Another college football Saturday, another wild and crazy finish, another coaching legend calls it quits, more questionable QB moves, and more pretenders exposed.
- Ohio State
Miami 30* Duke 27
17 days ago, it was the Michigan muffed punt returned for the winning score by Michigan State. Ten days ago it was Georgia Tech returning a blocked field goal at the gun to upset FSU. This past Saturday, Miami ruined Duke's dream of a playoff birth with a bizarre controversial kickoff return.
The Blue Devils had just capped a 10 plays and 80 yards possession with the go ahead touchdown with six seconds remaining. All they had to do was kickoff and tackle a guy. Who knew that would not go down as easy as it sounds? Duke head coach David Cutcliffe called for a squib kick - one of the stupidest strategies in football. The official play-by-play summary is as follows:
Martin, R kickoff 40 yards to the UM25, Dallas Crawford return -5 yards to the UM20, Corn Elder for 3 yards to the UM23, Jaquan Johnson for loss of 8 yards to the UM15, Mark Walton for 6 yards to the UM21, Jaquan Johnson for loss of 3 yards to the UM18, Tyre Brady for loss of 8 yards to the UM10, Corn Elder for loss of 7 yards to the UM3, Dallas Crawford for 6 yards to the UM9. Corn Elder for 91 yards to the DU0, TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:00.
* A MIRACLE WIN, right? It never should have counted. First off, Mark Walton looked like his knees were down before he lateraled - in clear view of the referees. I blame this on lazy-ass referees too reliant on replay to get it right. Secondly, there looked to be three illegal blocks (check out #38 blocked in the back at the 30 just before the second lateral fof the first one). Additionally, a Miami player ran onto the field without a helmet before Elder crosses the goal line.
ACC officials huddled for close to ten minutes before determining that the touchdown would stand. On Sunday, the ACC suspended the entire officiating crew including the two replay officials for two conference games. They also announced that the Hurricanes' winning touchdown should not have counted. They said the leaving-the-bench penalty would not have negated the touchdown because it would have been enforced as a dead ball foul but the ACC admonished the refs for not calling it. That rule may need to be revisited. There will likely be replay rules repercussions in the offseason due to this whole snafu. Watch the whole wackiness here and judge for yourself.
Florida 27 Georgia 3
Mark Richt has lost control of Mark Richt. A week ago in this space, I almost posited that this might be the end for Richt after a drab 9-6 win over Missouri. He looked listless and joyless in victory. But I resisted. After being embarrassed by the Gators, it is looking like there may be a parting of ways very soon. Richt just looks tired and I would not be surprised if he took time off to serve the Lord (notice that there is no sarcasm font there). The other part is fan anger. His bizarre game plan did not help an already tenuous position. For some reason, he opted to start his third string QB Faton Bauta, a junior who had yet to see any significant playing time in his UGA career. Bauta is known better as a runner, yet few plays were called to exploit his talent. Instead he stood in the pocket and threw four interceptions. Another odd move was using former #2 QB Brice Ramsey as the punter, who at one point executed a woefully failed fake punt. The Dawgs had 69 rushing yards.
The Gators were not too sharp themselves on offense but did not have to be. They had 8 penalties, a fumble, and only 15 first downs. Their kicking issues continue with a missed field goal and a missed extra point. Treon Harris was only 8 of 19 passing for 155 yards. Kelvin Taylor rushed 25 for 121 and two scores.
Texas A&M 35 South Carolina 28
Another odd QB strategy came from Kevin Sumlin. After not playing Kyler Murray over slumping, confidence-shattered Kyle Allen in a winnable game against Ole Miss two Saturdays ago, Sumlin made Murray the starter against the Gamecocks. The highly touted true freshman ran for 156 yards and threw for 223 more in his first start but you have to wonder who is running the asylum in College Station. Tra Carson added 122 yards rushing and Donovan Wilson had a 60 yard pick six.
LOOKING A BIT SCARY
Clemson 56 NC State 41
This was potential danger for the undefeated Tigers. The 'Pack had been surging behind former Gators QB Jacoby Brissett (24-41, 254 yds, 3 TD, 1 rushing TD). However, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (23-30, 383 yds, 5 TD, 1 rushing TD) and(31-172, TD) had other ideas. The Tigers have scored 114 points in the last two games, only five less than Missouri has scored all season.
Ole Miss 27 Auburn 19 - With each passing week, Gustav Malzahn shows that he is a bit in over his head. Sean White finally threw his first career touchdown pass but was 12 of 28 for 258 yards and a pick.
Houston 34 Vanderbilt 0 - Vandy being Vandy. Speaking of coaches that don't know what they are doing, I see a great future for Derek Mason as a defensive coordinator. The two 'Dores QBs McCrary (2-9, 24 yds, 2 INT) and Kyle Shurmur (3-11, 20 yds, INT) are simply dreadful.
Tennessee 52 Kentucky 21 - QB Joshua Dobbs accounted for four touchdowns and the Vols scored on both a kickoff return and punt return to dominate the 'Cats in their house.
UNC 26, Pitt 19 - These Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0) are not the same team that wilted against South Carolina in Week 1. Run the ball and play defense. What a novel approach! Pitt ascended to #23 in the AP Poll before being shown the door this week.
Notre Dame 24 Temple 20 - The Owls put up a good fight but the playoff dream is over. DeShone "HowComeEverybodyWannaKeepItLikeA" Kizer finished with 299 yards passing and a 79-yard touchdown run.
TCU 40 West Virginia 10 - After a scramble for a first down, Trevone Boykin (472 total yards, four touchdowns) found himself face-to-face with WVU coach Dana Holgorsen and raised a hand. Instinctively, the troubled coach allowed his hand to be slapped by the opposing QB's hand. It's an act the couch-burners will not soon forget.
Virginia Tech 26 Boston College 10 - Frank Beamer announced he would resign at the end of the season after 29 years at Virginia Tech - about four years too late. His Hokies have gone 7–6, 8–5, 7–6, 3–5 since an 11-3 season in 2011. No, that is not a tennis score. That is some mediocre football there.
Iowa State 24 Texas 0 - LOLs all around! The Longhorns got shutout by a godawful team AND it makes Oklahoma look even worse for losing to Tejas. ISU dominated first downs 28-11 and yardage 426-204.
Michigan 29 Minnesota 26 - The Wolverines lost starting QB Jake Rudock in the third quarter but that didn't matter as Wilton Speight threw the winning TD and 2-point conversion to escape Minneapolis victorious.
Purdue 55 Nebraska 45 - Wow. Just...wow. Would Nebraska fire Mike Riley after one season? Five turnovers to none was the difference in this game.
Oklahoma State 70 Texas Tech 53 - Another ridiculous Big 12 game scoring the most points in a FBS game this season and the third most involving a ranked team without playing overtime.
Stanford 30 Washington State 28 - The Trees were unimpressive in their victory over Wazzu as a 43-yard field goal attempt by the Cougars missed wide right as time expired.
Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)
Arkansas 63 Tennessee-Martin 28 - Alex Collins ran for a career-high five touchdowns but giving up 28 to UT-Martin? The Skyhawks (4-3) gained 519 yards and had 25 first downs. In addition, they converted 6-11 third downs.
Iowa 31 Maryland 15 - Blah Blah Blah Hawkeyes. Can we just fast forward to the Big Ten Champ Game so they can lose and go away?
Utah 27 Oregon State 12 - This.
Memphis 41 Tulane 13 - Yes, even Memphis has cupcakes.
Florida State 45 Syracuse 21 - No Everett Golson, no Dalvin Cook? No problem. Sean Maguire (23-35-348-3-0) and Jacques Patrick (24-162, 3 TD) were more than enough.
Oklahoma 62 Kansas 7 - The Jayhawks are 0-8. If the Sooners did not beat them by 50+ it would've been an upset.
BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
Wisconsin (7-2) trounces Rutgers 48-10. I still don't know how the Badgers lost to Iowa.
Middle Tennessee (3-5) did not play.
Louisiana Monroe (1-7) loses to their rival Louisiana-Lafayette 30-24.
Charleston Southern (7-1) defeated Coastal Carolina 33-25.
Georgia (5-3) has seen their season spiral out of control since losing to Bama.
Tennessee (4-4) whupped up on Kentucky and should win out (SC, N.Tex, @MIZ, Vandy).
All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive, but just barely).
NO NEW ELIMINATIONS - Five of the Top 7 AP teams did not even play.
It's about to get Cray-Cray in the B12!
Below is a theorized breakdown of teams that could make it into the playoff:
- ACC (0 or 1) - Clemson and FSU face off on Saturday.
- Big Ten (1 or 2) - Ohio State and Michigan State play Nov. 21. Winner likely gets Iowa (8-0).
- Big 12 (0 or 1) - TCU, Baylor, Okie State. Oklahoma is treading water. 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) - LSU is in the driver's seat. Alabama and Florida probably cannot afford another loss.
- Notre Dame (6-1) - The Irish must run the table to get back in the discussion. They travel to Pitt this weekend and to Stanford on Nov. 28.
Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to...um...I dunno...Temple.
- Nick Saban reported Monday that junior safety (sprained knee) "is OK." Freshman safety Ronnie Harrison (sprained ankle), senior right tackle (sprained ankle) are back at practice and will be evaluated "more on a day-to-day basis."
- In addition to a one-game suspension against Minnesota, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett will also lose his scholarship for the summer term as part of his discipline for his arrest during the bye week. The redshirt sophomore (who could declare for the 2016 NFL Draft) was cited for backing without safety (I'm guessing this is a moving violation) and a misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. I am not clear how that differs from a straight up DUI (if only RBR had a lawyer on staff...) but Ima gonna guess he got off easy. Barrett was stopped at a Columbus police checkpoint early Saturday morning.
- Just to rub salt in the UGA wound, Bulldogs running back Sony Michel has a fractured a bone in his hand suffered in the defeat to Florida. From the sounds of it, Michel will continue to play, likely with some sort of protection for the hand. No word on whether he will lose his endorsement with the electronics giant.
- Not surprising, Missouri QB Maty Mauk has been suspended for remainder of season for disciplinary reasons. I'd be surprised if the junior ever dons the Mizzou colors ever again.
- Kentucky lost star running back Stanley "Boom" Williams to an elbow injury. He had amassed 563 yards and three touchdowns this season before going down midway through the second quarter against Tennessee.
- Southern Cal's star WR JuJu Smith-Schuster has undergone surgery to repair a fractured hand suffered in the Trojans win against Cal on Saturday. Reports are that he could still play Saturday against Arizona.
- Lost in the news of Beamer stepping down was the firing of Hawaii's Norm Chow. Chow has been rightfully heralded as an offensive guru for several years, serving under legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards and Pete Carroll at Southern Cal. After 30+ years as an assistant, he finally got a shot as a head coach in 2012. However, the 69-year old Hawaii native accrued a 10–36 record never winning more than four games in a season. The Rainbow Warriors are 2-7 (0-5) this season.
- South Alabama (3-4) had a bye week. The Jags MAY have to get to seven wins to make a bowl. They absolutely cannot lose any of their next three because they finish at Georgia Southern (6-2) and home against Appalachian State (7-1). Yes, I am saying they will lose those two.
- Toledo (7-0) did not play and nobody got arrested.
- Memphis (8-0) crushed Tulane as they should 41-13.
- GO NAVY! (6-1) QB Keenan Reynolds tied Montee Ball's FBS career rushing TD record of 77 as the Midshipmen sank South Florida 29-17. Navy is primed to ruin Memphis' season this Saturday (Nov. 7).
STAT OF THE DAY
Georgia has scored three offensive touchdowns in the last four games and one in the past ten quarters.
LET'S GO BOWLING!
41 teams are bowl eligible for 80 slots. Nine teams are eliminated from bowl eligibility with seven or more losses. Kansas and UCF are heading 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 - Even with a week off, Leonard Fournette is the leader. Click hungry writers are going to try and convince you that Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and TCU QB Trevone Boykin are neck and neck with Forunette.
- Who Should Win - Fournette is still out front until his biggest test of the year arrives on Saturday against the Alabama Crimson Tide. FSU's Dalvin Cook did not play against Syracuse due to injury.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Northern Illinois at Toledo 7pm/8pm, ESPN - This game could spell trouble for the Rockets.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Mississippi State at Missouri 8pm/9pm, ESPN - A tune up game for MSU.
Baylor at Kansas State 6:30pm/7:30 PM, FOXS1- Baylor will be starting a frosh QB. Upset alert? Probably not.
(There are four other games on Thursday but nothing worth mentioning.)
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Vanderbilt at Florida 11am/12pm, ESPN - The Gators should sink the 'Dores.
Kentucky at Georgia 11am/12pm, SECN- Lose this one and it could get really ugly in Athens, GA.
Arkansas at Ole Miss 2:30pm/3:30pm, CBS - The Hogs need to win just for a hope to get to 6 wins.
South Carolina at Tennessee 3pm/4pm, SECN- The Vols should slaughter the Gamecocks.
Auburn at Texas A&M 6:30pm/7:30pm, SECN- Are there any more wheels left to fall off the Gus Bus?
NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST :
Duke at North Carolina – 11am/12pm, ESPN2
- No, not hoops. Could be an entertaining opening act.
Notre Dame at Pitt – 11am/12pm, ABC
- Can Pitt eliminate the Irish?
Stanford at Colorado – 1pm/2pm, Pac12 - A practice game for the Trees.
* Florida State at Clemson – 2:30pm/3:30pm, ABC
- Elimination Game?
* TCU at Oklahoma State – 2:30pm/3:30pm, FOX - Elimination Game?
Cincinnati at Houston – 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN2
- Can Tuberville ruin the Cougars? Maybe...
Iowa at Indiana – 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPN - Don't be surprised if Indy gives them a game.
Army at Air Force – 2:30pm/3:30pm, ESPNU- Go Armed Forces Branches!
DURING COMMERCIALS :
Navy at Memphis – 6pm/7pm, ESPN2
- May be worthy of a DVR.
Iowa State at Oklahoma – 6pm/7pm, ESPNU- The Sooners should win.
Michigan State at Nebraska – 6pm/7pm, ESPN - Don't be looking ahead, Sparty!
Utah at Washington – 6:30pm7:30pm, FOX - The Utes try to claw their way back.
Minnesota at Ohio State – 7pm/8pm, ABC
- Gee, thanks ABC...
Arizona at Southern Cal 9:30pm/10:30pm ESPN - Another late night game for sleepy head RichRod!
Lsu at ALABAMA - The Annual "Game of the Century!" 7pm/8pm is part of a CBSdouble-header with (sorry) Unka Verne and Gary D plus Allie LaForceAwakens.