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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 10

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Doug Pensinger

The College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) has released their second rankings with the top 3 remaining unchanged. Is it just me or is it odd that Auburn wins at #4 Ole Miss and stays at #3? FSU sneaks by Louisville and Missy State escapes Arky and they stay where they are. Meanwhile, Arizona State jumps five spots to #9 for beating Utah. Hmmm...

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

It seemed a bit confusing for them to put Ole Miss and Auburn in the top 4 of the first rankings knowing that one of those two teams would lose. To me that first poll looked like a way for the CFPC to say, YES, they would be willing to put two or more SEC teams into the 4-team playoff! But in the end, they won't. Just my humble opinion.

The Big Beer Tap! (Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)



Auburn 35 Ole Miss 31 - Wow, one of the best games of the year ended at the goal line in one dramatic/traumatic play.
Florida 38, Georgia 20 - This was my bad. I had forgotten that Mark Richt is who he is: a coach who can convince/fool/trick 5-stars to come to his school with the promises of greatness that will never come. Every year he puts together a team that looks like a National Championship contender and every year he loses a couple of games that he has no business losing. My sincerest apologies for forgetting this.
Mississippi State 17 Arkansas 10 - MSU got a big scare from the Razorbacks. The SEC's leading rusher, Josh Robinson, ran for just 64 yards, but caught six passes for a career-high 110 yards. Make a note of that for later.

Playoff Contention:

Mississippi State (8-0): cupcake, @ BAMA, Vandy, @ OM
Alabama (7-1): @ LSU, MSU, cupcake, Aub
Auburn (7-1): TAMU, @ UGA, cupcake, @ BAMA

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



Oregon 45 Stanford 16 – I am starting to wonder if Cardinal coach David Shaw has been profiting off Jim Harbaugh's recruiting.
UCLA 17 Arizona 7 – 80 yards rushing for RichRod's crew ain't gonna cut it.
Arizona State 19 Utah 16 – It was only a matter of time for the Utes. Hopefully, the Sun Devils are ready for a visit from Notre Dame on Saturday.

Playoff Contention:

Oregon (8-1): @ Utah, bye, Colo, @ Ore St, P12CG
Arizona State (7-1): ND, @ Ore St, WSU, @ Az, P12CG - on the bubble

At the most, one team survives this conference.


Bring it, Urban! (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)


Nebraska and Ohio State both win big over barely-FBS teams Purdue and Illinois. Michigan State had a bye. Elimination game coming in East Lansing on Saturday.

Playoff Contention:

Michigan State (7-1): OhSt, @ Md, Rutgers, @ PSU (winner comes off the bubble)
Ohio State (7-1):@ Mich St, @ Minn, Ind, Mich - on the bubble
Nebraska (8-1): bye, @ Wisc, Minn, @ Iowa - on the bubble's bubble, they could win out but the weak schedule hurts them.


Saturdays of Thunder4



This conference basically looks like a wrap with FSU again meeting Duke in the ACCCG. However, keep an eye on Georgia Tech. If somehow, someway, Duke manages to lose two of their next four while Tech wins at NC State and home against Clemson, the Yellow Jackets could take the Coastal Division. Their triple option attack could maybe possibly hopefully give the Seminoles some trouble. It's better than watching the 'Noles destroy the Blue Devils again. Keep those fingers crossed. Crazier things have happened.

Florida State 42 Louisville 31 – Another example of how weak the ACC is.
Notre Dame 49 Navy 39 – The Middies gave the Irish fits. This does not help ND's profile in the rankings.
Georgia Tech 35 Virginia 10 – GT playing much better as of late.
Duke 51 Pittsburgh 48 – I like David Cutcliffe but I have to root against them.

Playoff Contention:

Florida State (8-0): UVa, @ Mia, BC, Fla, ACCCG - With a schedule like that, you might as well pencil FSU in.
Duke (7-1): @ Syra, VaT, UNC, Wake, ACCCG - on the bubble, but it's only a matter of time...
*Notre Dame (7-1): @ Az State, NW, L'ville, @ SoCal - Sadly, they are still in the running.


We have to play FOUR quarters??? (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

BIG 12-ish

Suddenly, TCU is looking like the favorite in the conference. One and possibly two teams will be eliminated Saturday.

TCU 31 West Virginia 30 – Seriously! What was WVU coach Dana Holgorsen thinking? Mere seconds into the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers take a 31-20 lead and Dana decides to run the clock out. Clint Trickett attempted one pass in the final 15 minutes of a game that WVU had dominated.
Kansas State 48 Oklahoma State 14 – K-State actually leads the Big 12 standings at 5-0. They very well could lose 3 of their next 4 games.
Baylor 60 Kansas 14 – Look at ME! Look at ME! Look at ME!

Playoff Contention:

TCU (7-1): KState, @ KU, bye, @ Tex, IowaSt - on the bubble (winner comes off the bubble)
Kansas State (7-1):@ TCU, bye, @ WVU, KU, @ Baylor - on the bubble
Baylor (7-1): @ Okl, bye, OkSt, TexTech, KState - on the bubble



Missouri 20 Kentucky 10 - After a ton of hype, UK (5-4) may not even make it to bowl eligibility with games against UGA, @ Tenn, @ Louisville. More ugliness from Mizzou.
Tennessee 45 South Carolina 42 (OT) - The Gamecocks blew a 42-28 lead with 5 minutes left. The beaches are looking more alluring to Steve Spurrier with each passing game. Might he hang 'em up at the end of the year?
Maryland 20 Penn State 19 - The excitement of starting 4-0 has died off in Happy Valley as the Nittany Lions lose their fourth in a row.
Boston College 33 Virginia Tech 31 – Frank Beamer is 7–6 (4–4) , 8–5 (5–3) , and 4–5 (1–4) since 2012. Could he be on the hot seat?
Miami (FL) 47 North Carolina 20 – Miami is worst sports city in the nation. There was a mass of empty seats on a beautiful sunny day for a 6-3 team. In addition, the stadium was less than half full for the Dolphins upset of San Diego the next day. Check out photos of The 'U' vs Cincy from a few weeks ago.
Colorado State 38 San Jose State 31 - Dee Hart rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Rams to 8-1.
Air Force 23, Army 6 – Air Force clinches the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.
Temple 20 East Carolina 10 – ECU's hope for a big-time bowl goes buh-bye.



West Virginia (6-3) takes a loss with three winnable games ahead: @Texas, K-State, @Iowa St.
Southern Miss and FAU! are not much help as both are 3-6.
Western Carolina is 6-3 in FCS play.



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



45 teams are bowl eligible for a ridiculous 76 bowl openings including all of the SEC West except Arkansas (4-5).

13 teams are officially eliminated from bowl eligibility including two Pac-12 teams: Colorado and Washington State. These two are the only two Power 5 teams with 7 or more losses.



Heisman Hype

  • Marcus Mariota wasn't spectacular but good enough to beat Stanford with 19-30 for 258, 2 TD, 1 INT plus 9 carries for 85 and 2 TDs. The trophy is his to lose.
  • I never realized before Saturday that Dak Prescott had never thrown for more than 284 yards in a game. Against Arkansas, he threw for 331 yards but was 18 of 27 with one TD, and two INT plus 61 yards on the ground. He is an outstanding athlete but I get the feeling Mariota has passed him.
  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah left the Purdue game with a mildly sprained MCL in the first quarter. He is probably not in the running anymore (no pun intended).
  • Some wagging tongues out there are insistent on cramming Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon down our throats. He is consistent but not great. Additionally, Wisky has played absolutely NOBODY since LSU in week 1.
  • UGA running back Todd Gurley DNP.
  • I am just not feeling it for a certain Florida State quarterback who will go nameless.
  • Bama's Amari Cooper had a bye but still gave opposing DBs nightmares.


Extra Points

  • More classless shenanigans from the Big Ten: if you saw the beginning of the Maryland-Penn State game (I will pause until you stop laughing) .................. you may have seen the Terps team captains refuse to shake hands with Penn State captains prior to Saturday’s game in State College. For his part in this embarrassment and and a pregame scuffle, the Big Ten suspended WR Stefon Diggs one game. Head coach Randy Edsall was issued a public reprimand by the conference and Maryland was fined $10,000 for the whole silly episode.
  • Florida State officials have notified the team's starting quarterback that his student conduct code hearing will take place the week of November 17. I predict a ruler to the wrist.
  • UCLA QB Brett Hundley says thinking about the "next level" (aka the NFL) hurt his early-season play. I wonder if he is a creative writing major?



Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Georgia. Every year with this nonsense.



  • Nick Saban limited Alabama freshman left tackle Cam Robinson at Monday practice and stated that they "haven't ruled him out" for the LSU game on Saturday. If Cam cannot go, Grant Hill will likely fill in at one of the tackle spots with Austin Shepherd possibly flipping to the left side. O-lineman Alphonse Taylor was held out of Monday practice as a precaution after suffering a slight concussion against Tennessee.
  • Florida loses two starters to injuries. Right guard Trenton Brown (bone bruise on knee) and safety Keanu Neal (high-ankle sprain) will not play against Vandy on Saturday.
  • Notre Dame LB Joe Schmidt will miss the rest of the season after he broke and dislocated his left ankle against Navy. With 65 tackles and two interceptions on the season, Schmidt is the Irish's leading tackler and leader on defense.
  • Undoubtedly the most devastating injury in the history of Ole Miss football, Laquon Treadwell is likely out for four months to recover from a dislocated ankle and broken fibula. The Opelika-Auburn News thought it prudent to post a photo of the injury on the front page of their Sunday sports section.




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



A bad week for SEC games (except for one). It's okay to flip over to other channels.

Georgia at Kentucky 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET - ESPNESPN- Letdown for UGA?
Presbyterian at Ole Miss 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET - SEC Network- Time to regroup.
Texas A&M at Auburn 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET - CBS- AU should win but who knows?
Tennessee-Martin at Mississippi State 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET - SEC Network
Florida at Vanderbilt 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET - SEC Network- Florida wouldn't dare lose this one. Would they?...


Three big elimination games:

Baylor at Oklahoma 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET - FOX Sports 1 - Okie can be a spoiler or go to 6-3.
Duke at Syracuse 11:30 AM CT / 12:30 PM ET - ESPN3
Georgia Tech at North Carolina State 11:30 AM CT / 12:30 PM ET - ESPN3
Notre Dame at Arizona State 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET - ABCABC- Elimination game!
Virginia at Florida State 5:30 PM CT / 6:30 PM ET - ESPNESPN
Hawaii at Colorado State 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET - ESPNUESPNU
Kansas State at TCU 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET - FOX - Elimination game!
Ohio State at Michigan State 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET - ABCABC- Elimination game!
Oregon at Utah 9:00 PM CT / 10:00 PM ET - ESPNESPN

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...

Alabama LSU


Alabama at LSU 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET - CBS- Uncle Verne, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce.