Goodbye Mississippi State, Hello Texas Christian to the National 4-Team Playoff Picture

College Football Wrap-Up – Week 14

In-state rivalries ruled the day as major college football’s 14th week saw 4 upsets of ranked teams, none worse than Mississippi State’s upset loss to Ole Miss. The loss by the Bulldogs and win by Texas Christian (TCU) vaulted the Horned Frogs into contention for the 4-team playoff for the national title.

The current title contenders include 1) Alabama, 2) Oregon, 3) TCU and 4) Florida State. Here are the details.

Ranked teams that were upset included:

#4 Mississippi State (now 10-2) was embarrassed and upset by Ole Miss (aka Mississippi), 31-17. The much-hyped run of Mississippi State is now over, big time. The Bulldogs will not compete for the SEC title and will not be among the Top 4 teams competing the national championship.

#8 UCLA (9-3) was upset, no trounced, by visiting Stanford, 31-10, taking the luster off of a potentially great season for Jim Mora’s Bruins. Lost now are UCLA’s Pac-10 title hopes and national playoff hopes. Stanford is only 7-5 on the season, but not to be overlooked, as the Bruins sadly found out. UCLA may have more talent, but the talent forgot to show up for the game.

#9 Georgia (9-3) fared no better than UCLA, getting upset by #16 Georgia Tech, 30-24, in overtime. Georgia Tech (10-2) will now face Florida State for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

#24 Marshall, the second-to-the-last undefeated team this year at 11-0, finally was taken down by Western Kentucky, 67-66 in overtime. This game was a 100-yard dash from goal line to goal line, as a NCAA single-game FBS record was set with a combined 15 touchdown passes. The halftime score was 49-42 in favor of Western Kentucky. Games like this are certainly exciting for the fans, but lousy defensive exhibitions of incompetent defensive backs.

Ranked schools that scored victories over an in-state rival included:

#1 Alabama (11-1) had its hands full dealing with #15 Auburn (8-4), but a strong last quarter put the Crimson Tide on top, 55-44 – Alabama will now face Missouri (10-2) for the SEC title.

#2 Oregon (11-1) made short work of Oregon State, winning 47-19 on its way to the Pac-12 Championship Game against Arizona (10-2).

#3 Florida State, the only unbeaten team left at 12-0, managed to win again by the skin of its teeth, holding off a tough, 6-5 Florida squad, 24-19 – The Seminoles weak, bumbling performance dropped Florida State from 3rd to 4th place in the 4-team national playoff rankings, and will now face Georgia Tech (10-2) for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

#5 TCU (10-1) over Texas 48-10 – The Texas Longhorns used to be a national contender every year. Last year Mack Brown got pushed out and Charlie Strong was hired as his replacement. Strong has gone 6-6 his first season. Things still look really grim in Texas. Would you believe that it has been 81 years since Texas lost at home to Baylor and TCU in the same season?

#6 Ohio State (11-1) led by a touchdown after three quarters against a mediocre, 5-7 Michigan team, and then managed to win the 4th quarter 14-7, and the game, 42-28. Ohio State was hardly dominating, but will face Wisconsin (10-2) in the Big Ten title game.

#7 Baylor (10-1) barely gets by a 4-8 Texas Tech team, 48-46, after allowing the Red Raiders to win the 4th quarter, 19-3, all of which means that the Baylor Bears talk and whine a lot about how they are overlooked and unappreciated when in fact they may be overlooked and under achieved.

#10 Michigan State (10-2) did some pushups while rolling past Penn State, 34-10.

#11 Arizona (10-2) keeps on winning, beating #13 Arizona State (9-3), 42-35, putting the Wildcats in the Pac-12 Conference Championship Game against Oregon (11-1). Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez had huge success at West Virginia, was recruited at Michigan and bounced out after 3 years, and has now been reborn at Arizona. Rodriguez is a great coach; he was not the problem at Michigan, it was the Wolverine boosters and faithful that could not accept Rodriquez and his spread offense. Rodriguez was a pioneer of a no-huddle, run-oriented spread offense and was also credited with inventing the zone read play run out of the shotgun formation. Michigan is still a stick-in-the-mug offense with 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

#12 Kansas State (9-2) leveled a lousy, 3-9 Kansas team, 51-13.

#14 Wisconsin (10-2) outlasted #18 Minnesota, 34-24, and will face Ohio State (11-1) for the Big Ten title.

#17 Missouri (10-2) needed to score 15 points in the 4th quarter to get past Arkansas, 21-14, and will now face Alabama (11-1) for the SEC title.

#21 Clemson (9-3) beat South Carolina, 35-17 – Steve Spurrier led his Gamecocks to three consecutive 11-2 records in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and added three consecutive bowl wins, but South Carolina in now back in the dumper at 6-6.

#22 Louisville (9-3) had its hands full with Kentucky (5-7) but eventually won, 44-40.

#24 Utah (8-4) outlasted a tough, 2-10 Colorado team, 38-34.

Unranked schools that scored victories over an in-state rival included:

Air Force (9-3) beat Colorado State (10-2) on a 4th quarter field goal.

Central Florida (8-3) blanked South Florida, 16-0.

Houston took care of Southern Methodist 35-9 – SMU is 0-11 this season and, after the loss, fired its head coach and hired Chad Morris to take over the distressed program. Morris, a high school coaching legend in Texas, was serving as the Offensive Coordinator for Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Morris helped Clemson log a 41-11 record in 4 years, win the ACC title in 2011 and earn 4 bowl berths, including 2 BCS Orange Bowl appearances. SMU this year had given credence to the word inept; hopefully, Chad Morris will lead SMU out of the wilderness.

Ohio University over Miami of Ohio – Ohio was down 21-14 but won the last quarter 10-0 and the game, 24-21.

In another Ohio contest, Kent State beat Akron 27-24.

Virginia Tech beat Virginia, 24-20.

Indiana downed Purdue, 23-16 – Few noticed because it was in the Big Ten, which happens to have 14 teams.

Texas San Antonio topped North Texas, 34-27.

North Carolina State put a whipping on North Carolina, 35-7.

San Diego State did the same to San Jose State in California, 38-7.

Tennessee edged Vanderbilt in a SEC contest, 24-17 – Tennessee (6-6), a mediocre team that has fallen out of favor, simply beat a lousy, 3-9 Vanderbilt team.

Duke breezed past Wake Forest in North Carolina, 41-21.

Nevada sucker punched a lowly, 2-11 UNLV team – Perhaps the Runnin’ Rebels will do better in basketball, then again, maybe not.

And, in a bowl eligible contest, Washington used its crushing, swarming Husky defense to stifle Washington State, 31-13 – Coming into the game, the WSU Cougars led the nation in passing offense, averaging 478 yards a game. Washington (8-5) will go bowling; Washington State will be watching the bowl games on the tube, which is not an entirely bad thing, since the Cougars make WSU one of the great drinking schools in the country.

#18 Oklahoma was idle this week.

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