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Kansas State Spoils TCU's Dream Season....Well, Maybe Not.
TCU's dramatic comeback fell 6 inches short in Arlington Saturday afternoon as the Wildcat defense held the Horned Frogs inside the one yard line not once, but twice after two questionable play calls. Kansas State promptly kicked a field goal and won the Big 12 Championship 31-28. The CFP Committee is meeting as I write and my suspicion is TCU will remain in the Top 4, behind Georgia and Michigan, but ahead of Ohio State. That is the exact order they fall in this weeks Billingsley Report. Clemson ran over North Carolina 39-10 to win the ACC, Tulane rolled over Central Florida 45-28 to win the AAC, Michigan pulled away from a stubborn Purdue team 43-22 to win the Big 10. UTSA won their second C-USA Crown in a row with a 48-27 thrashing of North Texas. Toledo surprised Ohio 17-7 to take the MAC Crown. Fresno State traveled to Boise and took the MWC Crown on the Broncos home field. The Bulldogs prevailed 28-16. Utah totally dominated the second half and crushed USC 47-24 to take their second straight PAC 12 title. Defending National Champion Georgia dominated LSU 50-30 to win the SEC, and Troy beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 to win the Sun Belt. A projection for the Army/Navy game will post soon.
Upsets Dot The Landscape of Rivalry Weekend
It all started with the 24-22 Mississippi State upset of Ole Miss Thursday night and rolled all the way thru a 38-34 Oregon State stunner over Oregon Saturday. Rivalry weekend was a wild ride. South Carolina absolutely stunned the nation, dropping a top 10 opponent for the second week in a row with a 31-30 win over arch rival Clemson. Shane Beamer certainly has the Gamecock program headed in the right direction. The same can be said for Mike Norvell and Florida State as the Seminoles nipped Florida 45-38 to finish the regular season 9-3. North Carolina State edged North Carolina 30-27. Michigan ran away from Ohio State 45-23 in the second half. Nebraska shocked Iowa 24-17 handing the Big 10 West Division crown to Purdue, 30-16 winner over Indiana. USC is inching closer to a spot in the CFP. The Trojans downed Notre Dame 38-27 and still have the PAC 12 Championship to impress the committee. Texas A&M saved their best performance of the year to spoil LSU's title hopes. The Aggies beat the Tigers 38-23. Next week is Championship Weekend and the Top 4 teams in the CFP will be announced along with the Bowl Game participants next Sunday. Projections will be posted Tuesday.
South Carolina Shocks Tennessee 63-38
Tennessee's dream season turned into a nightmare in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday night as the Gamecocks derailed the Volunteers 63-38. South Carolina took a 7-0 lead and never looked back. All of the nation's title contenders struggled this past weekend. Georgia downed Kentucky 16-6, Ohio State rallied past Maryland 43-30, Michigan escaped Illinois 19-17 and TCU miraculously nipped Baylor 29-28. USC outlasted cross town rival UCLA 48-45 and Oregon held off Utah 20-17. Rivalry weekend is upon us. Projections will be posted Tuesday.
TCU Tops Texas 17-10
Defense ruled the night in Memorial Stadium Saturday night as undefeated TCU rolled into Austin and shut down the Longhorns offense, coming away with a 17-10 win. The 10-0 Horned Frogs solidified their position among CFP contenders. Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan also remain unbeaten. Around the Nation: Boston College shocked North Carolina State 21-20. Central Florida held off Tulane 38-31. Purdue turned the Big 10 West upside down with a 31-24 win at Illinois. A host of teams are now in contention for the West Division crown. One week after beating Arkansas, Liberty was humbled by Connecticut 36-33. Washington shocked rival Oregon in Eugene 37-34, while Arizona pulled the upset of the PAC 12 season with a 34-28 win over UCLA. Alabama rebounded with a 30-24 win over Ole Miss and LSU avoided an upset at the hands of the Hogs 13-10, and Vanderbilt stunned Kentucky 24-21. Projections will post Monday.
Dawgs Rule The Day
The Georgia defense rose to the occasion and stifled the vaunted Tennessee offense, coming away with a solid 27-13 win. The outcome was never in jeopardy as Georgia dominated the game from beginning to end. The win moved Georgia to #1 in this week's Billingsley Report. Around the Nation, LSU shocked Alabama on a two point conversion in overtime 32-31. Tennessee was not the only title contender to suffer their first loss of the season, Clemson traveled to South Bend and was tripped up by a surging Notre Dame team, 35-14. Ohio State struggled with Northwestern 21-7 while Michigan smothered Rutgers 52-17. TCU outlasted Texas Tech 34-24. The undefeated Horned Frogs have a showdown with Texas coming Saturday. The Longhorns prevailed over Kansas State 34-27. Liberty surprised Arkansas in Fayetteville 21-19. I wonder how long the flames will be able to hang on to Hugh Freeze. The PAC 12 crown is shaping up to be quite a race. Oregon, UCLA, Utah and USC are all in contention. Oregon and Utah meet later this month as do USC and UCLA. Projections will post Tuesday.
Buckeyes Surge Past Nittany Lions 44-31
Ohio State rallied in the 4th quarter at Happy Valley Saturday to down Penn State in a crucial Big 10 match, vaulting Ohio State to #1 in this week's Billingsley Report. The Buckeyes and the Wolverines are on pace for an undefeated showdown in late November. Michigan beat a stubborn Michigan State team 29-7. Illinois took control of the Big 10 West division with a 26-9 win at Nebraska. The surprising Illini stand at 7-1 on the season. Notre Dame traveled to the carrier Dome and shocked Syracuse 41-24. The Irish take on Clemson next week. North Carolina came to life in the 4th quarter and defeated Pittsburgh 42-24. Central Florida hosted AAC league leader Cincinnati and nipped the Bearcats 25-21. TCU remained unbeaten at 8-0 with a tough road win at West Virginia 41-31. Kansas State demolished Oklahoma State 48-0 to take second place in the Big 12. Tennessee moved to 8-0 for the first time since winning the National Championship in 1998 with a 44-6 whipping of a solid Kentucky team. The Volunteers travel to Georgia for an SEC showdown Saturday, and Ole Miss rebounded from the loss to LSU by nipping Texas A&M in College Station 31-28. Projections will be posted Tuesday.
Clemson Edges Syracuse, Vaults to #1
ACC undefeated Titans met in Death Valley Saturday morning with Clemson coming out on top 27-21. The Tigers jumped to the top spot in this week's Billingsley Report. TCU, by virtue of their big win over Kansas State 38-28, also made a major move in the rankings, moving to #2. Around the Nation: Ohio State blasted Iowa 54-10 while Michigan was idle. Penn State's whiteout smothered Minnesota 45-17. Oklahoma State overcame a 17 point deficit in Stillwater to nip Texas 41-34. 14 penalties killed the Longhorns. The high flying Ducks hosted undefeated UCLA and former coach Chip Kelly, and ripped the Bruins 45-30. Alabama rebounded with a solid 30-6 win over Mississippi State. LSU spoiled Ole Miss' undefeated season, out scoring the Rebels 45-20. The Tigers improved to 6-2 on the season, and South Carolina is quietly putting together a good season. The Gamecocks improved to 5-2 with a 30-24 home win over Texas A&M. Projections will be posted Tuesday.
Tennessee Stuns Alabama With Late Field Goal
In what is sure to become an instant classic in this long storied rivalry, the Volunteers stunned Alabama 52-49 on a field goal with 2 seconds left on the clock. After building a 28-10 lead over the Tide, Alabama stormed back to tie the game with 18 unanswered points. The two teams traded score for score until tied 49-49 late in the game. Alabama had a chance to win but missed a long field goal with 12 seconds left leaving the teams apparently headed to overtime. But Tennessee was not to be denied. The Volunteers quickly moved into field goal range and kicked the winning goal with 2 seconds remaining. It was a miraculous win on Rocky Top with Tennessee snapping a 15 game Alabama winning streak. Around the Nation: Clemson travelled to Tallahassee and outlasted Florida State 34-28. Syracuse remained unbeaten at 6-0 after surprising North Carolina State 24-9. Michigan pounded Penn State 41-17 in the Big House while Ohio State was idle. TCU roared back from a 17 point deficit to beat Oklahoma State in double overtime. The Horned Frogs are the only undefeated team in the Big 12, now standing at 6-0. The Trojans were not so lucky. USC fell at Utah 43-42 in a late Saturday night contest. The Utes seem nearly impossible to beat at home these days. Georgia and Ole Miss both moved to 7-0. The Bulldogs smothered Vandy 55-0 while the Rebels were holding off a pesky Auburn team 48-34. And finally, heavily favored Notre Dame lost 16-14 to Stanford. Projections will be posted Tuesday.
Alabama Escapes Upset Bid
The much anticipated match of Texas A&M travelling to Tuscaloosa lived up to every drop of the week's hype. It boiled down to the final play of the game with the Aggies on the Tide goal line ending with an incomplete pass. Alabama survived 24-20. North Carolina State intercepted a Seminole pass in the end zone to edge Florida State 19-17. The Big 3 from the Big 10 all remained unbeaten. Ohio State crushed Michigan State 49-20, Michigan started slow but finished strong 31-10 over Indiana, and Penn State was idle, but something has to give this week as Michigan and Penn State tangle Saturday. Texas humiliated Oklahoma 49-0. The last time the Longhorns shut out the Sooners was 1965, I was 14 and my ranking system was just a pipe dream. How time flies. The Sooners are reeling from 3 straight losses and facing a daunting upcoming schedule. Could Oklahoma be looking at 3-9? Yikes. TCU won the Big 12 battle of undefeated teams nipping Kansas 38-31. Now the Horned Frogs must face the other remaining unbeaten team, Oklahoma State. Things are heating up on the West Coast with the Trojans and Bruins looking like title contenders. USC beat Washington State 30-14 and UCLA beat a very good Utah team 42-32. Looks like the battle for LA may be a dandy this year. Don't look now but the race for the SEC crown may be a real battle this year. In addition to the usual contenders of Alabama and Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee have raised some eyebrows. Both are still undefeated with the Tide headed to Knoxville this Saturday. The Volunteers looked mighty good in Death Valley, blowing out LSU 40-13. Projections will be posted by Tuesday.
Horned Frogs Boom Sooners 55-24.
TCU handed Oklahoma their worst regular season loss since the Longhorns embarrassed the Sooners on October 10, 1998 by the same 31 point margin of victory. Texas won 34-3. Brent Venables has a lot of work to do as the Big 12 is a very wide open race this year and the Longhorns are on deck for Oklahoma this coming Saturday. Yikes. Around the Nation: Clemson solidified their position as a playoff contender by downing a very good North Carolina State squad 30-20. Wake Forest rebounded with a nice road win over Florida State 31-21. Georgia Tech shocked heavily favored Pittsburgh 26-21. Purdue surprised Minnesota 20-10 leaving only 3 undefeated Big 10 teams, Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Nebraska finally got some offense rolling, much to the delight of the home crowd. The Huskers upset Indiana 35-21. Oklahoma State looks like the cream of the Big 12 after whipping Baylor in Waco 36-25. Of course TCU and believe it or not Kansas might have something to say about that. The Jayhawks are 5-0 for the first time since 2007, the best year in Kansas history when they finished 12-1 and ranked #2 in the Billingsley Report after beating Virginia Tech 24-21 in the Orange Bowl. USC and UCLA remained unbeaten. The Trojans beat Arizona State 42-25 and the Bruins topped a very good Washington team 40-22. Missouri absolutely scared the daylights out of #1 Georgia. The Bulldogs rallied late and squeaked out a 26-22 win. Alabama cruised past the Hogs 49-26 but may have lost their QB in the process, and Lady Luck smiled on Ole Miss when the Wildcats turned over the ball on a late play in the game when it looked like Kentucky was headed for a wining score. The rakings will be posted later today after the conclusion of the Florida/ Eastern Washington game still in progress.
Tennessee Tops Florida 38-33
After losing to Florida 16 of the last 17 years Volunteer fans can finally celebrate a win over the arch rival Gators once more. Although Florida made a furious rally at the end it fell just short and Rocky Top survived 38-33. Around the Nation: Clemson nipped Wake Forest in overtime 51-45. North Carolina State, Syracuse and Florida State remained unbeaten while North Carolina and Duke fell for the first time. In the Big 10 Minnesota is looking more and more like a contender after the Gophers destroyed Michigan State in East Lansing 34-7. Kansas State shocked Oklahoma 41-34 and Texas Tech nipped Texas 37-34. The Big 12 looks like a wide open race. USC barely survived the trip to Oregon State 17-14 and Appalachian State's Cinderella season came to a halt at the hands of new Sun Belt member James Madison with a 32-28 loss. Projections will be posted by Tuesday.
Oklahoma Wins Battle of Big Reds
In the 1970's the game between Oklahoma and Nebraska was the nation's premier rivalry. I remember the 1971 "Game of the Century" like it was yesterday, #1 Nebraska at #2 Oklahoma in Norman, both teams undefeated, National Championship on the line. Oh how things have changed for the Huskers. Nebraska just hasn't found their groove since they bolted the Big 12 for the Big 10. Fresh off of firing Scott Frost Nebraska hosted an Oklahoma team that finally clicked on all cylinders en route to a 49-14 thrashing of the Cornhuskers. Around the Nation: Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State continued to establish themselves as the nation's elite by rolling over their competition, but a few more competitors are beginning to emerge. USC, Washington, and Penn State scored big wins over stiff competition Saturday. In the ACC Wake Forest nipped Liberty 37-36 while North Carolina State was bouncing Texas Tech 27-14. Florida State moved to 3-0 by topping Louisville 35-31. In the Big 10 Minnesota and Maryland remained undefeated by beating Colorado and SMU respectively. In the Big 12 Tulane shocked Kansas State 17-10, just when I thought the Wildcats might be ready to make a run for the Big 12 Championship. We will have the answer to that Saturday as Kansas State travels to Norman to take on the red hot Sooners. Kansas pulled off an upset shocker for the second week in a row. Last week it was West Virginia, this week it was Houston. The Jayhawks stand at 3-0 after beating the Cougars 48-30. Oregon State, Washington State, Washington and USC all remained undefeated out on the West Coast and Oregon looked good by beating BYU 41-20. Arkansas rallied late to beat Missouri State 38-27, while Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Tennessee blasted their lesser opponents. I'm looking forward to next weekend's Tennessee/ Florida match in Knoxville. I think we will be able to see whether the Tennessee program has really turned a corner or not. Week 5 projections will post Wednesday this week.
Full Moon Chaos
College Football was turned upside down this weekend. Notre Dame lost at home to Marshall, Texas A&M lost at home to Appalachian State, Nebraska lost at home to Georgia Southern, and Alabama, a 21 point favorite over Texas barely escaped the trip to Austin. The whole weekend had an eerie feel. It must have been the full moon right? We have to blame it on something! Around the Nation: In the ACC Tennessee squeaked out a win at Pittsburgh 34-27, while North Carolina was escaping a second week in row with a close 35-28 win over Georgia State. In the AAC, league leader Houston fell at Texas Tech 33-30. In the Big 10 all the big boys, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State continued to roll, all over lesser competition. Iowa and Wisconsin were not so lucky. The Hawkeyes fell 10-7 to in state rival Iowa State and the Badgers were surprised by visiting Washington State 17-14. In the Big 12, Oklahoma was embarrassed in the first half trailing Kent State 3-0 till right before halftime, but the Sooners got untracked in the second half and finally prevailed 33-3. Baylor travelled to Provo for a meeting with BYU and lost in overtime 26-20. Could this be Brigham Young's year for a run at the playoffs? They certainly have the schedule for it. In the Pac 12 USC is certainly grabbing some headlines with their prolific offense, blowing away Stanford 41-28, and don't look now but watch out for the Beavers, Oregon State went on the road and topped Fresno State 35-32. Down in the SEC Arkansas looks mighty good. The Razorbacks moved to 2-0 with a sharp 44-30 win over South Carolina. The Hogs moved up to #3 in this week's Billingsley Report, the highest since the Frank Broyles era in the 1970's. Mark Stoops became Kentucky's winningest coach with a win in the swamp over Florida 26-16. That was the most physical game I've ever seen the Wildcats play. Stay tuned for week 4 projections, scheduled to be posted Tuesday.
Ohio State Tops Notre Dame 21-10
The first half belonged to Notre Dame but the Buckeyes dominated the second half and came away with a convincing 21-10 win in the Horseshoe. Although the Billingsley Report will not be posted till Tuesday, after Monday night's Clemson/Georgia Tech game, Ohio State will most certainly leap near the top of the rankings. Around the nation: Things started out with a bang Thursday night as the country was treated to the renewal of the Backyard Brawl and a Brawl it certainly turned out to be as Pittsburgh stormed back late in the 4th quarter to win 38-31. Saturday North Carolina nipped Appalachian State 63-61 in one of the more entertaining games I have seen in recent years while in a stark contrast Iowa held off South Dakota State 7-3 by scoring a field goal and two safeties. Houston held off Texas-San Antonio 37-35 in a game that saw the Roadrunners go the length of the field in 23 seconds and tie the game to send it into overtime. Penn State rallied late and scored with seconds left to beat Purdue 35-31. The Big 12 came thru the weekend smelling like a rose with a 9-1 record. Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will likely all remain in the Top 10. The Lincoln Riley era at USC started out with a roar as the Trojans obliterated hapless Rice 66-14. Georgia embarrassed visiting Oregon 49-3, but I suspect the Bulldogs will be embarrassing a lot of teams this fall. Alabama looked flawless against Utah State 55-0 and Arkansas served notice to fellow SEC members that last year's winning record was no fluke. The Razorbacks took down Cincinnati 31-24. LSU/Florida State is on tap tonight with Clemson/ Georgia Tech wrapping up the long Labor Day football festivities Monday Night. Week 3 Projections should be posted by Wednesday.