Category: Central Michigan Chippewas

Tom Herman
Associated Press

34 assistants in running for Broyles Award honor


If your school is in the market for a head coach, and they’re going to go the assistant coach route, there’s a fairly decent chance that the new sideline boss appears somewhere on this recently-released list.

Wednesday afternoon, the Rotary Club of Little Rock announced the 34 nominees for the 2015 Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding assistant coach.  Two former winners made the cut this year — Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (2009) and North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik (2004, while at Auburn).

Of the 34 finalists, 19 come from Power Five conferences.  The AAC, ACC and SEC lead all leagues with five nominees each, while the Big Ten has four.  The MAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt claimed three nominees apiece, with the Big 12’s two is tied with the Mountain West for fewest among all conferences.

There are 16 defensive coordinators on the list and 13 offensive coordinators, along with one special teams coordinator (Utah State’s Dave Ungerer).  Only four non-coordinators made the cut: Georgia Southern running backs coach Dell McGee, Mississippi State quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, North Carolina State defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen, USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin.

Last year’s winner was Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, now the head coach at Houston.  Five finalists for this year’s award will be announced Nov. 30, with the winner being revealed Dec. 8.

• Alabama – Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
• Arkansas – Dan Enos, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Arkansas State – Joe Cauthen, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Baylor – Kendal Briles, Offensive Coordinator
• Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Bowling Green State – Sean Lewis, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Central Michigan – Greg Colby, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
• Colorado State – Will Friend, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Florida – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
• Florida State – Charles Kelly, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Georgia Southern – Dell McGee, Running Backs
• Georgia State – Jesse Minter, Defensive Coordinator
• Houston – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
• Indiana – Greg Frey, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Iowa – Greg Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
• Louisiana Tech – Tony Petersen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Marshall – Chuck Heater, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Memphis – Brad Cornelsen, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Michigan – Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Mississippi State – Brian Johnson, Quarterbacks
• Navy – Dale Pehrson, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
• NC State – Ryan Nielsen, Defensive Line
• North Carolina – Gene Chizik, Defensive Coordinator
• Ole Miss – Dan Werner, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• South Florida – Danny Hope, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Run Game
• Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
• Toledo – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator
• UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
• USC – Tee Martin, WR/Pass Game Coordinator
• Utah State – Dave Ungerer, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
• Washington State University – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
• Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator

The Fifth Quarter: Week 12 Rewind

<> at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

Thanks to losses by a pair of previously-unbeaten OSUs — Ohio State and Oklahoma State — it appears the potential playoff field has been whittled down to seven, possibly eight.

It’s a near-certainty that, if Clemson and Alabama win out, they will be the top two seeds; on that, you won’t get much if any argument from anyone. Notre Dame, with Stanford remaining, could nearly lock up a spot with a win in Week 13, although the lack of a conference title game, as the Big 12 can attest, could prove to complicate the Irish’s standing at least on some level.  Again, though, their résumé appears strong enough in the committee’s eyes that the lack of a championship game will be of little or no import.

Thus, there’s a very real possibility that four, possibly five, teams will be fighting for one seat at the table the next two weeks: Iowa, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Baylor.  Florida would be only a possible at the moment, thanks in large part to the embarrassing win over Florida Atlantic in The Swamp.

So, with that as a quick backdrop, how did the eight teams mentioned above help themselves or not this weekend?  Let’s take a look.

Michigan State v Ohio StateSTOCK UP
No. 9 Michigan State — You beat the No. 3 team in the country, on the road, you can bet you’ll see yourself rise in the rankings when they are released Tuesday.
No. 10 Baylor — The Bears went into Stillwater and hung a double-digit loss on an undefeated and sixth-ranked team, and did so using their Nos. 2 and 3 quarterbacks.  Again, the committee will look favorably upon a visiting team taking it to a higher-ranked opponent.

No. 8 Florida — Allowing a two-win Conference USA team take you to overtime at home?  Embarrassing.  Then again, beat up on No. 14 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama and all will likely be forgotten.

No. 1 Clemson — A methodical 20-point win over three-win Wake Forest will do nothing to hurt or help the Tigers in the eyes of the committee.
No. 2 Alabama — They played an FCS team in a glorified scrimmage; do the math.
No. 4 Notre Dame — Almost everyone looks ugly playing Boston College, and the Domers were no exception.  The committee really likes the Irish, though, so no harm no foul (probably) in a three-point win at Fenway Park.
No. 5 Iowa — Jumped out to a 20-0 lead on two-win Purdue, then watched the Boilermakers cut the deficit to 20-13 in the third quarter.  A 20-7 run closed the game out, and left the unbeaten Hawkeyes in neutral.
No. 7 Oklahoma — OU looked like they were going to be in the “Up” category until the starting quarterback was knocked out and they ended up a missed two-point conversion away from their second loss of the season.

Boston College v Notre DameSo, when looking at how the committee will slot the Top Four this week, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that Clemson, Alabama and Notre Dame will occupy Nos. 1-3, in that order.  There’s no way Florida moves up four into that No. 4 spot, and Baylor’s win over Oklahoma State was its first quality win of the year.  That then leaves three teams this week — this week — for one spot: Iowa, Oklahoma and Michigan State.

In the end, I see the committee valuing Iowa’s road wins over two currently ranked teams, Northwestern and Wisconsin, slightly — very slightly — more than what either of the other two teams have done thus far.  The injury to Baker Mayfield helped TCU get back into the game Saturday, so that home win, even with last week’s road win over Baylor, might not help OU as much as it could’ve if the quarterback had stayed healthy.  Michigan State also has impressive road wins over currently ranked teams, OSU and Michigan, but they have that one loss, to 5-6 Nebraska, that will hold them back at least another week.

One final note: while significant, Ohio State’s loss wasn’t a fatal blow to the Buckeyes’ playoff chances.  Yes, the odds are long, but if OSU can get into the Big Ten championship game — they’d need to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor and have Michigan State lose to Penn State — and drop an unbeaten Iowa, OSU would be right back in the discussion.  Again, it’s a longshot, and they’ll need some help outside the conference in addition to taking care of their own business, but it’s just something to keep in mind as these last two weeks play out.

The other OSU, on the other hand, very likely saw their playoff chance disappear completely, even if they bounce back and drop their bitter rivals in Bedlam.  Why would the Midwest OSU still have shot, however, long it may be, while the Southwest OSU doesn’t?  One has a conference championship game it could play in, the other doesn’t.

North Carolina v Virginia TechCONFERENCE CHASE CLARITY
As was the case entering Week 11, there were just two Power Five divisions/conferences — ACC Atlantic, SEC East — that had already been decided entering Week 12.  North Carolina (ACC Coastal), Ohio State (Big Ten East), Iowa (Big Ten West), Stanford (Pac-12 North) and Alabama (SEC West) all came into this weekend with a chance to clinch their respective divisions by either winning or having another team lose — or both.

In the end, three teams managed to clinch in Week 12: UNC, with its overtime win over Virginia Tech; Iowa, with its win over Purdue; and Stanford, with its win over Cal in the Big Game.  Thus, there are still three divisions left to be decided with one weekend left in the regular season and one conference to be determined with their two weekends remaining, although that one could be decided next weekend as well.

So, below are the current clinching scenarios for all remaining divisions/conferences:

Michigan State’s win over Ohio State simplified this division: if MSU beats Penn State, the Spartans are in the Big Ten championship game.  If MSU loses, the winner of the OSU-Michigan game gets the early-December trip to Indianapolis.

BIG 12
The only certainty in this conference is that 6-2 TCU was eliminated with its loss to Oklahoma.  7-1 OU can win the league if it beats Oklahoma State in Bedlam.  6-1 Baylor can claim it if OU loses to OSU and it beats TCU and Texas (would own tiebreaker over 8-1 OSU).  7-1 OSU would be crowned champs if they beat OU and BU loses one of its last two.

Thanks to 5-3 Utah’s loss to 5-3 UCLA Saturday and their loss earlier this season to 5-3 USC, the winner of the USC-UCLA game will win the division and face Stanford in the conference championship game.

An Alabama win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl will clinch the division and a spot in the SEC championship game against Florida.  A ‘Bama loss coupled with an Ole Miss win in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State would send the Rebels to Atlanta to face the Gators — and knock the conference out of the playoffs in the process.

Below is a list of links for all of the Week 12 gamers/pertinent pieces posted by the CFT crew, placed in one handy and convenient space for you, our beloved and dear readers.

A snapshot look at how my ballot would look Sunday if I, ya know, had a real vote.

1. Clemson — After 12 weeks, one thing this season is clear: Clemson and Alabama have separated themselves from the pack as the two best teams in college football.  Clemson just needs to avoid tripping up against a really bad South Carolina team to set up a tougher-than-most-people-are-giving-it-credit-for ACC title game matchup with North Carolina a week later. (Last week: No. 1)
Next up: at South Carolina, Nov. 28

2. Alabama — Since the Sept. 19 loss to Ole Miss, ‘Bama has outscored the opposition by a combined score of 276-89 during their eight-game winning streak.  It’s safe to say that the Saban dynasty is far from dead; the exact opposite, actually. (Last week: No. 2)
Next up: at Auburn, Nov. 28

3. Oklahoma — OU had been just as impressive as ‘Bama following their only loss a month ago, but the head injury sustained by Baker Mayfield bears watching.  With Mayfield, the Sooners were closing the gap on the top two teams.  Without him, they barely survived injury-ravaged TCU, and could find themselves in a heap of trouble if they have to play Bedlam without him. (Last week: NR)
Next up: at No. 6 Oklahoma State, Nov. 28

4. Notre Dame — I won’t gig them for the uninspiring win over Boston College as nearly every team looks dingy coming out of its games with the rough and ragged Eagles. I won’t move them up either; whether the playoff committee does remains to be seen. (Last week: No. 4)
Next up: at No. 11 Stanford, Nov. 28

5. Iowa — I very nearly put Baylor here, and maybe I should’ve given how BU dominated previously-unbeaten Oklahoma State, but opted for one of the two remaining unbeatens.  The good thing for the Hawkeyes is what I think of them doesn’t matter; all they need to do is win their last two games and they will likely punch a ticket to one of the playoff semifinals. (Last week: NR)
Next up: at Nebraska, Nov. 27

(Dropped out: No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Oklahoma State)
(Others considered: Baylor, Michigan State)

2014 Heisman Trophy PresentationHEISMAN RACE, BY THE NUMBERS
A statistical look at how the top contenders for this year’s stiff-armed trophy fared this past week.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (9-2, No. 14)
Saturday: 15 carries for 106 yards (7.1 ypc), two touchdowns; one reception for five yards
Season: 185 carries for 1,475 yards (8.0 ypc), 16 touchdowns; 19 receptions for 207 yards, one touchdown

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (10-1, No. 2)
Saturday: nine carries for 68 yards (7.6 ypc), two touchdowns; one reception for 28 yards
Season: 249 carries for 1,526 yards (6.1 ypc), 21 touchdowns; 10 receptions for 97 yards

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (10-1, No. 7)
Saturday: 9-20 (45%), 127 yards, two touchdowns; 10 carries for 42 yards
Season: 226-329 (70.2%), 3,209 yards, 33 touchdowns, five interceptions; 120 carries for 343 yards (2.9 ypc), six touchdowns

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (9-2, No. 11)
Season: 231 carries for 1,354 yards (5.9 ypc), seven touchdowns; 33 receptions for 367 yards, two touchdowns; 23 kick returns for 665 yards; 11 punt returns for 32 yards; 1-2 passing (50%), 28 yards, one touchdown

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (11-0, No. 1)
Saturday: 24-35 (68.6%), 343 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions; 10 carries for 44 yards, one touchdown
Season: 241-344 (68.7%), 2,944 yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions; 118 carries for 642 yards (5.4 ypc), six touchdowns

(Dropped out: Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, LSU running back Leonard Fournette)
(Added: none)

JT’s Personal Top Fivesman
1. Henry — The worst statistical output of the season did nothing to hurt Henry’s Heisman stock as he played relatively little in the scrimmage against an FCS team.  In fact, he might have seen his stranglehold on the front-runner status grow stronger as a pair of challengers seemingly fell by the wayside this weekend. (Last week: No. 1)
2. Cook — Cook was in much the same boat as Henry, with FSU playing an FCS team as well.  The sophomore’s biggest issue is that his Seminoles aren’t a part of the playoff chase, and his profile has been somewhat pushed to the side to make room for the quarterbacks whose teams are.  That’s a shame, because Cook should be recognized for the kind of season he’s having.  (Last week: No. 2)
3. Watson — The sophomore just keeps plugging along, putting up numbers rather quietly for someone who is the quarterback of the No. 1 team in the nation.  Might need, or even probably needs, a signature performance in the ACC championship game to truly challenge Henry for the Trophy. (Last week: No. 3)
4. McCaffrey — Just give the man his ticket to New York City already.  And give the man his due, sleepy East Coast voters.  Oh, and give him the Hornung Award while you’re at it. (Last week: NR)
5. Mayfield — This candidacy could be hurt by the fact that Oklahoma will be sitting at home the first weekend in December while the four players above him, will be playing in conference championship games.  Mayfield needs a very impressive performance in Bedlam next weekend — if the head injury allows him to take the field, of course — to leave an impression with voters that’ll linger longer than a couple of days. (Last week: NR)

It appears that Philadelphia Eagles fans aren’t the only idiot football fans when snow is within reach.  With a winter storm whipping through the Midwest, Madison was hit with a significant amount of snow ahead of Wisconsin’s game against Northwestern.  Speaking of hit, some of those in attendance decided it would be cute and/or cool to pelt their own cheerleaders with snowballs, forcing them to take shelter in a tunnel.

As if that weren’t enough, the fans decided to show their disgust with a controversial ending by doing the same thing to the officiating crew.

Well done, Wisky Nation.  Well done.  You should all be proud.

Jim Harbaugh is, to be kind, animated on sidelines most Saturdays.  Week 12 was no exception as the Michigan head coach took exception to a pass interference call that went against his Wolverines and decided to initiate a sideline striptease.

That would be the last of the clothes shedding for Harbaugh as the Wolverines held on to beat the Nittany Lions.

There are a few things you never, ever do on a football field, one of which is put your hands on an official.  In Virginia Tech’s loss to North Carolina, Dadi Nicolas not only crossed that line, but shattered it on the way by.

Here’s to guessing the fifth-year senior will be receiving, at bare minimum, a stern call from the ACC at some point in the not-too-distant future.

This is Miami’s crowd about 20 minutes prior to its Senior Day kickoff against Georgia Tech at Sun Life Stadium…

… and this is the crowd shortly before halftime:

The Hurricanes desperately need a coaching hire that excites the fan base as that’s an embarrassment for a Power Five program with the pedigree The U possesses.

Halftime score: West Virginia 42, Kansas 0
Halftime yards: WVU 402, KU 59
Halftime rushing: WVU 295, KU minus-one

In the end, the Jayhawks stiffened in the second half in dropping a 49-0 heartbreaker to the Mountaineers in Lawrence, the program’s nation’s worst 14th straight loss.  KU hasn’t won a game in 379 days (Nov. 8 vs. Iowa State); hasn’t won a game away from Lawrence since 2009 (UTEP); hasn’t won a Big 12 road game since 2007 (Oklahoma State); hasn’t beaten a non-conference Power Five team on the road since 2009 (Duke); and hasn’t beaten a non-conference Power Five team, period, since September of 2010 (Georgia Tech).

In other words, Kansas football remains your prototypical…

Dumpster fire

If you haven’t heard of Mississippi State’s Fred Ross, you have now as the Bulldog wide receiver made one of the best catches of the season against Arkansas.  Oh, and the run after catch wasn’t bad either.

Saturday marked Frank Beamer‘s final game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.  While Virginia Tech was unable to come away with a win over North Carolina for the retiring head coach, the fans in attendance couldn’t help but thank the man for what so far has been a 278-win career.

Tech will need to beat in-state rival Virginia next Saturday to reach six wins and send Beamer out with a bowl thank you.

Dammit if I don’t still miss “Parks and Recreation.”

“They just out-coached us.  They outclassed us.” — interim head coach Shawn Elliott, following South Carolina’s embarrassing loss to FCS Citadel.

“That analogy doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t like comparing humans to chickens or any other kind of animal.” — Jim Harbaugh, when asked why his Michigan team never laid an egg.

“We can’t seem to get out of our own way. … We don’t value the ball very much. … It’s like a broken record — same old, same old.” — Paul Johnson, after watching his Georgia Tech team lose the turnover battle 4-0 and the game to Miami in falling to 3-8 on the season.

“I call a lot of plays anyways. So fingers will be pointed right here. And I have to do better. We didn’t — very conservative.” — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, on the play-calling in the loss to Michigan State that was publicly eviscerated by one of his own players.

“I honestly do not. I’m definitely in danger of feeling badly. I feel that right now.” — LSU’s Les Miles, when asked if he feels he’s in danger of losing his job following a third straight loss.

Meads Cup Final - North Otago v WanganuiSTREAKING
Thanks to Ohio State’s 23-game winning streak crashing into a heap,  Clemson’s 14-game streak is now tops in the country. Iowa (11) and North Carolina (10) are the only others in double digits as, in addition to OSU, Oklahoma State’s 12-game streak ended while Houston saw its own 10-game winning streak come to an end this weekend as well.

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, the “proud” owner of the nation’s longest losing streak is Kansas at 14 straight, followed by UCF (12), Charlotte (nine), Eastern Michigan (nine), Louisiana-Monroe (nine), Hawaii (nine), Maryland (eight), Oregon State (eight) and Boston College (seven).

Entering Week 12, there were 62 teams that had secured bowl eligibility.  Exiting the weekend, there are now 71 teams eligible for the postseason with three weeks left in the regular season.  The newest additions this week total nine: Akron, Arizona State, Auburn, Central Michigan, Colorado State, Middle Tennessee State, UConn, Utah State and West Virginia.

There are still 18 teams that can become bowl-eligible with two weeks remaining: Buffalo, East Carolina, Georgia State, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Old Dominion, San Jose State, South Alabama, Texas, Tulsa, Virginia Tech and Washington

There are 40 bowl games this season — counting the two College Football Playoff semifinals — meaning 80 teams will need to reach the six-win threshold in order for teams with sub-.500 records to remain where they belong: at home during the postseason.

Wisconsin has averaged 33.9 passing attempts through its first 11 games this season, the highest average in program history. Only twice in the modern era (since 1946) have the Badgers averaged more than 30 passes per game: in 1983 (30.6) and 1995 (30.2). From 1996 to 2014, UW averaged 23.7 passing attempts per game.

The meeting between Notre Dame and Boston College was the first football game at Fenway Park since December 1, 1968, when — after five years of calling it home — the Boston Patriots played their last AFL game at the ballpark.  The last college football game played in the venerable park came in 1956, the final season BC used Fenway Park as its home stadium.  That game was played Dec. 1 against Holy Cross.

For the past five weeks, Oregon State has used a quarterback-center battery of brothers Nick Mitchell and Josh Mitchell. According to a recent survey of college football sports information departments, the Mitchells are the only brothers to snap to each other in recent memory. Minnesota has a brother combination at center and quarterback, but the duo has never played at the same time.

Ole Miss has scored 50-plus points in four games for the first time in school history; the Rebels had never done it three times in a season prior to this year. Additionally, for the first time in school history, Ole Miss has eclipsed 600 total yards three times in a season; the Rebels had never done it more than once in any of the 120 prior seasons.

Notre Dame is 5-1 this year against ACC teams. The Irish had never beaten five teams from the same league in the same season prior to 2015. On six occasions, the Irish have beat four Big Ten teams in one season, most recently in 1993.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin sports information department

Percentage of Possessions Leadin to a Score

Courtesy of the Clemson sports information department

Consecutive 10-Win Seasons

Courtesy of the UT-San Antonio sports information department

2015 First-Time Players

Courtesy of the Louisiana-Monroe sports information department

Players From the State of Texas

Courtesy of the Louisiana Tech sports information department, featuring the winningest father/son coaching combinations in Div. 1 entering Week 12

Winningest FatherSon Coaching Combos

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, who wears jersey No. 13, sustained a season-ending injury on Friday the 13th last week, just 13 yards shy of becoming the school’s all-time passing yards leader.

The top three defenses coming into Week 12 in points per possession came from the Big Ten: Wisconsin (.82 points per possession), Michigan (.87 ppp) and Ohio State (.89 ppp).

Saturday’s game against Wake Forest was the 1,200th in the history of the Clemson program, and the win over the Demon Deacons was the 700th for the Tigers.  It took Clemson 11 years, one day to go from 600 to 700 wins; the previous quickest 100 wins was 11 years, one month, five days in going from 400 to 500 wins from September of 1979 to October of 1990.

Mississippi State v ArkansasDID YOU KNOW THAT

… with five touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns in the wild win over Arkansas, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott became the fourth player in FBS history to throw for at least 60 touchdowns in a career and run for at least 40?  The other three in the 60/40 club are Florida’s Tim Tebow, Central Michigan’s Dan LeFevour and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick.

Brandon Allen‘s six touchdown passes in Arkansas’ loss Mississippi State tied a single-game SEC record?  Four others have accomplished that feat: Tennessee’s Erik Ainge, Kentucky’s Tim Couch (twice), Florida’s Doug Johnson and Florida’s Terry Dean.

… with one rushing touchdown in Navy’s win over Tulsa, quarterback Keenan Reynolds is one score away from tying and two from breaking Wisconsin running back Montee Ball‘s record of 83 total touchdowns?  In Week 11, Reynolds broke Ball’s record for career rushing touchdowns.  Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon has 81 career touchdowns, although he was kept out of the end zone in Week 12.

Rice v Florida Atlantic… with Rice running back Darik Dillard‘s third-quarter touchdown, he and his brother, former Rice wide receiver Jarett Dillard, surpassed the FBS record for most touchdowns by siblings, breaking the record of 81 previously held by Jacquizz (51) and James Rodgers (30) of Oregon State?  Jarett Dillard still hold the FBS record for most career receiving touchdowns with 60 from 2005-08.

… Washington running back Deontae Cooper was previously granted a seventh season of eligibility by the NCAA?  Cooper sustained knee injuries — ACL tears in each knee — in 2010, 2011 and 2012 that caused him to miss the entirety of all three of what would’ve been his true freshman, sophomore and junior years, leading the NCAA to take the extremely rare step of essentially resetting his eligibility clock, minus a redshirt, beginning with the 2013 season.  Cooper, relatively speaking, has been healthy each of the past three seasons, and will be eligible to play in 2016 as a former 2010 signee.

Connor Cook (Michigan State), Brad Kaaya (Miami), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) are the only FBS quarterbacks to have thrown for 2,400-plus yards this season with 10 or more touchdowns and four or fewer interceptions?

Florida Atlantic v FloridaJim McElwain is the first head coach in Florida history to win 10 games in his first season with the Gators? Urban Meyer (2005), Steve Spurrier (1990), Galen Hall (1985) and Ray Graves (1960) all won nine games in their first seasons in Gainesville.

Todd Graham became the first Arizona State head coach to reach bowl eligibility in each of his first four years with the Sun Devils?  This is also only the second time in program history ASU’s qualified for a bowl four straight seasons, with the first coming under Frank Kush from 1970-73.

… Baylor beat Oklahoma State in back-to-back games for the first time since 1939-1942?

… Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, USC, and Wisconsin are the only Power Five teams that have posted a winning record each of the past 11 seasons?

… Clemson is 8-0 in ACC play for the first time in the football program’s history?  The Tigers went 7-0 in 1983 and 6-0 in 1967, 1978, 1981 and 1982.

Purdue v Iowa… Iowa tied a school record for wins in a season with 11?  It’s been accomplished two other times, 2002 and 2009.  The Hawkeyes have their regular-season finale plus at least two postseason games to shatter the record and set a new standard.

… at 9-1, Navy is off to its best start since Roger Staubach‘s Heisman season in 1961?  The service academy has also won 14 of its last 16 contests, with the only losses coming to rival Notre Dame.

… Kansas State’s six-game losing streak entering Week 12 was the Wildcats’ longest since 1989?  K-State’s win over Iowa State ensured the streak didn’t reach seven in a row.

… Florida State and Ohio State are the only teams that have yet to allow an opponent to score 30 or more points this season?  The most FSU has allowed was 24 in an Oct. 10 win over Miami, with OSU allowing 28 in an Oct. 10 win over Maryland serving as its high-water mark.

… Colorado and Hawaii are the only two teams without a bye in 2015?  After next weekend, they will have played for 13 consecutive weeks.

C. Michigan HC John Bonamego proclaims himself cancer-free

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach John Bonamego of the Central Michigan Chippewas watches game action during the second half against the Syracuse Orange on September 19, 2015 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.  Syracuse Orange win 30-27 over Central Michigan.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

With the second-to-last full Saturday of the 2015 season kicking off, how about some good news before everybody starts whining about playoff worthiness?

In June of this year, Central Michigan announced that its head coach, John Bonamego, was fighting a treatable form of tonsil cancer. Two months later, Bonamego was back to full-time work prepping his Chips for the 2015 season.

Three months after that? Bonamego has kicked the c-word’s ass, as the 52-year-old coach took to Twitter to make the revelation to the college football world.

It’s been a very spectacular week for Bonamego both personally and professionally as, in addition to kicking cancer in the keister, CMU became bowl-eligible with a win over Kent State this past Wednesday.  In his initial campaign at CMU, Bonamego’s six wins are the most for a first-year Chips head coach since Butch Jones won eight in 2007, and exceeds the four won by Brian Kelly in his first season in 2004.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 4 Rewind

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 26:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes shouts instructions to his team in the second quarter against the Western Michigan Broncos at Ohio Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Western Michigan 38-12.   (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

Since the beginning of the season, Ohio State has seen its unanimous hold on the Associated Press No. 1 spot erode.  From a 105-point lead on No. 2 Alabama after Week 1 to a 100-point lead on the same team after Week 2, OSU then watched Big Ten East rival Michigan State jump into the No. 2 hole and just 85 points behind.  What’s more, the first-place voting bloc had been whittled down to 42 for OSU and seven for MSU, with the other 11 belonging to Ole Miss.

If voters are looking for a way to compare the two B1G teams and their No. 1 worthiness when it comes to this week’s poll — kind of like what some enjoyed doing last season when it came to Ohio State/TCU in relation to Minnesota, come to think of it — the scheduling gods have offered up a comparison.

It just so happens that MSU played Western Michigan in the opener, the same team OSU faced off against in Week 4.  OSU won their matchup with the MAC school 38-12, while MSU’s encounter was slightly closer at 37-24.  The Spartans, though, played on the road while the Buckeyes were at home.

Statistically, OSU rolled up 511 yards of total offense, MSU 452.  On the defensive side of the ledger, the Buckeyes allowed 338 to the Spartans’ 383.  WMU was able to muster just .8 yards per carry in the opener, while they were at 4.1 ypc against the defending national champs.  Conversely, MSU’s vaunted “No-Fly Zone” was shredded for 365 yards, while OSU limited the same passing attack to just 169 yards.

What does it mean?  Not much, other than both teams handled their business reasonably well against a team they should.  In the broader picture, though, it’s emblematic of just how wild and wide-open this 2015 college football season projects to be, that such a comparison could even be considered as part of the thought process.

The performance of Jerrod Heard last week was a much-needed shot in the arm for the Texas football program.  Apparently, though, it wasn’t enough for a still-suspicious fan base.

As if portending the impending doom, there were plenty of good seats still available shortly before the kickoff of the Oklahoma State-UT game at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.  In fact, it was downright Miami Hurricane-ish in its barren, desolate look.

Those fans who decided to stay away seemed prescient as there was a second consecutive week of utter, kick-you-in-the-tentacles heartbreak in store.  More specifically, it appears as if Steve Patterson‘s buyout clause included him getting custody of UT’s special teams.

Be that as it may, it’s one thing for a fan base to be pissed off; at least that emotion shows they still care.  When apathy sets in?  Right or wrong, that’s an absolute coach-killer.

And, judging by the butts not in seats, apathy is quickly enveloping a program that’s doing nothing but spiraling downward — despite the best intentions of a very good football coach whose rope is getting shorter and shorter by the minute.

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: through the first four weeks of the 2015 season, Leonard Fournette is the best player in college football.  There will be no discussion, there is no debate because any other answer is wrong.  That said, can the LSU running back win the Heisman, as everyone is seemingly already handing him?

Statistically, and thus far, there’s no reason why he can’t and every reason why he can.  Through three games, all of which have come against Power Five teams, Fournette is leading the country averaging 208.3 yards per game; next closest is Indiana’s Jordan Howard at just under 169 ypg.  Fournette has posted back-to-back 200-yard plus games, the first time in LSU history that’s been accomplished.

Hell, he had an 87-yard touchdown run called back against Syracuse yesterday because of an illegal formation penalty that had no impact on the play.

History, though, suggests Fournette’s Heisman march could be an uphill slog.

Essentially, the Heisman Trophy has become a quarterback award.  Just one time in the last 15 years — Mark Ingram in 2009 — has a running back wrested the stiff-armed trophy away from a quarterback.  As much as defenses stacking the line to slow him down moving forward, Fournette’s biggest obstacle in his race to the Heisman could very well be the signal-calling mentality of a significant segment of the voters.

Well, that and a player named Trevone Boykin.  Who’s a quarterback, it just so happens, and a very productive one on one of the top teams in the country.

on September 19, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland.RUNNING DOWN HISTORY
For those who haven’t been paying attention, a member of one of our nation’s service academies is quickly creeping up on making some FBS history.

With a pair of rushing touchdowns in a Week 4 win over UConn, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds now has 72 in his career.  That total ties him for third all-time with former Texas Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams.

It also pulls him to within one of tying Miami of Ohio’s Travis Prentice at 73 rushing touchdowns, and within six of surpassing Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (77) as the FBS’ all-time leader in rushing touchdowns.

Reynolds, a senior, has played in 39 games in his career, meaning the Midshipman has averaged 1.85 touchdowns per game.  However, he’s averaged nearly 3.5 touchdowns per game over his last 18 contests.  Regardless, and provided he remains healthy, Reynolds should set the all-time standard at some point in October… and then set the bar much higher in November as well as on into December/January.

With nine regular season games remaining as well as at least one postseason matchup — could be two if the Middies qualify for the AAC championship game — there’s a realistic chance that, when his career is all said and done, Reynolds breaks the century mark and sets the bar so high that it’s be nearly impossible to reach in this day and age of pass-happy offenses.  Then again, with the likes of Navy and Georgia Tech and others running the option for the foreseeable future, I guess you never say never.

Below is a list of links for all of the Week 4 gamers posted by the CFT crew, placed in one handy and convenient space for you, our beloved and dear readers.

A snapshot look at how my ballot would look Sunday if I, ya know, had a real vote.

1. Michigan State — For the second time this season, the Spartans somewhat struggled with a directional Michigan school. Still, not a single team in the country has, week-in, week-out played like the best team in the country, so I’m going to leave the Spartans right here at the top until forced to do otherwise. (Last week: No. 1)
Next up: vs. Purdue, Oct. 3

2. Ole Miss — As if right on cue with the intimation above with every top team struggling at some point this season, Ole Miss was tied late in the third, and at home no less, with a not-so-good Vanderbilt team that came in just 1-2.  The Rebels may have exposed their warts, but they’re merely the latest top team to do so. (Last week: No. 2)
Next up: at Florida, Oct. 3

3. TCU — They survived a huge scare, but the big thing is they survived.  The Horned Frogs are a wounded bunch, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but they have the kind of offense that can keep them deep in contention in the wide-open Big 12.  Whether that injury-ravaged defense could compete on the national stage is to be determined. (Last week: No. 3)
Next up: vs. Texas, Oct. 3

4. Ohio State — After a couple of shaky weeks, the Buckeyes showed glimpses of the team that rolled through the postseason to the national championship.  There are still many bugs to work out, but there are still multiple weeks before the Buckeyes’ first real on-paper test — unless 4-0 Indiana is more than the paper unbeaten they seem. (Last week: 4)
Next up: at Indiana, Oct. 3

5. UCLA — After considering Baylor, Georgia and LSU as well, I pulled the trigger on UCLA.  Why?  The win over Arizona on the road last night mainly, and the win over BYU still holds a little weight with me. This spot, though, will likely be a revolving door throughout the season.  As will the other spots, for that matter. (Last week: NR)
Next up: vs. Arizona State, Oct. 3

(Dropped out: No. 5 Oregon)

This Bowling Green player, who is a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, was ejected for targeting, and he’s lucky he’s not being brought up on charges. Or getting slapped around by some Falcons. Or both.

As an aside, those are the most god-awful helmets Purdue is wearing. Now, you kids, get the hell off my lawn…

It doesn’t happen often, the ever-elusive punter-posing-as-a-kicker hurdling another football player, but there was a sighting in the LSU-Syracuse game late in the first half — with a bonus fist-pump/punch thrown in for good measure.

It’s not just kickers/punters channeling their inner Edwin Moses, as evidenced — again — by Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott.

I am an unabashed fan of The Onion. I think Jim Harbaugh is one of the best things to happen to college football in years. When those two worlds collide? Pure Internet gold.

If you wanted one picture to encapsulate the futility that was the Kansas-Rutgers matchup, this is it.

And I can guarantee you that, given the rancid nature of this tilt, I wasn’t the only one that read that as “defecating” at first glance.

One of the more bizarre storylines of the offseason involved Sean “Puffy” “Diddy” “P-Diddy” Combs, a member of the UCLA coaching staff and a kettlebell. With ESPN‘s College GameDay traveling road show on-site for the UCLA-Arizona game Saturday night, the fans in attendance unsurprisingly called back to that infamous incident in hilarious fashion.

One of the most famous rants in history belonged to the father of UCLA head coach Jim Mora. With the Bruins on the road for GameDay, well, you just knew something like the following would be in the offing.

Jake Butt of Michigan is one of the most talented tight ends in the country, but he’s also self-aware enough to realize that some people have a little fun with his surname. As it turns out, so does his own family, who showed up en masse to the Big House Saturday with some rather unique and self-deprecating t-shirts.

Not that I would ever make fun of him to his face, or even in his general vicinity, but [chuckle] NBA Hall of Famer Karl Malone still has a flip phone.

Malone’s son, K.J. Malone, incidentally, is an offensive lineman for the LSU Tigers, and the former Louisiana Tech hoops star was in attendance at the Carrier Dome for the Game against Syracuse.  Where he was again caught on camera with his [/giggle] flip phone.

OK, it’s not exactly Odell Beckham-level difficult, but it was a nice catch for Michigan’s Amara Darboh, who celebrated his swearing-in as a US citizen earlier this week with this one-handed wonder.

“The significance of this day was as a team our football team won in a sloppy manner.” — LSU’s Les Miles, molding the English language in a way that only he can.

“I really wanted to kick his ass to be honest with you, and I know he’d appreciate that. You get a chance to play a Heisman Trophy candidate, you want to knock him backward. You want to get after him and you want him to no longer be in the Heisman race after you play him.” — Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer, on facing the force that is Leonard Fournette.

“I’m not sure we deserved to win.  If nothing else, maybe we sold some more popcorn.” — Jim McElwain, following Florida’s heart-stopping win over Tennessee, the Gators’ 11th straight over the Vols.

“I definitely felt more comfortable. We’re starting to get on the same page as not just receivers or offensive line or things like that. I think everyone felt way more comfortable today.” — Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, after passing for a career-high 288 yards in a win over Western Michigan.

“A lot of times when you’re in the position you’re in, you have done it to yourselves, and that’s what happened to us. We did it to ourselves.” — Charlie Strong, after watching his Texas not-so-special teams literally cost the 1-3 Longhorns two wins already this season.

Meads Cup Final - North Otago v WanganuiSTREAKING
Four wins to start the 2015 season have pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 17 straight, tied for the fifth-longest in school history (1915-17).  Up next are TCU (12), Memphis (11), Michigan State (eight), Navy (seven), North Carolina State (seven) and Clemson (six).

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, New Mexico State, on a bye in Week 4, still owns the nation’s longest losing streak at 13 straight.  With UNLV (nine in a row) and FAU (eight) both winning, the second-longest negative streak falls to Wyoming (seven), followed by UCF and UMass at five in a row, then North Texas and UT-San Antonio at four in a row. Kansas deserves its own special sentence as the Jayhawks are the not-so-proud owners of the longest losing streak amongst Power Five conference members at six straight.

… Duke football was really bad prior to the arrival of David Cutcliffe. Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech was Cutcliffe’s 92nd as Duke’s head coach, and he has guided the Blue Devils to a 43-49 overall record.  In the 92 games (2000-08) prior to Cutcliffe’s arrival, Duke managed an overall mark of 10-82.

Dating back to 1996, only Kansas State (113) has more combined defensive and special teams touchdowns than Virginia Tech (108).

Ole Miss’ current streak of 21 straight weeks in the national rankings is the Rebels’ longest since appearing in 69 straight from 1957-62.

Washington and Cal, who played each other Saturday, are the only two teams that have played in what is now the Pac-12 Conference in every season, all 100 of them, since the league was founded in 1916.

Central Michigan’s Ben McCord and Devon Spalding accomplished something against Syracuse that has never happened in program history. Both McCord and Spalding caught 10 passes versus the Orange, the first time CMU has had two players with at least 10 receptions in a single game. McCord is also the first CMU tight end to catch 10 passes in a game while Spalding is the first running back to have 10 receptions in a contest.

Georgia Tech has finished .500 or better in ACC play for 20 consecutive years. That’s the longest active streak by any team in any Power Five conference.

Courtesy of the Wyoming sports information department

True Freshmen Played in 2015

Top active head coaches in terms of winning percentage (minimum five years at the FBS level), courtesy of the Washington sports information department

Top Winning Percentage

Courtesy of the Nevada sports information department

Longest FBS Road Trips

All Pac-12 members posted two or more wins through the first three games this season, a feat that has been achieved just twice in the history of the conference — 1919 and 1921.

Minnesota, Navy and Northwestern are the only three schools in the country that have had the same offensive staff (all coaches) for the last five seasons.

Tennessee v FloridaDID YOU KNOW THAT…

… quarterback Josh Dobbs led Tennessee in passing (83) rushing (136) and receiving yards (58) in the heartbreaking loss to Florida?  That’s the first time that’s happened since James Kilian did it in 2003.

… Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson has thrown for 400 or more yards in all four games of the 2015 season?  In addition to the 402 he put up against Purdue in a Week 4 win (a little more on that below), Johnson threw for 491 against Maryland, 443 against Memphis and 424 against Tennessee as BGSU has gotten off to a 2-2 start despite three games against Power Five teams.

… Arizona’s Anu Solomon is the only FBS quarterback this season to have thrown 10 or more touchdown passes and no interceptions?  USC’s Cody Kessler had been in that club before throwing a pick in the Trojans’ rout of Arizona State.

Rice v BaylorSeth Russell threw more touchdown passes (six) than incompletions (four) in Baylor’s rout of Rice?  A full half of Russell’s 12 completions went for scores, with the six touchdown tosses setting a school record.

Kenneth Dixon‘s three rushing touchdowns in Louisiana Tech’s win over FIU gave him 11 games of three or more in his career, tying him with Wisconsin’s Montee Ball for the most such games in NCAA history?

… Arizona’s D.J. Foster became just the fourth player in FBS history to reach 2,000-plus rushing AND receiving yards, joining Stanford’s Darrin Nelson, Tulane’s Mewelde Moore and Texas Tech’s Taurean Henderson? The running back-turned-wide receiver has also caught a pass in 44 straight games; that ties the school record (John Jefferson) and is the longest current streak in the FBS.

… Storm Barrs-Woods in Week 4 became the second Oregon State Beaver in the program’s history to accumulate 2,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in his career?  The first was Jacquizz Rodgers from 2008-10.

Southern v Georgia… Nick Chubb has rushed for 100-plus yards in 12 straight games, one off the Georgia record of 13 straight held by the great Herschel Walker?

Lorenzo Nunez became the first true freshman quarterback to start for Steve Spurrier since Jesse Palmer did so for Florida at Auburn in 1997? The last true freshman to start at quarterback for South Carolina was Mikal Goodman during the 1999 season, and the last true freshman quarterback to win a game for the Gamecocks was Steve Taneyhill in 1992.

… Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant is the only FBS player who has thrown a touchdown pass, rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season?

… the offensive coordinators in Saturday’s Tennessee-Florida game — Mike DeBord (UT) and Doug Nussmeier (UF) — were each at Michigan during the 2014 season? Nussmeier was the Wolverines’ coordinator and quarterbacks coach while DeBord was a sport administrator.

… the last time Indiana started a season 4-0 was 1990?  IU is now 4-0 on the season thanks to Saturday’s win over Wake Forest.  It’s also the Hoosiers first four-game winning streak since 1993.

… Duke has started 3-1 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1986-88 and just the sixth time in program history? The other five came in 1920-21, 1932-41, 1949-53 and 1960-66.

… Baylor has started a season 3-0 for the fifth straight year, the first time that’s ever happened in the football program’s history?

Bowling Green v Purdue… with wins over Arkansas/Iowa State and Maryland/Purdue, Toledo and Bowling Green, respectively, joined Northern Illinois (Iowa and Purdue, 2013) as the only MAC schools to beat two Power Five teams in the same season?

… the 2015 season is the only time in at least the past 35 seasons Nebraska has lost a pair of games on the final play?

… the 56 points allowed by Virgina in its beatdown loss to Boise State Friday night was more than its men’s basketball counterparts gave up in 22 of 34 games last hoops season?

… North Carolina has allowed 14 points in each of the last three games? This is the first time the opponents have scored the same number of points in three consecutive games since 1950 when Maryland, South Carolina and Duke each scored seven points.

… the Big 12 and Big Ten were the only Power Five conferences to win at least one game each of the first three weeks of the season against another P5 league?

… the Mountain West’s .574 winning percentage in bowl games since 2004 is second only to the SEC’s .649 in that span?  The other Power Five winning percentages are .567 for the Pac-12, .506 for the Big 12, .435 for the ACC and .400 for the Big Ten.

… only Stanford, Western Kentucky and Wisconsin have produced three different 1,500-yard rushers since 2009?

… Memphis’ streak of six straight games scoring 40 or more points is not only the longest such streak, but it’s twice as long as the next-longest run?

… Tennessee has played the most overtime games (17) since it was instituted in 1996, and is tied with Missouri (16 OT games played) for most wins in extra sessions at 11 each?

… USC is the only FBS school never to have had surnames on the backs of its jerseys?

… instead of the Power Five moniker, Boise State goes with Resource Five in all of its press releases?  BSU is simply following the lead of its conference, with the Mountain West referring to the P5 as the autonomous 5 — no capitalization intentional.

… Nevada’s game against Buffalo marked that football program’s first-ever to be played in the Northeast?  And, no, I have no clue if the dearth of games in that area of the country makes them a viable candidate if/when the SEC decides to expand.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 3 Rewind

at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

In the week leading up to the Auburn-LSU game, at least one AU defender seemed to think “it shouldn’t be difficult” containing Leonard Fournette.  Yeah, that didn’t exactly work out as planned.  At all.

In the first half alone, Fournette, further embedding himself in the Heisman race, rushed for a career-high 169 yards.  His first carry of the game set the tone as he raced 71 yards for a touchdown on the opening play from scrimmage.  The super sophomore running back would finish the day with 228 yards (on 19 carries) and three touchdowns, but not before a display of speed and power that showed just how gifted an athlete he truly is.

If Fournette can continue at or near this level… if the Tigers can get just average play from the quarterback position… if the defense stays stout… if all three of those things happen, LSU will be a season-long challenger to Ole Miss (?) for SEC West supremacy.  Well, at least until a Nov.21 showdown in Oxford that could very well be for more than just the edge in the division.

While generally speaking the BYU-UCLA game was a late-night matchup of ranked teams, it was the young-gun specifics that dominated the run-up to the game.

Both teams are led by true freshman quarterbacks, the 10th-ranked Bruins with The Rosen One, Josh Rosen, and the 19th-ranked Cougars with The Miracle Maker, Tanner Mangum.  Based on multiple conversations with several different individuals, it’s believed this was the first game in FBS history involving ranked teams in which both started true freshmen under center.  For quite awhile, though, it appeared that the ongoing coming out party of Mangum was going to continue at the expense of the top quarterback in the Class of 2015.

Trailing 20-10 early in the fourth quarter and struggling mightily — three first-half interceptions — Rosen impressively got up off the mat, dusted himself off and tossed a touchdown pass and directed a lengthy drive that lead to another score, the latter of which came with 3:21 remaining to give the Bruins a 24-23 lead.  Mangum had a shot at his third straight game-winning drive to open the season, but was intercepted by Myles Jack to ice the game and keep the Bruins unbeaten on the season.

Statistically, Mangum won the head-to-head matchup, going 30-47 for 244 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Rosen went 11-23 for a paltry 106 yards, one touchdowns and the trio of aforementioned picks.  Here’s to guessing, though, that Rosen will take winning on the scoreboard over the stat sheet any day of the week and twice on Saturdays.

There may have been some doubt regarding the above, but there’s none on this one.

Last year at this time, Jim Harbaugh was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, while Tony Sanchez was the head coach at national powerhouse Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School.  Saturday, those two were on the opposite sidelines with Harbaugh as Michigan’s head coach and Sanchez UNLV’s.

Based on my research — and thanks to a subsequent confirmation from the crack sports information department in the Mountain West Conference — that’s the first time such a thing has ever happened in the history of college football, that an NFL head coach the year before had squared off against a head coach a year removed from high school.

Unfortunately for Sanchez and his Rebels, they were taken to school by the Wolverines in the Big House, dropping to 0-3 on the year courtesy of a 28-7 loss to UM.

If Baker Mayfield wasn’t in the Heisman discussion before, he is now.

In a Saturday afternoon blitzkrieg of Tulsa, the Oklahoma quarterback accounted for 572 yards of total offense in the Sooners’ 52-31 win over the Golden Hurricane.  Of that, 487 yards came through the air and 85 came on the ground.  Both of those totals are career-highs for the transfer quarterback from Texas Tech.

The total offense also set a school record, breaking the old mark of 554 yards set by Landry Jones.  For good measure, Mayfield added six touchdowns — four passing, two rushing.

It was fair to say that Al Golden was on the hottest seat in America entering the 2015 season.  Three games in, and not much has changed on that front.  In fact, after today’s events, his ass is en fuego.

With less than nine minutes remaining, Miami held a seemingly insurmountable 33-10 lead on Nebraska.  Less than 480 seconds later, the Cornhuskers had tied it up and sent it into overtime.  Forget the fact that the ‘Canes were able to win in that first extra session; the meltdown at the end of the game was hauntingly reminiscent of the late-game meltdowns last season that put Golden on the hot seat in the first place.

Yes, the Hurricanes are 3-0 for the second time in Golden’s tenure and the second time since 2004, but fan unrest might be at an all-time high.

Below is a list of links for all of the Week 2 gamers posted by the CFT crew, placed in one handy and convenient space for you, our beloved and dear readers.

A snapshot look at how my ballot would look Sunday if I, ya know, had a real vote.

1. Michigan State — Take the totality of their three-game résumé, especially the Week 2 win over Oregon, and MSU is the best team in the country and have earned the right to move into the top spot this week.  I doubt they do the same in the “real” polls, but it certainly wouldn’t shock me if they did. (Last week: No. 2)
Next up: vs. Central Michigan, Sept. 26

2. Ole Miss — You beat the No. 2 team in the country, on the road, after surviving a pair of comebacks and showing some serious stones in doing so, you go from the ranks of the unranked and right into the No. 2 hole. (Last week: unranked)
Next up: vs. Vanderbilt, Sept. 26

3. TCU — Minnesota’s struggles in a close call with Kent State takes some of the shine off TCU’s 3-0 start, as did Week 3’s close call with SMU, but there’s little doubt the Horned Frogs are one of the top three or four teams in the country.  With non-conference play in the books, TCU’s competition level will decidedly increase most of the next nine games. (Last week: No. 3)
Next up: at Texas Tech, Sept. 26

4. Ohio State — Defensively, OSU is playing like the defending national champs.  Offensively, they’re playing like the defending national chumps.  Until they get the quarterback situation untangled… and the offensive line squared away… and the play-calling in line, the Buckeyes aren’t even remotely deserving of the top spot in any poll. (Last week: 1)
Next up: vs. Western Michigan, Sept. 26

5. Oregon — Up until the loss to Stanford, I was ready to put USC in this spot.  Almost pulled the trigger on Georgia, then LSU, then Alabama even with the loss, but just couldn’t.  Even as they’ve already gone down in defeat, I just don’t believe there are five better teams in the country right now than the Ducks, especially as I happen to think their one loss came to the best team in football right now. (Last week: No. 5)
Next up: vs. Georgia State, Sept. 19

(Dropped out: No. 4 Alabama)


This Miami fan, apparently a card-carrying member of the plumber’s union, is indeed all in when it comes to his Hurricanes.

I guess you could say The U is back?

Ezekiel Elliott‘s as dangerous a man in college football with both feet on the ground.  With both feet in the air?  The Ohio State running back’s equally as dangerous.

Jeremy Johnson hasn’t exactly lit the college football world on fire as Auburn’s starting quarterback, and he was at his dumpster-fire best again against LSU Saturday — much to the dismay and/or chagrin of his head coach.

I couldn’t pick just one, so up first is Nevada’s Hasaan Henderson

… followed by Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge

There’s playing hard, and then there’s what Central Michigan defensive lineman Mitch Stanitzek did to Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey in the first half of the Orange’s overtime win.

Stanitzek was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game. Dungey left the game with what was described as an upper-body injury and did not return.

If you’re on Twitter and not following @celebrityhottub, you’re doing Twitter wrong.  Case in point?

It’s been five years since Urban Meyer coached in the SEC but he’s obviously not been forgotten, at least by a certain segment of the Alabama fan base.

As back-to-back SEC East champions, Missouri has yet to garner the national respect you’d think they would; Saturday, they offered a glimpse as to why.  Trailing 6-2 at halftime, Mizzou “bounced back” in the second half to outlast 14-point underdog UConn 9-6.  That said, it was a squalid performance for the Tigers, which this fan encapsulates in nail-on-the-head fashion.

Adding insult to the fan’s mental injury, Mizzou may have a quarterback controversy on its hand.  Starter Maty Mauk was benched and replaced by freshman Drew Lock, although the latter wasn’t much more effective than the former.

It doesn’t appear that Cardale Jones is very happy with what was, at least for the moment, a one-game demotion as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.  Or he’s having a little fun with his in-game move behind J.T. Barrett.  One of the two.

Shortly after Ohio State’s win over Northern Illinois, Jones changed his Twitter profile to the following:

Cardale Twitter Profile

A short time later, after that had gotten quite a bit of attention, Jones changed it to the following:

Cardale Twitter Profile II

“Good question. And I don’t know that right now. I haven’t had time to think about it.” — Urban Meyer, when asked if he knew who his starting quarterback is after both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett struggled in the closer-than-expected win over Northern Illinois.

“We’re going to evaluate everything after today. Every position. We got to get better. It ain’t just him, it’s all positions and that’s the way we’re going to operate.” — Gus Malzahn, when asked if Jeremy Johnson is still Auburn’s starting quarterback.

“He got ejected out of the game, so that answers that right there. I don’t know why he did that. I don’t condone that to any team, let alone to my team. I feel like it’s excessive and unnecessary, but it happened.” — Syracuse offensive lineman Omari Palmer, when asked if he thought the hit on his quarterback shown above was a cheap shot.

“Even you all can see that.” — Gary Pinkel, to the media when asked about Missouri’s offensive struggles in the win over UConn.

“Offensively, we’re a mess right now.” — A succinct Jerry Kill stated following Minnesota’s 10-7 win over Kent State in which the Gophers produced just 288 yards of offense.

Meads Cup Final - North Otago v WanganuiSTREAKING
Three wins to start the 2015 season have pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 15 straight.  Up next are TCU (11), Memphis (10), Michigan State (seven) and Navy (six).

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, New Mexico State owns the nation’s longest losing streak at 13 straight.  UNLV is next at nine in a row, followed by FAU (eight) and Wyoming (six). Kansas, on a bye this weekend, is the not-so-proud owner of the longest losing streak amongst Power Five conference members at five straight.

… this remains one of the greatest notes ever from a sports information department: On Dec. 5, 2010, TCU became the only team in college football history to receive an invitation to the Rose Bowl and implode its stadium on the same day.

Saturday marked the first time an unranked Stanford team met a ranked USC squad since 2008, and the first such matchup at the Coliseum since 2007. It was the 14th consecutive meeting in which at least one team has been ranked.

Georgia Tech’s 134 points in the first two games set an ACC record for most points scored through the first two games of a season. The previous mark was held by Florida State in 2012 (124).  The 134 points are also the most for Tech in back-to-back games since scoring 139 in 1921 wins over Davidson and Furman.

Minnesota is the only team scheduled to play both No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 TCU (L, 23-17 on Sept. 3) in the regular season (TCU ranking at time of game). The last time Minnesota played the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the same year was 1986. Minnesota lost 63-0 at No. 1 Oklahoma, but then won 20-17 at No. 2 Michigan.

Toledo’s Week 2 win over Arkansas marked the first MAC win against an opponent from the SEC since 2004 (Ohio 28-16 win at Kentucky on Oct. 2, 2004).

Winning on the road is always special for college football teams, but for Eastern Michigan the Week 2 48-29 victory at Wyoming was even sweeter. No player on EMU’s roster was even born the last time the squad returned to Ypsilanti with a non-conference road victory – a streak of 57 games. In 1988, the then-Hurons led by Jim Harkema posted a 17-12 non-league triumph at Football Championship Subdivision foe Youngstown State University, Sept. 10.  EMU, though, has never beaten a team that was an FBS member at the time in a regular season non-conference road game.

Courtesy of the Mountain West Conference sports information department

Road Win Precentage

Courtesy of the MWC sports information department

Consecutive Scoring Streaks

Courtesy of the Cincinnati sports information department

Best Records Since 2007

Courtesy of the Georgia Tech sports information department

Shutout Streaks

Courtesy of the Georgia Tech sports information department

All-Time Bowl Wins

Courtesy of the Alabama sports information department

GameDay Appearances

Georgia Tech (69, 65) and Ole Miss (76, 73) are only the fifth and sixth Power Five teams since World War II to score 65 or more points the first two games of the season. The others are Baylor (2013), Kansas State (1998), Ohio State (1996) and Florida (1994).  Baylor actually hit or exceeded that mark the first four weeks of 2013 season before being “held” to 35 in a 10-point road win over K-State.

Minnesota’s first two opponents this year (TCU and Colorado State) combined for a 22-4 record last season. That mark for wins is the most that any team faced in its first two games of the 2015 season. Only five other schools (Arkansas State, BYU, Michigan State, Oregon and Tulane) opened their season against two opponents who combined for 20 wins last year.

on September 19, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland.DID YOU KNOW THAT…

… with five rushing touchdowns today, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds now has 70 for his career, which is fourth on the FBS’ all-time list?  With 10 games plus a likely bowl to go in his career, Reynolds trails Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (77), Miami of Ohio’s Travis Prentice (73) and Texas’ Ricky Williams (72).

… Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson has thrown for more than 400 yards in all three games this year?  He totaled 424 in the opener against Tennessee, a career-high 491 in a win over Maryland and 443 in yesterday’s loss to Memphis.

… true freshman Jake Browning has thrown for 300-plus yards in back-to-back Washington wins, including a school-record 368 in Saturday’s win over Utah State?

Jeremy Johnson has as many interceptions this season through three games (six) as Nick Marshall had in Auburn’s 14-game run to the BCS title game in 2013?

Aaron Burbridge, Kalon Baker, Dexter Walker… the three touchdown receptions for Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge in the Week 3 win over Air Force matched his career total entering the 2015 season?  The wide receiver now has four touchdown catches on the year.

… Michigan’s Jake Rudock has thrown five interceptions in 91 attempts this season, the same number he had in 345 attempts all of last season as Iowa’s starting quarterback?

… Kansas State’s Joe Hubener made his first career start at quarterback at either the collegiate or varsity high school level last weekend in a win over UT-San Antonio?  Hubener’s last start came when he was playing junior varsity football.

… last season, North Carolina did not make a field goal longer than 30 yards? This season, kicker Nick Weiler has made all five attempts from 32, 38, 47 and 48 yards (twice) in the first three games.

… Stanford wide receiver Christian McCaffrey‘s parents were both student-athletes on The Farm?  Ed McCaffrey was a star wide receiver for the Cardinal who went on to star in the NFL, while Lisa McCaffrey played soccer for the Cardinal.

… with a win over Arkansas last week and one over Iowa State this week, Toledo has defeated two teams from one of the Power Five conferences in the same season for the first time in the program’s history?

… Tennessee had not scored a touchdown on both a kickoff and punt return in the same game since 1950 before doing it today against Western Carolina?

… Nebraska is the only FBS program to have at least two players selected in every NFL Draft of the Common Draft Era (since 1967)?  There has also been at least one former Cornhusker on a Super Bowl roster each of the last 22 years, the most of any team in the nation.

… LSU has played its first two games this season against SEC teams for the first time in school history?  The opener against McNeese State was cancelled due to weather, leaving LSU with games against SEC West rivals Mississippi State (Week 2) and Auburn (Week 3) to open the year.

… the MAC has now won a regular-season game against the Big Ten for 10 straight seasons — the longest streak in MAC history — and has 21 wins over 10 different Big Ten teams in that period?

… the 459 wins Georgia Tech has accumulated at Bobby Dodd Stadium makes it the winningest active venue in college football?

… a Minnesota quarterback has rushed for 150-plus yards eight times in the program’s history, and five of those games have happened since Jerry Kill took over in 2011?  MarQueis Gray was responsible for three of those, while Chris Streveler and current starter Mitch Leidner had the other two.

… the Mountain West Conference officially refers to the Power Five conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) as the autonomous 5 in its press releases?  And, yes, the “a” in autonomous is not capitalized in said releases and, yes, that’s just spectacular.

… Cincinnati-Miami (Ohio) is the second-oldest rivalry in the FBS, starting in 1888? The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry predates that series by one year (1887).

… San Diego State’s Rocky Long is the only head coach serving as his own defensive coordinator, and has done so for each of his five years heading the Aztecs?  On the flip side, there are five FBS head coaches who also serve as their own offensive coordinators.

… Ohio University is the only team in the FBS to have kept the same head coach (Frank Solich), offensive coordinator (Tim Albin) and defensive coordinator (Jimmy Burrow) for at least the last 10 seasons? In fact, Albin has been a part of a Solich-led staff for 15 seasons (11 at Ohio, four at Nebraska) and Burrow 13 (11 Ohio, two Nebraska).