Week 5 wrap, with a side of nuggets
Week 5 showed us the beauty that is going to be the 2015 college football season, a season to remember. Yes, my friends, this week’s games showed us just how competitive so many teams are and in my opinion foreshadowed what is certain to be remembered as a wacky & unpredictable season.
1. Let’s start at the top with #1 Ohio State, #2 Michigan State and #3 Ole Miss. In Bloomington, Indiana led the Buckeyes at halftime and darn near tied (or beat) them on the final drive. Ohio State was sloppy, fumbling the ball four times (losing two) and Cardale Jones threw one pick. Urban eventually realized that Zeke is pretty tough to stop and he carried the Bucks to victory. Michigan State opened a 21-0 lead…and then watched that nearly evaporate in the second half. Purdue was driving late with a chance to tie or win it; but simply could not convert enough first downs on their final possession. Purdue, who hasn’t won an FBS game in 364 days, lost by 10 to Marshall, 27 to Virginia Tech and 7 to Bowling Green; but nearly beat the #2 (?) team in the country…in East Lansing. As for Ole Miss, there really isn’t much that needs to be written. Geoff Collins’ defense dominated the Rebels. Jimmy Mac’s Florida Gators are 5-0.
“Can I enjoy this one for a bit? I don’t know if we’re going to be back, but we’ll show up.” – Jim McElwain
— Mackenzie Thirkill (@KenzieThirkill) October 4, 2015
2. #4 TCU and #5 Baylor did what current day TCU & Baylor do. They hung a bunch of points on in-state programs and moved on. TCU’s beatdown of Texas was historic.
I’ve been reminded this is the same TCU defense that gave up 50+ points last week to Texas Tech. — Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 3, 2015
Texas coach Charlie Strong: “Today was awful. It was embarrassing. We just have to continue to coach.”
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 3, 2015
Baylor & Texas Tech combined to score 98 points, with 63 coming from Baylor.
Baylor is averaging slightly better than a point per play. Which is pretty good. — Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 3, 2015
Baylor quarterback Seth Russell joked (I think) this past week that one of their goals was to score 100 in a game. Baylor visits Kansas next week. Be nice, Art. Be nice. Also, keep this date in mind, Friday November 27th. That’s when these two meet up, at TCU. Points on points on points. Prepare accordingly.
3. #6 Notre Dame just couldn’t get started…until it was almost too late at Clemson. Notre Dame did mount a tremendous 4th quarter comeback with both their offense and defense making the plays they needed to; until that very last play they needed. Notre Dame scored with under 15 seconds to play; but their two point attempt was stoned, and Dabo is still dancing.
Hope Ben Boulware (No. 10) gets a game ball, because THAT is how you fit your gap. https://t.co/JcNUiuQxlh
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 4, 2015
4. #7 Georgia found out the hard way that a pissed off Nick Saban is not something you want to face.
5. LSU, a 44 point favorite, beat Eastern Michigan by 22. Despite having Leonard Fournette in the backfield, in the first half Les & Cam Cameron decided to dedicate their first half to giving their quarterback Brandon Harris the opportunity to get some down field passes under his belt. My eyes told me that Harris threw the ball pretty well. The stat sheet says my eyes aren’t very good. The truth is almost every pass he threw was catchable. His receivers either didn’t make the catch or in a few cases the defenders made nice plays on the ball. Regardless, in the second half Les wisely decided to let his featured back eat, and oh did the man eat. Leonard Fournette became the first back in the history of the SEC to run for 200 yards in three straight games. Herschell never did it. Bo Jackson never did it. Shaun Alexander in his prime never did it. _____ never did it. Nope. No one has ever done it. Leonard Fournette is special.
6. Unbeatens – Ohio State, Michigan State, TCU, Baylor, LSU, Utah, FSU, Clemson, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Cal, Florida, Iowa, Toledo, Memphis, Houston, Temple, Navy.
7. Texas was embarrassed, again, Saturday. Late in the 4th, they were down 50-0; but let’s rewind it back a bit. Losing 37-0 at halftime, a Texas defensive back used his phone to check twitter. Ok, that alone is embarrassing. Oh, but it gets worse. The player retweeted some random fan who had tweeted that the player and another player should transfer to Texas A&M. Read that again. A Texas player publicly tweeted during halftime of their game that he and another player should transfer to A&M.
When told about this after the game, Charlie Strong responded that he was not aware of this but did add that his players should not be on their phones during halftime. I just…I mean…what? New lows.
8. Stanford couldn’t find their offense in their week one loss at Northwestern (who by the way is now 5-0 and headed to Ann Arbor this upcoming week). Since that game though, Stanford has run off four straight wins, averaging over 40 points per game. Nice turnaround for David Shaw and Mike Bloomgren’s offense.
9. Nebraska is 2-3. Sounds real bad right? Well, have a look below. They are “that” close to being 5-0. Its a game of inches.
Nebraska’s three losses: -Hail Mary vs. BYU -In overtime at Miami -Gave up winning TD with :10 left at Illinois — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 4, 2015
10. South Carolina is 2-3. Les is bringing Leonard to town this upcoming weekend. Plenty of stranger things have happened; but lets assume LSU wins that one. South Carolina would be 2-4 with Vanderbilt coming to town the following weekend. I don’t know that Steve could handle a home loss to Vandy. I’m worried we, college football, might be on the verge of losing Steve Spurrier the coach, and I don’t like that. Not one bit.
11. The SEC West is still the SEC West. The top 4 teams in that division, whoever you think those four are, are going to beat each other up. No one knows who will be left standing; but whoever survives the West, if healthy, will be a contender.
12. When Tim Beckman was fired just before the season I cautioned everyone that I expected Bill Cubit to rally these players and have a way better than expected season. Guess what, it’s happening. The Illini are 4-1. Their next four are at Iowa, Wisconsin, at Penn State and at Purdue.
Wisconsin punting from Iowa’s 33. Holy hell. — Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) October 3, 2015
I’d be surprised if Illinois didn’t win at least two of those four. They then have Ohio State, at Minnesota and vs Northwestern. Bill Cubit is taking this team bowling. Will that be enough to earn him the job?
Now, the rest of the story…
a. UCF (0-5) is a dumpster fire.
b. Arizona State beat UCLA 38-23. Tom Bradley might want to have his guys work on tackling & effort.
c. Nevada lost to UNLV.
d. Fresno State, Wyoming, UCF, Western Michigan & San Diego State have 3 combined wins; not one against an FBS opponent.
e. Joey Jones and his South Alabama crew won the inaugural belt, in the battle for the belt with Troy, 24-18. Love that they created a belt for that game.
f. Zach, who usually writes this column, and his wife Tracy were blessed to welcome their third child, a son, into the world Friday night. Please join me in congratulating them. Mother and child are doing well.
Dabo: “Tonight it was ‘BYOG’ – bring your own guts”
Dabo’s post game interview after his Clemson squad held off a late Notre Dame rally is going to live in infamy for years and years.
The conversation started off with traditional post game coach speak before changing tones.
“Hats off to Notre Dame, we had them down and they fought back, and that’s what great teams do and they’re well coached. But I’m just so proud of our team, and that’s what it’s all about.”
“It ain’t always perfect, but what I told ’em tonight was ‘Listen, we give you scholarships, we give you stipends, and meals and a place to live. We give you nice uniforms…I can’t give you guts, and I can’t give you heart, and tonight, it was BYOG – bring your own guts – and they brought some guts and some heart and they never quit ’til the last play.” Swinney explained passionately.
“And thank you to the good Lord, and my Dad, who was with me tonight.” an emotional Swinney added.
I fully expect to see #BYOG added to recruiting fliers and on graphics around the facility very soon. God bless you Dabo.
Inside Scoop: Rich Rod has something up his sleeve
This past Saturday, the University of Arizona had the pleasure of hosting College GameDay and a nationally televised home game vs. UCLA. During the broadcast, Chris Fowler and crew highlighted the pre-game Haka that many of Arizona’s players perform.
With a strong lineage of Polynesian players, 5+ years ago, several Arizona players got together before their games to perform a ritual they were familiar with, and one made globally famous by New Zealand’s All Blacks, the Ka Mate haka. Now, I’m not going to profess to know the full history of the haka; but I do know that over the past few years, the number of Arizona players joining in the pre-game “ritual” has grown and Arizona fans have embraced their own form of the dance.
So, with a global, primetime audience comes a lot of scrutiny. A number of New Zealanders apparently reached out to Arizona officials to complain that Arizona’s version of the haka was not being performed correctly and some New Zealanders found that insulting. Dr. Christina Campbell, an associate professor at Cal State Northridge, who is from New Zealand but lives in California, even went so far as to start a petition to stop Arizona from performing this specific haka.
Earlier this week, Arizona officials relayed to the New Zealand Herald that Arizona would no longer be performing the ka mate haka before games saying, “Even though that intent [to show pride in their Polynesian heritage] remains the same today, we’ve been made aware that a segment of the population is unhappy that the haka is being performed. As a result, we have decided to discontinue the activity.”
In response to this news, Dr. Campbell told the Herald, “I hope that they are able to move forward and find a way that their Polynesian students can celebrate their culture more appropriately – maybe having a haka written for them…”
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I bring good news. Sources tell FootballScoop that Arizona is indeed working on their own haka. We don’t know when Wildcat fans will see the new war chant created specifically for Rich Rod’s guys; but we think the fan base will like it.
Quick response and smart solution. We believe this news will be well received by everyone, including the Kiwis. Everyone respects a unique war chant!
Saban admits on radio show to helping players cheat on the Wonderlic test while in the NFL
In rather interesting news for a Friday during the fall, Nick Saban admitted on his weekly radio show to helping players cut corners on the NFL’s famed Wonderlic test.
When promising players high on the organization’s draft board performed poorly, Saban would request that the player be allowed a re-take of the test, and he would then administer the re-take with the player himself.
“I hate to admit it now, but if I really liked a player, I would actually take the test out, look at it, tutor the guy a little bit, alright, before he took it. Maybe lose a few minutes on the timing part of it, so he had a little extra time… and they would do better,” Saban said on the air, as SEC Country pointed out.
“We were trying to create opportunities then, just like we’re trying to create opportunities for people now.”
Saban didn’t detail which of his NFL coaching stops this occured at (he spent time as an assistant with the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns before becoming the head coach of the Miami Dolphins), but it’s a wildly interesting story line nonetheless.
Could you imagine the media circus that would ensue if Bill Belichick came out tomorrow and said that he’s done the same thing?
Also of note from that same weekly radio show, a caller who is training to be a truck driver called in and asked career advice from Saban on not burning out the clutch on his rig. Saban, who had a summer job during college driving a Coca-Cola delivery truck and burned three clutches in three summers, offered the following advice, per AL.com:
“I think you should do what your instructor is telling you, he’s your coach. But I’ll tell you the hardest part is the hills, you know? When the truck wanted to roll back. I mean, when you have a big heavy truck and it rolls back and you have a car behind you and you have one foot on the brake, one foot on the clutch, how are you going to get the gas without taking one of those some other kind of way. So you have to do it quick and if you don’t lean on the clutch, you’re going to roll backwards.”
Take the field with NC State with a new, immersive, interactive 360 degree experience
Following the lead of Oregon, NC State has released a fully interactive video experience that allows you run through the fog with the team on game day at Carter-Finley Stadium.
As you play the clip, click and drag around to change where you look to get the full experience. This another one of those experiences that fans and recruits will both love.
Other notable programs with iconic entrances need to tackle this by using the 360 degree technology from LEVR Studios. We’re looking at you Clemson, Tennessee, and Georgia.