1. The question on everyone’s minds now that would have had you committed back in August: who’s No. 1, Ole Miss or Mississippi State? It’s like two brothers arguing over who gets to inherit the $10 million their just-discovered great, great uncle left them.
Each team is proficient on each side of the ball – they wouldn’t be 6-0 otherwise – but they make opposite sides of the ball their specialties. Ole Miss has allowed six offensive touchdowns all season, allowing a grand total of three touchdown passes with 12 interceptions on 219 defensed passes this season. After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, Ole Miss cruised to a 35-20 win at Texas A&M. The Aggies’ ultimate garbage time touchdown (they scored with no time remaining) allowed them to become first team to hit 20 points against Ole Miss in their last eight games.
Mississippi State, on the other hand, has one of the most balanced offenses in the country. In jumping out to a 21-o lead over Auburn (sound familiar?) the Bulldogs threw for 246 yards and rushed for 223 more en route to a 38-23 victory. Mississippi State has thrown and rushed for at least 200 yards in seven consecutive games.
2. Mississippi State has taken leads of 34-10, 48-17 and 21-0 against LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn in consecutive weeks. This is the same program that needed overtime to beat Arkansas and Ole Miss just to get to 6-6 last season. Remarkable.
3. The best stat that shows how monumentally HAM the Baylor-TCU game went? How about this? Baylor’s first and only lead came on the 21st and final scoring play of the game. TCU led 14-0, 41-30 and 58-37… and lost.
4. Not quite as extreme, but West Virginia trailed Texas Tech 14-3, 21-10, 27-13 and finally 34-20 midway through the fourth quarter before scoring 17 unanswered to beat the Red Raiders on a 50-yard Josh Lambert as time expired. It was West Virginia’s first lead since 3-0.
— Josh Lambert (@J_LambertWVU) October 11, 2014
5. Think Art Briles will make the most of this fact?
6. How in the world does this possibly happen?
7. On September 20, Alabama looked like a juggernaut. The Crimson Tide blasted Florida for 42 points and 645 yards of total offense, and local columnists were legitimately wondering if Lane Kiffin had earned the right to succeed Nick Saban. Two games later and the Crimson Tide have yet to match those numbers. One week after notching 396 yards and 17 points in a loss to Ole Miss, Alabama totaled 227 points and just 14 points while squeaking by Arkansas 14-13. Add those two games together and you get 623 yards and 31 points. Playing without center Ryan Kelly, Alabama ran 32 times for just 66 yards on Saturday. Maybe Lane should wait on picking out new office furniture. –
8. If you’re Bret Bielema are you more encouraged that you held Alabama to 2.1 yards per carry, out-gained the Tide by 107 yards, held an 18-10 advantage in first downs and a 3-2 turnover edge, or more discouraged because you managed to do all that and still lost the game?
Bielema: “I have respect for what Alabama has been able to do. I don’t want that Phyllis gal from Finebaum calling and yelling at me.”
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) October 12, 2014
9. The Alabama sideline has become the game’s best show-within-the-show. Facing a 4th-and-1 during the second half, Tide quarterback Blake Sims decided it’d be a good idea to jump straight in the area in an attempt to move the chains. It didn’t work. At all.
“What was he doing?” — lip-reading Lane Kiffin after Blake Sims’ vertical QB sneak on 4th-and-1 was unsuccessful. — CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) October 12, 2014
10. Life outside the “Let’s throw it every down” treehouse was hard this week. After combining to throw for 4,231 yards and score 197 points (all numbers approximate), Cal was stonewalled in a 31-7 loss to Washington, while Washington State threw for “just” 292 yards in a 34-17 loss to Stanford.
11. Let’s play a game. I’ll show you a box score, and you have to guess the score.
If I didn’t know any better I’d say the team on the left has a 21-0 lead… or worse. Considering the general WTF reaction this game generated, many of you probably already know the team on the left was Texas with Oklahoma on the right, and the Sooners had a 17-13 halftime lead. The Sooners’ points in the first half came on a kickoff return for a touchdown, a pick six, and a field goal aided by a 15-yard roughing penalty that put the ball in enemy territory. Oklahoma won the game, 31-26, while getting doubled up in total yardage (484-232) and first downs (24-11) and going 1-of-11 on third down.
12. Notre Dame beat North Carolina 50-43, the most points an Irish defense has ever allowed in a win. Jameis Winston and company should have fun with that next week in Tallahassee.
13. Iowa and Indiana conspired to race up and down the field for 215 yards in during a 52-second first quarter stretch on Saturday.
14. Quite the halftime show at Wisconsin-Illinois:
Steve Stricker tees off at the top of Camp Randall! @uwbadgers #badgers View on Instagram
15. Be better than this, Big Ten refs.
Trailing 18-13 and facing a last-gasp onside kick, Penn State was called for offsides when clearly no one was offsides. Penn State recovered the kick. Michigan recovered he re-do.
16. Nice of Missouri to get the last laugh at pollsters who deemed a team not far removed from a home loss to Indiana worthy of a ranking. Mizzou took a 34-0 blanking to Todd Gurley-less Georgia.
— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) October 11, 2014
17. Kentucky is 5-1. So are Iowa, Minnesota, Duke, Georgia Tech and Rutgers.
18. Fittingly, the defending champs were the first team to become bowl eligible. Florida State clinched a bowl trip (as if it was ever in doubt) with a 38-20 win over Syracuse. They were joined by Baylor, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Marshall and Notre Dame throughout the day.
19. If the season ended today, the ACC Championship would be Florida State vs. Virginia.
20. Congratulations to Massachusetts (40-17 over Kent State) and Troy (41-24 over New Mexico State) for earning their first wins of the season. Idaho and Kent State are the only winless teams left.
21. Kansas nearly earned its first win under Clint Bowen. The Jayhawks battled back from a 20-7 halftime deficit to tie the game at 20-20, and then Tyreek Hill took a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and that was that. Kansas outgained the Pokes by 104 yards.
22. Les Miles earned his 100th win at LSU, in such Les Miles fashion throwing for 4.2 yards per attempt and avenging two separate deficits in the final 2:40 to beat Florida 30-27.
23. I can’t imagine how frustrated Will Muschamp and Kurt Roper must be. Jeff Driskel was 7-of-9 for 131 yards and a touchdown (and a drop that should have put him at 8-of-10 for 132 yards and two touchdowns) in the fourth quarter… and then threw a completely unnecessary interception in traffic to set LSU up for the winning score.
24. The SEC West has officially made it through half the season without losing a game outside the division. The streak likely ends next week when Georgia faces Arkansas in Little Rock.
25. The Pac-12 is a rubik’s cube. USC, Utah, Arizona and Arizona State are tied for first in the South with one loss apiece, while preseason favorite sits in fifth place at 1-2. Up north, Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington share first place at one loss.
Home teams are 4-14 in PAC-12 games.
— Steve Mims (@SteveMims_RG) October 12, 2014