College Football 2016, Week 9: IN MEMORIAM
Perhaps I should give this one a subtitle: Death of the Undefeateds!!! What a phenomenally shitty week for 4 (!!) undefeated teams. The Big-12 teams got exposed (I'm pretty sure I've been screaming all season about how I wasn't sold on them). Some other noteworthy Top 25 teams lost to unranked opponents as well. It's a pretty fair statement to call this "Upset Saturday" (at least for now). Here we gooooooooooooo....................
#1 Alabama takes a highly unnecessary rest because 'dems de rules, sucka: I don't know of any significant injuries or issues on this juggernaut squad, but every time has to take a bye week. Next up for the Tide is a visit to THE FAKE DEATH VALLEY to play LSU. The Tigers have had a hot hand since the firing of Les Miles.....does it show this week?
#2 Michigan toys with Michigan State before sealing the deal, 32-23: The Wolverines held down "Little Brother" and gave them some good, old-fashioned Indian Rope Burns. Little bro got in a couple of nut shots, but you can only punch nuts so hard when they're wearing khaki. Sparty scored twice late to try and come back, but Mr. Everything Jabril Peppers took their 2-point conversion attempt the other way to end it. Ouch. Next up for the 9-0 Wolverines is a visit from a scrappy Maryland team. 2-6 Michigan State (a contender for biggest disappointment of the year) will travel to an equally shitty Illinois.
#3 Clemson puts on another classic, overcomes #12 Florida State, 37-34: This one is sweet for me. I have lived a lifetime of virtually never getting to see my beloved Tigers win in Tallahassee. It's a lifetime of listening to that obnoxious fucking war chant all game long, of heartbreak and big plays. That shit stopped Saturday night at the Doak. In a back and forth slugfest for the ages (i.e. 14-0 Clemson, 28-20 FSU, 29-28 Clemson, 34-29 FSU....you get the idea) Clemson showed the poise and CHAMPIONSHIP mettle that is the new "Clemsoning". The guard has changed in the ACC. Jordan Leggett's freaky stretching TD for the win was a Top 10 all-time Tiger highlight for me. Next up for 8-0 Clemson is visit to THE REAL DEATH VALLEY from Syracuse. 5-3 FSU will travel to NC State.
#4 Washington proves they're the real deal, downing #17 Utah in Mormon Country, 31-24: It was the best in the PAC-12 North vs the best in the PAC-12 South. If you know anything about college football then you know Utah is a hard place to play; they have a real homefield advantage. Washington is this year's Cinderella team, and they looked pretty damn solid against a VERY good Utah team. Up by as much as 14 in the 2nd, the Huskies had to battle back from 24-17 down in the 4th in a wildly hostile environment and finally took the lead on a gorgeous 55-yard punt return TD. When you can get it score in every phase and play solid defense you will always have a fighting chance. I'm sold on Washington. They're legit. Next up for the 8-0 Huskies is a trip to play Cal. 7-2 (and still in the hunt for the PAC-12 South crown) Utah will roll out to the desert to play Arizona State.
#5 Louisville escapes monster upset, throws some magic at Virginia, 32-25: If you're a Cards fan then you might be exhaling right about now. Virginia hung in there physically and emotionally with Louisville all game. They had an answer for "Action Jackson" every time. They were laying the wood on defense. Louisville was down 25-24 after a super ballsy call by Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall to go for a 2-pointer on the score that tied the game up. But, of course, Lamar Jackson did what he does and hit Jaylen Smith for a gorgeous 29-yard pass over the inside shoulder (in a very tight window) to break the Cavalier's hearts. Great effort from Virginia, though. That program is headed in the right direction on the field and in recruiting. Next up for 7-1 Louisville is a trip to Boston College. 2-6 Virginia will travel to Wake Forest.
#6 Ohio State scrapes by a tough Northwestern squad in The Shoe, 24-20: I assumed that THE Ohio State University would take out their frustrations at losing to Penn State last week by obliterating the Wildcats. Wrong. Northwestern answered the bell time and again, even tying it up at 17 in the 3rd before the Buckeyes went ahead and did enough on defense to stay there. Underwhelming, but a win is a win is a win. 7-1 Ohio State will host 7-1 Nebraska in The Shoe in a battle of top tier (and Top 10) B1G teams. 4-4 Northwestern will host the battle tested Wisconsin Badgers. Good luck with that.
#7 Nebraska loses an OT heartbreaker to #11 Wisconsin, 23-17: I had, heretofore, been unsure about Nebraska as a legit Top 10 team. I'm still not 100% sure, but I'm leaning more towards a yes on that one. Wisconsin is as tough as they come, and Nebraska went blow for blow with the Badgers in Camp Randall (no easy feat). It was a classic B1G game- low scoring, lots of running and clock control, field position battle. Good stuff. 7-1 Nebraska takes a trip to The Shoe for a date with 7-1 Ohio State. 6-2 Wisconsin will travel to Northwestern.
#8 Baylor falls from undefeated grace in Austin to Texas, 35-34: I feel like the bubble burst for Baylor in this one. I'm NOT calling them a shitty team; they're very talented. I've just felt like Top 10 was a bit high for them, and they had not been tested yet. Texas proved that. And boy oh boy did Charlie Strong need this one to slightly cool down that red hot seat he is on right now. How about Texas RB Dont'a Foreman? 32 carries for 250 yards and 2 TDs??! That's nuts. He's got serious ground game. Next up for 6-1 Baylor will be a visit from TCU. 4-4 Texas will travel to Lubbock to play the Red Raiders of Texas Tech and their high scoring offense. That'll be interesting.
#9 Texas A&M holds a scrimmage against New Mexico State & "wins" 52-10: Everybody needs a week to rest and recuperate. It might as well have been a bye week. Next up for 7-1 A&M is some travel to Mississippi State. New Mexico State will still suck.
#10 West Virginia goes to Stillwater and gets exposed by Oklahoma State, 37-20: This one I'm going to relish a little bit, because (for purely petty reasons) I hate West Virginia. They have played a soft schedule (their biggest win was scraping by BYU 35-32). They looked good by comparison to the rest of the Big-12 because they're the only team that plays any D in that conference. The Cowboys shut them up AND shut them down. The Mountaineers did lead 10-6 at the start of the 2nd quarter, but after that OSU stepped on the gas pretty hard. Another Big-12 undefeated falls. 6-1 WVU will play host to a REALLY shitty Kansas team....that'll put them back on track. 6-2 Oklahoma State (the definition of a dangerous sleeper team) will travel to K-State.
#13 Boise State stunned in Laramie by the Pokes of Wyoming, 30-28: Wyoming is an interesting team. Their only losses have been to Nebraska and Eastern Michigan. They now lead the Mountain West conference at 6-2. It's a good year for Wyoming fans. Boise State got a little more than they bargained for when they traveled to the barren waste of Wyoming. And they won the game on a SAFETY??! Are you friggin' kidding me? The Cowboys kept clawing back and keeping it close for the entire game before finally tying it up late in the 4th, then the D did the rest. A signature win. Next up for the 7-1 Broncos is a visit from San Jose State. 6-2 Wyoming will host Utah State.
#14 Florida has a big-ass cocktail party, stomps them Georgia Dawgs 24-10: What can I say? I'm a college football purist; it'll always be "The World's Biggest Cocktail Party" to me. I don't give a fuck for political correctness. The Gators didn't give a fuck about the Georgia fans in attendance Between the Hedges. They stifled UGA's offense, holding QB Jacob Eason (who will be a good QB in time) to 143 yds and 1 TD and limiting Nick Chubb to 20 yards on 9 carries. Don't sleep on Florida; they will win the SEC East. 6-1 Florida's next test comes on the road at Arkansas. 4-4 Georgia will travel to surprisingly good Kentucky, who sits behind Florida in the East race. And oh yeah...........FUCK GEORGIA.
#15 Auburn uses ground game and 4 FG's to run over Ole Miss, 40-29: Auburn continues to get better and better, even if they were a little sketchy on D in this game. Some of that had to do with Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, who broke an Archie Manning record (436 yards) with 465 yards and 3 TDs. The kid can sling the ball (even if he has a shitty, whiny attitude). Auburn sophomore RB Kamryn Pettway spent the night bowling over the Ole Miss defense to the tune of 30 carries for 236 yards and a TD. You don't win when the other team's RB goes for that much; it's pretty simple. Next up for the 6-2, still improving Tigers is a very winnable home game against Vanderbilt. 3-5 Ole Miss will try to improve their bowl chances with a home game against Georgia Southern.
#16 Oklahoma turns Kansas over their collective knees and spanks them, 56-3: What do you say about a game like this? Kansas sucks the hind titty, and OU is still the best team in the Big-12 and should play in a New Year's Six bowl game (but not the CFP). 4 TDs for Baker Mayfield and another TD for phenom WR Dede Westbrook. Enough said. Next up for 6-2 Oklahoma is a visit from #13 Baylor, who will be trying to prove they aren't a flash in the pan. 1-7 Kansas travels to West Virginia to show off their purty mouth and squeal like a pig........boy.
#18 Tennessee proves that a broken clock is right twice a day, falls to South Carolina, 24-21: In all seriousness, congratulations to Will Muschamp and the Shamecocks for winning a game that matters this year. It won't win them the division or anything, but it does get them back to .500 ball. Tennessee was a 2 TD favorite in this game, too. Wow. You can't take anyone lightly at this level (let alone in the SEC). Carolina seems to have found a QB in Jake Bentley. Once they get over the shock, 5-3 Tennessee will go home and host Tennessee Tech. 4-4 South Carolina will welcome the Missouri Tigers.
#19 LSU, #20 Western Michigan, & #21 North Carolina all went to the corner to think about what they have done so far this season: What did they come up with? Hell, I don't know. I'm not a mind reader. I DO know that #15 LSU (5-2) has a massive opportunity to rock the world of college football when they host #1 Alabama. #17 Western Michigan (8-0) has a road trip to Ball State (or Balls T, as I call them). #18 North Carolina (6-2) will play a divisional game at home against always obnoxious Georgia Tech and the triple option.
#22 Navy sinks in a shootout with the USF Bulls, 52-45: How do you define "running over" someone? Webster's says: 412 yards of rushing with 3 different 100-yard rushers and sprinkling in a couple of TD passes to boot. Good enough for me. You don't need to play good defense when you're up 28-0 before the other team can blink. And things were going so well for the Midshipmen after that upset of Houston.........Next up for 5-2 Navy (who's not technically out of the AAC race, by the way) is a trip to Notre Dame. 7-2 USF will travel to Memphis and look to not stumble on their way to the AAC Title.
#23 Colorado took the week off to brush all that shit out of their mascots fur: Colorado finds itself in a position that it's safe to say no one expected them to be in: sitting at the top of the PAC-12 South in early November! It's crazy, but I'm not lying to you. Next up for the 6-2 Buffaloes is a visit from the 3-5 UCLA Bruins on Thursday night. Keep it up, Buffs.
#24 Penn State stomps a mudhole in Purdue's ass and walks that shit dry, 62-24: Do you think the face of every Purdue player looked like either "Joe Pa" or Jerry Sandusky? Am I overstepping a bit on that one? In any case, Penn State let the Boilermakers hang around for a half before pulling away in the 3rd and piling on another 3 unanswered TDs in the 4th. Saquon Barkley ran for 207 yards and 2 TDs on only 18 carries. Pretty dominant. 6-2 Penn State will now go back home and wait for visiting Iowa. 3-5 Purdue will travel to Minnesota and probably get ass-pounded.
#25 Virginia Tech staves off the Pitt comeback, wins 39-36 in the Ketchup Bottle: Keep doing what you do, Hokies. A piece of advice, if I may? Finish drives. Joey Slye (great fucking name, eh?) had 6 damn field goals! That's too much. But it's still a win against a quality Pitt team. Every W counts. Pitt's James Conner is still the best RB in college football today. What a stud. Next up for the 6-2 Hokies is a trip to highly intimidating (note the sarcasm) Wallace-Wade Stadium to play Duke. 5-3 Pitt has a trip to Miami.
So, the Big-12 is out of the CFP picture (unless all hell breaks loose). The ranks of the undefeateds got a hell of a lot thinner. Your Top 4 didn't change at all; we're really starting to see who the best truly are. Here's your AP Top 25 for Week 10:
- #1 Alabama (60 votes), 8-0, same
- #2 Michigan (1 vote), 8-0, same
- #3 Clemson, 8-0, same
- #4 Washington, 8-0, same
- #5 Louisville, 7-1, same
- #6 Ohio State, 7-1, same
- #7 Texas A&M, 7-1, +2
- #8 Wisconsin, 6-2, +3
- #9 Nebraska, 7-1, -2
- #10 Florida, 6-1, +4
- #11 Auburn, 6-2, +4
- #12 Oklahoma, 6-2, +4
- #13 Baylor, 6-1, -5
- #14 West Virginia, 6-1, -4
- #15 LSU, 5-2, +4
- #16 Utah, 7-2, +1
- #17 Western Michigan, 8-0, +3
- #18 North Carolina, 6-2, +3
- #19 Florida State, 5-3, -7
- #20 Penn State, 6-2, +4
- #21 Colorado, 6-2, +2
- #22 Oklahoma State, 6-2, not ranked
- #23 Virginia Tech, 6-2, +2
- #24 Boise State, 7-1, -11
- #25 Washington State, 6-2, not ranked
The schedule this weekend gives us only 2 matchups of Top 25 teams.
- #9 Nebraska will visit The Shoe and #6 Ohio State in a B1G matchup of the 1st place team in the West and the team that's tied (with Penn State) for 2nd place in the East.
- #1 Alabama will travel to THE FAKE DEATH VALLEY (but still a very tough place to play) to take on #15 LSU. Saban and his junior NFL team are great, but they need to be careful with this one. LSU is talented and has nothing to lose.
Well, as Porky used to say, "That's all, Folks!". See y'all next week!