College Football Nation: UCLA Got Game and Michigan Feeling Blue

Map - Hostetler

With the playoffs in place, every team is going to do its best to impress the voters. As each week goes by, most of the top teams are playing well below what we all expect of them. FSU has now survived a scare from Clemson and North Carolina State. Oregon barely beat a struggling Washington State team. Alabama got all it could handle for one half from a horrible Florida team. It seems the only top team taking care of business is Oklahoma. It is still a long season but the Top four teams for the playoffs could be very different from what we are expecting right now.

With that in mind, lets get right into the action from the Top-25.

1. This week you can give FSU credit for rallying back to beat North Carolina State 56-41 after trailing 24-7 in the first quarter. The Wolf Pack had upset on their minds but forgot there are two halves of football and let it slip away. Jameis Winston had a very non-Heisman day by throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble, but still managed to lead his team back for the victory.

2. Alabama was off this week but their instate rival Auburn took care of business against Louisiana Tech, winning 45-17.  LSU got ready for the Auburn game next week by beating up on New Mexico State 63-7. Both teams hope to keep their SEC title hopes alive with a win.

In another key game in the SEC West, Texas A&M rallied to beat Arkansas 35-28 in overtime and stay undefeated. Arkansas is now 0-14 vs SEC opponents under Bret Bielema. I wonder if he misses the B1G yet?

3. People did not know what to expect from Baylor since the only games they have played this year have been against cupcakes. Now everyone knows Baylor will still put up points no matter who they are playing. The Bears proved that with a 49-28 victory over Iowa State on the road. Baylor might be ranked #7, but they are still not being talked about like a Top-10 team.

4. Notre Dame beat Syracuse 31-15. The Irish are getting the job done this year but it has been ugly. They certainly have not been going for style points with the voters this year. I guess a win is a win and you take it however you can get it.

5. Despite an early loss to Oregon, Michigan State is still going strong and trying to represent the B1G the best they can. They did so this week by hammering Wyoming 56-14. The Spartans are still my favorite to win the B1G.

6. Ole Miss got by Memphis today 24-3. You never know what you are going to get when Ole Miss takes the field. Missouri converted a 4th and goal with less than two minutes to go to upset South Carolina, 21-20. It was a defensive struggle the whole game until the final few minutes of the 4th quarter when both teams’ offenses came alive. Georgia’s Todd Gurley kept his Heisman and SEC title hopes alive by rushing for 208 yards and holding on to beat Tennessee 35-32. Look for the SEC East title to come down to Missouri or Georgia when they meet later this year.

7. Stanford held off Washington 20-13 today and showed they are still a threat in the PAC-12 North. UCLA finally found its groove and ran all over Arizona State 62-27. Very poor tackling by the Sun Devils most of that game. Right now it looks like Oregon is still the favorite to win the PAC-12 but it seems UCLA is trying to get back into the conversation after a slow start earlier this season.

8. Nebraska beat Illinois  45-14 and is now the only unbeaten team left in the B1G. Can Bo Pelini finally get his team over the hump? They will probably end up losing to someone they are suppose to beat by three touchdowns later this year. Wisconsin pulled away late to beat a struggling South Florida team 27-10. Ohio State beat in-state rival Cincinnati 50-28. This could be a big confidence builder for the Buckeyes as they head into B1G play next week. Michigan might be looking for a new coach after they lost to Minnesota, 30-14. It is a hot mess up there in Ann Arbor, and they could be showing the door to Brady Hoke very soon.

9. Oklahoma State won a shootout over Texas Tech 45-35, and Kansas State took care of UTEP 58-28. Both teams are looking to be dark horse contenders to Oklahoma and Baylor in the Big-12 this year.

Best of the Rest: Northwestern got their first B1G win of the season against Penn State, 29-6. Penn State is no longer undefeated after this game. Akron joined the ranks of Giant Slayers as they beat Pittsburgh 21-10. I really thought Pitt was going to do well this year…guess there is always next year. California won 59-56 over Colorado in DOUBLE OVER TIME. California has been making it interesting these last two weeks for all of us. Clemson’s true freshman quarterback, Desheun Watson, threw for a school record six touchdowns to beat North Carolina, 50-35. Clemson can finally settle its quarterback dispute after that game. Washington State rallied to beat Utah 28-27 and spiced things up in the PAC-12 once again. With Mike Leach at the helm, never count out Wazzu football.

Once again after seeing the “top teams” in action, we are left to wonder who is truly worthy of being selected. As the season goes on, we will get better clarity between contenders and pretenders.

NATIONAL NEWS:

1. He keeps on losing.

2.  Time to update the wardrobe.

3.  Another Heisman candidate?

4. College Football Mailbag

5. Jimbo Fisher can’t control Winston.

 

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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.