Week 11 CFB Chaos Candidates, Walkie-Talkie Helmets + Bad Vacuum Cleaners

There are three weeks left in the college football regular season. Thus far, with the exception of a few upsets, we have yet to fully experience the level of chaos of which the most chaotic sport in the world is capable. Is this The Week?

In today’s college football newsletter:

  • Your Week 11 Chaos Candidates

  • 4 things you missed from last week

  • Chilling out on Sayulita Saturday

-Ty Hildenbrandt & Bradley Hohulin


Your Week 11 Chaos Candidates Are…

Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

It feels like the season just started, yet already we’re watching teams duke it out for Playoff spots in the regular season’s final weeks. With 11 squads still eligible, we’re bound for some glorious, heart-shattering shenanigans. Let’s examine a handful of top programs and determine their likelihood of falling prey to the ever-fickle lords of college football chaos this weekend.

Michigan State (at #1 Ohio State)

Right, so this one would pretty neatly fall into the “no chance” category. The Buckeyes have beaten the Spartans by an average of five touchdowns (five!!) over the last six years, and that was before MSU banished its coach to the eventual FOX analyst reclamation tour.

If Sparty pulls this off, we’ll all bleed green Saturday.

Chaos probability: Virtually nonexistent

#9 Ole Miss (at #2 Georgia)

Now we’re talking. Ole Miss’ record against Actually Good teams might not be fantastic under Lane Kiffin, but it’s a new year. After all, these aren’t Stetson Bennett’s Bulldogs, as insane as that sounds.

Unfortunately, Georgia QB Carson Beck has looked quite solid lately, and the overall talent disparity might be too much to overcome. I expect an absolute banger of a press conference from Kiffin regardless, but it will take the game of QB Jaxson Dart’s life, and then some, to win.

Chaos probability: Low, but keep refreshing the score

#10 Penn State (vs. #3 Michigan)

This might be our best bet yet. Penn State is a big step up from the regional dental schools Michigan has been obliterating, and Beaver Stadium is a brutal place to play. Then again, pretty much everywhere Penn State goes has been a brutal place to play recently, with an offense that ranks No. 91 in yards per snap.

Look, if QB Drew Allar protects the ball and the Nittany Lion defense pressures JJ McCarthy, Penn State could go into the fourth quarter with a close game and a chance to win. Then it just needs a little sharp decision making from… head coach James Franklin.

God help them.

Chaos probability: Moderate, but don’t get your hopes up

Miami (at #4 Florida State)

I’m really not sure how to feel about this. Florida State has looked shaky against inferior competition, and Miami is by no means devoid of talent. In situations like these, I sometimes like to say a sentence out loud and see if it sounds feasible. Here goes: “In coaching masterclass, Mario Cristobal’s Hurricanes take down the Seminoles.”

Huh, would you look at that?

Chaos probability: I wouldn’t worry about it

#18 Utah (at #5 Washington)

I know Utah got blasted by Oregon a couple weeks ago, but the Huskies’ defense is not the Ducks’. If Utah can force some bad throws from our chosen son Michael Penix Jr (let this Indiana fan live vicariously through others’ success, please), Kyle Whittingham has the coaching chops to pull out a win. Seattle is a tough venue and Utah’s offense skews a little too Big Ten West for my liking, but this could get weird.

Chaos probability: Red alert

USC (at #6 Oregon)

On one hand, Caleb Williams. On the other hand, USC’s defense.

Even with USC defensive coordinator Alex Grinch off to enjoy the fruits (buyout money) of his labor (not being very good at his job), I don’t have much faith in the Trojans slowing the Ducks down. Oregon might be one of the three best teams in the nation, and you barely have to crack the top 70 to run up the score on USC.

Chaos probability: Just enjoy the QB highlights. Final scores are a social construct, anyway.

-Bradley Hohulin


We added a ton of games to the slate this week as part of our big pick’em contest, and we’re giving away a $100 credit for you to buy something awesome over on Pristine Auction, the ultimate destinated for signed sports memorabilia!

It could not be easier to play. Simply sign up for any Patreon tier and follow the directions to submit your picks. And, while you’re at it, reap the benefits of our other Patreon perks, including ad-free episodes, bonus content, unfettered access to our great Discord community, scheme breakdown videos and much more! All Patreon tiers instantly get access to our great games and prizes!


4 things you missed from the past week

A lot happened in the Michigan sign-stealing story!

Let’s try to briefly summarize… deep breath:

Alex Grinch out as defensive coordinator at USC

In a move that was long overdue, Lincoln Riley relieved Alex Grinch from his post as USC’s defensive coordinator. Despite an offseason full of questions about the Trojan defense and some transfer portal additions to bolster the campaign, the 2023 unit has been almost exactly as bad as last season. With just two games left, it’s unlike the defense will improve the rest of the way.

The rumor mill is spinning with some potential big name replacements, including Jim Leonhard (former Wisconsin DC), Pete Kwiatkowski (Texas DC), D’Anton Lynn (UCLA DC), Jesse Minter (Michigan DC), and others.

James Madison throws one final Hail Mary

James Madison is having another great season as a two-year-old FBS college football team. But, due to NCAA bylaws, it won’t be eligible to play in a conference championship game or go to a bowl until the 2024 season. The rule states that new FBS programs must wait two years before taking part in postseason festivities, mainly to ease the transition before layering on the pressures of bowl eligibility.

Enter the petition above. The Dukes are an obvious exception and could clearly contend right away. It’s unlikely this latest request will be granted, but it’s worth a shot.

Of note: The Dukes could still go to a bowl if there aren’t enough bowl eligible teams to fill out the full slate.

All this sign-stealing nonsense could mean that college football finally gets the cool walkie-talkie helmets from the NFL

-Ty Hildenbrandt


Chilling out on Sayulita Saturday

Dan felt very passionately about calling Week 11 “Sayulita Saturday.” To be honest, I didn’t get the reference at first, either. But it fits. There are absolutely a handful of college football teams that are packing it in for the year and thinking about hitting up tropical destinations come the second week of December. If your team, or your fellow fans, are feeling that malaise, we’re here to help keep things as fun and interesting as possible. (Also, we’ve got a monster bowl pool that will be bigger and better than ever after the season. So, hang tight!)

1️⃣ Listen to our Week 11 preview episode

The “biggest” game of the week is in Saturday’s earliest time slot, which means you’re running out of time to get up to speed on all the games in Week 11. We’ve got you covered with our Week 11 preview pod… listen below!

☝️ Also, we popped the hood and took a closer look at the statistical profiles of Louisville and Ole Miss. In case you’re into that kind of thing.

2️⃣ Roast someone or something on our voicemail line: 855-VERBAL3 (855-837-2253)

We’re looking for your best roasts this weekend on our voicemail line. The kind of thing that we can play around the Saturday night campfire as a way to vent those emotions. Don’t let us down.

(Oh, and if you’re looking for a fun place to hang, we invite you to come lurk on our Discord and see if it’s something you’re into.)

3️⃣ Support the podcast by leaving us a 5-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts

Please consider leaving us a 5-star rating and review if you listen over on Apple Podcasts! This week, I’m going to start calling out reviewers. Bonus points to anyone that mentions that they’re also a Quick Slants Newsletter subscriber! And, of course, Verballers.com is the spot for you if you’d like ad-free episodes, bonus content and more!

-Ty Hildenbrandt

Thanks for reading. Until next week, stay solid!