College FB: Just a Little More

FINAL FOUR

  1. Alabama
  2. Michigan
  3. Clemson
  4. Washington

WHO'S HOT

  1. Lamar Jackson--The Louisville QB and Heisman front runner accounted for five TDs in the first half of the Cardinals 54-10 romp past North Carolina State. Jackson has 34 TDs, a school record, and still has five games remaining in the regular season. He had 359 of his 431 yards of his total offense in the first half.
  2.  West Virginia--The Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 in Big 12) rolled over TCU 34-10 on Saturday, which was a pay back for a 40-10 TCU win last season. West Virginia has to be considered a prime contender for the Big 12 title and perhaps more. West Virginia's toughest remaining opponents appear to be Oklahoma on November 19th and Baylor on Dec. 3. Both games are in Morgantown. Their other opponents are Kansas, Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State, who have a combined record of 12-18
  3. Alabama--The defending national champions are coming off a 3 game stretch in which they played road games at Arkansas, at Tennessee and at home against Texas A&M on Saturday. The Volunteers were unbeaten and ranked No. 9 and A&M was unbeaten and No. 6 in the polls when they dealt with the Tide. Alabama rolled over Arkansas and has continued to march the past two weeks, including Saturday's 33-14 win. Interestingly enough Alabama was a 19.5 point favorite. How do the Vegas boys keep doing that?

WHO'S NOT[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

  1. Michigan State--The defending Big Ten champions began the season ranked No. 12 in the country and opened with 2 wins, including a solid victory at Notre Dame (not looking that impressive now). On Saturday, the Spartans traveled to Maryland and dropped a 28-17 decision which dropped them to 2-5.
  2. Houston--Just a bad week for the Cougars. It began on Monday when the Big 12 announced it was not going to expand, which meant Houston was not going to be part of a Power 5 conference any time soon. On Saturday, the Cougars who saw their hopes of an unbeaten season end two weeks ago with a loss at Navy, lost again with a 38-16 loss at SMU. It was SMU's first win over a team (Houston was No. 11) ranked 11th or higher in the polls since the 1983 Cotton Bowl when it beat No 6 Pitt, 7-3.
  3. Texas--The Longhorns are 3-4 after the loss at Kansas State, 14-18 under Charlie Strong and losers of four of their last five games. Still ahead are Baylor, West Virginia and TCU. Getting to 6-6 is not nearly enough at Texas.

DID YOU KNOW 

That...Texas, which lost to Kansas State on Saturday 24-21, has now lost 7 of its last eight games in Manhattan...Navy threw only four passes in its 42-28 win over Memphis, but 2 were TDs by QB Will Worth. Worth also ran for 3 TDS and picked up 201 rushing yards...when Illinois played Michigan on Saturday it matched Illini coach Lovie Smith and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, which was a college football milestone: the first time that two college coaches met after having taken NFL teams to the Super Bowl...Missouri's offense scored 45 points against Middle Tennessee and LOST, 51-45, the most points the Tigers have ever scored in a LOSS...Penn State's 24-21 upset of No. 2 Ohio State was the Nittany Lions first win over a Top 5 team since 1999...Ohio State's loss snapped a 20-game road winning streak..Colorado's 10-5 win over Stanford made the Buffaloes bowl eligible for the first time in a decade....San Diego State pounded San Jose State 42-3 on Friday night and now have won 14 consecutive Mountain West Conference games and not allowed a TD in a MWC game for 12 consecutive quarters

EXTRA POINTS

When is no news bad news? Well take the case of the fate of Texas football coach Charlie Strong, who has watched his team stumble from a 2-0 start to losing 4 of its last five, including their latest loss at Kansas State on Saturday. Strong has been under siege for the past several weeks, but received the familiar "I believe in my coach'' mantra from Texas athletic director Mike Perrin. After Saturday's loss, Perrin was in the "no comment''' mode. ...What's in a name? Because of injuries Illinois had to use its 3rd string QB in a 41-8 loss to Michigan on Saturday. His name: Jeff George Jr, a redshirt freshman and the son of former Illinois and NFL QB Jeff George. FYI George was 4 of 15 for 95 yards 1 TD...When you are going bad, you are going bad. Take Rutgers, which came back from a 21-0 deficit at Minnesota, regained the lead at 32-31, only to lose 34-32 when Minnesota kicker Emmitt Carpenter kicked a 28-yard field foal with 10 seconds left in the game.

PLAY IT FORWARD

(GAMES TO KEEP AN EYE ON NEXT WEEK)

1. Washington at Utah--Pac-12 North-South showdown and maybe much more for Washington

2. Clemson at Florida State--Looks like last major regular season hurdle for Clemson. FSU in spoilers role seems strange.

3. Michigan at Michigan State--Pay back time for Michigan from last year. Michigan State in a spiral downward that's hard to understand or explain.

IN MY OPINION

The projections of the preseason are now over. Judgments are being made on what is being done on the field every week, not on how last season ended and that this season might bring. So let's see what we have in terms of legitimate national championship contenders. for College Football's Final Four.

Remember 4 slots are open for the Power 5 football conferences, the Group of 5 other conferences and independents such as Notre Dame.

THE POWER FIVE

ACC--Two legitimate contenders, Clemson and perhaps Louisville if it can run the table, but the Cardinals are in a tough slot since they might not win their own division unless Clemson loses twice.

Big Ten--It was Michigan and Ohio State. With the Buckeyes loss to Penn State on Saturday, it might be only Michigan, although Ohio State can survive with a win over Michigan in Columbus next month and a win in the Big 10 title game.

SEC--Alabama, Alabama, Alabama. Anyone else would be an upset.

Pac-12--Washington. The Huskies could survive a loss to Utah on Saturday, but will need a comeback (the Pac-12 title) to get back in the mix if that happens.

Big 12--Oklahoma, West Virginia and Baylor. Oklahoma has two losses already so that would require a tsunami to end the season. Baylor would cause angst among the selection committee because of the Bears off the field issues. Watch out for West Virginia which also has a favorable regular season schedule.

Group of Six, Notre Dame--No one. ND is out and will be lucky to make a bowl game and Houston has now lost two straight.

So what do we have as Halloween approaches? My best guess right now: Alabama, Washington, Michigan and ....surprise West Virginia.[/membership]

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