Week 9 of the college football season is in the books and it’s time to take a look back at all the action that went down.
Did you miss anything from this week’s college football games?
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IT’S THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUND-UP FOR WEEK 9!!!!!
The College Football Round-Up
Week 9’s Most Impressive Teams
Auburn – For the second consecutive week, the Auburn Tigers make the list of college football’s most impressive teams of the weekend. Remember a month ago when Gus Malzahn was on the hot seat in Auburn? Not anymore. The Tigers have now riled off five wins in a row with victories over Ole Miss, Arkansas, LSU, and more. Don’t look now, but Auburn is BACK in the College Football Playoff discussion. While it would take a lot of pieces to fall into place for the Tigers to even be considered for the playoffs, they are on the right track for the time being.
South Carolina – South Carolina is not a good football team. However, they were able to upset the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend, easily giving them their biggest win of the season. A lot of people think Will Muschamp is already on the hot seat in Columbia (I don’t), but this win alone was definitely enough to buy him some time if he is (he isn’t).
Florida – Big win for the Gators over their rival Georgia this weekend. Florida has now won three in a row over the Bulldogs and if I had to guess, I would say this is the beginning of a loooooooooooooong win streak that Florida is going to enjoy over Georgia. Don’t ask me how or why I have this feeling (HEAD COACHING?), I just do.
Wisconsin – The Badgers really needed a victory against the undefeated Nebraska Cornhuskers this weekend and they went out and got it. I personally think Wisconsin is a very good football team (they play stout defense and don’t score a lot of points….but they beat you up with physical play) who got dealt a shitty schedule this season. It’s one thing for a BIG 10 West team to have to play Michigan or Ohio State in one season, but to play both in back-to-back games? That’s a tough one. Wisconsin needed this win against Nebraska to stay in the playoff discussion and they managed to keep their name on the outside looking in for the time being. Wisconsin has a very winnable schedule from here on out and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them win the BIG 10 West when it’s all said and done. Sorry Nebraska.
Washington – The best team in the PAC-12 got a tough test against Utah this weekend and they passed with flying colors. The Utes gave the Huskies a hell of a fight, but there’s a reason this Washington team is getting a lot of hype right now. They are an extremely well-balanced football team with no real weaknesses. Even though they got a little bit of a scare from Utah, they’ll be fine. Their schedule from here on out is extremely winnable and I hate to break it to any team hoping for a Huskies loss this year, but this team is going undefeated into the playoffs. Mark my words.
Texas – If you’re a Texas fan who wants to see the team get rid of Charlie Strong, it’s likely not going to happen now. One of the most interesting discussions right now among college football fans is how good of a job Charlie Strong has done in Austin so far. There is a very vocal group of fans out there who want him gone. He’s in his third-year with the program and the team can’t seem to win on a consistent basis. However, he continuously does little things that convince some people that he is the right man for the job. Whether it’s absolutely nailing a recruiting class or upsetting an undefeated team like Baylor, the name Charlie Strong is a controversial one whenever you mention it. Personally, I think the guy has done enough to earn him some more time. I think the Longhorns will finish with 7 wins this season and they return a crap load of guys next year. Give the guy some time. He’s shown he can coach when it matters (sometimes….).
Oklahoma State – Don’t ever doubt the power of the mullet, folks. After upsetting previously undefeated West Virginia this weekend, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are riding a four-game win streak and are back in the BIG 12 title picture. You can make fun of Mike Gundy’s haircut all you want people. But what you can’t take away is the fact that there’s power in that thing. Hopefully next year we will see more coaches roaming the sidelines with mullets and visors. That’s the world I want to live in.
Clemson – Back-to-back wins for Clemson over their rival Florida State. Don’t look now, but there’s a new top dog in the ACC. I personally picked Florida State to win the National Championship this season (man, was I wrong), but it’s pretty obvious that Clemson is still the team to beat in the conference. The Tigers have a very winnable schedule the rest of the way. Their toughest game will likely be against North Carolina or Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship. That game alone could be the only chance anyone has to stop Clemson from making another appearance in the College Football Playoff. My money is on the Tigers making it there. So should yours.
Wyoming – What the hell? I don’t think people understand how good of a job Craig Bohl is doing in Laramie right now. Wyoming is a program that shouldn’t be successful. They are out in the middle of nowhere. The fact that they can actually get recruits to visit, is a miracle in itself. The state produces little-to-no college football talent. There’s actually more WILDLIFE in the state of Wyoming than there is people. There’s a reason this team hasn’t had a winning season in five years and it’s pretty obvious. However, the former head coach of the North Dakota State Bison has done it again. He’s turned a so-so program into a contender. Don’t look now, but the Wyoming Cowboys may not just make a bowl game, but they could potentially end up as Mountain West champions. SAY WHAT?!?!?!
Week 9’s Most Disappointing Teams
Tennessee – The Volunteers went from a potential college football playoff team when they started out the season 5-0 to a “never was” in just a few short weeks. Since the hot start, they have rapidly fallen off a cliff. Sure, we’ll give the team a pass for back-to-back losses against Texas A&M and Alabama. The Aggies and the Tide have proven so far this season that they are two of the toughest teams in the SEC. While Tennessee fans would have loved to have seen the team come away with victories in those games, it’s understandable why they didn’t. What’s not understandable is losing to SOUTH CAROLINA! The Gamecocks are an absolute mess of a team. They are absolutely dreadful on offense and were considered the worst team in the SEC by a lot of college football experts. Tennessee should have rolled South Carolina, but instead got upset. Don’t look now, but Butch Jones’ seat might be getting a little warm with the team on a three-game losing streak.
Baylor – Every year Baylor starts out the season undefeated (they play the WORST non-conference schedule out of every Power 5 school every year), and every year Baylor finds a way to blow it. At some point, the team is going to figure it out. It pays to schedule GOOD football teams in non-conference games because it gives your team a chance to prove themselves. By scheduling cupcakes every year, your team isn’t testing themselves and when it comes time to play the big boys of the conference, you shit the bed. It happens every year to this Baylor team and this was once again more of the same. Play a real team in non-conference play. Until then, you guys will constantly be a crappy team that masquerades as a playoff team.
West Virginia – I had a lot of hope for this West Virginia team. They didn’t have a whole lot of expectations going into this season but after a 6-0 start, the fan base was getting hyped as was I. After wins against BYU, Kansas State, and TCU…I thought West Virginia would go undefeated until November 19, setting up a huge game against Oklahoma. That’s not going to happen anymore. The Mountaineers came out and laid an egg against Oklahoma State and that’s not a good sign of things to come. They still have games left against Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor. West Virginia fans had better hope this game against Okie State was just bad luck. The good news is, you guys get Kansas this weekend so you should beat them by 70.
Miami (FL) – I thought Mark Richt was going to have the Miami Hurricanes as a potential playoff team this season. After a 4-0 start, I was pretty sure that was going to happen. Wellllllllllllll, not anymore. The Hurricanes have now dropped four in a row and they look like a team that is reeling. This loss to Notre Dame this weekend was gross. Notre Dame is not a good football team this year and Miami really should have came away with the win. Maybe those Georgia fans were right all along? Maybe Mark Richt isn’t a good coach?
Head Coach Stock Watch
Every year we have head coaches in college football that are having good seasons that kind of came out of nowhere. Here are the guys who are out-performing their expectations so far this season:
P.J. Fleck – Western Michigan: 8-0 (4-0 in MAC)
Craig Bohl – Wyoming: 6-2 (4-0 in Mountain West)
Neal Brown – Troy: 6-1 (4-0 in Sun Belt)
Bobby Petrino – Louisville: 7-1 (5-1 in ACC)
Mike MacIntyre – Colorado: 6-2 (4-1 in PAC-12)
Larry Fedora – North Carolina: 6-2 (4-1 in ACC)
Mike Leach – Washington State: 6-2 (5-0 in PAC-12)
Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M: 7-1 (5-1 in SEC)
Willie Taggart – South Florida: 7-2 (4-1 in AAC)
Tom Herman – Houston: 7-2 (4-2 in AAC)
Ed Orgeron – LSU: 3-0 (2-0 in SEC)
Pat Narduzzi – Pittsburgh: 5-3 (2-2 in ACC)
The Hot Seat
And of course, you can’t talk about head coaches who are out-performing their expectations without talking about head coaches who could potentially be fired this season. These are the guys that I personally think are on the hot seat and could be looking for work this off-season……
(NOTE: Two coaches who have appeared in this section of the column have been fired in consecutive weeks….)
Mark Dantonio – Michigan State: 2-6 (0-5 in BIG 10)
Jim Mora – UCLA: 3-5 (1-4 in PAC-12)
Bob Diaco – UConn: 3-6 (1-5 in AAC)
Rich Rodriguez – Arizona: 2-6 (0-5 in PAC-12)
David Beaty – Kansas: 1-7 (0-5 in BIG 12)
Dan Mullen – Mississippi State: 3-5 (1-3 in SEC)
Mark Helfrich – Oregon: 3-5 (1-4 in PAC-12)
Brian Kelly – Notre Dame: 3-5
Heisman Trophy Watch List
The Heisman Trophy is the “bees knees” of the college football awards. The Heisman trophy usually goes to the most explosive/best player during the college football season and that players name will forever live in infamy, regardless of how his career turns out on the next level. These are the guys that I currently have in the lead to hoist the Heisman trophy at the end of the year:
- Lamar Jackson (QB), Louisville
- Jabrill Peppers (ATH), Michigan
- Jake Browning (QB), Washington
- DeShaun Watson (QB), Clemson
- Donnel Pumphrey (RB), San Diego State
- Dalvin Cook (RB), Florida State
Previewing Week 10’s Biggest Games
Here are next week’s biggest games as well as my pick for who should win each one. Every week we have a big match-ups in college football. These are the ones you should get excited about next weekend…..
Florida vs. Arkansas
There aren’t a whole lot of big match-ups next weekend. Florida vs. Arkansas is one of them though. Arkansas is coming off a bye week and they are desparate for a win after dropping three of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Gators are riding a three-game winning streak and the Razorbacks might be the toughest test left on their schedule (with all apologies to Florida State). This is a must-win game for both teams. They haven’t played each other in 3 years and Florida has won NINE IN A ROW OVER ARKANSAS. Take the Gators comfortably in this one.
The Pick: Florida
Alabama vs. LSU
One of my favorite rivalries in college football. Whenever these two teams meet on the football field, a good time is had by all (yes, even in defensive shut outs….). A few weeks ago, no one really cared about this game. Now, with Les Miles out of town and Ed Orgeron having LSU playing like the football team we all thought they could be at the beginning of the year, there’s hype surrounding this one again. I fully expect LSU to give Alabama a hell of a fight, but the Tide will eventually overwhelm them with their talent. Give me Alabama by at least two touchdowns. Sorry LSU.
The Pick: Alabama
Nebraska vs. Ohio State
Do you belong with the big boys of the BIG 10 Nebraska? Next week is your chance to prove it. I don’t think you do personally and I fully expect the Buckeyes to come in and put a whooping on the Cornhuskers as J.T. Barrett puts his name back into the Heisman race.
The Pick: Ohio State
And that’s it for the College Football Round-Up this week! I hope you enjoyed the column this week. Make sure you come back to THEUltimateSportsBlog.com on a daily basis for your unfiltered, uncensored, and uncut sports opinions. No one SPORTS OUT like we SPORTS OUT!