The Weekend: BIG HOUSE Stunner; Memphis Defeats Ole MISS; AP Rankings; Targeting Rule
Separation Saturday was the theme for this week. Five games featured two AP ranked teams going at it, two games were between top-ten SEC schools. As we enter week 8, it's still not clear who is the most dominate team. On paper, one could say Baylor is the most dominate, average margin of victory 39 points, but they also haven't played a ranked opponent and won't play one until November 14th.
Other than Baylor, the rest of the field has had close games such as Ohio State, TCU, and Michigan State. If it wasn't for Bama's loss to Ole Miss – the same Ole Miss that loss to an un-ranked non-SEC opponent – they could be considered most dominant. So even though the theme was separation Saturday, no one has separated themselves in this drama-filled college football season.
AP Top 25
RKTEAMRECPTSTRENDLAST WEEKNEXT WEEK
Dropped from rankings: UCLA 18, Northwestern 20, Boise State 21
Others receiving votes: Mississippi State 62, BYU 21, UCLA 18, North Carolina 17, Texas Tech 14, Georgia 12, Western Kentucky 11, Arizona State 10, Wisconsin 8, Boise State 8, Utah State 7, Northwestern 4
1. Ohio State (6-0) LW 1, W 38-10 Penn State
2. Michigan (7-0) LW 4, W 27-23 @ #10 Michigan
3. LSU (6-0) LW 5, W 35-28 #11 Florida
4. TCU (7-0) LW 2, W 45-21 @ Iowa State
5. Baylor (6-0) LW 5, W 62-38 West Virginia
6. Utah (7-0) LW 6, W 34-18 Arizona State
7. Florida State (6-0) LW 7, W 41-21 Louisville
8. Alabama (6-1) LW 9, W 41-23 @ #12 Texas A&M
9. Clemson (6-0) LW 8, W 34-17 Boston College
10. Notre Dame (6-1) LW 13, W 41-31 USC
11. Iowa (7-0) LW 14, W 40-10 Northwestern
12. Oklahoma State (6-0) LW 15, BYE
13. Stanford (5-1) LW NR, 56-35 UCLA
14. Memphis (6-0) LW NR, W 37-24 Ole Miss
15. Florida (6-1) LW 11, L 28-35 @ #5 LSU
- Michigan State jumped to #2 for their memorable victory over the Wolverines. Wins like that are most impressive to me because they found a way to win on the road. Michigan controlled most of that game, on both sides of the ball, but the Spartans never gave up. Granted they received some help from punter Blake O'Neil, but they still put 368 total yards and 21 points on a Michigan defense that hadn't allowed a point in three games. Spartans deserve more credit than what the AP polls are giving them. Not only was that a rivalry game but it was a conference win over who many were saying, was the best team in the BIG TEN.
- LSU also won a conference-rivalry game, reason why they jumped into the top 4. I think this LSU team is a sleeper. People only notice them for their star running back, but they have a solid defense also. This looks like a traditional Les Miles team, and with a running back like Fournette, it's not crazy to think they will be in the top 4 come December.
- Utah remains the hottest team in the country, moving up #3 in the AP rankings, also receiving 16 first place votes. I won't dispute that Utah is one of the top teams in the country, they've earned that with their win over Michigan and Oregon but can they handle the pressure of being the favorite? Utah has not been in the situation since 2004 where they went undefeated, their highest rankings topping out at #4.
Player of the Weekend:
Jalen Watts-Jackson, DB Michigan State – Usually we pick a player with astronomical numbers as the POTW but no one had a more memorable play than Jalen Watts-Jackson. For Michigan fans, this defeat was probably worst than the loss to Appalachian State back in 2007, and Jackson played a major part in it. Unfortunately, he dislocated his hip during the dog-pile celebration in the endzone.
- Christian McCafferey, RB Stanford – 25 carries 243 yards 4 Tds vs UCLA
- Seth Russell Russell, QB Baylor – 540 total yards 6 TDS
Should an undefeated American Athletic Conference be in the College Football Playoffs? I'm not sure, but this is why I think we need to have more than 4 teams. If Memphis does in fact run the table and finish 12-0, then that would mean they defeated Temple (6-0) and Houston(6-0). All three are 6-0 and all three are 3-0 on the road. If you want to win a championship, you have to win games on the road in your conference. So whoever walks out of this conference unscathed, then they deserve a spot.
Power 5 Rankings
1. BIG Ten
2. BIG 12
4. Pac 12
If it wasn't for Ole Miss losing to Memphis, I would have ranked the SEC higher. I think this week the SEC had the best games and looked the most impressive. LSU and Bama more than likely will represent the SEC in the top 4 and it will come down to their November 7th match-up in Tuscaloosa.
Big Ten has a slight edge over the Big 12, and I mean slight. The Big 12 has two teams in the AP top 4, and I think it will remain that way until Baylor and TCU play one another at the end of the season. You can't forget about Oklahoma though, who will play both TCU and Baylor.
The "Targeting rule" in college is probably the worst rule known to mankind. The main reason why I hate it is because players are disqualified from games. It's no need to toss a player out the game for doing something that is apart of the game, hitting. And in most cases, it's not targeting. Joe Bolden was tossed out the game on Saturday because of "targeting". One, he didn't target or aim at Connor Cook helmet, and two, Bolden was pushed to the ground by a lineman and basically fell on top of Cook. The NCAA must fixed this rule because it's not helping the game at all.
Game to watch this Weekend
- #9 Clemson @ Miami – A two loss team such as Miami is never fun to face. Miami is still good team with a solid QB that can make plays. This won't be easy an easy win for the Tigers.
- Tennessee @ #8 Alabama – Bama is the favorite by 14 points. I think this game will be closer than what Vegas is predicting. If Joshua Dobbs and Jalen Hurd can get off to a hot start, they may can pull off the upset.
- #6 Utah @ USC – This is my TRAP Game of the week. USC is having a rough season but the talent is still there. Utah will be walking into the Coliseum ranked higher than the Trojans, which is rare. Vegas has the Trojans as a three point favorite and if I was a betting man, I would take that bet.