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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Rivalry Chaos

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

Vanderbilt dumps their in-state rival Tennessee.
Vanderbilt dumps their in-state rival Tennessee.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry Week lived up to the expectations and more. Hermoine took the weekend off.

Alabama 30 Auburn 12 - It was another slow start for the Tide. Despite their first half fumbling bumbling and stumbling, they still led the nation's #13 team 13-9 at the half. The second half was a different story. Alabama probably could have named the score but that is not what Nick Saban is about. Scoring 55 takes a back seat to getting the W. Perhaps the most impressive drive of the day was one that resulted in no points. After Shaun Dion Hamilton intercepted a pass at the 5 yard line, the Alabama offense drove the ball 58 yards on 15 plays eating up the final 9 minutes on the game clock. The Crimson Tide converted two third downs and a fourth down, finishing at the Auburn 37 yard line. It boggles the imagination how long that drive could have gone on had the clock not hit zeroes. It is win #208 for Nick Saban.

Ohio State 30 Michigan 27 (2OT) - After the Ohio State kicker had already missed two short field goal attempts in regulation, coach Urban Meyer decided not to kick a potential game-tying field goal in the second OT and go for it on fourth-and-1. J.T. Barrett was met at the line of to gain but was declared a first down. Upon further review, the first-down call stood. OSU would score on the next play for the win. An exciting memorable game was tarnished by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's whining about officials. Harbaugh is 0-2 against the Buckeyes. Two more seasons of losing to Meyer and he will be moving on to his next job as he always has.

Washington 45 Washington State 17 - The Huskies got a chance to flex their muscles beating up what was probably an overrated Wazzu team. UW scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions of the game to put this one away early. They gained 244 yards in the first quarter alone.

SEC logo

LSU 54 Texas A&M 39 - Leonard who? The Tigers further exposed the Aggies porous defense behind Derrius Guice's school-record 285 yards rushing and four touchdowns. In a bit of a surprise move, AD Joe Alleva again gave into the mob and made Ed Orgeron the full time head coach. (IMHO, it is a mistake hire. Bama fans should be rejoicing as well.) Kevin Sumlin was thought to be an endangered species in College Station but with Tom Herman sewn up, he may get a reprieve.

Missouri 28 Arkansas 24 - What is the deal with Arky? Sometimes they look like worldbeaters, other times they look like doormats. The Hogs were up 24-7 on the worst team in the SEC at the half and then decided the game was over. Drew Lock brought Mizzou storming back with three second half TDs. Austin Allen's two second half intercepted passes did not help things. Bert is now 25–25 overall and 10–22 in the SEC in four seasons at Arkansas.

Kentucky 41 Louisville 38 - Louisville's Lamar Jackson fumbled away the game and perhaps the Heisman late in the fourth quarter. He also had three interceptions on the day. UK had 581 yards of offense and converted 10 of 18 third downs (which is pretty good). No question about it: UK simply outplayed their in-state rival.

Vanderbilt 45 Tennessee 34 - Big lulz all around. The 'Dores became bowl eligible - and saved their coach's job - by just wanting it more in the fourth quarter. Down 34-24, Vandy scored touchdowns on three long drives while the Vols countered with a fumble, a missed 37 yd field goal, and turning the ball over on downs.

PATHETIC SHOWINGS:

Florida State 31 Florida 13 - What do you get when you take an SEC caliber defense and combine it with Purdue's offense? Answer: the Florida Gators. The M.O. on the Gators is if they cannot hold someone under 14 points, they cannot win. This is a good defense but the inability of the offense to move the ball puts them at a disadvantage.
Georgia Tech 28 Georgia 27 - A fitting end to a lethargic season for UGA. Tech came back from down 13 points with two fourth quarter touchdowns to win. Think Tech fans are happy? Many of them are not because they wanted coach Paul Johnson and his mediocrity gone.
Clemson 56 South Carolina 7 - No surprise here. Deshaun Watson tied his career high with six touchdown passes. At least SC scored. Jake Bentley was not good (7/17, 41 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT) and got benched.
Mississippi State 55 Ole Miss 20 - Lazy ol' ESPN wants to focus on MSU QB Nick Fitzgerald and the yards he put up (109 passing 3 TD; 258 rushing, 2 TD). But pin this loss squarely on OM coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebels had more first downs, more possession time, 3 less penalties, and were about even on total yardage. Down only 27-20 on the first possession of the third quarter and with a very good field goal kicker on the sidelines, Freeze opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the MSU 17. They were stopped cold and momentum swung to the Bullies. MSU drove the field and took a 14 point lead. The Rebs got stuck behind the eight ball and could never quite catch up. They would turn the ball over on downs two more times since they needed TDs, the further they got behind. Because of this loss, Ole Miss (5-7) has almost no chance of going to a bowl game (see LET'S GO BOWLING section below) .

SEC BOWL PROJECTIONS:

In: Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vandy, and...Mississippi State (see LET'S GO BOWLING below)!

Extreme Longshot: Ole Miss (see LET'S GO BOWLING below).

Nopes: Mizzou.

The SEC released a flow chart to show bowl placement process:

circling the drain

DEAD IN THE SHOWER

Southern Cal 45 Notre Dame 27 - It's 4-8 for the Irish with a quarterback that many believe will be a first rounder in next spring's NFL draft.
Texas Tech 54 Baylor 35 - The Bears have lost five straight and conclude the season at West Virginia this Saturday. They already have six wins, so there is a good chance for a losing season.
Oregon State 34 Oregon 24 - Just when you think the Ducks could not sink any lower, they go out and lose to little brother for the first time since 2007 and finish 4-8.
Cal 36 UCLA 10 - A disastrous season for a Bruins team (4-8) that many thought would challenge for the PAC-12 title.
Penn State 45 Michigan State 12 - Mark Dantonio hopes to pick up the pieces after a calamitous 3-9, 1-8 season.

PAGING MR. HERMAN

TCU 31 Texas 9 - Yeah, so Charlie Strong went out with a whimper. All week long, the Longhorns players had expressed their undying faith and love for the man. Yet, all they could manage to muster up on the field was this dreck to a TCU team that was 5-5 coming into the game. Three years ago, the story was that Strong (16–21 at Texas) was a desperation hire after the first three, four, or five targets turned Texas down. This time, they were determined to get their man.

Memphis 48 Houston 44 - A little distracted perhaps? While Herman is supposed to be the next big thing, some are questioning his decision-making at the end of this defeat to Memphis.

As for the LSU hiring of Ed Orgeron, word is that Plan A, Jimbo Fisher, turned them down because he wanted a ten year contract (reach for the stars, Jimbo). When Plan B signed with Texas, the job fell to Coach O. I guess Alleva can always fire him after Game 4 in 2017 if he wants.

SUPERSIZED GRAB BAG

Iowa 40 Nebraska 10 - A serious choke by the Cornhuskers who were hoping to sneak into the B1GCG. Iowa lost to North Dakota State and Northwestern but defeated Michigan and Nebraska. Go figure.
NC State 28 North Carolina 21 - Also a choke from UNC trying to get into the ACCCG. The Tar Heels' Mitch Trubisky (3,468 passing yds, 28 TD, 4 INT) spent one season as a starter but may be the first QB selected in next year's NFL draft. Larry Fedora's stock took a hit.
Tulsa 40 Cincinnati 37 (OT) - It may be the last rodeo for Tommy Tuberville (4-8, 1-7). So long, jerko. You know where you can stick that thumb.
Arizona 56 Arizona State 35 - Could it also be the end of the road for RichRod at 'Zona (3-9)? In five seasons, he is 36–29 overall and 18–26 in conference play. ASU lost their last six after starting 5-1.
Wisconsin 31 Minnesota 17 - Oh, yeah. Remember these guys? They're back. The Badgers are looking like the eventual B1G Champs.
Kansas State 34 Kansas 19 - Bill Snyder won his 200th coaching victory at K-State. The ageless wonder is 200-105-1 in 25 seasons in Manhattan, KS.
Virginia Tech 52 Virginia 10 - I wonder how Bronco Mendenhall feels about leaving BYU (8-4) for UVa (2-10) now.
San Jose State 16 Fresno State 14 - Fresno has the dubious distinction of owning the worst record in FBS at 1-11. Their sole victory came against FCS Sacramento State (2-9).
Hawaii 45 UMass 40 - They finished 6-7 but 37-year old rookie head coach Nick Rolovich has the Rainbow Warriors back in a bowl game for the first time since 2010

alabama helmet

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

  • Southern Cal - Adoree Jackson returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns and also caught a 54-yard scoring pass as the Trojans (9-3) dumped Notre Dame 45-27.
  • WKU - The Hilltoppers (9-3, 7-1) throttled Marshall 60-6 and won the C-USA East.
  • Chattanooga - The Mocs (8-3) dominated Weber State 45-14 in the first round of the FCS Playoff. Up next is Sam Houston State at 2pm/3pm espn3 on Saturday.
  • Kent State (3-9) - Another wretched season comes to an end at the hands of Northern Illinois (5-7). Coaching at KSU must be a thankless job.
  • Kentucky upset Louisville and somehow got to 7-5!
  • Tennessee lost to Vandy but that is totally acceptable.

~~~~~

ADOPT-A-TEAM

Way to go RBR Readers! Just like last year, we picked some pretty good teams to adopt.

  • Jacksonville State - After a first round FCS playoff bye, the Gamecocks will face Bo Pelini and the Youngstown State Penguins on Dec. 3 at 1pm/2pm (espn3). Side note: Pelini is rumored to be a candidate at Purdue.
  • South Alabama (5-6) lost at Idaho (7-4) by the score of 38-31. They need just to defeat New Mexico State (3-8) at home this Saturday to be invited to play in a bowl game.
  • Wyoming (8-4) got housed by Bob Davie's New Mexico (8-4) 53-35 but still won a MWC Division title on a tiebreaker. Brian Hill ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns for the Cowboys.
  • Colorado (10-2, 8-1) beat Utah 27-22 but it wasn't as close as the score looks. Considering that the Buffs only losses this year were to Southern Cal and Michigan, this might be the comeback story of the year.
  • North Texas - Former Bama quarterback Alec Morris may* have ended his college career with a 52-24 loss to UTEP but had a respectable showing, passing 23 of 42 for 197 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. The Mean Green (5-7) might still go bowling this season (*see LET'S GO BOWLING below).

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

RS-Patriot

Army, Navy, and Air Force are all bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. It is only the second ever time that all three service academies will go to a bowl game.

  • Air Force (9-3) upset 19th ranked Boise 24-21 on a late goal-line stand with under 2 minutes to play, denying the Smurfs of the MWC Division crown.
  • Army (6-5) - The Black Knights had a week off. Army-Navy is Dec. 10, 2pm/3pm on CBS.
  • Navy (9-2, 7-1) obliterated SMU 75-31 with 600 yards of offense, 496 on the ground. It has been another incredible season for the Midshipmen. Oddly enough, Navy has to play in the AAC Championship Game and then come back the next Saturday for the annual Army-Navy regular season game. The Middies could potential win 12 games this season, the most in program history.

ELIMINATED FOR REALSIES THIS TIME*:

All non P5 teams, Michigan.

* crazier things

boxers

THE CONTENDERS

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

  • ACC - Clemson.
  • Big Ten - ??? Ohio State? The winner of Wisconsin and Penn State? Neither? Both? Is Michigan completely out of it? ???
  • Big 12 - It is a bit of a long shot to think that the winner of Okie State and Oklahoma (both 9-2) will make the playoffs. There will need to be a lot of chaos. Go Cowpokes!
  • PAC-12 - Washington (11-1) continues to fight for respectability. Colorado is not going to make it easy.
  • SEC - Alabama.
  • Notre Dame

The CFP Committee releases their fifth and penultimate rankings of the season on Tuesday evening. What will they do about the Buckeyes who did not win their division?

My seedings of the Top Four are as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Washington

What does your top 4 look like?

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to Jim Harbaugh. Would you like some cheese with that whine? What a little crybaby b@#$&. Some people out there want to criticize today's players for certain behavior but how can you blame them with so-called leadership and bad sportsmanship from brats like Harbaugh?

Sad_face_medium

  • Regarding Marlon Humphrey, Nick Saban said he is "hopeful he'll be able to practice some later in the week" and be ready for SEC Championship. There are no other injuries to report. Roll Tide!
  • Some idiot reporter posed the question whether the Bama players will think it’s okay to lose the SEC title game, to which Saban went on a a little bit of a rant but put the exclamation point on it with "it’s never okay to lose a game." Damn straight.
  • Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt has been named one of five Broyles Award finalists! The others are Clemson DC Brent Venables, Colorado DC Jim Leavitt, Michigan DC Don Brown, and Pitt OC Matt Canada.
  • Rumors are swirling that former Bama assistant and current UGA DC Mel Tucker is a candidate for the head coaching opening at Georgia State Panthers. If GSU could pull this off, it would be quite the coup. GSU recently acquired the Atlanta Braves' Turner Field and will transform it into a 23,000 seat football stadium.
  • Two Colorado players will miss the Pac-12 Championship after a bar fight. Abdul Awini and Chris Hill were arrested early Sunday morning after getting in a fight ... with each other! Awini was arrested on charges of drug possession (cocaine). Neither are vital members of the team.
  • Auburn QB Sean White is expected back for Auburn’s bowl game.
  • UC Davis is hiring former Colorado and Boise State coach Dan Hawkins as its head coach.
  • Sources say that Baylor has not offered its coaching position to anyone yet. It is unclear why they are dragging their heels. Candidates include SMU's Chad Morris, Cal's Sonny Dykes, North Carolina's Larry Fedora.
  • The Marvin Lewis era (fourteen years!) is likely over Cincinnati. His days as a NFL head coach are probably done as well. Might some P5 team come a-courtin'? Although the 58 year old's roots are in Pittsburgh, he played for Idaho State and got his first coaching gig there.
  • Bob Stoops has kicked former 4/5 star Michiah Quick to the curb, due to a violation of team rules.
  • Jim Harbaugh was fined $10,000 for his post-game temper tantrum.
  • Remember Eddie Vanderdoes and how he jerked everyone around during the 2013 recruiting cycle? The UCLA DL has announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. He tore his ACL in the first game of the 2015 season but returned healthy this year and finished the season with 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Seriously, bro?

tiny football

STAT OF THE DAY

No these are not basketball scores. Disgusting displays of so called football:

  • Pittsburgh 76 Syracuse 61 - 1,312 combined total yards. Curiously, the Orange had 38 first downs to Pitt's 20. The Panthers had a pick-six, the only non-offensive score of the game.
  • Middle Tennessee 77 FAU! 56 - 1,346 combined total yards. FAU had four turnovers to none for MTSU.

KEY & PEELE PLAYER ZEN NAME OF THE WEEK

Budda Baker, DB, Washington. Pronounced like "Buddha".

LET'S GO BOWLING!

Not counting the FBS Championship Game in Tampa, there are 40 bowl games this 2016-17 season. There are two each in San Diego, New Orleans, and Miami with THREE is Orlando for some reason.

76 FBS teams now have six or more wins, enough to fill 37 bowl games. This includes Army who at 6-6 has two FCS wins, and Hawaii who is 6-7. Louisiana Lafayette and South Alabama will need to win on Saturday to capture spots as well. Alas, we are going to have at least two teams with losing records making it to bowls.

One surprising beneficiary of this is Mississippi State. Priority for losing record teams goes in order of Academic Progress Rate. Among teams with 5-7 records, North Texas and Mississippi State have the highest APR. But will Dan Mullen accept the invitation? You bet your sweet bippy he will! And he will spin it like they just won the Super Bowl.

Next in line is Texas but the Longhorns might just decline such an invitation. They are followed by Arizona State and then Ole Miss. Would Hugh Freeze accept?

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 Win - Some flapping lips seem to think that Lamar Jackson is still the one. They have no explanation other than he was the leader earlier in the year. smh... Oklahoma's Dede Westbrook is gaining some momentum but he is a wide receiver. Plus, he is on a team that likely does not go to the playoffs... The Jabril Peppers hype is fading, especially since his Wolverines lost. For all the hype around him, he only picked up his first INT of the season on Saturday. It was an easy pick on a balled tipped into the air practically into his lap...  Deshaun Watson has quietly snuck back into the race basically by not screwing up. Lazy Heisman voters LOVE a QB or RB on a winning team. He may just slide in there.
  • Who Should Win - Lamar had another terrible game, his third in a row. Karma knocked him square in the mouth when he struck a Heisman pose early in the game after scoring a TD against Kentucky, only to fumble away the game in the waning moments. He also threw three interceptions... I still don't think anyone deserves it but if I had to choose, I guess it would be Watson.

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

Alright, one last regular season rant. How obnoxious was the ABC/ESPN hype machine this past week for the Mich-OSU game? I cannot recall a regular season game of any sport, pro or college, being shoved down our throats more than this one. And that includes the "Game of the Century" from 2011. Chris Fowler was especially annoying. Every player or unit he spoke of was the "one of the best in the nation" blah blah blah.

On to Championship Week!

Times are CT/ET.

Friday, December 2

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Detroit, MI:
Western Michigan vs Ohio 6pm/7pm ESPN2 - WMU should destroy the Bobcats and clear a path to the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Santa Clara, CA:
Colorado vs Washington 8pm/9pm FOX FOX wordmark.svg - A Huskies win and they are in the CFP. But the Buffs are not going to just roll over.

Saturday, December 3

AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Annapolis, MD:
Temple at Navy 11am/noon ABCABC- This is no gimme for the Middies.

C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Bowling Green, KY:
Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky 11am/noon ESPN ESPN - WKU should take this one.

MWC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Laramie, WY:
San Diego State at Wyoming 6:45/7:45 ESPN ESPN - Cowboys vs Indians Aztecs.

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Orlando, FL:
Clemson vs Virginia Tech 7pm/8pm ABCABC- A tune up game for the Tigers.

B1G CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, Indianapolis, IN:
Wisconsin vs Penn State 7pm/8pm FOX FOX wordmark.svg - No Michy or anOSU? LOL! My money is on Wisky.

CAN'T SLEEP? HERE ARE SOME REGULAR SEASON GAMES OF LITTLE IMPORTANCE:

Kansas State at TCU 11am/noon FS1 - Is this the year 77-year old Bill Snyder finally retires? Prolly not.
Troy at Georgia Southern 11am/noon ESPN2 - Troy going for 10 wins.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma 11:30/12:30 FOX FOX wordmark.svg - Playing for the Sugar Bowl, perhaps?
New Mexico State at South Alabama 2:30pm/3:30pm espn3 - Jags need to win to get to 6!
Louisiana Lafayette at Louisiana Monroe 2pm/3pm espn3 - Laffy is 5-6, Monroe 4-7.
Baylor at West Virginia 2:30pm/3:30pm FS1 - Ugh.
Georgia State at Idaho 4pm/5pm espn3 - Awful.
Arkansas State at Texas State 6:30/7:30 ESPN2 - Nothing to see here.

alabama logo script a 100x100

#ALABAMA

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP, BRYANT-DENNY EAST (aka The Georgia Dome), Atlanta, GA

Florida at ALABAMA 3pm/4pm, CBS- The LAST Bama game with Verne EVER! At least until they bring him back next season and interview him for ten minutes during second quarter game action. Now, if we could just get rid of Gary...

Bama is currently favored by -24½.

#RollTide!