College Football Week 8 Reflection
Two Giants Fell
The Wisconsin Badgers traveled to Michigan State and College Gameday was on hand. The Spartans had a two touchdown lead headed in to the fourth only to see Russell Wilson lead Wisconsin back to a 31-31 tie with 1:39 left to play. What followed was something so non-Spartan that it blew the minds of everybody watching. The Spartans scrapped their super-conservative offense and took some risks. An awful time out called by Bret Bielema set up a hail mary chance for MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins who. The pass was knocked down in the end zone in to the hands of a Michigan State receiver who pushed himself across the plane with no time left on the clock.
Oklahoma was shocked by Texas Tech University who was a thirty-point underdog. The Red Raiders had a tremendous third quarter where they went up 24-7 and benefited from two Oklahoma turnovers. Texas Tech didn’t let the Sooners get back in to the game until the last minute when Oklahoma scored on a touchdown pass preceding a failed onside kick. Skip Bayless then took Bob Stoops to task saying that he was a great recruiter, an awful coach, and should be fired. Just STFU Skip. Seriously. No one likes you.
The National Title Race
Clemson is one hell of a team this year, 8-0 through the eight weeks of the season. Most Clemson teams would have struggled and crumbled against Florida State, Auburn, and Maryland. Not this team. Not with Dabo Sweeney piloting the plane. Freshman Sammy Watkins is one of the two best freshmen in the nation along with De’Anthony Thomas. Tahj Boyd has picked up the new spread in flying colors and Clemson could be a dark horse for the national title if any more of the juggernauts get one loss.
Oklahoma State did work on Missouri winning 45-21 on the road. Even though Missouri ran effectively the four turnovers they committed proved lethal as they had to constantly chase Oklahoma State the rest of the game. It’s so hard to stop Oklahoma State, that if you ever falter on offense and turn the ball over, Oklahoma State will make you pay and continue to pay as they keep scoring over the course of a game.
Stanford walloped Washington in Palo Alto and had 247 yards rushing at the end of the first half. Both rush defenses weren’t present in the first but Stanford’s showed up in the second. While comfortably operating with a two possession lead most of the game, the Cardinal blew the doors off in the second half.
LSU and Alabama are on a collision course for each other. Both are in the SEC West so this is the only time they’ll meet all season. I wouldn’t be opposed to a rematch if the game goes in to overtime. Both teams are just blowing opponents out (although Alabama finally didn’t cover the spread for the first time all year).
Speaking of LSU and Alabama
The Tigers were without Tyler Mathieu and Spencer Ware this weekend because of a positive on a drug test. It didn’t really matter as they beat Auburn 45-10. LSU is so stocked with talent up and down their roster that if one of their starters goes out, their backup is still probably better than the guy on the other team. They’re like the USC’s of the early to mid 2000’s with five, five star running backs in the backfield. Even when the backups in they are still crushing teams.
People get lost in the multiple uniforms and flash and innovative spreads that pass over 50 times a day at break-neck speed. The best marketing for a team is dominating everybody they play like LSU and Alabama. They are winning in ways that look like they are out of the 80’s and 90’s. They play rock solid defense. They are fast as hell. They don’t make mistakes. Their running games are unstoppable with running backs that are fast and deliver hits instead of taking them. It takes football back to its core and fundamental beliefs. It’s very hard to play football this way and win over the long course of a season and decade, but when it’s done how these two teams do it, it’s impossible to stop it, making all those coaching clichés still ring true.
Case Keenum broke the NCAA record for career total offense topping Hawaii’s Timmy Chang. Case in his sixth year after obtaining a medical redshirt from an injury suffered last year against UCLA. He has accounted for 16,190 yards.
Oregon State is on the up as they continue to improve in the month of October. As is tradition. Riley’s teams have a knack of getting blown out in September only to get better starting week 5 and then beating teams they shouldn’t in November. The transformation took a year off last year but the Beavers could be scary if Sean Mannion plays how he did against Washington State and Michael Agnew can carry the workload the rest of the season.
Illinois is beginning their November slide. The Fighting Illini started 6-0 this season despite head coach Ron Zook’s best efforts. The Illini even beat Ohio State this season. This week they lost to Purdue 21-14, and the Boilermakers were up by 2 possessions almost the entire game.
ECU quarterback Dominique Davis had one of the most impressive stat lines I’ve seen. He completed all 26 passes he attempted in the first half and 40-45. He passed for 372 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-35 victory over Navy.