College Football Nation: Saban to Texas(?) and Duke Football Outshines its Basketball Team

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive


We had the usual big teams win today but a few upsets, as well, to make it another good Saturday of college football.  There is nothing new from the top four teams — I think they are headed into a four-way tie at this point, but each of these teams are looking to win big.  I feel sorry for whoever Alabama, Oregon, FSU, and Ohio State play next . . . these teams will be looking to turn those games into huge blowouts.  With that in mind, let’s get into the scores, news, and thoughts from this past weekend of games.

1. Alabama creamed their cross-division rival 45-10 today.  Another impressive showing from the No. 1 team in the country.  It looked like the defense went soft . . . gave up 14 points to Tennessee . . . really?  Who knows how long this Alabama dynasty will last as Nick Saban’s wife house hunts in Austin, Texas.

Missouri could have locked up the SEC EAST this week with a win, but the Ol’ Ball Coach had plans of his own.  Missouri led 17-0 before South Carolina QB Conner Shaw came in to lead the rally and take the game to overtime.  South Carolina scored on a 4th-and-forever to send the game into a second overtime.  Then Missouri missed a chip shot field goal giving South Carolina the 27-24 win.  Oregon fans know Missouri’s pain when it comes to missed field goals.

SEC QUICK HITS: Johnny F. did not let a little shoulder injury ruin his day, by throwing 4 TD passes to rout Vanderbilt 56-24.  At one point, LSU was losing 10-7, to Furman, until Les Miles made the team eat Super Grass and pulled out a 48-16 victory.  Auburn is still putting together a pretty good season under the radar — they downed FAU 45-10.  Gus Malzahn should be a Coach of the Year candidate with the turn-around he has done there.  Ole Miss got it done vs Idaho 59-14, while in-state rival Mississippi State survived Kentucky 28-22.  As of now, Alabama looks to be the only consistent team in the SEC.  If Alabama loses, the SEC run is over, as a one-loss SEC team is not getting into the BCS title game.

2. FSU did not forget that loss last year to NC State, as they poured it on right from the start.  FSU led 35-0 at the end of the 1st quarter and went onto win 49-17, but it could have been much worse.  To the rest of the ACC, FSU is back and you better watch out.

FSU’s rival Miami survived upset-minded Wake Forest 24-21.  Miami was able to score with less than a minute to go to secure the victory.  This now sets up an undefeated matchup with Miami heading to FSU next week.  FSU better get their kicker in check to avoid “Wide Right IV.”

Congrats to Duke football for getting their 6th win of the season, becoming bowl-eligible for the second year in a row.  This is a huge win for the program, and it is their first win against Virginia Tech since 1981.  Duke’s 13-10 win over the Hokies was not pretty but they will take it.  If Duke football keeps playing like this, more fans will not dread going to Duke football games.

ACC QUICK HITS: Clemson shook off last weekend’s beatdown at the hands of FSU and spoiled Maryland’s homecoming game, with a 40-27 win.  Clemson routinely has a good team, but I feel they will always just be one or two victories away from being great every year.  North Carolina got a much-needed win over Boston College, 34-10.  North Carolina started off with such high hopes for this season, but now they are just struggling to win out to become bowl eligible.  Navy’s kicker got it done as time expired to beat Pitt, 24-21. Georgia Tech continues its up-and-down season, with a 35-25 win over Virginia.  Another loss for the Cavaliers once again will put Mike London’s job in jeopardy.  I think they are going to let him finish out the season and then send him packing.  As of now, we know FSU is a contender, the jury is still out on Miami and Virginia Tech is back to pretender status again.

3. Urban Meyer knows the BCS standings are not in his favor right now.  He let his team know that, then let them go take it out on Penn State, resulting in a resounding 63-14 win. Who says style points don’t count?  Ohio State would still be on the outside looking in, however, if the season ended today.  The Bucks need some other teams in the B1G to step up and win out.

B1G QUICK HITS: Nebraska faithful probably are fed up with Bo Pelini after the 34-23 loss to Minnesota.  Nebraska is 5-2 and could still win out, but a 10-2 finish for Nebraska fans is unacceptable.  I know most schools would do anything for just eight wins.  Michigan State improved its record to 7-1 after beating up on Illinois, 42-3.  Northwestern’s season continues to spiral out of control after their 4-0 start; they lost to Iowa 17-10 and have now lost their 4th straight.  Ohio State’s big win over the Wildcats is looking less important as each week goes by.

4. Texas Tech looked to show the nation that they were ready to run with the big dogs of college football but came up short against Oklahoma, 38-30.  The season for Texas Tech is not over, and they still have a shot at the BIG-12 title but they are not alone.  If you look at the standings, there remain a few BIG-12 teams that still have a shot at winning the conference this year.

BIG-12 QUICK HITS:  Baylor kept their undefeated season intact with another blowout win vs Kansas, 59-14.  Oklahoma State kept pace with a 58-27 win over Iowa State.  I still do not know what to expect from Kansas State this year. They have been so up and down, but got up today and beat West Virginia, 35-12.  The Mountaineers are slowly sliding into mediocrity since moving from the Big East to the BIG-12 conference.

5. Oregon looked to be in a dog fight going into the half tied 14-14 vs UCLA, but made the right adjustments and dominated the second half.  Oregon shut out UCLA for the remainder of the game and went on to win 42-14.  Oregon fans hope this convincing win over the No. 12 team in the country puts them back to No.2 in the BCS standings.

Pac-12 QUICK HITS: Arizona ran all over Colorado, 44-20.  The Buffs are still looking for their first Pac-12 win of the season.  USC beat Utah 19-3, while trying to salvage what’s left of their season.

Best of the Rest: Houston pounded Rutgers, 49-14, while conference foe UCF beat up on UCONN, 62-17.  Both teams are undefeated in the Big East . . . I mean, the American Athletic Conference.  What a horrible conference.  Louisville picked apart under-manned USF, 34-3.  National title hopes are over for Louisville, but they still have a shot at a conference title and a decent Bowl. Northern Illinois kept its “BCS-Buster” hopes alive with a 59-20 win over Eastern Michigan.  That Jordan Lynch kid, the Huskie QB, is really good.  I think Heisman voters need to take a close look at him.

We have had another exciting week of college football.  The overtime upset of Missouri was a nice finish to the night.  Other than that, all the other top teams did what they were expected to do . . . win, and win BIG!

I would also like to give a shout out to Octavious McKoy of Division III Western Connecticut.  He set a new NCAA record with 455 rushing yards.  That is more yards in one game than what Florida’s offense has gained all season!

As the season goes on, let’s hope for one or two of the top teams to get tripped up.  We all live for the upsets!  It will also make things easier on the BCS in its final year, if only two teams finish undefeated.  Death to the BCS . . . Hello playoffs!  After this week, the real question on many college football fan’s minds is . . . “Will Nick Saban be on the move at season’s end?”



1. Grambling back on the field.

2. Judging Week 9.

3. Auburn holding its breath.

4. Nebraska faithful fed up.

5. College football mailbag.


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