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. What a time to be alive indeed.
Team Chaos should be receiving top 25 votes with its recent form.
We’ve gone back-to-back walk off blocked special teams touchdowns, to the point when Florida State was lining up for the kick, you couldn’t help but be reminded of the possibility of a block. And if it gets blocked, the plausibility of a return.
Just like the infamous Kick Six and the Gift Six, as it is apparently being called, the best part about the play is the radio call. Listen to the passion and excitement in the voices of the Georgia Tech radio team.
Christened “The Miracle on Techwood Drive”, it’s a fitting end to Florida State’s impressive ACC winning streaks. Diving into the numbers, it holds even more credibility.
Since losing at home to the Florida Gators on November 24th 2012, Florida State went on a run of 33 straight regular season wins. Florida State averaged 41 points per game during the streak; a streak that started, and ended, against Georgia Tech.
Sometimes, you need to think outside the box to beat a powerhouse. Sometimes it comes in the form of trick plays. Sometimes it comes in showing them something they’ve never seen. And sometimes, it’s just pure luck.
The Seminoles weren’t at the top of their game this Sunday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. As a result, the window of opportunity for something crazy was left slightly ajar.
But this is Chaos season, and it comes through that slightly ajar window like a bull in a china shop.
2. Utah did what everyone was waiting for them to do.
It happens every year. One team emerges out of nowhere as an undefeated power and starts to be taken seriously. But really, the respect level still isn’t there. We’re just waiting for them to drop one game to prove our original opinions correct.
See Marshall last year. See Mississippi State last year. See Northwestern this year. See Cal this year. See soon to be Iowa this year. *
Now you can add 2015 Utah to the list of teams.
The undefeated Utes travelled down to USC as underdogs against a team who just sacked their head coach two weeks ago. And they got beat.
After taking a 14-7 lead into the second quarter, Kyle Whittingham’s team only managed to score three points to USC’s 35 until a fourth quarter garbage time score made the score slightly more respectable.
The narrative still stands. Just like Rodney Dangerfield and Michael Scott, the Utah Utes get no respect, and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with being the hot team to start the season and knowing that at some point along the way, they’re going to come up against a team with better players who will beat them.
They played the role of the guy who got the girl who was way out of his league and everyone knew it, but didn’t say it. Then, the girl left him, and everyone openly acknowledged that he was punching above his weight.
Utah’s hot start to the season has them bowl eligible, got a visit for College GameDay and is in a good position to challenge for a strong bowl appearance. Utah’s only real test for the rest of the regular season is welcoming the Bruins of UCLA to Salt Lake City in what could potentially decide the Pac-12 South.
It’s a good season, but we were never really convinced they were playoff contenders, right? Great college football team, but were they ever up there with Ohio State, Baylor/TCU, Clemson and LSU? If they were underdogs on the road against USC, what will the line be against Stanford in the projected title game?
* As of October 26th, Iowa are still undefeated. With Halloween just around the corner, your children may be more scared than normal. Head over to http://talkingtoyourkidsaboutiowa.tumblr.com/ for help on how to handle this situation.
3. Two years ago is a long time in football.
Take it back two years ago. November 16th 2013.
Blake Bortles and the UCF Knights travelled up to Philadelphia to face the Temple Owls.
A reported 20,000 people “filled” the lower bowl of Lincoln Financial Field to see the 7-1 Knights face the 1-8 Owls.
Blake Bortles threw a late strike to JJ Worton, who made a sublime one handed catch to save UCF for an embarrassing loss to a bad Temple team.
UCF went on to the Fiesta Bowl and beat #6 Baylor to finish 12-1 as a top 10 team.
Temple finished off the season beating Memphis, finishing 2-10.
Fast-forward two years.
Temple’s fourth quarter comeback saves the Owls from an embarrassing loss to the UCF Knights.
Temple, now standing at 7-0, finds themselves as a ranked team and patiently awaits the news of where College GameDay will go next.
UCF sit at 0-7 with FBS low 58.3 rushing yards per game and head coach George O’Leary just resigned.
4. It’s a great day for 4OT fans.
Two quadruple overtime games on one Saturday, because Team Chaos is running rampant this season.
Firstly, as something SB Nation’s Ryan Nanni pointed out, Auburn and Arkansas’s box score resembles a poor bowling performance.
Secondly, Auburn has turned painfully one-dimensional on the ground. Coming from a team who had the dual threat of Nick Marshall, to a team that gives their main running back the ball 37 times a game, is a tough transition to make.
While they still spread the ball around through the air, it’s worrying going forward how Gus Malzahn goes about bringing excitement and velocity to the offense.
Then we head over to Blacksburg, Virginia, where Duke became the first team, Virginia Tech included, to win back-to-back games in Lane Stadium since 2013.
It’s a simple case for Virginia Tech fans of been there and done that. The 3-4 Hokies came in as 3.5-point favorites over the 5-1 #23 Blue Devils. Michael Brewer was back in his starting role. But they couldn’t get the job done.
The ACC Coastal now personifies Team Chaos, with Pitt, Duke and North Carolina all sitting top of the division at 6-1, followed by a 4-3 Miami who just fired their coach after the worst loss in program history.
Bringing up the rear is Virginia, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, fresh off their win over #9 Florida State.
5. Al Golden needed to go.
I’m not usually one to call for people to lose their jobs, but it was the right time for Al Golden to go.
In fact, it was probably time for Al Golden to go last year.
The fan base made their feelings know. It was known that alumni and former players weren’t exactly happy with the direction the program was going. But most importantly for Miami, the aura surrounding the team has gone.
Miami no longer scares opponents. Traveling to Sun Life Stadium doesn’t scare opponents. They aren’t the powerhouse that kids watched when growing up anymore. They’re just a shadow of their former selves.
Miami needs a coach who can bring some juice to the program. They need someone who can bring together a disinterested fan base and put together another Howard Schnellenberger type resurrection job before the Hurricanes and their history fade away.
With Miami, you need to build and leave a legacy. You a based in one of the largest recruiting hotbeds in the country. In fact, 15 of 24/7’s composite top 100 2016 recruits are from the state of Florida.
In 2013 and 2014 combined, the Hurricanes had five players drafted into the NFL. One of them was a punter.
In last year’s NFL Draft, Miami had six players selected within the first 128 picks.
Miami went 6-7 last year.
It was the right time for Al Golden to go.
6. Appalachian State is no longer just that team that beat Michigan.
Just like the chaotic year of 2007, Appalachian State is playing a key role in the story of 2015 College Football.
The Mountaineers sit at 6-1 alone atop of the #FunBelt and have done so with a dominant defense.
Outside of their payday game against Clemson, Appalachian State’s defense has conceded 43 points through their six wins.
The defense balled out on Thursday night against rivals and reigning #FunBelt champions Georgia Southern to the tune of a convincing 31-13 win. The loss was Georgia Southern’s first ever #FunBelt loss.
The rivalry is new to the #FunBelt, but isn’t new to either team. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State go way back to their Southern Conference days, where the two battled it out year in and year out for the SoCon title.
While it was Georgia Southern’s time to create buzz last year, it’s all on the Mountaineers this year. With five games to go, there are just two games that stand out as a challenge; a Thursday night home game against Arkansas State before travelling to Moscow, Idaho to face the Vandals in the Kibbie Dome.
Should the Mountaineers beat those in their way, the #FunBelt title is theirs; once again trading conference titles with rival Georgia Southern.
7. Toledo is the best third quarter team in the country.
It’s a strange title to hold, but it’s one that is very much Toledo’s.
The Rockets have won all seven third quarters this season by a total of 73-0.
That’s right. Matt Campbell and Toledo make adjustments at halftime that must be working. This last week proved the case more than any.
Down 28-10 to UMass, the Rockets and former Alabama quarterback Phillip Ely posted up three touchdowns putting the Toledo in the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
They continued their momentum to outscore the Minutemen 41-7 in the second half, a final score of 51-35 for Toledo, and dropped one place in the rankings as a result.
Toledo keeps on track for an undefeated season and a chance to represent the group of five in the New Year’s Six.
To do that, the schedule isn’t easy. It starts next Tuesday for some midweek MACtion against 5-3 Northern Illinois. A trip to Central Michigan, who are 3-1 in conference play, and 6-2 Bowling Green come on the next successive Tuesdays before a final challenge of Western Michigan, undefeated in MAC play this year, as the final regular season test.
8. Ohio State works best under J.T. Barrett.
And that’s a scary thought for everyone else in college football.
Ohio State went undefeated through seven weeks of the season with their backup quarterback. Now they discover who their real starter is just in time to get J.T. Barrett boost his stats and get a couple more wins under his belt against Rutgers, Minnesota and Illinois before the only two games on the schedule Ohio State fans really care about.
At home to Michigan State will decide who represents the East in the Big 10 title game. And of course there is Michigan, a pure hate game at its finest.
For J.T. Barrett, it’s a chance for him to prove why he should never be put on the bench ever again. If that’s the motivation he’s going with, it worked on Saturday against Rutgers. Barrett finished the game with 60 per cent of Ohio State’s total yardage and five of the seven touchdowns.
Barrett leads the team with 14 total touchdowns, despite only really being used as a situation red zone quarterback in recent weeks.
Elliott has 1,130 yards on the season, good for third in the nation currently, and hasn’t rushed for less than 100 yards in his past 13 games.
We all knew about Elliott’s incredible play coming into the year, but he hasn’t been getting much of the national acclaim Fournette is getting, outside of his Greg Jennings-esque “I put the team on my back, dawg” performance against Indiana.
The truth is, Christian McCaffrey has been pretty ridiculous since the USC game, but it’s only been the last two games, where we were fully aware Stanford were legit, that he’s received a stupendous amount of deserved praise.
McCaffrey has been over 150 total yards the last two games, and over 200 total yards in the last two.
It was a good weekend for the McCaffrey family all around, with brother Max catching two touchdowns for Duke in their overtime win over Virginia Tech and younger brother Dylan quarterbacking Valor Christian (CO) to a 10-0 win over defending state champions Cherry Creek on homecoming weekend, thanks to a 97-yard touchdown throw from McCaffrey.
But back onto the Heisman contending McCaffrey. His style of play suits the ground and pound, middle finger to the spread offense style Stanford incorporates. McCaffrey’s patience, awareness and, ultimately, his explosiveness behind the Stanford mauling line is a perfect fit going forward.
There is still one question regarding Stanford that still needs to be asked, however.
How on earth did they lose to Northwestern?
10. Mount Union keeps it 100.
In a week where Florida State’s streak falls, Mount Union adds a milestone to their own.
The Purple Raiders of Mount Union beat the Wilmington Quakers 69-0 to win their 100th consecutive regular season game.
The Purple Raiders last lost a regular season game to Ohio Northern on October 22nd 2005, the same day the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.
The preposterous part of this story is that Mount Union are still 11 games away from breaking their own record, which was broken by Ohio Northern.
That’s right. Mount Union won 110 straight games before dropping one to Ohio Northern. They then went on to win the next 100 straight.
Since that streak started in 1994, the Purple Raiders are 210-1 in regular season play.
It’d be October 14th 1994 against Baldwin-Wallace University where Mount Union lost their second most recent regular season game.
One month earlier, Friends debuted on NBC.
Boyz II Men were #1 in the Billboard charts with “I’ll Make Love To You”
Almost one year later, Sony released the original PlayStation.
What a time to be alive.