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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 3

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Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday's disappointing 43-37 loss to Ole Miss, many Alabama fans are feeling down in the dumps. The Crimson Tide Nation has come accustom to a certain kind of football team and don't take losses well. Fear not, Capstoners! Thanks to coinciding events across the nation, the Tide is not eliminated just yet. It is possible that a one or even two loss Bama team can make it's way into the four-team playoff.

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THE CONTENDERS

Not to come off as elitist or dismissive, but let's face it: there really are not that many teams in contention as some may think. Currently, there are 28 undefeated Power 5 (including N. Dame) still remaining. Of those, 14 are NOT likely to stay that way much longer or have much chance of winning their conference (Arizona, Cal, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas St, Miami-FL, Missouri, NC State, Northwestern, Oklahoma St, Syracuse, Texas Tech).

Twelve P5 teams have one loss and could possibly still make it into the playoff due to the opponent who beat them and their reputation (Alabama, Arizona St, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi St, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin). There is not much room for error for these squads.

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 Wisky in the B1GCG.
  • Big 12 (0 or 1) - Oklahoma, TCU, or Baylor. The Playoff Committee sent a loud message that Conference Championships weigh heavy. Bob Bowlsby & Co. have repeatedly chosen to ignore this. They likely get one team in at most.
  • PAC-12 (1 or 2) - UCLA, Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, or So Cal. This will clear up in the next two weeks.See the TV section below.
  • SEC (1 or 2) - Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama.
  • Notre Dame (ugh) - Still have Clemson, Southern Cal, and Stanford to get by.

As far as a two-loss team getting in, never forget 2007 when all kinds of chaos wreaked havoc across the land. It began when Appalachian State beat #5 Michigan to open the season and ended with #9 Oklahoma upsetting #1 Missouri on the last weekend. Only Kansas and Hawaii ended up with one loss and there were no undefeated teams. Two-loss LSU won it all.

All that said, if Bama takes care of business, they could see their way into the playoffs. But there is A LOT of season left to go.

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LSU 45 Auburn 21

The other shoe dropped on Gustav and the gang as Leonard Fournette ran wild on the Auburn defense for 228 yards and 3 TDs. Who needs a QB when you have a running back like that? However, there is a danger in relying on one guy to carry an entire offense. LSU had only 74 passing yards. Auburn's Jeremy Johnson threw another interception but at least he has gotten better every week (3 to 2 to 1). Aubie did not cross the 50-yard line in the first half.

Ohio State 20 N. Illinois 13

The Buckeyes showed a few cracks in their foundation with their struggle over the visiting Huskies who had slipped by mighty UNLV by eight points just two weeks ago. After Urban Meyer ran his team like a well-oiled machine last season, a bit of entitlement and complacency might be creeping in. It started when QB Cardale Jones held a press conference in January to announce that he was staying one more year rather than enter the NFL Draft. (Who does that?) Then he started Twitter-stalking Ronda Rousey. This past weekend he changed his Twitter profile description to "3rd String QB @ The Ohio State University Oh Wait, 2nd String". Clearly, this guy is not focusing on football. He has NFL bust written all over him. You heard it here first. Something ain't right in Columbus.

Against NIU, Jones (4-9, 36 yds) threw two first half interceptions that were converted into 10 points. He was benched in favor of J.T. Barrett who fared a little better (11-19, 97 yds, TD, INT) but had a pick of his own. With five OSU turnovers and 2-for-13 on third down conversion on the day, only a pick-six saved their hides.

Notre Dame 30 Georgia Tech 22

This game was not as close as the score indicates. The Irish shut down Georgia Tech's high-powered run attack for 3.5 quarters building a 30-7 lead until the back-ups gave up some late scores. The Yellow Jackets win a lot of games with the triple option but they will never win any championships this way. Coach Paul Johnson's stubborn grip on this antiquated playbook will always result in losses against strong defenses. As for Notre Dame, they are starting to look a lot like the 2012 team - in a good way and bad way.

Florida State 14 Boston College 0

One of the dullest games on the young season saw both teams punt seven time each and combine for 412 total yards. Everett Golson was spectacularly unspectacular (15-24, 119 yds, TD). If FSU is supposed to be the cream of this conference, the ACC may be shutout of the playoff.

Stanford 41 Southern Cal 31

It was only a matter of time before the Trojans fell. Coach Steve Sarkisian's off-field shenanigans are too much of a distraction. Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan finally had an respectable game, tossing 18-23, 279 yds, 2 TDs 0 INT.

Cal 45 Texas 44

Some Longhorns fans want Charlie Strong gone already but it's probably not going to happen this year unless he does something bad off-field.

FROM THE REALM OF "COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A NICER GUY"


D'OH! (Photo by Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

Texas Tech 35 Arkansas 24

Bret Bielema has sent Hog Nation into despair. Now in his third season in Fayetteville, his team is 1-2 and has yet to face an SEC team. Alex Collins ran 28 times for 170 and a score but the ghost of injured RB Jonathan Williams lingers on.

Clemson 20 Louisville 17

Bobby Petrino is 0-3. Ha Ha!

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LOOKING A BIT SCARY

Georgia 52 South Carolina 20

Despite clear evidence that the Gamecocks are not a very good team this year, UGA is starting to look a bit scary. QB Greyson Lambert is not going to remind anyone of Aaron Murray but he is starting to take on the appearance of a just-good-enough "game manager". He went 24-25 for 330 yds, 3 TDs, 0 INT. But don't expect that every week. The real story in Athens is Nick Chubb (21-159 yds, 2 TDs) with an assist from Sony Michel (8-51, TD). Add in a pretty good defense (SC's Pharoh Cooper held to one catch for 6 yards) and this could be the year for Mark Richt... right? (See "Richt always blows one soul-crushing game every season".) Bama may be facing them at just the right time.

SEC MEH

Texas A&M 44 Nevada 27 - Despite Kevin Sumlin's insistence on cramming freshman Kyler Murray into every game, QB Kyle Allen is taking charge of this team (4 passing TD, 1 rushing TD)
Missouri 9 UConn 6 - A Mizzou interception with just under a minute left saved the Tigers and the SEC from another embarrassing loss to a mid-major. Awful.
Mississippi State 62 Northwestern State 13 - you don't really care, do you?
Vanderbilt 47 Austin Peay 7 - VANDY GETS A WIN!
Tennessee 55 Western Carolina 10 - blah blah blah Vols. blah blah blah...
Florida 14 Kentucky 9 - Isn't UK just so cute thinking they are going to ascend to that next level every year? Right about now, Ashley Judd and the rest of the Wildcats fans are turning their attention to bouncey-balls.

GRAB BAG

Northwestern 19 Duke 10 - Is it time we start talking about 3-0 Northwestern? Nah.
Kansas State 39 Louisiana Tech 33 - Former Gator Jeff Driskel passed for 314 yards for LaTech in a losing effort. Ya think Florida could use him right about now?
Miami (FL) 36 Nebraska 33 - The craziest game of the year had the 'Canes blow a 33-10 fourth quarter lead only to intercept Cornies' QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. in overtime.
UCLA 24 BYU 23 - The Cougars' Cinderella hopes of crashing the CFBP party likely ended when the Bruins took their first lead of the game with 2:18 to play and held on.

Cupcakes

Nomnomnom (Photo by CB969 - RBR Sports)

Oklahoma 52 Tulsa 38 - The Golden Hurricanes gave the Sooners a little bit of a scare.
Oregon 61 Georgia State 28 - I only bring up this game up because the Ducks gave up 28 points to one of the worst FBS teams in the nation. Oregon led 13-7 after one quarter and gave up three touchdowns in the third.
TCU
56 SMU 37 - The Frogs had a battle against the perennial doormat from Dallas. A 42-17 lead melted away when the Mustangs scored 20 unanswered points to make it a 5-point game in the fourth quarter. The starters had to go most of the way. I hope the CFBP Committee is paying attention. The pollsters sure aren't. Meanwhile, two TCU players were arrested on Monday on a felony complaint of robbery and bodily injury. They are accused of kicking and punching another TCU student and stealing a case of Keystone Light beer. Yurgh! They should lock them up just for their taste in beer!

~~~~~

alabama helmet

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Arky (1-2) and Auburn (2-1) are flopping around like fish on the shore.
Wisconsin (2-1) beat Troy 28-3.
Middle Tennessee
(2-1) welcomed Charlotte to the FBS 73-14
La-Monroe (1-1) did not play.
Charleston Southern (2-1) beat beat East Tennessee State 47-7.

~~~~~

ELIMINATED:

All non-Power 5 teams (Notre Dame is still alive)
AUBURN - I know what you are thinking: A one-loss SEC team eliminated? It would take a real big turnaround for them to get into the playoffs this season.
SOUTH CAROLINA
BYU - the Cougs needed to run the table. They didn't.
KENTUCKY
BOSTON COLLEGE
DUKE
PITTSBURGH
VIRGINIA
Louisville
Boise
Wake Forest
Iowa State
Maryland
Rutgers
Oregon State
Arkansas
Texas
Penn State
Colorado
Wazzu
Washington
Purdue
Nebraska
Minnesota
Kansas
Unc
Vandy

~~~~~

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Bert Bielema for all his talk and to Texas for losing to ... Cal? KK knows the Bears have a good pretty good QB and all but you don't lose a home game to a team that won nine games in the last three seasons.

~~~~~

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  • Sources have said that Bama WR Robert Foster has serious shoulder injury and will miss rest of season. It is believed he suffered a torn rotator cuff. Coach Nick Saban would not go into particulars other than to say Foster would be "out for awhile". Saban added that Cam Sims may return soon.
  • Originally reported as a suspension against Ole Miss, Tide long snapper Cole Mazza is out indefinitely for "medical reasons" according to Saban. I don't want to speculate but this sounds familiar...
  • According to head coach Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss safety Tony Conner will be out four weeks after suffering a meniscus tear against Bama. IMHO, they will be lucky to get him back that soon. This is pretty devestating for OM.
  • Arkansas WR Jared Cornelius has "double fracture" in an arm suffered after making a 34-yard catch in Saturday's loss to Texas Tech. He is the third Razorbacks' WR lost to major injuries in the past two weeks: Keon Hatcher (foot), Cody Hollister (foot).
  • Missouri will be without wide receiver DeSean Blair for the second straight week as he continues to recover from a concussion he suffered in a car accident involving teammates.
  • Auburn DE Carl Lawson has missed the last two games with a mysterious injury.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • South Alabama got a big road win at San Diego State 34-27.  Xavier Johnson ran for a career-high 142 yards and two touchdowns, including the winner in overtime, to help the Jags move to 2-1.
  • Toledo's remarkable season rolls along with their second straight win over a P5 team in a double-overtime 30-23 victory over Iowa State. Phillip Ely (11-28, 138 yds, TD, INT) had an off game. Running back Kareem Hunt (24-129 yds) is one to keep an eye on.
  • Memphis continues to impress as the Tigers defeat a strong Bowling Green team on the road 44-41.

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STAT OF THE DAY

Texas Tech did not punt for the entire game against Arkansas. The Razorbacks punted on their first possession only. Drives ended on scores, missed field goals, turnovers, and a kneel down.

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 has 47 carries 387 for yards and 6 TDs in only two games. If there is one flaw in his game, it's that he has only one catch for 9 yards. The media has been gushing over So Cal's Cody Kessler (25-32, 272 yds, 3 TD) but the Trojans need to keep winning.
  • Who Should Win - Fournette deserves the recognition for now. He will run roughshod over the next five LSU opponents (Syracuse, EMU, S. Carolina, Fla, WKU) until a November trip to Tuscaloosa. UGA's Nick Chubb keeps putting up good numbers as well.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

SEC:

Southern U. at Georgia 11am/12pm SECN
LSU at Syracuse 11am/12pm ESPNESPN - An odd road trip for the Tigers.
UCF at South Carolina 11am/12pm ESPNUESPNU-  Lucky for SC, the Knights (0-3) are REALLY bad this year.
Tennessee at Florida 2:30pm/3:30pm CBS- Orange vs. Orange! EWWW!
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 6pm/7pm ESPNUESPNU- This is gonna get ugly FAST!
Texas A&M at Arkansas 6pm/7pm ESPNESPN - played in Jerry's World.
Missouri at Kentucky 6:30pm/7:30pm SECN
Mississippi State at Auburn 6:30pm/7:30pm ESPN2 - One of these teams is going to be very sad.

NATIONAL GAMES OF INTEREST:

BYU at Michigan 11am/12pm ABCABC
Central Michigan at Michigan State 11am/12pm BTN
Southern Miss at Nebraska 11am/12pm ESPNewsFile:ESPNews.png
Georgia Tech at Duke 11am/12pm ESPN2
Rice at Baylor 2pm/3pm TV?
Oklahoma State at Texas 2:30pm/3:30pm ESPNESPN - elimination game?
Western Michigan at Ohio State 2:30pm/3:30pm ESPN2 - The soap opera continues.
TCU at Texas Tech 3:45pm/4:45pm FOX FOX wordmark.svg - Can Tech keep the good vibrations going?
NC State at South Alabama 7pm/8pm ESPNewsFile:ESPNews.png - Jags host P5!
UCLA at Arizona 7pm/8pm ABCABC- elimination game?
Utah at Oregon 7pm/8pm FOX FOX wordmark.svg - elimination game?
Southern Cal at Arizona State 9:30pm/10:30pm ESPNESPN - elimination game?

alabama logo script a 100x100

#ALABAMA

UL-Monroe at ALABAMA 3pm/4pm SECN

#RollTide!