Bet You Didn’t See That Coming!
Do you need any more evidence to proclaim College Football the greatest sport ever? The matchups this week, yes, it’s still the regular season, matched up 6 of the best teams in the nation. Someone had to lose, but my oh my, it was epic.
Auburn blows out #1 Georgia
Can anyone stop the Auburn offense when it is clicking? Probably not. Their blowout of Georgia wasn’t about the Auburn offense though. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are both bound for the NFL. Michel might be a backup or situational back but Nick Chubb is going to start for someone as a rookie. This wasn’t about even about the inability of Nick Chubb. This was about domination and it started early for Auburn.
The Tigers won every phase of the game and it started in the trenches. When it came to running the ball, Auburn averaged 5.2 yards per carry but limited Georgia to 1.4 yards per carry. Late in third quarter, Auburn had the Bulldogs at 0.9 yards per carry. On passes, the Tigers averaged 10 yards and Georgia…only 6.3 yards. The Tigers also dominated Georgia with 25 first downs, compared to only 13.
Although the Bulldogs went into the half only down by 9, Auburn scored on 4 drives. They also forced Georgia into 5 straight punts before the Bulldogs ended the first half by kneeling. On those 5 series that Georgia was forced to punt, the Bulldogs managed just 34 total yards. The game was never as close as the score might have indicated.
To make matters worse, Mecole Hardman fumbled the second half kickoff, which gave Auburn the ball on the 23-yard line. The Tigers needed just four plays to make it 23-7 and after another UGA punt, they needed just 2 more plays to make it 30-7.
In my last article, I provided a scenario that would supply fans with rematches for the playoffs. After the struggles that Georgia had against South Carolina and then the blowout tonight, I am jumping off the Bulldog bandwagon. The way Georgia played tonight, they won’t stand a chance against Auburn in the SEC Championship. Two losses of this magnitude will almost certainly banish Georgia from any consideration.
Clemson survives again
How many lives does a cat have? Apparently for the Tigers, enough. Coming into the game, Florida State was 3-5. The Seminoles pressured Kelly Bryant all night. FSU forced the Clemson quarterback to scramble and throw the ball away repeatedly. They only got to Bryant for a sack twice but ended the game with 9 tackles for loss. The Noles also forced three fumbles. Unfortunately for FSU (and lucky for Clemson), they just couldn’t score any points.
Not to say that the Tigers didn’t get pressure but the Seminoles weren’t ranked #4 in the country. The Tiger offensive line was beaten at the point of attack from the beginning. There were a few exceptions and Clemson was able to take advantage but this game was too close for comfort. With 8:53 left in the game, Clemson allowed Ryan Izzo a wide-open catch and score to close the gap to 3 points. After getting the ball back, the Tigers coughed it up and gave FSU the ball on the Clemson 39. At that moment, you couldn’t help but wonder, could this be the end of the road? The Tigers defense, answered the question with an emphatic statement. Van Smith jumped in front of a beautiful pass from Blackmon to Murray and returned it 38 yards.
It wasn’t that Clemson won the game at that moment but Florida State knew they had lost it. Clemson has the Citadel before playing at South Carolina. Clemson will need to play near perfect football over the next two weeks. At this point, the eye test matters. If it comes down to Clemson or another one-loss team at the fourth spot, how you win will certainly be taken into consideration.
I promised I wouldn’t…Maybe you saw this coming
Washington lost to Stanford. The Pac12 lost a shot at the playoffs. Nobody on the East Coast wants to watch Washington play at 11:00PM EST. Chris Petersen is sulking again. Nothing to see here.
So, you beatdown Ohio State?
Well, the Hawkeyes let me down. Again. After destroying the Buckeyes, Iowa looked poised to really mess things up for the Big Ten. Maybe someone paid from the commissioner’s office paid them off. However you want to slice it, Wisconsin is still undefeated.
The Badgers did something this afternoon that I haven’t seen in quite some time. Wisconsin held Iowa to 41 yards of total offense. No seriously, only 41 yards. As a matter of fact, Iowa’s Josh Jackson had twice as many receiving yards as Iowa had total yards. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Jackson plays on defense for the Hawkeyes. With two interceptions, two touchdowns and 95 yards, Jackson was the only bright spot for a team that just beat Ohio State.
The defense for the Badgers is undeniable. Granted, there are still questions looming because of their schedule. Alex Hornibook must take care of the ball. Although he threw from two touchdowns, four if you count Jackson’s, he also threw three picks. With Michigan and Minnesota remaining, the Badgers better keep rolling. Just like Clemson, the eye test will mean a lot. For Iowa, just try not to lose to Purdue or Nebraska. That would really make the Big Ten look bad.
Speaking of the Buckeyes
I don’t get it. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes came from behind and beat Penn State 39-38. OSU trailed by 18 points before the rally. Last week, the Buckeyes got destroyed by Iowa. By destroyed, I mean they lost by 31 points. Yes, that’s the same team that only produced 41 yards against Wisconsin. This week, OSU beats the tar out of Michigan State. Maybe the Spartans thought no one would be watching since basketball season has started. Halloween is over, can we just put the Jekyll and Hyde costume away and figure out who you want to be.
Alabama struggling with a mobile QB
Okay, this wasn’t a shocker. I have been saying for weeks that Alabama is overrated. Tonight, we got to see that fact yet again. The Crimson Tide might end up in the top spot of the rankings on Tuesday but its painfully obvious, they aren’t the best team in the country.
Mississippi State let one slip away here. It wasn’t what Alabama did, as much as what Mississippi State didn’t do. Three plays on defense cost the Bulldogs the game. In the first half, two busted coverages led to 14 points. Then with 31 seconds left, Devonta Smith gained the inside position and hauled in the game winner.
Fitzgerald gave Alabama fits. His ability to scramble and open up the field in the first half put MSST in control. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the defense couldn’t match his tenacity. There aren’t moral victories in football but for Nick Saban, realizing his deficiencies must be demoralizing.
Darn that luck!
What was going to be a great season turned soured before the first half was over. What was billed as one of the best games of the season, suddenly wasn’t. Catholics versus Convicts quickly turned into, Contenders versus Pretenders.
Notre Dame has a lot of questions to answer now. Without a conference championship to turn to, the fate of the Irish, lies in the hands of the selection committee. That committee watched the same embarrassing obliteration that you and I did. In the offseason, Kelly took the blame for their meltdown last year, while he isn’t solely responsible, someone must be held accountable for this loss. The defense looked stale and the offense couldn’t get anything going. It looked as if Notre Dame was completely unprepared.
Is it too Sooner to believe in OU?
I’m still not sure what we witnessed tonight in Norman. Baker Mayfield proved once again that he is Heisman worthy. The Sooner defense showed up when it counted. In the first half alone, the Sooners forced 4 punts. While TCU struggled to move the ball early on, Oklahoma moved the ball at will. The game was essentially over at halftime. TCU’s defense showed up in the second half but it was too little too late.
So why might it be too early? TCU and Oklahoma are all but set to meet again in three weeks. The adjustments that TCU was able to make in the second half, at least defensively, might be enough to game plan around for the championship.
My Playoff Rankings
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Oklahoma State
- Washington State
- Mississippi State
- Virginia Tech
- Michigan State
Guide Through The Chaos (College Football)
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