College Football 2016, Week 10: IN MEMORIAM
Ah, Week 10....you can smell the end of the regular season fast approaching. The conference championship picture gets even more clear. Realistic scenarios for the playoffs come into focus. The idea of Bama vs Washington or Clemson vs Michigan is so intriguing.......
But, I digress. You still cannot take any opponent for granted. As our outstanding coach, Dabo, always says: "The next game is the most important one of the year". Let's do this.
#1 Alabama survives a defensive slugfest inside of DEAF VALLEY, beats LSU 10-0: Give it up for LSU. Seriously. They shut down Jalen Hurts through the air and stymied the Bama running game (except for Hurts himself, that is). The Alabama QB did just enough with his legs to support the lights out defensive play of the Bama D. LSU phenom Leonard Fournette was held to 35 yards on 17 carries. I think that says it all. Much respect to LSU, though. They took one hell of a shot against the Tide. Next up for 9-0 Saban and Company is a visit from 4-5 Mississippi State. 5-3 LSU will travel to 6-3 Arkansas.
#2 Clemson curb stomps overwhelmed Syracuse, 54-0: You knew a late season trip to THE REAL DEATH VALLEY would be tough for 'Cuse, but this was almost hard to watch (not for me, though). The Tigers led 30-0 at halftime when Deshaun Watson went down with a shoulder injury (a minor stinger, thank God). Dabo rested him in the 2nd half and backup QB Nick Schuessler filled in nicely with a couple of TDs to go with The Wayne Train's rushing TD and Tanner Muse's 64-yard PICK-6 on a freaky tipped ball that bounced off of 4 defenders (seriously, watch the highlight). Oh, and Ben Boulware took a kid to Suplex City. That shit was great. Next up for the 9-0 Tigers is a visit from a scrappy 5-4 Pitt Panthers squad. 4-5 Syracuse will host 4-5 NC State.
#3 Michigan keeps rolling and running up scores, plasters Maryland 59-3: Not much to say here. Maryland isn't in the same area code (metaphorically speaking) as the Wolverines. They looked like D2 school out there. 3 passing TDs, 5 rushing TDs, & a field goal is a pretty solid output, especially when your defense holds the other team to only 1 FG. Next up for the 9-0 Khaki Crew is a trip to 5-4 Iowa. 5-4 Maryland (and their butt ugly uniforms) will host 8-1 Ohio State.....that is not a favorable relief.
#4 Texas A&M can't handle the Playoff pressure, buckles at Mississippi State, 35-28: I was one of the people whose eyebrows went up at the first CFP rankings when I saw A&M at #4. No disrespect to a solid team with a tough schedule, but that spot should've gone to the Washington Huskies. Luckily, the Aggies solved that argument by faceplanting and losing to the Bulldogs on the road. State ran for 365 yards as a team. At one point they literally ran 10 times in a row during a clock killing drive that ended with a phenomenal TD by Nick Fitzgerald, dragging 4 defenders with him. Statement. Next up for a wounded, 7-2 Aggie team will be a visit from 4-5 Ole Miss. 4-5 Mississippi State will travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the 9-0 Tide.
#5 Washington takes out their aggression by drubbing the shit out of Cal, 66-27: Browning throws for 378 yards and 6 TDs. Coleman runs 7 times for 108 yards and a TD. Ross catches 6 for 208 yards a 3 TDs. The Huskies made their point. They're legit and were thinking the same thing that we all were: "Why weren't we #4??" Next up for the 9-0 Huskies is a visit from a resurgent, 6-3 USC team.....they'd better be careful. 4-5 California has to visit the surprising (and now ranked) 7-2 Washington State Cougars.
#6 Ohio State hulks up, found wandering naked and lost after 62-3 slaying of #10 Nebraska: This is the Buckeyes team that people have been expecting to see all year. They are scary talented and very well coached. I never thought Nebraska was a CFP Top 4 kind of team, but they were certainly no slouches, either. THE Ohio State Buckeyes made them look like children in a win that was 100% thorough. Next up for the 8-1 Buckeyes is a trip to College Park to play Maryland. 7-2 Nebraska will host 7-2 Minnesota in a game of "where do they belong on the radar?"
#7 Louisville does it's best Clemson imitation and beats the pants off of BC, 52-7: Everyone knew this would be a game where Lamar Jackson could really pad his Heisman stats, and he delivered in abundance. Jackson ran for 3 TDs (69 yd, 13 yd, 53 yd) and threw for 4 more TDs (30 yd, 44 yd, 10 yd, 5 yd). Those are gaudy stats, but the number I'm more impressed with is the 3 sacks and 9 tackles for loss (TFL) that the Louisville D put up, because defense wins championships. Next up 8-1 Louisville is a home game against 6-3 Wake Forest. 4-5 Boston College will travel to Tallahassee to play a 6-3 'Noles team that is still angry about losing to Clemson (at least I HOPE they are).
#8 Wisconsin grinds it out in ho-hum fashion against Northwestern, 21-7: Nothing against the Badgers; I've been on their nuts most of the year. This was just a boring game in terms of how it played out- low scoring and full of more bad passes than good defense. Still, a win is a win is a win. Wisconsin is good at winning (and occasionally being really boring). The 7-2 Badgers will stay home and await a 3-6 Illiniois team. 4-5 Northwestern looks to bounce back against an even worse 3-6 Purdue Boilermakers squad. I don't need to DVR that one.
#9 Auburn plays Jekyll and Hyde but still beats Vanderbilt, 23-16: After thrashing Arkansas by 53 points and beating Ole Miss on the road by 11 points, I kind of thought this would be another drubbing like the Tigers gave the Hogs. I was so wrong. Vandy played scrappy and Auburn won with a backup QB. Still, it gives the Tigers on the Plains a straight shot to the SEC Title game- just beat Georgia and Bama and you're in. Easier said than done, yes, but the Iron Bowl is so unpredictable. Next up for the 7-2 Tigers is a visit Between the Hedges to play the 5-4 Dirty Dawgs (FUCK GEORGIA). 4-5 Vandy will play 2-7 Missouri in the "Who Gives a Rat Fuck Bowl"?
#11 Florida shits the hotel bed and loses to Arkansas, 31-10: Arkansas used a talented and workmanlike ground game to control the ball and pound the life out of the Gators. This one wasn't a huge surprise for me, as I've not been impressed by Florida (or any SEC East team, for that matter). It was the Hogs first SEC win over Florida. The last time they beat Florida was in 1982, well before they joined the SEC. Florida still holds the lead in the SEC East, though. They simply cannot afford to lose next week when they take their 6-2 team into Willy B. for a date with the 5-4 Gamecocks (winners of their last 3). 6-3 Arkansas will host 5-3 LSU.
#12 Penn State hops in the proverbial steamroller and flattens Iowa, 41-14: The Nittany Lions were up 21-0 before Iowa could even begin to get anything going, and by then it was too damn late. Penn State is a team reborn as of late, and some of those quality recruits from the last couple of years are starting to shine. 7-2 Penn State will travel to Indiana for a date with the 5-4 Hoosiers, while 5-4 Iowa will go to the Big House and get their asses handed to them by 9-0 Michigan.
#14 Oklahoma needs all of Mayfield's magic to hold off surprisingly tough Iowa State, 34-24: I guess that's why they call it "home field advantage". 50,000 Cyclones kept it rocking in Jack Trice Stadium and made for an entertaining game. The Sooners are still the class of the Big-12, though. QB Baker "Please don't put us against Clemson again" Mayfield threw for 328 yards and 4 TDs. A visit from 6-2 Baylor is next for the 7-2 Sooners. 1-8 Iowa State will visit 1-8 Kansas in a game that even their fans probably won't watch.
#15 Colorado goes penalty crazy and still scrapes by UCLA, 20-10: The Buffaloes were out to play physical and they did just that. Unfortunately, they also incurred 8 personal foul penalties in the process of showing how tough they are. A couple of late field goals and a very timely 68-yard punt return helped them secure the win and hold onto the lead in the PAC-12 South. Next up for the 7-2 Buffs is what should be a sure-fire winner in a road game at 2-7 Arizona. The Bruins are now 3-6 and will host 2-7 Oregon State in a bid for some interspecies erotica.
#16 Utah took a week off and prepped for the Election: The state of Utah squashed Hillary, and next week they'll travel to 5-4 Arizona State for a Thursday night showdown.
#17 Baylor finishes proving they were overrated; gets flattened by TCU, 62-22: And with that the circle is complete. Seth Russell is a solid QB, but his skills aren't enough to save this team from mediocrity. TCU exposed a very suspect Baylor run defense that couldn't stop a five year-old with Kyle Hicks going for 192 yards and 5 TDs on 26 carries. TCU went straight up bugshit on Baylor. Next up for the now unranked 6-2 Bears is a visit to Norman to play the 7-2 (and hungry) Sooners. 5-4 TCU will have a bye week and then host 7-2 Oklahoma State, a team who is trying to keep up with their in-state rivals for the Big-12 Title.
#18 Oklahoma State squeaks by K-State, 43-37: What is it about Kansas State at home? At least once a season (usually more) they either beat or scare the shit out of some team that they have no business beating (at least on paper). K-State led this thing early in the 4th quarter until Cowboys QB Mason Rudolph hit James Washington for an 82-yard spirit killer to get within 2 points. The Pokes then followed that up with some great D and a 17-yard run with a 2-pointer tacked on for good measure. The Oklahoma State D came up big when they were needed. Next up for the 7-2 Pokes is a visit from 4-5 (but always high-scoring) Texas Tech. K-State is now 5-4 and will take a week off before traveling to Baylor on 11/19.
#19 Virginia Tech almost blows early "Beamer Ball" lead, holds on against Duke, 24-21: The 75-yard return on the blocked field goal of Duke was huge in this one. The Hokie offense wasn't exactly clicking on all cylinders, and the Duke run game nearly took over. Looks like a little of that aforementioned "Beamer Ball" magic still hangs around this team. Another close loss for a very game Duke squad. Next up for the ACC Coastal leading, 7-2 Hokies is a visit from 5-4 Georgia Tech. 3-6 Duke will host 7-2 North Carolina in a rivalry game at super intimidating Wallace Wade Stadium.
#20 West Virginia hands Kansas it's 40th (!!!) straight road loss, 48-21: Every week there is a game that I invariably say "there isn't much to say about this one"....this is that game. Kansas is fucking atrocious. I'm lukewarm on West Virginia, but William and Mary could beat the shit out of Kansas, so I suppose the Mountaineers did what they should've done to the Jayhawks. Good job, I guess. Next up for 7-1 West Virginia is a trip to Austin to play 5-4 Texas. The 1-8 Jayhawks will host 1-8 Iowa State.
#21 North Carolina keeps Coastal hopes alive, pounds Georgia Tech, 48-20: Elijah Hood ran roughshod over the Tech D to the tune of 168 yards and 3 TDs. QB Mitch Trubisky went 20 of 32 for 329 yards and a TD to Bug Howard, who had 6 catches for 120 yards. The NC offense is potent, and their defense is usually pretty consistent. They still trail in the ACC Coastal Division due to the head-to-head loss against Va. Tech. The 7-2 Tarheels' next game is at 3-6 in the rivalry game on Thursday night, 11/10. 5-4 Georgia Tech will travel to Blacksburg to play 7-2 Virginia Tech.
#22 Florida State uses late rally to erase 10-point deficit and beat NC State, 24-20: With only 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, FSU was down by 10 to a hard-hitting Wolfpack team in their house. Once again it was Dalvin Cook who stepped in and provided the spark needed for the comeback. The 'Noles had better be very appreciative of that guy; he is their bread and butter. NC State plays tough and gritty in another close loss. Next up for 6-3 FSU is a Friday night visit from 4-5 Boston College (why does BC like to play on Fridays??). 4-5 NC State will travel north to 4-5 Syracuse for an 11:30 kickoff.
#23 Western Michigan laid some boots to "Balls Tate", 52-20: You've got to hand it to the Western Michigan Broncos- they are taking advantage of the national spotlight with dominating wins. That's what you have to do when you are a mid-major looking for a little recognition in the land of the big boys. The 9-0 Broncos will play another weird Tuesday night game against Buffalo. "Balls Tate" will play with his balls. What were you expecting?
#24 Boise State uses potent ground game to cruise past San Jose State, 45-31: A pair of 100-yard rushers (158 yards & 2 TDs for McNichols and 100 yards & 1 TD for Mattison) and a 3 TD game from Brett Rypien was more than enough to get the Broncos past a dreadful San Jose State team. With a little more on defense Boise State could be a contender, but right now that D is not there. They'd fare well in the Big-12 HA HA HA!!!! Next up for the 8-1 Broncos is a fun filled vacation to 4-6 Hawaii. San Jose State will put their daunting 3-7 record on the line against a visiting 6-3 Air Force.
#25 Washington State took Arizona out behind the woodshed, 69-7: There were 6 different receivers who caught TD passes from 2 different QBs in this game. What? Do you really need more of a write up than that? Next up for 7-2 Wazzou is a friendly visit from 4-5 Cal. 2-7 Arizona will host division leading, 7-2 Colorado.
And now, in all it's glory...........the 2nd week of rankings for the College Football Playoffs (I will be using these instead of the AP Poll, since the CFP is what really matters):
- #1 Alabama 9-0
- #2 Clemson 9-0
- #3 Michigan 9-0
- #4 Washington 9-0
- #5 Ohio State 8-1
- #6 Louisville 8-1
- #7 Wisconsin 7-2
- #8 Texas A&M 7-2
- #9 Auburn 7-2
- #10 Penn State 7-2
- #11 Oklahoma 7-2
- #12 Colorado 7-2
- #13 Oklahoma State 7-2
- #14 Virginia Tech 7-2
- #15 Utah 7-2
- #16 West Virginia 7-1
- #17 North Carolina 7-2
- #18 Florida State 6-3
- #19 Nebraska 7-2
- #20 Southern Cal 6-3
- #21 Western Michigan 9-0
- #22 Boise State 8-1
- #23 Washington State 7-2
- #24 LSU 5-3
- #25 Arkansas 6-3
Next week only features two Top 25 matchups, both night games. You'll see #24 LSU vs #25 Arkansas and #20 Southern Cal vs #4 Washington. The first should be a hard hitting game with a lot of running. The second has the potential for a massive upset. The Huskies are now firmly THE team in the national spotlight this week. Baylor vs Oklahoma should be a high stakes type of game, as Baylor was a Top 10 team only a couple of weeks ago and OU is kind of notorious for choking.
Until next we meet.............