Last weekend was the final weekend of college football before the College Football Selection Committee will release their new Top 25 which everyone will nitpick until the next one comes out seven days later. Tonight at 7:30 pm EST, expect all of your social media to be flooded with jubilation as well as spewing venom in the direction of the selection committee. It’s all been fun and games until now folks. Either way, here are some winners and losers from a wild college football weekend!
1. Tigers – Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Memphis & Missouri represent every FBS team with the Tigers as a nickname and all five got big wins over the weekend. The Auburn Tigers were able to hold off the Ole Bawl Coach 42-35 to earn their third conference win of the season as they attempt to keep pace in the crowded SEC West. Clemson will be without super freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson for only a few more weeks but the Clemson defense held Syracuse to only 170 total yards of offense in their 16-6 win over the Orangemen. The LSU Tigers got the biggest win of the weekend as they were able to knock off Ole Miss 10-7 in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night, further cementing the night game legacy at Tiger Stadium. Memphis has been very un-Memphis-like in 2014 and beat up on the American Athletic Conference whipping boy SMU 48-10 on Saturday. Finally, Missouri racked up 100 yards of penalties in their ten point victory over Vanderbilt. It was a good Saturday to be a Tiger fan anywhere.
2. State of Arizona – The state of Mississippi has been getting a lot of publicity lately and rightfully so, but The Grand Canyon State has been doing its fair share of winning in 2014 as well. The Arizona State Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 South with wins over USC & Stanford. The Sun Devils went up to Washington in a trap game situation after that big win over Stanford and took care of business as they beat a Huskies team that boasts some of the best defensive players in the country, 24-10 in a game where they had complete control the entire time. Just down the road in Tucson, the Arizona Wildcats have had a good season as well in Rich Rodriguez’ 4th season. The Wildcats are 6-1 on the season, have one of the best wins of the season in their 31-24 win over Oregon in Eugene and are fresh off of a win over Washington State where they scored 24 points in the 1st quarter before they went on to win 59-37. In my own personal opinion, the teams in The Copper State aren’t getting near the credit that they deserve.
3. West Virginia Mountaineers – Quarterback Clint Trickett was the Southern Football Report’s MVP last week and he just kept it rolling in West Virginia’s 34-10 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater. West Virginia only trails Kansas State in the Big 12 as we head into Halloween weekend and already have a win over one of the conference heavyweights in Baylor. The Mountaineers have exceeded just about everyone’s expectations and played Alabama & Oklahoma tough in their two losses but now have a tricky final month. The good news is that they get both TCU & Kansas State at home. This week they welcome the Horned Frogs to town after TCU demolished Texas Tech 82-27 and then they get Kansas State at home on a Thursday night so I’m sure the Mountaineer faithful in Milan Puskar Stadium will do their part to make it difficult for the Wildcats. West Virginia is in position to do something special this season.
1. Troy Trojans – Two weeks ago, the Trojans screwed up and opened a game with a 20 point lead and went on to a 41-24 win over New Mexico State. Since then the Trojans have been outscored 80-27 by FBS newcomer Appalachian State and South Alabama who still have the FBS ‘new team’ smell lingering on them. Head Coach Larry Blackeney has been at the helm of the southern Alabama school for 23 years and has earned 174 wins in his time there but I feel this will be last. The poor ole Trojans are 1-7 on the season and have to go on the road to Statesboro to play one of the hottest non-Power 5 teams in the country in Georgia Southern who is fresh off of a 69-31 win over Georgia State in the Georgia Dome. It’s a rough time to be a fan of the Troy Trojans and it’s pretty obvious that Blakeney will either call it quits or be relieved at season’s end but then the question becomes ‘who will be the next head coach?’ The Trojans haven’t been on the coaching search since 1990 when Troy was a Division 1-AA team. I have a feeling that their eyes will be looking at a certain head coach at a certain South Georgia high school.
2. State of Washington – Saturday the Grand Canyon State invaded the Evergreen State and staked their flag on the Space Needle. The Washington Huskies have had back-to-back games against Top 15 teams and has lost both of them in fairly pedestrian fashion, most notably this past Saturday night when the Arizona State Sun Devils came in and completely dominated the Huskies on both sides of the ball. Washington State boast a quarterback who is in the top 5 in just about every statistical category but defensively, the Cougars couldn’t stop a sloth in the snow on his way to the dentist. The Cougars were so fired up to play Arizona at home last Saturday that they gave up 31 straight points to start the game. I was high on both the Huskies and the Cougars before the season but both have fizzled in 2014.
3. Minnesota Golden Gophers – So far this season Minnesota has been a pleasant surprise as they had jumped out to a 6-1 record with their only loss on the road at TCU which at this point isn’t a bad loss at all. Then the Gophers go and lose to lowly Illinois on Saturday as they head into their toughest month of the season. Minnesota will face Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin in November and it looked as if they were going to hit that stretch as a one-loss team and with a lot to play for. So much for that as they turned the ball over 3 times Saturday and allowed the Illini to take the final one in for the eventual game-winning touchdown. No one believed that Minnesota was a legitimate contender in the Big Ten West but I was at least hoping they could be in the thick of things in November.
Tune in to the Southern Football Report this and every Saturday morning from 10 am to Noon on Live 101.9, Rockin 106.3 & Q 92.3 to hear high school scores from Friday night as well as college football discussion, debate and previews of the games to come!