BYU’s Cody Hoffman (2) celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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.
It’s been a strange season for LSU and Leonard Fournette but the two reunited in a big way on Saturday night to run right over Ole Miss in a 38-21 win that put the rest of the SEC back on notice about the team from Baton Rouge.
Fournette needed just eight carries to set a new LSU school record for rushing yards in a game and finished the night with a whopping 284 yards on just 16 carries. The one-time Heisman Trophy front-runner scored three times as well and each one was a highlight in itself: from 59 yards out, another from 76 yards and a final one from 78 yards to embarrass the Ole Miss defense.
Backup Derrius Guice saw his string of 100 yard games come to an end after filling in nicely for Fournette but he did rush for 57 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Danny Etling didn’t have to do much as a result of that attack, throwing for 204 yards, a score and an interception.
Ole Miss was a controversial selection in the top 25 this week at 3-3 entering the game and failed to live up to the hype by dropping their second in a row. Chad Kelly was rattled on just about every throw, finishing with only 209 yards and a touchdown while throwing two picks and getting sacked twice. He didn’t get much help from the Rebels defense either, which was flattened by Fournette and gave up 515 total yards.
The win was LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron’s third in a row and gives the team plenty of momentum heading into their bye week. A home night game against No. 1 Alabama awaits after that and it’s not a stretch to say that the school would make him the permanent head coach if the win streak stretches to four.
There’s a long time between now and then however, but at least on Saturday night LSU looked a lot like the team that was ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls and had a Heisman Trophy candidate in the backfield.