This has been a wild season. It seems as soon as we think we know who will be the Top-4 teams making the playoffs, another upset happens. At this rate we might have a team finish 9-3 and still make the playoffs. We saw some great displays of offense and defense this week in some Top-25 action. A question to ponder for the readers: The Playoff Committee is supposed to select the “BEST” four teams for :the playoffs, not the “TOP” four teams. So really, it is all about just taking care of business and making sure you’re on the voters’ minds week in and week out.
And with that thought, onto the action and thoughts from this week’s games.
1. Why was Texas A&M even ranked at all? Alabama wiped the floor with them by shutting them out, 59-0. Georgia seems to be getting better each week while Todd Gurley is suspended. The Dawgs thumped an improved Arkansas team, 45-32. Even without their go-to guy, Georgia seems to be getting better each week on both sides of the ball, but it looks like the Hogs’ Bret Bielema still has some work to do with his team.
Kentucky proved to be a team on the rise — at least until they played LSU at night in Death Valley. The Tigers beat the ‘Cats, 41-3, and seem to be gelling at the right time as the toughest parts of their schedule lie ahead. Florida just posted a “Now Hiring” sign after Missouri embarrassed the Gators, 42-14. Florida fans will be looking for a new coach and quarterback after a game like that. Ole Miss continued their hot streak with a dominating 34-3 win over Tennessee. It will be a shocker if anyone in the SEC finishes the season undefeated with the way the “upset” bug has been going around.
2. Thanks to a home town call, FSU‘s win streak survives another week. State escaped Notre Dame with a 31-27 win. Jameis Winston made some great decisions in the second half when leading the offense down the field. His coach only wishes he would make better decisions off the field. Clemson’s first game after losing starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, to injury was a thrilling 17-13 win over Boston College. Look for the offense to struggle without Watson under center for the next 3-4 weeks. North Carolina beat Georgia Tech, 48-43, on a last-second touchdown. Carolina scored with fewer than 14 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
3. Hide your couches because they are all getting burned up in Morgantown tonight. West Virginia has a tradition of burning the nearest furniture available after big wins. The Mountaineers beat Baylor, 41-27, and turned the Big 12 title race into a mess. Thanks to a blocked extra point, Kansas State beat Oklahoma, 31-30. K-State is now the only team left undefeated in conference play. TCU proved they “still got game” by beating Oklahoma State, 42-9. The Frogs have found their defensive groove again after the late collapse last week against Baylor. Texas won a barn burner over Iowa State, 48-45. Everyone was bragging about Charlie Strong making the Texas defense a force to reckoned with. After that game they will have to reconsider that statement.
4. When Braxton Miller went out for the season with a shoulder injury, everyone wrote off Ohio State. As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.” The Bucks beat Rutgers, 56-17, and look to be getting only better. As we have learned over the years, never count out an Urban Meyer-led team. Minnesota kicked a last second field goal to edge Purdue, 39-38. The Golden Gophers are in 1st place in their division and on track to secure a spot in the B1G title game this season. Michigan State beat Indiana, 56-17. Who cares? This is Indiana football, not basketball. Nebraska held off an early surge from Northwestern and went on to win, 38-17. Everyone is predicting Sparty to win out and go to the playoffs, but with how this season has been going, don’t bet on it.
5. USC’s Cody Kessler set a school record with seven touchdown passes in a 56-28 win over Colorado. Trojan quarterbacks have had a field day against the Buffs since they joined the PAC. UCLA hung on for a 36-34 win over Cal. The pressure from preseason expectations seems to be finally taking its toll on the Bruins this year. Oregon can now say “Decade of Dominance + 1” against Washington. The Ducks put together another solid performance in their 45-20 win over the Huskies Saturday night. Utah avoided a letdown game and won in double overtime against Oregon State, 29-23. If the Ducks continue to play the way they have been playing, then a playoff spot is all but guaranteed for them, pending the conference championship game.
New teams dropping in and out of the “Final Four” playoffs, head coaches getting fired, and of course, more upsets: That is what this past weekend of football has presented us. What a great season we college football fans are being treated to. We are only at the halfway point, so expect the wild ride to continue!
1. Looking for a winner
2. Right call made on the play
3. USC star kicked out
4. Penalty record set
5. Alabama charm