College Football 2016, Week 12: IN MEMORIAM
- Better late than never, right? Thanksgiving is a hard week to get any recaps or general writing done, but I won't let you down. Let's tear into the results of "No Margin for Error" week in the wacky-ass world of college football..........even if it is technically Saturday morning on Rivalry Week.
#1 Alabama sleeps past Chattanooga, 31-3: It's a Bama tradition to schedule a piece of shit fluffer game before the Iron Bowl. Mission accomplished- you didn't have to put any effort into this one. Now it's time for the real deal. 11-0 Alabama welcomes 8-3 (and very dangerous) Auburn into Tuscaloosa for one of the craziest games of any year. Don't wait around for Chattanooga's next opponent. I'm not telling you. I don't care and you don't either.
#2 Ohio State's ridiculous balance barely gets them past Michigan State, 17-16: This was WAY closer than Buckeye fans wanted, but at least it's in the books. They should've seen this coming. The Spartans were the B1G champs last year, even if they are having a shit season this year. It's not like the talent went away, just the results. I applaud the decision by Sparty to go for the two-pointer and the win. What did you really have to lose? Next up for 10-1 Ohio State is the MONSTER game, hosting 10-1 arch rival Michigan in The Shoe. 3-8 Michigan State will travel to Happy Valley to try and spoil the slim hopes of 9-2 Penn State, who will be praying for an Ohio State victory so they can win the B1G East.
#3 Michigan scrapes by Indiana without QB Speight, 20-10: Even if your starting QB isn't a Heisman front runner it's still going to be tough without him. Luckily for Michigan they still have a wealth of talent and good coaching, but Indiana didn't make it easy. De'Veon Smith carried 23 times for 158 yards and 2 TDs. That's workhorse shit right there. When you've got a great line and talent in the backfield you can survive the down weeks. Next up for 10-1 Michigan is that aforementioned battle with the 10-1 Buckeyes in The Shoe. 5-6 Indiana will look to get bowl eligible against 3-8 Purdue at home. They should get there.
#4 Clemson beats up Wake Forest and clinches ACC Atlantic Division, 35-13: The question was loud and clear: how does Clemson respond to their 1st non-National Championship loss in 2 & 1/2 years? By winning their division in convincing fashion, that's how!! Watson goes 23 of 33 for 202 yards and a TD while "Wayne Train" Gallman carries 22 times for 161 yards and 2 TDs. It was 28-0 halfway through the 2nd quarter and the D never gave Wake any real hope of getting back in the game. Question answered. Now it's time: next up for the 10-1 Tigers is The State Championship against 6-5 South Carolina in THE REAL DEATH VALLEY.........it's time for some fried chicken, baby!! 6-5 Wake Forest will wrap up their season in non-rivalry fashion against a 5-6 Boston College team looking for bowl eligibility.
#5 Louisville gives new meaning to shitting the bed, gets smoked by Houston 36-10: Did anyone see this coming? Actually, yes....just not by that score. This one reeked of upset, especially after the CFP rankings came out and the Cards were all over social media being uber butthurt about not making one of the top 4 spots. They looked past Houston and got burned like an untended steak on a dirty grill, plain and simple. They fumbled the opening kickoff, for God's sake. That's never a good omen. 31-0 at halftime? That's what you call an uppercut of truth. Lamar "Go Ahead and Give Me the Heisman" Jackson was SACKED 11 TIMES. Case closed. Next up for 9-2 Louisville (who will still get a quality bowl game played after 1/1) will host 6-5 Kentucky in their in-state rivalry. 9-2 Houston will travel to Memphis.
#6 Washington recovers nicely, whips the shit out of Arizona State, 44-18: It's safe to say the Huskies responded well to their loss at the hands of surging USC last week. Jake Browning kept his dark horse Heisman hopes alive with 338 yards and 2 TDs. Washington was up 30-0 before the Sun Devils even managed a field goal. This blowout also gave us the sheer amusement of seeing an attempted onside kick returned for a TD. Good times. Next up for the 10-1 Huskies is the Apple Cup, their rivalry game against 8-3 Washington State on Friday night. 5-6 Arizona State will travel to play 3-8 Arizona in their in-state rivalry game.
#7 Wisconsin jumps around all over Purdue's nuts, 49-20: This was yet another case of "over before it began" with the Badgers feasting, up 35-10 at the half. Wisconsin is a very physical and talented team that will be a damn tough game for any opponent, and Purdue also plain sucks. Offense and defense scored at will for 9-2 Wisconsin, who hosts 8-3 Minnesota. 3-8 Purdue will (in all likelihood) get the shit kicked out of them by 5-6 Indiana, who wants to go bowling in early December.
#8 Penn State bullies and humiliates Rutgers, 39-0: It's the 7th win in a row for the 9-2 Nittany Lions, who still have a chance at the B1G East title if Ohio State can pull out a win against Michigan AND if they win their visit from 3-8 Michigan State. It's very possible, but they can't sleep on a talented Spartans team with absolutely nothing to lose. Hopefully 2-9 Rutgers doesn't play again...........but if they decide to suit up it'll be against 5-6 Maryland in College Park. I'm pulling for Rutgers. Maryland fans are the worst; we don't miss them at all in the ACC.
#9 Oklahoma busts out a first-rate ass-whoopin' for #14 West Virginia, 56-28: Man, I'm so tickled at this one. Have I ever mentioned that I detest the Mountaineers? I probably have. OU took the "best defense in the Big-12" (which is kind of like saying the prettiest girl on crackwhores.com) and lit that shit up. They also did this in the snow, which is always cool to watch. 4 of the Sooner's TDs came off of turnovers. It couldn't have happened to a classier team. Next up for the 9-2 Oklahoma (after a bye week)? This'll be a damn good one: it's time for BEDLAM, the in-state rivalry game against 9-2 Oklahoma State. By the way, it's for the Big-12 Championship.
#10 Colorado steps up to the plate and crushes #22 Washington State, 38-24: I've been wondering all year what the truth is with Colorado, a team with a storied history and a spectacularly shitty last decade or so. This is a team that wins with physical running and tough line play. Their QB, Sefo Liufau (great name) threw for 345 yards and complimented it with 108 rushing yards to help the stable of RBs. They need to keep their 9-2, PAC-12 South leading feet on the gas and beat visiting, 8-3 Utah next week. If they do that then they will play for the PAC-12 Title. If not then red-hot Southern Cal can take the division. 8-3 Washington State will play in-state rival and playoff contender 10-1 Washington in the Apple Cup.
#11 Oklahoma State puts the boots to TCU in Fort Worth, 31-6: The Cowboys played like a team that wanted a conference title shot. Their underrated QB, Mason Rudolph, ran for 2 TDs and threw for another. The 9-2 Pokes have now won 7 straight and will play 9-2 Oklahoma at BEDLAM (I love that rivalry name) for the outright Big-12 Title. Remember that stunning upset in Week 2 to Central Michigan on the blown call by the refs? State should be 10-1. Think about that for a minute.
#12 Utah suffers rare home loss to the underachieving Oregon Ducks, 30-28: It's been a tough year for the Ducks. They've been a top tier team for so many years, and now the wheels have fallen off the bus. I do think it'll be a temporary thing for them, depending on their tenuous coaching situation. They got their shit together for this game, though, and pulled out a win in a very hard place to play against a team that had a LOT to play for. The TD catch by Darren Carrington II that won the game was a close call, but I think the refs got it right. High drama on a nutty finish. Next up for the 8-3 Utes is a road trip to 9-2 Colorado, who is trying to go from worst to first and win the division. The 4-7 Ducks will play for pride and bragging rights as they travel to Corvallis to play 3-8 Oregon State and their slimy, hairy Beavers.
#13 USC walks across the street and beats up neighboring UCLA, 36-14: The 86th matchup between these bitter rivals was all Trojan this time (after a back and forth 1st quarter). 8-3 USC is on fire right now and has a shot at the PAC-12 South Championship if they can win against visiting, 4-7 Notre Dame in one college football's most storied rivalries (couple with a Colorado loss, of course). 4-7 UCLA will hit the road to play 4-7 Cal in the "Why Are We Watching" Game of the Week.
#15 Auburn warms up with a scrimmage against Eastern Buttfuck University, 55-0: Okay, so there is no Eastern Buttfuck University......they're called Alabama A&M. I think the new name could catch on, though. Imagine the commentary: "Eastern Buttfuck sure is taking a pounding!!". Anyways, The 8-3 "Tigers on the Plains" will travel to Tuscaloosa to take on 11-0, defending National Champion (and bitter in-state rivals) Alabama in The Iron Bowl. Anything can happen, but Auburn had better play mistake free and bring the fight early.
#16 LSU loses low-scoring nail-biter to #23 Florida, 16-10: Hurricane Matthew gave LSU an extra home game, as this was originally scheduled on Oct. 8th in The Swamp. Florida had to come in and earn that SEC East crown. This one was a nasty and physical defensive affair where a pair of Tiger fumbles were the difference. They say games like this'll put hair on your chest in a hurry. 8-2 Florida will need it: next up is 8-3 Florida State with rivalry dominance in mind. 7-3 LSU will travel to College Station to take on 8-3 Texas A&M and The 12th Man.
#17 Florida State goes all big brother with blue balls on Syracuse, 45-14: FSU did exactly what they needed to do in this one- they let Dalvin Cook do his thing to the tune of 28 carries for 225 yards and 4 TDs. That's just not fair. Cook is the best RB in all of college football, without a doubt (sorry, Conner and Foreman). Next up for the 8-3 Seminoles is the in-state nasty with the SEC East Champion Florida Gators. The 4-7 Syracuse Orange will travel to play evil 7-4 Pitt in the Ketchup Bottle.
#18 Nebraska soundly thumps lowly Maryland, 28-7: It looks like a lopsided NFL score, and that's pretty much what the game looked like. Nebraska and fill-in QB Terrell Newby controlled the clock and ran all over the Terps and their unbearably hideous uniforms. Next up for the 9-2 Huskers is a trip to Des Moines to play spoilery, 8-3 Iowa. Better be careful, Nebraska. If you lose then the B1G West will belong to the Badgers. Maryland will go back up North and figure out how to make their uniforms even uglier.
#19 Tennessee goes totally fucking postal on Missouri in a shootout, 63-37: It was QB Josh Dobb's last home game, and he intended on making it memorable. I'd say he did just that, throwing for 223 yards and 3 TDs while running for 190 yards and 2 TDs. Holy shit, that's a huge game. What's his encore? Does he anally rape Mizzou's mother while pouring sugar in their gas tank? Nice job by the strangest looking man in football. Seriously, look up his pic. It's creepy. Anyways, 8-3 Tennessee travels to 5-6 Vandy for the in-state showdown for dominance in a state where most folks think there's only one team.
#20 Boise State uses the run to rob the house and beat UNLV, 42-25: Jeremy McNichols ran 31 times for 206 yards and 4 TDs to support QB Brett Rypien, who had an off night with only 109 yards. Luckily for the Broncos they didn't need much from their signal caller on this Friday night affair. Next up for the 10-2 Broncos is a trip to play 9-2 Air Force, a team that's been (if you'll pardon the pun) flying under the radar. Be wary, Broncos. Air Force is allotted 1 upset a year by God Himself. I don't know what UNLV will be doing next week; I didn't care enough to look. Look it up yourself if you're so curious.
#21 Western Michigan continues their undefeated tour, trashing Buffalo 38-0: They've got their eyes on the Cotton Bowl, and I think they'll get it. This is a solidly built team with a hell of a coach in P.J. Fleck (they'd better enjoy him while they've got him). Their prolific pitch-and-catch duo of Zach Terrell (29-37 for 445 yards and 4 TD) to Corey Davis (13 REC for 173 yards and 2 TD) is borderline ludicrous in terms of stats and records. Buffalo never had a prayer. Next up for the 11-0 Broncos of Western Michigan is a visit from 9-2 Toledo for the MAC West Championship. Next up for Buffalo is a long nap. They need the rest.
#24 Stanford continues dominance of Cal, wins The Big Game, 45-31: That's 7 in a row over Cal. I'm sure that feels pretty awesome to a Stanford team that was written out of any Top 25 scenario after Week 7 or so. Since the 10-5 loss to Colorado they have quietly peeled off 4 straight wins. The 8-3 Tree will finish their regular season off by hosting 3-8 Rice. 4-7 Cal will host 4-7 UCLA.
#25 Texas A&M gets back on track by pummeling UTSA, 23-10: The stat that really jumped out to me in this one? How about A&M Defensive End Myles Garrett with 4 & 1/2 friggin' sacks!! This guy is a sure-fire 1st rounder in the next NFL Draft. Total stud. The offense did enough to compliment the D, and the 8-3 Aggies get ready for a visit from 7-3 LSU. UTSA will presumably play someone in a very small conference.....no offense.
So, what do we have on tap for Rivalry Week here at the end of November. I personally have a bottle of Scotch (Ardmore this time) and a day off to soak it all in before the Chicken Kickin' starts in the evening. Let's have a look at the important matchups:
- #1 Alabama vs. #13 Auburn: The Iron Bowl. Enough said.
- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Ohio State: Highest ranked matchup of the season. CFP placement on the line. Nasty rivalry. Noon kickoff....hell of a way to start the day.
- #4 Clemson vs. South Carolina: The Palmetto Bowl. The State Championship. Bragging Rights. The Chicken Kickin'. My most nervous game of the year and the most personal. It's time to BEAT THE COCKS!!!
- #5 Washington vs. #23 Washington State: It's the Apple Cup for the PAC-12 North Title. Don't you love it when rivalries have title implications?
- #6 Wisconsin vs Minnesota: With a little help the Badgers can win the B1G West.........and a big fucking axe.
- #7 Penn State vs Michigan State: Keep your eye on the scoreboard, Nittany Lions. Pray.
- #9 Colorado vs #22 Utah: It's simple for the Buffs- win and the PAC-12 South is yours.
- #12 USC vs Notre Dame: Another case of win and then watch the TV for the results of Colorado vs Utah. Prayer helps.
- #14 Florida State vs #15 Florida: The Gators have the SEC East wrapped up and the Seminoles aren't playing for a title, but this one's for shit talker's rights. Period.
- North Carolina State vs North Carolina: Who gets to play Clemson in the ACC Title Game? North Carolina if they win; Virginia Tech if the Heels lose to their hated rival.
Damn, I can't wait to wallow in all of this college-y goodness. Here's your CFP Top 25 for the next-to-last week of the regular season.
- #1 Alabama 11-0
- #2 Ohio State 10-1
- #3 Michigan 10-1
- #4 Clemson 10-1
- #5 Washington 10-1
- #6 Wisconsin 9-2
- #7 Penn State 9-2
- #8 Oklahoma 9-2
- #9 Colorado 9-2
- #10 Oklahoma State 9-2
- #11 Louisville 9-2
- #12 USC 8-3
- #13 Auburn 8-3
- #14 Florida State 8-3
- #15 Florida 8-3
- #16 Nebraska 9-2
- #17 Tennessee 8-3
- #18 West Virginia 8-2
- #19 Boise State 10-1
- #20 Houston 9-2
- #21 Western Michigan 11-0
- #22 Utah 8-3
- #23 Washington State 8-3
- #24 Stanford 8-3
- #25 Navy 8-2