Sooo… big victory, at night, outside of Chicago, in a hostile environment, behind an old favorite. Yup, there’s really only one choice for the soundtrack for our look back at college football’s big weekend.
As the season progresses, there will be a number of weekends that provide “clarity” in the national rankings scene… and this past weekend answered a few questions.
Three sets of undefeated teams squaring off; obviously, readers of this site will be aware of what happened between two of the B1G’s three last undefeated teams. Hell, Vegas knows what happened, and has $300 million reasons to hate Joey Bosa.
The early matchup wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic as the marquee in Evanston, at least not after the first few minutes. Facing undefeated (and B1G) Maryland at home, the Florida State Seminoles made quick work of the Terrapins, pitching a 63-0 shutout.
I’m impressed with both FSU and their freshman quarterback, and bumped them up significantly in this week’s Top 10 rankings that you’ll see on Wednesday. Even more frustrating? In the play on the right there, Winston connects with tight end Nick O’Leary, the grandson of Buckeye great Jack Nicklaus. If Winston was a Buckeye lean during his recruitment as is rumored, that connection could have been in Scarlet and Gray.
The final battle of the unbeaten was the nightcap, as Stanford hosted resilient Washington. The Cardinal somehow managed to seemingly get all 27 tight ends on the field at the same time, and were effective in the power game against the undersized Huskies. Sarkisian’s team wasn’t to be overlooked, however- they managed to make a late run at the Cardinal only to have a late catch overturned on review. Based on, from all we know, this view right here. PAC12 refs, man… And here I thought that the SEC was the conference that bent over backwards to ensure that their top teams kept winning…
A celebrity of sorts was at the Husky Cardinal (also a descriptor for St. Louis fans) game, as former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice was present to watch her alma mater win. The timing couldn’t have been better- she has also been connected to the upcoming “College Football Playoff Committee”, and was dismissed for that role by ESPN’s David Pollack. I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over… it was all we could to to keep Clair from hunting him down. Dr. Rice’s name has also been bounced around as a possible replacement for Dr. Gee as president at The Ohio State University- who knows…
It was a weekend for big plays by receivers as well… here’s our first installment of “Catch Of The Week”, from Georgia’s Chris Conley:
The Bulldogs hung on to win on the road, in spite of losing numerous playmakers (and the punter) to injuries. In fact, Tennessee gave the game away as Pig Howard (seriously) fumbled as he was stretching the ball out towards the pylon. The play resulted in a touchback; since the game was already in overtime, Georgia only needed to kick a field goal to secure the victory. Interestingly, according to the CBSEC broadcast crew, the victory helped “keep Georgia’s National title hopes alive”… in spite of the fact that there are at least 6 other undefeated programs that would have to lose for UGA to even sniff a chance at playing in the game. I’ve seen the “SEC Network” advertisements, but was certain that this thing already existed twofold from CBSEC and ESECPN.
One story that I didn’t hear covered much from CBSEC, Jadeveon Clowney’s decision to not play on Saturday against Kentucky. Clowney’s been suffering from bruised ribs, and before the game told his coach that he wouldn’t be participating. If he’s really hurt, I can understand the caution; although for a player who already has a reputation for playing at half speed and taking plays off, it probably ain’t helping his draft stock any. That being said, he’s a top 10 draft pick; why risk it before he can get paid officially? Another reason why Jim Delany’s idea should come to pass.
Nebraska’s Kenny Bell makes case for the Catch Of The Week in the Huskers’ home victory over the Illini:
In a game that was supposed to have been a real test for the team from Lincoln, the Illini showed instead why they’re still a year or two away from being “back”. And that really had to be a relief for the Cornhuskers, or at least this guy. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez didn’t play, and yet the game was never really in doubt, which makes at least half of this young fan very very happy.
Also in the B1G, Coach Jerry Kill suffered yet another gameday seizure prior to the Gophers’ loss to Michigan, and did not make it to the game. Seriously, Coach- we love you too much to let this continue. There’s got to be another way to pursue your passion that won’t negatively impact your health. One positive that came out of the Little Brown Jug Game- Devin Gardner finished a contest without a turnover for the first time in his career. Proud moment. Celebrate.
Psssst…. Indiana beat Penn State on Saturday for the first time ever. Keep this to yourself, if you would; there were only a smattering of fans present for the game in Bloomington, and the rest of the folks at IU wouldn’t believe this if you told them. Kevin Wilson is NFL at IU…. Not For Long.
Ohio State fans may have really wondered what got into Coach Meyer and Coach Coombs for faking a punt deep in Northwestern’s end of the field… although, it looks like the yardage was there if Cameron would have followed his blockers. However frustrating that play was, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Sooper Offensive Genius’ decision in a similar situation (although 4th and 13?). The best part about that play? Notre Dame is paying him to call it at Kansas for another year or so.
As for Weis’ sugar daddy, the Irish played the “who has the fanciest bonnet?” game against Arizona State and put the “special” in special teams as well during their win over the Sun Devils. Looking at my tee shots, I’ve got every reason to commiserate with that fine young man- you can certainly play from there.
We should probably also talk about the controversy on Thursday in the Iowa State/Texas matchup. The Longhorns won, but there were at least two plays that raised the ire of Cyclone fans in the midst of the game. First, this obvious cheap shot by a Texas receiver was not penalized, although the conference said later that it would be looked at in the “Sportsmanship committee”.
The bigger story, though, was the potential strip-6 that was taken away by the officials, who said that the player’s was down by contact, and it was upheld on review. The Big12 office looked at it as well and said that the right call was made… and, chastized Iowa State’s Paul Rhoades for his response to the officials. Yup- It’s All Texas, All The Time (Nebraska fans nod knowingly).
Oh, guess what! Ed Orgeron is undefeated as Southern Cal head coach!
Play of the Week AND Catch Of The Week honors goes to this 2 point conversion from the SMU/Rutgers game. Just like we drew it up-
This is the last year, as you know, for the BCS; the committee mentioned earlier will be meeting starting next season to create games as a part of the new “playoff” process. That being said, I’d love to see the following contests as a part of January’s “Bowl Week” this season, if only for the matchup of similar styles/talent levels:
This week finds the Buckeyes on a well needed bye, but there’s still a great slate of games coming up. Undefeated (!) Missouri squares off against what’s left of the Georgia team, while the Muschamp/Les Miles coaching battle is one not to miss either. In the B1G, it’s a battle of opposites, as Michigan State’s crushing defense and lack of offense face the Hoosiers’ powerful offense and questionable D. Also, Devan Gardner seeks to keep his “no-whoopsies!” streak alive against Penn State.
It’s also time for the Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas… or, as some have christened it, “Mack’s Last Stand”. If you’re not already perusing the wonderland that is the ShaggyBevo site, this is the week to do so, if only for great insight such as these: