College football Saturday night was a chain reaction of explosions that rocked the top 25 as multiple unbeaten teams went down. The craziest moments all occurred in a half hour window of two undefeated teams (Stanford and Michigan) while the defending Heisman Trophy winner (Johnny Manziel) left his game due to injury.
Manziel would return as his Texas A&M Aggies survived at Ole Miss. No. 5 Stanford would lose to Utah 27-21 crippling its title hopes. But the best game came at Penn State where Michigan choked away, I mean was defeated for the first time this season in four overtimes 43-30.
Michigan was nursing a 34-27 lead late in the fourth and had a 3rd and 9 at Penn State’s 27 yard line. The Wolverines want to kill clock but also needed to score a field goal to make it a two possession game and put the contest to bed. Michigan took a delay of game penalty pushing it out of field goal range. After a punt Penn State got the ball back with at its 20 with 50 seconds to play only needing a touchdown. The rest is history as Penn State would score to tie it sending the game into the first of its four overtimes. The penalty was not intentional but not snapping the ball before the play clock expires is insane in that situation.
The poor play calling would continue into the overtimes where Michigan was ultraconservative. Twice, Michigan only needed a field goal to win the game but made no effort to advance the ball. All the Wolverines did was run the ball to position the kick in the middle of the field. The first attempt was blocked and the second one was missed. Instead of trying to make the kick shorter the Wolverines focused on the angle like an obsessed Geometry major. The result was over 100,000 Nittany Lions fans leaving the stadium happy.
I love Michigan’s Coach Brady Hoke, but simple decisions made by him and his staff killed the game. Why make things harder on your kicker intentionally? Why give Penn State the ball back by taking a delay of game penalty?
Way to go Missouri!
Remember how SEC fans thought Missouri had no business being in the conference. Yeah I was one of those. Now Missouri is in the driver seat in the SEC East after winning at the infirmary known as the Georgia Bulldogs. Not to boast but we kind of saw this coming.
The sad state of the AAC
The newly named American Athletic Conference that should really be called the “Zombie Big East” is struggling more than NBC’s ratings. Louisville is the only ranked team and it’s departing to the ACC next year. Houston is undefeated but has played nothing but senior citizens who are decent at Wii Sports. Somehow, South Florida is 2-0 in conference action despite losing to the FCS McNeese State and Sun Belt doormat Florida Atlantic. That means it is still possible South Florida (No. 115 Sagarin Ranking) could make it to a BCS game this year. A win at No. 8 Louisville on Oct. 26 and it just might happen. Happy Halloween everyone!
Pillow fight of the year
UMass got its first win of the year Saturday defeating 0-6 Miami University 17-10. The two teams combined for five turnovers and Miami went and inept 1-11 on third down conversions. Even with the win UMass only moved up to No. 165 in Sagarin with Miami at No. 189. The latter being next to worse among FBS teams.
Michigan was not the only team to lose in multiple OTs as Murray State dropped a tough one to Southeast Missouri State in FCS action 37-34. Murray State has the resorted itself to the shameless marketing strategy of giving away free food and plugging sponsors to put fans in the seats. Welcome to life in the FCS.
— Murray State Sports (@MSURacers) October 7, 2013
Idaho was humbled at Arkansas State 48-24 Saturday making it tough to tweet anything good for Idaho. So what did the Vandals do? Say you lost to a superior SEC school instead of a crappy Sun Belt team.
Final Score 48-24 Arkansas
— Idaho Vandals (@Idaho_Vandals) October 13, 2013
Georgia State, the lowest ranked FBS team in Sagarin, played better at home Saturday against Troy State. The Panthers lost 35-28 but gave their fan base hope. When you’re as bad as the Panthers, hope can go to your head, including the athletics’ Twitter account. This tweet in the fourth quarter is our depressing tweet of the week.
— GSU Athletics (@GSUPanthers) October 12, 2013
Talk about hope for the hopeless. When PR people are tweeting the defense to get a turnover it is pretty much over.