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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 11

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Cooper Neill

The College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) has released their third rankings with FSU dropping another notch to third and TCU leapfrogging Alabama.

Now before you get all irate, know that the Tide will move up if they take care of business on Saturday. That said, I find it absurd that a home win over K-State holds more weight than a win at LSU's Death Valley. Furthermore, I am of the belief that the Wildcats are a bit overrated. If you are curious, check out Kansas State's schedule versus the Bayou Bengals' schedule and let me know which you think is more impressive.

Also for some odd reason, UCLA makes the biggest jump from #18 to #11 on the résumé of beating Washington. Arizona went from #19 to #14 for beating woeful Colorado at home. What's with the Pac-12 bias?

1. Mississippi State
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. TCU
5. Alabama
6. Arizona State
7. Baylor
8. Ohio State
9. Auburn
10. Ole Miss
11. UCLA
12. Michigan State
13. Kansas State
14. Arizona
15. Georgia
16. Nebraska
17. LSU
18. Notre Dame
19. Clemson
20. Wisconsin
21. Duke
22. Georgia Tech
23. Utah
24. Texas A&M
25. Minnesota

Truth be told, this poll should be whittled down to something more like the Top 8. From those 8, two pairs of teams likely play each other.

#1 Mississippi State vs. #5 Alabama
#2 Oregon vs. #6 Arizona State (projected Pac-12 Championship Game)
#3 Florida State
#4 TCU
#7 Baylor
#8 Ohio State

Hmmm... What do you think is going on here? So much for SEC bias.

For the record, here is how others see it:

AP Coaches Poll 128 Fox Sports
1. Mississippi State 1. Mississippi State 1. Mississippi State 1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State 2. Florida State 2. Florida State 2. Florida State
3. Oregon 3. Alabama 3. Oregon 3. TCU
4. Alabama 4. Oregon 4. Alabama 4. Alabama
5. TCU 5. TCU 5. TCU 5. Oregon
6. Baylor 6. Baylor 6. Baylor 6. Baylor
7. Arizona State 7. Ohio State 7. Ohio State 7. Ohio State
8. Ohio State 8. Arizona State 8. Arizona State 8. Arizona State
9. Auburn 9. Auburn 9. Auburn 9 Nebraska
10. Ole Miss 10. Ole Miss 10. Ole Miss 10. Duke


Lookie what I found! (Photo by Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)


An unexpected elimination on the Plains and the final nail in the coffin of LSU.

Alabama 20 LSU 13 (OT) - Blake Sims may have not had the greatest game-stats but he came through in the clutch - twice! The defense again looked solid.
Texas A&M 41 Auburn 38 - Auburn's run of luck finally ran out with two costly fumbles late in the game that allowed the Aggies to get the upset.
Mississippi State 45 Tennessee-Martin 16 - Your typical cupcake warm-up game.
Georgia 63 Kentucky 31 - UGA's Nick Chubb got some relief toting the rock (13 for 170 yds, TD) with the return of fellow freshman Sony Michel (16-84, TD). Isaiah McKenzie ran a kickoff and punt back for scores.

Playoff Contention:

Mississippi State (9-0): @ BAMA, Vandy, @ OM
Alabama (8-1): MSU, cupcake, Aub

Technically, Auburn, UGA and Ole Miss are still in the chase but some wild & crazy things would have to happen.




I have been holding out this crazy hope that Georgia Tech can overtake Duke and win the Coastal Division, just to give FSU someone different to face in the ACC Championship Game. But it doesn't look like the Seminoles or Duke will lose another regular season game.

Florida State 34 Virginia 20 - The 'Noles again look flawed. But even with the mistakes, they are too talented to lose the dregs of their conference.
Duke 27 Syracuse 10 - The Blue Devils needed a 17-point fourth quarter to break a 10-10 tie.
Georgia Tech 56 North Carolina State 23

*Arizona State 55 Notre Dame 31 - We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Sun Devils for putting an end to this nonsense.

Playoff Contention:

Florida State (9-0): @ Mia, BC, Fla, ACCCG - FWIW, final three opponents will all play in bowls.
Duke (8-1): VaT, UNC, Wake, ACCCG - on the bubble, but it's only a matter of time...



Can we just fast-forward to the Pac-12 Championship game?

Oregon 51 Utah 27 - Wanna know where Auburn's dumb luck went? In one of the most bizarre plays of the year, the Utes had a chance to go up 14-0 after WR Kaelin Clay dashed to what looked like a long touchdown catch. However, Clay inexplicably dropped the ball a yard before crossing the goal line. While the Utes celebrated, the Ducks' Joe Walker picked up the ball and returned it 100 yards untouched for a touchdown. The table flipping changed momentum and Oregon scored 24 straight to basically put the game away at the half 24-7.
Arizona State 55 Notre Dame 31 - A strange game that saw ASU score 34 straight to go up 34-3, only to have the Irish score the next 28 to make the score 34-31. The Sun Devils finally woke up to score three touchdowns in the final 4:29. ND's Everett Golson threw 4 interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.

Playoff Contention:

Oregon (9-1): bye, Colo, @ Ore St, P12CG
Arizona State (8-1): @ Ore St, WSU, @ Az, P12CG - on the bubble


Michigan State brings the derp! (Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports)


Michigan State goes back to being little brother. Nebraska had a bye.

Ohio State 49 Michigan State 37 - The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on six straight possessions.

Playoff Contention:

Ohio State (8-1): @ Minn, Ind, Mich - on the bubble thanks to VaTech (4-5).
Nebraska (8-1): @ Wisc, Minn, @ Iowa - on the bubble's bubble.


BIG 12-ish

It's going to be awfully difficult to keep an 11-1 Horned Frogs team out of the playoff - especially if Baylor keeps winning. Can you imagine a TCU-Mississippi State Championship Game? Lowest. Ratings. Ever.

TCU 41 Kansas State 20 - Aaron Green (18-171 yds, 1 TD) and QB Trevone Boykin (17-123 yds, 3 TD) combined for 294 rushing yards. The Wildcats, 0-2 against currently ranked teams (Auburn, TCU), managed only 34 yards on the ground as a team.
Baylor 48 Oklahoma 14 - The Sooners stormed out to a 14-3 first quarter lead and then went to sleep. Baylor possessed the ball 10+ minutes more than Okie and had 31 first downs to UO's 13. The Bears won't make it to the dance unless the Frogs take another loss. P.S. Shut up, Bob.

Playoff Contention:

TCU (8-1): @ KU, bye, @ Tex, IowaSt - off the bubble
Baylor (8-1): bye, OkSt, TexTech, KState - on the bubble



Texas 33 West Virginia 16 - I cannot imagine WVU ever winning a conference title where 4 to 5 road games are over 1,000 miles away every year.
Florida 34 Vanderbilt 10 - Gators hold Vandy to 83 rushing and have 4 takeaways
Ole Miss 48 Presbyterian 0 - Rebs working through their issues.
Minnesota 51 Iowa 14 - Minnie was a -1.5 point dog on this one. Next visitor: Ohio State.
Colorado State 49 Hawaii 22 - Ho hum. Another 100-yard game from Dee Hart, another W for the Rams (9-1).
Kansas 34 Iowa State 14 – Would you be willing to sit in cold weather for this schlock? Supposedly 33,288 fans did.
Penn State 13 Indiana 7 - 17 penalties, 4 interceptions, 7 of 34 third down conversions, 20 punts, 2 missed field goals. Big Ten football Fever! Catch It!
Michigan 10, Northwestern 9 - 2 fumbles, 4 interceptions, 13 punts, 2 missed field goals. Big Ten football Fever! See above!



West Virginia (6-4) - Sing it with me: The wheels on the bus are falling off, falling off, falling off...
Southern Miss and FAU! are not much help as both are 3-7.
Western Carolina is 6-4 in FCS play.



Boston College
Georgia Tech
Iowa State
Lose-iana State
Miami (FL)
Nc State
Oklahoma State
Ole Miss
Oregon State
Penn State
South Carolina
Southern Cal
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington State
West Virginia



47 teams are bowl eligible for an absurd 76 bowl openings including juggernauts Toledo, Rice, and Memphis.

Iowa State, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest join Colorado and Washington State as Power 5 teams no longer eligible for a bowl.



Heisman Hype

  • Marcus Mariota 17/29, 239 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT passing. 18-114, 1 TD rushing. This year's trophy has already been sent out for engraving.
  • Dak Prescott completed 14 of 23 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in a cush win over UT-Martin. He also ran 6 times for 54 yards and a score in three quarters of play.
  • Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon ran 25 times for 205 yards and one touchdown against Purdue's wet paper towel defense. He might face his biggest challenge of the year against Nebraska's 20th ranked rush defense who yeild 123.8 yards per game.
  • Despite Nebraska having a bye week, running back Ameer Abdullah (sprained MCL) is highly questionable for the 'Huskers game with Wisconsin on Saturday.
  • UGA running back Todd Gurley DNP.
  • A certain Florida State quarterback who will go nameless had two first-quarter interceptions. Fortunately for the 'Noles, they were playing another poor UVa team who was kind enough to give the ball right back on 3 occasions.
  • Bama's Amari Cooper recorded 8 catches for 83 yards and a TD but had a few drops. He is now Alabama's all-time leader in receiving yards (2,951) and TDs (25). He needs 12 catches to pass D.J. Hall's school record of 194 receptions.


Extra Points

  • On a big weekend of elimination football, Alabama-LSU outdrew all others with a 5.3 overnight rating - the highest rating on CBS for college football this season (second place is Bama-Florida). So much for SEC bias. The numbers speak for themselves:
    1. Alabama-LSU, CBS, 5.3
    2. Texas A&M-Auburn, CBS, 4.5
    3. Ohio State-Michigan State, ABC, 4.2
    4. Notre Dame-Arizona State, ABC, 3.5
    5t. Georgia-Kentucky, ESPN, 1.9
    5t. Oregon-Utah, ESPN, 1.9
    7. Florida State-Virginia, ESPN, 1.5
    8. Baylor-Oklahoma, Fox Sports 1, 1.3
    9. West Virginia-Texas, Fox Sports 1, 0.76
    10. UCLA-Washington, Fox Sports 1, 0.50
    11. Louisville-Boston College, ESPN2, 0.38
  • CBS will be broadcasting the Egg Bowl instead of the Iron Bowl this year because it will have reached its Crimson Tide quota by then, per the network’s agreement with the SEC.
  • Cornerback Rashard Robinson continues his stay in the LSU doghouse. The part-time starter was suspended before the Alabama game and will not play at Arkansas on Saturday. There is no word on what it is he has done.
  • Georgia Southern is 8-2 overall and 7-0 in the Sun Belt in their first season in FBS. Being a "transition season", the Eagles are not bowl eligible. However, there is a chance they could ask the NCAA for a waiver. Their two losses were a one-point defeat at NC State and a four-pointer at #22 Georgia Tech. GSU finishes at Navy (4-5) and home vs. UL-Monroe (3-6).



Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Buh-bye.



  • Alabama freshman left tackle Cam Robinson is still nursing a sore ankle and was limited at Monday practice. Running back T.J. Yeldon was also limited after spraining an ankle against LSU. Both players should be available for the Mississippi State game on Saturday. Tight end Brian Vogler had his knee wrapped and housed in a brace but was not limited. Linebacker Dillon Lee was at full-strength as well.
  • The Oregon Ducks lost three key starters to injury: center Hroniss Grasu (knee), cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (toe), and tight end Pharaoh Brown (knee). Oregon is tight-lipped on the extent of the injuries. These three will not be needed for their last two games against Colorado and Oregon State.
  • Ohio State's Dontre Wilson broke his foot during the win over Michigan State. He is likely gone for the rest of the regular season. Wilson leads the team in all-purpose yards with 1,064, as a rusher, receiver and both kick and punt returner.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops told the media that quarterback Trevor Knight did not sustain a concussion though he was held out of Monday's practice. Knight was knocked out in the fourth quarter against Baylor when he left the field on a stretcher. He is questionable for Saturday's game at Texas Tech.
  • Maryland's leading receiver Stefon Diggs is out for season with lacerated kidney. OUCH! The injury was sustained while taking a hit against Penn State on November 1. You may recall, Diggs was the ringleader of the pre-game scuffle and the refusal to shake hands with PSU team captains. #Karma. The former five-star recruit was also knocked out of the 2013 season after seven games after breaking a leg.




There are games on all these days but none of national significance.



A good mix of rivalries:

South Carolina at Florida 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - SEC Network- Gators fighting for the East title.
Kentucky at Tennessee 3:00pm CT / 4:00pm ET - SEC Network- Both teams are fighting for bowl eligibility.
Auburn at Georgia 6:15pm CT / 7:15pm ET - ESPNESPN- This game should show what these two teams are made of.
Missouri at Texas A&M 6:30pm CT / 7:30pm ET - SEC Network- I have no clue who wins this one.
LSU at Arkansas 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET - ESPN2ESPN2- "The Battle for the Golden Boot"


Not much reason to flip away from the above games.

Ohio State at Minnesota 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - ABCABC- Is OSU due for a letdown? Hope so.
Clemson at Georgia Tech 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - ESPNESPN
Nebraska at Wisconsin 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET - ABCABC- Winner likely takes the West Division.
Florida State at Miami (FL) 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET - ABCABC- Some seem to think the 'Canes might challenge the 'Noles. Not me.
Arizona State at Oregon State 9:45pm CT / 10:45pm ET - ESPNESPN- For insomniacs only.

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...

alabama fans


#1 Mississippi State at #4 Alabama 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET - CBS- Uncle Verne, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce.

ESPN GameDay will be in Tuscaloosa as well.