College Football Recap- Week 9

Well, coming into the weekend there were 5, Top 25 teams with a Bye (Alabama, LSU, Michigan, UCF, and “TTFDB”). That means there were 20, Top 25 teams in action (For those who hate math). Out of those 20 teams, 11 of them lost!!! And it would have been 12 losses if not for the Kentucky Wildcat’s 15-14 victory on the last play of the game (which we will discuss later).

This season continues to provide excitement, upsets, drama, and chaos. And think about it…we still have an entire month of football left to play! Truly, college football is quite “The Cluster”! So here are my thoughts for College Football Recap- Week 9.

Preseason Top 25
If you go back and look at the Preseason Top 25 rankings, it looks very different from the current AP Top 25. Consider the following:
Wisconsin Badgers-Ranked #4- Currently 5-3 and NR
Washington Huskies- Ranked #6- Currently 6-3 and NR
Miami Hurricanes- Ranked #8- Currently 5-3 and NR
Auburn Tigers- Ranked #9- Currently 5-3 and NR
Michigan State Spartans- Ranked #11- Currently 5-3 and NR
Stanford Cardinals- Ranked #13- Currently 5-3 and NR
USC Trojans- Ranked #15- Currently 4-4 and NR
TCU Horned Frogs- Ranked #16- Currently 3-5 and NR
Florida State Seminoles- Ranked #19- Currently 4-4 and NR
Virginia Tech Hokies- Ranked #20- Currently 4-3 and NR
(This is absolutely shocking when you stop and think about it!!!)

Top 25 Upsets 
There were 3 games on Saturday that involved a match-up between Top 25 teams. So this accounted for 3 of the 11 losses (But also accounted for 3 of the wins).
(#7) Georgia- 36, (#9) Florida- 17
(#14) Washington State- 41, (#24) Stanford- 38 OT
(#17) Penn State- 30, (#18) Iowa- 24

The other Top 25 teams were beaten by “unranked” opponents.
Oklahoma State- 38, (#6) Texas- 35
California- 12, (#15) Washington- 10
Mississippi State- 28, (#16) Texas A&M- 13
Arizona- 44, (#19) Oregon- 15
Northwestern- 31, (#20) Wisconsin- 17
Houston- 57, (#21) USF- 36
Syracuse- 51, (#22) NC State- 41
Georgia Southern- 34, (#25) Appalachian State- 14

Kentucky- 15, Missouri- 14 
A couple weeks ago, in my College Football Recap- Week 7, I discussed how Nebraska inexplicably lost a game to Northwestern. I was completely shocked and amazed at how this game unfolded, and how the Cornhuskers could let “certain” victory escape their grasp. And in no way did I ever imagine that in just a couple weeks I would witness another “defeat” that was equal, if not more unbelievable than what I had just seen!

If you happened to watch this game, then you would have realized that there was absolutely no way that Missouri should have lost. With 49 seconds left before halftime, Larry Rountree III ran 1 yard up the middle for a touchdown. This score gave the Tigers a 14-3 advantage.

Outside of a field goal on their first possession, the Wildcat offensive did absolutely nothing until the 4th quarter, and even then it wasn’t much. Still trailing 14-3, Kentucky put together a 9 play, 77 yard drive which took them down to the Missouri 3 yard line. However, the Tiger defense rose to the occasion and stopped Asim Rose on a 4th down run. At this point, there was only 7:31 left on the clock.

But once again, the dominant Kentucky defense did their job by forcing a 3-and-out, and Missouri had to punt from their own end-zone. Lynn Bowden Jr. fielded the punt around the 35 yard line and took it 67 yards for a touchdown. Just when things were looking hopeless, Bowden Jr’s big play gave life (and hope) to his team! However, the 2-point conversion failed, and the Wildcats still found themselves trailing 14-9.

When Missouri received the ball, there was only 5:18 left in the game. All the Tigers had to do was “eat-up” some clock, pick-up a few first downs, and get out of there with a “W”. But for some unknown reason, the coaching staff decided to let Drew Lock throw the ball on first down- and on second down- and on third down. The first two passes were incomplete. The third pass was complete, but ended-up short of the first down marker. Missouri punted again!

It looked like Kentucky was going to have one last chance, one last possession, to try and win the game. But on a 3rd-and-1 play from their own 15 yard line, Terry Wilson fired a pass down field that was intercepted by Missouri defensive back, DeMarkus Acy. The Tigers were celebrating joyously because they had just won the game…At least they thought!

Kentucky had all three timeouts remaining so they were able to stop the clock after each play. And again, for some unknown reason, the Tigers called another pass play on 3rd down (3rd-and-2). The pass fell incomplete which meant that the clock stopped. Therefore, the Wildcats were able to preserve their final timeout!

Kentucky got the ball back on their own 19 yard line with 1:24 left, and 1 timeout. With desperation setting in, Terry Wilson finally connected on three completions down-field, resulting in gains of 16, 27, and 13 yards. But on the next play, the Tiger defense sacked Terry Wilson at the 27 yard line with 9 seconds left, and the Wildcats called their final timeout.

Had Missouri ran the ball on that 3rd down play on their last possession, Kentucky would have had no timeouts remaining, and the game would have ended! Instead, Wilson had time to complete a 17 yard pass to Bowden Jr, who stepped out of bounds at the 10 yard line. There was time for one more play!

Wilson heaved the ball to the corner of the end-zone as time expired, trying to get it to his receiver, Ahmad Wagner. Wagner was well covered and they ball sailed over his head. The Tigers could finally celebrate their hard-earned victory!

But “Hold Everything” there was a flag on the play! The referee called DeMarkus Acy for pass interference. There was a little contact by Acy, but I felt that it was a horrible call, especially in that circumstance. It was a very “questionable” call that changed the outcome of the game!

The ball was placed at the 2 yard line, the clock read 0:00, and Kentucky had one final attempt. The ball was snapped, and Wilson threw a crisp pass to the front-corner of the end-zone where it was caught by C.J. Conrad for the game winning touchdown!!!

The Kentucky Wildcats pulled-out an unbelievable win, while the Missouri Tigers were left to sulk in the agony of their defeat, and in the multitude of their mistakes!

Final Thoughts 

ACC 
Duke is a team that I have been giving “mild” praise to all season, but the Blue Devils have finally “hit a wall”, losing 2 in a row. And of course Miami, FSU, and Virginia Tech have ended-up being complete disappointments! However, there are a few teams that have really stepped-up and are playing good football. Syracuse, Virginia, and Boston College are all sitting at (6-2), and they are all ranked in the AP Top 25. But it is very obvious that there is no one in this conference that is even close to the Clemson Tigers. I will be shocked if the Tigers lose a game down the stretch!

Big Ten West 
This division is an absolute mess! There are 4 teams (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Purdue) that could end up winning the division, and 3 of those teams already have two conference losses. It is very possible (and likely) that the Northwestern Wildcats will finish the season with a (7-5) record, and will be playing for a Big 10 Championship!

Non-Power 5 
There are some teams from non-power five conferences that are having really good seasons, and I was glad to see that two of those teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 this week. From the Mountain West Conference is #18 Utah State (7-1) and #20 Fresno State (7-1). From Conference USA there is UAB (7-1). In the MAC we have Buffalo sitting at (7-1). And from the Sun Belt Conference, Georgia Southern is also (7-1). We’ll see how all these teams can finish the season, and we’ll see if they can gain any traction in the CFP Rankings!

Remaining Playoff Contenders 
I made a mistake last week in College Football Recap- Week 8, when I stated that the Playoff Committee would release the first CFP Rankings on Sunday, October 28th. The committee actually released the rankings on Tuesday, October 30th (Just a few hours before the finalizing of this post). I did go back and correct my error, and I apologize for the incorrect information. I will comment more on the CFP Rankings in next week’s Recap!

So here is the list of teams from the Power 5 conferences with 0 or 1 loss. Even though I realize that it is “Not” going to happen, I am going to keep including the teams from the AAC who have 0 or 1 loss as well (mainly for conversation sake).

AAC 
UCF (7-0), Cincinnati (7-1), USF (7-1), and Houston (7-1) (4 Teams) 

ACC 
Clemson (8-0) (1 Team) 

Big 12 
Oklahoma (7-1) and West Virginia (6-1) (2 Teams) 

Big 10 
Michigan (7-1) and “TTFDB” (7-1) (2 Teams) 

Pac 12
Washington State (7-1) (1 Team) 

SEC
Alabama (8-0), LSU (7-1), Georgia (7-1), and Kentucky (7-1) (4 Teams) 

Other
Notre Dame (8-0) (1 Team) 

The list has been trimmed down to 15 Teams! Can’t wait to see what happens this week!