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Weekend Recap

What We Learned: Baker Train

by Luke Carlton
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Every Monday at noon, Luke Carlton will post an easily digestible recap of the weekend’s top news and what it means moving forward.


1. All aboard the Baker Mayfield Heisman train, again

The team doesn’t have the same reputation as a TCU or Baylor offense, or Oregon, but this Oklahoma offense, outside of the Texas game, has been rolling all year long.

Lincoln Riley is letting Baker Mayfield do his thing, but acknowledges that part of strength of this team also lies in the running game, in Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.

This is very important. Baker Mayfield is tied for 38th in the country in passing attempts with 309. At East Carolina last year, Riley’s quarterback Shane Carden had 462 attempts at the same point.

Credit to Lincoln Riley for adapting his offense to suit his players, as opposed to forcing his players into his offense. Don’t be surprised if he is poached away from Oklahoma soon enough.

 

2. The Pac-12 has albeit sealed their fate

 

Stanford’s loss to Oregon and Utah’s loss to Arizona leaves all the hopes of Pac-12 representation in the College Football Playoffs out of their hands.

 

With conference frontrunners Stanford and Utah sitting with two losses, and next best USC, Oregon and Washington State with three losses, the Pac-12 needs #TeamChaos to kick into overdrive and hand multiple losses to several teams.

 

This makes the job of the committee a lot easier since it is one less conference in the running for the fourth spot. Assuming Clemson wins out, it’s a straight race between the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Notre Dame for the three final spots.

If Oklahoma State, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame all win out, it’s going to be a very difficult decision for the committee to make, especially when you consider the teams each still has on their schedule.

3. Alabama is hitting stride, and it’s frightening

 

Ever since the game against Georgia, where the Crimson Tide were underdogs, Alabama has been rolling.

While it hasn’t been pretty at times, they have figured out their identity and are playing with confidence. A strong running game of Derrick Henry and well-executed passing plays to Calvin Ridley keeps defenses balanced.

Jacob Coker’s stats won’t raise any eyebrows, but he manages the game in an AJ McCarron-esque manner and keeps the offense ticking.

The defensive front seven stops anything within its tracks. In the last six games, Alabama allowed 524 yards on 195 carries, averaging out at 2.69 yards per rush attempt, with just two touchdowns.

If you take away Nick Chubb’s almost garbage time 83 yard score, the average drops to 2.27.

The secondary is balling out and stopping everything through the air; it has conceded five passing touchdowns to its ten interceptions in the last six games.

Kirby Smart has his defense playing at a high level, while Lane Kiffin is playing smart on offense. The Alabama juggernaut is hitting full steam right into the playoffs.

4. TCU crumbled without Boykin

We’re talking a 2011 Indianapolis Colts without Peyton Manning style crumbling.

The Horned Frogs managed to scrap through and beat the now 0-10 Kansas Jayhawks.  That would be the very same Kansas who conceded 179 points over the last three weeks. It would also be the same Kansas who were 47-point underdogs heading into Amon G. Carter Stadium.

TCU pulled out a close 23-17 win over the Jayhawks, but the most worrying thing about this game was the injury sustained by Trevone Boykin at the end of the first quarter.

Gary Patterson told reports Boykin is questionable, but an update should be available later in the week.

5. Two Big 12 teams could be eliminated from Playoff contention this weekend.

Baylor at Oklahoma State and TCU at Oklahoma are the lead games in the Big 12 this week, and the implications for each team are clear.

If Baylor loses, they are out of playoff contention with two losses.

If Oklahoma State loses, they pick up their first loss of the season and must beat Oklahoma the week after to stay in contention.

If TCU loses, they are out of playoff contention with two losses.

If Oklahoma loses, they are out of playoff contention with two losses.

If Oklahoma and Oklahoma State win, they face each other in Stillwater the week after to decide who will potentially represent the Big 12 in the playoffs.

 

6. Memphis blew it against Houston


Facing a backup quarterback in Kyle Postma and leading 34-14 in the fourth quarter, Memphis has no excuse as to why they lost this game.

Postma came into the game on the last drive of the second quarter, leading a drive Greg Ward Jr. had started to a touchdown. Postma did what Ward Jr. was unable to do, and put point on the board. He rejuvenated the offense and gave the offense new life.

But you have to look a how Memphis performed in the fourth quarter. After Houston scored their first fourth quarter touchdown, Memphis fumbled after two plays.

The Tigers were given new life after Houston turned over on downs eight plays later. They responded by throwing an interception three plays later.

After Houston scored to make it a six-point game, Memphis went three and out.

Memphis had this game won but failed to put Houston to bed. After back-to-back losses, they now are out of playoff contention.

7. Keenan Reynolds makes history

It didn’t take long for Keenan Reynolds to break the record this week.  

On Navy’s opening drive, Reynolds drove 70 yards on 14 plays and capped it off with a record breaking four-yard touchdown.

Reynolds finished with four rushing touchdowns as he expends his record for most rushing touchdowns in FBS history, overtaking Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

With at least four games left, Reynolds has the opportunity to push this record to new limits. In a world of pass happy offenses taking over, it’s within reason that Reynolds could push this record to attainable status.

8. Power 5 title games beginning to take shape

Alabama is now all but cemented in to face Florida for the SEC title. Ole Miss would need to win its last two games against LSU and Mississippi State and need Alabama to lose to Auburn take the spot away from them.

Should North Carolina avoid losing to both NC State and Virginia Tech, they will take on Clemson in Charlotte, where the Tar Heels kicked off their season with a loss to South Carolina.

In the Big Ten, Ohio State needs wins over Michigan State and Michigan from their third consecutive trip to Lucas Oil Stadium. Iowa must beat Purdue to secure their first ever Big Ten Championship Game

While the Pac-12 currently imploding, Stanford is still in the driver's seat for the Pac-12 Championship Game, as only needs a win over Cal this weekend to head to Levi’s Stadium.

Despite also losing, Utah (8-2) takes the driver's seat over USC (7-3). All USC needs to do in the last two games is win one more game than Utah to overtake them and get a revenge match against Stanford.

However, USC travels to Oregon this weekend before rivalry week against UCLA.

9. Missouri won’t be the same without Gary Pinkel

As announced this week; Gary Pinkel is stepping down as the head coach of the Missouri Tigers due to health reasons.

The impact Pinkel has had on Missouri football during his 15 years there has been incredible. Under Pinkel, Missouri recorded its first 10-win season since 1960. He led the Tigers into the SEC and back-to-back SEC East Titles.

Missouri has gone to 10 bowl games in Pinkel’s 14 full seasons at Missouri. To put that in perspective, Missouri only went to 10 bowl games between 1969 and 2000.

Pinkel transformed Missouri from Big 12 doormat to a competitive SEC team and brought college footballing relevance back to the state of Missouri. For this, we thank Coach Pinkel and wish him the best in his journey to a full recovery.

10. #TeamChaos refuses to quit

Arkansas dominated #9 LSU in Death Valley under the lights.

Oregon, with not much left to play for, stopped #7 Stanford’s two-point conversion attempts to seal a victory away from home.

Indiana and #14 Michigan took part in a barnstorming 48-41 double overtime slobber knocker.

Arizona removed #10 Utah from the playoff race with a 37-30 double overtime win.

#12 Oklahoma earned redemption over #6 Baylor, handing the Bears their first loss of the year.

South Florida sticking a fork in #22 Temple, two weeks after they were undefeated and hosting College GameDay.

Washington State continued to progress with a win over #19 UCLA in L.A.

A winless Kansas took #15 TCU to the wire.

#8 Oklahoma State needing a second half comeback to secure a win over Iowa State to stay undefeated.

#5 Iowa remains undefeated after ten games.

The state of New Mexico contributed something to college football, with the Lobos taking down Boise State in the Mountain West.

Chaos has taken control of the footballing landscape. Nobody is safe from upsets and crazy finishes, except for Clemson, which surely proves how unpredictable this season has become.

Luke Carlton
Luke Carlton is a NFL Draft writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.