Greetings college football fans! The first Playoff rankings of the year is just one week away, but this past weekend had some major shakeups at the top. So without further ado, time for this week’s HOT TAKES!
-Buckeyes go down: Jeff Brohm decided to go for it against No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday, and The Buckeyes buckled under the pressure. D.J. Knox ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns, David Blough threw for three more scores and the Boilermakers held Ohio State’s vaunted passing game in check most of the night as they pulled away for a 49-20 upset to shake up the College Football Playoff chase. Dwayne Haskins had 470 yards passing but the OSU defense gave up four TD in the fourth quarter. That’s not a good sign for a team that was poised to take on the Alabamas and Clemsons in January.
-Tigers make a statement: Speaking of Clemson, Trevor Lawrence came in wanting to leave little doubt about his team’s championship goals this season and about his ability to take the Tigers there. He accomplished both Saturday in a 41-7 rout of No. 16 North Carolina State, helping Clemson dominate the showdown between the Atlantic Coast Conference’s last remaining undefeated teams. passed for a career best 308 yards including a 46-yard TD throw to Tee Higgins in his third college start. He directed three first-half drives of 50-plus yards as the Tigers took quick control of an expected tight contest. Travis Etienne ran for three touchdowns, increasing his ACC-leading total to 14 on the ground this season.
-Wait…Nebraska won???: I’ve been trashing Nebraska for the past few weeks, but the old Nebraska came out Saturday in a 53-28 win over Minnesota that gives Scott Frost his first win as Huskers coach. A week after squandering a late 10-point lead at Northwestern and losing in overtime, the Huskers scored on three of their first four possessions on their way to a 28-0 lead. Minnesota cut the deficit down to 28-22 but Nebraska pulled away late for the win. Is that lone win it for the year? Well next week they host Bethune-Cookman, so maybe?
-Cannibals in the Pac-12: Just when we thought it was Oregon that was in the Pac-12 driver’s seat, they fall behind 27-0 to Washington State and lose 34-20. That opens the door back up for Washington, who after a 27-13 win over Colorado is 4-1 in conference. The teams in this conference aren’t as good as those in the other power conferences but there’s been the most competition and most entertaining games. This week Washington State is at Stanford, Washington is at Cal, and Oregon is at Arizona.
-Academies Update: Army went to OT but defeated Miami-Ohio 31-30 to move to 5-2 on the season. Navy is having one of their toughest seasons in a while, falling to 2-5 after a 49-36 loss at home to Houston. Air Force outslugged UNLV 41-35 to move to 3-4 on the year. This week Air Force is home to Boise State, Navy has a tall order against #3 Notre Dame in San Diego, while Army is at Eastern Michigan.
Michigan Gets Huge Rivalry Win: Michigan came into this with a lot to prove. Their coach needed a big win in a rivalry game that he hasn’t seemed to be too good at getting to this point. The team itself needed to prove it was for real and was going to be a big player in the Big Ten. The Wolverines got the job done convincingly with defense by a score of 21-7 and with the loss Ohio State suffered they now sit atop Big Ten East division all alone.
LSU Gets Dominant Win Ahead of Huge Clash: Fans of LSU and Mississippi State knew coming into Saturday’s game that it was going to be a defensive brawl. Well the game didn’t disappoint when it came to that. LSU was able to make Nick Fitzgerald incredibly uncomfortable, sometimes looking like a guy who hadn’t ever played college football before. They were able to
pick off Fitzgerald four times and used the leg of their field goal kicker to come away with a 19-3 win. LSU now has an off ahead of the gargantuan clash with Alabama that will not only prove to the determine the West Division but very well the SEC in general
Kentucky Stays in the Hunt: In the SEC this year one of the biggest surprises had been the Kentucky Wildcats. Despite recent loss to the Texas A&M, the Wildcats still sit in a three way tie atop the SEC East with Georgia and Florida. This past Saturday they had Vanderbilt coming to town, who gave Florida all they had the previous weekend. The game turned into defensive slugfest and Kentucky was able to score a TD late and come away with the victory. The Wildcats will have a close eye on next week’s big clash between Florida and Georgia.
AAC Conference Update: The American Athletic Conference seems to always fly under the radar, but coming into the weekend they had three teams who not only ranked but undefeated. Those three teams were Cincinnati, South Florida, and UCF. Cincinnati would take Temple, whom was undefeated in conference but not overall, while South Florida faced UConn and UCF faced East Carolina. South Florida would struggle but ultimately defeat UConn and UCF would easily take care of East Carolina. Cincinnati and Temple would play a very competitive back and
forth game that would ultimately go to overtime. Temple would ultimately come out the victor ending Cincy’s bid at an undefeated season. Temple, Cincy, and the two Florida schools are all
in the same division so that division race should prove to be interesting. Houston seems to be the king of the other division with Heisman contender defenseman Ed Oliver, but this is a
conference that everyone should be paying attention to.
World’s Largest Cocktail Preview: With a slow week in the way of big games, I will take this time to preview the biggest game happening next weekend. That game being what could be and SEC East eliminator, between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs. Both coming into this game with one conference loss apiece, this game is a huge conference tussle along with being an incredibly intense rivalry matchup. The winner of this will be put themselves in a great position and will be a battle with Kentucky to see who comes away with the division crown. It will be an physical battle and one that I can’t wait to see.
To repeat, October 30 is the first Playoff Rankings, so the official stretch drive begins next week. Here’s what’s on tap this week:
Noon: #2 Clemson at Florida State
3:30pm: #9 Florida vs. #7 Georgia in Jacksonville
3:30pm: #18 Iowa at #17 Penn State
7pm: #14 Washington State at #24 Stanford