Say what you want about Nick Saban and Urban Meyer (and believe me, there’s plenty to say about both of them), but they are very likely the two best coaches in college football right now.
The duo has combined for four national titles since 2003, and it wouldn’t be that far fetched to say they’ll combine to win another four in the next eight seasons. Alabama and Florida are at the top of the college football heap, and will continue to be there as long as these two men are at the top.
Apparently, they could have been together, but Saban big-timed Meyer and didn’t return his call in 1990. In Saban’s defense, 1990 was before caller ID (right?) and maybe his wife lost the phone number, or took it down wrong. Or maybe Saban is a big-timer (this is probably more likely). Either way, Urban seems to have forgiven him. Probably because he’s done well enough for himself since then.
Their teams play each other today, in what’s probably the game of the day when you consider everything (records, rankings, history, etc.). Click ahead to see who wins that one and more.
I went 4-1 last week, with my only blemish coming because of Steve Spurrier’s decision to bench his three-year starter who had fumbled twice while working for extra yards, for a freshman, on the road in a hostile environment. The football gods won’t allow me to be perfect, I guess.
No. 21 Texas at No. 8 Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m.: While Oklahoma has been less than impressive in games it should have rolled in, there’s nothing on its record as awful as Texas’ whooping at the hands of UCLA last week. The Longhorns were straight up whooped on the ground by the Bruins, who had been straight up whooped by Stanford just a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t used straight up that many times in a sentence since I went through my Paula Abdul phase, but it’s all warranted! Seriously, how hot was Paula Abdul before she went crazy? Yes, Paula, I want to love you forever. And Texas is about to be hit in another hit and run. Pick: Oklahoma 31-17.
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 24 Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.: Mark Dantonio is returning to his coaching duties, but from the booth. Look, I’m no doctor, but wouldn’t being in the booth be as hard on your heart as being on the sidelines? I suppose I don’t understand why there’s a difference, but that’s probably why I’m not a doctor, and instead I’m writing about not being a doctor on a blog. But here’s some real talk: Michigan State’s defense has seemed to be weakest against the pass, but that’s mostly because it played a Notre Dame team that’s allergic to consistently running and three teams that are, well, bad. John Clay and Co. are going to run the ball, though, and I don’t think the Spartans can stop them. Pick: Wisconsin 24-20.
No. 7 Florida at No. 1 Alabama, 8 p.m.: Florida fans are frothing at the mouth about Trey Burton, who did his best Tim Tebow impression last week against Kentucky (that’s not fair to Burton, actually. His best Tebow impression against Kentucky would have included getting drilled straight on and suffering a concussion). But even the great Tebow wasn’t enough for Florida to figure out Saban’s Alabama defense. The Tide played the best offense it will see all year last week, and when it figured things out, it forced the best quarterback it will see into some pretty big-time mistakes. I don’t think John Brantley and the Trey Burton package of plays is going to be enough for the Gators, even if their defense slows down Mark Ingram and the ‘Bama offense. Pick: Alabama 20-13.
No. 9 Stanford at No. 4 Oregon, 8 p.m.: You won’t find a bigger contrast of styles at a higher level than this game. Stanford wants to punch you in the mouth, then fake punching you in the mouth and throw over the top of you. Oregon wants to run around and away from you. Both teams are great at what they do, and I think on a neutral field, Stanford wins this game. But these teams are so evenly matched that I think the Autzen Stadium crowd makes the difference here. Pick: Oregon 31-30.
No. 22 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa, 8:05 p.m.: I’ve said this before (to someone, not sure if it was you people), but I think Robert Bolden is going to be a great quarterback at Penn State. I watched him in the state championship game last year for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and was more impressed with him than I was with Michigan’s Devin Gardner (albeit in different games). But that’s the future. Right now, Bolden is a true freshman taking his lumps against teams like Alabama and Iowa. I expect Adrian Clayborn and Co. to make frequent visits to the freshman tonight. Pick: Iowa 24-9.