The “Surfaris” had a catchy, top-10 tune in the 1960s that was all the rage.
It was called “Saturday.”
I mean, it was called “Wipe Out,” but it sounded just like Saturday.
The song was instrumental but hey, so was USC's big win at Washington.
The ink had barely dried on last week’s printing of the College Football Playoff ranking, a perfect piece of collective craftsmanship that had all the major undefeated teams meticulously listed, one through four.
Now the committee has to wipe its big board clean and basically rethink this year’s Alabama Invitational.
If you went just by the only unbeaten teams left, this year’s championship game would be Alabama vs. Western Michigan. Except, we know that’s not going to happen because the title is played Monday night and, last time we checked, Western Michigan only plays on Tuesdays.
We are presently in a mid-November fine mess because five of the top 10 teams in the CFP ranking lost. That included No. 2 Clemson, No.3 Michigan, No. 4 Washington, No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Auburn.
It was the first time 2, 3 and 4 took a header on the same regular-season Saturday since Oct. 19, 1985.
Alabama, a 51-3 home winner over Mississippi State, must be staring down from Mt. Tuscaloosa and laughing at the carnage in the valley below.
Let’s dissect this in order:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
--No.2 (but not for long) Clemson, which has dodged defeat several times this year (Troy, North Carolina State), couldn’t get out of the way this time. The Tigers lost at home, to unranked Pittsburgh, which prevailed on a 48-yard field by a kicker named Blewitt (Chris). He did not Blow It. It was Clemson’s first home loss to an unranked opponent since Georgia Tech in 2008.
The key to victory, to my mind, was Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi kissing Blewitt on the forehead after he had a long attempt blocked just before the half.
It was as touching a father-and-son type moment since Ward Clever didn’t go too hard on the Beaver after he climbed into a giant tea cup on that road side advertisement sign.
--No.3 (but not for long) Michigan. The Wolverines, who have yawned through a series of blowouts since a 14-7 win over Wisconsin, got severely tested at Iowa in the form of a 14-13 loss in Iowa City.
Iowa seemed extra motivated after last week’s 41-14 loss at Penn State.
“Last week we just got kicked in the teeth, it’s not much fun,” Hawkeyes’ Coach Kirk Ferentz told ABC television after Saturday’s win. Iowa also lost to North Dakota State this year, too, but Ferentz didn’t mention that.
--No. 4 (but not for long) Washington must be asking, “Great, so NOW the USC Trojans are good?” Coach Chris Petersen’s previously unharmed Huskies ran into a program changing before our eyes under new leadership.
Coach Clay Helton? No, freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, who played like a fifth-year senior in USC’s 26-13 upset win in Seattle. USC’s defense was also terrific against Washington, looking almost Alabama-like in the suffocation of what was once considered a potent offense.
The Trojans have won six straight since Helton finally started Darnold after a 1-3 start left fans howling for something different at two positions: head coach and quarterback.
Not only has Darnold blown past UCLA rival Josh Rosen as the best quarterback in town, Darnold could win the Heisman Trophy in 2017. Chew on that.
--No. 8 (but not for long) Texas A&M. The Aggies have now lost two straight games after being improperly anointed to No. 4 in the first CFP ranking. The tattered TAMUs followed last week’s embarrassing loss at mop-up Mississippi State with a home loss, 29-28, to 4-5 Mississippi. Ole Miss limped into College Station in disarray, forced to burn Shea Patterson’s red shirt after a season-ending injury to quarterback Chad Kelly.
Patterson ended up the hero, looking a lot like Johnny Manziel on the field where Johnny Football ran crazy for Texas A&M.
--No. 9 (but not for long) Auburn. The 13-7 loss at Georgia was a real shocker for a two-loss team that controlled its destiny to the college football playoff. Consider this: Nicholls State played the Dawgs tougher in Athens than Auburn did, losing by only two.
So, what does this all mean?
Despite Michigan’s first loss, Saturday was huge for the Big Ten, which should maintain its four-team stranglehold in the top 10. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State, ranked 5, 7 and 10, all won.
Incredibly, Penn State, despite two losses, could now win the Big Ten East if Ohio State beats Michigan on Nov. 26. The Nittany Lions lost to Michigan by 39 points, but own a huge tiebreaker win over Ohio State.
Saturday’s action also further distanced Alabama from the rest of its fellow SEC members. The Crimson Tide clinched the SEC West on Saturday and are clearly the best team in the nation. That said, Alabama will need binoculars to find another SEC school behind it in the rankings.
The Pac 12, despite Washington’s first loss, comes out of the weekend with renewed vigor on the continuing rise of USC, Utah, Colorado, Washington State and Stanford. The league will likely emerge with five schools ranked in the top 20 and perhaps six in the top 25, if the selection committee recognizes Stanford as still playing football. The Cardinal are suddenly 7-3 after a wipe out win at Oregon and, oh yeah, own a win over USC.
Because of other losses around the country, Washington may still control its playoff destiny if it can rebound to win the Pac 12 championship. But it might not want to face USC in a rematch.
No. 6 Louisville, out of the ACC, is another winner even though the Cardinals needed a wake-up call against Wake Forest. Bobby Petrino’s team trailed 12-10, entering the fourth quarter before finishing on a 34-0 blitz.
That’s all from Nuthouse Central.
This is Wrong way Rankman, signing off…[/membership]