southern Miss, I don’t see him surviving the offseason.

Previous hot seat coaches profiled: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (Week 1); Bret Bielema, Arkansas (Week 2); Mike Riley, Nebraska (Week 3); Steve Addazio, Boston College (Week 4); Ed Orgeron, LSU (Week 5); Brad Lambert, Charlotte (Week 6); Matt Wells, Utah State (Week 7); Kalani Sitake, BYU (Week 8).

Hot coaching name of the week. It was just a few weeks ago that I said that Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell probably wasn’t a coaching target for other programs for 2018. But that was before Campbell and his Cyclones beat TCU at home on Saturday, moving them into a first-place tie in the Big 12 and wrapping up a month in which the Cyclones also beat Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Tech. I don’t know if the Cyclones can keep this up, but they’re going to have a hard time keeping their second-year coach nailed down after this season. The good news is that Campbell likes it there and he wanted to be at Ames, Iowa, when he took the job two years ago. He’s also reassured the fan base last week that he wants to be there. But that was before the Florida opening. There will be jobs where the athletic director can money-whip ISU. We will just have to see how ambitious Campbell is about his career.

Previous hot name coaches profiled: Mike London, Howard (Week 1); Tim Rebowe, Nicholls State (Week 2); Frank Wilson, UTSA (Week 3); Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (Week 4); Neal Brown, Troy (Week 5); Scott Frost, UCF (Week 6); Mike Houston, James Madison (Week 7); Al Bagnoli, Columbia (Week 8).

A special thanks. Each week College Football America Yearbook is on the road covering college football games, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of the sports information directors that work for those schools. We just want to thank the following SID departments for their graciousness and help in doing what we do — Texas A&M (Matthew Postins), Colorado State and Wyoming (Chuck Cox).

Our work on other sites. The great thing about what we do with College Football America is that it enables us to support other partners that we work with, such as the American Football Coaches Association, CowboysHQ.com and HeartlandCollegeSports.com. Our photos are used in AFCA newsletter and publications on a regular basis. I cover the Cowboys for CowboysHQ and am putting together scouting pieces on potential 2018 draft picks. I also cover the Big 12 for HCS. Below you’ll find links to some of our work with those entities in the past week.

 

 

Where I’ll be this week. I’ll be at home this weekend looking after my dog after his second knee surgery in five months. But I’m looking to nail down a big game for the weekend of Nov. 11.

We’ll see you down the road.

Matthew Postins is the editor-in-chief of the College Football America Yearbook. Catch up with him on Twitter at @PostinsPostcard.


 

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