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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Say a Prayer for the Pretenders

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Ohio v Penn State
#SadTrombone
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Even though Alabama did not play this weekend, the college football world went on - which is shocking, I know. As the calendar turns to November, it is crunch time for the few remaining playoff hopefuls. Although no team that was thought to be in the running was truly knocked out, several pretenders were. There are a few other hanger-ons who severely damaged their cases.

Say a prayer...

PRETENDERS

These teams had slim chances of getting to the playoffs. That hope is all snuffed out now.

Northwestern 39 Michigan State 31 (3 OT) - Sparty threw an INT on the second play of triple overtime. Buh-bye.

Notre Dame 35 NC State 14 - The Wolfpack led 14-7 early in the second quarter but failed to score after that point. Losing Nyheim Hines to an ankle injury on the kickoff following Notre Dame's first touchdown of the game was a big factor. The running back had rushed over 100 yards in the previous three games. Without him all NCSU could muster was 50 rushing yards. Meanwhile the Irish's Josh Adams ran for 202 and a score. A fourth quarter pick-6 and a 77 yard run by Adams clinched it.

Arizona 58 Washington State 37 - You didn’t really think Mike Leach was going to pull this off, did you? Zona has won four in a row. See ya.

Houston 28 South Florida 24 - OH, I am so glad we don’t have to hear about USF and Charlie Strong anymore. After a 50 yard kickoff return late in the game, the Cougars thankfully put together a drive of 9 plays and 49 yards to score the winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining to play.

DAMAGED GOODS!

The resumes of following teams took big hits:

Ohio State 39 Penn State 38 - It was a tale of two halves. The Litany Pions jumped out to a 21-3 lead and held serve at halftime at 28-17. To start the fourth quarter, it was 35-20 Penn State. Then the Buckeyes went nuts scoring at will while neutralizing PSU’s ineffectual Saquon Barkley to nothing of consequence. The Heisman hopeful finished with 44 yards on 21 carries for 2.1 ypc. JT Barrett had the game of his life completing 33 of 39 (with at least 3 drops) for 328 yards and four TDs, no INTs. His one flaw on the day was a lost fumble.

Iowa State 14 TCU 7 - The Cyclones again worked their home field magic holding Kenny “Shrill” Hill and the Horned Frogs in check. Hill was 12 of 25 passing for 135 yards with two picks, a lost fumble, and no TDs. The crazy thing is he was only sacked once and was hurried only once as well. TCU’s only points were produced on a 94 yard kickoff return to start the second half.

SEC

Bama, LSU and Aub had the week off.

Georgia 42 Florida 7 - This was a flat-out beatdown as the Bulldogs had their way with the Gators. UGA didn’t even bother to pass the ball. Jake Fromm was 4 of 7 for 101 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. Sony Michel had touchdown runs of 74 and 45 yards. 4th string RB Elijah Holyfield capped the scoring with a 39 yard TD run. Jim McElwain was relieved of his duties as head coach. KK has something to say about this in her section below.

Mississippi State 35 Texas A&M 14 - The Bullies have secured Second-Tier SEC status in what should have been a closer game. TAMU’s Kellen Mond (8/26, 56 yds, 2 picks) and his offensive teammates were awful. His receivers dropped two easy touchdowns in the first half and juggled a pass into the arms of a MSU defender. Nick Starkel took over and was only marginally better (8/15, 133, 1, 1). Nick Fitzgerald and his teammates accounted for 228 yards rushing to 96 for TAMU.

Arkansas 38 Ole Miss 37 - Typical Bert-ball for Arky. The Hogs went down 31-7 and then came storming back to win this game. We have seen this kind of glimmer-of-hope football out of Bret Bielema in seasons past but this might be too little too late. He was all smiles at the post-game presser but I don’t think this is enough to save his job.

South Carolina 34 Vanderbilt 27 - You have to give Will Muschamp some credit. He took a dumpster fire of a program and got them to second place in the division and bowl eligible in only 8 games. But it wasn’t easy. QB Jake Bentley ran for the first two touchdowns of his career and threw for another. Vandy has lost five straight since this.

Kentucky 29 Tennessee 26 - Playing without suspended leading rusher John Kelly, the Vols turned to Ty Chandler who put up 120 yards, two TDs in 22 carries. But it wasn’t enough as his D could not stop his counterpart Benny Snell (27-180, 3 TD). The Cats won, despite losing four fumbles as opposed to no turnovers by UT. The Vols have lost 4 straight.

Mizzery 52 UConn 12 - who cares?

THE GREAT STRUGGLE

Miami 24 UNC 19 - If the Tarheels were not so terrifically derptastic, they would have knocked off the undefeated Hurricanes. With a little under three to play, Miami fumbled the ball at midfield. Feeling bad for the ‘Canes, UNC gave the ball right back three plays later at the Miami 34 yard line.

Wisconsin 24 Illinois 10 - The Badgers led this one 17-3 pretty late in the game and needed a trick play to finally put an awful two-win team away. UW managed only 303 total yards and converted only 5 of 12 third downs. Illinois is winless in Big Ten play.

Stanford 15 Oregon State 14 - Stanford took center stage on Thursday in prime time aaaaand... Bryce Love sat out due to an injury. The Cardinal tried so hard to screw this one up but Wally and the Beavers would not let them. OSU led most of the game until they lost a fumble on their own 40 with 2:24 to play. Stanford punched in the winning score and sprinted to the team buses.

GRAB BAG

Wake Forest 42 Louisville 32 - Anyone remember Louisville? The score is not indicative to how this game went. The Demon Deacons held a 35-10 lead and allowed the ‘Ville to claw back a bit. The Cardinals found themselves going for it on fourth down with nine minutes to go down 35-17. They did not convert but scored later to make it look closer.

FAU! 42 WKU 28 - Lane Kiffin’s team leads the C-USA East at 4-0. The Owls are on the verge of their first winning season since 2008. Kiffin might have found a home, if he wants it. But of course he’ll screw it up by taking another job in a year or so and spectacularly fail. I can’t wait.

BYU WINS! BYU WINS! BYU WINS! The Mormons score an unbelievable 41 points, yielding only 20 in a win over San Jose Canseco State (1-8).

THE DESMOND HOWARD JINX

The ESPN blabbermouth picked Stanford, Georgia, Wisconsin, Miami, and Okie State to win their conferences. One down, one dying, three to go.

  • Okie State - Next up is a true elimination game with Oklahoma followed by the surprisingly good Iowa State.
  • Georgia - We may have to wait til December, unless... SC, @Aub, UK, @GT.
  • Wisconsin - They struggled against lowly Illinois. Next: Indy, Iowa, Harbaugh, and Minnie. No way they are beating Ohio State/Penn State.
  • Miami - should have lost to an epically bad UNC team. They next face Va Tech and Notre Dame.
tiny football

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Not a good week for the Crimson Tide OOC foes.

  • FSU (2-5) There is only so much you can blame on losing a starting quarterback. Boston College was more physical and straight up outplayed the Seminoles winning 35-3. Cam Akers gained 42 yards on 18 carries and lost a fumble. This is an embarrassing loss for a FSU team that just plain quit. They may not even make a bowl game this season. Might we see some crootin flips? I am starting to wonder if Jimbo is ready to make a job change.
  • Colorado State (6-3) This should probably quell any Mike Bobo to ____ talk for awhile. Air Force dominated the Rams 45-28 in CSU’s house.
  • Fresno (5-3) The Bulldogs inexplicably lost to a dreadful UNLV team at home 26-16. I’m thinking they started sampling some of that rat poison.
  • Mercer (4-4) bye week.

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • San Diego State (7-2) The Aztecs beat Hawaii 28-7. Rashaad Penny got back on track rushing for 253 yards.
  • Memphis (7-1) beat up on Tulane 56-26 but for some reason, head coach Mike Norvell left QB Riley Freguson and his starters in for the whole game. They even scored on the last play of the game. Who is he trying to impress?! He’s lucky nobody got injured.

COUSINS

  • Troy (6-2) Bowl eligibility for the Trojans as they trample winless Georgia Southern 38-16.
  • South Alabama (3-5) It might be curtains for the Jags after they lose a Thursday night game to lowly Georgia State 21-13. They will have to go 3-1 down the stretch in order to get to a bowl game.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER

UAB (5-3) beat Southern Miss 30-12. The “official” attendance was 19,101.

RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

  • Navy (5-2) The Midshipmen had a bye week to prep for Temple.
  • Army (6-2) - The Black Knights had a bye week to prep for Air Force.
  • Air Force (4-4) - Who are these guys? The Falcons lose to New Mexico, barely beat Nevada and then stomp Colorado State 45-28.
boxers

ELIMINATED

NEW: NC State, Washington State.

All non-Power 5 teams.

Arizona
Arizona State
Arkansas
Auburn
Baylor
Boston College
BYU
Cal
Colorado
Duke
Florida
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Iowa State
Kansas
Kansas State
Kentucky
Louisville
LSU
Maryland
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Mississippi State
Mizzou
Nebraska
North Carolina
Northwestern
Oregon
Oregon State
Pitt
Purdue
Rutgers
South Carolina
Southern Cal
Stanford
Syracuse
Tennessee
Tejas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
UCLA
Utah
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
West Virginia

AND... Ole Miss

THE CONTENDERS

The first College Football Playoff Rankings will be issued TONIGHT at 6pm/7pm ESPN on Nick Saban’s birthday, October 31. Selection Day will be Sunday, December 3.

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

  • ACC - Miami holds a tenuous lead in the ACC but Clemson is far from out of the chase. NC State is toast.
  • Big Ten - Michigan is out. Penn State might be next. Ohio State looks like a playoff team. Wisky continues their exhibition season.
  • Big 12 - TCU’s loss to Iowa State was a severe blow to the conference’s chances of getting a team in the playoffs. The Frogs are going to have to win out and pray like they have never prayed before. Either Okie or Okie State go bye-bye this weekend.
  • PAC-12 - Wazzu is gonna Wazzu. It seems like they do it every year. Now that every other team in the conference has two or more losses, it is now down to Washington to rep the west coast. That notion may end in two Saturdays after a trip to Stanford.
  • SEC - Everything seems to be pointing towards an Alabama clash with UGA in December. If both teams go 12-0, they could both get in the playoff regardless of who wins the SEC Championship Game.
  • Indies - Notre Dame keeps plugging along as others fall by the wayside. Up next is Wake, at Miami, Navy, at Stanford.

Penn State and TCU have fallen from the unbeaten. Only Alabama 8-0, Georgia 8-0, Wisconsin 8-0, Miami 7-0 remain. After nine weeks, only nine P5 teams have one loss.

LET’S GO BOWLING

In baseball, four strikeouts in one game is called a Golden Sombrero. Baylor has a Double Golden Sombrero, on their way to a Triple Golden Sombrero after losing to Texas. UTEP is also 0-8 with Georgia Southern at 0-7. Oregon State, Kansas, Tulsa, Charlotte, Rice, BYU, Bowling Green, Nevada, and Coastal Carolina all have seven losses and are not likely to get to a bowl. North Carolina and San Jose Canseso State are both 1-8.

Seven SEC teams have a six or more wins. Texas A&M is 5-3 with New Mexico and Ole Miss still on the schedule. Oddly enough, the other six SEC teams all have three wins.

39 teams now have six or more wins. 39 bowl slots remain to be filled.

Kristi Malzahn

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to the Florida administration. Double K wants to start off by saying she likes Jim McElwain. She thinks he is a good man and a good coach. That said, let’s get down to what is becoming a shameful era for Florida football beyond the records.

Although we may never know what really happened here, this is an unjustified firing. McElwain took over a troubled program and merely won the SEC East in his first two seasons. This season has been a bit of a miracle that the Gators got to 3-4 (and if AD Scott Stricklin had gotten off his fat backside and found a way to play the Northern Colorado game, their record would be 4-4).

Florida started the season losing 10 scholarshipped players including the returning leading receiver and rusher. Now imagine that happening at any other program across the nation and tell me how their season would go. Then add in the fact that the NCAA totally screwed them on the Will Grier situation flipflopping on his suspension after he had already transferred. If I was SEC commissioner, I would be raising H-E-double-hockey-sticks. Unfortunately, the SEC has a jellyfish for a commish.

KK’s theory for what went down:

  1. McElwain gets his feet wet at Alabama, learning under Saban how to run a successful football program through total control.
  2. Takes what he has learned to Colorado State to excellent results.
  3. Moves up to Florida, but is stagnated by petty control-freak ADs and a delusional fan base (Gator fans need to realize that Urban is NOT coming back). The result is a match made in Hades.

Stricklin is coming off as the bad guy in this whole mess. Don’t be shocked if he tries to lure his buddy from his old AD job at Missy State, Dan Mullen. If he cannot get Mullen, it might be difficult filling this opening. Who needs the aggravation?

As for McElwain, I see the perfect marriage for him at Oregon State.

Gump 4 Heisman

HEISMAN HYPE

With the exception of TWO YEARS, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. Last year was yet another exhibit of the voters falling in love with someone way too early. That being the case, we'll bring you "Who Will Win" and "Who Should Win".

Who Will Win -

  • Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State) had voters running to the mailbox to send in their ballots after he opened the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown. He had some nice highlights including a 36-yard scamper for a touchdown in the second quarter. But then - POOF - he disappeared. Barkley was ineffective in the second half and his team suffered for it. There is a pretty good chance that 99% of the Heisman voters were watching that game. There is still a month of football to play. Will the voters use selective memory to brush off this blight and still vote for their schoolgirl crush?
  • Bryce Love (RB Stanford) Love did not play in the Cardinal’s near upset loss against THE Oregon State. But should he be rewarded for NOT playing? This is a symptom of how David Shaw coaches. He has one running back and he runs him into the ground. Remember how beat up Christian McCaffrey was by the end of the season?
  • Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma) is still a lingering around.
  • JT Barrett (QB Ohio State) is now in the discussion after his career game with a Heisman moment entact.
  • Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville) I am not sure if he will even be invited to NYC this year.

Who Should Win -
It might just be Barrett.

Mississippi State v Texas A&M
Kellen Mond had a rough day.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

THE SICK REPORT

  • No Alabama new injuries to report! Roll Tide! Da'Shawn Hand is probably not ready yet. Josh Jacobs is questionable.
  • However, Alabama’s Deionte Thompson was indicted on third degree felony assault charge for an incident over Spring Break. It sounds like a bunch of trumped up charges by some bitter old Texas DA to be honest.
  • LSU has five players questionable (but they’ll probably play) for the Alabama game: TE Caleb Roddy (undisclosed), OL Donavaughn Campbell (foot), T K.J. Malone (knee), LB Sci Martin (undisclosed), CB Xavier Lewis (undisclosed). Coach O is so secretive!
  • Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway has fractured scapula and is out for an extended period.
  • Adding injury to insult, the Gators lost their top rusher Malik Davis for the season due to a knee injury. Also “probably” out for the season is LB Kylan Johnson.
  • In other news, James Franklin smells of elderberries.
Black and White TV

Below are just the highlights for games this weekend. If you want to know the game time of Charlotte-Old Dominion, you should probably look elsewhere.

Tuesday Oct 31:

Miami (OH) at Ohio 7pm/8pm ESPN2 - These two teams are both in Ohio, so I assume they are hated rivals or sumpthin’...
Bowling Green at Kent State 7pm/8pm ESPNU - The scariest thing you’ll see all night is the MAC trying to look relevant.

Wednesday Nov 1:

Central Michigan at Western Michigan 7pm/8pm ESPN2 - Winner gets Eastern Michigan. I’m watching “Mr. Robot”. What are your feels on the season so far? In a word: “dark”.

Thursday, Nov 2:

Northern Illinois at Toledo 5pm/6pm ESPNU - At 7-1, the Rockets could slide into a meaningful bowl against some poor unsuspecting P5 team.
Navy at Temple 7pm/8pm ESPN - A win get the Middies to bowl eligibility. Anchors Aweigh!
Idaho at Troy 8:15/9:15 ESPNU - The Potatoes Vandals continue their FBS farewell tour.

Friday, Nov 3:

Marshall at FAU! 5pm/6pm CBSSN - fAU!
Memphis at Tulsa 7pm/8pm ESPN2 - Check out Vols QB reject Riley Ferguson.
UCLA at Utah 8:30/9:30 FS1 - This looked like an important game two months ago.

Saturday, Nov 4:

SEC:

Auburn at Texas A&M 11am/noon ESPN - Wow, noon?
Florida at Missouri 11am/noon ESPN2 - I am rooting for Mizzou. How about you?
UMass at Mississippi State 11am/noon SECN - Bullies should score 50+.
Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt 11am/noon ESPNU - Vandy NEEDS this win bad.
South Carolina at Georgia 2:30/3:30 CBS - SC has given UGA trouble in the past... in the PAST.
Ole Miss at Kentucky 3pm/4pm SECN - UK needs to check their egos at the door.
Coastal Carolina at Arkansas 3pm/4pm SECN Alt - yawn.
Southern Miss at Tennessee 6:30/7:30 SECN - USM just lost to UAB. If UT (3-5) blows this one, they have little shot at a bowl.

* No more bye weeks for anyone in the SEC.

ELIMINATION GAME!

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State 3pm/4pm FS1 - BEDLAM! Not sure why this game isn’t on FOX. Who is running the show over there???

POTENTIAL ELIMINATION

Penn State at Michigan State 11am/noon FOX – Who will get over their hangover first?
Wisconsin at Indiana 11am/noon ABC – Upset alert?
Stanford at Washington State 2:30/3:30 FOX - So, this is on Fox instead of Bedlam?
Ohio State at Iowa 2:30/3:30 ESPN - Let down game?
Clemson at NC State 2:30/3:30 ABC - Winner takes control of the ACC.
Wake Forest at Notre Dame 2:30/3:30 NBC - Should not be a problem for ND.
Texas at TCU 6:15/7:15 ESPN - The Frogs are in danger of a three-game losing streak with a trip to Okie next week.
Virginia Tech at Miami 7pm/8pm ABC - Is this the week the other shoe finally drops?

WORST GAME OF THE WEEK

Baylor (0-8) at Kansas (1-7) 11am/noon NO TV - need I say more?

NIGHTY-NIGHT

Oregon at Washington 9pm/10pm FS1 - It’s gettin’ kinda hectic up in the Pac NW.
Arizona at Southern Cal 9:45/10:45 ESPN - Zona is on a roll.

San Diego State at San Jose State 9:30/10:30 ESPNU - nope
BYU at Fresno 9:45/10:45 ESPN2 - uh-uh

#ALABAMA

GAME 9 - Saturday, November 4, 2017

LSU at ALABAMA Alabama 7pm/8pm CBS - Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce

Peace and blessings to you all!

#RollTide!