[ED. NOTE: Please forgive any typos. This was mistakenly posted before final proofreading.]
Week 10 did not disappoint.
First off, we can start casting off all those mid-major schools that the national media had been frothing at the mouth over lately. Temple lost last week, while Toledo and Memphis went down this week. Houston is barely at 9-0 but that should end this coming Saturday against Memphis. Two weeks ago I posited whether the following teams were worthy of AP rankings:
Whatcha think now?
The College Football Playoff Committee came out with their first rankings last Tuesday and sent some pretty clear messages. The main thing is that the CFPC actually watches the games (or at least extended highlights) and not just look at records or final scores. Who you play and how you win counts.
With three undefeated Big 12 teams after Week 9, none of them found their way into the first CFP Top 4. That was a clear and repeated shot across B12 Commish Bill Bowlsby's desk that said "pick up the phone and get your conference to twelve teams!"
One interesting aspect of this philosophy will be how they treat Notre Dame. As an independent, they do not play in a championship game. I cannot imagine a one loss Irish team leapfrogging any one-loss Power 5 team who has the schedule to back it up.
The first CFP Top 8:
- Clemson - defeated #16 FSU 23-13.
LSU- lost at #4 Bama 30-16.
- Ohio State - unimpressive home win over unranked Minnesota 28-14.
- ALABAMA - defeated #2 LSU 30-16.
- Notre Dame - beat an overrated Pitt team 42-30
- Baylor - escaped K-State 31-24.
Michigan State- lost to 6-loss Nebraska 39-38.
TCU- upset by #14 Oklahoma State 49-29.
This evening, the Committee will release their second rankings. My prediction of the CFP Top 6:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
In other CFP news, it was announced on Wednesday that the 2018 Championship Game (from the 2017 season) will be played in Atlanta at the soon-to-be-opened gargantuan Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
GUMP OF THE DAY: It is possible that #Alabama could play in Atlanta 3 times in the 2017 season: Week 1 vs FSU, SECCG, and CFP Champ Game.— C B (@CB969onRBR) November 4, 2015
Nebraska 39 Michigan State 38
With the 'Huskers having an embarrassingly horrific season, this upset win was a bit of a surprise. However, Sparty losing is not that much of a shock. To this point, they were barely beating the likes of Rutgers and Purdue, plus the miracle crazy bounce win against Michigan. Add in the devalued win at Oregon and it was clear that they were going to get beat at some point before December.
Appropriately enough, the Spartans lost on a wacky controversial late score. Tommy Armstrong drove Nebraska 91 yards in 38 seconds, hitting Brandon Reilly with a 30-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left to hand Michigan State their first loss. On the play, Reilly had stepped out of bounds and you can see the official had thrown his hat to signify as much. However, a ruling stated that he had been forced out of bounds. On Sunday, the Big Ten backed up the on-field officials and replay officials ruling: saying Reilly "returned to the field of play and established himself before catching the touchdown pass. The instant replay crew then stopped the game to review if there was clear evidence of contact, if the Nebraska player re-established himself in the field of play and completed the catch. Per NCAA rules, the instant replay crew cannot review the severity of contact, as that is a judgment call handled by the officials on the field. .... The instant replay crew did confirm contact between the players, that the wide receiver re-established himself in the field of play and completed the catch."
Oklahoma State 49 TCU 29
The Cowpokes owned the Frogs on this day, building leads of 35-9 and 42-16 before TCU was able to get a pair of late TDs to make it look closer. OSU's Mason Rudolph completed 16 of 24 for 352 yards and five passing scores against no interceptions.
Trevone Boykin is a fine college quarterback and may be a third day selection in the next NFL Draft. However, he has been leaning on FBS leading WR Josh Doctson for most of this season. Boykin threw three second half interceptions after Doctson left the game with a left wrist injury in the second quarter. Despite 445 yards passing, Boykin completed only 35 of 57 attempts with one TD and four interceptions on the game including a pick-six to put the game on ice.
Clemson 23 Florida State 13
The new media darling has been crowned. To their credit, they have been playing pretty well and have yet to... well, Clemson. FSU's Dalvin Cook rushed for 111 yards and a TD on his first two carries of the game but the 'Noles could not generate much offense after that. Sean Maguire started at QB over Everett Golson and went the distance with a pedestrian 16-29 for 164, 0 TD and a pick. Yet again, another high profile coach sticking with a back-up despite a poor showing (I don't get it). Deshaun Watson and Wayne Gallman both broke the century mark in rushing. B.J. Goodson had two sacks and a fumble recovery for the Tigers. FSU was 2 of 12 on 3rd down efficiency.
Navy 45 Memphis 20
I did not pick an outright upset in this game but I did say that it would be an intriguing matchup. We have been following Memphis all season and know that they are a good team with a good coach. But when an inexperienced team and coach come up against a novelty offense from a team that runs it to perfection, fireworks will fly.
The Middies have a very special player at quarterback running the triple option in Keenan Reynolds. The Antioch, TN native is tied for the most career rushing TDs at 77. Playing in his home state in front of family and friends, he had a chance to break the record from the one yard line up 38-20 with 3:20 left. But instead of thinking of himself, he read the defense and handed off to his back for the score. The Navy and our Nation will be getting a fine officer and a gentleman.
LOOKING A BIT SCARY
Alabama 30 LSU 16
Oh yeah. I am going there. The Crimson Tide seems to be just getting better every week. After dominating wins on the road (Wisky, UGA, TAMU) and struggling in home games (OM, Arky, Tenn), Bama is starting to put it all together. Derrick Henry (210 yards, 3 TDs) had a coming out party while Leonard Fournette (19-31) and his lauded offensive line fizzled. The game's second leading rusher also wore Crimson. Kenyan Drake was 10 for 68 to go with 40 receiving yards on 3 catches. There was no need for cries of "run the damn ball" in Bryant-Denny.
Alabama had 28 first downs to LSU's 12. Total yardage was 434 on 79 plays to 182 on 45 plays. Possession too was in the Tide's favor 39:27 to 20:33.
JUST how we drew it up pic.twitter.com/NYWi0J8QJF— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) November 8, 2015
Arkansas 53 Ole Miss 52 - All the funny bounces went against the Rebels this time. Following a regulation shootout that left the two teams tied at 45, a wild overtime was about to unfold. After Chad Kelly's 8 yard TD run put Ole Miss up in the first extra frame, Arkansas found themselves in a fourth and 25 hole at the 40 yard line due in part to a delay of game penalty and a sack. Brandon Allen found tight end Hunter Henry who was being stopped well short of the first down marker. Yet Henry had the presence of mind to throw a wild lateral in the air before he went down that one-hopped right into the lap of tailback Alex Collins who remarkably serpentined 31 yards to gain a first down. Even more incredible, Collins, not thinking straight, lateraled the ball as he was going down. Fortunately, his teammate who received it was still across the first down marker. Arky scored two plays later and elected to go for a two-point conversion. Allen sprinted out to his right but found himself in the grasp of an Ole Miss defender. Game over, right? Nope, facemask. One more life was all Allen needed as he ran in the winning score from one yard out.
Mississippi State 31 Mizzery 13 - The Tigers showed some real fight and spirit on a soggy Thursday night... and then the second half began. After taking a one-point lead into the locker room, MSU exploded for 17 unanswered third quarter points breaking Mizzou's will. De'Runnya Wilson and Fred Ross both caught two scoring passes.
Florida 9 Vanderbilt 7- The Gators clinched their first SEC East crown since a dude named Tebow was under center in a most forgettable way, playing down to the 'Dores level. After a walk-on kicker who had tried out only weeks before missed a first quarter extra point, you could feel a little hesitancy in the air in the Swamp. The game came down to injured kicker Austin Harding connecting on a 43-yard field goal with :22 to play. The two teams combined for only 23 first downs. Vandy QB Johnny McCrary was 3 of 14 for 30 yds. Florida had 93 total rushing yards.
Georgia 27 Kentucky 3 - Mark Richt continues to juggle quarterbacks managing to squeeze out 90 passing yards between Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey. RB Sony Michel did most of the work (24-165, TD). UGA safety Dominick Sanders had two picks. UK had 10 punts.
Tennessee 27 South Carolina 24 - The Vols had been gaining a reputation for blowing big leads and did so again against SC, letting 17-3 turn into 17-17 and 24-24. A fourth quarter 27-yard field goal gave UT the lead. The Gamecocks managed one last drive and got to the Tennessee red zone but a fumble by senior tight end Jerell Adams at the Vols' 13 ended the game with 42 seconds remaining.
Auburn at Texas A&M - What is Kevin Sumlin doing? For a guy who is supposed to be a quarterback guru, he has been making quite a mess these past two seasons. True freshman Kyler Murray was again atrocious passing 13 for 23, 105 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs. Once again Kyle Allen was passed over for this guy named Jake Hubenak who was 5 of 12 for 32 yards and one TD. Aubie went with Jeremy Johnson at QB after Sean White was a no-go. Johnson was good enough (13-17, 132-1-0). Jovon Robinson ran 27 times for 161 yards and one score. Daniel Carlson kicked four second half field goals to round out the scoring.
Northern Illinois 32 Toledo 27- The dream is over. Early in the first quarter, the Rockets were up 17-7 when an errant snap sent the Huskies back to third and 39. However, Toledo allowed a 50-yard reception for a first down. NIU ended the drive with a field goal but the momentum had swung back in their favor. Toledo could not hold onto a 27-19 fourth quarter lead as NIU twice drove the field to score fourth quarter touchdowns to clinch the upset. Phillip Ely was only 15 of 33 for 136 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT.
Baylor 31 Kansas State 24 - Might 76-year old Bill Snyder be the next "living legend" to be put out to pasture? After Baylor missed a field goal, K-State got the ball back with 44 ticks left. On the first play, Snyder called for a double pass, a play that had worked earlier in the game. First off, it is a low percentage play. Secondly, you already ran it once! It was easily picked off and the Wildcats fell to 3-5. Baylor lives to fight another day.
Notre Dame 42 Pittsburgh 30 - This game was never really in doubt. The score was 42-17 with 5+ to go before the Irish got a little sloppy and gave up two late TDs, one on a fumble return.
Houston 33 Cincinnati 30 - The Cougars eke one out against stupid Tuberville. Cincy's Gunner Kiel's had 523 yards passing.
North Carolina 66 Duke 31 - UNC continues to impress with Marquise Williams throwing for 404 of his school-record 494 yards by halftime.
Washington State 38 Arizona State 24 - How bad is it in the Pac-12? Wazzu is in second place in the North Division at 6-3, 4-2! These same Cougars lost to FCS Portland State in Week 1.
Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)
Iowa 35 Indiana 27 - I'm not buying it.
Ohio State 28 Minnesota 14 - Another snoozer from the nation's #1 team, y'all!
Stanford 42 Colorado 10 - Christian McCaffrey (24-147) ran wild again and even passed for a TD.
Utah 34 Washington 23 - The Utes inch closer to the Pac South title.
Oklahoma 52 Iowa State 16 - Baker Mayfield passed for 342 and three touchdowns and ran for a score to hand ISU defeat number six.
Michigan 49 Rutgers 16 - The Wolverines toyed with the Jersey Boys.
UCLA 41 Oregon State 0 - So THAT is why Mike Riley and Richard Mullaney left Corvallis. The Beavers are now 2-7.
BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Wisconsin (8-2) defeated Maryland 31-24. Just keep winning Badgers.
Middle Tennessee (4-5) upset Marshall (8-2) in 3OT 27-24. Bowl eligibility still possible.
Louisiana Monroe (1-8) was destroyed by Troy 51-14.
Charleston Southern (8-1) doubled up Kennesaw State 28-14, clinches share of Big South title.
Georgia (6-3) labored their way past Kentucky 27-3, became bowl eligible.
Tennessee (5-4) escaped South Carolina 27-24.
All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive, but just barely).
FLORIDA* - Yes, I know they are a one-loss SEC team but there is no way they make it past Atlanta with no kicking game and Treon Harris at QB.
FLORIDA STATE* - The Ga Tech loss will haunt them.
TCU* - a risky call but with no championship game and a weak schedule, it is not likely they get in.
One B12 team down, three to go.
Below is a theorized breakdown of teams that could make it into the playoff:
- ACC (0 or 1) - Clemson should win out but... Clemsoning!
- Big Ten (1
or 2) - Michigan State is probably done. Ohio State is still playing underwhelming ball but keep on winning. Iowa (9-0) is lining up to get their arse kicked in the B10CG.
- Big 12 (0 or 1) - God Bless Texas for beating Oklahoma. After watching the TCU-Okie State game, it looks like the Sooners are the only team in the conference that can play a little D. I predict that they wreak some havoc on the conference in the coming weeks. Baylor is the best shot for a playoff with Oklahoma State right behind them. Oklahoma and TCU are longshots. Lack of a championship game will keep the XII from getting two teams in the playoff.
- PAC-12 (1
or 2or 0?) - Utah (6-1) and Stanford (6-1) are the last teams standing but the schedules are no cakewalk. These two teams likely meet in the Pac-12 Champ Game.
- SEC (1 or 2) - If Alabama and LSU win out, they could both make the playoff. Florida is skating on thin ice.
- Notre Dame (6-1) - The Irish are lucking their way back into the discussion. The showdown with Stanford Nov. 28 looms large.
Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to HUGH FREEZE for not realizing that the season did not end after three weeks!
- No Alabama injuries to report! ROLL TIDE!
- As mentioned above, FBS leading WR Josh Doctson injured his wrist in TCU's loss to Okie State. From replays, it appeared that an opposing player landed on his wrist just as he was bracing himself with it. OUCH!
- Notre Dame leading rusher C.J. Prosise is going through concussion protocol after leaving Saturday's game at Pitt. The Irish play Wake Forest next, so does it really matter?
- After a long drought, Georgia got back to being Georgia with the arrests of freshmen Natrez Patrick and Chauncey Rivers for misdemeanor possession of marijuana early Wednesday morning. Coach Mark Richt suspended the two whippersnappers.
- South Alabama (4-4) wins a shootout with Idaho 52-45. The Jags came back from a first half 24-0 deficit to inch closer to bowl eligibility.
- Toledo (7-1) fell to NIU (see above).
- GO NAVY! (7-1) upsets Memphis (8-1) (see above).
STAT OF THE DAY
UConn and Tulane had nine first downs and 11 punts each in the Huskies 7-3 win. The winning points came on a first quarter pick six. The real crazy stat was the official attendance of 26,775.
LET'S GO BOWLING!
51 teams are bowl eligible for 80 slots. 24 teams are eliminated from bowl eligibility with seven or more losses including five P5 teams: Maryland, Purdue, Oregon State, Kansas, and Boston College. Kansas and UCF are still on track for triple "Golden Sombreros".
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 - This thing is wide open now. I am not sure if Leonard Fournette can get back in the running after being shut down on national TV. Derrick Henry is definitely back in the chase. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson will get votes as well. TCU's Trevone Boykin threw four picks to one TD against Okie State but some lazy and/or biased voters will still pick him.
- Who Should Win - Henry was the star of the day and definitely a finalist. If he can keep this up, Bama might get their second trophy. After sitting out the Syracuse game, FSU's Dalvin Cook was back to his old self with 194 rushing yards on 21 carries against Clemson, but he has been a bit inconsistent this season. Flying under the radar is Dak Prescott. The man should be playing on Sundays right now but for some reason came back for his senior season. With only one interception while playing in the SEC, he has turned a bad MSU team into a ranked 7-2 team.
If it's a Tuesday or a Wednesday, there must be some MACtion on TV. Just turn on one of the many ESPN channels if you are really jonesing for CFB.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Louisiana Lafayette at South Alabama 6:30pm/7:30pm, ESPNU- A MUST win for the 4-4 Jags.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech 6:30pm/7:30, ESPN - VaTech (4-5) NEEDS this game to get bowl eligible.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Southern Cal at Colorado 8pm/9pm, ESPN2
- Friday night and no date? No problem! Here's some crappy Pac-12 football for you!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Georgia at Auburn 11am/12pm, CBS- The earliest starting time for this game in awhile.
Florida at South Carolina 11am/12pm, ESPN - Will the Gators coast now that they have clinched the SEC East?
North Texas at Tennessee 11am/12pm, SECN- meh.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt 3pm/4pm, SECN- Over/under of 12?
W Carolina at Texas A&M 6pm/7pm, ESPNU- Can Sumlin figure this QB thing out?
Arkansas at LSU 6:15pm/7:15pm ESPN - How will the Tigers bounce back?
BYU at Missouri 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN- Mizzy is prolly regretting scheduling this game.
NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST:
Pitt at Duke 11am/12pm ESPNews - meh.
Ohio State at Illinois 11am/12pm, ABC AGAIN! - J.T. Barrett returns from one-game suspension to start on Saturday.
Kansas at TCU 11am/12pm, FS1 - The Frogs might score 80.
Maryland at Michigan State 11am/12pm, ESPN2 - Sparty is in desperation mode.
Purdue at Northwestern 11am/12pm, BTN - You don't REALLY care about this one, do you?
NC State at Florida State 11:30am/12:30pm - relegated to espn3 !?!
DURING COMMERCIALS (slim pickings) :
Wake Forest at Notre Dame 2:30pm/3:30pm, NBC - pass.
Clemson at Syracuse 2:30pm/3:30pm, ABC- pass.
Oklahoma State at Iowa State 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN - pass.
Michigan at Indiana 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN2 - Will Indy EVER get over that hump?
* Oklahoma at Baylor 7pm/8pm, ABC - Elimination Game?
Memphis at Houston 6pm/7pm, ESPN2 - I have the feeling Memphis takes this one.
Oregon at Stanford 6:30pm/7:30pm, FOX - Stanford has ruined SO MANY Oregeon seasons. Can the Ducks return the favor?
Minnesota at Iowa 7pm/8pm, BTN - Come on Minnie!
Utah at Arizona 9pm/10pm, FS1 - Yet another late night game for RichRod. He must be ticked off!
Washington State at UCLA 9:45pm/10:45pm, ESPN - Wazzu is much improved.
Fresno at Hawaii 10pm/11pm Alohavision - For masochists only.
ALABAMA at Mississippi State - 2:30pm/3:30pm CBSUnka Verne and Gary D plus Allie LaForceFeed.