College Football Week 9: Review
Overall Weekend Review:
In a weekend of only one upset, it is becoming evident who the top teams are. However, lots of games this final Saturday of October showed that wins don’t come easy.
1. #13 Ohio State needed 2OT for unranked Penn State. #25 UCLA needed 2OT to survive 2-6 Colorado. ECU was tied going into the 4th quarter against 1-6 UConn. Auburn was tied until late against South Carolina. Clemson only scored 16 against Syracuse. All ranked teams won when playing unranked teams, but some were cutting it close.
2. TCU’s offense is still scoring points. 82 points is a lot. Especially against a conference opponent. They are now averaging over 50 PPG on offense and rank 29th in PPG defense. They are averaging a 29 point victory over their opponents. If it weren’t for some unfortunate calls and a late collapse against Baylor, TCU would be ranked in the top 5, if not top 3. Nov. 8th against Kansas State will be their only test left. TCU should win out and be in the 4-team playoff.
3. So I was wrong about the Washington schools upsetting the Arizona schools. Perhaps the PAC-12 top teams are better than I thought, or maybe none of the teams are that good (and the bottom teams are awful). The only hope the PAC-12 has for a NCAA champion is for Oregon to win out. They face a stubborn Stanford team next week.
3. LSU did beat Ole Miss in a low scoring game, but Ole Miss isn’t out of the picture yet. With #1 Mississippi State still on the schedule, anything can happen in the Wild, Wild SEC West.
4-Team Playoff Currently: Mississippi State, Florida State, Alabama, Oregon
4-Team Playoff Projection: Florida State, Alabama, TCU, Mississippi State/Ole Miss winner
How My Teams Did:
Alabama and UNC came away with victories this weekend, UK gave the #1 MSU a good fight, and Gardner Webb forgot to bring its offense.
1. The game started looking like Bama would defeat Tennessee 100-0. But the Vols showed up in the 2nd quarter. It was a tougher fight for Bama than I thought it would be, but after getting an easy 27-0 lead, I probably would’ve backed off too. After leading 27-0, Tennessee won the rest of the game 20-7. This bothers me. We are accustomed to Saban teams operating well at the beginning of the game and being able to control the ball and clock the rest of the game. It could be that this year’s running backs are not as good, it could be that the other teams are daring Bama to throw the ball, or that the offensive line is not is good. I believe it is a little of all of these. Bama’s line isn’t pushing people around like the normally do, Yeldon just isn’t as explosive as he was last year, and Blake Sims isn’t always accurate on the road. Bama’s next game is at LSU, which would scare me if Bama didn’t have a week off. We will learn a lot about Bama in that game.
2. UK gave #1 MSU the fight I believed they would. I didn’t expect a win, so I’m not crushed by the loss, I’m inspired by their ability. As Towles becomes more accurate and the running game gets a little better, the offense will be great. I’m worried about the defense. They had several tackles for loss, but also several 10+ yard plays. The team just cannot stop the run. MSU averaged 6.4 yards per carry. LSU averaged 5.9 yards per carry. South Carolina averaged 5.9 yards per carry. That’s not very good. The defense is going to have to pick it up to compete with the big boys of the SEC, but I believe that they are on their way.
3. UNC won a tough game against UVA; but more importantly, held Virginia to 27 points. It’s sad that even Fedora didn’t trust his defense at the end of the game, gambling on an onside kick instead of playing it safe. The gamble worked, and UNC won the game 28-27. I thought that Williams would have had to had a monster game to win, but UVA got to him often. The last TD pass was actually thrown by the backup (it was a great pass). With the win, UNC is just a half-game behind Georgia Tech and Duke for the lead of the Coastal Division. With Duke still on the schedule, and one more conference game than Georgia Tech; if UNC can win out, they will be in the ACC Championship game. A man can dream, right?
4. I figured Gardner Webb would lose on the road at Liberty. Liberty is a better team, and GWU struggles on the road. But I think the bus with the offensive players took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, as GWU lost the game 34-0. GWU passed for only 73 yards and rushed for an amazing -17 yards, for a grand total of 56 yards of offense. Tough to win that way. Hopefully, GWU will take something away from this game so that they can perform better in the rest of conference play.
Next week: Alabama open, UK @ Missouri, UNC @ Miami, and GWU @ undefeated Coastal Carolina. All three teams are away. My guess is only one will survive next Saturday with a win.