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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 12

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Melvin Gordon.
Melvin Gordon.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) has released their fourth rankings and look at who is back on top.

2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Mississippi State
5. TCU
6. Ohio State
7. Baylor
8. Ole Miss
10. Georgia

11 Michigan State
12. Kansas State
13. Arizona State
14. Auburn
15. Arizona
16. Wisconsin
17. Utah
18. Georgia Tech
19. USC
20. Missouri
21. Oklahoma
22. Clemson
23. Nebraska
24. Louisville
25. Minnesota

If you heard a faint squealing sound in the distance, that was all the SEC-haters crying their little eyes out that two SEC teams are in the Top 4. A large amount of wackiness would have to happen for these four to change much. So for the time being, we will focus on the Top 10. Anything below that has little to no shot.


A little help! (Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)


Auburn and LSU lose their second in a row. Florida loses a coach. UGA loses a tailback. Kentucky is losing hope. And Arky gets an SEC win.

Alabama 25 Mississippi State 20 - Blake Sims works his home team magic and the defense looks like... well, an Alabama defense.
Georgia 34 Auburn 7 - Todd Gurley makes his big return and big exit in the same game. Why Mark Richt felt the need to run him 29 times (138 yds) is beyond me. Nick Chubb was much more succesful on 10 less carries (144 yds). Auburn could manage only 292 total yards on a Bulldogs defense that gave up 445 to Florida two weeks before.
South Carolina 23 Florida 20 (OT) - The Gators loss was the final nail in coach Will Muschamp's coffin as he was let go this week (he will finish out the regular season). A blocked punt and a blocked field goal were ingredients that made up an overtime loss for Florida.
Arkansas 17 LSU 0 - Arkansas ended a 17-SEC game losing streak at the hands of a lethargic LSU team that managed only 123 total yards. Leonard Fournette had 9 yards on four carries.
Tennessee 50 Kentucky 16 - Joshua Dobbs has Vols fans wondering why Butch Jones wanted to redshirt the sophomore quarterback this season. He threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns. The Wildcats have lost five in a row after starting the season 5-1. The 'Cats have one more chance (Nov. 29 at Louisville) to gain bowl eligibility.
Missouri 34 Texas A&M 27 - Russell Hansbrough rallies Mizzou past the Aggies with a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Playoff Contention:

Alabama (9-1): cupcake, Aub
Mississippi State
(9-1): Vandy, @ OM

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




Could my little scenario come true? Georgia Tech has finished out their ACC Conference schedule with a 6-2 record. If Duke loses to either North Carolina or Wake Forest, the Yellow Jackets win the Coastal Division. My point to all this is that 1) who wants to see FSU slobberknock Duke again? 2) Tech's triple option could possibly give the Seminoles some trouble.

Georgia Tech 28 Clemson 6 - Tech had three interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Stick a fork in Clemson. They are done.
Virginia Tech 17 Duke 16 - Duke entered the game with six turnovers on the season and exited with nine. The Hokies converted the turnovers into enough points to get the road W.
Florida State 30 Miami (FL) 26 - FSU's strategy is to flop around and wait for the other team to play conservative-run-out-the-clock football.

Playoff Contention:

Florida State (10-0): BC, Fla, ACCCG


(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)


The Pac-12 looks like a one horse race. Oregon had a bye but still won. Go ahead and engrave Pac-12 the trophy.

Oregon State 35 Arizona State 27 - Late in the deep dark night while most of the nation slept, the Beavers had their way with the #6 Sun Devils. Most figured Arizona State would go on to face the Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship Game. But lo and behold, it is the Southern Cal Trojans who now lead the South Division. UCLA lurks in the shadows.

Playoff Contention:

Oregon (9-1): Colo, @ Ore St, P12CG



Ohio State is back in the driver's seat but it just got REAL interesting after Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon ran past Nebraska.

Ohio State 31 Minnesota 24 - The Buckeyes controlled most of this game and let Minny score 10 late points to make it look closer than it was. Quarterback J.T. Barrett is making OSU fans forget ol' Braxton what's-his-name.
Wisconsin 59 Nebraska 24 - The Badgers' Melvin Gordon rushed for 408 yards and four touchdowns. He probably could've gone for 500 but he sat out the fourth quarter. The 'Huskers looked like they had no interest in being in snowy Madison and just plain quit. Wisky finishes at Iowa and home vs. Minnesota. Win those and they win the West division.

Playoff Contention:

Ohio State (9-1): @ Minn, Ind, Mich, B10CG (Wisky?)


(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

BIG 12-ish

As said before, the absence of a championship game hurts this conference.

TCU 34 Kansas 30 - The Frogs trailed most of the game against the lowly Jayhawks (3-7). In this situation, a win was a loss as TCU falls behind.
Baylor had a bye.

Playoff Contention:

TCU (9-1): bye, @ Texas, IowaSt - back on the bubble
Baylor (8-1): OkSt, TexTech, KState - on the bubble



Northwestern 43 Notre Dame 40 (OT) - HAHA
South Alabama 24 Texas State 20 - The Jaguars are bowl eligible but they may have to win more than 6 games to get a bid somewhere.



West Virginia (6-4) had a bye.
Southern Miss and FAU! are not much help as both are terrible.
Western Carolina is 7-4 in FCS play.



Boston College
Georgia Tech
Iowa State
Kansas State
Lose-iana State
Miami (FL)
Michigan State
Nc State
Notre Dame
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



53 teams are bowl eligible for a laughable 76 bowl openings. This group now includes Penn State who had their bowl ban lifted by the wimps at the NCAA.

Kansas, Indiana, and Texas Tech are among the teams joining the 7-loss club.



Heisman Hype

  • Marcus Mariota and the Ducks had a bye week and he still picked up momentum.
  • Dak Prescott could have made a statement against Alabama. Instead, he had a season-high three interceptions and a season low 34.3 QB rating. He might still be a finalist but a long shot to take home the trophy.
  • Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon had a game for the ages with 25 rushes for a major college-record 408 yards and four touchdowns in only three quarters of play. Remember, the Heisman is all about hype and making SportsCenter highlights (see: Jason White, Gino Torretta, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke, etc.). So, the voters will likely overlook the two fumbles he lost. ESPN did.
  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah - done.
  • UGA running back Todd Gurley - toast.
  • The act of the guy who quarterbacks Florida State is getting a little stale: flop around for the first half and then a big comeback in the second. Even the most strident of his supporters aren't falling for this mess anymore.
  • Bama's Amari Cooper recorded 8 catches for 88 yards and a TD but again had a few drops. He still leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,303.


Extra Points

  • Tennessee has suspended leading tackler A.J. Johnson and defensive back Michael Williams amid a sexual assault investigation. This could get ugly.
  • Go figure Virginia Tech (5-5) out. They have won at Ohio State (9-1) and at Duke (8-2) but lost to the likes of East Carolina and Boston College in their own stadium.
  • One of the lowest turnouts for FBS football happened last night as UMass visited Terry Bowden's Akron Zips. Attendance was officially 5,571 but there is no way. These guys need to move down to FCS.



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



  • Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle), wide receiver DeAndrew White (hamstring), and kicker Adam Griffith (undisclosed) are all battling lingering injuries and should get a light workload this week leading up to their Homecoming game with Western Carolina. Offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor has been recovering from a concussion and is questionable for Saturday.
  • The status of Auburn leading receiver D'haquille "Duke" Williams (sprained MCL in his right knee) is still up in air for Samford game.
  • On his first game back from a 4-game suspension, former Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley tore his ACL on his 29th carry of the day. The junior's UGA career is likely over.
  • Quarterback Deshaun Watson returned to the Clemson line-up after breaking a bone in his right hand a month early. This past Saturday, he left the game after a first-quarter knee injury. The Tigers promptly fell to pieces.
  • LSU running back Kenny Hilliard is out for the rest of the regular season with a shoulder injury suffered against Alabama. It is possible he could return for LSU's bowl game.
  • Notre Dame QB Everett Golson suffered a sprained AC joint in his right throwing shoulder during Saturday's 43-40 loss to Northwestern. He is questionable for the Irish's game with Louisville though many Dame fans think he needs to sit out anyway (19 turnovers in the past seven games).




There are games on all these days but only two of any significance.


Kansas State at West Virginia 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET - FOX Sports 1
North Carolina at Duke 6:15pm CT / 7:15pm ET - ESPNESPN- Duke fighting for their lives.



Not a great week for channel flipping:

Charleston Southern at Georgia 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - SEC Network* - Tune in to see which running back Mark Richt will run into the ground next!
Eastern Kentucky at Florida 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - SEC Network* - The penultimate chapter of Will Muschamp's story at the Swamp.
South Alabama at South Carolina 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - ESPN3ESPN 3- JAGS!
Ole Miss at Arkansas 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET – CBS- The Rebels better not overlook the Hogs.
Samford at Auburn 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET - ESPNUESPNU- zzzzzzz
Vanderbilt at Mississippi State 6:30pm CT / 7:30pm ET - SEC Network
Missouri at Tennessee 6:30pm CT / 7:30pm ET - ESPNESPN- Vols open as a 3 point favorite.

* SEC Network Alternate Channel, check local listings.


Some real dogs and one rivalry game.

Indiana at Ohio State 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET - BTN - SHOCK THE WORLD! Not really.
New Mexico at Colorado State 12:30 CT / 1:30pm ET - ROOT Sports - Going for 10-1.
Boston College at Florida State 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET – ABC/ESPN2* ABCSHOCK THE WORLD! See above.
Wisconsin at Iowa 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET – ABC/ESPN2* ABC-  What does Melvin Gordon do for an encore?
Colorado at Oregon 3:30pm CT / 4:30pm ET – Pac-12 Network
Oklahoma State at Baylor 6:30pm CT / 7:30pm FOX
USC at UCLA 7:00pm CT / 8:00pm ET - ABCABC- Odd that they would play this storied rivalry in mid-November.

*Check local listings

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...

alabama fans


Western Carolina at Alabama 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET - SEC Network- Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer, Maria Taylor.

Homecoming Events:

Thursday, 20th: Dodgeball Tournament, REC Center 5:30pm

Friday, 21st: Pep Rally & Bonfire, Quad 7:00pm (previously 6pm); Stepshow, Coleman Coliseum 8:30pm

Saturday, 22nd: Parade 10:30am; BAMA vs. Western Carolina 3:00pm