Maybe it was the turning of the calendar.
But whatever the reason, the college landscape had a seismic shift yesterday.
To paraphrase Howard Cosell; “Down goes, Oregon, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A@M, and UCLA!”
The carnage began on Thursday night, when Oregon fell to Arizona, and it didn’t stop until the wee hours of Sunday morning, when Utah held on to beat UCLA.
And when the smoke had cleared, the No.’s 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 ranked teams had fallen faster than former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, and its playoff dreams deeply wounded in what was a classic shakeup Saturday.
There is only one place to begin, and that is in the Magnolia State, where for the first time, Mississippi and Mississippi State defeated top 10 teams on the same day.
The biggest shocker was in Oxford, where Ole Miss Bo Wallace, who elevated himself into the Archie, Eli legendary status, led the Rebels in a fourth quarter comeback with a pair of spot on laser touchdown passes, knocking off the Tide; 23-17.
It was only the third time in in 81 games under Nick Saban that the Tuscaloosan Titans failed to win a game when it was leading by 7 or more points in the fourth quarter. Amazing!!
And in a Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post scene, the students stormed the field hoisting its conquering hero QB onto its shoulders, while the goal posts in one of the end zone’s came joyously crashing to the ground.
It will be a day none of them, students, players, and Reb faithful will ever forget, and it perfectly captures the beauty of a big college football game on campus.
The win also catapults Ole Miss, who is 5-0 for the first time since JFK occupied the White House – 1962, into the playoff conversation.
Shouts of “Bo Knows” were ringing on the Oxford campus late into the night.
Not to be outdone, in Starkville, the Bulldogs of Mississippi State came out punching, led by its now, Heisman candidate QB, Dak Prescott (5 TDs – 2 passing -3 running) as they took apart the undefeated visitors from College Station, the Aggies of Texas A@M; 48-31.
The score doesn’t do justice to the domination of the Bulldogs, who picked off 3 passes Kenny Hill passes, last month’s anointed son, simply overwhelming the Aggies.
The season ending Egg Bowl between these Mississippi powers (when the last time you saw those words together??) could be for a rather large prize.
In Fort Worth, Texas it was, what the faithful have come to expect from OU, another “Big Game” Bob loss, as Stoops Sooners couldn’t convert on a fourth and 1 from the TCU 22 and fell; 37 -33 to the Horned Frogs.
It was a huge win for the Gary Patterson’s TCU program which had been off the national radar for the past couple of season, and a crushing loss for the Sooners.
In South Bend it was more magic by Touchdown Jesus, as the Irish rallied scoring on a fourth down and eleven, 23 yard Everett Golson touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining, crushing the Cardinal of Stanford: 17-14.
The Domers now stand 5-0, and are very much in the discussion of a playoff spot, with a ginormous October 18th game with Florida State looming on the horizon.
In the “Old Friends” department, former Silver Lake teammates Tim Murphy of Harvard, and Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth both experienced enjoyable Saturdays, as Harvard knocked off Georgetown 34-3, while The Big Green of Dartmouth took out Penn 31-13. Good for them.
In the other Oxford, Ohio, it was another fourth quarter collapse for the Minutemen, who one time had a 41-14 lead, before losing to Miami of Ohio; 42-41.
This loss was tougher than most for UMass, who helplessly watched as Miami ended its 21 game losing streak, which dropped the eleven from Amherst to: 0-6. UGH!!
Since joining the ranks of the “big boys” the state’s flagship university is now a bottom-feeding 2-28 and seemingly lost in the wilderness.
Another team searching for an identity is the Tigers of LSU, who were smoked by Auburn 41-7. OUCH!! The Bayou Bengals, for the first time under the tenure of Les Miles, have dropped consecutive SEC (0-2) games.
While the search for a quarterback continues on what may be the worst team in the SEC West. YIKES!!!
Will the “Mad Hatter” listen if a phone comes from Michigan at season’s end??
Speaking of the woeful Maize and Blue, the once mighty Meeechigan Wolverines marched into Piscataway, New Jersey and trudged out with another desultory defeat a 26-24 loss to Rutgers.
Did you ever think those two words would be put together with Michigan; Rutgers and loss. Wow@!!
The Wolverines (2-4) have lost three straight, and 8 of its last 11, virtually sealing the fate of its beleaguered coach Brady Hoke and its athletic director Dave Brandon.
In East Lansing Michigan State held on to defeat Nebraska 27-22, while Ohio State seems to have found its stride with its convincing shellacking of a decent Maryland team: 52-24.
And nice win for the smart kids as Northwestern, who for the second consecutive week, sprung a surprising upset, this time a 20-14 victory over Wisconsin.
The Huskies are now a surprising 2-0 in conference play, and a factor in the Big Ten race.
Finally, we go to the Coliseum in Los Angeles, where one of the all-time frauds, Coach Todd Graham’s Arizona State Sun Devils shocked the Trojans of USC, scoring 3 touchdowns in the final 3:53 of the game with the winner, a 54 yard Hail Mary miracle with no time left on the clock, stunning the Men of Troy: 38-34.
But it was Graham’s words after the game that has our Saturday Football recap blood boiling.
The QB that tossed that winning pass is Mike Bercovici (5 TDs), is the backup to injured starry signal caller Taylor Kelly who is out with an ankle.
Bercovici was close to transferring out, figuring, rightfully so, that his playing time in Phoenix would be very limited.
In the post-game interview, Graham waxed poetically about how kids should never transfer out, just wait for your chance, things like this can happen, and it will be a moment that he (Bercovici) will never forget; blah blah blah blah blah!!!
What Graham forgot to add was, that when he was hired by the Pitt Panthers he told the student body, and the faithful that he had found his home.
That was before ASU came calling after his one season at Pitt. Graham informed his players that he was leaving Pitt via text from the plane that was taking him to his new home in the friendly$$$ confine$$ of
Sun Devil Stadium. UGH!!!
Biggest phony since Lance Armstrong.!!!
That’s it from cyber space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 7 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK