Happy Friday, Sooner fans! The Oklahoma Sooners are off this week, but that’s hopefully not keeping any of you from enjoying some college football. Since there’s no opponent this week, we decided to interview our boss, Matt Brown, about college football in general. He’s a fan just like you and me, with the sole difference being the fact that he happens to supervise nearly 100 college sports blogs. Oh, and he’s also written a book.
Here are some questions involving his favorite team (Ohio State), his other favorite team (BYU), his book, stadium concessions and other stuff. Enjoy!
1. Of the top three teams (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma), who has impressed you the most?
Alabama has been the best team, but of course, we all expected that. I think I’ve been equally impressed with Clemson and Oklahoma, since I didn’t expect either team to be as good as it has been. Oklahoma’s offensive line did an excellent job against Ohio State, and it looks like this secondary has improved as well. They should be the favorite in every Big 12 game they have this season, even Bedlam, although a few other teams certainly have a puncher’s chance against Oklahoma. And the depth that Clemson has assembled and developed at wideout and defensive line is truly impressive. This team lost many of its best players ever and hasn’t missed too much of a beat.
2. Notre Dame has started the season with a record of 3-1 with games against Miami (OH), North Carolina and Wake Forest ahead. When looking at the remaining schedule, do you think it's possible that Notre Dame finishes 4-8 again? Or is the dream dead?
Ha, honestly, and I said this a few times before the season started — I think Notre Dame is pretty good this year, probably Top 25 good. I love their running game, and I love the potential of Wimbush. I think 8-4 is far more likely than 4-8...they’d need to get very, very unlucky for the wheels to fall off like that again.
3. I'm sure you've been to some decent venues as a fan or for work, but which stadiums are still on your bucket list? Give me a top five.
The best place I’ve ever watched a football game was Tiger Stadium, and I was there as just a regular ol’ fan. My top five would probably be the Rose Bowl, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
4. As an Ohio State fan, how are you feeling about your team at the moment? Has Urban Meyer made any noticeable changes since Sept. 9?
Honestly, I’m not too worried. Ohio State’s secondary was exposed by Oklahoma, but this unit is also exceptionally young and probably couldn’t plug and play first rounders forever. They should get better, given their recruiting pedigree and coaches. The lack of a consistent deep threat, or even intermediate passing threat is a concern, but that’s looked better over the last two weeks, and Ohio State has a few more weeks of very manageable games before Penn State. They have more time to grow and improve.
5. I know a lot of fingers in Columbus were pointed at Urban Meyer and JT Barrett for the loss to Oklahoma, but what was your impression of OU's performance? In your opinion, do the Sooners have what it takes to beat someone like Alabama or Clemson?
I think they have a punchers chance against both, but the key in either of those games would be their ability to pass protect, given how deep and strong both of the defensive lines are for those teams. I don’t think either Alabama or Clemson’s defensive fronts are THAT much better than Ohio State’s, although Clemson’s offense is certainly more complete, and if Oklahoma could handle that challenge, they have at least a shot against anybody.
6. If you could spend a day at Disney World with any coach in the history of college football, who would you choose and why?
Oh man, in history? I bet Jim Tatum could flash enough greenbacks to get us to the front of most of the lines.
7. Will my OKC Thunder (feat. Hoodie Melo) defeat the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals and go all the way?
I’m gonna be really interested in how OKC ends up this year, because I think it’s reasonable to wonder how they’ll be defensively with Melo playing the 4, or if they can share the basketball enough. But they’re certainly going to be really fun to watch. I have a hard time seeing anybody beating the Warriors unless they get injured though, as much as that sucks.
Who would win in a fight: Woody Hayes at 65 or Lavell Edwards at 65?
A: Woody Hayes would probably kick Lavell’s ass. He’d fight DIRTY. I’m not sure Edwads would.
9. If you had to vote for the Piesman Trophy right now, who would be your winner?
I have to respectfully decline here. I don’t have a favorite yet.
10. In your years of working at SB Nation, what was the single most enjoyable blog post to write? Which post do you consider to be your masterpiece?
My dispatch from the BYU-Utah Vegas Bowl, “No Beer, Just Loathing” is probably my favorite, since I got to blend my own personal story and history with a really fun football game in a fun city, but I don’t think I have a masterpiece yet.
11. You recently released a book entitled What If: A Closer Look at College Football's Great Questions. What was your favorite scenario to cover in that book?
It’s a fun book that you can buy here! I think the two conference realignment stories were probably my favorites though, a look at proposed national conference from the 1960s called the Airplane Conference, and a failed superconference in the early 1990s that would have brought Miami, Florida State, South Carolina and half the ACC in (along with...Tulane and East Carolina?), in a really fun league too called the Metro.
12. Speaking of the book, you touched on Georgia Tech's 222-0 victory over Cumberland. Was John Heisman's decision to run up the score the greatest instance of pettiness in the history of mankind? If not, what beats it out?
The early dates of college football are full of great stories of raw pettiness. That’s probably the tops, but I do enjoy the folks in Utah naming a sewage treatment plant after Barry Switzer.
13. What's the greatest concession you've ever eaten at a sporting event, and at what venue did you find it?
Man, this is a really good question. Maryland football has a crab pretzel which is pretty delicious, and the Chicago White Sox, lowkey, sell really great food too, even though their stadium kinda sucks. I’ll have to think about this more though.
14. How do you see this regular season shaking out? Who wins the five major conferences? Who plays in the CFP?
I like USC to win the Pac-12, Oklahoma to win the Big 12, Alabama to win the SEC (duh), Penn State to win the Big Ten and Clemson to win the ACC. USC, Oklahoma, Alabama and Penn State in the playoff, Alabama wins.
15. Who is your favorite Oklahoma Sooner of all time, and why?
Barry Switzer. If nothing else, because of the memes.
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