Things We Learned In College- Rivalry Week Edition

The only thing I hate about Rivalry Week is that, with multiple good games in each time slot, it’s impossible to watch them all. I did my best, but I expect my remote control to need new batteries today. Anyway, here are my thoughts:

– LSU dominated Texas A&M in most aspects of the game. The score (23-17) makes it look like a closer game than it was.

Things We Learned in CollegeTigers’ running back Leonard Fournette was the number one or two recruit in the country in 2014, depending on whose ranking you’re looking at, and it’s really starting to show. He’s come into his own in the last few games. This kid is going to be a beast.

– Bad Kicking Disease continues to spread throughout the SEC. Florida kicker Austin Hardin missed two field goals yesterday, and LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye was benched in favor of kickoff specialist Trent Domingue after missing from 22 yards against A&M. On the bright side, Alabama didn’t miss anymore field goals yesterday. Of course, that’s because they didn’t attempt any.

– By throttling Texas, TCU is doing everything in their power to make it hard for the committee to keep them out of the playoffs.

– Marshall lost to Western Kentucky 67-66? Bye-bye, top 25.

– So for the second year in a row, Missouri takes the SEC East. Remind me again how that transition to the SEC was supposed to be difficult? I know the East is by far the weaker of the two divisions at the moment, but what Mizzou has done is still impressive.

– Michigan fans everywhere had to be gritting their teeth as Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats beat Arizona State to claim the Pac-12 South title.

– Speaking of Michigan, The Game was much closer through three quarters than I had expected. How bad has it gotten when you’re impressed that Michigan isn’t being blown out at halftime?

-Best of luck to Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who broke his ankle in the third quarter and is reportedly having surgery today. Needless to say, he’s done for the year. Cardale Jones, he of the infamous “We ain’t come to play SCHOOL” tweets awhile back, will be under center for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship next week and for whatever games they play after that.

– Stanford lighting up UCLA was not a result I was expecting. That’s a nice way for the Cardinal to end a rough year.

– For the first time in five years, Clemson gets the victory over South Carolina. Not a close one, either. After a 6-6 season, a lot of coaches not named Steve Spurrier would be hearing calls for their heads about now. (Which would be stupid; any coach can have one bad season. But if the Gamecocks are under seven wins next year, watch out).

– Georgia Tech pulled a stunning upset in OT against Georgia, after making a last-second field goal to tie the game in regulation. (Apparently, Bad Kicking Disease hasn’t spread to the ACC yet).

– Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas was a state track champion in high school, and it shows. He’s probably the fastest quarterback I’ve ever seen.

– After a mini-melee on the field during warmups, Louisville outlasted Kentucky 44-40. This is why rivalry games are great- on paper, Louisville should have smoked the Wildcats (who, after years of irrelevance, are starting to improve). But UK brought their A-game against their in-state rival, and made it far more entertaining than a blowout.

– NC State breezed past North Carolina 35-7. (I must not make a joke about UNC academics… I must not make a joke about UNC academics…) Take heart, Tar Heel fans, basketball season is upon us.

– I don’t think my 91-year-old Notre Dame fan grandfather will be blaming the kicker this week. You think of all the great quarterbacks Notre Dame has faced in their long history, and the first one to throw six touchdowns against them is… Cody Kessler? Not to say that Kessler isn’t good, or that he won’t have an NFL career; I honestly haven’t seen enough of him to say one way or the other. It just seems like over the years, someone would have done it before now.

– Congratulations to Ole Miss for getting the upset in the Egg Bowl. I definitely did not see that coming. Your move, committee.

– How has Florida State not gotten burned for their sloppy first halves all season? FOUR interceptions from Winston, three of them in the first quarter?  It’s maddening. They’re incredibly lucky that Florida is the latest victim of Bad Kicking Disease.

– Baylor eked out a win despite an admirable rally by Texas Tech late. The situation to keep an eye on, however, is Bears quarterback Bryce Petty’s health. Petty suffered a concussion in the third quarter, and while he told reporters he expects to play next week, that shouldn’t be up to him.

– I’m not sure what was going on with the Bears’ defense yesterday. Who allows a 4-8 team to throw for 609 yards, 598 of them by a freshman and the other 11 by the punter?

– To their credit, Baylor did limit their penalties yesterday- eight, for 80 yards. Still too many, but better than last week.

– So the Big Ten Championship will be Ohio State and Wisconsin. It was a good run, Minnesota. Paul Bunyon’s axe will be back in Minneapolis soon. And congratulations to Gopher running back David Cobb, who broke Laurence Maroney’s single-season rushing record with 1,548.

– Finally, the Iron Bowl. I’m just glad it’s over, because if I had to see the Kick-Six one more time I was going to scream. I don’t know how Alabama fans tolerated it. This year’s game didn’t go down to the wire so much as the fourth quarter, when the Tide scored at 14:33, 8:05, and 3:46. Auburn managed a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 20 seconds left, but obviously it was too little, too late. Alabama will face 10-2 Missouri for the SEC title.


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