WELL! With more coach firings, crazy endings, and ranked upsets, things get a little more interesting every week. The possibilities of two-loss team(s) getting into the four team playoff are looking more and more likely.
Only eight P5 unbeatens remain:
BIG TEN: Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa. OSU-MSU play on Nov. 21. Winner likely gets Iowa in the B10CG.
BIG 12: TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State - all will play each other.
Ten P5 teams have one loss.
Of the mid-majors, only Memphis, Temple, Houston, and Toledo remain undefeated. The first three on that list all play each other, meaning at LEAST two of them will suffer a loss. Toledo does not have the cache, so theirs is a moot point. Only an undefeated Temple (win over Penn State; Notre Dame on Saturday) would have an inkling of an outside chance of getting into the playoffs. But even that is a long shot.
This week is the last hurrah for the AP and Coaches Polls as the College Football Playoff Committee will release their first rankings on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. If last season is any indication, the Committee does not take too much stock into what the pollsters think.
This is excellent news because clearly the committee puts much more effort into this process than these nerd reporters and coaches (or coaches' secretaries) do. Exhibit 1, look at some of the teams the AP has ranked:
Tell me honestly: do you think any of these teams are better than, say, Mississippi State or Texas A&M? If they played an SEC schedule, why kind of record would they have? I know some of you might say "well Memphis and Toledo already beat an SEC team!" Well kudos to them. But can they do it eight times over a 12 game schedule? No.
Good riddance to the AP and Coaches Polls. Long live the realism of the CFPC! [Can you believe I just wrote that?]
Southern Cal 42 Utah 24
The other shoe finally dropped on the Utes unlikely run. After Utah went up 14-7 in the first frame, So Cal woke up and scored five touchdowns countered only by a field goal and a garbage time touchdown against the Trojans reserves. Southern Cal's Cameron Smith had three interceptions returning one for a 54 yard touchdown. Utah's Travis Wilson threw a fourth pick as well. Cody Kessler passed for 264 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score, while JuJu Smith-Schuster had eight catches for 143 yards and a TD.
Third quarter. Stadium is EMPTY. Props to my dedicated friends for the vid. @MiamiHurricanes #FireAlGolden pic.twitter.com/X817k0T1JJ— Andrew Lax (@realandrewlax) October 24, 2015
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The above was a Twitter video of a near empty Dolphins Stadium from the Clemson-Miami game but I guess the guy deleted it.]
Clemson 58 Miami FL 0
Saturday was the worst loss in the 90-year history of the Miami football team and another low point for a once proud program. As a result, coach Al Golden was let go after posting a 32-25 (17-18) record in four and a half seasons. To his credit, he never had a losing regular season. Several former Miami stars took to Twitter to rip Golden and some bozo(s) wasted money having planes with "FIRE GOLDEN" banners fly over the stadium.
But there is a real quandary with this job. The biggest problem is the gameday experience. The 'Canes play at the Dolphins' Met Life Stadium which is about 20 miles from campus. Attendance has been abysmal for several years now to the point of embarrassment. How can you recruit a kid (like Miami native Amari Cooper) to play at the 'U' when less than 10,000 fans show up? Golden isn't/wasn't the problem. On the contrary, I think he gets another head coaching job real soon and does a fine job at it. What this program needs is an on-campus or walkable distanced stadium. Secondly, before you criticize, why don't you start showing up at the games and support your team? If I was Miami Athletic director Blake James, I would tell these idiots to put up with some real money or shut up. Many of these critics need to start looking in the mirror before they take to Twitter.
Miami fans think they are going to get a Saban/Urban-like replacement but they are in for a big shock. Much like Texas, nobody of high stature will want this thankless job.
As for the
game slaughter, the Canes were outgained 567 to 146. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (15-19, 143 yds, TD) did not have to do much more than hand the ball off to Wayne Gallman (22-118, TD) or run the ball himself (8-98, TD).
Georgia Tech beats Florida State 22-16 on this blocked kick. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/Nd3y2dV8EX— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 25, 2015
Georgia Tech 22 Florida State 16
Two weekends in a row, we have seen a high-profile team lose a game they shoulda-coulda won but fell victim to a crazy last second special teams gaffe. A blocked FSU field goal attempt was returned for the winning score as time expired. Managing only 16 points against a Yellow Jackets (3-5) defense that had yielded 30 or more points in each of their last five game, the 'Noles deserved to lose this game. FSU managed 60 yards rushing, 17 first downs, and 2 of 10 on third down conversions. Tech had only 15 first downs, 67 passing yards, and two turnovers to FSU's one. Should we start searching the skies for planes with banners?
LOOKING A BIT SCARY
Ohio State 49 Rutgers 7
Dang it all that Urban Meyer has finally wised up and turned the reins over to J.T. Barrett. And imagine that! Look what happens! Finally, they put together a full game. They are lucky head-case/future NFL bust Cardale Jones didn't lose them a game or two to this point.
Alabama 19 Tennessee 14 - A win is a win is a win. It wasn't pretty but the Crimson Tide came out on top of their ninth straight TSIO.
Arkansas 54 Auburn 46 4OT - What a mess. Arky looked like they were going to run away with this game after the first possession but forgot that the game was not being played under sudden death rules. The Hogs let Auburn hang around way too long and took it to overtime(s). If I was a Razorbacks fan (thank you dear Lord for not making me a Razorbacks fan, Amen), I would be getting a little tired of Bert's act.
Vanderbilt 10 Missouri 3 - This game had the lowest over/under that Las Vegas sportsbooking has offered all season of 34. Boy, were they generous! An absolute dreadful game.
LSU 48 W Kentucky 20 - Not sure what to think here. WKU has a really good QB but the rest of the team stinks. Fournette got in a buck fifty, while Brandon Harris threw for a career best 286 and three TDs.
Ole Miss 23 Texas A&M 3 - I think Bama broke Kyle Allen. For awhile, he was looking like the best signal caller in the conference. Now he looks like an empty shell of a QB. And for some unexplained reason, Kevin Sumlin did not put Kyler Murray in the game. Could this relationship be heading for an ugly divorce?
Mississippi St 42 Kentucky 16 - Dak Prescott looked like last season's Heisman Trophy-contender, passing for 348 yards and three scores while rushing for 117 yards and three more, all season highs. The Bullies picked off three UK passes.
UCLA 40 Cal 24 - The Bruins righted a wrong and removed the Golden Bears from the unworthy headlines. Cal held an early 3-0 lead but Josh Rosen (34-47, 399 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT) led UCLA on a 23-point run to put this game away early.
Temple 24 East Carolina 14 - The Pirates looked like they were poised to ruin the Owls season but two second-half turnovers and two blocked punts were their undoing. Temple catalyst Jahad Thomas was held to 66 yards.
Duke 45 Virginia Tech 43 4OT - Coach David Cutcliffe has Duke sitting at 6-1 and bowl eligible again. Thomas Sirk threw four touchdown passes and ran for a 2-point conversion in the fourth overtime to upset the Hokies (3-5).
Northwestern 30 Nebraska 28 - I know it's only his first season in Lincoln but the hiring of Mike Riley just seems like a very bad marriage that is not going to get better any time soon. The Cornhuskers wilt to 3-5.
Navy 31 Tulane 14 - There is so much talk about the other AAC teams that nobody has noticed that the Midshipmen are 5-1 with their only loss coming at Notre Dame. I may have to adopt them. Here is hoping they ruin Houston and/or Memphis' season(s) in the coming weeks.
Washington State 45 Arizona 42 - Don't look now but the Pirate has Wazzu at 5-2 (3-1). After handing early season media darling 'Zona their third loss, the Cougars are one victory away from bowl eligibility.
Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)
Baylor 45 Iowa State 27 - Loki paid a visit to Waco this past Saturday. He blessed the Bears with victory over mighty Iowa State (2-5) and took his payment in the form of a starting QB (see injuries section below).
Michigan State 52 Indiana 26 - This was a two-point game entering the fourth quarter until Sparty reeled off 24 unanswered in the final period.
Stanford 31 Washington 14 - Christian McCaffrey might be the first running back to have over 100 yards rushing (109) and receiving (112) in the same game this season. I am too lazy to check.
Oklahoma State 58 Kansas 10 - Are these guys for real? Probably not. But let's hope they can cause some Big 12 chaos.
Houston 59 UCF 10 - I feel obligated to report this cuz a bunch of idiot reporters voted them #21. It won't last.
BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Wisconsin (6-2) wins at Illinois 24-13.
Middle Tennessee (3-5) stomped by La Tech 45-16.
Louisiana Monroe (1-6) embarrassed by Idaho 27-13.
Charleston Southern (6-1) shuts out Gardner-Webb 34-0.
Georgia (5-2) had a bye week.
All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive, but just barely). It is tempting to add FSU and Utah to this list but there is still a ways to go on this journey.
Texas A&M is the only team likely eliminated. As mentioned, it would be premature to write off FSU or Utah.
Below is a theorized breakdown of teams that could make it into the playoff:
- ACC (0 or 1) - Clemson. FSU hanging on for dear life.
- Big Ten (1 or 2) - Ohio State and Michigan State play Nov. 21. Winner likely gets Iowa (7-0).
- Big 12 (0 or 1) - TCU, Baylor, Okie State. Oklahoma is treading water. November will be Big 12 Chaos Month. Lack of a championship game will keep the XII from getting two teams in the playoff.
- PAC-12 (1
or 2or 0?) - Could the PAC play themselves out of the playoff? Utah (6-1) and Stanford (6-1) cannot afford another loss. Can a two loss PAC team get in?
- SEC (1 or 2) - LSU is in the driver's seat. Alabama and Florida probably cannot afford another loss. Texas A&M is finished.
- Notre Dame (6-1) - The Irish must run the table to get back in the discussion. The next two games, @Temple and @Pitt, are no gimmes.
Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to the Seminoles. They have been playing these tight games against inferior opponents like this for four seasons now. It was about time the chickens came home to roost.
- Junior safety Eddie Jackson suffered a sprained knee during the first quarter against Tennessee. He returned after halftime. Freshman safety Ronnie Harrison was also injured during the first half. Senior right tackle Dominick Jackson got hurt on Derrick Henry's go-ahead touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Both have sprained ankles. With a week off to rest, all three should return for the Annual Game of the Century (AGOTC).
- Baylor is in BIG trouble. Quarterback Seth Russell suffered a broken bone in his neck against Iowa State and is out for the season. True freshman QB Jarrett Stidham gets the nod.
- UCLA is again bitten by the injury bug. Star running back Paul Perkins (754 yds, 8 TD) suffered an apparent knee injury in the first half of the Bruins' 40-24 win over Cal on Thursday night. In addition, Bruins leading tackler Isaako Savaiinaea was carted off in the second half. Coach Jim Mora, when asked about the injuries, said only, "Not good. They're not good." Thanks, coach.
- Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams underwent neck surgery Sunday and is expected to make a full recovery. The true freshman was carted from the field during the third quarter of the Razorbacks’ quadruple-overtime win over Auburn Saturday.He is the Hogs second leading rusher (56-254) behind Alex Collins.
- South Alabama (3-4) lost 36-18 to Texas State. The Jags bowl hopes are waning.
- Toledo (7-0) trailed UMass 28-10 at halftime. They retook the lead on three third quarter TD passes by Phillip Ely (26-47, 355 yds, 5 TD, 3 INT) and never looked back winning 51-35.
- Memphis (7-0) defeated Tulsa in a wild high-scoring affair 66-42. The combined score is the most by FBS teams this season. See STAT OF THE DAY below.
- GO NAVY! (5-1) I have adopted them. Of their five wins, all have been by double digits. The average margin of victory has been 22.2. Their only loss came at Notre Dame 41-24. The Midshipmen still have Memphis (Nov. 7) and Houston (Nov. 27) to play.
STAT OF THE DAY
Memphis and Tulsa combined for 108 points, 1,238 total yards, 62 first downs, and 23 penalties.
LET'S GO BOWLING!
33 teams are bowl eligible including Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. UCF, Kansas, North Texas, and New Mexico State are all eliminated from bowl eligibility with seven or more losses.
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. Clemson's Deshaun Watson is getting some noise for beating up on the weak-ass ACC defenses. Stanford's Christian McCaffrey is getting the typical west coast love. Whatever happened to Toby Gerhart anyway?
- Who Should Win - Fournette is still out front until the AGOTC. FSU's Dalvin Cook hurt his chances with only 82 yards on 17 carries against the wet paper towel defense of Georgia Tech.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
UNC at Pitt 6pm/7pm, ESPN - The Tar Heels are MUCH improved since their faceplant against South Carolina opening weekend.
West Virginia at TCU 6:30pm/7:30pm, FOXS1 - ya think Dana Holgorsen's act is getting old in Morgantown?
Friday, October 30, 2015
There are four games but nothing worth mentioning. Just turn on ESPN if you are that bored.
Ole Miss at Auburn 11am/12pm, ESPN - Can't believe I am saying this but root for Aubie.
South Carolina at Texas A&M 11am/12pm, SECN- Can the Aggies get it back together?
Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville) 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS - Winner is in the driver's seat for the SEC East crown.
UT-Martin at Arkansas 3pm/4pm, SECN- Move along. Nothing to see here.
Vanderbilt at Houston 6pm/7pm, ESPN2
- The 'Dores are probably regretting scheduling this game.
Tennessee at Kentucky 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN- Both teams are at a tipping point.
* Alabama, LSU, Mizzou, and Miss St. all have open dates.
NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST (slim pickings, again):
Syracuse at Florida State 11am/12pm, ABC
- How far down the rabbit hole will FSU fall?
Clemson at NC State 2:30pm/3:30pm, ABC
- Is Clemson overdue for a letdown?
Maryland at Iowa 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN2
- No reason to think the Hawkeyes lose this one but we can hope.
Tulane at Memphis 6pm/7pm, CBSSN – Train keeps a rollin'.
Miami-FL at Duke 6pm/7pm, ESPNU- Schadenfreude, anyone?
Notre Dame at Temple 7pm/8pm, ABC
- Who would've thought two months ago that this game would have national implications?
Stanford at Washington State 9:30pm/10:30pm ESPN - After losing to Portland State, Wazzu is 5-1.
Air Force at Hawaii 9:30pm/10:30pm CBSSN - Hickam Air Force Base in the HOUSE!
Arizona at Washington 10pm/11pm FOXS1 - This is what RichRod was complaining about.
It is okay to get married this coming Saturday. ALABAMA has an open date as they prepare for the Annual "Game of the Century!"
November 7 will be a Saturday to remember. Whatever tasks or chores you have to do, get them done this coming weekend. If anyone has invited you to a wedding or some 2-year olds birthday party, make up an excuse. The only thing you should be doing is occupying space in Bryant-Denny Stadium or rooted in front of a big screen TV. Just a taste of Nov. 7:
LSU-Alabama ~ FSU-Clemson ~ Arky-Ole Miss ~ Notre Dame-Pitt ~ TCU-Okie St