Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe discussed the College Football Playoff rankings on this morning’s episode of Undisputed and finally addressed the question that’s been in the forefront of millions of minds.
Could Alabama, the current No. 1 team, win a home game against 6-6 Vanderbilt?
Bayless posits that the Crimson Tide were lucky the Commodores weren’t on the schedule this year because “the Shurmur kid can wing it.” He means sophomore quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who has thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 56 percent of passes this year.
It’s an interesting premise, the one claiming the same passer who went 9-for-25 with 82 yards and an interception in a home game against Florida would slice through Nick Saban’s defense. It’s an out-of-the-box theory that the same kid who was 7-for-18 for 109 yards against Georgia would expose a unit that hasn’t yielded a touchdown since Oct. 22.
Perhaps Bayless is referring to Alabama’s one Kryptonite in recent years: dual-threat signal callers. There is a chance Shurmur, whose only positive rushing performance of the season was a two-yard tally, would make a stable of future NFLers whiff in the open field so we shouldn’t dismiss this take so quickly.
Let’s take a closer look at the Alabama defensive and Vanderbilt offensive metrics. Perhaps there’s something in there that will buoy Bayless’ thesis.
Vanderbilt is 27th in the nation in scoring defense, so there’s that kernel to hold onto.
It would also be helpful if we could use a common opponent to assess these two SEC titans. Thankfully, one exists in Western Kentucky. Both Vanderbilt and Alabama beat the Hilltoppers this season. Derek Mason’s team needed overtime to prevail 31-30 on a thwarted two-point conversion. Bama won 38-10, a score that included a garbage-time touchdown that caused Saban to dress down offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Considering all the evidence, it appears Bayless’ assertion that Vanderbilt could get a road win in Tuscaloosa to be difficult to support. But, hey, that’s just one no-name blogger’s opinion.