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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 5

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LOOK! A picture of TAMU that is NOT of Kenny Hill!
LOOK! A picture of TAMU that is NOT of Kenny Hill!
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC again took the spotlight with a troika of exciting college football games.

Texas A&M 35 Arkansas 28 - OT

It is difficult to know what to take away from the Aggies in this overtime win. They struggled and looked quite beatable for the first three quarters including just 4 of 13 on third down efficiency. But then Dr. Jekyll (that's the good one BTW) showed up in the fourth quarter. TAMU quarterback Kenny Hill had 386 yards passing with 4 TDs but completed only 21 of 41 with an interception.

The improved Razorbacks have made this match-up relevant again. They led most of the game behind the running of the two-headed monster of Alex Collins (131 yds, 1 TD) and Jonathan Williams (95 yds, 1 TD).

However, the Hogs left tackle Dan Skipper had a rough day with two of his penalties negating big Arky plays. The first was a touchdown pass called back in the second quarter due to holding call. The second was a controversial tripping penalty called in the fourth quarter that erased a 55-yard run by Williams to the Aggies 3 yard line. The Razorbacks ended up punting on that possession.

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Speaking of Jekyll and Hyde... (Todd Bennett/Getty Images)

Missouri 21 South Carolina 20

Last week after a win over Vanderbilt, coach Steve Spurrier said the Gamecocks were "not a very good team" and had liberal use of the word "embarrassed". At the time, one would have thought it was a tactic to inspire his team or maybe disarm future opponents. But it looks like he was just being honest. SC had not lost at home since 2011 and now they have two home losses on this season.

The Tigers, fresh off an upset loss to Indiana, were not much better until the 4th quarter rolled around when they rallied for two touchdowns. Every stat leaned in Carolina's favor - including 10 more minutes of ball possession and 50 more total yards. The exception was 4th down conversions of which Mizzou converted all three attempts including two in the winning drive with the second one being the winning score from the one yard line.

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Up, up, and away! (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgia 35 Tennessee 32

As expected, the Vols gave UGA a tough game. Also as expected, Georgia running back Todd Gurley carried the team with a career best 208 yards on 28 carries. It was just enough as the Dawgs eked by the Vols. Not that he was getting much help from his teammates. Quarterback Hutson Mason was only 16 of 25 for a paltry 147 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Running back Sony Michel suffered shoulder injury after three carries while teammate Nick Chubb was an ineffective runner (11 for 32 yds).

UT quarterback Justin Worley looked good (23/35, 264 yds, 3 TD, 0 turnovers) despite missing three series in the second half with an elbow injury. He returned to guide the Vols to a pair of touchdown drives in the final period.

Not that it really matters, but UGA actually dropped one spot in the AP poll from 12 to 13.

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GRAB BAG

Ole Miss 24, Memphis 3 - The final score does not tell the story here as the score was 7-3 going into the 4th quarter when the Tigers ran out of gas. The Rebs will not be able to get away with lethargic play against the deeper teams of the SEC West.
Florida State 56, NC State 41 - Another game in which depth overcomes a spirited underdog. Jameis Winston had 4 touchdown passes but also had two interceptions. He was hit early and often, compiling -3 rushing yards. The 'Noles suddenly look beatable.
UCLA 62, Arizona State 27 - Ishmael Adams had a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown just before halftime and followed that feat with a 100-yard kickoff return for another score in the third quarter.
Colorado State 24, Boston College 21 - former Bama running back Dee Hart rushed 10 times for 117 yards, including a 43-yard dash that moved the ball deep into Boston College's territory on the game-winning drive.
Yale 49, Army 43 (OT) - These two teams first met in 1893. It was Army's first trip to the Yale Bowl since 1988 and the first game against Yale since 1996. Yale leads the series 22-16-8, but had not beaten Army since a 14-12 win in 1955.
Minnesota 30, Michigan 14 - Wolverines coach Brady Hoke slips further down the quicksand in a humiliating home loss.
Air Force 28, Boise State 14 - Now you know why former BSU coach Chris Petersen jumped ship for the Washington Huskies job. Cupboard = bare.

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BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

West Virginia - had a bye. They welcome in Kansas (2-2) on Saturday.
Rice 41 Southern Miss 23 - the are Eagles are 2-3.
FAU 41 UTSA 37 - The Owls (2-3) overcame a 4th quarter 10-point deficit to win.

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ELIMINATED:

SOUTH CAROLINA - yep, I'm calling it.
BOISE - Things are not so Smurfy in the Potatoville.
ILLINOIS - Bring back Zook!
KANSAS - Weis gets the boot.
TEXAS TECH - Not so pretty now, are ya Kliffy?
Cal
Boston College
Clemson
Colorado
Indiana
Iowa State
Miami (FL)
Michigan
Navy
Northwestern
Pitt
Purdue
Syracuse
Texas
UNC
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington State
WEST Virginia

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Amari_medium

Heisman Hype

  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah of Homewood, Alabama has been catching the nation's eye as he shatters Cornhusker records. Saturday's 45-14 rout of Illinois was his second straight 200+ rushing game and third on the season. The nation's leading rusher has 833 yards and 10 TDs - 8 on the ground, 2 through the air.
  • UGA running back Todd Gurley rushed 28 times for 208 yards and 2 TDs. I am hearing some whispers that he is not the sweet nice kid that UGA is trying to make him out to be. This is evident in some of the stuff he does on the field and off - like the 20-year old being in a bar at 2 am.
  • Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Bama's Amari Cooper both had bye weeks.

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Extra Points

  • "Absence makes the heart grow fonder". During a bye week, Alabama leapfrogged FSU to the top ranking in the USA Today Poll. Interestingly, the Tide received 15 first place votes to the Seminoles' 26. That means some voters have put FSU lower than #2.
  • FINALLY, a referee flagged Todd Gurley for his post-scoring antics when he spiked the ball after scoring a touchdown against Tennessee.
  • NC State coach Dave Doeren accused FSU of faking injuries to slow down the Wolfpack offense: "The tempo we had [in the first quarter] was working until all the crazy fall down things were going on and the clock kept stopping. You know the refs can't do anything about that, but it's horrible the way the tempo gets slow downed by these injuries. We went fast in the first quarter, I guess there were no fake injuries." My suggestion to curb this issue: if a guy is down, he must sit out two plays instead of one.
  • Whatever happened to former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis? Believe it or not, Kansas has been giving him $2.5 million annually for the last 2.3 seasons to go 6–22. Now they will be paying him another chunk of change just to go away. USA Today pegged the buyout figure at $5.625 million through the end of 2016.
  • There are reports that former Texas head coach Mack Brown might be the top target for the opening at SMU. June Jones stepped down from the position earlier this month.

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Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Penn State. After having bowl eligibility restored for this season, the Nits go out and get shellacked on their homecoming by Northwestern 29-6.

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Sad_face_medium

  • Alabama quarterback Blake Sims is still nursing a sore shoulder but should be good to go for the Ole Miss game. WR DeAndrew White was limited but is practicing in full pads and was not wearing a non-contact jersey. Eddie Jackson appears to be 100% and will battle Tony Brown for playing time at cornerback.
  • Late in the Michigan-Minnesota game, Wolverines quarterback Shane Morris sprained his ankle and then took a shot to the head and was visibly wobbly. Brady Hoke left the poor kid in the game. Hoke and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier both said they were looking elsewhere on the field at the time of the hit and saw only its aftermath. I am not sure what they were looking at when the replays showed as well. Hoke said Morris told him his stumble was the result of an earlier injury to his ankle, not the blow to his head. Athletic director Dave Brandon released an apology for the handling of the incident. As for post time, Gopher linebacker Theiren Cockran who made the helmet-to-helmet late hit was NOT flagged for targeting and has yet to be punished in any way. It will be interesting to see if Big-10 officials hand down the college game's first post-game targeting suspension. Students and fans flooded the front lawn of Michigan president Mark Schlissel's on-campus house Tuesday night, demanding the school get rid of Brandon.

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Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

If you have a friend or family member who is getting married this Saturday, you need to disown him/her because this is going to be an incredible day of SEC football. I hope it's not a beautiful day because I will be sitting on the couch ALL day:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2:

FAU! at FIU 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET, no TV - no offense, Hoosiers.
Arizona at Oregon 9:30 PM CT / 10:30 PM ET ESPNESPN- If you don't have school or work on Friday, this might be worth watching. Might the Ducks be looking ahead to next week's game with #8 UCLA? Both teams are 4-0.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3:

Utah State at BYU 9:15 PM CT / 10:15 PM ET ESPNESPN- BYU really needs to lose.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4:

SEC

Texas A&M @ Mississippi State 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET ESPNESPN- GAME OF THE WEEK*
Tennessee
@ Florida 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET SEC Network- This game could determine the fate for the rest of the season for both teams.
Vanderbilt @ Georgia 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET SEC Network- Move along. Nothing to see here.
LSU @ Auburn 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPNESPN- GAME OF THE WEEK II* Brandon Harris to start at QB for LSU.
South Carolina @ Kentucky 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET SEC Network- UK could give SC trouble.
*Non-Alabama game.

NATIONAL
(not that you'll be flipping away from SEC action but a lot of "elimination" games to keep an eye on)

Ohio State at Maryland 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET ABCABC- The Terps are suddenly dangerous.
Oklahoma at TCU 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET FOX - Go Frogs.
Baylor at Texas 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET ABCABC- check local listings. You might get stuck with FSU-Wake. Ugh.
Stanford at Notre Dame 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET NBC
Wisconsin at Northwestern 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET ESPN2ESPN2– the 'Cats suddenly playing much better.
Arizona State at Southern Cal 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET FOX
Nebraska at Michigan State 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET ABCABC
Utah at UCLA 9:30 PM CT / 10:30 PM ET ESPNESPN- The Pac-12 respectfully requests that you NOT watch this game to the end.

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...

Bama_storm_trooper_medium
(Photo by CB969)

#ALABAMA

Alabama at Ole Miss will be at 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET CBS - quite possibly the most important game on the schedule for the Crimson Tide.

ROLL TIDE!