With the first college football playoff standings being released tomorrow, it was a wild and wacky week of upsets, outstanding finishes and performances. Here are my winners and losers:
- Ohio State Buckeyes: Down 11 points in the last five minutes, quarterback JT Barrett overcame, early miscues, throwing two touchdown passes, one, a 10-yarder to wide receiver Johnnie Dixon and with less than two minutes, the go-ahead 16-yarder to tight end Marcus Baugh as the Buckeyes rallied to defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions 39-38 in a thriller. Barrett is also putting his name in Heisman contention.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys: Quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for four touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown. Running back J.D. King rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown. The defense caught four interceptions as the Cowboys defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 50-39.
- Iowa State Cyclones: Quarterback Kyle Kempf threw for two touchdowns. The defense caught two interceptions as the Cyclones tamed the TCU Horned Frogs 14-7. Another great win for the Cyclones and head coach Matt Campbell.
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Quarterback Brandon Wimbush threw for two touchdowns. Running back Josh Adams rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Julian Love had a pick six as the Irish defeated the North Carolina State Wolfpack 35-14. Adams has almost 1,200 yards already, maybe put him in the Heisman discussion.
- Arizona Wildcats: Quarterback Khalil Tate threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown. The defense caught four interceptions including a pick six by linebacker Colin Schooler as the Wildcats upset the Washington State Cougars 58-37. The Wildcats are still atop the Pac 12 South. As I’ve been saying for the last two weeks, if Tate isn’t in your Heisman list, he should be.
- USC Trojans: Quarterback Sam Darnold threw 266 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Ronald Jones III rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Safety Ykili Ross had a pick six as the Trojans defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 48-17, great bounce back win for the Trojans.
- Penn State Nittany Lions: Despite a solid start with a kick return for a touchdown by running back Saquon Barkley, he was tamed for the most part. The defense gave up too many big plays late in their loss to Ohio State. The Lions aren’t out of the playoff chase.
- TCU Horned Frogs: Quarterback Kenny Hill’s two interceptions stalled drives in their loss to Iowa State, but they’re not out of the playoff hunt either.
- West Virginia Mountaineers: The Mountaineers couldn’t overcome a slow start and quarterback Will Grier’s four interceptions in their loss to Oklahoma State.
- Washington State Cougars: Though the Cougars had the edge in time of possession and total yards, they couldn’t overcome turnovers and being only 4 for 18 on third downs in their loss to Arizona, knocking them off the playoff chase.
- South Florida Bulls: The Bulls gave up a late touchdown with 11 seconds left losing to the Houston Cougars 28-24. Bulls are still in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl berth.
- Florida State Seminoles: They only had 213 total yards as they were dominated by the Boston College Eagles 35-3, for the Eagles, it’s their first ACC home win since 2013. As for the Noles, well now they got to win out to be bowl eligible.
- Florida Gators: It’s been a tumultuous week for the Gators, as they were thumped by the Georgia Bulldogs 42-7 in their annual clash in Jacksonville. Head coach Jim McElwain has now been let go, we’ll see what’s ahead for the Gators.
Storylines Going Into Week Ten:
A little MACtion for you as Northern Illinois faces Toledo. Penn State will try to rebound against Michigan State. Is Wisconsin on upset alert at Indiana? Maybe also Ohio State as they go to Iowa. Also, Notre Dame as they host Wake Forest.
And in their annual Bedlam Series meeting, Oklahoma travels to Oklahoma State.