How Missouri could keep the SEC out of the College Football Playoff

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The SEC West has been the story of the season in the conference, but Missouri is looking to capture its second straight SEC East Division crown. Three years ago when the Tigers joined the SEC after leaving the Big 12, not many would have predicted that happening. Not at a time when Georgia and South Carolina have been taking control of the division and Florida usually a perennial threat and Tennessee fans just waiting for the Vols to mean something in the east again. But here we are in mid-November and Missouri is sitting in first place in the SEC East and with a chance to return to Atlanta for its second SEC Championship Game appearance.

While the success of Missouri should be praised, some are still trying to figure out just what the Tigers are doing. Is Missouri a legitimate power in the SEC East, or SEC? Or has this season been one fueled by luck and circumstance of a wide-open division. After all, this Missouri team was crushed at home by Georgia and defeated on its own field by an Indiana team that is now on the verge of being ineligible for postseason play. Can you figure this Missouri team out?

Missouri ranks 115th in passing offense and 64th in rushing offense, but the defense is 15th in scoring by allowing just 19.3 points per game. Winners of three straight games in SEC East play, and while Georgia was upset by Florida, Missouri is now in a decent position to wrap up the division over the next few weeks. They will have to thrive on the road though with road games at once-again-dangerous Texas A&M and Tennessee. The Aggies are coming off a big upset at Auburn and with Kyle Allen at quarterback appear to have new life, but let us see if Texas A&M is capable of carrying over that success. Tennessee could also be playing for its bowl eligibility when Missouri visits.

Missouri could be given a little help this weekend from Auburn, the team that defeated the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game last season. Auburn travels to Georgia this weekend. An Auburn win would give Missouri a little extra breathing room in the division race. As one college football writer suggests, Missouri could be the SEC’s Team Kryptonite in the College Football Playoff as well. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch lays out the possibility of Missouri upsetting many in the SEC offices. Missouri winning the SEC championship could potentially take the SEC out of the four-team playoff field entirely. This is a scenario nobody would have seen coming when the playoff format was introduced, and to be fair it is still far from becoming a realistic possibility just yet. If Mississippi State is undefeated and loses to Missouri, perhaps the Bulldogs would still have a spot waiting for them anyway.

If you root for pure chaos in college football though, then Missouri is your new favorite team.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.