College Football 2016, Week 8: IN MEMORIAM
We're two-thirds of the way through the regular season now, y'all. It's getting down to that really exciting part of the year when the real, true contenders start to separate themselves and upsets mean so much more than they do in the first week or two. You are really starting to get an idea of how the conference title races are shaping up.
Son of a bitch, I love me some college football. On to the Top 25:
#1 Alabama toys with #6 Texas A&M for a half then puts them to bed, 33-14: A&M took the lead over Bama to start the second half. There was promise. The Tide hadn't looked very crisp. Could this be the game? Alas, no. A pair of TDs (one rushing, one passing) for Hurts to go with ANOTHER damn defensive TD and it was all over but the shouting. This was Bama's "biggest test of the year" and they got a solid A-minus. Who the hell is going to stop these guys? Maybe it'll be the red-hot LSU Tigers, who host the Tide on Saturday night. Texas A&M will host college football's yearly worst team, New Mexico State.
#2 Ohio State faceplants in the 4th quarter against unranked Penn State, 24-21: The most impactful upset of the year? Yep. I'd say that is a confirmed fact. In the madness of a White-Out (which is a pretty amazing sight, by the way) in Happy Valley and against a Nittany Lion team that was ravenous to bury old ghosts, the Buckeyes totally shit the bed when they needed to put it away. Nearing the halfway point of the 3rd it was 21-7 in favor of THE Ohio State University (after a disastrous safety). All looked lost until the Lions defense rose up like a bunch of fucking lunatics and the offense scored twice (a 2-yard rushing TD and a field goal) to get it close. Next? A crazy blocked field goal returned 60 damn yards for the go-ahead TD and a beastly defensive stop and #2 goes down. It was a hell of a scene in a classic game. Penn State fans deserve some happiness after all of that Paterno/Sandusky shit. Good for them. Next up for the Buckeyes is a visit to The Shoe from Northwestern. Resurgent Penn State will travel to Purdue.
#3 Clemson and #12 Florida State both have a bye week in preparation to kill each other: It's come down to that time of year, and the stage is huge. Clemson has never been favored in Tallahassee. Ever. The Tigers have a higher ranking (also a rarity in this series). It's time for Clemson to put to rest the demon of their ACC arch-nemesis, the Semenholes.....or will the 'Noles spoil the Team of Destiny Part 2? I already have that stinky, nervous ball sweat.
#4 Michigan invites Illinois over for dinner and poisons their meal, 41-8: Frankly it's getting a little silly. Aside from a tight one against Wisconsin (in early October) the Wolverines have slaughtered everyone. Did you think it would be any different with the Fighting Illini? That's funny. Michigan even pulled out that funky formation where everyone starts off in a straight line. Hilarious. Next up for Michigan is a trip to see Little Brother Sparty in a good, old-fashioned rivalry game. Be careful, Khaki Krew. Illinois will host the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
#5 Washington issues pride obliterating bitch slap to Oregon State, 41-17: I don't see anyone in the PAC-12 playing at the Huskies level. It's not even close. This is a well-rounded football team with a classically competent QB in Jake Browning. They still aren't flashy but they are very sound and consistent. It doesn't always have to be tricky and sexy to get the job done. Next up for Washington is their toughest test- a trip to Mormon Country to face Utah. Oregon State hosts dangerous Washington State.
#7 Louisville beats the pants off of NC State, 54-13: This one was 44-0 at the half. I don't think you need a blow-by-blow. Lamar Jackson shows off with 355 yards and 3 rushing TDs and a rushing TD. I can't figure out if this was a drastically different Wolfpack team than the one who scared the shit out of my Tigers in THE REAL DEATH VALLEY last week or if Louisville just had a point to prove. Well played, Cardinals. Well played. Next up for Action Jackson and the Cards is a trip to lowly Virginia to play the Cavaliers in an 11:00 am game. NC State will host Boston College a half an hour later.
#8 Nebraska wakes up in the 2nd half and pushes past unranked Purdue, 27-14: Nebraska is one of those teams that a lot of people still aren't sold on. I'm not going to disagree. It doesn't exactly win you over a lot of new believers when you struggle to get past Purdue. That's okay, though- next week Nebraska will travel to Camp Randall and play Wisconsin (maybe the most battle hardened team in college football this year). Purdue will host Penn State and their wave of momentum. Will it be a letdown for the Nittany Lions? Probably not. Purdue sucks.
#9 Baylor stayed home and attended a keg party or two (probably): Once the hangover wears off the Bears will travel to Austin so they can be the next team to shit on the Longhorns' season.
#10 Wisconsin nearly gets bored to death in Iowa, snaps back and wins 17-9: The Badger defense is straight up salty as fuck. They held the Hawkeyes to just 3 field goals on their home field and carried the day for a reeling offense. Badger fans are hoping the offense will wake up for next week's divisional showdown with undefeated Nebraska. Iowa will take a week off and then travel to Happy Valley on 11/5.
#11 Houston kisses their "big bowl" hopes goodbye and falls to SMU, 38-16: Damn, Houston. Really? After that impressive Peach Bowl win over Florida State last year and spanking preseason darling Oklahoma to start the year you'd think it was going to be a great year. Not so (at least for CFP hopes). The Cougars have now lost 2 of their last 3, and that #6 ranking is now a dim memory. Not to mention Chad Morris' SMU Ponies smoked that ass like a pregnant doobie. Next up for Houston is a visit from UCF, while SMU will visit Tulane.
#12 West Virginia plays frog baseball (Beavis & Butthead style) with TCU, 34-10: The Mountaineers may be the cream of the crop in the Big-12 this year. Maybe. They jumped ahead of a down Horned Frogs team and never looked back after letting them get to within 4 in the early 2nd quarter. The air attack of WVU is legit. Next up for the Banjoes is a trip to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State. TCU will host high scoring Texas Tech.
#14 Boise State barely stays undefeated with blocked FG over BYU, 28-27: This one was wild as shit last year, and this year was no different. The Broncos nose tackle almost had to pull off that block with one shoe. It was that close in every sense of the word. Even after that, BYU seemed to recover the onside kick....except for the fact that it didn't go 10 yards. Boise used the Week 7 model of Clemson- a win is a win is a win. It doesn't have to be pretty. Next up for Boise State is a road game against Wyoming. BYU will take a week off, then travel to Cincinnati.
#15 Florida chills out and lets the birdies pick their teeth clean: Next up is The World's Biggest Cocktail Party against them Dawgs in Athens. Oh yeah- FUCK GEORGIA.
#16 Oklahoma blows the doors off in Lubbock in close thriller, 66-59: Seriously, though....does anyone play defense in the Big-12? Anyone? Holy shit, 66-59? That's the score of a competitive March Madness game. Ridiculous. The QB with the lesser stats (and the win ha ha) threw for 545 yards and 7 TDs!! The loser threw for 734 yards and 5 TDs. There's gotta be a law against games like this. Next up for the Sooners is visiting Kansas. Tech will travel to Ft. Worth to play TCU.
#17 Arkansas regrets ever travelling to The Plains, gets euthanized by #21 Auburn, 56-3: It's fun playing in the SEC, huh? The Auburn line ass-pounded the Hogs on both sides of the ball. There is nothing positive you can take away from a beating like this. Bad week for Razorback fans. I can't even make jokes about it. Next up for Arkansas is a bye week (to lick their wounds) and then a visit from Florida on 11/5. Auburn will travel to Ole Miss in a battle of two teams whose seasons are going polar opposite directions.
#18 Tennessee rests and prays to the devil to try and get some of that magic back: I don't know about magic, but a win looks pretty likely next week with Tennessee Tech (who?!) visiting.
#19 Utah scrapes by UCLA in The Hood, 52-45: That "unretired" RB, Joe Williams, is at it again. This time he carried the Utes to victory with 332 yards and 4 TDs. Are you serious? That's gaudier than a drunken whore's last minute Mardi Gras outfit. The Utah defense shut down the UCLA comeback, and Utah is quietly 7-1. Up next is the juggernaut of the PAC-12, the Washington Huskies. UCLA will go get lit in Colorado.
#20 Western Michigan stays perfect with balanced, gritty win over Eastern Michigan, 45-31: It was Western Michigan's first home game as a ranked team EVER. That's not exaggerated, y'all. EVER. It was a nailbiter against a rival that refused to lay down, but they got the job done. Are we seeing the emergence of a new mid-major player? Time will tell. Next up for Western Michigan is Ball State on a rare Tuesday night game. Eastern Michigan will host Miami of Ohio, who will NOT have Ben Roethlisberger.
#22 North Carolina stifles a shitty Virginia team, 35-14: This one wasn't as close as the score indicated, and the score wasn't all that close, either. North Carolina is starting to look like the winner of the ACC Coastal. Virginia licks balls. Next up for UNC is a bye week, then a visit from Georgia Tech (and presumably the entire Wrambin' Wreck. Virginia will host Louisville. Ouch.
#23 Ole Miss falls victim to Fournette's scary ass and #25 LSU, 38-21: How dominant is Leonard Fournette? His 3 TDs alone totaled 213 yards and a host of nasty stiff arms. He's not human, and LSU is red-hot! They still don't have the REAL Death Valley, though. Nest up for Ole Miss is a visiting Auburn team. LSU will take a bye week, then they will host LSU.
#24 Navy runs all over Memphis, 42-28: You know Navy is going to run it on you. No surprise there. Still, you should probably try and stop it. Ask Houston. Will Worth runs for 201 yards and 3 TD. Next up for the Midshipmen is a visit to 6-2 USF. Memphis will host Tulsa.
The upset of Ohio State, Houston's 2nd loss of the year, & Ole Miss' fall from grace produced some changes in the AP Top 25. Here you go:
- #1 Alabama 8-0 (60), same
- #2 Michigan 7-0 (1), +1
- #3 Clemson 7-0, +1
- #4 Washington 7-0, +1
- #5 Louisville 6-1, +2
- #6 Ohio State 6-1, -4
- #7 Nebraska 7-0, +1
- #8 Baylor 6-0, +1
- #9 Texas A&M 6-1, -3
- #10 West Virginia 6-0, +2
- #11 Wisconsin 5-2, +2
- #12 Florida State 5-2, +1
- #13 Boise State 7-0, +1
- #14 Florida 5-1, +1
- #15 Auburn 5-2, +6
- #16 Oklahoma 5-2, same
- #17 Utah 7-1, +2
- #18 Tennessee 5-2, same
- #19 LSU 5-2, +6
- #20 Western Michigan 8-0, same
- #21 North Carolina (UNC) 6-2, +1
- #22 Navy 5-1, +2
- #23 Colorado 6-2, not ranked
- #24 Penn State 5-2, not ranked
- #25 Virginia Tech, 5-2, not ranked
This sets us up for some damn interesting and important games this week. You've got the (so far) domininant #4 Washington Huskies on the road against #17 Utah (definitely NOT a gimme for Husky Nation. #2 Michigan will try to beat up on their little brother again. #7 Nebraska will clash with #11 Wisconsin. Finally, there's the one I'll be off of work and glued to on Saturday night primetime TV- #3 Clemson as the visitor to #12 Florida State. It'll be fucking nuts.
I think I have to prepare early. Wish me luck.