We continue to see the unfathomable in college football as Baylor collapsed up 28 and Cincinnati needed a last second field goal to beat a beleaguered USF squad after trailing for most of the game.
One thing is clear: LSU, Utah, Oregon, and Clemson are all out for blood. They smell serious playoff implications and will make anyone who stands in their way pay.
Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending hip injury. It is an unfortunate part of the game we all love. Injuries happen but he was a tremendous player. There’s a long road of rehab ahead but let’s not have a candlelight vigil quite yet.
The AAC saw Memphis light up the scoreboard again and there is a lot of talk of the Tigers facing Cincinnati in the conference title game. As someone who loves shootouts I feel cheated by this prospect and look forward to UCF getting McKenzie Milton back in 2020. That said, I’m positive Mike Norvell will be on the move. He has earned the big paycheck that awaits. Also, don’t look now but the most conservative offensive-minded head coach to ever coach in the AAC, Temple’s Rod Carey, has the Owls 7-3 and did it with a mostly inexperienced secondary.
In the ACC, collapses seem commonplace, but what took place at Duke this year was special. Heading into Week 6 they had one loss and that was to Alabama. They haven’t won since then. Despite having one of the best head coaches in the country in David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils simply don’t have a lot of talent on offense and were very young on defense. It happens. In the same breathe, Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuentes, who was largely fired by the entire college football nation just five weeks ago, can reach the ACC Championship with wins over Pitt and Virginia.
In the Big Ten we saw Minnesota lose and head coach PJ Fleck run onto the field to presumably fight an Iowa player for a late hit. The Row The Boat ultra feisty coach is tremendous for football and the Gophers. Despite the loss, Fleck has been a cash cow for bettors.
Indiana almost beat Penn State on the road. The Hoosiers have three losses: Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan state. If you had Indiana at seven wins and the best ATS team in the Big Ten you are much sharper than myself. Kudos to IU who changed its ultra conservative game plan over the summer and can now score on anyone.
Iowa State finally won a close game vs. Texas and while quarterback Brock Purdy and great head coach Matt Campbell have made waves this season it’s somewhat amazing they are only 6-4. I honestly don’t know what the ceiling for wins is in Ames.
Kansas State got Kansas State’d by West Virginia. Playing at a super-slow pace in order to remain competitive, it’s clear the Mountaineers, who were the youngest team in the Big 12 with a first-year head coach Neal Brown, are destined for big seasons going forward.
Louisiana Tech lost its quarterback and all-conference wide receiver to suspension and are no longer in control of reaching the C-USA Championship. If they lose to UAB on Saturday it gets tricky quick. Skip Holtz has done an incredible job but has never won a conference championship. This was his year. Sad if it plays out poorly for him.
UTSA, you needed 7 yards! 4 times! Sorry, had to get that out.
We knew the MAC would be bad coming into the season. I don’t think anyone could have predicted it would be this bad. Miami-Ohio of all teams will represent the East Division in the title game. Six-win teams from the MAC are often left out of the bowl season. Buffalo lost a 21-point lead in six minutes in the fourth quarter to lose to Kent State who doubled its yards from scrimmage in three possessions during that span. Ohio melted down to ensure Frank Solich will not win an elusive MAC title after being the favorite heading into the season. He has just four wins and the rumor is that he will retire after coaching 40 years. He has been a profitable coach for me and I will miss him dearly.
In the Mountain West we saw Fresno State lose a low scoring game to San Diego State. The Aztecs controlled from beginning to end. Jeff Tedford lost control of his team early in the year getting into shootout after shootout and routinely mismanaging the clock. I have always thought he was a shootout only coach. He has regressed back to that despite an experienced defense and so has his team and their results. I’m gonna leave the infamous Air Force-Colorado State ending alone. Therapy sessions are on Tuesday and I obviously have a lot to discuss.
USC really is schizophrenic aren’t they? They look awful every September and by mid-October Clay Helton is being hung on main street but by mid-December they have given everyone enough hope to think next year big things will happen.
In the SEC, Will Muschamp is probably done at South Carolina and probably in unfair circumstances. He lost his quarterback in Week 1 and then played the hardest schedule in the nation. Despite an upset win over Georgia, the Gamecocks have looked very bad versus everyone else. Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason is also is a prime candidate to be on his way out but unlike Muschamp, he might deserve it after this season. The Commodores have been largely noncompetitive and have no offensive future to feel good about and their defense has collapsed. Mason always has a defense.
In the Sun Belt, don’t ever bet against Appalachian State in a game that matters to them. Their head coach change looks ridiculously smart and their talent is at a level that will keep them playing with an edge years to come. Troy has started to make scoring look trivial and while they beat up on the bad teams you have to wonder what this team would have looked like if Neal Brown would have stayed just one more season. Chip Lindsey has no interest in defense and the results have only been good for blind over bettors.
Until next week and don’t let a pick six that costs you close to five figures ruin your week. Eventually you’ll be on the right side of one of those…or at least that’s what people tell so I’ll pass it along. 🙂