Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week Eight

Johnny Manziel exits Kyle Field, a dejected man. - Thomas B. Shea

The SEC goes ALL Chaos on us. That is except one team.


What a crazy weekend it was. Saturday was a fun day of college football viewing but let's start with Friday:


Central Florida 38 Louisville 34

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it is these little weenie schools with their lame undefeated schedules who think they deserve one of the two top spots. Thank goodness there are men in the world like George O'Leary who can make things right in the world.

After going up 28-7, Louisville put it in cruise control and the Knights came storming back to take a 31-28 lead. The Cardinals had a 9-play 88-yard drive to retake the lead but UCF had one more bullet left in the chamber and scored with 23 ticks left to complete the upset.

After being #8 in the AP poll, the Cards premiere at #20 in the first BCS poll. Teddy Bridgewater is picking out a suit for the 2014 NFL Draft night and Charlie Strong in updating his resume and house-hunting in several cities (L.A., Austin, Tampa, NYC...). Now the 'Ville can focus on more realistic goals.

~~~~~


Yee-HAH! (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Vanderbilt 31 Georgia 27

Wow, these guys again? Well, at least I am glad that others are seeing what we have been saying for weeks/months and that is that the Georgia Bulldogs are incredibly flawed. We kept hearing excuses and delusional talk but even the most strident of UGA fans have to know that this season is lost. Rumors of Georgia DC Todd Grantham being fired started circulating as early as Sunday but they were unfounded. The good news for UGA: by giving up only 31 point to the Commodores, the Bulldogs point per game allowed actually dropped.

We are all well aware that Georgia has been decimated with injuries (Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley, Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, Michael Bennett, etc.). However, the absence of these players cannot explain away the atrocious defense (33.3 point allowed per game) and error-prone special teams.

The Dawgs were up 27-14 with Vanderbilt's starting QB Austyn Carta-Samuels on the sidelines (leg injury) when Georgia's Damian Swann fumbled a punt return that was converted into a Vandy TD. UGA goes 3-and-out and the 'Dores go on a 11-play 60-yard FG drive to cut the Bulldogs lead to 3. Yet ANOTHER 3-and-out by Aaron Murray is followed by Georgia punter Collin Barber inability to corral a high snap at his own 13. One play later, VU's Jerron Seymour is in the end zone 31-27. Next series, Brendan Douglas fumbled basically ending the game.

~~~~~

Auburn 45 Texas A&M 41

Speaking of lame defenses...

The Aggies are giving up 33.9 ppg for 104th in FBS. Do I need to go into any deeper analysis than that?

Tell me what is wrong with this picture: In Aggie WR Mike Evans best games of the season, he caught 7 balls for 279 yards (Alabama), and 11 for 287 and 4 TDs (Auburn). Yet in both those games, the Aggies lost. I don't have an answer but I think it has something to do with balance and coaching philosophy. I would say Kevin Sumlin has some serious soul searching to do in the off-season but I have a feeling he skips town for the first program (major college or NFL) that bats an eyelash at him.

~~~~~


Gary Pinkel shows there is nothing up his sleeves. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Missouri 36 Florida 17

I am not sure how Mizzou is doing it. Every week we doubt them and every week they come up with another big win. Granted that Florida is not a great team but they are much better than most. Unlike the Gators offense which has several problems, their defense is in the Top 10. That did not stop the Tigers offense led by unheralded freshman back-up QB Maty Mauk put up 500 yards (295 passing, 205 rushing) to the Gators' paltry 151 (92 passing, 59 rushing).

Can the Tigers keep up this unlikely run? We will find out Oct 26 when South Carolina comes a-calling.

~~~~~


Are they behind me? (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Tennessee 23 South Carolina 21

South Carolina (5-2) did Alabama a great favor by flopping around Knoxville for a couple of hours showing the Tide that they should not take Tennessee lightly. By all rights, the Vols (4-3) shoulda-coulda-woulda beat UGA the week before until an unfortunate turnover in OT gave UGA the game.

Tennessee jumped out to an early 17-7 halftime lead on South Carolina. Gamecocks QB Connor Shaw brought his team back to lead 21-17 but was injured late in the game. Tennessee turned two fourth quarter drives into field goal conversions with the game winner at the buzzer.

Up Next: the CRIMSON TIDE!

~~~~~


#8 LSU QB Zach Jekyll...or is that Zach Hyde? (Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports)

Ole Miss 27 LSU 24

And the fifth and final SEC upset goes to Ole Miss over LSU. Sometimes Zach Mettenberger looks like Joe Montana, other times he is like Tony Montana. He had 3 INTs and 3 sacks and one TD throw but had a nice 11-play 80-yard drive to tie it up at 24 with just over 3 minutes to play. However, the Jekyll&Hyde QB on the other side, Bo Wallace, engineered a drive of his own (13 plays/61 yds) that resulted in a 41-yard field goal as time expired. Amazingly, LSU had stopped the Rebs on 3rd down with 24 seconds left. Instead of calling time out at that point, Mr. Clock Management himself, Les Miles, let the clock run to 6 seconds before calling timeout. What the bleep was he thinking???

In a related note: On Tuesday, former LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery was booted from the Houston Texans for smoking pot. Man, them LSWho's love their ganja.

~~~~~
Sad_face_medium

  • As you have likely heard by now Alabama safety Vinnie Sunseri is gone for the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee during the win over Arkansas.
  • Auburn had a similiar fate befall their team as starting safety Josh Holsey was knocked out for the season after suffering a knee injury during practice on Thursday. He did not play in Auburn’s 45-41 win over Texas A&M.
  • They are dropping like flies! Ole Miss lost starting tight end Evan Engram to season-ending surgery on his injured left ankle.
  • A few others knocked out of games this past Saturday but not yet ruled out for the season include Vanderbilt starting QB Austyn Carta-Samuels (leg), South Carolina starting QB Connor Shaw (knee sprain), Georgia starting WR Chris Conley (ankle sprain), Georgia starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons (foot sprain), Texas QB David Ash (concussion), Northwestern RB Venric Mark (ankle).
  • In other UGA injury news, coach Mark Richt expects tailback Todd Gurley (ankle) and wide receiver Michael Bennett back for the Florida game in two weeks.

~~~~~

Grab Bag:

Florida State 51 Clemson 14 - Kristi Malzahn watched this game and told Clemson to "SHUT UP!" And so do the rest of us.

Stanford 24 UCLA 10 - Kristi Malzahn watched this game too and told UCLA to "SHUT UP!" Again, so do the rest of us.

Ohio State 34 Iowa 24 - Another squeaker against a lame team. Expect the same ol' same ol' Saturday night when Penn State comes a-courtin'.

Baylor 71 Iowa State 7 - Classy, Baylor.

The Dux keep marching on: Washington, Washington St, Oct 26 vs UCLA, Nov 7 @ Stanford.

~~~~~

* As is the norm in this Golden Age of Cheating & Getting Away With It, the Miami Hurricanes lose 9 scholarships over 3 years, but avoid bowl ban. A spokesman for the Hurricanes rubbed his wrist and said "Owie, that smarts! So, what for dinner?"

It's a good thing they didn't try to sell textbooks to fellow classmates at a sharp discount.

~~~~~

SOS:

Virginia Tech - The #14 Hokies (6-1) had a bye week. Up next: vs. Duke (5-2). Nov 9th at Miami (FL) is gonna be interesting.
Colorado State 52 Wyoming 22 -The Rams (3-4) were a 7-point underdog on the road and laid it on the Cowboys (4-3).

~~~~~

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium
Thursday:

Kentucky at Mississippi St. (Thursday) 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET ESPN - sad to say, this is a must-win for Dan Mullen.

Saturday:

Vanderbilt at Texas A&M 11:21 AM CT / 12:21 PM ET SEC TV - Has Manziel lost all interest? Tune in to find out.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET FOX - something to watch during the commercials.
South Carolina at Missouri 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPN2 - can Mizz keep it up?
Furman at LSU 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET PPV - I dare you to watch.
UCLA at Oregon 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPN
Florida Atlantic at Auburn 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET FSN FSN- FAU!
Idaho at Ole Miss 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET CSS - did LSU get caught looking ahead? Emoji
Penn State at Ohio State 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET ABC- focus all your Chaos Mojo to Columbus, Ohio.
Stanford at Oregon State 9:30 PM CT / 10:30 PM ET ESPN - The PAC-12 doesn't want you to watch this game, do they?

Bama_storm_trooper_medium
(Photo by CB969)

* Tennessee at Alabama on October 6 is at 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET, CBS (Verne Lunquist & Gary Danielson)

* November 2nd is a bye week

~~~~

ELIMINATED FROM BCS CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENTION:

South Carolina
Louisville - thank you football gods!
Clemson - I know it's only 1 loss but they aren't coming back from that massacre.
LSU
Texas A&M
UCLA - One loss but they will get pounded this Saturday at Oregon
Georgia
Florida
Northwestern
Washington
Arizona
Ole Miss
Arizona State
Utah
Maryland
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame
Wisconsin
UCF
Minnesota
Colorado

NC State
Arkansas
West Virginia

Army
Boston College
Duke
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Penn State
TCU
Tennessee
Texas
SoCal
Virginia
Wake Forest

Boise State
Brigham Young
California
Iowa
Iowa State
Kansas State
Kentucky
Mississippi State
North Carolina
Oregon State
Pittsburgh
Purdue
Syracuse
Vanderbilt
Washington State

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