Another week in the books this college football season, and the picture isn’t totally clear…yet. However there are teams that have been rising by the week, and Judgment Day is coming. Logan is back this week, so let’s dive into the Hot Takes!
Mississippi State’s Downward Spiral Continues: At the beginning of the season the Bulldogs were filled with a lot of excitement due to incoming Penn State transfer QB Tommy Stevens, which brought with him a lot of hype. Not only was he highly touted, but he was reuniting with his former offensive coordinator and Bulldogs head coach Joe Moorhead. It was supposed to be a match made in heaven, but if you ask anyone in Starkville it has been anything but that. This was never more evident than this past Saturday in their 20-10 loss to the 1 win Tennessee Volunteers. While the Vols defense definitely came to play, Stevens made it easier for them as he struggled with accuracy yet again. Stevens has really struggled throwing the ball since he suffered a shoulder injury in the second game this season. While I don’t know if it is a physical issue or not, but I definitely it’s affected him mentally and has messed with his confidence. For head coach Joe Moorhead, he has a lot of questions to answer about the current state of this team that just looked lost in every phase. A lot of people are calling for him to be removed in just his second year and if he doesn’t get things turned around, he just may looking for work elsewhere when it is all said and done.
South Carolina Scores Major Upset: Coming into Saturday’s games, South Carolina were 24.5 point underdogs as they visited number 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. When you see spread that wide, it usually isn’t a matter of will the favorite win but by how much. Sometimes though a favorite can come with some overconfidence and when the mistakes start to pile up it is hard to dig out of. On this day the mistakes came in the form of Jake Fromm’s 4 interceptions, one of which got taken back to the house for a TD. Despite being down at halftime and most of the second half, the Bulldogs were able to score a late touchdown to force overtime. In the first overtime Fromm threw his 4th and final INT, but was saved by a missed kick by the Gamecocks to send to a second overtime. In the second overtime though, the Bulldogs were not so lucky. The Gamecocks were able to make the kick in the second overtime, while usually very accurate Rodrigo Blankenship came out and missed a kick wide left to seal the upset victory for the Gamecocks. For Georgia this puts their national title contention in a dangerous spot as they will likely have to win out to be considered. For the Gamecocks it could possibly give them a renewed vigor and lease on life, which hopefully they can use propel them to more wins and possibly a bowl game at seasons end.
LSU Continues to Prove They Belong: College Gameday rolled into Baton Rouge Saturday for the week’s biggest match between the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers. Both teams came into the game ranked in the top 10 and looking to prove that they belong amongst the elite. The first half of the game proved that these two teams were very evenly matched, as they went into halftime at 21-21. LSU was able to come out of halftime and prove that they were the better and more dominant team, coming away with 42-28 victory. LSU is a legit contender to knock off Alabama this year and as long they take care of business leading into that game they will continue to stay in the SEC and national championship picture.
Oklahoma Continues on a Roll: The Red River Rivalry game between Texas and Oklahoma proves to be one of the best rivalry games of the year, year in and year out. This year was no different. While not as close at times as the past couple seasons, it wasn’t ever more than a 10
point lead until the latter stages of the game. Jalen Hurts was able to continue his incredibly impressive campaign and hooked up with CeeDee Lamb on three TD, as they lead the Sooners to a 34-27 victory. Like last season though, this may not be the last team we see these two meet as they could very likely face off again in the Big 12 Championship game.
The Tide Continues to Roll: Alabama visiting Kyle Field this week in their matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies. A matchup against a ranked conference opponent is always one to look out for on anyone’s schedule, because you know never what can happen. Alabama as usual though, was able to take care of business and roll to a fairly easy 47-28 victory. Obviously the Tide don’t need to look past anyone but that early November matchup with LSU is looming and it could be one of the best games of the year, as well as decide the SEC West champion.
A tale of two traditions: Clemson’s 45-14 thumping of Florida State tells two tales. Clemson is the best team in the country. They’re better than Alabama, the defense is better. Mack Brown’s experience is what knocked the Tigers from #1 but that is a formality right now. Trevor Lawrence threw for 3 TD and Travis Etienne rushed for 127 yards. But let’s look at the other side of the coin. Florida State is one of the proudest programs in college football history. The Bobby Bowden years are littered with big wins, a couple National Championships and endless All-Americans. Jimbo Fisher took over and another National Championship. He leaves for Texas A&M and this program is a complete dumpster fire. Willie Taggert was a good coach on the mid-card level but he is way over his head here and needs to be fired. Consistent mediocrity and getting blown out by the big teams isn’t going to fly here. They need a change, and badly.
Cavaliers lay a stinker: Virginia played well even in a loss to Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. However this past week’s 17-9 loss at Miami is a bad sign that maybe Bronco Mendenhall’s team isn’t quite ready for prime time. New Canes QB N’Kosi Perry played well, throwing for a TD and making no mistakes. Virginia’s offense couldn’t get out of it’s own way and needs to step up every week. A home game with Duke this week could be the elixir it needs.
Irish keep the Shillelagh: Tony Jones rushed for 176 yards as Notre Dame held off a late Trojan rally to beat USC 30-27. Ian Book had a quiet game but the ND rushing attack totaled
308 yards on the ground. Kedon Slovis didn’t play bad for USC, throwing for 255 with two TD but USC fell into a hole and couldn’t get out of it. With Georgia’s loss, does a one loss ND have a chance to be in the last four? Perhaps…time will tell.
Pac-12 Update: So who’s the best at being mediocre in a conference that probably won’t have a team in the last 4? Oregon & Utah both looked impressive in blowout wins. Oregon dumped Colorado 45-3 while Utah crushed Oregon State 52-7. Washington beat Arizona 51-27 but with two losses they’re cooked. Are the Ducks & Utes the cream of the crop? Perhaps, but the four ranked teams in the conference play each other this week. Oregon heads to Seattle, while Utah hosts Arizona State.
Academies Update: Bad loss for Army as they lose a low scoring fist fight 17-8 to Western Kentucky. The Cadets fall to 3-3 and plays at Georgia State Saturday. Navy took care of business at Tulsa 45-17 to go to 4-1 on the season, and hosts South Florida in Annapolis Saturday. Air Force is 4-2 after a 42-23 win over Fresno State, and this week heads out to Hawai’i.
With the first Playoff rankings on the horizon, the games get better. Here’s the schedule of big games this week:
ALL GAMES ARE SATURDAY EST:
3:30pm: #12 Oregon at #25 Washington
6pm: #17 Arizona State at #13 Utah
7:30pm: #16 Michigan at #7 Penn State