1. Matt Campbell gets his signature win. And to think, Iowa State may be 5-0 if only they’d played the third-string walk-on quarterback all season.
Iowa State-Oklahoma was such a foregone conclusion I didn’t even include it among the 15 games we pick, and the first 28 minutes made that look like a wise decision. No. 3 Oklahoma led 24-10, on their way to what the entire nation assumed would be something like a 51-24 win.
But Iowa State got a field goal just before halftime, and another to open the second half. And then the Cyclones tied the game with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. And then they took the lead early in the second quarter. When Oklahoma tied the game at 31-31 with 7:18 to play, Iowa State mirrored its head coach — calm, cool, collected, totally unsurprised to be in this situation — and put together one of the best drives in school history: nine plays, 75 yards over 4:59, culminating in a big-boy touchdown pass from (former) third-stringer Kyle Kempt to future pro Allen Lazard to take a 38-31 lead with 2:19 to play.
Oklahoma took the field with plenty of time to tie the game, with a Heisman-front runner at quarterback and one of the best play-callers in the business, and didn’t reach the 50 before turning it over on downs.
Iowa State had its sixth win over Oklahoma. Ever. It was their second win over the Sooners since these guys released their first album.
Afterward, Campbell didn’t tell his team he was SO PROUD to be their coach, but he was pretty darn proud.
Checking in on the Iowa State locker room after the upset … YEP.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 7, 2017
1a. Lincoln Riley said afterward he thinks this is the best thing that could have happened to Oklahoma. And that may very well be true. His first season in Norman saw Oklahoma lose to a 1-4 Texas team and rebound to win the Big 12 and reach the College Football Playoff. Riley will have his team’s full attention this week, especially with Texas on the schedule Saturday in Dallas. And with a win at Ohio State and future opportunities against TCU and Oklahoma State — plus the Big 12 Championship, assuming they get there — Oklahoma is still very much in the College Football Playoff picture.
But Oklahoma has a glaring problem in its secondary, with red lights flashing and alarms sounding. In two Big 12 games, opposing passers are 53-of-77 (68.8 percent) for 831 yards (10.8 per attempt) with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Oklahoma has allowed 79 points in said games.
This is the 7th straight season Oklahoma has lost a game outright as a double-digit favorite. pic.twitter.com/K1jkCNPvJI
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 7, 2017
2. Mark Dantonio gets the most Mark Dantonio win ever. It was wet and ugly, but it wouldn’t have been fitting any other way.
Michigan State went to the Big House to face No. 7 Michigan — coming off an off week — and won the game while throwing for 94 yards, achieving 13 first downs and not scoring after halftime.
The Spartans grabbed a 14-3 lead in the second quarter, then held on for dear life through a driving rainstorm in the second half. A 5-0 turnover advantage helped, and that’s not counting a Michigan touchdown that was called back due to a holding penalty. Even still, the Spartans had to survive a Hail Mary from their 37-yard line to win their — everybody with me now — second straight game in the Big House, their fourth meeting with Michigan in the last five and their eighth in the last 10.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 8, 2017
2a. The program is undoubtedly in a better place than he found it, but… You can’t write the story of the early Jim Harbaugh era at Michigan without noting he’s 1-4 against Michigan State and Ohio State, with the one win coming over a 3-9 Michigan State team. Ohio State comes to Ann Arbor next month, but it looks very much like the Wolverines will be underdogs in that game.
3. Miami is the best team in Florida since….? With two Hurricane Irma-induced bye weeks and three easy victories, Miami rose to No. 13 in the AP poll on the strength of what voters thought this team could be. No one really knew.
We do now.
After leading 10-3 entering the fourth quarter, Miami fought crawled out of two deficits in the final seven minutes of the game to beat Florida State for the first time this decade.
The first deficit came at 13-10, which the Hurricanes erased by moving 75 yards in 1:46 to grab a 17-13 lead. Florida State answered by putting together a masterful drive led by true freshman James Blackman. The ‘Noles seemingly had the game in hand when Blackman found Auden Tate for at 20-yard touchdown with 1:24 to play.
But Malik Rosier — who finished the day completing only 19 of 44 passes — shrugged off the weight of a 7-game series losing streak and gutted the Miami offense down the field, eschewing an overtime-forcing field goal with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Langham with six seconds to go.
— Carlos F. Pineda (@CarlosFPineda) October 8, 2017
3a. Let’s look at the opportunity ahead of Miami now. The Hurricanes play in the Coastal Division, the lesser of the ACC’s two divisions. There’s no Clemson, no NC State and no Louisville on the schedule. The only ranked conference opponent left — Virginia Tech — comes to Miami. Miami has also never won that lesser division in 12 tries. It’s time that changed.
— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) October 7, 2017
4. College football is a week-to-week sport. Example: LSU. Let’s reap the last eight days in Baton Rouge. LSU lost its Homecoming game to Troy, where afterward Neal Brown told anyone who would listen, “Yeah, we pretty much just lined up and whipped their behinds.” Ed Orgeron went on his radio show and had to defend himself from one caller who questioned whether he deserved to be the LSU head coach, and another who questioned AD Joe Alleva’s manhood. Orgeron admitted to reporters he’s meddled with offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s scheme — a month into his tenure.
So, yes, of course LSU went on the road to beat No. 21 Florida.
All the misdirection Orgeron told Canada to limit last week worked to confuse Florida’s linebackers, as six Tigers runners combined to carry 48 times for 216 yards. LSU built a 17-3 lead early in the third quarter and hung on from there — helped by a missed Florida extra point — as Dave Aranda’s defense turned away three potential go-ahead drives in the fourth quarter to protect a 17-16 win.
— PodKATT (@valleyshook) October 7, 2017
4a. In case you’re scoring at home. By virtue of Troy’s win at LSU and LSU’s win at Florida, Troy is now unofficially the second best team in the SEC East.
5. What do you make of Texas A&M’s loss to Alabama? The Powers That Be in College Station aren’t making it hard to read their thoughts on Kevin Sumlin’s status as the Aggies coach. One regent has come out and voted for his firing, and the A&M system chancellor outright refused to vouch for his job security.
Meanwhile, Sumlin and the Aggies played Alabama toe-to-toe for most of the night. The final score read Alabama 27, Texas A&M 19, but the Aggies tied the Tide in first downs at 16-16, held up in the total yardage battle at 355-308 and, though they trailed 24-3 at one point in the third quarter, ended the game trying an onside kick in a last-gasp chance to force overtime. All this against a team that entered Saturday at 26.5-point favorite in a road conference game for a reason. Any halfway fair evaluator will grade this one on a curve.
But will Sumlin get a fair evaluation?
His team is 4-2 with one horrendous loss and one respectable one. The Aggies go on the road to Florida next week, but they stand a chance to be favored in every game remaining save for Nov. 4 against No. 12 Auburn, but the Aggies get the Tigers in College Station. Playing with a true freshman quarterback, Sumlin’s team is getting better and plays hard for each other and its coaches. This is a flawed team, yes, but it’s a flawed team that could well be the fourth-best team in the SEC.
6. The longest game in college football history was played on Saturday. With 34 seconds remaining in regulation, Buffalo kicker Adam Mitcheson knocked in a 34-yard field goal to extend the Bulls’ game with Western Michigan in to overtime.
And, boy, did it extend. And extend. And extend some more.
After Buffalo lost a fumble in the top of the third overtime, Western Michigan had a chance to win with a field goal, but Josh Grant’s 29-yard try was no good.
Western Michigan also had a chance to win in the fifth overtime after Buffalo’s 2-point conversion failed, but their own try failed, too. Buffalo had the same chance to win after WMU’s 2-point conversion failed at the top of the sixth frame, but that attempt failed.
Finally, in the seventh overtime, Western Michigan forced a Buffalo field goal in the opening frame, then won the game on a 12-yard Jarvion Franklin run. A game that concluded regulation in a 31-31 tie ended in a 71-68 Western Michigan win. It was the fourth seven overtime game in FBS history. The first two were both Arkansas victories, and the most recent (in 2006) somehow ended in a 25-22 final score.
Oh, and did I mention that the sister of a Western Michigan player rushed the field before the game was over?
7. But that may not have been the wildest ending to a MAC game on Saturday. That honor belongs to Bowling Green-Miami (Ohio).
7a. And that may not have been the most WTF thing to happen in a MAC game on Saturday. That honor belongs to whatever the color analyst in the Eastern Michigan-Toledo game was watching.
Pregame beers: not recommended for TV announcers. pic.twitter.com/NO6lVTUH0W
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) October 7, 2017
8. The Super 16. The Nuggets is once again honored to vote in this year’s FWAA-NFF Super 16 poll. Here’s this week’s ballot.
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Washington State
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
- Central Florida
9. Odds and Ends
a. Best individual performance of the week: Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate. All the backup quarterback did was complete 11-of-12 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions and rush 14 times for a QB-record 327 yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcats needed every one of those yards in a 45-42 win over Colorado.
b. Second-best individual performance of the week: Iowa State iron man Joel Lanning. The QB-turned-LB recorded eight tackles and one sack on defense, carried the ball nine times for 35 yards, completed 2-of-3 passes for 25 yards and also mixed in some special teams. Hand that man the Hornung Award already.
c. UNLV played its first game since the Las Vegas shooting at home against San Diego State on Saturday. Here’s how it began.
— SDSU Football (@Aztec_Football) October 8, 2017
d. Washington State is 6-0 for the first time since 2001 after winning 33-10 at Oregon.
e. Virginia is 4-1 for the first time since 2007 after defeating Duke, 28-21.
f. Kentucky is 5-1 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1983-84 after beating Missouri, 40-34.
g. Clemson, Penn State, Washington State, Georgia, Alabama, San Diego State and Washington have all clinched bowl games. We’re not even halfway through the season yet.
h. UTSA fell from the ranks of the unbeaten after falling to Southern Miss at home, 31-29.
i. Kirk Herbstreit scolded Chris Petersen for complaining about playing nationally-televised night games. This was odd.
j. All Willie Fritz does is win football games. Tulane led Tulsa 48-7 at halftime, out-rushing the Golden Hurricane 282-31, out-gaining them 435-128 and holding the ball for 23:09 of the first 30 minutes. They would coast to a 62-28 win. The Green Wave are 3-2 with losses to undefeated Navy and Oklahoma.
k. In a game many thought would be a passing of the torch in the AAC West, Houston held off SMU, 35-22.
l. It didn’t end in a victory, but Mike Price’s first game as UTEP’s interim head coach produced the Miners’ best game of the season. UTEP battled 2-time Conference USA defending champion to a 15-14 final.
m. UAB is much better than they have any business being in their first season since reviving from its 2-year slumber. Bill Clark’s Blazers are 3-2 after earning their first Conference USA win, knocking off defending C-USA West Division champion Louisiana Tech, 23-22.
n. Navy is a quiet 5-0 after winning the first round of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy round-robin, holding off Air Force, 48-45 in Annapolis. Quarterback Zach Abey passed and rushed for two touchdowns.
o. Mack Brown didn’t coach an overtime game at Texas until his 16th and final season in Austin — a 47-40 win at West Virginia in 2013 that ended after one extra frame. Tom Herman has coached two double overtime games in his first five outings at Texas. Three weeks after falling 27-24 in double OT at USC, Texas held off Kansas State 40-34 in double OT.
p. Jay Norvell earned his first win as a head coach as Nevada topped Hawaii, 35-21.
10. And finally… Good stuff, Florida.
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) October 7, 2017