College Football Wrap-Up – Week 8
The #2 Florida State Seminoles should have been upset by the #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in major college football’s 8th week, but won anyway, 31-27, when the Fighting Irish scored on a 2-yard pass to Corey Robinson with 13 seconds remaining and were called for a pass interference penalty.
A Notre Dame receiver was flagged for blocking the defender responsible for covering Robinson. Needless to say, Irish Coach Brian Kelly was not a happy with the call. And so the Seminoles, who were outplayed by the Irish most of the game, racked up their 23rd consecutive victory.
A note to Florida State: Be advised, you could end up losing like the #4 Baylor Bears did Saturday, when unranked West Virginia spoiled the Bears perfect 6-0 record with a 41-27 butt kicking. Baylor’s nonexistent defense got found out.
Florida State’s defense is not so hot either. The Seminoles could only beat Oklahoma State (now 5-2) by 6 points and needed overtime to edge Clemson (now 5-2). Unfortunately, the schedule favors the Seminoles the rest of the way as Notre Dame was the last ranked team they will play. Should Florida State win out, the Seminoles will have beaten 9 cupcake opponents.
Should the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles be upset by a cupcake opponent before the regular season ends, there is 1 undefeated team (#3 Ole Miss at 7-0) and 4 one-loss teams (#4 Alabama at 6-1, #5 Auburn at 5-1, #6 Oregon at 6-1 and #8 Michigan State at 6-1) waiting in the wings to leapfrog over them.
And some of them are serious. Ole Miss just beat up Tennessee34-3, Alabama shut out Texas A&M 59-0, Auburn was idle, Oregon whipped Washington 45-20, and Michigan State crushed Indiana 56-17.
Ole Miss, Alabama and Michigan State all won by 30+ margins. Not that far behind were #12 TCU, which upended #15 Oklahoma State 42-9, and #13 Ohio State leveled Rutgers 56-17. Even #17 Arizona State tried to make a statement by topping #23 Stanford 26-10. Stanford’s record is now 4-3.
#10 Georgia, #14 Kansas State, #19 Nebraska, #20 Utah, #22 Southern California and #24 Clemson all won but were not impressive in winning. #25 Marshall won big time 45-13 over Florida International to remain undefeated at 7-0, but the Thundering Herd are hardly big time, and not in the running for the national title as a mid-level conference team.
There were 6 teams still unbeaten last week. With the losses by Baylor and Notre Dame this week, there are now only 4 undefeated teams left—the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Ole Miss (Mississippi) Rebels, the Florida State Seminoles and the Marshall Thundering Herd.
So, who might the sleepers be in the race for the national title? Glad you asked.
That might be the Alabama Crimson Tide, who lead the nation in 7 Top 5 categories–# 3 in Scoring Defense, #3 in Total Defense, #2 in Rushing Defense, #1 in 4th Down Conversion Percentage Defense, #4 in 3rd Down Conversion Percentage, #4 in Team Passing Efficiency and #2 in Net Punting.
Or the Michigan State Spartans, who lead the nation in 5 Top 5 categories–#3 in Scoring Defense, #3 in First Downs Defense, #3 in 3rd Down Conversion Percentage Defense, #3 in Turnover Margin and #1 in Time of Possession.
Or the Ole Miss (Mississippi) Rebels, who lead the nation in 4 Top 5 categories–#1 in Scoring Defense, #3 in Team Passing Efficiency Defense, #5 in Turnover Margin and #3 in Net Punting.
#1 Mississippi State, #8 Auburn, #16 East Carolina and #17 Arizona were all idle this week.