As in smacked into irrelevance. The poor Pac-12. They were still holding on for dear life, hoping among hope that the dominoes fell into place and they could put a team in the College Football Playoff. Well, for starters, they had to have Stanford and Utah win their games on Saturday. At least one of them would do it and both were favourites so everything should be alright going into Week 12 correct? Not so fast my friend (Lee Corso would be so proud). Stanford has to comeback against Oregon, only to fall short on a two-point conversion gone wrong. So now it was up to Utah. They were facing Arizona. No problem right? Well the Fighting RichRods decided to put the final nail in the Pac-12 coffin by beating the Utes in overtime. Better luck next year I guess.
Rest of the Fun-Time Recap
That was closer than it should have been. Two games fit this sentence. Clemson struggled with a pretty bad Syracuse team. You have to wonder if the Carrier Dome noise got to the Tigers but they can’t afford to look like this the last two weeks of the season going into the ACC Championship. As for Oklahoma State they got an even bigger scare. They didn’t take the lead on Iowa State until 3:06 was left in the fourth quarter. Memories of 2011 were flooding Ames on Saturday as many thought it was going to be deja-vu all over again. Fortunately for the Pokes they were able to barely pull this one out as they now head home to Stillwater to face Baylor in another huge Big XII showdown. Yeah this back-loaded schedule is working out perfectly. Speaking of the Big XII…
Don’t count Baylor out yet and don’t count Oklahoma in yet. Two things happen with this obviously back-loaded Big XII sked: 1) It allows teams to make big moves up the CFP rankings and 2) on the flip side, it makes it very difficult for any team to run the table down the stretch. Oklahoma looked like the better team in Waco. Saying that, the Sooners still have TCU and Oklahoma State left on their slate. I can honestly say I am not liking their chances of winning both games. Baylor, on the other hand, has those same two teams, plus Texas, left. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they won all three. It’s been that kind of season in college football.
Hell, don’t even put Bama in yet! Will the Tide win next week against the Southwest Texas School for the Deaf (or whatever FCS team they are playing)? Yes. Will they win the Iron Bowl? Yes. Will they win the SEC Championship over Florida? Hmmmm….that will be a tough game for Alabama. Should be a good one. Won’t put them in the CFP yet but the way they are playing I don’t see anyone stopping them.
The Hawkeyes better play better than that. They have two games remaining. Home against Purdue and at Nebraska on Black Friday. Two games they should win. The issue is, they really have to blow these two teams out of the water. Otherwise, unless other things happen for the teams around them in the rankings, they won’t get into the top 4 come conference championship week. What it comes right down to is this: Iowa must beat Purdue huge, beat Nebraska by a healthy margin, beat tOSU for the Big Ten Championship and THEN they will be in the top four but not before.
And that ends LSU’s chances…I think. You can’t say they are out of the New Year’s Six race yet but it sure looks like it. And now we can say Leonard Fournette has allowed a bunch of players into the Heisman race. I figured the game against Bama was an aberration. I was wrong…sort of. Arkansas played really well as Bret Bielema somehow finds a way to get his team to the win. So they beat LSU in Death Valley at night yet they lose to Toledo at home. Gotcha.
Now that was fun to watch. Michigan’s double overtime win over Indiana was fantastic to watch unless you were a Hoosier football fan. Why Indiana passed the ball on fourth and goal in the second overtime period rather than run it (you know, the same thing they had done over 20 times in a row at that point) is beyond me. They should have passed on third down so they could go back to their bread-and-butter on fourth. Hindsight is always 20-20 though so we will leave it at that. As for the Wolverines, they are STILL in the New Year’s Six conversation. I actually have them in my top 12 so there’s still hope although they have to get through Ohio State to do it.
Wouldn’t that have been crazy? Kansas….KANSAS!…was oh so close to upsetting TCU. And it would have been the upset of the year BY FAR! And that would have made it a lot of fun except for TCU fans. Really, even though TCU won, that should be their nail in the coffin when it comes to the CFP. Their chances were slim but now they should be gone regardless. I don’t care if they score 100 on Baylor and do the same against Oklahoma. That game should keep them out.
Is that the last we’ve seen from Everett Golson? I always thought his stats up until this past Saturday were deceiving. To watch him you would think he was entirely average. Not the same Golson from when he brought Notre Dame to the BCS National Championship. This game kind of proved it. Plus Sean Maguire stepped up in a way that not many could have seen. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimbo went with Maguire the rest of the way.
Don’t look now but Wazzu is 7-3. Washington State has done very well in the Pac-12 this year. And has also lost to Portland State. Typical of this college football season. If they had won that game (like they should have), they would have been 8-2 and probably in the top 20 by now. And there would have been New Year’s Six whispers. Yes it has been that crazy this year.
Keenan is the man. Keenan Reynolds is now the sole owner of the FBS Rushing touchdown career record. He has 81 now. I wonder if he could make it to 90? Probably.
And that’s why Houston should get the New Year’s Six spot. And to be honest, a Big XII invite. That comeback win over Memphis was epic and showed why this team is in the driver’s seat for that NYS spot. The noon game on Black Friday against Navy will decide the AAC West. If, for some reason, Houston loses, there will be more chaos for sure (unless Navy wins out).
Speaking of the AAC, how bout dem Owls….uh oh. Wow, did USF ever lay a beating on Temple. It wasn’t even close. That’s the Temple team we all remember from, well, every other season before this one. They still should close out the AAC East but that loss all but assures they won’t be playing in a big boy bowl this year.
Um, Clemson may want to be very worried now. North Carolina has destroyed Duke and Miami in consecutive weeks. Like absolute destruction. Honestly, over the last two weeks, no team (maybe save Alabama) has looked nearly as good as the Tar Heels. Worst part is they still haven’t clinched the Coastal division as that pesky Pitt Panthers team keeps hanging around. A win over Virginia Tech this weekend would clinch it for the Heels and set up the ACC Championship which should garner a lot of interest now.
I don’t get how it happened that fast. Georgia Tech’s fall from the top of the ACC Coastal is mind-boggling. They look so bad this year and compared to last year it just defies logic. Paul Johnson is fine for now but man, they better come out of the gate strong next season or it could be Johnson’s job.
Mark Richt has to be an intriguing possibility. Every program with a head coach opening would kill to have Mark Richt coach their team. And wouldn’t it be hilarious if he ended up at South Carolina? The only thing funnier would be if the USC of the east hired Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Yes my sense of humour can be odd at times.
Charlie should take one of those jobs NOW! Charlie Strong would be stupid, I think, to stay at Texas. With a 4-6 record and a very good possibility of being home for the holidays, many Longhorns’ faithful are calling for his head. He would be wise to look at the Miami job or the USC job or some other job and truly put his name in the hat. Otherwise, at some point, be it during the off-season or early next season, he could be out of a job completely.
Nebraska is somehow one win away from being bowl-eligible. And to get that win, they have to get through Iowa in Farmageddon on Black Friday. I know technically Kansas State and Iowa State play the Farmageddon game but Iowa-Nebraska suits that name so much more.
Coach of the year? You have to give some love to Todd Monken down at Southern Miss. Ever since Larry Fedora left it was a gongshow there. Monken has brought some stability to the program and now they are 7-3 and going bowling. Also, if they beat Old Dominion on Saturday they set up a showdown during the final week against Louisiana Tech for the Conference USA West Division crown. And to think it wasn’t that long ago when this team lost 22 games in a row.
Hopefully Missouri gets one more win for Gary Pinkel. It would be nice to see at least one coach go out on a high note since so many have not over the past few years. Mizzou needs one more win and they go bowling. I think with the way the players gutted out a victory over BYU, they should be able to pull it off.
Alright, I will be doing an entire post on my early bowl predictions on Wednesday instead of putting it here and making a long post even longer. The short NFL recap is tomorrow and then it’s schedule time starting Thursday.