College Football 2016, Week 6: IN MEMORIAM
Here we are at the halfway mark of the season. Well, it's the halfway mark of the regular season. Some lucky teams are going to go to conference championships and even playoff games, and we are starting to get an idea of who they might actually be as scenarios clarify themselves. Pretenders get further exposed. Dark horses shine a little brighter. Top dogs get stiffer challenges (finally).
And, oh yeah.......there was a hurricane by the name of Matthew that postponed a game and moved a couple of others to a day usually reserved for NFL teams. This still didn't help the Shamecocks, as they got it handed to them by them dirty 'Dawgs 28-14 in Willy B. Sorry, Cocks.
Let's dig into the slate of upsets, statements, ass-whippings, & "told you so" games, shall we?
#1 Alabama shows that they're human, but still soundly thrash #16 Arkansas, 49-30: Let's be clear about this game, okay? The Hogs scored 30 on Bama, but they were never any closer than than a TD behind (and that was in the 1st quarter). On the flip side, Bama had 2 TDs in the air, 3 on the ground and ANOTHER 2 TDs on defense in the form of a 100-yard Pick-6 and a 23-yard fumble return. It's just not fair. As the expression goes, "Don't hate the player, hate the game", and we all hate Bama. Next up for the Tide is another stout test in Knoxville at Tennessee. Arkansas will host Ole Miss in a battle of ranked teams.
#2 Ohio State front slaps then pimp slaps Indiana in "The Shoe", 38-17: That was a nice upset of Michigan State last week by the Hoosiers. Now it's time to come back down to Earth. The trip to Columbus accomplished that quite nicely, with the Fuckeyes pulling ahead after the first quarter and never looking back. Even in a game that wasn't very pretty it was never really a contest. I suppose it's good to see THE Ohio State University living up to some of the billing they'll always get no matter what. Ohio State gets a REAL challenge up in Camp Randall from a well rested and angry Wisconsin team. Indiana plays host to a Nebraska team that's in the Top 10 for the first time in a long-ass time.
#3 Clemson plays on a Friday and treats Boston College like a high school team, 56-10: I fully admit to being a total homer and a born-and-raised Tiger, but I have to say: BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID. The offense is clicking like it was supposed to be early in the year (3 plays of more than 50 yards in a 5-minute span), and the D is getting better and better. Deshaun Watson is smiling again, and Dabo is dancing. Clemson is riding an eight game road winning streak and has the longest home winning streak in the nation. In other words the train is picking up steam. There's one big obstacle left on an otherwise very favorable schedule for the Tigers, and that is the October 29th game in Tallahassee against the 'Noles. They control their own destiny. That's a pretty place to be in early October. Up next for Dabo and Company is a game in THE REAL DEATH VALLEY against the ever feisty NC State Wolfpack. Boston College will host Syracuse.
#4 Michigan runs up the score on Rutgers just for fun, 78-0: You want perspective on this game? Try this: Michigan scored 11 TDs with 9 of those on the ground. They pulled the starters early, and it just didn't stop. They held Rutgers to 22 FUCKING YARDS!!! 22 FUCKING YARDS!!! I have nothing more to say. Next up for the Wolverines is a bye week, then a 1-4 Illinois team in The Big House. Rutgers will go to the showers and cry for days while rocking back and forth. They might play football again.
#5 Washington channel their inner People's Champ, lay the smackdown on Oregon, 70-21: Can we just go ahead and give Washington the PAC-12 Title? Seriously. It's astonishing to me that I gave zero props to this team (even after 2 or 3 weeks) and they are killing it. For Christ's sake, they just set the Oregon program back to the fucking 70's. This one was ugly with a capital every letter. Jake Browning just inserted his name rather forcefully into the Heisman conversation with 6 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs in one damn game! Impressive. Next up for the Huskies will be a bye week and then a visiting Oregon State Beavers squad. Oregon will visit a quality Cal team and try to figure out why they didn't recruit a QB.
#6 Houston looks past some Seamen & take an upset money shot versus Navy, 46-40: This is what the Cougars couldn't afford to do if they wanted to be in the CFP talk. I know that sounds simplistic: "Just win 'em all". I get it, but when you're the team that's NOT from a Power 5 Conference you cannot afford to lose. Period. It'll still be a good season for the Cougars, and if they can upset Louisville at the end of the year then there may still be a conversation.....but I'm not holding my breath. Huge props to Navy for upping their game and showing why the Annapolis Rushing Machine is always dangerous. Next up for Houston is a homestand against Tulsa (and a certain drop in the polls); Navy will stay at home and host the Memphis Tigers.
#7 Louisville takes a much needed break after it's classic with the Tigers: Next up for Lamar Jackson and the Cards is a visit the dangerous Duke Blue Devils on October 14th. Don't sleep on Duke.
#8 Texas A&M suck rest of #9 Tennessee's magic from their orange wand in 2OT, 45-38: The Vols had had 4 double-digit comebacks in a month. When you see something like that you know it has to stop eventually. No disrespect to a fantastic Tennessee team, but Kyle Field is not a place where you get to pull off miracles very often. Texas A&M is so glad they picked up Trevor Knight from OU; he's a legit 2-way player with his legs or his arm. Josh Dobbs and Tennessee are going to be just fine in the long run. Next up for BOTH of these teams is #1 Alabama; Tennessee gets them first in Knoxville while A&M gets a bye week and then travels to Saban's House.
#10 Miami has PAT blocked, loses a rivalry reigniting classic against FSU, 20-19: This rivalry had lost some of it's luster in recent years, but this game changed that trend. Yes, Miami lost it's 7th in a row to it's arch nemesis, but this was one hell of a hard-hitting and nasty rivalry game. It's a cliche, but college football is better when this rivalry means something. And how did it end? On a blocked PAT, of course. The kicking game is always a biggie in these contests. Game of the week, in my humble opinion (at least for entertainment value). Next up for the Hurricanes is a visit from North Carolina in a divisional clash. FSU will host a shitty Wake Forest team.
#11 Wisconsin, #12 Nebraska, #13 Baylor, & #14 Ole Miss all have a bye week gangbang (cameras not allowed): Wisconsin will play host to Ohio State. Nebraska will travel to Indiana. Baylor will stay home and play Kansas. Ole Miss will travel to Arkansas (and maybe visit Wal-Mart headquarters).
#15 Stanford gets exposed badly by Washington State, 42-16: I did say "upset alert" in last week's recap, didn't I? In the last 2 weeks Wazzu has beaten traditional PAC-12 powers Oregon and now Stanford. And the Huskies are #5 and murdering people??!! What the hell is going on in the Pacific Northwest (besides good weed and hipsters)? "Mr. Everything" McCaffrey is again held to very little production (35 yards on 8 carries). It seems there is a formula for beating the Tree. Next up for Stanford is a trip to being unranked and South Bend to play Notre Dame....the two go together nicely. Washington State will get a visit from the Bruins of UCLA. Maybe they'll bring Snoop Dogg and his bomb-ass weed. It is legal there, you know.
#17 North Carolina shits the bed and gets their asses wiped by Virginia Tech, 34-3: I don't know where to go with this one, except to say this is definitely the "What the Fuck Just Happened" game of the week. One week after looking so good against the Semen-Holes, the Heels come out in a sloppy and rain-soaked game and look equally sloppy. I guess they can pull a Milli Vanilli and just blame it on the rain. See what I did there? Next up for UNC is a trip to visit a pissed off Miami team. The Coastal Division leading Hokies will travel to Syracuse for what should be an easy win.
#18 Florida wanted to play LSU in The Swamp, but Hurricane Matthew had other plans: Official word from the SEC is "NO MAKEUP DATE YET ANNOUNCED". Ain't that about a bitch?
#19 Boise State kicks the shit out of New Mexico, 49-21 (no rescue from Urlacher): Did you know that Chicage Bears great Brian Urlacher was a Lobo? I bet you didn't. Don't worry, there is no history at UNM other than that factoid. They suck. Boise State led 42-7 at the half. After the game was over they probably hit up The Night Owl Cafe for some amazing Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas on the way out of town. Good for them. Next up for the Broncos will be a visiting Colorado State team on the Smurf Turf. UNM will travel to Air Force and bring some Mexican dirt weed.
#20 Oklahoma puts Texas out of their misery in Red River Shootout, 45-40: Okay, okay.......so I made that sound lopsided and it was actually a very close game that had 8 different lead changes in front of 90,000 plus screaming Longhorns and Sooners at the historic old Cotton Bowl. However, they may have put Charlie Strong out of his misery, at least. That seat is red-hot now. Texas has no defense. I'm not being ugly; that's just a fact. Next up for the Sooners is visiting Kansas State; the Horns will go back and home and host Iowa State. That's a blessing for Texas.
#21 Colorado spends a week in the Top 25 and promptly loses to Southern Cal, 21-17: Crushing some lesser competition (see Colorado State, Idaho State), then having a respectable showing against The Khaki's Wolverines, and then upending on Oregon team that clearly isn't what they used to be put the Buffs in the Top 25 for the first time in quite a while. It seems they aren't meant to stay there very long. USC isn't what they used to be either, but they are getting to be battle tested against tough opponents (see Alabama, Utah, a pre-slip Stanford). The talent that is always there at USC was too much for the baby Buffaloes. Next up for Colorado is a visit from the Sun Devils (who should already be ranked). USC will pay the Wildcats a visit out in the desert.
#22 West Virginia stayed home and played the banjo while diddling their sister: Once Little Sis is satisfied (it'll take a few days; she's insatiable) the Mountaineers will travel to Lubbock and play Texas Tech. (I know that was a low blow, but I fucking hate West Virginia and yes THAT is the reason why)
#24 Utah handles visiting Arizona, 36-23 (then tells them about Joseph Smith): This one was a tale of two halves, with 'Zona leading by as much as 11 in the 1st half. Still, Utah is a little too good to let that happen. They're quietly 5-1 and flying under the radar and very good at home. Up next for the Utes is a visit to Corvallis to play the Beavers. Arizona will host Southern Cal.
Here's your ever-changing AP Top 25 Poll, for the record:
- #1 Alabama (56), same
- #2 Ohio State (2), same
- #3 Clemson (2), same
- #4 Michigan (1), same
- #5 Washington, same
- #6 Texas A&M, +2
- #7 Louisville, same
- #8 Wisconsin, +3
- #9 Tennessee, same
- #10 Nebraska, +2
- #11 Baylor, +2
- #12 Ole Miss, +2
- #13 Houston, -7
- #14 Florida State, +9
- #15 Boise State, +4
- #16 Miami, -6
- #17 Virginia Tech, +8
- #18 Florida, same
- #19 Oklahoma, +1
- #20 West Virginia, +2
- #21 Utah, +3
- #22 Arkansas, -6
- #23 Auburn, not ranked
- #24 Western Michigan, not ranked
- #25 Navy, not ranked
Next week will give us 3 matchups of Top 25 teams (2 in the SEC and 1 in the B1G):
- #1 Alabama at #9 Tennessee (biggest test for Bama to date this year)
- #12 Ole Miss at #22 Arkansas (should be a high scoring shootout)
- #2 Ohio State at #8 Wisconsin (here's to hoping Wisconsin has a reason to jump around)
Keep it real (whatever the fuck that means) until we meet again next week. I've got one more Saturday of "off-shift" work, so I'm going to wallow in it one more time.