There were upsets, shootouts, barn-burners, and tight games this past Saturday October third. We were able to cross some teams off the College Football Playoff list. However, on the other hand, some teams showed that they are hunting down a playoff spot this year. Before we dive in to the weekend that was, let’s all agree right now that the SEC could very likely get two teams into the playoffs, which will fire up B1G and Pac-12 fans. The SEC has three real contenders at this point in the season. It’s the truth, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama all look poised for the playoffs. However, we still have a lot of college football to sort through before we start talking playoffs.
Top 25 Games:
- (1) Clemson 41 Virginia 23 – Heisman hopeful Trevor Lawrence led the Tigers to a win over the lowly Virginia Cavaliers. Lawrence was 25/38 for 329-yards and three scores. Next Week: The Tigers host (7) Miami
- (2) Alabama 52 (13) Texas A&M 24 – The Crimson Tide dismantled the Aggies for four quarters. Quarterback Mac Jones was 20/27 for 435-yards and four scores. Next Week: Nick Saban and the Tide head to Oxford for a match-up with Ole Miss.
- (3) Florida 38 South Carolina 24 – Florida struggled a little bit early, and the Gamecocks stuck around for quite a while. In the end the “Kyle Show,” was too much for Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks. Kyle Trask was 21/29 for 268-yards and four scores. Tight End Kyle Pitts was not as dominant as he was in week four, but he still caught two touchdown passes. Next Week: The Gators travel to College Station to play a beat up (21) Texas A&M team.
- (4) Georgia 27 (7) Auburn 6 – Georgia and head coach absolutely dominated this hyped up match-up. Zamir White had 88-yards rushing for two touchdowns. Next Week: Georgia hosts (14) Tennessee Between the Hedges.
- TCU 33 (9) Texas 31 – The Longhorns took one to the chin on Saturday afternoon. Max Duggan, quarterback at TCU, led the Horned Frogs to a victory. The ending of this game is what gambling nightmares are all about. Next Week: (9) Texas plays rival Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.
- Tulsa 34 (11) UCF 26 – Upset in Oklahoma, and no not the Sooners. Tulsa hosted (11) UCF and beat them like a drum. Next Week: (11) UCF is off this weekend.
- (12) North Carolina 26 Boston College 22 – Mack Brown and his Tar Heels were able to get by Boston College thanks to a late interception on a two point conversion that the Heels returned for the two point. Michael Carter was a beast on the ground, racking up 121-yards on only 16-carries. Next Week: The Heels host (19) Virginia Tech in an ACC match-up.
- (15) Cincinnati 28 South Florida 7 – Cincinnati kept its undefeated season going strong with an easy win over South Florida. Quarterback Desmond Ridder was 16/26 for 143-yards and two touchdowns. Next Week: The Bearcats are off this weekend.
- Arkansas 21 (16) Mississippi State 14 – Shocker in Starkville! After a huge win over defending champion LSU, the Bulldogs were let down versus Arkansas. Mississippi State quarterback K.J Costello was 43/59 for 313-yards and only one touchdown. Next Week: Mississippi State is off this weekend and Arkansas travels to a vulnerable (13) Auburn team.
- (17) Oklahoma State 47 Kansas 7: The Cowboys traveled to Lawrence, Kansas to destroy a weak Jayhawk team. Work horse Chuba Hubbard had 20-carries for 145-yards and two scores. Could Oklahoma State be the best team in the Big 12? Some are saying so. Next Week: Mike Gundy and the Cowboys are off this weekend.
- Iowa State 37 Oklahoma 30 – What is going on in Norman. For the second straight week the Sooners took one to the chin, losing in Ames, Iowa. Breece Hall for the Cyclones was a dominating force all game. He carried the ball 28 times for 139-yards and two touchdowns. Next Week: The Cyclones host Texas Tech while the Sooners limp into the Red River Shootout.
- (20) LSU 41 Vanderbilt 7 – The Tigers bounced back this week with a blowout win versus conference bottom-dwellers Vanderbilt. Myles Brennan, the man chosen to replace the great Joe Burrow, was 23/37 with 337-yards and four touchdowns. Next Week: The Tigers host Missouri in Death Valley.
- (21) Tennessee 35 Missouri 12: Tennessee might be for real this year. On Saturday the Vols hosted Missouri and took it to them. Running back Eric Gray had 16-carries for 105-yards and a touchdown. Next Week: We will find out how good the Vols really are as they travel to Georgia on Saturday. This might just be the biggest game for the Vols in a couple years. Can the Vols trim the Hedges at Sanford Stadium?
- (22) BYU 45 Louisiana Tech 14 – The Cougars hosted Louisiana Tech on Friday of last week, and the Cougars didn’t miss a beat. Cougar quarterback Zach Wilson played nearly a perfect game going 24/26 for 325-yards and two touchdowns. Next Week: BYU hosts an unranked UTSA team on Saturday. Could BYU sneak into the playoff conversation?
- NC State 30 (24) Pittsburgh 29 – This was a back and forth match-up, but NC State scored late to put the game on ice. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett was 22/39 for 411-yards and one score. The victors pulled off the upset behind quarterback Devin Leary who was 28/44 for 336-yards and four touchdowns. Next Week: NC State travels to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers, and Pittsburgh travels to a sneaky tough Boston College team.
- SMU 30 (25) Memphis 27: SMU hit a field goal as time expired to pull off the win. SMU quarterback Shane Buechele was 32/45 for 474-yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was clearly Reggie Roberson Jr. who caught five balls for a whopping 243-yards and two scores. Next Week: Both teams get a much needed bye.
Three Things We Learned:
- Right now, the best team in the Big 12 is Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys. Who knows what’s going on in Norman or in Austin. Frankly the Cowboys don’t care. At this point, roles might be reversed later in the season where unranked Oklahoma can play spoiler against their rivals, Oklahoma State. The Red River Shootout is this weekend, and it is essentially a elimination game. The Sooners are pretty much out of it after losing two in a row, but Texas only has one loss. A one loss Longhorn team will need a lot to happen in front of them, but with the four team playoff in place, the Longhorns have a chance to sneak in with only one loss. Do they deserve it? No, no they do not. The Big 12 is an offense heavy league, that rarely shows us good defending. In summation, at this point in the season, Oklahoma State has the clearest path to the playoffs if they can win out. They will have to pass some tough tests like hosting a tough Iowa State team, and traveling to Norman, where the Sooners will be licking their chops, hoping to knock their rivals out of the playoffs.
- Clemson will have to play in some tough spots, because the ACC is no longer a walk through. This weekend alone they face off with the number seven ranked Miami Hurricanes. Number seven in the country traveling to Death Valley (2) to take on the defending national runner-ups. Not only should Miami give them some trouble, but the ACC as a whole this year is more competitive than its been in four or five years. Clemson should get by the Hurricanes, but it won’t be easy. Miami (FL) is ranked the highest they’ve been in a couple years. On Novermber seventh the Tigers will travel to South Bend, which will be a real test for Dabo Swinney and his Tigers. Finally if they can get through their schedule unscathed, they will most likely have to play a tough North Carolina team coached by Mack Brown, in the ACC championship.
- The SEC has three national title contenders. Alabama, Georgia, and Florida are all threats to make the college football playoff. First let’s take a look at each team’s toughest test. Georgia travels to Tuscaloosa on October 17th for their toughest test. However, even if they lose they will still be in the hunt. Other than hosting Georgia, Alabama has a relatively easy schedule going forward. Their biggest test might be on November 14th when they travel to the real Death Valley to take on a depleted LSU team. Yes, the Tigers lost a lot to the draft and graduation, but Death Valley on a brisk fall afternoon is a tough place to play, no matter what. Finally, Florida’s biggest test might just be the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” To clear this up, the Florida-Georgia rivalry is known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Florida will have to face a forceful Georgia defense. However, if the Gators can continue to score and put up big numbers, an upset of the Bulldogs is not out of the question.
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – Threw for 329-yards and three touchdowns during Clemson’s beat down over Virginia. Last Week: 1
- Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State – Idle. Last Week: 2
- Kyle Trask, QB, Florida – Threw for 268-yards and four touchdowns in the Gators win over South Carolina. Last Week: 4
- Kyle Pitts, TE/WR, Florida – Four catches for 57-yards and two touchdowns. Last Week: 3
- D’Eriq King, QB, Miami (FL) – Idle. Thrown for 736- yards and six touchdowns. Also rushed for 157-yards and one score on the season. Last Week: (UR)
Brownlow’s Bottom Five:
5. Auburn: The Auburn offense was not able to score even one touchdown versus Georgia. They lost that game 27-6. Georgia is using a walk-on quarterback for God’s sake. Head coach Gus Malzahn needs to get his offense fixed before they really get into the meat of the SEC schedule. With that being said, because they play in the SEC, they aren’t out of contention just yet, however another performance like the one Saturday will send the Tigers packing and waiting for Bo Nix’s junior year, where he will be the same quarterback he was last year. A solid quarterback who was just never ready to go through an SEC schedule as a freshman and now a sophomore.
4. UCF: On Saturday UCF lost to an average Tulsa team at home. This is great news for college football fans everywhere but Florida. People were growing weary of the UCF Golden Knights. The school claims they’ve won a national championship. Come on guys, be real. The Golden Knights had one good season and too many people jumped on the bandwagon, even though they were never good enough to play with the big boys. UCF or Unlikely Can Finish. They don’t play in enough tough games to be able to be ready for close games. That’s exactly what happened Saturday at home versus a bland Tulsa team, who happens to haunt UCF’s nightmares.
3. Mississippi State: Guys! What was that on Saturday? After pulling the upset in Baton Rouge last weekend, the Bulldogs folded and lost to an SEC bottom-feeder Arkansas. K.J Costello, quarterback for the Bulldogs, was held in check all game. Costello and head coach Mike Leach, got the yardage they needed but couldn’t turn those drives into points. After beating LSU thoroughly through the air, the Dogs had the ultimate let down. In no way is a one loss Mississippi State team out of playoff contention. However, it’s pretty unlikely they go through the rest of their schedule untouched. Also, a Mike Leach coached football team only scored 14 points in a game. Just think about that. Mike Leach, the king of air raid and up-tempo offense, was held to 14 points.
2. Both Teams in the Red River Shootout Saturday: This is a pretty heated rivalry, so expect sparks to fly and the game to get chippy, with both teams coming off losses. This is a must-win game for Texas. With only one-loss, although a bad one at home, Texas is still right in the thick of things regarding the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma and head coach Lincoln Riley would love nothing more than to spoil the Longhorns season. This rivalry game should be tight and a good watch until the end. It’s unlikely that either team will be out of the game before the fat lady sings. Oklahoma just loves giving up huge leads, and the Longhorns know a little bit about that as well, coming off a loss to a tough TCU team.
1. The SMU Versus (25) Memphis Over: Are you kidding me? It’s a common phrase, “life’s too short to take the under,” but it was wrong on Saturday. Many people got the ticket at over/under 74.5, like a certain writer. The over looked like it would hit in the third quarter early on, but things changed. Turnovers, not completing drives with points, and first down average halted the over. Both teams came into the game averaging close to 50-points per game, so you would think the easy bet is the over, but boy oh boy are you wrong. However, still stick to the motto, “life’s too short to bet the under,” and you’ll never lose again. *Rolling your eyes*
*Rankings are last week’s AP Poll. Obviously some teams have moved up and down.
Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE