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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Dumpster Fires

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College Football is starting to separate contenders from pretenders at the halfway mark.

POW! Right in da kissah.
POW! Right in da kissah.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The AP Poll has been in existence since 1934, giving pencil-neck geeks like Furman Bisher, who were not good enough to play the sport, a say in who would be champion of college football. With the birth of the BCS and its College Football Playoff offspring, their poll has becoming less a decision maker and more of entertainment click bait. And it appears that they may be a tad vindictive about the whole thing. This season more than any other, it seems that the pollsters are punishing ranked teams who do not dominate a lesser opponent - except for Ohio State that is.

FSU (thrice), Texas A&M, Mizzou, TCU (thrice), Baylor, LSU, UGA, Clemson, Alabama (twice), Michigan State (twice), and Oklahoma State have all dropped in rankings after a win this season. This past week, Alabama dropped two spots in the AP after a 27-14 win over Arkansas. Ohio State, however, has stayed cemented at the top despite close calls against Va Tech (3-3), Northern Illinois (3-3), and Indiana (4-2).

If last season was any indication, the College Football Playoff Committee does not care what these polls say and neither should you.

* The first College Football Playoff Committee rankings will be released on November 3, 2015.

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ESPN GameDay Predictions:


Kirk Herbstreit Desmond Howard Lee Corso
Champ Ohio State Stanford* LSU
Runner-up LSU TCU Oregon***
Semi Arizona State** Texas A&M Baylor
Semi Oklahoma**** Michigan State Ohio State

*Lost to Northwestern; **Two Losses; **Three losses; ****Lost to Tejas

lucky

Another lucky break for LSU. After eliminating a throwaway game against McNeese State and gaining an additional home game against South Carolina, now they will face Florida without emerging star QB Will Grier. Just as the Gators looked like they had found their man at quarterback, the NCAA suspended the redshirt freshman for a year over testing positive for a banned PED substance. UF will be without his services for the rest of the 2015 season and he could sit out up to a full year of game action. Do you get the feeling LSU is catching a few too many breaks?


(More time for this.)

Reports are surfacing that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is retiring effective today. The 70-yard old Spurrier's team is off to a 2-4 start this season. You have to wonder if it was his idea. In 10 and a half seasons, Ol Ball Coach went 86–49 overall at SC and 44–40 in the SEC. He was 5-4 in bowl games winning his last four. His career record at Duke, Florida and SC is 228–89–2. It is still too early to know what direction the coaching search will take but my money is on a coordinator. Kirby Smart perhaps?

Washington 17 Southern Cal 12

Upset by Washington at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a national-television audience on Thursday night = Not good. If you had to name the most dysfunctional FBS team, your thoughts likely move to South Central L.A.

After AD Mike Garrett, Pete Carroll, and Reggie Bush drove off in their luxury cars leaving the So Cal campus in embers, it was up to new AD Pat Haden to rebuild. He hired Lane Kiffin as football coach but that ended badly for the Trojans. He then made a meh hire of Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, which has turned into yet another disaster. After a 9-4 inaugural season (which included Haden coming down from the press box during a game to argue with officials), Sarkisian showed up intoxicated at an August alumni event and made quite a scene. Excuses and apologies were made. Now this past week, there are reports that Sarkisian did not even show up for a practice leading up to the Washington game and rumors of intoxication during games. Haden had requested that the coach take a leave of absence but has now terminated him.
Let the coaching rumors BEGIN!
Expect names like Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Rich Rodriguez (Arizona), Gary Patterson (TCU), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), and Chip Kelly (Phila. Eagles) to make the rounds in Los Angeles. [Does anyone have tabs of Saban's airplane?] Haden is on a red hot seat now. This next hire could make or break him at So Cal.

On the field, Cody Kessler was dreadful completing 16 of 29 for 156 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 interceptions. The Trojans converted only one of 13 third down opportunities.

Tennessee 38 Georgia 31

Butch Jones' Vols had gained a reputation for blowing big leads. They found their cure by letting the OTHER team get the big lead. UGA built a 24-3 lead behind a 96 yard fumble return and a 70 yard punt return before Tennessee stormed back. UT put up 512 yards on an astronomical 90 plays while UGA gained 438 on 62 plays. Joshua Dobbs threw for a career-high 312 yards and ran for 118 accounting for five touchdowns

Greyson Lambert had another flat game (15-32, 279) but had two passing scores and another one flat out dropped. Heisman hopeful Nick Chubb went down on his first carry of they day and did not return (see injury report below). Sony Michel (22-145 yds) filled in admirably but he had no help behind him.

Texas 24 Oklahoma 17

The Sooners entered the game as a 17 point favorite and emerged with egg on the face. For the second time in three years, an undefeated ranked Oklahoma team fell to a bad Longhorns team on national television. They also recorded their first loss in the fifth game of last season but it was against TCU. Some are suggesting the term "Clemsoning" should be changed to "Soonering."

The Longhorns jumped out to a first quarter two touchdown lead thanks to some weak arm-tackling attempts by OU. Bevo held on by beating the Sooners at the line of scrimmage and with tough physical play. After the game, Texas players doused beleaguered coach Charlie Strong with Gatorade and carried him off the field - how sad.

dg

LOOKING A BIT SCARY

Michigan 38 Northwestern 0

I have resisted talking about Northwestern for this very reason: because there is NOTHING to talk about. Michigan on the other hand, is something worth mentioning. Their season opening loss at now #4 Utah is not looking so bad now. In the five games since, the Wolverines defense has given up only 14 points with three straight shutouts. They are holding opponents to 181.3 yards per game but have a turnover margin of -1. In other words, the offense is "good enough" (380 total yds vs. NW). I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but it may not happen until they host Ohio State Thanksgiving weekend. Remaining games: MICH ST, at MINN, RUT, at IND, at PSU, anOSU.

SEC:

Alabama 27 Arkansas 14 - Bama struggled early but a smothering hard-hitting defense sent the Hogs packing. Arky managed only 10 first downs and 204 total yards.
LSU 45 South Carolina 24 - Against a spirited Gamecocks team in a eerie much less than capacity Tigers Stadium, Leonard Fournette had a season low 158 yards and only one touchdown but still topped 1,000 yards for the season. Frosh Derrius Guice added 161 yards on 16 carries with a TD and Darrel Williams ran 10 times for 61 and two scores.
Florida 21 Missouri 3 - You know all those good things I said about Mizzou freshman QB Drew Lock last week? Forget it. He is not ready. Lock was 16 for 39 for 151 yards and 2 INTs. The Gators defense is for real. But how will they do without Will Grier?

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GRAB BAG

Oklahoma State 33 West Virginia 26 (OT) - A nice road win for the Cowpokes (6-0) but how long can they keep this up? I am thinking until Nov 7 hosting TCU.
TCU 52 Kansas State 45 -KState had a chance to be the toast of the town but blew it. The Wildcats squandered both a 35-17 halftime lead and a 11 point fourth quarter lead thanks in part to stupid turnovers. Trevone Boykin was a mere mortal (20-30, 301 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT).
Michigan State 31 Rutgers 24 - Sparty struggled mightily with a freakin' awful Purdue team and followed it up with toiling against New Jersey U. Only a touchdown with 43 ticks remaining saved their hides.
Utah 30 Cal 24 - What should've been a marquee game for the Pac-12 was riddled with giveaways and bad defense. Cal racked up 444 yards but had six turnovers (5 INT, 1 fumble). The Utes had three turnovers of their own (2 INT, 1 fumble) and 433 yards.
Clemson 43 Georgia Tech 24 - I cannot understand why Tech (2-4) hangs onto Paul Johnson and his antiquated triple option. As for the Tigers, they should slither past the rest of their ACC competition (BC, at Miami, at NCSt, FSU, at Syra, Wake, at SC ).
Iowa 29 Illinois 20 - The Hawkeyes are 6-0. Here is to hoping they can wreak some havoc on the B1G.
Florida State 29 Miami (FL) 24 - The 'Noles win a squeaker behind Dalvin Cook's 269 all purpose yards and three TDs. The U loses their second in a row after starting 3-0.
Notre Dame 41 Navy 24 - The Irish clung onto a 27-21 halftime lead before two Navy third quarter fumbles helped the Dames pull away.

Cupcakes

Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)

Ole Miss 52 New Mexico State 3 - NMSU is a horrible team. Yet Hugh Freeze felt the need to leave the starters in the game into the fourth quarter and continue to pass the ball. Stay classy, Hughie.
Mississippi State 45 Troy 17 - An ill Dak Prescott (3-6, 74 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT) left the game after the first four series with a tummy ache but he was not needed as the Bullies built a 38-0 lead and emptied the bench.
Ohio State 49 Maryland 28 - The Terps fired Randy Edsall after this game. What does that say about anOSU? ladies and Gentlemen, your #1 ranked team.
Baylor 66 Kansas 7 - The Jayhawks have gone 12-48 and are on their third coach since firing Mark Mangino for the unforgivable act of going 5-7 in 2009 after bowl wins in three of the previous four seasons. No Regrats!

~~~~~

alabama helmet

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Wisconsin (4-2) won at Nebraska (2-4) 23-21 on a 46-yard field goal with four seconds left.
Middle Tennessee
(2-4) was throttled by Western Kentucky 58-28.
Louisiana Monroe (1-4) had a 24-20 lead but allowed Tulsa to come back with 14 unanswered.
Charleston Southern (4-1) over fellow Big South member Monmouth 37–7.

~~~~~

ELIMINATED:

All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive, but just barely).
GEORGIA
MIZZOU
SOUTHERN CAL
NORTHWESTERN
WEST VIRGINIA
KANSAS STATE
NAVY
Arizona
Arizona State
Arkansas
Auburn
Boise
Boston College
Byu
Colorado
Duke
Georgia Tech
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa State
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisville
Maryland
Miami-Fl
Minnesota
Mississippi State
NC State
Nebraska
North Carolina
Oregon State
Penn State
Pitt
Purdue
Rutgers
South Carolina
Syracuse
Tennessee
Texas
Texas Tech
Vandy
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington
Wazzu
Wisconsin

boxers

THE CONTENDERS

The more it clears up, the cloudier it gets. UGA and So Cal are gone but Oklahoma State and Michigan are making their cases. Can Florida keep it going?

Below is a theorized breakdown of teams that could make it into the playoff:

  • ACC (0 or 1) - Clemson or FSU or none. Weak conference, no superpower.
  • Big Ten (1 or 2) - It is starting to look like an Ohio State-Michigan showdown with potential for both to make it (shudder). Michigan State is crumbling. Interestingly enough, Iowa (6-0) does not play any of those three during the regular season.
  • Big 12 (0 or 1) - TCU, Baylor, Okie State. Oklahoma is treading water. November will be Big 12 Chaos Month.
  • PAC-12 (1 or 2) - Utah, Stanford, or So Cal. UCLA is on life support.
  • SEC (1 or 2) - Texas A&M, LSU, Florida (?). Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss probably cannot afford another loss.
  • Notre Dame - The Irish must run the table to get back in the discussion. Southern Cal and Stanford are still on the schedule.

* 2007 and all that.

~~~~~

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to all the bozos who picked Southern Cal as a playoff team even after the drunken pep rally incident. And to Big Game Mouth Bob Stoops for using his bed as a restroom.

~~~~~

Sad_face_medium

  • No Alabama injuries to report! Roll Tide!
  • UGA's Nick Chubb did not tear his ACL against Tennessee but tore his PCL and 2 other ligaments. He will have surgery once swelling goes down which is believed to be two weeks. There is not much chance he returns even for a bowl game.
  • As if things could not get much worse for Southern Cal, now comes news that the Men of Troy are down a their team captain as senior center Max Tuerk is done for the season after injuring his knee.
  • Ole Miss has announced that Laremy Tunsil will be allowed to return October 24 equivalent to a seven game suspension for impermissible benefits.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • South Alabama and Arkansas State play a rare Tuesday night game tonight.
  • Looks like everyone else is starting to jump on our Toledo bandwagon now that the Rockets (5-0) are ranked AP #22 (Coaches Poll #25). They topped Kent State 38-7. QB Phillip Ely completed 19 of 32 for 205 yards and two touchdowns passes and 0 picks.
  • The AP has not come around to Memphis just yet but the Coaches rank them #22. The Tigers had the weekend off to prep for Ole Miss. Last year, this matchup was a 7-3 game in the fourth quarter before the Rebs exploded for 17 unanswered points. This should be an interesting game.

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STATS OF THE DAY

If Wake Forest-BC had been a soccer game, it would've been a rout. However, the Demon Deacons 3-0 win was anything but. Wake had a grand total of five first downs, 142 total net yards,  two turnovers, ten penalties for 102 yards and STILL WON! BC had 19 first downs, 270 yards and held the ball nine more minutes, but committed four turnovers. The Deacons kicker booted a 24-yard field goal after a fumble deep in Boston College's territory in the third quarter. Under Dave Clawson, Wake Forest is 2-1 in ACC games when they don't score a touchdown, 0-8 when they do.

TRIVIAL STAT OF THE DAY

24: Seven ranked teams gave up 24 points on Saturday. Only Oklahoma lost:

  • LSU 45 South Carolina 24
  • Clemson 43 Georgia Tech 24
  • Notre Dame 41 Navy 24
  • Michigan State 31 Rutgers 24
  • Utah 30 Cal 24
  • Florida State 29 Miami (FL) 24
  • Texas 24 Oklahoma 17

Gump 4 Heisman

HEISMAN HYPE
With the exception of one year, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. That being the case, we'll bring you "Who Will Win" and "Who Should Win".

  • Who Will Win - Leonard Fournette is still the leader. Despite a flat game, the Trevone Boykin hype machine is revving up. Nick Chubb is eliminated. So Cal's Cody Kessler is likely out of the running as well.
  • Who Should Win - Fournette is the man right now but the LSU schedule is about to get pretty tough. FSU's Dalvin Cook is nipping at this heels.

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Auburn at Kentucky 6pm/7pm, ESPN ESPN - Whoda thunk this would be a close matchup?
UCLA at Stanford 9:30pm/10:30pm, ESPN ESPN - Elimination game.
* There are four FBS games on Friday but not much in the way of national importance.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

SEC:

Ole Miss at Memphis 11am/12pm, ABCABC(or ESPN2) - An intriguing matchup.
Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State 11am/12pm, SECN- More meh from the Bullies.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina 3pm/4pm, SECN- yuck.
Florida at LSU 6pm/7pm, ESPN ESPN - This game will tell who is for real.
Missouri at Georgia 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN- Loser is likely eliminated from winning the SEC East.

* Tennessee has the weekend off to prep for Bama. THANKS AGAIN SEC SCHEDULE MAKERS!
* Arky rests up for Aubie.

NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST:

West Virginia at Baylor 11am/12pm, FOX FOX wordmark.svg - Can the couch-burners play spoiler?
Iowa at Northwestern 11am/12pm, ESPN2 - Possible elimination game.
Louisville at Florida State 11am/12pm, ESPN ESPN - 'Ville has won two straight FWIW.
Oklahoma at Kansas State 2:30pm/3:30pm, ABC ABC- Both teams coming off disappointing losses.
Michigan State at Michigan 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN ESPN - Possible elimination game.
Boston College at Clemson 6pm/7pm, ESPNUESPNU - Defense vs. Offense. (BC is the defense)
TCU at Iowa State 6pm/7pm, ESPN2 - Another cupcake for the Frogs.
USC at Notre Dame 6:30pm/7:30pm, NBC - The Irish are catching the Trojans at the perfect time.
Penn State at Ohio State 7pm/8pm, ABC ABC- PSU has quietly moved to 5-1. Yes, it's been cupcake city but a guy can hope, right?

CAN'T SLEEP?

Arizona State at Utah 9pm/10pm, ESPN ESPN - Can the Sun Devils show some fight?

alabama logo script a 100x100

#ALABAMA


ALABAMA at Texas A&M 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS - Unka Verne and Gary D with Allie LaBluntForceTrauma

#RollTide!