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Monday Morning Mash-up: Week 15

Sharing thoughts on Auburn-Alabama, who should play in the national title and UConn's unsung hero over its last five games.

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1.) At this time, there is little more one can offer about the 13 hours of immaculate football we were all gifted with last Saturday.

Timeless classics from noon to midnight, rivals going hateful toe-to-hateful toe and perhaps the greatest finish ever in college football. I'm still on the fence as to whether Auburn-Alabama was the greatest ending in the sport's 144-year history. But I do know the entire affair was nothing short of spectacular.

Similarly, before we launch into a week-long argument of possible BCS title game scenarios, take time to fully appreciate all that Saturday brought. Know that it truly was a gift, one not to be immediately moved on from to the pointless bickering that will ensue. We'll get to each and every bowl game eventually. In the meantime, soak in one day that could have been even better.

2.) UConn turned in its most complete effort of the season against Rutgers, as Casey Cochran led the way with the best performance by a Husky quarterback in years. While impressive, it did appear that many of his 311 yards came after the catch. Therefore, we ought to be a tad careful when lauding his huge totals. I'll sift through exactly how many yards he was responsible for versus his receivers and more in this week's Tale of the Tape. Until then, let's praise the hell out of his decision-making, which has been the most important aspect missing from the quarterback position for UConn all year.

3.) In case you missed it, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs stated yesterday live on Sportscenter that it would be "un-American" if a one-loss SEC team were to miss out on the national title. What a load of garbage.

Should they win their respective conference championships, Florida State and Ohio State will be the most deserving teams of national title bids. Now, I can understand the argument that Missouri or Auburn fans will make that their teams may in fact be better than the Seminoles or Buckeyes. But do remember that the polls are determined by a mixture of the "eye test", each team's resume and a splash of nonsense.

It's always been that way. And there's nothing a team can do to earn a shot at the title than win all of its 12 or 13 games beforehand. Indisputably, OSU and FSU are top-5 quality teams that did that. Auburn and Missouri didn't. In 2013, it is that simple.

On another note—man, I can't wait for the playoff.

4.) Quick Memphis primer in anticipation of the Huskies' season finale on Saturday. The Tigers are 3-8, armed with a top-10 performer in both sacks and interceptions. Bobby McCain is tied for fourth nationally with six interceptions, while defensive end Martin Ifedi ranks sixth in the country with 11.5 sacks. You'll be hearing a lot about them in the coming week.

5.) Yesterday, T.J. Weist shared something of great interest with the media that went almost entirely overlooked. Since the Cincinnati game, UConn's offensive line has not been responsible for a single sack.


Now in my reviews of all the game film since then, I would disagree. However, obviously my knowledge of the instructed hot reads and executed protections on a given play cannot possibly be not as extensive as coach's without knowing the playcalls. Perhaps the 11 sacks in those five games are all on Boyle, Cochran, a tight end, running back or a poorly run route by the receiver. I'd doubt it, but even still, the number of questionable sacks are a mere two or three.

So, kudos to the offensive line for making the improvements it had to in order for the Huskies to make the strides that they have.

6.) From the department of Huskies in the NFL: Colts running back Donald Brown has supplanted Trent Richardson as the team's starter and rookie Texans tight end Ryan Griffin played against his former favorite team this weekend, the New England Patriots. Brown received only 14 carries and Houston lost 34-31, but what a surreal experience that must have been for the both of them. Congrats.

7.) From the department of failed predictions: Last week I told you with supreme confidence that Alabama was going to destroy Auburn. Boy, was I wrong.

By the way, you can watch Chris Davis' 109-yard field goal return for a touchdown over and over again until next year's Iron Bowl here.

8.) My top-three non-bowl games left in 2013:

no. 2 Ohio State vs. no. 11 Michigan State

no. 20 Duke at no. 1 Florida State

no. 3 Missouri vs. no. 4 Auburn

The biggest motivator behind this list is potential storylines. Feel free to add your own in the comments, just don't forget about no. 7 Stanford at no. 11 Arizona State. It was tough to leave this Pac-12 showdown out, as the winner gets a spot in "the grandaddy of them all"— the Rose Bowl.

9.) To any regular football fan or coach, taking a job as offensive coordinator at one of the 10 best college football programs in the country would surely be a dream gig. However, best of luck to the candidates being considered to lead the Florida offense next year. The Gators understandably fired former coordinator Brent Pease as quickly as one could following their 37-7 loss to rival Florida State.

The next man will immediately find himself on the hot seat, and barring a wildly successful 2014 season, perhaps out the door by 2015 with the rest of Will Muschamp's staff. Yes, it's true that injuries were largely to blame for Florida's fall from grace this season. But most of those came on the defensive side. The dearth of talent on offense caused major problems and could for years to come.

10.) Final thought for local folks: If you have an open block this Saturday afternoon from 1-4 p.m., give a second thought to attending UConn-Memphis. The Huskies are playing its best ball of the year, will be celebrating Senior Day and truthfully, should take home their third win in a row. Currently, tickets are as low as two dollars.