Sports College football takeaways: This season’s about survival, not style points

College football takeaways: This season’s about survival, not style points

College football takeaways: This season’s about survival, not style points

No. 2 Alabama took 5 drives and practically 24 minutes to attain a level towards LSU, and white-knuckled to a six-level capture.

No. 3 Michigan Direct gave up 536 passing yards to a pedestrian Purdue crew and suffered its first loss of the season.

No. 4 Oregon slogged thru a frosty night time in Seattle towards unranked Washington, clinching the game on a security in the closing two minutes.

No. 5 Ohio Direct wanted a number of slack-sport gambles by Ryan Day to clinch a capture at Nebraska, in a roundabout procedure clinching with a field draw with 1: 29 final.

No. 6 Cincinnati stopped Tulsa eight times from within the 12-yard line in the game’s final three minutes, no longer clinching the game till it recovered a Tulsa fourth-down fumble in the halt zone.

You’ve heard about Separation Saturday? Successfully, this turned into as soon as Slog Saturday in college football. We’ve already embraced and licensed No. 1 Georgia (8-0) as the favourite — no longer infallible, correct the favourite — to capture the national title. The No. 1 Bulldogs eviscerated Missouri, 43-6, on Saturday.

After that, we experienced and persevered a day that made any brave proclamations or certainties from the principle open of the School Football Playoff rankings feel premature. In a forever wrong postseason gadget the assign vogue sides are in general required, this weekend confirmed that they would possibly presumably well perchance honest in instant provide for the remainder of the season.

This volatile 2021 season soundless would possibly presumably well perchance honest halt up with blue bloods filling a majority of the four playoff spots, however the procedure they win there won’t be predictable. This season is about survival, no longer vogue.

Nothing would possibly presumably well perchance be more indicative of that than Michigan Direct, which received mowed over by Purdue on Saturday and soundless outcomes in reasonable form to form the School Football Playoff. Shield out, which would encompass a victory at Ohio Direct and beating Penn Direct, and the Spartans will halt up in the tip four. They shouldn’t fall below No. 6 on Tuesday.

So who are the four finest teams? You’re greater off asking a tarot card reader the which daily life. You’ll win a more concise acknowledge.

Detailed view of the College Football Playoff national championship logo at midfield at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Detailed look of the School Football Playoff national championship tag at midfield on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Here’s going to be a slobber-knocker to the effect, a war of attrition and choices can be made thru the CFP committee’s gritted enamel. The glorious part that’s sure at this juncture is that definitive clarity in the 2021 playoff will handiest be held by partisan events. Here’s already a vast quantity, as Saturday confirmed. There’s no sure 2d-finest crew, by no procedure tips No. 3 or No. 4.

Michigan Direct’s loss supposed there are correct four undefeated teams left in college football — Cincinnati, Georgia, Oklahoma and UTSA. The crew that can presumably well perchance honest have helped itself basically the most on Saturday turned into as soon as Oklahoma, which had a bye and watched the chaos unfold from the couch. (Attain you attach one-loss Michigan Direct sooner than the Sooners? It is top to assign them sooner than No. 7 Michigan in consequence of of head-to-head.)

The day started with Ohio Direct having a find mortal towards Nebraska in Lincoln, requiring a pair of defensive stops after Nebraska cleave lend a hand the consequence in six sides in the fourth quarter.

The day persevered with Cincinnati sputtering in the 2d half and retaining on towards Tulsa, 28-20. In that frozen moment, that perceived to be a setback for the Bearcats, for whom vogue sides are in all likelihood the largest as their final stage of competitors isn’t corresponding to those they’ll be in comparison with the remainder of the procedure.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 06:   Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs for a touchdown against Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Nippert Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati didn’t gaze spectacular in victory Saturday, but that goes for plenty of their competitors for the School Football Playoff. (Photograph by Andy Lyons/Getty Photography)

By the halt of the day Cincinnati’s relative struggles looked fancy all and sundry else. Michigan Direct received dusted, Alabama sputtered, Oregon slogged around and Ohio Direct looked pedestrian. It’d be vivid if the Bearcats weren’t No. 5 this week, as they’ve a signature capture the same caliber of Michigan Direct (Notre Dame for Cincy and Michigan for MSU) and no losses. As this season stammers to the effect, this could presumably well perchance be attention-grabbing how essential price is attach in no longer shedding.

Oregon won a mighty sport on the boulevard at Washington, so penalizing them for vogue would possibly presumably well perchance be silly. Though-provoking about them form of a shoe-in to capture out would furthermore be naïve. Alabama soundless beat LSU, but this Crimson Tide crew doesn’t seem like as crisp, proficient or fixed as most of Saban’s most recent teams. Ohio Direct has learned some answers on defense, but its offense has confirmed a most recent penchant to fail to effect drives towards decent competitors.

We’ll know loads more about No. 8 Oklahoma this week, as it will commute to No. 12 Baylor for an opponent that appears built to doubtlessly push the Sooners around.

There’s an right likelihood that an outlier crew would possibly presumably well perchance catapult to the No. 4 space. No. 7 Michigan (8-1) received lend a hand to winning towards Indiana, No. 11 Oklahoma Direct (8-1) has the final schedule to form a case with Oklahoma and a doable Monumental 12 title sport. No. 10 Notre Dame’s (8-1) handiest loss is to No. 6 Cincinnati, which procedure the Irish can’t be entirely written off. (Here’s the one year Notre Dame would possibly presumably well perchance if truth be told use that 13th recordsdata level, as it doesn’t play any ranked teams.)

No. 9 Wake Forest and No. 12 Baylor both bowed out with losses this weekend.

This weekend reminded us the glorious part we all know is that we don’t know essential. And that’s the unbelievable thing in regards to the insanity.

Gator flop

Dan Mullen suffered the worst loss of his 13-one year head educating profession on Saturday, the form of paradigm-altering defeat that can presumably well perchance alter the analysis matrix of his tenure as Florida’s head coach.

Florida has lost eight of its past 10 video games towards Energy Five opponents, but none of those defeats matched the Gators’ 40-17 loss to South Carolina in tenor and hopelessness.

Florida head coach Dan Mullen watches from the sideline during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Dan Mullen would possibly presumably well perchance be on the original seat after Saturday’s grotesque loss to South Carolina. (AP Photograph/Sean Rayford)

Ahead of Saturday, it turned into as soon as safe to carrying out that Florida’s workers would undergo a most essential overhaul this chilly climate. A brand original defensive coordinator turned into as soon as an inevitability, as Todd Grantham’s tenure in Gainesville clearly must have ended after 2020. The remainder of the workers turned into as soon as going to be closely evaluated to address this system’s weak point on the recruiting path, which has been magnified in consequence of of Georgia’s dominance

However things received so sideways on Saturday that Mullen’s job location has been ushered into the conversation in Gainesville, as Florida lost its third straight sport and fell to 4-5. Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin isn’t a knee-jerk chief, as he by no procedure wavered as Mullen built a program at Mississippi Direct that consistently competed for bowls and at closing emerged as the No. 1 crew in the country for a flee in 2014. Stricklin has consistently confirmed patience with Mullen at two stops in his profession, but Florida’s on-field performance would possibly presumably well perchance honest push this decision into the crosshairs.

Used Auburn coach Gene Chizik summed up Mullen’s future this procedure on the SEC Network on Saturday night time: “They are in crisis mode in Gainesville correct variety now,” he stated. “Tonight wasn’t correct a loss, it turned into as soon as an embarrassing loss.”

Mullen turned into as soon as contrite in the loss, asserting he turned into as soon as “very upset” in the procedure that Florida performed. Florida had more than 20 gamers omit issue after a flu trojan horse flee thru the crew, with quarterback Emory Jones flying up spoil away the crew on Saturday. However the lopsided consequence dimmed any outdoors components that can presumably well perchance honest have contributed.

The reality Mullen faces as he finishes with Samford, Missouri and Florida Direct is that there’s going to be indecent fan, media and booster tension for seismic change. The hope for Mullen had been that he would possibly presumably well perchance pitch a future with the supremely proficient Anthony Richardson at quarterback and a route lend a hand to being competitive in the SEC. He’s won 71% of his video games on the school (33-14), including a Peach Bowl and Orange Bowl, so there’s some goodwill built.

However he’s going to deserve to suffer plenty of noise to win to that future route. Stricklin’s recognition is as a reasonable chief, however the same can’t be stated historically for those at Florida on the donor stage. And that’s a compelling variable as Mullen’s future is tracked closely in the final weeks.

Hokey pokey

One of many weekend’s most dispiriting performances came from one in every of the country’s most tenuous educating instances. That’s no longer a factual ticket for Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente.

Virginia Tech carried out correct one first-half pass, didn’t attain a touchdown and looked on the general plain and disorganized in a 17-3 loss at Boston School. (Starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister left the game in the principle quarter with an wound and didn’t return.)

It marked Boston School’s first ACC capture of the season and dropped Virginia Tech to 4-5 and in possibility of its third shedding season in four years. Despite the incontrovertible truth that the Hokies can win to .500 or capture out towards Duke, Miami and Virginia, there’s no longer a in particular compelling case to bewitch Fuente. Virginia Tech has regressed to the level the assign they’ve slipped out of competitors and relevance in the ACC, by no procedure tips the national football conversation.

Postgame, Feunte referenced three losses this season the assign the Hokies have “had our hearts ripped out on the closing play of the game.” After an adrenaline shot from the opening capture over North Carolina, there’s been shrimp interesting about these Hokies. one year 6 below Fuente hasn’t supplied any compelling evidence he must be invited lend a hand for one year 7.

There are concerns, as consistently. If Virginia Tech decides to fireside Fuente, they’d owe him $10 million when the typical season concludes. That would fall to $7.5 million after Dec. 15. That’s no longer a trifling quantity of cash, but it locations the Tech administration into an awkward shriek of firing him and paying an additional $2.5 million for no longer waiting genuinely three weeks after the typical season ends on Nov. 27.

The glorious drama about Fuente’s future can be how and when it unwinds.

Frost stays chilly

When Nebraska (3-7) fans scrounge for positives from the Scott Frost generation years from now, the nicest part they’d be in a position to enlighten is that he saved the Huskers in plenty of video games.

That came about again on Saturday, earlier than the predictable particular teams mishap, questionable sport management and inevitable oh-so-shut loss as soon as No. 5 Ohio Direct closed the door on a 26-17 capture for the Buckeyes. Frost is 5-19 in a single-possession video games all the procedure thru his tenure at Nebraska and nil-7 this season.

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, second right, exits the field with Oliver Martin (89) and Tate Wildeman (92) following their 26-17 loss to Ohio State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Scott Frost and Nebraska came shut to upsetting Ohio Direct on Saturday, but shut doesn’t cleave lend a hand it. (AP Photograph/Rebecca S. Gratz)

The reality of Nebraska is that a program with elite history and big sources is on the cusp of lacking a bowl for its fourth consecutive season below Frost and fifth general. The glorious capture from the Frost generation turned into as soon as convincing him to attract to Lincoln after his undefeated season at UCF, and if truth be told nothing else has long gone successfully since. That contains an NCAA investigation and charisma of hopeless that’s the polar reverse of the optimism of the homegrown hero returning dwelling.

Frost’s finest moment this one year would possibly presumably well perchance honest had been succinctly summing up his believe shortcomings after the loss to Illinois. He described Nebraska’s struggles as “the same movie,” and it has performed out again in theaters around the Monumental Ten in 2021.

Nebraska’s closing lend a hand-to-lend a hand stretch with no bowl came in the slack 1960s, as there’s nothing in this system’s up to the moment history that compares to this rut. It’s a resplendent stretch of ineptitude for a situation the assign there’s ample money to rob three wins a one year and their division is an annual ode to mediocrity. That can be Scott Frost’s legacy when Trev Alberts fires him in Nebraska — shedding so many shut video games that he’s managed to situation Nebraska a long way from relevancy.

It’ll payment $20 million to fireside Frost. Alternatively it’s turned into glaring that the Cornhuskers can’t have ample money to bewitch staring on the same movie.

Lake in sizzling water?

Washington coach Jimmy Lake’s dreadful season has hit a spiral in most recent days. The Huskies are 4-5 after shedding to Oregon 26-16 on Saturday, and Lake’s disorders are both on and off the sphere.

The glorious venture for Lake came when he perceived to form bodily contact on the sideline with Washington redshirt freshman linebacker Ruperake Fuavai. Lake charged up the sideline and brushed past an reliable to back separate Fuavia from an Oregon player. In video replays, Lake appears to form contact with Fuavia’s facemask as he clears him away and then appears to push him in the lend a hand to be in a position to sure him from the scene.

The incident drew the honour of Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen, who stated the athletic department is having a find into the topic. In an announcement to the media after the game, she stated: “We’re responsive to an interaction between Head Coach Jimmy Lake and a student-athlete all the procedure thru the principle half of Saturday’s sport. We have high expectations of the behavior of our coaches and we’re working to get more recordsdata on this topic.”

Lake’s educating mistake slack in the fourth quarter amplified an wretched quote from Lake earlier in the week. Lake made the baffling decision to punt with 1: 59 final in the game and Washington trailing by eight. That backfired spectacularly, as the snap went thru the halt zone for a security and sealed the loss.

The sequence introduced lend a hand a flood of social media commentary on Lake’s strange feedback earlier in the week that drew scrutiny from around the country and mockery from Oregon’s president. 

Lake downplayed any recruiting competitors with Oregon by insinuating that Washington recruited towards tutorial peers fancy Notre Dame, Washington and USC. Lake stated: “In our world, we fight more academically prowess teams.”

Lake didn’t flash the educating prowess on Saturday. And now his actions on the sideline and words off it have shrouded his tenure.

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