College Football 2016, Week 11: IN MEMORIAM
Death of the Undefeateds, the title should read. Week 11 was a nutty affair where a trio of top teams figured out exactly how hard it is to go undefeated in college football today. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when having multiple undefeated teams at the end of the year was common (we don't really miss you, BCS).
ESPN commentators will commonly call it "Shakeup Saturday", and it's as inevitable each year as the Cleveland Browns being a shitty football team. So, I bring you the "Shakeup Saturday" recap, though I prefer to call it the "Faceplant Saturday" recap.
#1 Alabama runs a train on Mississippi State and leaves 'em crumpled, 51-3: I didn't really think the Bulldogs had a shot at an upset, but they have played tough against some good team this year (losing by 3 to LSU and upsetting then #4 Texas A&M), so I thought it would be a little closer. I should've known better. Jalen Hurts threw for 347 yards and 4 TD while rushing for 100 yards and another TD in only 3 quarters. The defense held State to 274 yards and forced a fumble. Bama continues to be another level from literally everyone else. Next week will see the 10-0 Tide playing their yearly late season cupcake game, this time at home against 8-2 Chattanooga. 4-6 Mississippi State will host 6-4 Arkansas in tough one.
#2 Clemson plays with fire one too many times, gets burned by late FG from Pitt, 43-42: It was bound to happen to my beloved Tigers eventually. 5 of Clemson's games have been of the 7 points or less variety. THE REAL DEATH VALLEY has seen plenty of drama in the last 2 or 3 years, but this was the kind we didn't want.....and Pitt totally earned it. They exposed a weakness in the middle pass coverage of the vaunted Tiger defense and exploited it all day, and combined it with James Conner's stud running (20 carries, 132 yards, 1 TD). The Tigers 46-game winning streak over unranked opponents came to an end, and they didn't close the deal on the Atlantic Division Championship. Next up for 9-1 Clemson is a trip to 6-4 Wake Forest where the Tigers will take the division crown if they close the deal. 6-4 Pitt will host the 4-6 Duke Blue Devils.
#3 Michigan & Khaki Boy's trip to Iowa goes sour on a last-second field goal, 14-13: Iowa is always tough at home; that's just how it is. Michigan found that out the hard way. After jumping out to a 10-point lead halfway through the 2nd quarter, the Wolverines gave up a safety to the salty Iowa defense that began a backslide that found them trailing 11-10 with less than ten minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Michigan got another FG and appeared to be safe under the umbrella of their top-ranked defense until the Iowa D came up huge again and gave the Hawkeyes the ball back with a minute left. A facemask call put Iowa's freshman kicker in the position to be the hero, and he did his job beautifully. Next week 9-1 Michigan will try to get back on track when they host 5-5 Indiana. The 6-4 Hawkeyes will travel to play 3-7 Illinois.
#4 Washington is doubled up and upset at home by #20 Southern Cal, 26-13: Say bye-bye to a postition in the Top 4 of the CFP and a 12-game winning streak. I do believe I called this my upset alert on last week's blog. USC has been red hot since starting 1-3. This was Washington's big chance to make a national impact with ESPN College Gameday in town. It ended badly, to say the least. Darnold threw for 287 yards with 2 TD. Ronald Jones II also ran for 84 yards and a TD as well. Washington never led in this game. Period. This was a dominating win for the Trojans and a bad loss for the Huskies. 9-1 Washington will look to rebound against 5-5 Arizona State. 7-3 USC will travel (literally) a mile or two and play rival 4-6 UCLA
#5 Ohio State reminds Maryland of their place in the B1G, slaughters Terps 62-3: A game like this is easy to write up- it's a glorified scrimmage for the Buckeyes. That's a little surprising; Maryland is not a terrible team. Ohio State is trying to make a statement against lesser competition, as they should be. Mission accomplisehd. J.T. Barrett threw for 2 TDs and ran for 2 TDs. Next up for the 9-1 Buckeyes is a road game in East Lansing to play 3-7 Michigan State (the year's biggest disappointment). 5-5 Maryland must leave home and pay a visit to 8-2 Nebraska.
#6 Louisville takes 2nd half Viagra to get it up and spanks Wake Forest, 44-12: This was a funny game that saw the Cards down 12-0 near the end of the half before driving for a field goal. Alas, football is a game of 2 halves and Louisville woke up in a big way. RB Brandon Radcliff scored 3 times from scrimmage and the defense added a PICK-6. Believe it or not, Lamar Jackson only threw 1 TD and wasn't all that flashy in this one. Louisville is still too good for Wake to hang with them for 4 quarters. Next week the 9-1 Cardinals will travel to Houston to play an 8-2 Houston team that had CFP hopes for their season before being upset by Navy a few weeks back. 6-4 Wake Forest will host a wounded, 9-1 Clemson team looking to lock up the ACC Atlantic Division Title.
#7 Wisconsin rolls over Illinois like an 18-wheeler smashing an armadillo, 48-3: The Badgers underrated RB Corey Clement scored 3 times and that smothering Wisconsin defense picked off Illinois QB Jeff George, Jr. (as in the son of uber-backup Jeff George of NFL fame) 4 freakin' times. That's how you dominate, folks. I'm assuming they were jumping around a lot at Camp Randall Stadium. The next game for 8-2 Wisconsin should be a cakewalk, a visit to 3-7 Purdue. 3-7 Illinois will host the same 6-4 Iowa team that surprised Michigan.
#8 Texas A&M drops second in a row, giving up last minute field goal to Ole Miss, 29-28: Even without star QB Chad Kelly Ole Miss is still the scourge of the SEC, killing the hopes of ranked teams year after year. A&M was actually up 21-6 in the 2nd quarter, but Ole Miss kept on playing stout defense and moving the ball at will, scoring 23 points in the 4th quarter including a "play of the year" candidate catch by Damore'ea Stringfellow. Tough loss for A&M, who ciontinue their late season backslide. Next up for reeling, 7-3 Texas A&M is a visit from 5-5 UTSA in a "healing" game. 5-5 Ole Miss will travel to 4-6 Vanderbilt.
#9 Auburn falls flat on their face "between the hedges", bows to Georgia, 13-7: Auburn had been hot. Real hot. Then they took a trip to Georgia and blew it harder than Jenna Jameson. After averaging 43 points/game for the last 5 games, the Tigers came up empty against a subpar Georgia team. It was baffling. Give credit to the Dawgs defense for shutting out Auburn in the 2nd half. Auburn could've won the SEC West if they had won out (yes, that includes beating Bama ha ha).....no shot at that now. Next up for the 7-3 Tigers is a glorified scrimmage against Alabama A&M before the trip to Tuscaloosa. 6-4 Georgia will host 4-5 LA-Lafayette. Damn, I almost forgot...............FUCK GEORGIA.
#10 Penn State lays the smackdown late and pulls ahead of a game Indiana, 45-31: I bet it feels so nice for the beleaguered Nittany Lion faithful to be in this position. The Hoosiers decided to play football instead of basketball on this day, holding the lead into the fourth quarter before Saquon Barkley (33 carries, 58 yards, 2 TD) scored the go-ahead touchdown early at the 12:26 mark. Penn State even busted out the damn flea-flicker before putting it out of reach with a scoop-and-score. When you're on your game it's a beautiful thing. Next up for the 8-2 Nittany Lions is a visit to pathetic, 2-8 Rutgers. 5-5 Indiana has the unfortunate task of traveling to The Big House to play an angry 9-1 Michigan team.
#11 Oklahoma helps Baylor continue their fall from grace, 45-24: And just when things were looking so good for Baylor ha ha.............seriously, the last three weeks have been hideous for Bears fans. I do feel bad for them, but I'm not a Big-12 guy so it's a very unattached sort of pity. Baker Mayfield throws for 300 yards and 2 TDs while running for 1 more in the rout of what is, perhaps, college football's most freefalling team. Next up for the 8-2 Sooners is a big one against 8-1 (and in my opinion overrated) West Virginia. 6-3 Baylor (losers of 3 straight) will host 5-4 Kansas State in a game that is anything but a gimme.
#12 Colorado wins it's 4th in a row over lowly Arizona, 49-24: Why is that significant, you ask? It's the Buffaloes first 4-game winning streak in 14 years. Good Lord, my daughter wasn't even conceived the last time these guys were any good. This was a game where they did what they were supposed to do to inferior competition- crush them. The path is anything but easy for Colorado in the PAC-12 South as USC is a game behind them and beat them earlier in the year, plus they have 2 very tough games left. The first of those toughies is next week as they host Washington State in a battle of 8-2 teams. 2-8 Arizona will travel to Corvallis to take on 2-8 Oregon State (insert required Beaver joke here).
#13 Oklahoma State escapes Texas Tech through sheer luck, 45-44: Oklahoma State fans left Stillwater last Saturday knowing that their team was damn lucky and that's okay. Texas Tech RB Clayton Hatfield capped off a late drive with a 1-yard TD to tie the game at 44 a piece. All the Red Raiders kicker had to do was hit the extra point. You know how this story ends, don't you? It ends badly. That's the answer. Badly. Maybe it's the good karma from getting fucked like a house cat by the refs in the Central Michigan game back in September. The World's Luckiest 8-2 Team (aka OSU) will travel to Ft. Worth to play 5-4 TCU. 4-6 Texas Tech will travel to 2-8 Iowa State.
#14 Virginia Tech pisses in the waters of the Coastal, falls to Georgia Tech, 30-20: Another year, another finish of weekly change in the Coastal Division of the ACC. I honestly can't recall the last time there was a clear winner before the very last week of the season. Backup QB Matthew Jordan took the reins from an injured Justin Thomas and ran through the giant piece of Swiss cheese that was the Va Tech defensive line (121 yards on 32 rushes and 2 TD). The Hokies can't figure out week to week who they want to be, but in all fairness neither can the Yellow Jackets. The Hokies still control their own destiny in their current tie with North Carolina by virtue of the 34-3 thrashing they laid on the Heels back in Week 6. Next up for 7-3 Va Tech is a trip to historic South Bend to play 4-6 Notre Dame. The 6-4 Jackets will host 2-8 Virginia.
#15 Utah does the Mormon Shuffle all over Arizona State, 49-26: Utah's "unretired" superstar Joe Williams continues to decimate defenses, this time for 181 yards and 2 TDs. Utah's defense did it's part with an absolutely sick 11 sacks. Yes, I said 11 sacks. That's not even fair. If I'm the Arizona State QB I am personally kicking my entire offensive line in the balls repeatedly while they sleep. This was a 13-0 Sun Devil lead after the 1st quarter, believe it or not. That's how you respond to adversity MORMON STYLE!!! 8-2 Utah's next game will be a visit from 3-7 Oregon, while 5-5 Arizona State will travel to Seattle to play a 9-1 Washington Huskies team that will be trying to climb back into the CFP picture. Good luck with that, Sun Devils.
#16 West Virginia scrapes by a very tough and talented Texas team, 24-20: D'Onta Foreman gashed the Mountaineers for 167 yards and tied EARL FRIGGIN' CAMPBELL's record of 11 straight 100-yard games. Texas had a shot at the end zone on the final play. West Virginia had four turnovers. Somehow they still won this damn game....it could be that defense (something of an anomaly in the all-offense Big-12). Having a legit defense does make them a legit contender for the Big-12 Title, which they will go a long way towards earning if they can beat 8-2 Oklahoma next week in Morgantown. 5-5 Texas will play 1-9 Kansas on the road, which should be a lock to give them bowl eligibility.
#17 North Carolina also pisses in the waters of the Coastal, loses to Duke, 28-27: Rivalry games are a funny thing- you really can throw records out the window. The Tarheels were playing for improved position in the murky waters of the ACC Coastal; Duke was playing for it's first ACC win (in week 11). The hostile crowd at ultra-intimidating Wallace-Wade Stadium was apparently too much for UNC. Duke avoided their common mistakes (no turnovers in this one) and took home the Victory Bell, thanks in large part to a running game that racked up 227 yards and controlled the clock. North Carolina's chances are very slim now in the Coastal (though not dead). Next up for the 7-3 Tarheels is a visit from the 10-0 SoCon Champion Citadel Bulldogs and the Heels had better be ready.....D2 or not this is a good team. 4-6 Duke travels north to take on the 6-4 Pitt Panthers on the heels of their huge upset over #2 Clemson.
#18 Florida State flattens Boston College like it was a Looney Tune, 45-7: Another weird-ass Friday night game = another blowout loss for BC. Maybe they shouldn't play on Fridays? Francois tossed 3 TDs and Cook ran for another as this one was never close; hell, the one TD that BC had was the definition of a garbage TD at the end. Next up for 7-3 FSU is a visit to the Carrier Dome to play 4-6 Syracuse. 4-6 Boston College will host 3-7 UConn.
#19 Nebraska blows past Minnesota on Tommy Armstrong Jr heroics, 24-17: The end of this one (which had been fairly pedestrian up until then) came straight out of a Hollywood movie. Tommy Armstrong Jr. (who was knocked unconscious last week) was a literal gametime decision to play. He then injures his ankle on a QB sneak late in the 3rd quarter and needs help to even get to the sideline. Next offensive series? Out comes Armstrong hobbling. He then leads his team on a 91-yard drive for the go ahead score, capped off by an equally hobbly 13-yard TD run. The defense did the rest of the work. That's pretty good shit right there, folks. 8-2 Nebraska will host a dismal 5-5 Maryland team next week, while 7-3 Minnesota will host 5-5 Northwestern.
#21 Western Michigan continues to roll by putting down Kent State, 37-21: It took a back and forth 2nd half with a 4th quarter rally, but the Little Team That Could is still undefeated. RB Josh Franklin ran for 134 yards and a TD on 31 carries and fellow RB Fabian Johnson had a career high 125 yards. The Broncos still have a date looming in Rivalry Week to decide who wins the MAC West. Next week will see 10-0 Western Michigan hosting 2-8 Buffalo. Kent State will play someone...........are you really planning on tuning in?
#22 Boise State pounds Hawaii like it was their bride on Honeymoon night, 52-16: 28-0 at the start of the 2nd, 35-3 at halftime....you get the idea. Sophomore QB Brett Rypien lived up to the family name with 338 yards and 4 TDs on 18 of 22 passing. RB Jeremy McNichols ran 16 times for 153 yards and 2 TDs. This one was never close. The Hawaii coach had the benches removed from the sidelines at halftime to show his disappointment with the effort of his "Warriors". I wish that were a joke. It isn't; it really happened. Next up for the 9-1 Broncos is a visit from 4-6 UNLV, while Hawaii will look for their benches and their balls.
#23 Washington State goes sex-nuts and retard strong on Cal, 56-21: This Washington State Cougars team is an interesting one. They're not a program that's known for a lot of winning, but this bunch was 0-2 after Week 3 (with losses to Boise State and Eastern Washington), but they haven't lost since. They are averaging 45 points a game over their 8-game winning streak. They are 7-0 in conference play for the first time EVER. They lead the PAC-12 North (though they still have to play Washington for the Apple Cup in 2 weeks). Not too shabby. They dominated California from wire to wire, for the record. Next up for the 8-2 Cougars is a trip to 8-2 Colorado for a critical cross-divisional game. 4-6 Cal will host 7-3 (and recently resurgent) Stanford.
#24 LSU turns #25 Arkansas over their knee and spanks that ass, 38-10: With that score you'd have thought this game was played in Deaf Valley (aka THE FAKE DEATH VALLEY), but it was a home game for the Razorbacks. Unfortunately for the Hogs a dude named Leonard Fournette showed up feeling dominant and he did just that- dominate (3 TDs). The other LSU RB ran 21 times for a gaudy 252 yards and 2 TDs. That's a one-two punch your ass isn't getting up from. Next up for the 6-3 Tigers of Louisiana State is that rescheduled game from October 8th against 7-2 Florida (damn those pesky hurricanes). 6-4 Arkansas will stay home and host 4-6 Mississippi State.
Hell of a week, y'all. Now here we are with a pretty nice slate of CFP Top 25 games highlighted by 3 Top 25 matchups:
- #23 Florida at #16 LSU
- #22 Washington State at #10 Colorado
- #9 Oklahoma at #14 West Virginia
You've also got some seriously intriguing games, like #5 Louisville at Houston (upset alert? Maybe?). You'll have a team looking to win their division when #4 Clemson travels to Wake Forest to try and win their second straight ACC Atlantic Division Title. Besides, it's the next to last week of the regular season. Anything can happen. Michigan proved that when they lost to Iowa and DIDN'T DROP A SINGLE SPOT. Can someone please explain that shit to me?
Now here's your new CFP Top 25:
- #1 Alabama 10-0
- #2 Ohio State 9-1
- #3 Michigan 9-1
- #4 Clemson 9-1
- #5 Louisville 9-1
- #6 Washington 9-1
- #7 Wisconsin 8-2
- #8 Penn State 8-2
- #9 Oklahoma 8-2
- #10 Colorado 8-2
- #11 Oklahoma State 8-2
- #12 Utah 8-2
- #13 USC 7-3
- #14 West Virginia 8-1
- #15 Auburn 7-3
- #16 LSU 6-3
- #17 Florida State 7-3
- #18 Nebraska 8-2
- #19 Tennessee 7-3
- #20 Boise State 9-1
- #21 Western Michigan 10-0
- #22 Washington State 8-2
- #23 Florida 7-2
- #24 Stanford 7-3
- #25 Texas A&M 7-3