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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: CHAOS 2015

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Stormy weather and underdogs wreaked havoc across the much of the east coast. The weather system did not make its way to the west coast yet Hurricane Bercovici made landfall in Pasadena. Four favored top ten teams saw defeat and several others struggled mightily with cupcakes.

Many Week 5 results have sent shock waves throughout college football and warmed up the coaching carousel rumors. It has even made its way into the NFL. Just a week ago, it seemed that Charlie Strong's position in Austin was safe after a season plus. However, a 50-7 shellacking at the hands of TCU have weakened that foundation. Simultaneously in the NFL ranks, the Chip Kelly experiment in Philadelphia (1-3) has grown stale. Early rumors have him returning to college ranks pretty soon. IF that happens, you would have to think the Longhorns would jump at the chance, critics be damned.

In the Peach State, the Mark Richt grumbling has begun... again. This summer I mused "The Catch-22 for UGA is how do you fire a guy who consistently wins and runs a clean program?" and it still applies. There is a meme that has been going around the internet for a few years now about how "Mark Richt has lost control of the program." It is meant as a joke meant to mock delusional UGA fans but it is based in some truth. Below is the very moment that the Bulldogs lost their game with Alabama:

In case you missed it, several Georgia players went over to chirp at the Bama players as they ran on the field. A totally classless act AND better than any bulletin board material ever! THANK YOU, UGA! To wit, Richt has no excuse for letting this happen.

[Just a thought here: if I am AD at South Carolina and UGA and Richt part ways, I am on the first plane, train, or automobile to Athens. Happy golfing Steve-O!]

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Alabama 38 Georgia 10

Since the 2008 Bama-UGA game is referred to the "The Blackout", many are referring to this year's version as "The Washout". It was a dominating effort by the Crimson Tide in all facets of the game. If Bama made one mistake, it was allowing Chubb to go on a fourth quarter 83-yard gallop with the score at 38-3 to keep his 100-yard per game streak alive - which must seem like an hollow record considering the outcome of the game. Take away that one run and Chubb had 63 yards on 19 carries for 3.3 yards per carry. The stats of the previous two UGA games for QB Greyson Lambert (South Carolina 24 for 25 passing and Southern U. 9 for 10) proved to be the aberration we all thought it was. He was an appalling 10 for 24 for 86 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT.

In recent weeks, I have been all sunny skies in my optimism of Alabama's chances of getting back into the playoff race. I am glad I did because they are right back in the thick of it [no pushing getting back on the bandwagon please]. Meanwhile to the east, the entire state of Georgia has been put on suicide watch. Members of UGA Nation are at various stages of grief.

Florida 38 Ole Miss 10

That is not a typo. Another 38-10 blow out from the SEC. Keeping with tradition, Ole Miss delivered a spectacular face plant after ascending to the top five in the nation. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly finished 26-of-40 for 259 yards, with four sacks, two fumbles and an interception. The Rebs managed 69 rushing yards with 40 of them coming from Kelly. Florida freshman quarterback Will Grier was outstanding (24-29 for 271 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT).

Coach Jim McElwain has done a phenomenal job of whipping this undisciplined but talented team into shape. IMHO, the one moment that the light went on for this team came when Coach Mac ripped running back Kelvin Taylor a new one for incurring a penalty after making a throat slash motion celebrating a touchdown against East Carolina in Week 2.

He went a bit ballistic but it was the kick in the pants this team needed. Witness the other players as well. They dare not say a word or move a muscle. (NSFW: If you want to hear what he said.) To Taylor's credit, he could've moped and listened to idiots like Desmond Howard who thought McElwain should be suspended. Instead, he reevaluated his priorities and has come back a strong as ever. Go Gata is suddenly the favorite to win the SEC East.

If you are familiar with my rantings, you know that I am a fan of traditional old school football where the coach is a grumpy tyrant who does not want to be BFFs with his players. Like Saban, McElwain is in that realm. Which leads me to...

Clemson 24 Notre Dame 22

Dabo Swinney is a good coach, an excellent recruiter (why do you think SC is so bad?), and I want to cheer for him since he played for Bama back in the day. But his buffoonery is going to hold him back from putting together a complete season. He has started this custom of doing absurd post-game interviews in big wins like a giddy little schoolgirl drunk on wine mommy left on the table. Additionally, he once did this goofy dance in the locker room with the players after a big win and now they all come to expect it every time, because... ya know... we are all BFFs and all. Fambly! I am not anti-havin' fun. A head coach just needs to know how and when to celebrate. Next up is a trap game against a bad Georgia Tech team (2-3).

As for the game itself, the Tigers did their best to Clemson this game away after building a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter. Notre Dame fumbled away the second half kickoff that the Tigers converted into a TD. Then they shut it down. The Irish roared back with 19 points in the final quarter but Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer threw an INT on their own 35. Clemson could've iced the game but failed to make a first down and missed a field goal. Kizer drove his team to the Clemson red zone but WR Chris Brown fumbled at the two yard line. The Purple and Orange - as is their wont to do - went three and out and gave the ball back at their own 32. This time, the Irish cashed in with a score but failed on a two-point run conversion.

Arizona State 38 UCLA 23

The Pac-12 is starting to eat their own. Coming into the weekend, the Bruins were the top ranked team from the conference. Playing an unranked 2-2 Sun Devils at home should've been in their favor but ASU had other ideas. Mike Bercovici passed for 273 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. UCLA gave up two safeties and possessed the ball almost 15 minutes less then their opponent. The Bruins will need A LOT of help to get back in the chase for playoff spot. They travel to Stanford this weekend.

Ohio State 34 Indiana 27 & Michigan State 24 Purdue 21

The Buckeyes and Spartans both escaped upset bids from the dregs of the Big Ten. A bad snap on 4th and goal with 8 seconds left put Indiana in the loss column. Purdue had a fourth down pass knocked down with 58 seconds left.

MSU dropped from second ranked to fourth. Somehow, Ohio State stayed at the top ahead of TCU and Baylor. Oh, to have OSU's schedule... If last season was any indication, the College Football Playoff Committee does not care too much about what the polls say.

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

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LOOKING A BIT SCARY

Texas A&M 30 Mississippi State 17

TAMU's Kyle Allen threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. The Aggies were 10 of 20 on third down and rolled up 516 total yards. MSU's Dak Prescott continues to be a one man team. Fred Ross (11 catches, 103 yds) has eclipsed De'Runnya Wilson (3-65) as his favorite target.

The Aggies are looking pretty strong but could only ascend to number nine in the AP Poll below LSU (#7) and Alabama (#8). They get this weekend off to rest up for the Crimson Tide. THANKS SEC SCHEDULE MAKERS!

SEC:

LSU 44 EMU 22 - Three consecutive 228+ yard rushing games for Leonard Fournette is a wonderful accomplishment but why is there a need for 26 carries against Eastern Michigan (1-4)? What is wrong with this picture? This was an 8 point game in the fourth quarter. Brandon Harris was a pathetic 4 of 14 for 80 yards.
Auburn 35 San Jose State 21 - Running back Peyton Barber (28-147 yds, 5 TD) is one of the few bright spots for the Tigers these days. This was a one score game with 5 minutes remaing. Happy Homecoming, Aubie!
Arkansas 24 Tennessee 20 - Everyone's darling for the SEC East loses yet another double-digit lead. At least for the Vols, they didn't wait for the fourth quarter to blow this one. Alex Collins ran for 154 and two scores while freshman Rawleigh (not a misspelling) Williams added 100 yards of his own. Where has he been hiding? Collins has gone over 150 yards in three straight and scored in every game this season.
Missouri 24 South Carolina 10 - No quarterback controversy here. Mizzou's highly touted freshman Drew Lock (21-28, 136 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT) was far better than anything suspended Maty Mauk has done this season. Furthermore, it was announced Monday that Mauk will stay suspended indefinitely. SC's frosh QB Lorenzo Nunez did not fare as well as his counterpart, throwing 3 INTs.
Kentucky 34 Eastern Kentucky 27 – OT - The Fighting Lee Majors gave UK a run for their money. This is the same team that lost to NC State 35-0. Turrible.
Vanderbilt 17 Middle Tennessee 13 - blah blah blah, you don't really care, do you?

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GRAB BAG

TCU 50 Texas 7 - Consarnits abound! How bad has it gotten for Texas? Longhorns cornerback Kris Boyd retweeted a Texas A&M fan about transferring... during HALFTIME! Things are not well in Austin.
Baylor 63 Texas Tech 35 - How long can the Bears rely on outscoring their opponents?
Oklahoma 44 West Virginia 24 - WVU had no business being ranked.
Northwestern 27 Minnesota 0 - Not...Gonna...Talk...About...North...Western...
Stanford 55 Arizona 17 - The Trees keep plugging along, dashing hopes.
Oklahoma State 36 Kansas State 34 - The Cowpokes are 5-0. They should get to 8-0 but finish with TCU, ISU, Baylor, and Oklahoma. OUCH!
Navy 33 Air Force 11 – The Midshipmen look like a shoe-in for another Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.
Cincinnati 34 Miami (FL) 23 - It might surprise you to know that this is Miami's first loss on the season. More to come...
Illinois 14 Nebraska 13 – Ya think the 'Huskers fans are missing Bo Pelini right about now?

Cupcakes

Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)

Florida State 24 Wake Forest 16 - The Demon Deacons threw an interception into the end zone with 21 ticks on the clock to end their upset bid.
Michigan 28 Maryland 0 - The Wolverines have pitched back-to-back shutouts and have given up 14 points in the last four games. Next two games: Northwestern and Michigan State.
Cal 34 Washington State 28 - This is the last you will hear from the 5-0 Bears with Utah, UCLA, So Cal, and Oregon coming up.
Penn State 20 Army 14 - Three lost fumbles by the Black Knights and PSU still only won by 6 at home.
Liberty 41 Georgia State 33 – Send the Panthers to FCS! Turrible!

~~~~~

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BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Wisconsin (3-2) loss to Iowa (5-0) at home by the score of 10-6. The Badgers have been playing without injured running back Corey Clement and lost their leading receiver in the third quarter.
Middle Tennessee
(2-3) led 13-3 in the fourth but Vandy came back with two late TDs.
Louisiana Monroe (1-3) lost to Georgia Southern 51-31.
Charleston Southern (3-1) had the weekend off.

~~~~~

ELIMINATED:

All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive, but just barely).
TENNESSEE
MISSISSIPPI STATE
MIAMI-FL
WISCONSIN
TEXAS TECH
ARIZONA
NC STATE
INDIANA
Arizona State
Arkansas
Auburn
Boise
Boston College
Byu
Colorado
Duke
Georgia Tech
Illinois
Iowa State
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisville
Maryland
Minnesota
Nebraska
Oregon State
Penn State
Pitt
Purdue
Rutgers
South Carolina
Syracuse
Texas
North Carolina
Vandy
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington
Wazzu

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THE CONTENDERS

Are you believing in my two-loss playoff team theory yet? A few teams took big hits this weekend but are still alive.

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) - Ohio State/Michigan State winner or Wisconsin. OSU vs MSU (Nov. 21) will likely erase one team with the winner playing some underwhelming team in the B1GCG.
  • Big 12 (0 or 1) - Oklahoma, TCU, or Baylor. Will Okie State have a say in this conference?
  • PAC-12 (1 or 2) - Utah, Stanford, or So Cal. UCLA is on life support.
  • SEC (1 or 2) - Texas A&M, LSU, 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.

~~~~~

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Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Hugh Freeze since he forgot to give glory to God for humbling him in defeat. Also a big S.U. goes to UCLA, "the UGA of the West".

~~~~~

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  • Alabama WR Richard Mullaney appears to be a little banged up but will be ready to go for Arkansas. No other Bama injuries to report! Roll Tide!
  • Mississippi State’s secondary takes a big hit as starting safety Kendrick Market has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Michigan loses a leader on defense with senior LB Mario Ojemudia rupturing an Achilles. He will not return this season.
  • Florida State RB Dalvin Cook ran for a 94-yard score on his first touch against Wake Forest. His second carry went for no gain. After catching a pass two plays later, his day was done after an apparent hamstring injury. Do you think they missed him? He is questionable for the Miami game.
  • Ohio State WR Corey Smith (leg) is out for the year.
  • Wisconsin expects to be without wide receiver Alex Erickson and tight end Austin Traylor Saturday against host Nebraska.
  • After appearing in just one game this season, Georgia will shut it down for promising linebacker Reggie Carter due to nagging shoulder problems.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • South Alabama gets past Troy 24-18 to win the Battle for the Belt, a grand tradition that dates back to those heady days of 2012. The Jags have won the last two meetings after Troy won the first two. USA is now 3-2. The Trojans fall to 1-3.
  • Toledo remains unbeaten topping Ball State 24-10. QB Phillip Ely completed 16 of 22 for 164 yards and two touchdowns passes but also threw a pair of picks.
  • Memphis rolls to 5-0 with a 24-17 win over South Florida. Up Next: Ole Miss visits the Liberty Bowl!

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UGLY STAT OF THE DAY

Virginia Tech averaged less than 1.9 yards per play against Pittsburgh. VaTech had a total of 100 yards with 9 on the ground on 53 plays. A free tip to Hokies boosters: Frank Beamer will never retire.

A LITTLE TRIVIA

There are three quarterbacks starting for FBS teams who are fraternal nephews of former starting NFL QBs: Boise's Brett Rypien: Mark Rypien; Ole Miss' Chad Kelly: Jim Kelly; and Boston College's Troy Flutie: Doug Flutie.

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 - Until somebody stops Leonard Fournette or unless he gets injured, it is his to lose. Some lazy voters will back Nick Chubb though he was highly ineffective against Bama.
  • Who Should Win - Fournette is the man right now but it is still October. Baylor RB Shock Linwood is putting together a solid year (584, 6 TD, 9.4 ypc) after 1,252 yards and 16 scores last season.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

SEC:

LSU at South Carolina 11am/12pm, ESPN Fournette goes for another 200+.
New Mexico State at Ole Miss 11am/12pm, SECN - The Rebs lick their wounds.
Georgia at Tennessee 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS - Two suddenly desperate teams.
Troy at Mississippi State 3pm/4pm, SECN - Meh.
Florida at Missouri 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN - This may be the best SEC game of the week. CBS probably wishes they had picked this game.

* TAMU, Auburn, UK, and Vandy have the weekend off.

NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST:

Illinois at Iowa 11am/12pm, ESPNUESPNU- 4-1 vs. 5-0. Whoda thunk it?
Oklahoma at Texas 11am/12pm, ABCABC - This is gonna get UGLY.
Indiana at Penn State 11am/12pm, ESPN2 - Indy gives PSU fits.
Georgia Tech at Clemson 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN2 - Trap game for Clemson?
Navy at Notre Dame 2:30pm/3:30pm, NBC - Possible letdown for the Irish? Probably not.
Northwestern at Michigan 2:30pm/3:30pm, BTN - Elimination game.
Oklahoma State at West Virginia 6pm/7pm ESPN2 - Possible elimination game.
TCU at Kansas State 6:30pm/7:30pm, FOX FOX wordmark.svg - Does the Winter Warlock have a little magic left?
Miami (FL) at Florida State 7pm/8pm ABCABC - Once a linchpin of CFB, it's now just another game.
Cal at Utah 9pm/10pm ESPNESPN - Possible elimination game.

CAN'T SLEEP?

San Diego State at Hawaii 10:59pm/11:59pm FoxSportsPacific?

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#ALABAMA


Arkansas at ALABAMA 6pm/7pm ESPN ESPN - Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly RowedTheBoatAshore

#RollTide!