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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Viva Los Chaos!

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The wild, wacky, and wonderful world of College Football!

Normally, I scoff at fans that storm the field. In this instance, I will allow it.
Normally, I scoff at fans that storm the field. In this instance, I will allow it.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Many ranked teams felt the wrath of Lady Chaos on Saturday (and Thursday), falling to unranked teams. Clemson and Michigan both lost to four-loss teams. Clemson and Washington both lost at home. But not Alabama, who stands as the only Power 5 team still undefeated and with double digit wins at 10-0. This is Nick Saban's ninth straight season to reach 10 or more Ws - and he isn't done yet.

#2 Clemson lost to unranked Pitt 43-42 (at home)
#3 Michigan lost to unranked Iowa 14-13
#4 Washington lost to #20 Southern Cal 26-13 (at home)
#8 Texas A&M lost to unranked Ole Miss 29-28 (at home)
#9 Auburn lost to unranked Georgia 13-7
#14 Virginia Tech lost to unranked Georgia Tech 30-20 (at home)
#17 North Carolina lost to unranked Duke 28-27

Pittsburgh 43, #2 Clemson 42 - The Tigers should think about joining the Big 12 because that is what their game plan looked like: a bunch of passing, limited running and NO defense. Clemson managed only 50 rushing yards, led by Wayne Gallman's paltry total of 36 on 18 carries. Perhaps Deshaun Watson is saving his body for the NFL since he accumulated only 8 yards on 5 carries (by far his lowest total) but threw the ball a ridiculous 70 times for 580 yards! However, Watson was 8 for 13 including two interceptions in the red zone. Pitt got a 48-yard field goal with six seconds left and held the Tigers scoreless in the final frame.

Iowa 14, #3 Michigan 13 - The trip to Iowa City for the Wolverines was only their second time out of the mitten-shaped state and only the third road trip overall. The other two away games were at Rutgers (2-8) and Michigan State (3-7). This does not bode well for Michigan when they travel to Columbus on Nov. 26. The Hawkeyes fans deserve helmet stickers for the volume of noise that they rained down on Michigan. UM's Wilton Speight was 11 of 26 for only 103 yards passing and no TDs. A freshman Hawkeye kicker booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired to complete the stunner.

#20 Southern Cal 26, #4 Washington 13 - Due to sane bedtimes, most CFB fans east of the Rocky Mountains have not had much exposure to the phenomenon that is the Huskies. In absence of seeing live action, the stories we have been fed is that QB Jake Browning is a Heisman candidate and that UW plays defense, REAL defense. If you were not skeptical before this game, you should be now. Browning (17/36-259-1-2) was rather pedestrian getting victimized by Adoree Jackson on two picks. He was beaten by the Trojans defense to the tune of six sacks and -36 yards rushing. Southern Cal QB Sam Darnold was the real star picking the vaunted Dogs defense apart with 23 of 33 passing for 287 yards and two scores.

Ole Miss 29, #8 Texas A&M 28 - Out of complete desperation and a lack of developing a back-up quarterback, Hugh Freeze made the controversial decision to take the redshirt off of freshman Shea Patterson after nine games. For three quarters, it looked like a mistake as the Aggies built a 21-6 lead. However, Patterson led the Rebs to 23 fourth quarter points capped by a 39-yard field goal with 37 ticks remaining to upset TAMU.

Georgia 13, #9 Auburn 7 - There are some coaches who are great coordinators. Some of these assistants can turn into good head coaches. Gustavo Malzahn is not on of those. He is a smart playcaller but he cannot make the big calls. With Kamryn Pettway on the sidelines, Malzahn seemingly had no offensive plan. As much as Gary Danielson annoys, he made a good point that ineffective Sean White (6/20-27-0-1 pick-six) should have been pulled from the quarterback position in favor of anyone. In the second half, Auburn had 0 first downs, gaining only 32 yards. Second half drives were made up of a pick-six, five consecutive three-and-outs, and an over-on-downs to end the game.

THE REST:

Seriously, there should be a cutoff after the Top 12 ranked teams because the rest of these teams are all about the same. Exhibit 1:

Georgia Tech 30, #14 Virginia Tech 20 - Even with a back-up quarterback who was told he would be starting during warm-ups running Paul Johnson's antiquated option attack, the Hokies could not stop the Jackets from racking up 309 rushing yards in VaTech's stadium. VT had ten more first downs but were doomed by two lost fumbles and two INTs.

Duke 28, #17 North Carolina 27 - UNC managed only 106 yards rushing Duke had a more balanced attack of 240 passing and 227 rushing. The Tarheels two interceptions loomed large.

SEC logo

Alabama 51 Mississippi State 3 - And then there was one... undefeated Power 5 team. The Tide basically toyed with MSU, using them as practice dummies for their passing game. I know we say this every year, but could this be the best Alabama defense EVER?

Florida 20 South Carolina 7 - Jim McElwain may have found a solution for the lacking passing game as Jordan Scarlett ran 20 times for 134 yards. It was just enough to tighten up the SC defense to allow Austin Appleby to complete 17 of 21 for 201 yards and a pair of scores.

Tennessee 49 Kentucky 36 - The Vols got back to where they were at the beginning of the season: winning but giving up a ton of points to inferior foes.

Missouri 26 Vanderbilt 17 - blahblahblah, nobody cares.

SEC BOWL PROJECTIONS:

In: Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas, UGA, LSU.

Should be in: UK needs one win (Austin Peay); SC needs one win (Western Car); Ole Miss needs one win (@Vandy, MSU).

Not so fast:

It's possible:

Longshot at best: Vandy needs two wins (OM, Tenn); MSU needs two wins (Ark, @OM).

NFW: Mizzou has seven losses.

slow clap

Ohio State 62 Maryland 3 - Another quality opponent for the 'Eyes.
West Virginia 24 Texas 20 - Has Charlie Strong's fate been sealed?

40s ARE THE NEW 50s:

Louisville 44 Wake Forest 12 - Wake actually led in the 4th quarter before the walls caved in.
Penn State 45 Indiana 31 - A late scoop & score made this score look worse than it was.
Oklahoma 45 Baylor 24 - Three losses in a row for the "Art Briles Fan Club".
Oklahoma State 45 Texas Tech 44 - Tech made a valiant late comeback and then missed the extra point.
Wisconsin 48 Illinois 3 - brip brap blippity blop, nobody cares.
Colorado 49 Arizona 24 - See ADOPT-A-TEAM below.
Utah 49 Arizona State 26 - The two Utes try to stay relevant.

circling the drain

CIRCLING THE DRAIN

Stanford 52 Oregon 27 -  Oregon gave up more than 50 points for the fourth time this season. They are 127th out of 128 FBS teams in scoring defense yielding 45.6 per game. It's enough to drive a man to drink.

Michigan State 49 Rutgers 0 - Sparty snapped their 7-game losing streak at the expense of the 2-8 Scarlet Knights who were shutout for the third time this year. Rutgers has hit the skids for 7 straight.

alabama helmet

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

  • Southern Cal - Didja hear about this one? The Trojans (7-3) upset #4 Washington in Seattle 26-13. The Men of Troy might just end up winning the PAC 12 - South and get a rematch with UW.
  • WKU - The Hilltoppers (8-3) defeated  North Texas 45-7. They lead the C-USA East. All they need to do to clinch is win at Marshall (3-7) on Saturday.
  • Chattanooga - Did the Mocs (8-2) get caught looking ahead to their trip to Bryant-Denny??? They took one on the chin from Wofford 36-28.
  • Kent State (3-7) was eliminated from bowl consideration after losing to Western Michigan (who I refuse to cover) 37-21. They have two more chances - against Bowling Green (1-8) and Northern Illinois (3-6) - to make their season somewhat respectable.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • Jacksonville State move to 9-1 with a 33-15 defeat of Murray State. Former Aubie RB Roc Thomas had 165 yards and 3 TDs on just 10 carries. The Gamecocks remain the #2 FCS team.
  • South Alabama (4-5) had a bye week. The Jags have become a great beneficiary of the short-sightedness of Jeremy Foley. Not only did they get a $1.5 million buyout for the canceled game with LSU, but they were able to fill their Nov. 19 slot with an unexpected additional home game against Presbyterian who got a buyout of their own from Florida. $1.5M, revenue from another home game, and a better chance for six wins by playing the Blue Hose instead of playing LSU? SOLD!
  • Wyoming (7-3, 5-1) My bad, y'all. I had to go and adopt the Cowboys and they go out and lose to lame-o UNLV (4-6) in triple overtime. Wyoming scored a TD as regulation expired to send it into overtime. They failed to score in the third extra frame and Vegas kicked a field goal to clinch it. Brian Hill had 119 yards on 23 carries with 3 TDs. Up next is a showdown with 9-1 San Diego State.
  • Colorado (8-2, 5-1) is finally getting some national attention outside this little corner of the world now that they lead the Pac 12 - South. Real estate agents are circling RichRod's house as the Buffs sent Arizona to 2-8 with a 49-24 trouncing in Tuscon. The next two games for Colorado are tough ones: home matches with Wazzu and Utah.

CAN'T WIN FOR WINNING

Poor Idaho. In April 2016, the University of Idaho announced the football program would drop down to FCS beginning in the 2018 season due to their ineptitude at FBS. And just like that, they start winning. After winning nine games over the past five seasons, the Vandals sit at 6-4 after a 47-14 decapitating of Texas State. They will likely go to the program's third bowl game ever. Paul Petrino's team finishes the regular season with winnable home games against South Alabama (sorry Jags fans) and Georgia State.

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

Without getting political, it was nice to see all the patriotism across college football this past weekend commemorating our veterans and active service men and women.

RS-Patriot

Navy and Air Force collected their seventh win on Saturday. Army needs only to beat FCS Morgan State (2-7) this coming weekend to become bowl eligible. It will be the first time since 2010 and only the second ever time that all three service academies go to a bowl game.

  • Air Force (7-3) defeated Colorado State 49-46. The Falcons' porous defense finally came up with a big play when they forced a late fumble by the Rams at midfield to seal the game.
  • Army (5-5) - Notre Dame was downright unpatriotic routing the Cadets 44-6 in a game played in San Antonio for some reason.
  • Navy (7-2) edged Tulsa (7-3) by the score of 42-40. Middies quarterback Will Worth continues his impressive season with 122 rushing yards and three ground touchdowns plus one passing. Navy leads the American Athletic Conference's West Division with a 5-1 record.

ELIMINATED FOR REALSIES THIS TIME*:

All non P5 teams, Aubie, TAMU, VaTech, UNC.

* crazier things

boxers

THE CONTENDERS

A way WAY too early look at the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture:

  • ACC - Clemson and Louisville have been flirting with disaster all season. Despite both having one loss on their records, they are not out of the chase - thanks to #Chaos2016.
  • Big Ten - Now that Michigan and Ohio State both have one loss, their game likely sends the winner to the playoff - unless said winner loses the B1GCG.
  • Big 12 - I keep hearing about Oklahoma and their "good losses". But does a blow-out home loss to Ohio State or a semi-neutral site loss to the forgotten Houston Cougars sound good to you? The Sooners travel to West Virginia (8-1) this week for an elimination game.
  • PAC-12 - Washington just broke PAC-12 hearts. They may need to win out which may include a rematch with Southern Cal in the PACCG.
  • SEC - Alabama. Need I say more?
  • Notre Dame

The CFP Committee have a tough task as they release their third rankings of the season on Tuesday evening. Number one is obvious but what follows will be very interesting. Get your earplugs ready because whining will likely go up to 11.

My seedings of the New Year's Six are as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. I
  3. Have
  4. No
  5. Frickin'
  6. Clue

Okay, I am taking a week off. What does your top 6 look like?

~~~~~

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Dabo Swinney for allowing four of his undergrad players to announce for the NFL this past week. Did he think this would be good for team morale? KK definitely believes this distraction was a big factor in Clemson's loss to Pitt.

Sad_face_medium

  • Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough was sidelined for Mississippi State as a precaution after twisting a knee against LSU. B.J. Emmons (foot) remains out indefinitely. Ronnie Clark and Derrick Gore seem to be pushing for playing time.
  • Korren Kirven got the nod at right guard against MSU with Lester Cotton coming off a concussion.
  • The Auburn offense was wet garbage without leading rusher Kamryn Pettway. He has been battling a leg injury suffered against Vanderbilt. It is doubtful he will play Saturday vs. Alabama A&M.
  • Michigan QB Wilton Speight has a broken collarbone and will be out for the unforeseeable future.
  • Baylor continues to take a beating from Karma with QB Seth Russell out for the season with a fractured left ankle turned at Oklahoma on Saturday.
  • Former Miami, Cleveland Browns and UNC head coach Butch Davis has quit his day job at ESPN8 - The "Ocho" to be he head man at FIU. Davis led the 'Canes to a 11-1 season in 2000 and then inexplicably left to take the head job at Cleveland, where he was a flop. He returned to college, turning the Tar Heels into a respectable team before getting hit with an embarrassing academic misconduct scandal that led to his firing.
  • Fresno State has hired ex-Cal head coach Jeff Tedford as Bulldogs new coach. He was 82–57 in Berkeley from 2002-2012. Fresno is not a new place for Tedford. He spent two years playing quarterback at Fresno State, where he established several passing records. Later, he served as OC from 1992-1997. Tedford has been serving this season as an offensive consultant for the Washington Huskies. That puts an end to any rumors that Lane "RTMFB" Kiffin will end up there.

tiny football

STAT OF THE DAY

Big Ten pundits will tell you this was good ol' fashion tough defense. Actually, it was two inept offenses.

KEY & PEELE PLAYER NAME OF THE WEEK

Funaki Asisi G-Utah State. I wanna party with this guy!

LET'S GO BOWLING!

  • Not counting the Championship Game in Tampa, there are 39 bowl games this 2016-17 season.
  • 58 FBS teams now have six or more wins, enough to fill 29 bowl games. An additional 38 teams have a chance to compete for the final 20 spots in 10 bowl games.
  • 32 teams have seven or more losses.

Gump 4 Heisman

HEISMAN HYPE
With the exception of TWO YEARS, 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 WinLamar Jackson is still the darling although he had a mediocre game against Wake Forest. He passed 14 of 26 for 145 with one TD. He ran for 153 which is nice but he did not find the end zone with his feet and also lost a fumble. It is the first time he accounted for only one score all season... There is still some talk about Jabril Peppers but momentum for him is waning. He whiffed on a couple of high-profile tackle attempts on Saturday en route to a loss to Iowa... Some blabbermouths have been touting Jake Browning but he is not going to win it. He'll get a free trip to the Big Apple but don't expect him to have his name called... Deshaun Watson will probably be there too because the voters always feel the need to bring back a finalist.
  • Who Should Win - I am going to repeat myself from last week: nobody really deserves it at this point. Lamar is a good player but he and his Cardinals teammates have been struggling to put away the dregs of the ACC lately... They won't get a to travel to New York City but don't be surprised if Jonathan Allen and Jalen Hurts get some votes.

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

Bama-MSU on ESPN with Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge was one of the more enjoyable broadcasts Bama fans have had in awhile.

Times are CT/ET.

Tuesday, November 15

MAC team vs MAC team primetime, sports channel

Wednesday, November 16

MAC team vs MAC team primetime, sports channel

Thursday, November 17

Louisville at Houston 7pm/8pm ESPN ESPN - Remember back when we were all excited about this game?
Arkansas State at Troy 8:30/9:30 ESPNU ESPNU- The AP idiots actually rank Troy at #25. Really, bro?

Friday, November 18

Memphis at Cincinnati 7pm/8pm CBSSN - bid your final adieus to Tommy Tuberville.
UNLV at Boise 8pm/9pm ESPN2 - Stupid Smurfs and theior stupid blue field and their stupid weak-ass schedule.

Saturday, November 19

SEC:

cupcake

Ugh. With a few exceptions, it is Cupcake Saturday:

Louisiana Lafayette at Georgia 11am/noon SECN Alt- Move along.
Texas San Antonio at Texas A&M 11am/noon ESPNUESPNU- Nothing to see here.
Florida at LSU noon/1PM SECN- The Overreaction Bowl! [UPDATE: See my notes in Comments below.]
Missouri at Tennessee 2:30pm/3:30pm CBS- If you really have a hankering for Verne & Gary, have at it.
Western Carolina at South Carolina 3pm/4pm SECN- SC going for bowl eligibility.
Austin Peay at Kentucky 3:30/4:30 SECN - UK going for bowl eligibility.
Arkansas at Mississippi State 6pm/7pm ESPNUESPNU- Which Arky team will show up?
Alabama A&M at Auburn 6:30/7:30 SECN Alt- A tune-up for a beat down.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt 7pm/8pm SECN-How will the new guy do on the road?

DURING COMMERCIALS:

Not much worth flipping over for.

Morgan State at Army 11am/noon CBSSN - Army going for bowl eligibility.
Ohio State at Michigan State 11am/noon ESPNESPN - Can Sparty put up a fight? Prolly not.
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame 2:30pm/3:30pm NBC - One more Irish loss and they do not go to a bowl.
Navy at East Carolina 3pm/4pm ESPNews - Anchors aweigh!
Clemson at Wake Forest 6pm/7pm ESPNESPN - How will the Tigers bounce back?
Oklahoma at West Virginia 7pm/8pm ABCABC - ELIMINATION GAME!
Washington State at Colorado ? ? - If they ever announce time and TV, this might be worth a look.

CAN'T SLEEP?

Southern Cal at UCLA 9:30/10:30 ESPN ESPN - Two teams going in opposite directions.

alabama logo script a 100x100

#ALABAMA

Chattanooga at ALABAMA ESPN 6pm/7pm ESPN2 - Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Olivia Harlan (daughter of Westwood One and TNT announcer Kevin Harlan).

The 2016 Iron Bowl will kick off at 2:30pm CT at Bryant-Denny Stadium and will be televised by... ugh... CBS. Once more unto the breach,  dear friends...

#RollTide!