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Week 11 News (Details following Top 10 analysis)
- Playoff picks: 1) Alabama 2) Clemson 3) Oklahoma 4) Wisconsin
- Worst fans of the Week: Iowa State and Wisconsin
- Tough Guy of the Week
- Worst avoidable penalties
- Convicts vs. Catholics
- ESPN accuses this blog of Fake Satire
- ESPN calls for 5 timeouts per half
- Mark Richt has offered University of Georgia $2M
- Arkansas head coach Bielema challenges Ed Orgeron to a slam-down
- Notre Dame president seen gambling in Hard Rock Casino
- Players considering taking a knee at college games
- Interesting Stub Hub game-day ticket prices
- Heisman Talk
- Florida agrees to terms of buyout settlement with McElwain
- Best thing about 2017 college football broadcasts
Top 10 Analysis for Week 11
No. 1 Georgia / Auburn 17-40 It was an exciting run for Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs from Athens, GA, winning their first 10 games of the year, and being named No.1. Obviously that is over now. Gus Malzahn had his Auburn Tiger defense cranked-up and fine-tuned like a brand new Apple iPhone. The vaunted and irrepressible rushing attack of Georgia was stuffed away like a broken toy in the back of a closet. Georgia’s seemingly inexhaustible stable of running backs was held to 46 yds. That is only 138 FEET! GA QB, Jake Fromm, was held to only 13 of 28 passing. Those stats aren’t good enough to beat Baylor! Auburn’s offense was well-balanced with 251 yds in the air, mostly from Jarrett Stidham, who threw 3 TD passes and 16 completions from 23 attempts, and no picks. Their rushing game was powerful, gaining 237 yds, 167 of which were tallied by Kerryon Johnson on 32 carries. That was enough for Johnson to go over the 1000 yd mark for the season. Georgia can still climb back into the Top 4 playoff picture with a victory in the SEC championship game against the winner of the Iron Bowl: Alabama, or Auburn.
No. 2 Alabama / Mississippi State 31-24 The Crimson Tide performed like everyone has come to expect from them. It was a workman-like game for Nick Saban’s charges. The Bulldogs from Starkville were tough from the start, trading punches with Alabama all game long, and leading at the start of the 4th quarter. It was a turn-over free game, with solid rushing from both teams. Alabama gained 202 yds, 93 from only 8 runs by Damien Harris. Jalen Hurts added 40 as well, and another 242 yds in the air on 10 of 19 passing. Aeris Williams was the workhorse for Mississippi State with 97 yds on the ground from 22 carries. Nick Fitzgerald was steady, passing for 158 yds on 13 of 24 passing, and he added 61 yds with his feet on 21 rushes. This game was a solid win for Alabama, especially since it was not played in the confines of Bryant Denny Stadium, where they play most of their games. This was only the third of four road games this year for the Tide. That is the big knock on their record, and it also shows how they are vulnerable the rest of the year. The Iron Bowl is played at Auburn in two weeks. If Alabama wins that one, they will be the undisputed No. 1. If they lose, there will be great turmoil and endless shouting throughout the college football community.
No. 3 Notre Dame / Miami 8-41 The Convicts from Miami (more on that subject following Top 10 Analysis) beat the Catholics from Notre Dame like that neighbor of Rep. Rand Paul of Kentucky beat him this past week, smashing his ribs. The Irish were stomped from the opening kickoff until the clock mercilessly ran-out of ticks. Brandon Wimbush, the QB for ND, received an unheard of QB Rating of only 5.2 on 10 of 21 passing with 2 interceptions. He lost a fumble also. Ian Book came in, in relief, and he threw a pick as well on only 6 attempts. The new “Turnover Chain” that each Hurricane player gets to wear after securing a turnover has really gone from a gimmick to an iconic trophy. Mark Richt and specifically defensive coordinator Manny Diaz deserve much credit for this novel way to motivate their team. It is working marvelously! Travis Homer ran over the top of the Irish defense, recording 146 yds on 18 carries. Malik Rosier was steady as she goes, connecting on short passes to pick-apart the ND defense, and running 9 times when necessary, for 44 yds. Notre Dame will now tumble out of playoff consideration, but the Hurricanes have vaulted into the top 4 or 5, no doubt.
No. 4 Clemson / Florida State 31-14 Clemson wins again, this time against a struggling team that opened the season at No.3 and which may not get a bowl bid without winning-out the rest of the season against some cream-puff opposition. However, it must be noted that both Clemson and FSU have so far had the toughest schedules in college football this year. This game appeared to be a day at the park for the Tigers for almost 3 quarters. Their fearsome defense sacked 6′ 5” 169 lb stick of a QB James Blackmon five times, and repeatedly drove him into the ground after passes. Most viewers began to look away each time he was hit. It was nearly as torturous as anything the CIA could dream-up. Then Clemson seemed to lose focus after their defensive back Trayvon Mullen committed 2 huge 15 yd pass interference penalties, which negated two fourth and long situations. Each helped sustain a long drive for FSU’s first TD. The sense of Clemson’s domination of the game ended there, and they seemed to be playing to “not lose” until the end. Clemson QB Kelly Bryant is a tough-nose guy, who runs the ball extremely well. He connect on short routes with consistency. However, he has not completed a pass downfield for the last 2 games. He misses all his long throws, and it appears that he is tentative when looking downfield, showing no confidence with his long-ball ability. Freshman Travis Etienne has progressed throughout the year, and yesterday he was showcased as the No. 1 back. He scored twice and collected 97 yds on only 14 carries.
No. 5 Oklahoma / TCU 38-20 Brash Baker Mayfield, Rodney Anderson and the rest of the Sooners dominated TCU at home. With 533 yds total offense and no turnovers, The Horned Reptiles had no chance. The score was 38-14 at the half, and TCU scored the only points of the second half for either team with a 4th quarter TD. Mayfield once again threw-up Heisman numbers with 18 of 27 passing for 3 TDs and 333 yds. He also ran 11 times for 50 yds. Rodney Anderson ran for 151 yds on 23 carries. It should be noted that TCU linebacker Travin Howard made 13 tackles, 8 solo. He is one tough customer. Oklahoma is an exciting team to watch. No doubt that the viewing public will want to see them in the playoffs, especially with Mayfield leading the charge.
No. 6 TCU / Oklahoma 20-38 See Oklahoma above
No. 7 Miami / Notre Dame 41-8 See Notre Dame above
No. 8 Wisconsin / Iowa 38-14 This was a game that perhaps punched Wisconsin’s ticket to the playoffs. The score doesn’t show it, but this was as bad a beat-down as you will ever see in any football game, anywhere. Iowa was coming off a thrashing of Ohio State just last week by a score of 55-24. Yesterday they amassed a total of ONLY 66 yds of offense. Yes, you read that right! 26 rushes for 25 yds, and 8 pass completions for 41 yds. Defensive back Joshua Jackson made 2 interceptions of Alex Hornibrook, and ran them back for 95 yds total and 2 TD’s. That is how Iowa scored. If not for Hornibrook throwing 3 picks, the game might have ended up 75-0. What would happen if Wisconsin were to play against the awesome defenses of Clemson, Auburn, or Alabama? That is what we have to decide as we find a spot for the Badgers in the playoff choices. Yes, they are tough, and undefeated, but how good are they really?
No. 9 Washington / Stanford 22-30 Washington looked like the Pac-10 team to be represented in the playoffs. Not this year. There will be no representative from that conference. Chris Peterson’s Huskies will have to improve and try again next year. Stoic David Shaw led those brainiacs from Stanford to a second half comeback and dominated Washington until the end. Jake Browning was accurate completing 17 0f 23 throws with no picks, and Myles Gaskin rushed for 120 yds on 18 carries. But the Huskies could not put enough stops on longshot Heisman candidate Bryce Love, who ran for 166 yds and 3 TD’s on 30 carries. Stanford QB KJ Costello was efficient enough on 16 for 27 passing and 211 yds to balance Love’s running attack. Washington probably will not even make it to the Pac 12 championship now.
No.10 Auburn / Georgia 40-17 See Georgia above
Now the Rest of the Report for Week 11
Playoff picks: 1) Alabama 2) Clemson 3) Oklahoma 4) Wisconsin
The number one pick from last week is not going to change. Alabama is undefeated and they have lost one game since 2015. The number two pick is simply a matter of attrition. Clemson looks very vulnerable with no long passing game, and a weak kicker, but they are still the champs and they find ways to win or not lose. The ACC championship game will be definitive regardless, either Clemson or Miami will be in the Top 4. Oklahoma is the most spectacular team in the nation, with the most spectacular player. That is why they are number 3. Enough said. The fourth and last spot goes to Wisconsin. They are undefeated and they annihilated Iowa this week, a team that embarrassed SubUrban Meyer and Ohio State the previous week. Miami proved yesterday that they are probably one of the best 2 teams in the country right now. Their fans may feel slighted by being placed 5th here, but it doesn’t really matter. If they beat Clemson in the ACC championship game there will be nothing left to argue about.
Worst fans of the Week: Iowa State and Wisconsin
No. 21 Iowa State lost a hard-fought battle with No. 15 Oklahoma State yesterday 49-42. This correspondent is not surprised. I’ve heard more noise in an ancient history lecture than at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IO yesterday. Why do those fans even bother to go? They just sit there, and stare.
A picture of a Wisconsin fan last week surfaced on Twitter. He was wearing a convict uniform and a President Obama mask with a noose around his neck. The sick nose-picker was finally escorted out of there.
Tough Guy of the Week
Joel Lanning of the Iowa State Cyclones is this week’s toughest Tough Guy. He has played QB, Linebacker, and on Special Teams. He scored a TD with 22 seconds left in the first half. He made a spectacular tackle in the 3rd quarter. He is one tough dude! Runner-up: Johnny Stanton of UNLV. He converted from linebacker to QB, and yesterday he completed 20 of 33 passes for 325 yds and he rushed for another 31.
Worst avoidable penalties
If I were a head coach I would severely penalize any of my players who commited either of these two penalties: Block in the Back, or Hands to the Face. Both are entirely unnecessary, and usually negate a very fine play, or stop a scoring drive. Perhaps sitting on the bench, or better yet, wearing a Buffoon Chain, similar to Miami’s Turnover Chain might teach players to never do it again.
Convicts vs. Catholics
The Brooklings Institute, a Dallas think-tank, has recently published a study that concluded that by a margin of 4 to 1, more Catholic priests have been convicted of felonies than former University of Miami football players. If the crime was perpetrated against a minor, it is 20 times more likely to have been by a priest. CNN has reported that this study was most likely funded by the Kremlin.
ESPN accuses this blog of Fake Satire
With a salacious posting on Twitter, ESPN has accused this blog of publishing Fake Satire. The editor of this blog has responded with a three word comment: “Isn’t that redundant?” The Tweet has subsequently been deleted.
ESPN calls for 5 timeouts per half
The NCAA rules committee has received a letter from ESPN requesting a rule change for the 2018 season. Citing a need to extend games to 4 hours from the current 3 ½, ESPN strongly recommended that each team be granted 5 timeouts per half. Each of these timeouts would be reportedly worth over $75,000 to the ESPN bottom line.
Mark Richt has offered University of Georgia $2M
Miami head coach Mark Richt has offered the University of Georgia a $2M rebate on his $20M buyout clause that was exercised on his 2015 termination, for not winning a championship. Richt is so happy to have a chance to win a championship this year, that he says he owes it to Georgia for giving him this opportunity.
Arkansas head coach Bielema challenges Ed Orgeron to a slam-down
After losing to LSU yesterday, Brett Bielema has personally challenged head coach Ed Orgeron of LSU to a Zydeco-Rap Slam-Down. Since Bielema’s request to challenge sumo wrestler Akinori, and hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut have been rebuked, he is struggling to try to win anything. He certainly can’t win any football games. What did Arkansas expect for $6M per year?
Notre Dame president seen gambling in Hard Rock Casino
Reverend John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University, was observed at the $1,000 minimum-bet baccarat tables at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL on Friday night. Wearing a turtle neck, instead of his clerical collar, Reverend Jenkins was surprised to have been recognized. Asked where he got the money to play such an expensive game, he responded it was from the money he saved by hiring Brian Kelly as head coach.
Players considering taking a knee at college games
Through Facebook postings it has been discovered that many players of top-tier teams are considering taking a knee before future college games to protest the racial conditions in this country, especially the incarceration rates for black men, the tremendous amount of police-killings, and the for-profit prison system that is prevalent now. One current Heisman candidate was quoted as saying: “What can they do, fire us.”
Interesting Stub Hub game-day ticket prices
LSU / Arkansas $10
Oklahoma State / Iowa State $16
Georgia / Auburn $181
Clemson / FSU $91
Iowa / Wisconsin $79
Alabama / Mississippi State $63
Notre Dame / Miami $142
TCU / Oklahoma $10
Ole Miss / Louisiana $2
Michigan State / Ohio State $38
Virginia / Louisville $3
Maine / U Mass $40
Tennessee / Missouri $12
The conversation surrounding the Heisman candidates for this year is condensing. Now that Shaquon Barkley and Sam Darnold are no longer in the running, especially after Barkley’s 2.5 yds per carry yesterday, we can talk about the few candidates left. Certainly Baker Mayfield is distancing himself from the field after the last few weeks. Lamar Alexander, who should be head-and-head with him, is given no consideration because Louisville loses too often. I disagree with that, but let’s face it, it all boils down to money, and Alexander is not generating much revenue for the NCAA or ESPN. Bryce Love is back, and Friday’s game where Stanford beat Washington will help him. But, he is a west coast running back, so he will be severely discounted. Josh Adams of Notre Dame was held to 40 yds on 16 carries yesterday against Miami. JT Barrett had a better game this week than his debacle last week against Iowa, but he still threw 2 picks yesterday to go along with his 2 rushing TD’s and 2 passing TD’s on 14 of 21 passing for 183 yds. Not Heisman numbers. Mayfield is this site’s pick.
Florida agrees to terms of buyout settlement with McElwain
Jim McElwain was offered the full price of his $12.9M buyout on one condition. For two years he must wear a muzzle in public, or he must live in Puerto Rico.
Best thing about 2017 college football broadcasts
The best thing about broadcasts this year is that viewers no longer have to listen to the incessant and annoying guffaws of retired commentator Verne Lunquist, which he used to fill airtime when he had nothing interesting to say.