College Football Wrap-Up – Week 11
The 11th week of major college football reminded me of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, the epic Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood as Blondie (aka the Man with No Name), Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes (a ruthless mercenary), and Eli Wallach as Tuco (the fast-talking Mexican bandit).
The biggest good was #12 Baylor on-the-road spotting #15 Oklahoma a 14-3 first quarter lead and then outscoring the Sooners 45-0 in the last three quarters to win, 48-14.
Six more teams added to the good. #9 Arizona State (8-1) beat #10 Notre Dame 55-31 (the bloom has come off the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, who have been giving up too many points all season), #6 TCU staked its claim for attention by whipping #7 Kansas State 41-20, #4 Oregon (9-1) upended #17 Utah 51-27 (the Duck offense puts up points), #20 Georgia polished off unranked Kentucky 63-31, #24 Georgia Tech stomped a mud hole in unranked North Carolina 56-23, and #21 Marshall beat Southern Mississippi 63-17 (the Thundering Herd remain humble while moving their perfect record to 9-0).
The bad was #5 Alabama (8-1) outlasting #16 LSU in overtime, 20-13. Alabama will host #1 Mississippi State this week. The Crimson Tide will be sharks in the water smelling blood, so the Bulldogs had better bring their A, B, C and D game Saturday, or kiss their dream season and a national championship goodbye.
More bad followed as #14 Ohio State and Coach Urban Meyer got the monkey off their back by upsetting #8 Michigan State 49-37 on its home turf. Spartan Coach Mark Dantonio’s outstanding defense went out to lunch, stayed late and looked bad.
Two other upsets added to the bad as unranked Texas A&M looked like a military unit raiding #3 Auburn at home, knocking off the Tigers 41-38 and destroying Auburn’s national title hopes, and unranked Texas at home put a licking on #23 West Virginia 33-16. Mountaineers apparently have no business in Texas oil country.
The ugly was 6 ranked teams winning lame victories, all of whom could not beat their opponent by at least 3 touchdowns. They included #2 Florida State (9-0), #18 UCLA, #19 Arizona, #21 Clemson, #22 Duke and #25 Wisconsin.
And then there was major ugly as #1 Mississippi State (9-0) beat UT-Martin, a Double-A team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and #11 Ole Miss beat Presbyterian, another AA team, both really pathetic at-large games for a major college team.
The new Top 4 in the 4-team Playoff Rankings are 1-Mississippi State, 2-Oregon, 3-Florida State and 4-TCU. Both unbeaten Mississippi State and Florida State are weak for unbeaten teams.
Sitting at #5 is Alabama, and Mississippi State will come calling this week. By Saturday night, there could be a new #1. Florida State travels to in-state rival Miami. Can the Hurricanes blow the Seminoles right out of the water? We will see.