It was the college football version of “Shock and Awe” as Auburn, Miami, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ohio State stomped, throttled, annihilated, overwhelmed, dismantled, and took no prisoners in outcomes that dramatically altered the landscape of the playoff rankings.
We’ll begin in the Plains where, in a job-saving performance, Gus Malzahn’s Auburn Tigers, before a frenzied Jordan-Hare Stadium, brushed aside an early 7-0 deficit, then proceeded to barbecue the visiting Bulldogs of Georgia, the number one ranked team in the land, smoking them 40-17 in a performance worthy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Auburn’s starry tailback Kerryon Jackson AP photo
The D of the “Sons of Bo Jackson” squeezed tighter than Albert DeSalvo, holding the Dawgs vaunted ground attack to a measly 46-yards, an eye-popping 233-yards below its average, while the Tigers offense ran all over and pass at will against what was considered one of the best defenses in the country.
It was simply a breathtaking performance, as Auburn has played itself into the playoff conversation.
If the Tigers, in two weeks are able to defeat Alabama (a legitimate possibility) in the Iron Bowl it would win the SEC West and play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
A victory there gives the Auburn a playoff worthy resume, and a possible giant migraine for the committee.
Could a two-loss team, with two separate victories over No. 1 teams, as well as being crowned the SEC Champion be denied a playoff spot? Stay tuned.
In South Bend, even “Touchdown Jesus” is in shock.
The U can also put to rest the question; is Miami real or Memorex as the Hurricanes deconstructed the Irish; 41-8 totally dominating both sides of the ball. At one point the Irish had 5-pass completions and three interceptions!
Miami cornerback Trajan Bandy wearing turnover chain for a pick 6 AP photo
Miami’s speed and power was Secretariat-esque, and its victory propels Mark Richt’s undefeated thoroughbreds into a top-4 playoff position, as well as a date in the ACC Championship game. Amazing.
We’ll slide over to Norman, where, with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein; “OOOOOOKLAAAHOOMA! Where the “wins” come sweepin’ down the plain” as the Sooners in an offensive display worthy of a Kim Jong-Un missile launch toyed with the Horned Frogs of TCU; 38-20.
Oklahoma QB and Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield AP photo
OU scored all 38 of its points in the first half as Baker Mayfield, the Heisman prohibitive frontrunner, did his thing throwing three more TD passes, then using his legs to pick up key first downs on the ground in the second half.
But for the OU faithful, the most encouraging aspect of the lopsided win was the Sooner’s D, which in a big spot, played its best and most complete game of the year as, Oklahoma stated its case for a playoff invite. In our eyeball test, OU is the best team in the country.
Wisconsin’s All-America tailback Jonathan Taylor AP photo
Over to Madison, where the “Rodney Dangerfield’s” of college football AKA the Badgers of Wisconsin, in another dominating defensive (Iowa was held to a total of 66-offensive yards) performance, with a big assist from its Heisman caliber tailback Jonathan Taylor; 157-yards, toyed with the Hawkeyes of Iowa; 38-14.
The victory takes the “fighting Paul Chryst’s” to 10-0 “Elle-like” perfection for the first time in school history, as the “Sons of Elroy Crazylegs Hirsh” continue to lay out an Alan Dershowitz tight case for playoff inclusion.
Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer AP photo
It must have been awfully cranky around the football offices of Columbus after its concussive debacle the week before in Iowa City, because the Buckeyes stormed out of the Columbus gates and never looked back dissecting the visitors from East Lansing, the Spartans of Michigan State; 48-3.
It was Ohio State’s third largest victory over a ranked team in school history, and kept the Buckeyes slim playoffs chances alive, albeit in with the help of a respirator.
The Boys from “Cowbell Country” AKA Mississippi State gave a fright to the visitors from “Title Town” AKA the Crimson Tide, before Alabama scored the winning TD with a mere 25-seconds left in regulation saving its championship aspirations by knocking off Dan Mullen’s feisty bunch: 31-24.
Alabama’s cool QB Jalen Hurts AP photo
Two things stood out; the Tide’s QB Jalen Hurts is cooler than Steve McQueen, and because of all its defensive injuries, for the first time this season a team was able to run through, what had previously been an impregnable Alabama defensive wall, giving its faithful pause as it approaches its Armageddon clash against Auburn on the road in two weeks. Can’t wait.
Hail the Academies; as both Army and Navy won yesterday.
Army Coach Jeff Monken celebrating win against Duke AP photo
The Cadets, who have won six in a row, sit an impressive 8-2, and finished with a perfect 6-0 home record for the first time since the “Bill and Monica” Days – 1996, as its coach, Jeff Monken, is deserving of Coach of the Year accolades. Good for the “Long Grey Line.”
In Annapolis, after enduring a three-game losing streak, Navy’s last second 43-40 field-goal victory over SMU made the Middies bowl eligible for the sixth consecutive year, and the 14th time in its last 15th seasons.
After losing both QB’s to injuries, Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo decided to insert his speedy slotback Malcolm Perry under center, and the move played as brilliantly as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, as the newbie rushed for 282-yards, including a 92-yard TD run which was the second longest in school history. WOW!
“We got tough kids. We’re going to fight to the freakin’ end,” said the coach in poetic military Veteran’s Day elegance.
On the local front; the Silver Lake Regional High teammates had a mixed weekend.
Buddy Teevens and the Big Green of Dartmouth who were making its first Fenway Park appearance since the war year of FDR – 1944, easily handled the Bears of Brown 33-10, keeping its hopes for a share of the Ivy League title alive.
While the Veritas Boys of Harvard (5-4) fell to Penn; 23-6 and in doing so are out of the Ivy League race. That happens about as often as someone with the demeanor of Donald J. Trump is elected President of the United States.
Columbia Coach Al Bagnoli AP photo
In New York, our other pal, Coach Al Bagnoli and his “Fighting Bagnoli’s” AKA the Lions of Columbia, knocked off the “Big Red” of Cornell 18-8, and in doing improved its record to a remarkable Lazarus-like 7-2, setting up the following scenario for next weekend.
If Harvard defeats Yale in “The Game,” and the Lions take care of business against its rival Brown, Columbia will share in a piece the Ivy League Championship, an achievement not even Nostradamus could have foreseen.
It also may well be the first time in his long distinguished career that the future HOF Coach will be rooting for success for the gridiron eleven from Cambridge. Whatever happens, Coach Bags has done a remarkable job, and more importantly put Columbia football back on the map!
In Florida, the former Sunshine State football goliaths; Florida State, and Florida, are a combined; 6-12, which is the Gators worst start since Jimmy Carter’s last year in office- 1979. YIKES!!
In Clemson, the “Fighting Dabo’s” had a scare, but prevailed over Florida State: 31-14 setting up an ACC Championship playoff showdown with Miami. Again, can’t wait.
And on the “Dead Man Walking” watch; Bret Bielema and his Arkansas Razorbacks were butchered by LSU 33-10, while Tennessee mercifully decided to pull the plug on its coach Butch Jones, after his Volunteers, who are winless in the SEC, were crushed 50-17 by a mediocre bunch of Missouri Tigers. The moving vans are warmed up and ready to go.
Hail the ‘smart kids” as Northwestern won its fifth in a row; a 23-13 victory over Purdue as the Cats have clawed its way to 7-3 record, proving once again that Pat Fitzgerald is one of the nation’s best.
Former KU Coach Charlie Weis AP photo
Finally, as always, we close with our bloviating gas-bag pal Charlie Weis and the woeful Jayhawks of Kansas (1-9), who lost to Texas 42-27, and in the process set an FBS record for ineptitude, losing its 45 consecutive game on the road. AMAZING!!
As Mr. Rogers might say on Sesame Street; “Can you say, irrelevant?” Yikes, sorry Charlie!
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 12 Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music. pk