Rankman's wrap: (final, final) "Bedlam" lasts until USC puts Arizona away at "bed time"

There was “Bedlam” and there was “bedlam.”


One carried a capital “B” as the title of an annual series between two Big 12 Conference schools. This year’s game was played in Stillwater, Ok. The offenses combined for 114 points while the defenses shared a community oxygen mask.

The small “b” bedlam was the rest of college football.

It was Ohio State, not just losing a football game, but losing one at Iowa by the score of 55-24.

Last week, the Buckeyes were euphoric and upwardly-mobile after an epic comeback win over Penn State. Last week’s win kept Ohio State’s national title hopes and legitimized quarterback J.T. Barrett’s case as a serious Heisman Trophy candidate. Buckeyes’ Coach Urban Meyer said Barrett played “damn near perfect.”

This week’s loss killed Ohio State’s national title hopes (probably) and ended (likely) Barrett’s trophy hopes. This week, he was not damn near perfect.

This was the Ohio State team talking FOX head Colin Cowherd maintained was going to “house” Alabama in this year’s national title game.

“Ohio State literally looks different than everybody else in the Big Ten,” Cowherd said before the Penn State game. “They’re just bigger up front. They’re longer. They’re faster. I’ll say it again, I picked Ohio State to win the national championship.”

If Cowherd says THAT again Monday I’ll really be surprised.

It was thought that Ohio State would have to run up scores the rest of the way to bolster its playoff case. Instead, it was Iowa, which scored 10 points against Northwestern a few weeks ago, that felt the need to keep the pressure on Ohio State.

"You'd better be playing with your foot on the gas," Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said, "because these guys can close the gap quickly."

It was the most points Iowa has scored since piling 62 on North Texas in 2015--we're sure Ohio State loves being a part of that sentence.

Small “b” bedlam was Penn State losing its second straight game in excruciating fashion, this week on a last-second field goal to Michigan State.

Small “b” bedlam was Northwestern, also out of the Big Ten, winning its third straight overtime game. This one came at Nebraska.


Small "b" was USC cruising against Arizona, 28-6, in the third quarter before finding itself tied, 35-all, before scoring two late touchdowns to seize control of the Pac 12 South race.

Small "b" was FSU (Fresno State) becoming six-win bowl eligible before FSU (Florida State) with a win over stunningly bad Brigham Young (2-8).

Small “b” bedlam, SEC style, was Mississippi defeating Kentucky in the final seconds and Arkansas needing a miracle to hold off 1-7 Coastal Carolina.

Small “b” was a Pac 12 game in Pullman that was moved from regular FOX Channel 11 to the FOX Business Channel because of the weather-delayed resumption of Penn State at Michigan State.

That’s right, Stanford at Washington State was pushed to Fox Business (channel 359 on my TV). The only thing missing was Lou Dobbs doing the play-by-play. But that wasn’t the half of it. The FOX show subbed out for Pac 12 ball was “Busted and Caught on Tape.” Almost on cue, after a score, a Washington State fan jumped from the stands, ran into the end zone and dropped his pants.

Busted—and caught on tape.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Small “b” bedlam was Florida Atlanta Coach Lane Kiffin taking an intentional safety at the end of Friday night's five-point win over Marshall.

FAU was favored by 6.5 six points, so the safety flipped a lot of betting slips in Las Vegas.

That was fine until Kiffin tweeted “Didn’t want to cover because of too much rat poison.”

Kiffin said it was a joke about Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s reference to media flattery being “rat poison” to a team’s competitive psyche.

That said, coaches should probably refrain from making “jokes” about a game decision, he made, to impact a Las Vegas betting line.

The NCAA was alerted and stated it was “aware of the tweet.”

Maybe Lane, like someone else we know, shouldn't tweet so much.

Between small "b" and big "B" there was business as usual.

The top four in this week's College Football Playoff ranking likely won't even change batting-lineup order: Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson. Georgia and Alabama, in fact, won by identical, 24-10, scores over equally middling SEC opponents South Carolina and Louisiana State.

Notre Dame, a home winner over Wake Forest, shouldn't budge from No. 3, while Clemson should cling to No. 4 after clinging to victory at North Carolina State.

The real churning was below the playoff line. Undefeated Miami took a positive step with an impressive home win over Virginia Tech. Undefeated Wisconsin stayed unscathed with a win at Indiana. One-loss TCU stayed in the mix by handling Texas at home. One-loss Washington, No. 12 in the first ranking, should creep closer to the top 10 after taking out arch-rival Oregon in Seattle.

Big “B” Bedlam?

Well, it didn’t disappoint one bit—unless you like tackling.

Oklahoma outlasted Oklahoma State, 62-52, in a game that was 38-38 at the half and only calmed down after both teams agreed to a truce to uphold the integrity of Walter Camp's original rules of football.

Oklahoma stayed in the national title hunt by allowing its opponent to 52 points and 661 yards in total offense. The good news was the Sooners countered with 62 points and 758 yards.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield emerged as this year’s leading Heisman candidate by throwing a late interception that appeared might just cost the Sooners the game.

It did not, though, and that left the totality of a Mayfield performance to be absorbed and appreciated. He completed 24 of 36 passes for 598 yards with five TD passes and two interceptions. And he didn't even plant an OU flag on his opponent's logo (like he did at Ohio State).

Mayfield, afterward, bemoaned his two picks, but it was really no sweat. He emerged as the nation’s star performer on a day other Heisman candidates--Barrett, Stanford’s Bryce Love, Notre Dame’s Josh Adams—failed to distinguish themselves.

And if that wasn’t enough, even Baylor found cause to celebrate its first victory in 385 days.

Ok, it was against Kansas, but small “b” bedlam counts too.[/membership]