clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Thinning the Herd

New, 72 comments

The contenders list is getting smaller.

Georgia v Auburn
Kirby Smart is not happy.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This season is officially bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S. We may have another 2007 on our hands. However one thing seems certain: the PAC-12 will be on the sidelines come playoff time. Washington, the West Coast’s last great hope, took their second loss on Friday night. Even if a two-loss team were to make the playoffs, it won’t be the Huskies with their lame schedule.

ELIMINATED!

Stanford 30 Washington 22 - The last hope for the PAC-12 has likely fallen by the wayside and into a trench that runs down to the Pacific Ocean. Stanford ran Bryce Love right, Bryce Love left, and Bryce Love up the middle for 166 yards and 3 TD on 30 carries.

Miami 41 Notre Dame 8 - This game got ugly early with the ‘Canes scoring on their second, third and fourth possessions while the Irish struggled mightily. Notre Dame’s running game is their strong suit. When they can’t get that going (109 total rush yards) they have to depend on the perilous arm of QB Brandon Wimbush. The junior QB was 10 of 21 for 119 yards, two picks and a lost fumble.

Travis Homer (D’OH!) had 146 rushing yards for Miami. The defense had four takeaways and five sacks.

Oklahoma 38 TCU 20 - Baker Mayfield threw for 333 yards and three touchdown passes, but it was Rodney Anderson’s big day. The Sooners sophomore had 151 yards and two scores on the ground and another 139 receiving with two more touchdowns.

SEC

Alabama 31 Mississippi State 24 - With so many blowouts on the day, this one turned out to be the Game of the Day with the Tide making a whirlwind comeback for a win with 44 seconds left on the clock.

Auburn 40 Georgia 17 - Outcoached, outhustled, and outphysicalled, the Bulldogs are on the verge of being out of the playoffs. UGA and their freshman quarterback Jake Fromm had yet to play a game in front of a true hostile crowd (Notre Dame was half UGA fans) and they folded faster than Superman on Laundry Day.

Nick Chubb had 27 yards, Sony Michel had 21. As a team, they amassed only 46 for a 1.4 ypc average. Kerryon Johnson carried the load for Auburn with 167 on 32 rushes. UGA scored a TD on their first possession but punted the next five. For the game, the Dawgs punted 8 times and totaled 230 yards to 488 for the War Plainsmen Tiger Eagles.

THE REST OF THOSE SEC GUYS

LSU 33 Arkansas 10 - Maybe the Bayou Bengals should start playing more 11am games. It’s majicuh... in daylight! Derrius Guice ran wild netting 147 yards and 3 TDs. Arky is not good.
Ole Miss 50 LaLaf 22 - The Rebs have been playing better of late thanks mostly to QB Jordan Ta'amu (28-36, 418 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT). LaLaf scored 12 points against the OM scrubs.
South Carolina 28 Florida 20 - How bad are the Gators? SC quarterback Jake Bentley threw 3 interceptions and no TDs, and the Gamecocks still won. Interim Gators coach Randy Shannon again started the walking dumpster fire Malik Zaire. After an injury sidelined the Notre Dame transfer, Feleipe Franks entered the game and despite his lousy stats, sparked the offense to an almost come-from-behind win. The Gamecocks defense was the difference.
Kentucky 44 Vanderbilt 21 - UK’s Benny Snell rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Vandy's Kyle Shurmur threw a quartet of picks.
Texas A&M 55 New Mexico 14 - Big numbers all around is what you are expecting, right? Well, Nick Starkel and two other Aggies QBs did total 499 passing yards, but the running game could only muster 63.

Missouri 50 Tennessee 17 - It wasn’t just the passing for Mizzou that worked. Ish Witter gashed Tennessee's defense for 216 yards rushing and a TD on Senior Night. The Tigers are miraculously a Vandy win away from six victories.

UT started the QB whose redshirt was burned last week, Will McBride. He was not much better than Jarrett Guarantano, passing 16 of 32 for 139 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 1 lost fumble, and was sacked 5 times. The Volunteers need to win their final two games to qualify for a bowl. It starts with LSU on Saturday. Ain’t gonna happen.

Butch Jones was canned on Sunday but don’t cry for Butch, Argentina. The Vols coach is walking away with multi-million dollar buyout. I guess instead of being a Champion of Life, he is a Champion of Golden Parachutes and Ladders.

slow clap
Hermoine is back and she is unimpressed.

Wisconsin 38 Iowa 14 - Another sleepy win over a marginal B1G team.
Clemson 31 Florida State 14 - This was actually a pretty close game with the Flying Dabos holding a slim 17-14 lead late in the fourth quarter when Kelly Bryant fumbled on his own 40. But FSU gave the ball right back with an interception on the next play and it was returned for 38 yards to the FSU 44. Clemson scored a TD to make it 24-14. In the next series, FSU lost the ball on downs on their own 28. Dabo, ignoring the WWSabanD mantra, chose not to take a knee but punched in another touchdown with 35 seconds left to make it look like a bigger win than it really was.

GRAB BAG

Ohio State 48 Michigan State 3 - The “Battle For The Taxslayer Bowl” goes to the Buckeyes.
Oklahoma State 49 Iowa State 42 - Well, there goes the Cyclones 15 minutes of fame...
Minnesota 54 Nebraska 21 - Does anyone have a good real estate agent for Mike Riley in Lincoln? The Cornhuskers (4-6) close the season with Penn State and Iowa. If they lose those two, it will be their worst record since 1961.

THE DESMOND HOWARD JINX

So Desi has gotten a little lucky so far. But you don’t expect these remaining three to last, or do you? Stanford, Georgia, Wisconsin, Miami, and Okie State win their conferences. Two down, three to go.

  • Georgia - The Dawgs came back down to Earth. They clinch the SEC East but the Conference crown is far from theirs.
  • Wisconsin - Next up for the Badgers is Michigan in Madison. That might not be as easy as some think. They have already clinched the B1G Legends or Lechers or whatever they are calling their divisions these days.
  • Miami - The ‘Canes keep winning but can they get by Clemson?
tiny football

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

Crimson Tide OOC foes:

  • FSU (3-6) lost to Clemson. The Seminoles rescheduled their Hurricane Matthew canceled game with UL-Monroe for Dec 2 when it looked like getting to six wins may not happen otherwise. What are the odds Jimbo skips town some time real soon?
  • Colorado State (6-5) lost a wild one to Boise in overtime 59-52. After a four game winning streak, the Rams have lost three in a row. They should win their final game against one-win San Jose Cuervo State.
  • Fresno (7-3) The Bulldogs beat Hawaii 31-21. They finish with two tough games against Wyoming and the Smurfs.
  • Mercer (5-5) upset Western Carolina.

ADOPT-A-TEAM

  • San Diego State (8-2) The Aztecs had a bye week.
  • Memphis (8-1) Also had a bye week.
  • Elon (8-2) lost to #7 New Hampshire. Up next is top-ranked James Madison. The Phoenix should still get an at-large bid to the playoffs.

COUSINS

  • Troy (8-2) The Trojans stomped Coastal Carolina 42-17. They lead the Sunbelt standings.
  • South Alabama (4-6) surprised Arkansas State with a 24-19 upset win. Two more wins to Bowl Heaven.

THAT ANNOYING STEP-BROTHER

UAB (7-3) beat UTSA by the same score USA won by, 24-19.

RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

  • Navy (6-3) The Midshipmen outscored SMU 43-40 to become bowl eligible.
  • Army (8-2) - The Black Knights defeat Duke 21-16. With North Texas and Navy left on the schedule, the Cadets have an excellent shot at 10 wins for the first time since 1996. A bowl game win would give the program their first 11 win season ever. Army has been playing football since 1890. Do you think Georgia Southern (0-9) regrets not giving coach Jeff Monken more money to stick around?
  • Air Force (4-6) - The Falcons took another one on the chin, this time to Wyoming 28-14. A bowl game is unlikely with a game at the Smurf Village this weekend.
boxers

ELIMINATED

NEW: TCU, Notre Dame, Washington.

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
NC State
Nebraska
North Carolina
Northwestern
Ohio State
Oklahoma State
Oregon
Oregon State
Penn State
Pitt
Purdue
Rutgers
South Carolina
Southern Cal
Stanford
Syracuse
Tennessee
Tejas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
UCLA
Utah
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Washington State
Wake Forest
West Virginia

AND... Ole Miss

THE CONTENDERS

The third College Football Playoff Rankings will be issued tonight at 8pm/9pm ESPN. Expect a change at the top (wink emoticon). Selection Day will be Sunday, December 3.

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

The possibilities of two-loss team or teams getting into the playoff are looking more likely after every passing week. With two weeks left in the regular season plus championship games, Alabama 10-0, Wisconsin 10-0, and Miami 9-0 remain the only unbeaten P5 teams. Only three P5 teams have one loss: Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma.

Let’s take a look at the CHAOS BIG BOARD:

Team Losses Remaining Games of Note Chaos Scenario
Alabama 0 @Aub, UGA-SECCG Auburn magic football bounce (FLAGGED!)
Clemson 1 @SC, Mia-ACCCG* Winning in Columbia is no gimme.
Georgia 1 UK, @GaT, SECCG* One more reg season loss might do it.
Miami 0 UVa, @Pitt, Clem-ACCCG* Is a letdown on the horizon?
Oklahoma 1 WVU, B12CG Likely rematch with TCU in the B12CG.
Wisconsin 0 Mich, B1GCG* Two loseable games.
Wishing and Hoping and Thinking and Praying
Ohio State 2 Illin', @Mich, Wisc-B1GCG Good chance to win out, but will need some help.
Penn State 2 Nebr, @Maryland, Wisc-B1GCG Win out, hope OSU slips up.
Auburn 2 Alabama, UGA-SECCG (flagged!) Win out (flagged!) and pray.
Southern Cal 2 UCLA, PACCG* Lotsa praying.
Okie State 2 K-State, Kansas Only a WVU upset of Okie will crack the door.
TCU 2 @TexTech, Baylor, B12CG Will have find a way to beat Okie and pray.
Michigan 2 @Wisc, OSU, Wisc-B1GCG Not bloody likely.
Notre Dame 2 Navy, @Stanford No championship game puts them behind the 8-ball.
Washington 2 Utah, Wazzu, SoCal-PACCG Severe longshot.
Wazzu 2 @Washington, SoCal-PACCG Behind the severe longshot.
*Clinched Division
  • ACC - Clemson could have a tough one in Columbia. SC is a much improved team. Miami may not have it so easy either. UVa is 6-4 and Pitt has a history as a spoiler. If both of these teams can make it through the regular season unscathed, one or both of them could make the playoff.
  • Big Ten - Wisky is left carrying the conference flag. Ohio State is a longshot. Penn State is a longer shot.
  • Big 12 - Okie needs to TCB. I don’t know if they get in if they lose the B12CG. TCU will need to convincingly win out and hope several others lose.
  • PAC-12 - #SadTrombone. All teams have two or more losses and none of the leaders of the conference have strong wins. They are likely left at home on Prom night.
  • SEC - Alabama is looking solid. UGA is not out of it yet.
  • Indies - Don’t listen to that idiot at work/annoying neighbor/more annoying in-law. No kind of chaos can rescue Notre Dame from also-ran status. Now if they had a conference game to play in, things might be different. But you just keep doing that independent thing, Irish.

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

Here is my half-ass cop-out ranking:

  1. Alabama - not a great resume but they have been dominant in nine wins. The tenth W was on the road against a ranked team.
  2. Oklahoma - They are playing as well as anyone but still have that Iowa State stain. I don’t expect them to lose any of their next three.
  3. Miami - The Hurricanes tend to play up or down to their competition. They barely beat UNC but dominated Notre Dame. Va Tech lost to Ga Tech this past Saturday, making Miami’s win over the Hokies the week before not look as great.
  4. Clemson - On any given Saturday, the Tigers can pull a Clemsoning (it’s good to have that back). Their sole defeat came to Syracuse who was crushed on their home field by Wake frickin Forest 64-43. The Orange next play Louisville. A loss there will knock them down to 7 losses. That is not good for Clemson.
  5. Wisconsin - They still haven’t really played anyone and have had their share of Struggle Wins. When a home win against 6-4 Iowa is your toughest game to date, it still elicits the yawns.
  6. a. Auburn - Two close losses on the road to ranked teams.

6.b. Georgia - The Dawgs one loss came to a ranked team on the road but WHAT a loss. They were clobbersnockered.

LET’S GO BOWLING

The SEC has eight teams with six or more wins. Mizzou has five.

59 teams now have six or more wins. 43 schools, 20 of which have six losses, will battle for the final 19 bowl slots. We might just get away with no 5-7 bowl teams this year.

THE TRIPLE GOLDEN SOMBRERO

Ohio State v Washington State
Drinks are on me!
Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

UTEP is now 0-10. The Miners fired their head coach a couple of weeks ago and brought back one Mike Price as interim who “retired” as the UTEP coach after the 2012 season. He now has two more losses on his tepid coaching record. If you are too young to know who Price is, just Google “Mike Price stripper”.

Twenty teams have seven or more losses including North Carolina, Oregon State, Kansas, Baylor, and Illinois. The SEC is the only P5 Conference to not have a team in that category.

STAT OF THE DAY

Wake Forest and Syracuse combined for 1355 yards and 107 points. The Demon Deacons won 64-43.

Kristi Malzahn

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to the Miami Hurricanes fans. They are the worse kind of fanbase and that is one of the fair-weather bandwagon jumping variety. It was just a year ago that they struggled to get 20,000 or so to show up for their home games on beautiful sunny Saturday afternoons. Even this season, they have struggled to sell 50,000 tickets per game (how many show up is another story). But as the wins pile up, here they come out of the wood works.

Even so, Saturday’s game against Notre Dame, the most significant Miami game since the early Larry Coker years, was not a sellout. The attendance came close to matching the 65,326 capacity but still fell short. Can you imagine 65,000 showing up for a game at Bryant Denny? Even Tennessee amidst a historically bad season is outdrawing the ‘Canes. For the Vols’ Nov. 4 game against Southern Miss, the official attendance was 95,551.

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 -

  • Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma) If he can keep his mouth shut, not attempt to plant any more plastic flags into artificial turf, and hold service against Kansas and WVU, the trophy is likely his.
  • Bryce Love (RB Stanford) is back in the running after putting up big numbers in a late Friday night upset win over Washington. Of course you are saying “but the game started at 10:30pm on the East Coast where 50% of the voters reside. They didn’t actually watch the game.” You are exactly right but watching the game is not a part of the voters’ modus operandi. ESPN told them on Saturday morning that he had a good game by way of a two minute video, so that is good enough for them. Oh, and the 69 yards against Washington State the week before? Never happened.
  • Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State) Remember this guy? He MADE the voters forget about him. He ran for two touchdowns against Rutgers but only had only 35 yards on 14 carries. His QB teammate and three Rutgers rushers had more yards on less attempts. He might be out of the race but he’ll still go to New York because he still has name recognition.
  • Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville) Coming soon: “In the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select... Lamar Jackson, wide receiver, the University of Louisville. The Minnesota Vikings are now on the clock”.
  • This is why I did not jump on the Josh Adams (RB Notre Dame) bandwagon. He had only 40 yards on 16 carries against Miami. See ya.

Who Should Win -
Honestly, nobody really stands out. But if I have to pick, it might just be Mayfield. Too bad he’ll be the next Jay Cutler (not meant as a compliment) for some unsuspecting NFL team.

SMU v Navy
Poor Navy loses another starting QB.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

THE SICK REPORT

  • Starting Alabama left guard Ross Pierschbacher left the MSU game in the first quarter and did not return. He was replaced by senior JC Hassenauer. The redshirt junior has a high ankle sprain and is said to be out for two to four weeks. ENOUGH, LOKI!
  • Freshman WR Henry Ruggs was seen with a brace on his knee after the game but there is no report on his condition and Nick Saban made no mention of him in his Monday presser. Minkah Fitzpatrick is “day-to-day” according to Saban.
  • Alabama is not the only one with injured linebacker issues. Miami LB Charles Perry suffered season-ending injury in the win against Notre Dame. He is no linchpin of the ‘Canes defense but definitely a major part of the rotation.
  • TCU’s leading rusher Darius Anderson could miss rest of season with right foot injury.
  • Arkansas redshirt freshman and projected 2018 starting quarterback Cole Kelley was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and careless driving. The incident came hours after the Hogs 33-10 loss to LSU in which he was 3 of 10 passing for 33 yards with an interception.
  • With Kentucky's seventh win, a 44-21 win over Vanderbilt, coach Mark Stoops earned a bonus of at least $3.95 million in one-time bonus pay and future contract value, as well as a $200,000 increase in one-time bonuses that will continue to grow with each additional victory the Wildcats earn this season. He was also extended through 2022.
  • In case you missed it, James Franklin played most his starters for the entire 35-6 win over big bad Rutgers. Class act, that one.
Black and White TV

ESPN’s airing of Alabama at Mississippi State delivered the highest-rated game on cable this season.

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

If you really MUST get married in the Fall, this is the weekend to do it!

Tuesday Nov 14:

Ohio at Akron 6:00/7:00 ESPN2 - Whatever happened to Terry Bowden? Oh, there he is.
CMU at Kent State 6:00/7:00 ESPNU

Wednesday Nov 15:

Eastern Michigan at Miami-OH 6pm/7pm CBSSN
Western Michigan at N. Illinois 6pm/7pm ESPN2
Toledo at Bowling Green 7pm/8pm ESPNU

Thursday, Nov 16:

Buffalo at Ball State 6pm/7pm CBSSN
Tulsa at USF 6:30/7:30 ESPN

Friday, Nov 17:

MTSU at WKU 6pm/7pm ESPN2
UNLV at New Mexico 9:30/10:30 ESPN2

Saturday, Nov 18:

SEC:

Mississippi State at Arkansas 11am/noon CBS - Will Bully have a letdown? This is the kind of game Bert tends to win.
Louisiana Monroe at Auburn 11am/noon SECN - Aubie is back in the spotlight.
Kentucky at Georgia 2:30/3:30 ESPN2 - has UGA gotten over their hangover?
UAB at Florida 3pm/4pm CBS - The Gators should win this one... right?
Wofford at South Carolina 2:30/3:30 SECN - A tune-up for the Clemson game.
LSU at Tennessee 6pm/7pm ESPN - This could get ugly.
Texas A&M at Ole Miss 6pm/7pm ESPN2 - The Resurgent Rebs might just end Sumlin’s tenure in College Station.
Missouri at Vanderbilt 6:30/7:30 SECN - Two teams going in opposite directions.

ELIMINATION GAMES!

n/a

POTENTIAL ELIMINATION

Michigan at Wisconsin 11am/noon Fox - Does Harbaugh have any magic in him before he skips town for the Chicago Bears?

PROCRASTINATING RAKING LEAVES/STUDYING FOR FINALS/BUYING A TURKEY

Texas at West Virginia 11am/noon ESPN - Meh.
Navy at Notre Dame 2:30/3:30 NBC - The Irish gonna be MAD.
Nebraska at Penn State 3pm/4pm FS1 - Mike Riley’s last stand in Lincoln?
UCLA at Southern Cal 7pm/8pm ABC - UCLA is awful but it is a classic rivalry game.

LATE NIGHTERS

Air Force at Boise 9:15/10:15 ESPN2 - The Falcons will need an upset win if they hope to make a bowl this season.
Utah at Washington 9:30/10:30 ESPN - Will the Huskies have a letdown?
Nevada at San Diego State 9:30/10:30 CBSSN - One of your last chances to check out Rashaad Penny before he becomes a 7th round draft pick.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

#ALABAMA

GAME 11 - SENIOR DAY! Saturday, November 18, 2017
Mercer at ALABAMA Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
11am/noon SECNetwork - This is the first Bama game to be relegated to the SECN. Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers with Cole Cubelic.

Honorary Captains: John Cassimus (1986-1989) founder and former CEO of Zoë’s Kitchen, founder of Maki Fresh; Curt Jarvis (1983-1986) had a promising pro career with Tampa Bay but was forced to retire after a neck injury. He is now a commercial pilot.

Peace and blessings to you all!

#RollTide!

Poll

With Freeze, McElwain, and Butch gone, who is next (not counting interim coaches)?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Bret Bielema, Arkansas
    (288 votes)
  • 10%
    Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
    (62 votes)
  • 35%
    Both
    (213 votes)
  • 6%
    Neither
    (37 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (see my remarkable insights in comments)
    (2 votes)
602 votes total Vote Now