There he goes and there goes Bama's chance for a three-peat. Auburn's Chris Davis with a show-shocker ending to the Iron Bowl
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the residents are still shaking off the effects of the tryptophan.
College Football: A Pair of True Classics
I’ve watched football since I was 9, and really started to appreciate when I was 12. I saw the fabled Hail Mary on the day after Thanksgiving in 1984. I was in the 7th grade and I liked Miami, but when Doug Flutie hit that 60 yard Hail Mary to beat the Hurricanes and essentially win the Heisman. I’ve seen some wild games, I’ve seen some miracle comebacks. To that end, the ending of two classic games this past weekend rivals nothing that I have ever seen in 30+ years Two games back to back that just left you speechless. And so in love with the emotion, pageantry and beauty of college football.
First, the classic rivalry that is Ohio State-Michigan. For this scribe in Hoodwood, I live right smack dab in Buckeye Country. I once lived in Columbus. That said I despise the Buckeyes, I grew up in a neighborhood that of course was chock full of Ohio State fans and I grew up getting in a lot of fights because I refused to go along with the crowd. I thought the Buckeyes were boring. This was the era of Earle Bruce, the Bucks were slow stodgy and very conservative offensively. The Wolverines on the other hand were wide open and the winged helmet to me just looked cooler. I rooted for the Wolverines and relished when they would play and beat the Buckeyes more often than not. Like I said, I got into a lot of fights in November. When I went to college, UC was atrocious so I still followed Michigan and laughed every fall that they would beat Ohio State. I remember the statement “Don’t kick the ball to Desi, Coop” When then Buckeyes coach John Cooper was so sure that Heisman hopeful Desmond Howard wouldn’t break a punt back. He elected to punt to Desi, Desi brought it back and did the famous Heisman pose. John Cooper was a decent coach but he went 2-10 against Michigan and twice was denied national title shots because they got beat by Michigan. It also stuck in the craw of Buckeye fans that Michigan garnered another Heisman and a national championship in 1997. Of course Ohio State fans will quickly point at Jim Tressel and how his Bucks dominated the series after 2000 and won a title of its own in 2002. After tattoo-gate and the residual fallout that saw Jim Tressel get fired and the overmatched Luke Fickell stumble to a 6-7 record and a loss to Michigan in 2011, the Bucks reveled in its hire of former Bowling Green, Utah and Florida (And UC alum) Urban Meyer. Though the Bucks were on probation in 2012, they made sure everyone knew that they were unbeaten and edged their hated rivals in their season finale. As everyone knows the Bucks have repeated their feat of 2012 running the table in their first 11 games but unlike the year previous will have games beyond the regular season grudge match. As Leaders division champs, they will be heading to Indy in the first weekend of December to take on another team from Michigan as Sparty and his crew from East Lansing await in the Big Ten title game and a possible BCS date so this game in the Big House had a lot higher stakes that the year previous. The Bucks were not ready for the Wolverines who looked nothing like the punchless toothless offense that they had been in the past four weeks. They took the fight to them, and traded scores with the Bucks for the better part of four quarters. The Bucks forged to a 35-21 lead only to see the Wolverines charge back to tie. The Bucks behind 226 relentless yards rushing from Carlos Hyde the Bucks surged ahead again. The Wolverines came back downfield and when Devin Gardner (I love that he wears a crazy number) found Devin Funchess in the end zone with 32 seconds in regulation a majority of the 113,511 were going bonkers. Overtime seemed imminent, but wait Brady Hoke decides to go for two. I loved the gutsy call but I hated the play that was call. Gardner got picked off in the end zone after Michigan went to a stack right pass formation. The Bucks hung on to win the game 42-41. Instant…classic for the ages.
Well that title lasted all of about 3 ½ hours. The annual grudge match that is called the Iron Bowl was played in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. Both teams traded mind blowing plays. Auburn QB Nick Marshall rumbled 45 yards to a score for the first points, but the Tide rolled up 21 straight points to take the lead as Tide QB AJ McCarron was brilliant and TJ Yeldon also added a score. Auburn did score late in the half to cut the lead to 7 and tied the game in the 3rd. Auburn’s punter Steven Clark is going to be in the NFL, landing absolute dagger place punts to bury the Tide more than a few times inside the 1. The Tide did get out of that hole when AJ McCarron hit a streaking Amari Cooper for a 99 yard touchdown to give them lead. The game got conservative as both teams checked and parried one another but the Tigers got a late score on a brilliant shuffle pass from Marshall to Sammie Coates and it looked like overtime was imminent. But the Tide got downfield in a hurry and was aided twice by time being added back to the clock and with one second left Adam Griffith, a redshirt freshman looked to be the hero at least attempting to be with a 57 yard field goal. Nick Saban said later that he felt that Griffith could hit the long field goal since he had hit 60 yarders before the game. Griffith lined up the kick but Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn called a time out. Most thought he was trying to ice the kicker but instead, he put his punt returner Chris Davis under the goal post. I thought when I saw Davis waving his hands was “He could return the kick if it’s short.” Griffith’s kick had some oomph, but not enough it was short by about a yard or two. Davis caught the miss and charged out of the end zone, to the utter delight of most of the 87,451 in attendance picked up blocker raced up the sideline and was gone! That’s not an Oh snap moment, that was a HOLY SHIT! Moment. Davis went all the way to the end, that’s the ball game. No kick, and that was the finale a stunning coda to a thrilling game. The Tigers stunned the Tide with the checkmate move and won 34-28, effectively knocking the Tide out of title contention and putting themselves in the title talk. 2 games 7 hours, 1 wow.
A-Rod: The complexities of a cheater
I’m not really sure about this whole A-Rod arbitration thing now. I have long been on record as someone that abhors A-Rod. I think he’s a self-centered whiny punk who had undeniable talent but felt that he needed to be the biggest name in the game. I wasn’t surprised when he engineered the trade that sent him to New York, and his “Will you please love me now?” ministrations to the crowd. He wanted to be loved and be looked at like his one-time contemporary and rival Derek Jeter. Jeter, has always seemed to have that studied cool, but it has always been natural and never forced. Long the Yankee Captain (capital is my doing) Jeter has the kind of effervescent play and style that gets grudging respect from even the most bitter of Yankee haters. A-Rod wanted to be loved like the city’s prince and be the franchise face but instead was the very easy face to root against and the symbol of the Yankees excess and supposed greed.
A-Rod just seemed to do things that annoyed all baseball purists and when he admitted in 2009 to having had taken PED’s no one was surprised. Many expected his performance to sharply nose dive, but instead he put up MVP candidate numbers and the Yanks rode his all-around sterling play to a World Series crown. A-Rod finally had his ring (and garnered the postseason MVP award to boot) and those that despised him quietly shook their heads but couldn’t knock that he was on top of the game. A-Rod’s numbers did decline late in the 2012 season was fighting problems with his hip and a torn labrum, and was pinch hit for a number of times in clutch situations in the postseason. In 2013 A-Rod had surgery on the labrum again and didn’t start playing in the minors until late June. The Yankees for their part dawdled and delayed bringing A-Rod back to the majors as long as they could and I’m sure that the timing of the 211 game suspension on the day that A-Rod was due to debut for the Bombers was just sheer coincidence right? Did A-Rod deserve to get suspended? If he was getting busted for PED use then he should be suspended. The 50 games was the apropos punishment, his admissions aside according to the letter of the law he was a “first time” offender. Suspending him for not only the balance of the 2013 season but all of 2014 virtually guaranteed that A-Rod would likely never play again and that the Yankees could take steps to void his burdensome contract. Is A-Rod someone you think should be punished? He is the type that seems to be one that deserves punishment for his semi-arrogant cum who me innocent but I have a real beef, the arbitrary rest of the season all of next for his alleged involvement with the biogenesis. Of course A-Rod has appealed but he has done himself no favors by storming out of the arbitration hearing after it was announced that MLB commish Bud Selig would not be testifying in said hearings. A-Rod’s legal team has maintained that they would have some sort of revelatory information “An info surprise if you will.” The A-Fraud” saga will likely drag into the next baseball season as the arbiter will likely not make his ruling until after the first of the year and the legal machinations will go on for some time.
Football: Has the game been pussified?
I grew up in a different era. The hits were legendary. Players like Lawrence Taylor, Ronnie Lott, the Selmon Brothers, Jack Tatum were feared for their devastating hits. I used to have a tape called Crunch Course and it had all the great hits and they were fearsome. I loved to see the old cats like Sam Huff, Dick Butkus and Chuck Bednarik lay suckas out. Ask Frank Gifford about how he lost an entire season from a clean hit from Concrete Charley. Sadly, these hits are a thing of the past, all of the hits that you see on this tape (The NFL doesn’t sell it anymore) would be considered borderline if not outright illegal. The hits that many players have to try to avoid in the game now are nowhere near as devastating as they used to be. I remember the old video of Lawrence Taylor absolutely wearing out the Jets in a game and soberly telling Ken O’Brien after he leveled him again. “Son, ya’ll gotta do better than this!” Now in the interest of safety…or maybe because they are trying to head off a number of concussion lawsuits there are so many that comes from these devastating hits. Now the NFL is trying to keep big hits from happening. Now you have defensive backs who don’t know how to hit or where to hit. You have a bunch of players that are getting flagged and fined for hits that were once not only legal but celebrated. You can’t hit player in the air anymore they call him a defenseless player. So where is this leading? I’m waiting for the rule to start that you can’t hit a QB at all in the pocket. Or that certain players can’t be hit at all during certain times. Has the game been totally pussified? You tell me.
Phat Dap Head Slap
How loud is 137.5 decibels? Louder than a jet engine roar. That was the sustained roar from the crowd at Century Link Field in Seattle during their 34-7 rout of the Saints. That is a Guinness record. The Seahawks are giving their insane fans even more reason to be crazy, they have won 14 straight at home and are making the rest of NFC dread the fact that the road to New York for the Super Bowl will go through that noise factory
To the fan that took the Auburn-Alabama game too seriously. So seriously that she shot someone. ESPN reports that Adrian Laroze Briskey, 28, was charged Monday with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd. Briskey allegedly shot Shepherd because she wasn’t devastated enough over the Tide’s loss to Auburn Saturday. Briskey was allegedly incensed because Shepherd had the temerity to laugh about the loss and say that wasn’t as bad as a Miami Heat loss. The victim’s sister said that the shooter said that they “weren’t real Alabama fans because it didn’t bother them that they had lost.” Shooting and killing someone over a game…really?
The Final Word from the Hoodwood
Just so that we don’t end the week on a downer. Hoodwood is rooting for Pat Yarber. The 53 year old is trying to see a game in every D-1 venue. Yarber has retinitis pigmentosa and it has deteriorated his vision to the point where he has lost 80 percent of his vision. He has very poor depth perception and will eventually lose all of his sight. He will make all of the 125 D-1 venues by the end of next season. If he wants to go to a game at Nippert Stadium whether he has his sight or not. I would be happy to take him.
That’s the view from the Hoodwood, until next time fellow sports fans!
Concussions have taken a front seat in our national conversation in sports. In August, the NFL settled a $760-Million lawsuit, League of Denial illustrates a league not only indifferent to head trauma but almost militantly hostile to research, and this past week 10 NHL players filed a lawsuit against the league, petitioning for certification as a class action suit.
The complaint alleges the NHL knew there were dangers to players health and instead took no action to address them - essentially learning from the NFL lawsuit. In collective bargaining, unions will engage in something called “pattern bargaining.” The UAW did this successfully for the better part of half a century in the auto industry: choose one of the “big three” automakers best positioned to give the union what it wanted and then used that negotiation to drive the negotiations (pun intended) with the other companies. The negotiations were the blueprint for how to proceed. Similarly, it would seem the NHL players have let the NFL lawsuit play out to give them the roadmap for their own suit.
But the case is not as clear cut: the NHL has taken preventative actions and not engaged in the same obfuscation the NFL did. However, the NHL is also not squeaky clean here either. Additionally, the league is in a far more compromised position than was the NFL - this is a league that has endured one entire canceled season and lost the better part of a second in collective bargaining struggles over how league revenues are distributed banking on the idea that they would lose less money by not playing than by playing - a situation utterly unthinkable in professional football. The NHL has staked a position that their franchises are losing money and is awash in red ink.
This lawsuit threatens to reveal all kinds of financial information the league would prefer not be revealed, which could expose their entire position of financial duress: expose either as truth or fiction. But we also know the NHL owners aren’t of the same ilk of the NFL - this is a league that has shut down an entire season, publicity be damned. In a way, this what the labor relations of the league has wrought - wouldn’t it be funny if horrendous labor relations, the cancellation of a season and a half, ill-advised expansion, and money losing operations hasn’t killed the league, but a long drawn out lawsuit over traumatic brain injuries does the job?
Unlike the other leagues here in the US, hockey players do have legitimate alternatives. NBA players can play in Europe, but cannot make anything close to what they earn here. Football? Well American football is really only here in the States...with a flavor in Canada. Baseball? Sure, but the money is here. Hockey, though. Hockey players have alternatives. The NHL can evolve into a smaller entity and there would still be places for players to go.
In other news: My fantasy team has a shot of making the playoffs...if Marshawn Lynch doesn’t get more than 6-points. I made the mistake of playing Delanie Walker and Nate Burleson...0 points between the two of them, but my opponent made the mistake of benching Ben Tate (oh he of 28 points) so it seems I didn’t make as many mistakes as he did.
Heisman Voting: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated for a complaint of sexual assault that happened nearly a year ago, with a decision to indict Winston not coming until after the voting has happened, which of course leaves voters in a quandary. What do you think? Who’s now the frontrunner? At least one Heisman voter says it’s AJ McCarron.
Pokey. Last weekend, he was well enough to take out and get groomed. Over the week, he’s been eating A LOT, but this weekend he seems to have turned another corner and seems a lot worse. We want to believe he’s doing better, but it’s weekends like this kind of take us back to reality - that his little body is a ticking time bomb. We remain optimistic, but less so.
You know, some weekends are work, work, work...Luckily Mrs. Beeze does the majority of the laundry!
The weekend started with me in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner...The kids watched the parade, my oldest nursing a serious cold that knocked her for a loop Tuesday afternoon, and kept her in bed for 2 days...
Family came and ate...Not too much family...Which meant lots of leftovers...Everyone left the house with extra food, and we still had plenty to enjoy the rest of the weekend...Plus the turkey stew I made with the dark meat, and the bones, and veggies...It cooked on very low heat for about 17 hours, and then we poured it over some fresh biscuits...Delicious!
Then came Saturday...I made it clear that all I was doing was watching football...First Ohio State at Michigan...It became very clear, early in this game, that neither team was here to play defense...It came right down to the wire...Michigan scores with less then 40 seconds left...42-41 OSU...Michigan coach Brady Hoke decides to try to ruin the Buckeyes' season right here and go for 2...They failed...Seemed like a bad play call, not giving his running QB an option to run it in himself if it's there...Me, I would have played it safe, kicked the 1, and go at it some more in OT...People say OSU would have rolled in OT...Well, the way the game went, Michigan wasn't having trouble moving the ball themselves...Oh well...The Buckeyes undefeated season marches on, looking ahead to Michigan State in the conference championship game...and looking over their shoulder to see if they get jumped by a 1 loss team in the rankings...
Then the "Iron Bowl" came on...Alabama at Auburn...So many of us wanted to see an upset...And with 1 second left, Alabama attempts a 57 yard field goal with a freshman kicker...Their starting kicker (who I won't name because he has already gotten enough hate mail and bad press) missed 3 field goal attempts earlier in the game...The kick was short, and Auburn CB Chris Davis returned it 109 yards for the winning, touchdown...
Fucking Auburn is becoming masters of the exciting big play, big finish...
After the game, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs was already pissing off Ohio State, and Ohio State fans by making his case to jump them in the standings saying it would be "a disservice to college football" if a one-loss SEC champion was left out of the national title game for Ohio State....Fucking balls down there in the South!
I'm not taking a side here, I'm just saying, maybe wait until your school plays Missouri in the SEC title game before you start trying to get into the National Championship game...
Then I watched my Fighting Irish take on Stanford...I didn't expect the Irish to win, but I was glad they hung in there...The fact is, they could have won this game...Like some other games this year, mistakes, and bad QB play got to them...I read a headline that summed up Saturday's game...
"Rees Shows Heart, Not Enough Arm."
I also had myself jumping to the UCLA/USC game...I was actually expecting it to be closer, but UCLA handled the Trojans 35-14...When that one lost it's luster I started checking on the Missouri/Texas A&M game...Missouri won 28-21, putting them into the SEC Championship game against Auburn, and putting that miserable look on Johnny Manziel's face...And I never get tired of that...
It has been a crazy football week...Thursday, I didn't watch the NFL, with the exception of the last 5 minutes of the Steelers/Ravens game...I did watch the Ole Miss/Miss State game...It was an old school backyard brawl, and Miss State pulled 17-10 OT win...From what I heard, it was better then the Lions/Packers game...
Sunday, I watched no football...Had to pick up the slack from doing nothing Saturday...So, we broke out the Christmas decorations and got all that crap started...It's the earliest we've ever done this crap...I don't like going this early, but the kids were excited...Plus the weekends are already getting booked up, plus both the girls birthday's are this month...Our oldest turns 12 Tuesday...Were the hell did the time go!?!
Oh, and I saw the Browns lost to Jacksonville...Jacksonville...that shit is why I quit being a Browns fan!
So, since I'm being Johnny Festive, I figure I end each week's post with a Christmas tune...But I'm gonna try to use some songs that aren't traditional...Here's Dead Sara's "Snow in Los Angeles"
LSU players with the Golden Boot, I believe after last year’s game.
I updated the records in my LSU/Arkansas blog and added a brief game summary for the game yesterday (this was originally published on 11/30).
I didn’t realize it until after the game was played (although I knew changes were coming), but this was sort of a bittersweet ending for the LSU-Arkansas “black Friday” tradition. Granted, it’s not much of a tradition as compared to Ohio St.-Michigan and so forth, but with LSU playing Arkansas at the end of the year (the day after Thanksgiving the vast majority of the time) the last 2/3 of my life is meaningful to me. I remember LSU playing Tulane annually, but I don’t remember that game being one to get excited about. (I was a toddler the last time Tulane beat LSU and barely a teenager when the annual series was canceled.)
Of course, I’m glad LSU won this last game, but I’m also glad Arkansas represented themselves well. It wasn’t good for my nerves, but it just wouldn’t have felt proper for this to be an easy win. I mention in my blog how often in the last 13 years it’s been a close game, so this was fitting. I wouldn’t mind if Arkansas got a good team again, but sometimes there are too many good teams in the SEC, especially as long as LSU has to play Florida every year along with the SEC West slate. The Gators will be back too.
I also liked that LSU usually played Arkansas in Little Rock since the campus was less lively with it being Thanksgiving weekend. I imagine LSU people who traveled to the games liked them being closer as well. The late great George Carlin did a bit about football vocabulary versus baseball. Baseball is played at a park. Football is played on the gridiron in places like Soldier Field and War Memorial Stadium (which is what they call the one in Little Rock). I went to my first game at the L.A. Colliseum last year. There is just something special about stadiums like that. “War”, as I understand the locals call it, was built around 20 years later, but it’s a similar type of severe concrete architecture. I think the Arkansas fans treated it as something special as well.
If I had my druthers, the last four SEC opponents would be Ole Miss (on or around Halloween), Alabama, Mississippi St., and Arkansas, but no such luck. Whether I like it or not (it has its good points, to be honest), Texas A&M and Missouri have joined the SEC, so now there is that to contend with. Before last year, when LSU played Texas A&M (back in the mid-1990s and before), it was in early September; but that doesn’t work now, especially now that we’ve often been playing one of the neutral-site kickoff games. (Next year, LSU will start the season against Wisconsin in Houston.)
I can understand it, and it will probably work out though. We’ve played Auburn (often in September, but Mississippi St. and the non-conference slate will bump them to the first week of October next season) and Florida (usually in the second week of October) early on in recent years, and we don’t need another big game so early in the year. Also, Texas A&M lost their traditional Thanksgiving game with Texas, so they have to play somebody. Missouri should be a good game today; but it’s not a bordering state, and there isn’t a meaningful history between the two schools.
As for Missouri, they’re really out of place being forced into the same division with Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in particular, so giving them and Arkansas a close geographic annual rival makes a good bit of sense. Arkansas isn’t the most natural fit in the SEC West either. Their closest divisional opponent is Ole Miss, a six-hour drive away from the Arkansas campus. (Not that LSU is situated that much better in reference to other schools.) Also, interestingly enough, Tom Dienhart, who wrote to argue for Arkansas to join the Big XII seven years ago (he wanted them to kick out Baylor), got one of the match-ups he wanted after all.
Sometimes when I talk about realignment, I’m an advocate for disturbing certain traditions; but I don’t deny that it doesn’t always feel right immediately afterward even if the changes eventually work and the new reality can become an improvement. I mentioned Auburn, for instance. They didn’t have a rivalry with LSU to speak of before 1992 either, but it’s been a fun series too, and it will continue as far as I can tell. (Although to be honest, they might make more sense in the East.)
Arkansas was sort of a replacement for Tulane (even though they overlapped a few years) anyway, and LSU wouldn’t have been playing the Razorbacks every year if it weren’t for the previous SEC expansion. It became a fun, back-and-forth, competitive series like many of the more long-term and consistent rivalries seem to be. I’ll miss that, along with the other quirks I mentioned.
Maybe something similar will develop from the Texas A&M series. The one this year was better as an LSU fan, but maybe there will be some more like last year to entertain the more neutral fans. I hope they make it at night after all the NFL games end. One thing I didn’t like about the Arkansas series was when it was played at home for LSU, it was often one fewer night game. I also wasn’t thrilled that this season’s game against Texas A&M was during the day, not that I wasn’t satisfied with how that one went.
Also, it’s not like LSU will stop playing Arkansas. That game is set for November 15 next year, apparently in Fayetteville. It could still be an important part of the schedule for either team. Not really relevant to LSU, but I also thought it was interesting that the Hogs will play the Aggies in Jerry World in late September.
So I guess this will be the new Thanksgiving week alignment for the SEC teams; I hope it will stick:
LSU-Texas A&M (Thanksgiving Day)
Mississippi St.-Ole Miss
(* = non-conference game)
Many of you probably know where to find my other blogs (such as more detailed rankings discussion) by now, but if you need specific directions, let me know. Everything is published there first.
What a weekend of College Football – this is what it should be like every stinking week!!! For those who want to see the BCS sweat just a little bit, this past CFB weekend was just for you because now it’s utter chaos and could be devastating if Michigan State wins next week over Ohio State. I’m in the minority, but I don’t believe either Florida State OR Ohio State is worthy of the NC Game.
I spent the majority of yesterday and today listening to the bias in favor of Ohio State and I wonder "Really?" So I say OK justify it, and all I get is "Undefeated". OK, fair. So by that standard (and I know Doug hates this) why isn't Northern Illinois in the discussion? They're undefeated. They play a D-1 schedule. So tell me why Ohio State, or for that matter Florida State is more deserving. See my point about how ludicrious that argument is?
Take it a step further: If the decision is that that NIU is unworthy, then what are they or the MAC, MWC, CUSA, Big East, or Sun Belt doing in D-1? Why if they have ZERO chance of being recognized, let alone have an actual chance don't they create their own division?
At first glance, Florida State/Duke might not seem to be a challenge, but…
40 years of watching football and what Auburn did to Alabama at the end I only saw once and that was at a HSFB game.
Did anybody catch that ass-whoopin Arizona State put on Arizona? This is a team who might challenge UCLA next season for sure.
Speaking of being dominated, the Ultra $ucky Cheaters took a beatdown from UCLA, and while I don't care it's significant to see the power shift down south.
My Bowl Picks. This is as of right now:
NC Game: Florida State/Auburn
Rose: Stanford/Ohio State
Fiesta: Oklahoma State/UCF
Cotton: Alabama/Michigan State
My CFB Top 25. No offense, but I’m not ranking four-loss teams. I have respect for SOS, but four losses is four losses. Nobody has a better resume than that.
Auburn (11-1) (4, Won vs. Alabama 34-28). Next: Missouri (SEC Championship Game)
Missouri (11-1) (5, Won vs. TAMU 28-21). Next: Auburn (SEC Championship Game).
Oklahoma State (10-1) (1, Idle). Next up @ Oklahoma 12/7
Florida State (12-0) (2, Won @ Florida 37-7). Next: Duke (ACC Championship Game).
Alabama (11-1) (3, Lost @ Auburn 34-28).
Ohio State (12-0) (6, Won @ Michigan 42-41). Next: vs. Michigan State (Big 10 Championship).
Michigan State (11-1) (8, Won vs. Minnesota 14-3). Next: vs. Ohio State (Big 10 Championship).
Baylor (10-1) (10, Won @ TCU 41-38).
Stanford (10-2) (11, Won vs. Notre Dame 27-20). Next: Arizona State (PAC 12 Championship).
Arizona State (10-2) (14, Won vs. Arizona 58-21). Next: Stanford (PAC 12 Championship Game).
Oregon (10-2) (12, Won vs. Oregon State 36-35). From NC contenders to ugly uniform matchup.
Duke (10-2) (15, Won @ North Carolina 27-25). Next up: Florida State (ACC Championship).
Oklahoma (9-2) (13, Idle). Next up vs. Oklahoma State 12/7
Northern Illinois (12-0, Beat Western Michigan 33-14).
UCLA (8-3) (19, Won @ USC 35-14). This will be a very tough team next season!
Fresno State (10-1) (9, Lost @ San Jose State 62-52). Next up: Utah State (MWC Championship)
LSU (8-3) (17, Won vs. Arkansas 31-27). Once again, prevent defenses prevent wins.
South Carolina (10-2) (21, Won vs. Clemson 31-17).
Clemson (10-2) (7, Lost @ South Carolina 31-17).
UCF (10-1) (22, Won vs. South Florida 23-20).
North Dakota State (10-0) (21, Idle). Hey Big 12, Why not?
Louisville (10-1) (26, Idle). Next 12/5 @ Cincinnati.
Cincinnati (9-2) (23, Idle). Next 12/5 vs. Louisville.