Louisville linebacker Jalen Harrington (42) is tackled by Southern Miss defender Markese Triplett (23) after a short punt return in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Hattiesburg, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
After slipping on the road against Penn State, Ohio State took a slight fall in the coaches poll this week. The Buckeyes dropped from second in the poll behind top-ranked Alabama to eighth. Adding salt to the wound, Michigan took over the second spot in the poll previously occupied by Ohio State. Clemson remained at third in the poll and Washington moved into the top four.
Arkansas and Ole Miss dropped out of the rankings this week, making room for Colorado and Virginia Tech. Houston, despite a blowout loss at SMU, remained in the top 25 at No. 24.
Here is this week’s coaches poll, with first-place votes noted:
- Alabama (63)
- Clemson (1)
- Ohio State
- West Virginia
- Texas A&M
- Boise State
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Western Michigan
- Virginia Tech
The impact a single loss can have on a team’s national championship aspirations has been reduced with the introduction o the College Football Playoff. That could be a glimmer of light for Ohio State after losing in unbelievable fashion on the road at Penn State Saturday night.
For Ohio State, the overall picture remains just as in focus as it was before, if the goal is merely to reach the College Football Playoff. Win, and they should be in. Winning out would put Ohio State at 11-1 in the regular season, capped b a win over what could be a highly-ranked Michigan in the regular season finale. That would also give Ohio State a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Wolverines to reach the Big Ten Championship Game. Penn State now owns a critical head-to-head tiebreaker with Ohio State, but in the event of a three-way tie between the Buckeyes, Nittany Lions and Wolverines, Penn State’s overall record could end up being an advantage or Ohio State (if Michigan happens to lose twice and Penn State wins out, Penn State would play for the Big Ten title).
So you see, Ohio State still has a seemingly clear path to the Big Ten championship game and the College Football Playoff, for now. Bur Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer admitted there is work to do, dropping the suggestion his team is not great right now. But a team with as much talent and potential and god coaching as Ohio State has should be able to recapture the momentum. If they do, then look out.
The first batch of College Football Playoff rankings will be telling to figure out jus where Ohio State fits into the conversation, but odds are they will most certainly be on the radar with time to spare and make up any lost ground that came with the road loss last night.
At least postgame, #Pac12AfterDark lived up to its NSFW billing.
Last season, Washington State’s Mike Leach accused his counterpart at Arizona State, Todd Graham, of stealing signs. Ahead of the Cougars’ Week 8 trip to Tempe to face the Sun Devils, Leach again broached the sign-stealing allegations; that broaching earned Leach a reprimand and a $10,000 fine from the Pac-12.
While Graham had personally stayed relatively mum on the subject, the coach’s athletic director stated they fully supported the conference’s actions as “[o]ur professional integrity was questioned for two straight years by Mike Leach’s irresponsible comments and we will not allow that to happen.” Graham may have been relatively mum during the week, but, in the aftermath of Wazzu’s 37-32 win Saturday night, the coach apparently could no longer bite his tongue.
just listened to Graham-Leach handshake 3x. Got a “chicken—-” and “I’ve always respected you” and a “bull—-” from Graham
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) October 23, 2016
Todd Graham to Mike Leach at midfield: “[unaudible] that was bullshit…[unaudible]..that is chicken shit” pic.twitter.com/q6bF4UwXIE
— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) October 23, 2016
So I wound that back and Todd Graham told Mike Leach the comments earlier this week were “Chicken sh—“
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 23, 2016
Pretty sure I heard a “You know that was bullsh—“ in there too as Leach pulled away and walked off
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 23, 2016
Leach, of course, was asked about the situation in his postgame presser.
Leach’s answer to everything re. ASU’s strategy was “I respectfully decline on grounds that I might be publicly reprimanded and fined”
— Stefanie Loh (@StefanieLoh) October 23, 2016
Pirate’s gonna pirate, regardless.
Certainly there are deceased defensive purists who are rolling over in their graves at the moment. In fact, there are likely amongst-the-living defensive purists who are currently digging six feet down, jumping in and rolling over just to prove a point.
To what are we referring? Oklahoma 66, Texas Tech 59 in a game that spanned just four quarters. Didn’t even go into a single overtime let alone multiple ones to at least buttress the video game-like numbers. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so screen snaps of the offensive carnage are just visually staggering in their breadth and scope:
Where to start?
Well, the teams collectively broke the NCAA record for combined offensive yards in a single game, with their 1,708 yards — exactly 854 for each, incidentally — easily surpassing the 1,640 of San Jose State and Nevada in 2001. The combined 1,279 yards passing also broke the record of 1,261 yards set during the 2014 Washington State-Cal game.
That Pac-12 game also produced the individual passing record, with Wazzu’s Connor Halliday throwing for 734 yards; Tech’s Patrick Mahomes matched that record in this wild affair. Mahomes’ 88 pass attempts were just one off the record of 89 set by Halliday in 2013.
Add in 85 yards rushing, and Mahomes became the first player in FBS history to account for more than 800 yards of offense in a single game. The previous record was Halliday’s 751 two years ago.
On the OU side, quarterback Baker Mayfield, who transferred from Lubbock to Norman, set a Sooners record with his seven touchdown passes. The 1,383 combined yards for Mayfield and Mahomes is an FBS record as well.
Additionally, running back Joe Mixon, with 262 yards rushing and 114 receiving, became just the third FBS player in at least 15 years to go for 250-plus in the former category and 100-plus in the latter. Dede Westbrook also caught nine passes for 202 yards, making Oklahoma the fifth team in FBS history and first since Oklahoma State in 2008 to have a 300-yard-passer, 200-yard rusher and 200-yard receiver in the same game.
The Sooners also became the first FBS team with a 500-yard-passer, 200-yard rusher and 200-yard receiver in a single game.
I’m quite certain that there are myriad school and conference and national records that I missed, but, yeah, you get what was a very offensive point. And, for that, there’s just no defense.