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Beyond the Empire Week Two: Will Nick Saban Be Fired?

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The Great Plains appear to be slightly less great than advertised, and Nick Saban is a miserable prick.

Here's a look at how the national landscape changed in Week 2 of the college football season:

Big 12: What Is Defense? Baby Don't Hurt Me (No More)

Two teams in the Big 12 did what you can call "taking care of business." The #11 Texas Longhorns rolled over UTEP 41-7 while the #14 Oklahoma Sooners put up 59 against Louisiana-Monroe. At last, it's come to fruition that only Texas and Oklahoma matter.

#23 Baylor found themselves tied 6-6 against SMU, pulling away in the second half. West Virginia had a similar game against Youngstown State, only theirs was tied at 14. Bo Pelini put a scare into the Mountaineers. Bo Nose the Big 12.

As we know, Iowa State was just demolished by our own Hawkeyes. Later in the day, Texas Tech allowed Arizona State's Kalen Ballage to score 8 touchdowns on 15 touches. Putting up 55 points as the Red Raiders did doesn't mean much when you allow 68. The #15 TCU Horned Frogs, on the other hand, couldn't find an offense until the fourth quarter, scoring 21 to take the Arkansas Razorberts to a big fat overtime shootout, which they lost in the second OT period.

One of the worst performances of any P5 team was turned in unsurprisingly by the Kansas Jayhawks, who were completely boatraced by the Ohio Bobcats. At this point it would be fair to consider a second win by Kansas this year an upset of monumental proportions. With no expectations to underperform, though, the Jayhawks couldn't lock up the honors this week. No, the Big 12 Dicktrip Of The Week goes to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who hosted Central Michigan as the AP #22 ranked team and proceeded to lose on this play:

The Chippewas must be grateful that Cooper Rush didn't go into lacrosse like his name would lead you to believe he might. The Big 12 is 0-2 against the MAC this year.

SEC: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained (Except Arkansas and Tennessee)

The SEC rebounded from a tough week 1 with a week 2 containing no out-of-conference losses. This was due in large part to the fact that only Arkansas and Tennessee played Power 5 competition, with Arkansas pulling off an impressive defeat of TCU and the Volunteers whooping Virginia Tech as expected.

Ole Miss and LSU had ho-hum wins against FCS foes, while Florida rebounded from an unimpressive showing by blowing out Kentucky. Missouri defeated Eastern Michigan, as teams are wont to do. Texas A&M won big and proved nothing against Prairie View A&M, a program that once lost 80 consecutive games. Eat your heart out, early 80's Northwestern.

Mississippi State rebounded to beat what looks like a struggling South Carolina team. Vanderbilt and Auburn won against Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State, with the Sun Belt upstarts putting up less of a fight than expected.

#9 Georgia took an odd route to follow up a convincing win against North Carolina in Week 1, escaping FCS Nicholls State 26-24 after running out the last 3:42 of clock on offense. They trailed 14-13 in the 3rd quarter, at which time Nick Chubb had been held to 22 yards on 10 carries. The Bulldogs were able to score two touchdowns, but gave up 10 unanswered in the 4th quarter to provide the final score. The Colonels seemed destined to troll Georgia into oblivion, especially with a head coach named "Tim Rebowe," but it wasn't meant to be.

However, the SEC Dicktrip of the Week was committed by #1 Alabama, who survived a nailbiter against a very good Western Kentucky team, squeaking by 38-10. Nick Saban sounded like a totally broken man as he searched for answers in his postgame presser, ripping his team's "arrogance" and "complacency." Hanging on for dear life to a 35-point lead, the Crimson Tide fumbled with 1:34 to go to set up a HIlltopper touchdown with 46 seconds left in the game. Staring defeat in the face, Saban just about lost his mind in the wake of the touchdown. The Tide found a way to preserve the victory, but it was more due to sheer luck than anything. Saban entered the 2016 season with doubts swirling about his future after Alabama's Pyrrhic victory against Clemson in the National Championship Game. Tide fans rightly questioned the decision not to fire him after his team won that game by a mere 5 points to wrap up a season in which they lost a game. He's done nothing to erase those doubts, winning by a combined score of 100-16 against a ranked USC team and a WKU team that won 12 games last year. It's safe to say that Nick Saban is on the hot seat. Reports from Birmingham indicate that Bear Bryant is rolling over in his grave at such a high rate that attaching a generator to his furiously spinning corpse could power half the state of Alabama. If Saban is fired midseason, I would expect Lane Kiffin to take over interim coaching duties to audition for the full-time gig.

In all seriousness, what an asshole. In railing against his team for blowout wins like that, he's also totally shitting on his opponents, who were also trying to win the game. But this is what he wants, so I'll give it to him: the Alabama Crimson Tide are a terrible football team and Nick Saban is a terrible football coach who deserves to be fired immediately. Happy?

Of course he isn't.

ACC: Wake Forest is 2-0 (Holy Shit)

This is not a typo. Not only is Wake Forest football 2-0, but on Saturday they defeated a conference opponent. The Cubs are the best team in baseball, Lovie Smith coaches the Fighting Illini and Wake Forest is 2-0. These are strange times we live in.

Meanwhile, #2 Clemson survived a scare from Troy, with Deshaun Watson going 27-53 in the 30-24 victory. Their wins have each been by six points. This article uses the rankings from before the weekend's games for the appropriate context of the results, but it's worth noting that Clemson fell all the way to #5. The new #2 is Florida State, who was #3 coming in to an FCS rout. #18 Notre Dame, who is kind of in the ACC now, won big against Nevada with DeShone Kizer seemingly cementing the starting QB job and WR Equanimeous St. Brown leading the Fighting Irish in receiving yards and terrificness of name.

Both Virginia teams lost convincingly, with Tech losing to Tennessee and Original losing to Oregon, though not quite as embarrasingly as predicted (44-26 final). Miami, Boston College and Georgia Tech won unremarkably, while Pitt (who may or may not be Itt) and North Carolina won against Big Ten foes.

In conference play, Syracuse was dismantled by Louisville's Lamar Jackson, who threw for 411 and ran for 199. Jackson is absolutely stunning to watch and could be the man to satisfy the nation's appetite for Florida State losses next week when the Seminoles play the Cardinals.

NC State lost to East Carolina 33-30, proving once again that East Carolina is to the ACC what Northern Illinois has been to the Big Ten lately. Nothing good comes of scheduling them. However, the ACC Dicktrip of the Week goes to the Duke Blue Devils, who became the 3rd team in 3 years to lose a conference game to Wake Forest. Intriguingly, Duke was the first ACC team since Maryland in 2013 to allow a touchdown in a loss to Wake Forest, as their lone 2014 win was the infamous VT00WF 6-3 double overtime win against Virginia Tech and their lone 2015 win was 3-0 against Boston College. At least Duke has a win in 2016, unlike their next opponent.

PAC-12: Offensive Fireworks Abound

I've already covered Arizona State's 68-55 win and Oregon's 44-26 win, but they were far from the only West Coast teams to put up big numbers.

UCLA put up 42 against UNLV's 21; USC got back on track 45-7 against Utah State. Colorado hung 56 on Idaho State, while #8 Washington rang up 59 on Regular Idaho.

Utah took a different route, leaning on its defense to win the Holy War against BYU 20-19. This is a nasty and underrated rivalry. Arizona took an even more unconventional route, going down 21-3 against Grambling State at halftime before rattling off 28 unanswered to win.

The PAC-12 Dicktrip of the Week is jointly awarded to the Washington State Cougars and the California Golden Bears for losing to the Mountain West. Nothing to be fundamentally ashamed of, as Boise State and San Diego State are quality programs and SDSU's Donnell Pumphrey is one of the nation's best backs. However, with Arizona escaping, someone had to win this award. The two PAC-12 quarterbacks in these games combined for an astounding 143 pass attempts, with Cal's Davis Webb going 41-72 and Washington State's Luke Falk going 55-71. Remember: a couple years ago, these two teams played a game in which the Cougs' Connor Halladay threw for 734 yards in a regulation loss. They play on November 12th and I for one will be watching.

Elsewhere

#6 Houston dominated FCS Lamar 42-0 while resting Greg Ward Jr. If they can run the table, they'll make playoff selection time interesting as hell.

Air Force, Navy and Army all won to go to 2-0 on the season.

The MAC suffered two FCS losses when Miami Hydroxide and Kent State lost to Eastern Illinois and North Carolina A&T. Northern Illinois was routed 48-17 by South Florida and this seems to be the end of the Huskies' run atop the MAC West. Western Michigan put up 70 in a win and Bowling Green held off FCS North Dakota 27-26.

This section will get more detailed and more in-depth as the G5 conference races heat up.