Florida State and Notre Dame have given us some great moments in college football history. Probably the most well known was the 1993 game in South Bend. Both teams came in unbeaten, with FSU and the Irish ranked one and two respectively. In that game, quarterback Charlie Ward and the Seminoles were turned away on the on the goal line in the game’s final seconds. With the Irish leading 31-24, Ward’s pass in the end zone was batted down to seal the game. Ward, went on to win the Heisman Trophy and FSU went on to win the national title. After the win over FSU, the Irish lost to Boston College late in the season to spoil their shot at the title. After that loss, the Seminoles took over number one and defeated Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
What will the aftermath be from Saturday’s epic battle in Tallahassee?
The rankings were different slightly different from that game in 1993. With the Seminoles ranked two, and the Irish ranked five. But, the outcome could be just as dramatic as teams try to position themselves to play in the inaugural College Football Playoff. This time, the team turned away at the goal line was Notre Dame and the QB was Everett Golson. His pass to give the Irish the lead was completed. But, offensive pass interference was called on Notre Dame receiver, C.J. Prosise. On what was basically a ‘pick play’. Lots of teams run this type of play at one time or another. In fact, the Irish ran a similar play in the first half successfully for a touchdown. With no flag. Controversial call. But, it looked like the right call. But, it seems like it’s more of a referee’s judgement than anything else. Sometimes it gets a flag. Sometimes it doesn’t. The flag came at absolutely the wrong time for a Notre Dame team that stood toe to toe with the defending national champs, on their home turf.
Even with the close loss, the Irish may be in pretty good shape for a spot in the Playoff. If they run the table, the Notre Dame brand could stand tall and knock someone else out. But, will the Playoff committee remember the 2012 BCS National Title game where the undefeated Irish were blown out by Alabama 42-14? To be honest, they’ve played pretty erratic so far this season. The schedule has been decent, but their best win was over Stanford. The Cardinal are incredibly anemic on offense, even though their defense is stout. There is also the head-scratching performance at home to North Carolina, in which the Irish D gave up 43 points and over 500 yards of offense to a 3-4 Tar Heels team. Still, there are road games at Arizona State and USC that could help their resume.
The Seminoles are of course, in great shape to make the Playoff. The schedule is anything but daunting from here on out. But, questions remain about this team. Sure, Jameis Winston played an incredible 2nd half. Hitting 13 passes in a row and 15 of 16 was impressive. But, they still aren’t the dominant force that you would think a defending national champ with so much returning talented should be. The Notre Dame win was nice, but I’m not completely sold on how good the Irish really are. Maybe, the focus will be there as we get closer to the end of the season. If not, we may be crowning a new national champion come January.
Chaos in the Big 12
Who’s going to win the Big 12? Your guess is as good as mine, or anyone else.
After a weekend of upsets, the conference championship is up for grabs. Oklahoma was the prohibitive favorite coming into the season. But, the Sooners have once again lost a game they should have won at home. The TCU loss was excusable, but the K-State loss over the weekend is not. Don’t get me wrong. The Wildcats are a solid team as usual under Bill Snyder. But, these are the games Bob Stoops’ team has had so much trouble winning over the last decade. OU, could still win the Big 12, but they would need a lot of help. Even if that happens, there is no shot at the Playoff now. Major disappointment.
Baylor seemed to be the next team in line. But after the thrilling comeback over TCU a couple of weeks ago, it just didn’t seem likely they would run the table. That came to fruition in their loss at West Virginia. By the way, the Mountaineers are 3-1 in conference play and are in control of their own destiny. Who would have thought that before the season? In addition to that, K-State and Baylor both come to Morgantown. WVU does have to travel to Oklahoma State, but the Mountaineers are very much in the Big 12 race.
TCU, handled their business over the weekend by beating up on Oklahoma State. The Horned Frogs may ultimately be the best team in the league. But, the road won’t be easy for them.
Unfortunately for the Big 12, the losses by Oklahoma and Baylor probably means the Big 12 will be left out of the Playoff. TCU and Kansas State probably have the best shot. But, do they have enough left on their schedule to make a big enough splash? Probably not.
Bama’s big statement
If there’s one thing you need to know about Nick Saban; it’s that everything he does is calculated. Everything he says, has a purpose. His rant last week in his weekly press conference was one of those times. So many people took his words and actions the wrong way. His rant may have been directed at fans and media, but the purpose seemed to be to take some of the pressure off of his players. It worked like a charm.
Bama had one of its best performances in some time and Texas A&M still doesn’t know what hit them. The 59-0 win was the largest margin of victory Bama has had over an SEC foe in over 40 years. The goose egg by A&M was it’s first since 2003.
So much of this blowout was about what the Aggies didn’t do. Head coach Kevin Sumlin called the loss “embarrassing and unacceptable “. It’s quite reasonable to think the Aggies players threw in the towel at some point in that game. Which is unacceptable. But, let’s not forget what Alabama did do. The team that has had so much trouble defending the Aggies and teams similar to them over the last couple of years. For them to shut them out is impressive. The Tide’s defensive line is playing very well. Their success has taken some of the pressure off the secondary. If that continues, look out. There are of course, issues to be worked out offensively. But, the offense was flawless Saturday, after a lackluster performance last week.
So, after a week of hearing their dynasty is done, their coach is losing it, and hearing how likely they were not to be a factor in the national title race. The Tide came out and dominated. Statement made……..
Florida Gators and Will Muschamp – It seems like the Gators still hadn’t gotten over blowing
a 10-point lead to LSU the week before. Their performance was terrible. So much so, that Missouri was able to put 42 points on the board by scoring in just about every way possible. The Tigers had 119 yards of total offense. An amazing stat that won’t help Will Muschamp at all.
West Virginia fans – In the aftermath of the Mountaineers win over Baylor. Lots of fans took to the street to celebrate. What ensued next was a near riot situation where police in riot gear had to take take control of terrible situation. All I can say is; all of that for Baylor? The fact of the matter is, even though the Bears have had a lot of success recently. West Virginia has had much more success in their football history than has Baylor. I would hate to see what might happen if they beat a team like Alabama or Florida State.
Power Ranking and Playoff projections
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Ole Miss
I give Auburn the slight edge over the rest of the one loss teams because their win over Kansas State looks more and more impressive. Long way to go though. The rest of my Top 12:
7. Michigan State
9. Kansas State
11. Notre Dame
12. Ohio State
There you have it folks. Another crazy week of college football in the books. Another one on the way. Check back here next week for Week 9 of the College Football Rewind!