After an epic weekend of college football, here are my Week 11 Midweek Musings:
I know this game has been covered extensively, so I won’t say too much about it. But a pregame speech from Coach O could get all 135 pounds of me ready to take on an SEC defensive line. And how great is Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Also, Joe Burrow for Heisman.
It was a good weekend for the conference. The Minnesota-Penn State game received a lot of hype, and lived up to it. Minnesota’s rise from #17 to #8 is the biggest one-week jump into the Top Ten in the CFP era. (Self-promotion coming up: you can read my article about how the Gophers got to this point here).
Elsewhere in the conference, Wisconsin edged Iowa in another match-up of ranked teams. The Badgers dropped one spot to #14; the Hawkeyes fell from #18 to #20. Illinois is now bowl-eligible, and Indiana is ranked (AP and Coaches’ only) for the first time since September 1994.
On the other hand, what is going on at Michigan State? Dan Wetzel from Yahoo Sports has some thoughts on it ahead of their match-up with #14 Michigan. I thought their 7-5 record last year was a one-year blip. Sparty is currently 4-5. With Rutgers and Maryland still on the schedule, six wins and a bowl berth seem likely. More importantly, basketball has started. (This is not a shot at Michigan State. This is coming from someone who lives 45 minutes from UConn).
The Sooners managed to beat Iowa State, despite giving up 477 yards. However, they lost two players to injury. Running back Trey Sermon and defensive tackle Kenneth Mann will both miss the rest of the season. Sermon has been sharing carries with Kennedy Brooks, but has over 2,000 yards in his career. The timing is certainly less than stellar- Oklahoma faces unbeaten #13 Baylor this week.
#16 Notre Dame
On the topic of injuries, the Irish got hit hard this week too. Senior defensive end Julian Okwara broke his fibula, will need surgery, and is done for the year. Remember, defensive end Daelin Hayes is also injured and out for the year. The Notre Dame pass rush is something to keep an eye on.
Well, if Florida State can do it… the Razorbacks fired coach Chad Morris after 22 games. Arkansas won just four of those 22 games, and got thumped 45-19 on Saturday by Western Kentucky.
Just a month after their upset of #3 Georgia, the Gamecocks lost to- look away, Michigan fans- Appalachian State. The Mountaineers have an odd record themselves: eight wins, including over two Power Five teams, and a loss to Georgia Southern. App State is currently #25 in the CFP poll and #24 in the Coaches’.
It’s an early Christmas miracle- the Vols are .500! That didn’t look good for awhile. With a bye week, followed by Missouri and then Vanderbilt, they could very well be bowl-eligible by the end of the regular season. For more on this game, check out Kevin McGuffey’s article.
Highlight of the Week
I think Marcus Spears enjoyed the game this weekend. I love this guy (now that he’s no longer a Dallas Cowboy).
Those are my Week 11 Midweek Musings! Argue amongst yourselves about the playoff rankings, and if you’re affected by this deep freeze, stay warm!