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The Extra and Early Edition of The Wednesday Whatever: Power Rankings and Beer

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It’s not Wednesday, but here’s The Wednesday Whatever regardless of that.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, I know it isn’t Wednesday. But, I’ve got some time to kill and I have an extra topic to talk about, so, here’s Whatever.

Dari Nowkhah’s secret method of coming up his power rankings are secretly brilliant

I, for one, strongly disagree with Dari Nowkhah’s power rankings. Extreme Stephen A. Smith Voice: HOWEVER! Normal, slightly mumbly Ethan J. Lee voice: His method of coming up with these rankings is actually brilliant. It’s perfect.

You see, yesterday, I wrote an article, a letter of sorts, directed at Dari Nowkhah. Many of you read it. No response. Which, you know, was fine. The only sort of response that I expected would be the customary block. That’s something that seemingly a lot of people would do when criticized in that manner.

It got to late in the evening. I was watching Monday night football and listening to Jon Gruden murmuring something about “turkey holes” when I noticed something crawl across my timeline.

Something other than all of the tweets abut “turkey holes.” There’s a lot of tweets about “turkey holes.” They’re either by people that are very confused, like myself, or... Well, there’s really no other group, I don’t think. Regardless, that’s when I saw this tweet:

Which, if you look closely enough, the article that Dari linked might look familiar. There’s a fairly good reason for that. It’s one of ours. Specifically, it’s the aforementioned article where I criticized Dari’s power rankings.

Dari and I had a bit of a back and forth, a polite one, albeit one where you could see the frustration that he had with a group of angry Mississippi State fans and their lack of a polite discourse.

And then Dari revealed his method of power ranking the SEC after each week is done. Essentially, Dari, Chris Doering, Gene Chizik, and their producer, Brad Buchanan, sit down, have a beer or two, and break down each spot in the rankings one by one. They start at the top, work their way to the bottom, and discuss every ranking in between.

As you could imagine, and as Dari confirmed, the first few spots are fairly easy, and then it becomes as clear as mud from there. Which, I won’t disagree with at all. The SEC, especially this year, is unusual. This season has been all sorts of weird and the back half of the conference is incredibly weak, relative to years prior.

And the rankings themselves, in this exact moment, don’t really matter to me. What stands out to me are these two things: 1. Dari Nowkhah reads For Whom the Cowbell Tolls’ content (this is likely a one time thing, but hey, we can claim him as part of this community now, those are the rules) and 2. Drinking a beer while discussing college football with other individuals that won’t always agree with you is the perfect way way to develop your thoughts.

This method of breaking down an entire conference with other people to chime in while trying to relax after being on TV all day, is brilliant. It’s something that, if I’m ever given the opportunity to do so, I’d do as often as I feasibly could. Sure, I disagree with the results (very, very strongly, in this case), but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is brilliant.

There is a third thing that I can take away from this: Dari is a good guy, even if his opinion on Mississippi State and LSU is not so good. His willingness to actually hash this out with someone that has a dissenting and critical opinion is a rare quality, especially with someone that has a platform like ESPN to stand on.

So, Dari, should you ever find yourself in Starkville, Mississippi and want to talk about college football, the first round is on me.

I still can’t get over this UMass team fight thing

I mean, this is simply incredible. It’s awful if you’re involved or a fan of UMass or a coach over at UMass or a family or friend of a player or coach at UMass. If you are any of those aforementioned individuals, I suppose things are not so great for you in relation to this incident.

There’s a lot going on here. First and most notable, UMass has a player down with injury. While this is the most notable thing, it’s the most common event that would occur here. Secondly, you have coaches yelling at each other. Not assistant coaches or graduate assistants, but head coaches.

Dan Mullen found himself in a shouting match with Mark Whipple, and this isn’t something that I would’ve expected. Referees had to get in the middle of this, form a wall, and separate the two.

Third, you’ve got a collection of UMass players mad at each other. This is the wildest thing in that I wouldn’t typically expect a team to fight on a public stage like this. There was a bit of a discussion from the UMass community on the skirmish.

I’m not actually sure if Kevin was talking about the fight or the game, either way, I thought it was good and his statement holds true regardless.