Man up and get ready to draw some un-sportsmen-like penalties cause it’s Rivalry Week! There were a ton of great games on Saturday and we should all be happy to be college football fans since we were treated to some awesome contests all day long.
Let’s be honest… this year is all about Auburn now; and the love that God has for the Tigers. Not only were they saved by a tipped Hail Mary against Georgia, they were also treated to a Nick Saban mistake and a 109 yard missed FG return. I have never in my life seen something like that and man am I glad I was watching when Alabama’s dreams got flushed down the toilet.
We’ll skip the formalities of sections this week and just starting calling them like we see them. This dear reader is Rivalry Week!
With all apologies for this being posted late due to a huge computer conversion at work… Let’s kick it off!
THE IRON BOWL - #4 Auburn over #1 Alabama 34-28
Oh man what a game! 21-21 until the 4th quarter when Alabama’s AJ McCarron connects with Amari Cooper for a 99 yard TD pass to go up by 7 with 10 minutes to play. Alabama’s defense for yet another win right? Nope! Auburn goes 7 plays 65 yards and a TD to tie it at 28 with 32 seconds to go. Alabama gets it, goes on a long run and the clock runs out. Wait no. Saban challenges and says his man stepped out with :01 to go. Sure enough that genius is right and Alabama brings in a red-shirt Freshman to kick a 57-yard FG… the kick is up… the kick is… short. Auburn sent a man back to return it and he comes out as we all get ready for overtime. But… he keeps running… he’s got the sideline… Chris Davis… he’s going to go… 109 yards for the TD with no time left!!! Auburn wins! Auburn wins! Oh my God I can’t believe it! Seriously though, that was a great game and one of the greatest endings you’ll ever see in any competitive sport. Wow!
#3 Ohio State over Michigan 42-41
I really thought Michigan was going to pull this one out of their ass and trip Ohio State up. 21-21 at half and really most people thought the Buckeyes were just going to pull away in the second half. Sure enough they were up 35-21 going into the 4th quarter and just running all over Michigan’s defense. (393 rushing yards on the day). Somehow the Wolverines tied it at 35 with 5 minutes to go but then fell behind by 7 again with just over 2 minutes to go in the game. Then, Michigan gets the ball and drives it home for a TD on a 2 yard pass; extra point ties the game. Um, wait. Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke says, ‘Fuck that! We’re going for the win! 2-point conversion time!’ What? Would you look at the balls on this guy?! He knew his defense wouldn’t be able to stop Ohio State starting from the OT 25-yard line, so why not right? Fuck it! Go for it! I didn’t really like the play they called based on watching the game and how it played out and I’m really sad the Michigan didn’t quite make it. But damn! That was one ballsy call from Hoke and he gained some respect from me on Saturday. Fuck Ohio State!
The Civil War - #13 Oregon over Oregon State 36-35
That was close. It took Oregon till :29 left in the game to take to lead for good. This was one hell of an interesting 4th quarter. The Ducks led 24-20 to start it and then there were four lead changes until Oregon finally won it. Quack! To say that Oregon got off track after losing at Stanford on November 7th would be an understatement. They went from legit National Title contender to barely sneaking by a .500 Oregon State team. Oh, and the uniforms in this game… wow. I thought Oregon State was Syracuse from the mid 90s at first then Oregon per their usual wore some alternative of an alternative look. Whatever. This was an entertaining game and didn’t need to be played on a Friday; come on PAC-12.
#9 Baylor over TCU 41-38
Ok, I’ll admit I didn’t know this was a rivalry that’s been played since 1899. I mean Baylor really hasn’t become relevant until the past few years and TCU wears purple and has a frog as a mascot. Baylor led 34-17 at one point before TCU fought back and pulled within 3 to open the 4th quarter. It took a(nother) Baylor INT in the final minute of the game to seal it up and send Baylor to a 10-1 before a de-facto Big-12 Championship next week at Texas.
Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate - Georgia over Georgia Tech 41-34 in 2OT!
Glory Glory to Ol’ Georgia and To Hell With Georgia Tech! Oh man. This was a down year for Georgia but wins over Tennessee, Florida and now Georgia Tech make it all the easier to stand. Georgia will finish 8-4 and head to a bowl game with a beat up team and nothing to play for but this week they can smile knowing that they stuck it to Tech this year. Again, I didn’t give them much of a chance really and after falling behind 20-7 the chances seemed even worse. But, once the Dawgs settled down in the second half they tied it up with 10 points in the 4th quarter and then won it in OT. Go Dawgs!
THE VICTORY BELL - #24 Duke over North Carolina 27-25
Let’s just get it out there… Duke has 10 wins for the first time EVER! Next week will be their first appearance in the ACC Championship Game EVER! This is the first time Duke has been Bowl-eligible in back-to-back years… EVER! Ross Martin’s 27-yard FG with 2:22 to go was the biggest 3-pointer at Duke since Christian Laettner and it will set up a David vs. Goliath matchup next week that I pray becomes the biggest upset in ACC history! GO DUKE!
THE VICTORY BELL (no, this is another Victory Bell not the one in the game above that Duke won) #22 UCLA over #23 USC 35-14
That’s two in a row for the Bruins over the forever in search of a coach Trojans of USC. (Although today it looks like they’ve found a new one… again). Seems like USC is going to be in transition for a while but hopefully (for them) they’ll stay competitive in the process. Two turnovers and not a whole lot of offense though in this one from the Trojans and UCLA looks like they may just be a team on the rise in the PAC-12 with a decent defense and an offense that seems to control the ball and tempo fairly well.
LEGENDS TROPHY - #8 Stanford over #25 Notre Dame 27-20
Now this was the definition of a back and forth ballgame. Stanford never really lost the momentum or the lead but the Irish just kept it close and kept chipping away. Each team had some stalled drives and two turnovers but Stanford’s run game was really the deciding factor. The Cardinal dominated in total yardage and avoided a hangover loss to the Irish before heading into the PAC-12 Championship game against Arizona State next week.
THE PALMETTO BOWL - #10 South Carolina upsets #6 Clemson 31-17
I don’t really see this as an upset since (and maybe this is because of where I live) a lot of people were saying Carolina was favored to win this one. And, win they did making it 5 straight over Clemson. This quickly turned into the Connor Shaw and Mike Davis show as Carolina put a beating on Clemson on Saturday spoiling Clemson’s hopes for a BCS Bowl (unless crazy things happen this weekend). I say good for the Cocks and it was a nice finish to Connor Shaw’s tenure there finishing with an amazing 15-0 record at home.
Honorable Mentions to:
Land of Lincoln Trophy - Northwestern over Illinois 37-34 – Northwestern didn’t win a whole lot this year so it’s nice to see them get a win here at the end.
San Jose State’s 62-52 upset win over #16 Fresno State to spoil Fresno’s undefeated season.
Golden Boot - #17 LSU over Arkansas 31-27.
The Commonwealth Cup – Virginia Tech over Virginia 16-6. This game used to mean something outside of the Commonwealth.
The Apple Cup – Washington over Washington State 27-17. Go Apples!
PILLOW FIGHT OF THE WEEK:
I went with New Mexico State and… nailed it! Moves me to 10-2 on the year and NMS to 2-10! Jeez Idaho is bad! I mean real bad! 24-16 was the final in case anyone out there cares about that sort of thing. Idaho somehow found a way to lose despite outgaining the Aggies and winning the turnover battle. Both the Vandals and Aggies are done for the year and finish a combined 3-21. Wow.
Next week is Championship Week so obviously we won’t be having an appearance from any of our pillow fight contenders. I’ll save declaring a Pillow Fight Champion until next week, but in the mean time I’ll pick Rutgers (5-6) to take out S. Florida (2-9) in the only matchup featuring two teams with less than 6 wins next week. So, Rutgers is a powerhouse as far as pillow fights go and could just get bowl eligible; which of course would eliminate them from Pillow Fight Championship contention.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jordan Lynch; Northern Illinois QB, who went 5/17 for 39 yards and a TD. Nice right? Oh, he also ran the ball 27 times for 321 yards and 3 TDs. Say what you want about his competition in the MAC, but Lynch has thrown for 2,457 yards this year and 22 TDs. He’s run for 1,755 yards and 20 TDs. Those are Heisman numbers. See Timmy Tebow and Mark Ingram or even RGIII or Johnny Football.
My Picks Go…
Real poorly as I went 5-5 this week. I thought Texas A&M would take MizzU and I, like a lot of people, went with Alabama. Oh well. Better luck next week.