Saturday was a prime example the cliche ‘anything can happen in college football’. The number one team in the land was tested at home by a team that hasn’t won a conference game in two years, the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville went the exact opposite of what most of us thought, a bunch of turtles refused to shake hands, the Air Force Academy won the Commander-In-Chief Trophy and there is now an Arizona school in the Top 10. Also, Duke has never been lower than 24th in the College Football Playoff Poll era. Let that sink it. Here are some superlatives from Week 10:
MVP – Duke Johnson – RB – Miami – The Miami Hurricanes boast one of the top runningbacks in the country in Duke Johnson and anyone who wants to argue otherwise has clearly not watched a game featuring Johnson. Miami doesn’t waste much time getting the ball to Duke as opponents get a nice healthy dose of the running game early in games in order to protect their true freshman quarterback who is developing quickly (he leads the ACC in touchdown passes). Johnson carried the ball 19 times for 177 yards and there was never a question as to who the best player on the field was. Grant it, the Canes were playing a defensively inept North Carolina team but Johnson rushed for more yards on the Tar Heels defense than anyone else has this season.
Coach of the Week – Will Muschamp – Florida – No coach in the country’s seat was any hotter than Muschamp’s last Saturday as rumors were swirling of a post game firing following a 4th loss in a row to Florida’s in conference rival to the north. Muschamp’s team gave up an early touchdown but proceeded to score 31 unanswered points on their way to a 38-20 victory to stave off unemployment for at least another week. The embattled Gator coach comes across as a bristly, abrasive guy in press conferences but it’s obvious that the players that he has recruited to play for the blue and orange don’t want him fired on their watch. At least it appeared that way on Saturday. Regardless of your opinion on the guy, you’ve got to give him a pat on the back after his first win as a player or coach in Jacksonville.
Honorable Mention – Troy Calhoun – Air Force – Not enough credit can be thrown in the direction of Falcon’s coach Troy Calhoun who’s football team was just 2-10 in 2013 but in 2014, the Falcons are the winners of the Commander In Chief’s Trophy after their convincing 23-6 win over Army on Saturday. Calhoun is 55-43 in Colorado Springs and this is the first time since 2011 that Air Force has won the Commander In Chief’s Trophy outright.
Game of the Week – TCU defeated West Virginia 31-30 in Morgantown – The Horned Frogs came into the contest the higher ranked team and trailed 13-0 early in the 1st quarter to the home team who boast one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Clint Trickett. Then that northeastern mountain wind and rain rolled in stymieing both offenses as the half ended with a 13-7 West Virginia lead. All the prognosticators, including me, expected basically basketball on turf but instead we got a surprising defensive struggle. The second half began and we got what we all expected. TCU took the lead in the 3rd quarter 14-13 after a short touchdown drive following a Mountaineer turnover but West Virginia responded with two quick touchdowns to retake a 13 point lead. The Horned Frogs closed the lead to 6 after a touchdown to close out the 3rd quarter. West Virginia opened the 4th quarter with a field goal but then it was TCU and quarterback Trevone Boykin’s time to shine as he led his team to ten points in the final 8 minutes including a 7 play, 56 yard drive to give senior kicker Jaden Oberkrom a chance for a 37 yard game-winning field goal which he made to give TCU the 31-30 road win over the Mountaineers.
Coach Who Needs To Turn In His Company Car – Steve Spurrier – South Carolina – To be honest with you, I honestly believe that Saturday will be the one loss that made Steve Spurrier’s mind on whether he should retire or not; and that decision would be ‘Yes’. The Gamecocks were up 35-21 in the 4th quarter and on cruise control in their attempt to get over .500 for the first time since early October. The Gamecock fans had already left the stadium to celebrate into the night what they thought was another South Carolina victory but the gritty Tennessee Volunteers had different plans. Spurrier’s bunch couldn’t keep Tennessee from scoring three touchdowns in the final 7 minutes to send the game into overtime to shock the dozens of Gamecock fans who were still in attendance. In overtime Tennessee forced South Carolina into a 4th and long that 58 yard field goal attempt that was no good for the win. Afterwards, the Old Ball Coach gave a 54 second statement, took no questions and walked out. For a guy who always has a barb or two after a win, taking a loss that badly wasn’t a very good look.
Uniform of the Week – Oregon Ducks – I’ve always been against wearing black for black’s sake but Oregon adopted black as a school color almost a decade ago and their black and silver uniforms are some of the best in the country when they wear them right. Saturday was one of those times. The black helmet with silver wings and yellow trim to me is one of the top 5 helmets in the game. Just gaze upon this uniform’s glory.
Honorable Mention – Georgia v. Florida Game – I absolutely love when teams go color-on-color when their colors don’t clash with one another. For years, this rivalry game featured each team trying to out-ugly one another with single orange sleeves, black pants and odd face mask color configurations. I think they’ve found a recipe for visual gold with the color-on-color scheme. Kudos!
Dud Uniform of the Week – For the first time in Southern Football Report history there are three uniforms so bad that I couldn’t rank either of them lower than the other two. So in alphabetical order, here they are:
Texas A&M Aggies – Okay, I know what they were trying to do but the execution stunk. The fake rust on the face mask clips were a silly touch. The one big glaring oddity was how hard Adidas tried to make the whole uniform look like a 1950’s era uniform but still made the jerseys with the high tech yet hideous railroad track pattern on the shoulders.
Texas Tech Red Raiders – Under Armour had been doing so well with the Naval Academy uniforms, Notre Dame’s uniforms and believe it or not Maryland’s uniforms thus far. But they really set themselves back with their ‘Texas Pride’ uniform set for Texas Tech on Saturday. Basically Texas Tech was attempting to out-Texas Texas. They failed.
UCLA Bruins – When I think about the City of Angels, I don’t think about steel. That’s the first ridiculous part about the Bruins stupid grey uniforms Saturday night. The other thing is that UCLA boasts some of the most beautiful uniforms in college football but instead they chose these disastrous garbs from Adidas. These may be the worst of the year to me.
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!