Chaotic, mayhem, craziness, wackiness, these are just a few words that you can use to describe week 11 as we saw a lot of upsets. Here are my winners and losers.
- USC Trojans: Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns. The defense had three sacks and caught two interceptions as the Trojans defeated the Washington Huskies 26-13. Thanks to consistency and efficiency, the Trojans still have a shot in the Pac 12 South. I wonder how all of the folks that wanted head coach Clay Helton fired feel now, he and the coaching staff have done an amazing job.
- Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers stayed toe to toe with the Clemson Tigers. After missing an extra point and a field goal earlier, kicker Chris Blewitt nailed a 48-yard field goal with six seconds left as the Panthers stunned the Tigers 43-42. What a win for head coach Pat Narduzzi!
- Iowa Hawkeyes: It was your typical, gritty Big Ten game as the Hawkeyes held the Michigan Wolverines to just 201 total yards. Kicker Keith Duncan’s 44-yard field goal as time expired, helping the Hawkeyes upset the Wolverines 14-13.
- UCF Knights: Quarterback McKenzie Milton threw for a touchdown. While the defense caught two interceptions as the Knights defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 24-3. After going winless last season, the Knights are 6-4 and are now bowl eligible. A great job by first-year head coach Scott Frost.
- Old Dominion Monarchs: I know some of you probably didn’t know the Monarchs had a football team, well they do. After being in 1AA/FCS for years, this is their third year in FBS. They defeated the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 51-35. They go to 7-3 and will be going bowling for the first time.
- John Carroll Blue Streaks: Yes, we don’t talk about D-III here, but this is worth mentioning. The Blue Streaks scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to defeat state-rival Mount Union Raiders 31-28. What’s the significance, well for starters it broke the Raiders’ 112 (yes, you read that right) win streak, which is an NCAA record. Also with the win, the Blue Streaks clinch the Ohio Athletic Conference title for the first time since 1994. Both teams are 9-1, so both will make the 32-team playoff field in D-III.
- Washington Huskies: Quarterback Jake Browning’s two interceptions, being held to only 6 for 17 on their downs and just 276 total yards were the Huskies’ undoing in their loss to USC. They’re not out of the playoff chase, but they can’t afford another loss.
- Clemson Tigers: The Tigers had been walking a thin line all season so it shouldn’t be too shocking that it caught up to them in a loss to Pittsburgh. With the strength of schedule on their side, the Tigers shouldn’t fall too far in the playoff standings.
- Michigan Wolverines: Questionable play-calling, turnovers, and being held to just 201 total yards doomed the Wolverines in their loss to Iowa, failing their first true road test of the season. They still control their destiny in both the Big Ten East and the college football playoff but they can’t suffer another loss.
- Arkansas Razorbacks: The defense gave up 390 rushing yards and five touchdowns in their loss to the LSU Tigers 38-10. The Hogs are very hard to figure out.
- Baylor Bears: Turnovers and losing quarterback Seth Russell to an ankle injury led to the Bears’ loss to the Oklahoma Sooners 45-24.
- North Carolina Tar Heels and Virginia Tech Hokies: Apparently neither team wants to win the ACC Coastal division, first UNC kicker Nick Weiler missed a go-ahead 37-yard field goal resulting in the Heels’ loss to rival Duke Blue Devils 28-27, it’s the Blue Devils’ first conference win of the year. Meanwhile the Hokies were upset by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 30-20 in Blacksburg. The scenario remains the same, North Carolina must win against North Carolina State and hope Va Tech loses to Virginia to clinch the ACC Coastal.
Storylines Going Into Week 12:
Even though this game doesn’t have the pizzazz as it did earlier in the year, Louisville and Houston should still be a good one.
In the Big 12, Oklahoma State goes to TCU. While Oklahoma is suddenly back in the playoff chase as they go to Morgantown and face West Virginia.
In the Big Ten, can Michigan State derail Ohio State’s playoff chances? With an outside shot at the Big Ten West, Minnesota must beat Northwestern to keep pace.
In the Pac 12, Colorado hosts Washington State. City rivals clash as USC faces UCLA in their annual meeting.
In the SEC, Florida faces LSU.
In an intriguing Mountain West matchup as San Diego State travels to Wyoming.