– And the mighty Cardinal has fallen. The #5 ranked Stanford Cardinal were upset by the un-ranked Utah Utes, 27-21 in the biggest stunner during what turned out to be upset Saturday in college football. Both teams battled back and forth all night, and Utah’s will in the 4th quarter was just too much for the Cardinal to overcome, on the road. Stanford is now out of the national championship hunt, and will need to win out for a chance at the PAC 12 title.
– The favorite in the top heavy PAC 12 and quite possibly the favorites to make it to Pasadena are the Oregon Ducks. The same Ducks who took care of business, on the road, against a darn good Washington Huskies team. RB Bishop Sankey tried to carry the Huskies to a win, but the combination of QB Marcus Mariota and WR Braylon Addison were just too much for the Huskies top ten defense. (mind you, Oregon was without their top weapon DeAnthony Thomas) I stand by my endorsement of the Ducks as the best team in the nation, and that will surely be tested as the second half of the season begins.
– For the team widely considered (at least by the pollsters) as the #1 team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide, it was business as usual on Saturday. They manhandled the wildly over matched Kentucky Wildcats, 48-7. The Tide was led by Sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon who rushed for 124 yards, and added two scores. As I’ve been saying for weeks, Alabama will continue to get better every time out, and that’s just downright scary. The only team I can see knocking them off during the regular season, are the Tigers of LSU.
– Speaking of Les Miles’ Tigers. They put on a defensive clinic in Baton Rouge against the depleted Florida Gators. While Zach Mettenberger wasn’t no world-beater on Saturday, he managed the game nicely and made all of the necessary throws to outscore the Gators (about 3 throws). While Tyler Murphy may be better than Jeff Driskel, quite frankly, that’s not saying much of anything. The Gators are reeling, and as I said a few weeks ago, a 4-5 loss season just may be in the cards.
– Now, I stated last week that Georgia QB Aaron Murray would do JUST enough to pull out a victory between the hedges against a sneaky good Mizzou team. While Murray threw for nearly 300 yards, and 3 TD’s, his two picks were costly, and that Dawgs defense was downright horrendous from beginning to end. It looks like those injuries have in fact cost UGA the SEC East. And while Missouri remains undefeated, there’s one reason why they won’t now be considered favorites in the east. They lost their all everything senior signal caller, James Franklin for the remainder of the season with a shoulder separation. Best wishes to the very talented Franklin.
– In what many considered “the trap game of the year” the Clemson Tigers barely escaped the upset bid of the gritty Boston College Eagles. After trailing at halftime, senior quarterback Tajh Boyd rallied the troops and lead the Tigers to victory, 24-14. Clemson, and the nation, now turn their attention to the top five contest between the #3 Tigers and the #5 Seminoles of Florida State. Both the Noles and College Gameday travel to Death Valley next Saturday for the primetime match-up, that is being hyped as possibly the biggest game in the history of the ACC. Now, it’s NO secret that my allegiance will forever lie with the Seminoles, but I am no homer. This one will be an absolute slobber knocker!
– Hook em, huh? I guess it’s time for me to eat some crow, but there’s no way I’m alone. I mean seriously, who outside of Austin (or outside of the locker room for that matter) believed the Longhorns would put on that type of performance in the red river shootout?! I mean, we all know rivalries bring out the best in everyone, but big time props to Mack Brown and more importantly his kids for that performance. Mack’s days may still be numbered, but we all learned Saturday that his kids truly love him and want him as their coach, if not they would’ve gone all Southern Cal to ensure Brown’s departure from Texas. They did not, one time for Bevo!
– Speaking of Southern Cal, shoutout to those student athletes who seemed to finally be relaxed and comfortable out there on the field. Boy, they must’ve really hated Lane Kiffen, I mean, who doesn’t? Every and anywhere he’s been, Ed Orgeron has always been the epitome of a player’s coach. He’s an ace recruiter and kids just gravitate towards him, and genuinely want to play for him; and that was very evident in the Coliseum last Thursday, as well as the post-game presser. While I don’t see Orgeron as a serious candidate for the USC job long-term, he can give his resume, and the morale around the program a much needed boost with a strong close to the season.
– Let’s all tip our caps to the Nittany Lions and the Wolverines for an epic 4 overtime battle Saturday afternoon in Beaver Stadium. How about TRUE freshman QB Christian Hackenberg huh? The kid never blinked on his way to a 305 yard, 3 touchdown game, which included a game tying drive, and TD run, to force overtime. The Nittany Lions win, not only gave the Wolverines their first loss, but it gave Penn State head man Bill O’Brien a marquee victory on the season. These kids seem to really be buying into what coach O’Brien is doing, and with Hackenberg under center, it may not be long before we can again refer to it as “happy valley”.
– Next week’s slate of games isn’t overwhelming, but there are a few intriguing match-ups. On the west coast we get an absolute gem, UCLA at Stanford. The Bruins are rolling and the Cardinal will surely be focused after Saturday’s letdown. Brett Hundley is a baller, but I’d give Stanford the slight advantage. In the SEC, there are two games to keep your eye on. Florida travels to Mizzou, as both teams will be starting backup quarterbacks. Expect Florida’s defense to wreak havoc against true freshman QB, Maty Mauk and Missouri. In the other match-up, Texas A&M will host Auburn. Auburn has showed flashes this year, but I don’t see them having an answer for Johnny Hancock and the Aggies. And now for the main event, of the evening. The Seminoles vs the Tigers, #3 vs #5, with the winner having the inside track in the ACC, and a legit shot at running the table and ending up in Pasadena. Death Valley will be rocking, and this one will be an absolute war! You all know where my heart is, and I can say, with confidence, that my head is in the same place for this one. Go Noles!