Brian Kelly’s daughter passes; SEC fans fail

December 5, 2021
Baylor's Jairon McVea stops Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson.
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After a wild season that saw its share of upsets, crazy finishes, high-level trolling, bonehead plays and questionable coaching decisions, it’s time to close the year and administer the final report card for the 2021 season.

As the final weeks of the college football season ascend upon us, teams have little margin for error and thus will get hammered when the performance does not meet Report Card standards.

Remember as always, there is no grading on a curve here, so failing marks have zero chance of being reversed and passing ones are handed out less frequently.

Last week’s low marks went to Army’s pathetic attempt to steal Navy’s mascot and a NIL commercial lacking originality, with high scores received by Florida running back Dameon Pierce and the Michigan State Police.

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So here is the analysis of how fans, teams, players and coaches fared during championship week.

Inches from glory

Oklahoma State was 1 yard from potentially securing a spot in the College Football Playoff. On a 4th-and-goal from the 1, Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a dive with 24 seconds remaining, giving Baylor the Big 12 title. 

But check on the tweet above and the excellent work from the pylon cam. If every football game telecast doesn’t have a camera view from this point, they had better start. It is on par with the angle that was caught in Oklahoma’s comeback win against Texas when Marvin Mims somehow stayed in bounds to come up with a spectacular grab. 

MVP Pylon: A

Who’s a good boy?

The Report Card is a big fan of live mascots on the sidelines. During Northern Illinois’ MAC championship game against Kent State, ESPN cameras couldn’t resist putting the spotlight on Mini Mish, a 2-year-old Siberian husky who took over for the original Mission, who retired in the summer.

NIU’s mascots have been featured before as Diesel got famous for high-fiving cheerleaders on the sideline and while Mini Mish didn’t do that, he had no problem receiving good rubdowns and certainly enjoyed the Huskies’ 41-23 victory over Kent State. More treats coming for Mini Mish. 

Ruff job: A+

Southern hospitality

This week saw a bunch of boosters and athletic departments pony up the dough in a coaching carousel reminiscent of the Hunger Games. While moves like this upset people who believe in snake oil and think most coaches are loyal and have a problem with capitalism and upward mobility, there are people out there who may be truly affected. 

Which leads us to Brian Kelly, who couldn’t even spend a tenth of a second (just kidding) to say goodbye to his Notre Dame players before he bolted to try to learn a southern accent and accept the millions LSU was offering.

Kelly’s daughter, Grace, took to social media to “express” her feelings on the situation. Her deadpan stare into the camera is indeed comical, as the caption of the post above reads “when you still have to graduate from Notre Dame in 5 months but your dad already left for LSU.”  

She knows what’s coming from her fellow classmates adding “ready to get booed on my way to class every morning.”

TikTok full of Grace: B

Sneakin’ Riley

Speaking of getting out of town while the getting is good, College GameDay had an interview with new USC coach Lincoln Riley. It just so happens that GameDay was broadcasting from Atlanta, site of the SEC Championship.

You know where this is going. Many thought Riley took off for Los Angeles because he didn’t want anything to do with a conference that has won the last three national championships in football.

Seizing a grand opportunity at trolling without the risk of coming up with something original, the conference-loving crowd broke out the familiar “S-E-C, S-E-C” chant as Riley’s former school Oklahoma is headed that way in the not-so-distant future. Then again, the fans could have been chanting about the Securities and Exchange Commission for all we know. 

Riley looked like he was blissfully unaware of the chant during the interview and also looked like he could use a nap. He has been absolutely roasted by fans and media alike, and that probably won’t stop until either Oklahoma wins a championship and fans stop crying in their pillow or he gets fired from USC. 

Failing grades for fans not being original, and not realizing that their conference does include Vanderbilt, the only league member that didn’t go at least 6-6 in football this season.

99 problems, but the SEC ain’t one: F

The Electric (not) Slide

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett decided to stay in school and not go to the NFL after the 2020 season. It was a good decision because he probably made himself millions of dollars by having an outstanding season and becoming the ACC Player of the Year. 

During the first quarter of the ACC title game against Wake Forest, Pickett faced a third-and-5 and when he saw no one open, he took off.

Not many people are going to mistake Pickett for Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson, but the senior sprinted into the open field and saw a Wake Forest defender in front of him.

Pickett pretended to slide, freezing several defenders and then went untouched into the end zone for a 58-yard touchdown. 

Slip and not slide: A++



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