My recap of the only football games that matter
Will this turn out to be unlucky week 13? It already is for Will Muschamp.
The week 13 College Football Rankings on Tuesday had a few surprises. Alabama is #1 and Oregon is #2. Both teams have a lose and they are both ahead of the still undefeated and defending champion #3 Florida State Seminoles. I know the Noles have had some less than dominating performances but the bottom line is the final score. Unless and until they lose they deserve to be on top of the rankings. TCU drops out of the top four to #5 despite winning their game against Kansas. Mississippi State takes over the #4 slot despite their lose to 'Bama. Ohio State and Baylor are the other one lose teams at #6 and #7 respectively. Barring amazing circumstances and upsets, the four playoff slots will be filled from these seven teams.
It turned out to be a better outcome this year for Bishop Kenny against Clay. Last year the Blue Devils handed Kenny their first lose of the season and ousted them from the playoffs in a wild 74-73 game. No folks, that was a football score, not basketball. This year the Crusaders prevailed with a 34-26 win. BK got off to a 21 point lead in the first quarter and led 27-12 at halftime. They were able to hold on in the second half and finally sealed the deal with an interception with 0:29 remaining in the game. Kenny had a very balances attack with 198 rushing yards and 191 through the air. Charles Wade ran for 101 yards and two TDs. He also returned an interception 49 yards for another TD. The Crusaders improve to 10-1 for the season and advance to the Region 1-5A finals. They will host Tallahassee Godby for that game.
TCU had the week off. They go to Austin on Thanksgiving for a night game against the Longhorns.
Florida sort of had the week off too as they hosted the FCS division Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Of course we must remember that the Gators lost to FCS Georgia Southern last season. This was the first game for the Gators since head coach Will Muschamp resigned. It was also his last game at the Swamp. He coached this game and will coach the final regular season game against FSU. Although I'm a Gator fan, this game was not fun to watch. The Colonels were completely overmatched and the Gators didn't really look that sharp. EKY scored one FG in the first quarter and that was it. Meanwhile Florida ran up and down the field for 52 points. Final score 52-3. It was disappointing that the Gators could only manage 104 yards on the ground against a weak opponent. Starting QB Treon Harris got nicked up a little but should be OK. Jeff Driskel came in and did a good job. For once he didn't throw an interception. This win makes Florida bowl eligible but it will surely be a minor bowl, maybe the Duck Commander Bowl. Now that Muschamp is a lame duck it seems everybody loves him and can't say enough about what a wonderful guy he is. That may be true, but he was paid big bucks to win games. He failed at that. Florida has to go to Tallahassee to play #1 or #3 undefeated FSU in the final regular season game.
South Florida travelled to Memphis for this week's lose. The final score was 31-20 but the Bulls scored a TD with just over a minute remaining and the game was already out of reach. USF simply can not sustain drives. There only other TD was a 75 yard run. This lose cements that USF will not be going bowling this season. They are now 4-7 with just the I-4 rivalry game against UCF remaining. The Bulls QB, Mike White, is only a sophomore so maybe things will be better next year. It has been another disappointing season for USF.
Another week in the SEC, another big upset. This time it was unranked Arkansas in a 30-0 romp over #8 Ole Miss. After not winning a conference game for almost two years, the Razorbacks have now reeled off two consecutive wins over ranked SEC opponents. They have a chance to make it three in a row next week against Missouri. Several SEC teams played little sisters of the poor teams prior to their big rivalry games. They all won so the SEC was 5-0 in non-conference games. Missouri can clinch the SEC East with a win over Arkansas, a lose and Georgia is in. The West is still up for grabs between Alabama and Mississippi State.
There weren't any real upsets in the rest of the college ranks. As usual FSU needed a last second FG to win. It's an every week occurrence with the Noles. There wasn't much movement in the AP Top 25. The top four remain the same and Baylor and TCU swap the #5 and #6 positions. One more week of regular season games.
It was another perfect week in the pros. The Jaguars don't seem to be making any progress. After a bye week, they manage only three points against the Colts. They were held to only 194 total yards. The education of QB Blake Bortles is going slowly. He was 15/27 for 146 yards and an interception. Jacksonville falls to 1-10 for the season next game is at home against the Giants. The best news for the Jags was that Oakland won on Thursday. That puts those two teams in a tie for the #1 draft pick.
Tampa Bay had to travel to Chicago for their game. They got lucky and had decent weather. Unfortunately they didn't have a good outcome. The Bucs led at halftime 10-0 but that lead disappeared in the third quarter. Tampa Bay outgained the Bears by 163 yards but also had four turnovers. The Bucs continue to find ways to lose games. They are now 2-9 on the season, they next host the 7-3-1 Bengals.
Now we come to the hapless Falcons. They played a back and forth game with Cleveland. It was tied at the end of the first quarter and at the half. The Browns pulled ahead by nine in the third quarter but with 0:44 remaining Atlanta pulled ahead by two. Game over right? Not so fast bird lover. Cleveland drove from their own 20 to the Falcons 19 and kicked a FG as time expired. Browns 26 Falcons 24. That's how crappy teams lose games and Atlanta is a crappy team. They are now 4-7 on the season. Next up they host the 9-2 Cardinals. Good luck with that.