College Football Nation: Duke does it again and Oregon is back in it

How a college football fan views a map


College football was fun today.  There were so many entertaining games on all at once I don’t think I kept the TV on the same channel for more than a few minutes at a time.  We had the exciting finish down at Auburn, while their rivals Alabama did not look like the N0. 1 team in the nation.  FSU is still rolling despite the sexual assault charges trying to bench their star quarterback.  Ohio State wanted to make a statement today but just came up average vs an average Illinois team.  Then you had Stanford being upset by USC . . . we call that a let-down game.  Word of advice, when Lee Corso picks USC, it is a done deal!  He is now 16-0 when picking USC on gameday.  Outside of Stanford no one in the Top-10 lost today.

Let’s get into a recap of today’s action and thoughts:

1. So as of late, everyone was questioning if Alabama is truly the No. 1 team in the country week after week, as FSU keeps turning in dominate performances.  Well, after an uninspiring 20-7 win over Mississippi State, voters might second guess themselves when selecting Alabama as their No. 1.

While down in another part of the state, we had the game of the night.  Auburn led Georgia most of the night.  On a crucial 4th-and-goal, Georgia was able to score and take a 38-37 lead, with about a minute to go.  Then on 4th-and-18, Auburn converted a Hail Mary and scored, going up 43-38.  It was the game of the night and with Auburn and Alabama both winning, it is a winner-take-all scenario when they meet at the end of the season for the SEC WEST title.  Now that is going to be one of the most anticipated Iron Bowls they have played in a long time.

SEC QUICK HITS: South Carolina beat Florida today 19-14.  Now all South Carolina needs to have happen is for Missouri to lose just once out of their final 2 games and they are in the SEC title game.  As for Florida, they just wish this season ended about 4 weeks ago.  Ole Miss handled Troy, 51-21, to keep the possibility of a 9-win season alive.  Vanderbilt beat Kentucky 22-6.  Kentucky fans would have cared about that game but basketball season has started, so their focus has shifted elsewhere.  Alabama is still the cream of the SEC crop but looks to have their hands full when they face Auburn.  The SEC still has a shot at repeating with national titles but could still easily knock each other out of the title game.

2. Duke is not just a basketball school anymore.  The Blue Devils have been known to be one of the worst football teams in the ACC — and the country for that matter — but after their second win this season over a ranked team, they are out to show they belong.  Duke beat Miami 48-30 to move into first place of their division.  Going to the ACC title game is Duke’s to lose.  Congrats to the Devils, and we all hope for the best if you have to face FSU.  No one wants to face them right now.

Despite Jameis Winston being slammed in the media for a sexual assault allegation, he stayed focused and led his team to a 59-3 drubbing of Syracuse.  Winston was 19-of-21 passing.  That kid is amazing.  I hope to see Alabama vs FSU in the title game.  That will truly show us what that kid is made of . . . if he is still eligible by that time.

ACC QUICK HITS: Boston College became bowl eligible with a 38-21 win over NC State.  Boston College running back Andre Williams ran for 339 yards to break the Eagles’ single-season and single-game rushing records.  Congrats to him.  North Carolina beat Pitt, 34-27, to secure its 5th win of the season.  Only one more win to go and they become bowl eligible.  Good to see the Tar Heels turn things around after such a horrific start.  Maryland got things back on track with a 27-24 overtime win over Virginia Tech.  Virginia Tech is just not what it use to be.  Clemson thumped Georgia Tech, 55-31, earlier in the week but can’t get much recognition because of their loss to FSU.  FSU has a spot in the title game as of now and will only get knocked out if they beat themselves.  They are playing inspired football on both offense and defense.

3. I thought we had an upset brewing when Texas Tech took an early 14-0 lead over Baylor.  But that was short-lived when Baylor took a 21-20 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.  That is a lot of points in one quarter.  It did not stop there.  Baylor finally got their offensive juggernaut going and went on to beat Tech, 63-34.

Oklahoma State beat Texas, 38-13, and really secured that win with their defense.  It is usually Oklahoma State’s offense making the headlines, but today the defense took over.  By beating Texas, Oklahoma State set up a winner-take-all showdown with Baylor next week.  The winner of that game is in the drivers seat for the BIG-12 title.

BIG-12 QUICK HITS: Oklahoma started off slow but eventually pulled away from Iowa State securing the 48-10 win.  This win tied Bob Stoops with Barry Switzer at 157 wins for tops in Oklahoma lore.  Kansas snapped a 27-game BIG-12 losing streak today with a 31-19 win over West Virginia.  Losing to Kansas in the BIG-12 is an all-time low for any BIG-12 program.  Kansas State squeaked by TCU, 33-31, to pick up their sixth win of the season and became bowl eligible.  Baylor is still the point-a-minute offense but should have their biggest test next week vs Oklahoma State.  I imagine that game starting slow and by the 4th quarter it will be in the 40’s.

4. Ohio State wanted to make a statement today and, by beating Illinois 60-35, it looks like they did.  If anyone watched that game you saw Ohio State allow a very bad Illinois team a chance to get back into it and make it a game.  At one point it was a 12-point game.  Urban Meyer was looking for style points with the BCS but will not find them after today.

Michigan State took one step closer of its goal of playing in the Rose Bowl with a 41-28 win over Nebraska. Michigan State forced 3 turnovers in the 1st quarter and blew the game wide open.  After seeing Nebraska struggle for most of the game, the Cornhusker faithful will probably be looking for Pelini’s head on a platter.  He is good for that program; the fans just need to accept him.

B1G QUICK HITS: Michigan barely beat the clock and kicked a last-second field goal to tie Northwestern, 9-9, to send the game into overtime where Michigan prevailed, 27-19, in triple overtime.  That is now six in a row that Northwestern has lost since starting 4-0.  Tough times for the Wildcat fans, but at least they can call on the Florida Gators, because they know exactly what they are going through.  Penn State put up another victory, 45-21, over Purdue.  This would make Penn State bowl eligible but they will still have to wait another three years. Wisconsin ran all over Indiana, 51-3.  Wisconsin ran for more than 550 yards in that game.  Ohio State wants a shot at the title game but will need to see an upset or two in the next few weeks. Urban Meyer will probably be the biggest Gator fan and Auburn fan in the upcoming weeks.

5. When Lee Corso picks USC to win, they win.  USC pulled off the upset of the night by beating Stanford, 20-17. With this win does that mean Coach “O” will be the new head coach of USC?  If I were USC’s athletic director, I would thank Ed Orgeron for keeping the program together, but let him know that there will still be a coaching search happening at season’s end.  We all remember how he did at Ole Miss.

With that loss, it puts Oregon right back into the driver’s seat for winning the PAC-12 North and hosting the PAC-12 title game.  The Ducks did their part today by beating Utah, 44-21.  Now all Oregon needs to do is win out and they are headed to the Rose Bowl.  How quickly things have changed for Oregon.  Last week all hope was lost after a dominating Stanford win and this week, thanks to the Stanford loss, Oregon is right back in it all.

PAC-12 QUICK HITS: UCLA used linebacker Myles Jack on offense again vs Washington and he did not disappoint.  Jack scored 4 rushing touchdowns to help beat Washington, 41-31, and showed that no matter what side of the ball he is playing on, he will produce positive results.  In the battle of “big uglies,” Colorado beat California, 41-24.  Colorado is hoping to win out and gain bowl eligibility, but with USC and Utah left on the schedule I do not see that happening.  Washington State is only one win away from returning to a bowl game, after beating Arizona 24-17.  I expected that game to have a much higher score.  Thanks to USC, Oregon is back in the drivers seat for a PAC-12 title, with a slim chance of making a title game appearance.

BEST OF THE REST: Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch turned in another Heisman-worthy performance against Ball State, as he led his team to a 48-27 win.  Because he doesn’t play for BCS team, he probably won’t win the Heisman, but he is a leader, gets the job done and deserves some recognition.  UCF probably had one of the most exiciting finishes of thes day with a 39-36 win over Temple.  This win keeps UCF in 1st place in the American Conference — or whatever you call the old Big East these days.  Congrats to the Golden Knights and I hope you make it to your school’s first BCS bowl game this year.  Cincinnati is probably the least-recognized 8-2 team in the country.  They put themselves in a position for a possible conference title split with a 52-17 win over Rutgers.  Louisville beat Houston, 20-13, and hopes for a UCF loss or two to be back in the lead of winning the conference before they bolt for the ACC.  The real question is whether or not their coach, Charlie Strong, will be going with them to the ACC or will be plucked up by a bigger BCS school with an opening.

The season is coming to a close and we still have a log jam of undefeated teams.  I think Auburn is going to give Alabama all they can handle at season’s end.  FSU will not be challenged the rest of the season and should book their plane tickets to Pasadena.  Ohio State just hopes to keep scoring 60+ points and cheer on the Auburn Tigers or Florida Gators in the weeks to come.  Baylor is going to have their hands full with Oklahoma State and Texas is still left on the schedule.  Winning those games could possibly jump them past Ohio State but not FSU.  Now, if you are an Oregon fan, you are hoping for complete BCS CHAOS giving the Ducks a slim chance of moving into the title game.  Oregon fans still hope their “We Want Bama” shirts can come true.


1. College football mailbag

2. FSU sexual assault case

3. Coach bully’s player?

4. Another rushing record

5. Catch of the year



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Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler may not have won a Super Bowl with the Giants ( though his uncle of the same name did). He has been an obsessed college football fan living in Florida ever since the Gators beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl to earn the UF's first national championship. Ever since Jeff has immersed himself in everything possible related to college football. He enjoys watching, writing, playing, and otherwise obsessing over all things football. A graduate of the University of Florida, he brings a perspective to FishDuck free of our extreme green & yellow homerism glasses to look at the current landscape of collegiate athletics.