This week’s frenzied football fun gave us some long-desired insight to certain college teams’ true identities. We saw the surprising-yet-not-surprising Sparty upset of Ohio State, as MSU sent the Buckeyes tumbling to their first loss in the past 23 games, an outcome OSU seemed on the brink of the entire season. The Big 12 pecking order was established a little better, with two huge clashes between four Top 25 foes producing an Oklahoma squad continuing their possible playoff push and Baylor rebounding from last week’s loss in topping previously-undefeated Oklahoma St.
The NFL results have us wondering if anyone can stop Cam Newton (5 TD’s!) and the Panthers as they rolled to their 10th straight win of the season, smashing Washington, while Green Bay let their cheesey faithful “R-E-L-A-X” with a dominant win against division rival Minnesota. Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston continued his rookie ascent with a huge 5 TD day against the disappointing Eagles. Baltimore would love for the Raven of Injuries to be quothed, “Nevermore” as they continued their snake-bitten season losing QB Joe Flacco for the year with a torn ACL along with RB Justin Forsette with a broken arm, while Broncos fans could rest reasonably easy in seeing Peyton’s backup Brock Osweiler steer steadily with a close win over ‘da Bears.
What this all means, for both the NFL and CFB playoff pictures still remains to be settled on future fields, but at least the murky waters of “who’s real” and “who’s not” have begun to clear, as the end (of the regular season) creeps near.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 12 PORTION OF THE PROGRAM
College Football Link Dinks and Dunks of the Week
Very interesting look at Coastal Carolina’s Head Coach Joe Moglia, ex-CEO of TD Ameritrade, $100+ millionaire, potentially in line for big-conference job?…Another great article on Mark Dantonio building a consistent winner at Michigan St…Police investigating rape at Nebraska’s players house….UGA RB Keith Marshall going pro…Duke boots starting WR, two others…North Dakota drops “Fighting Sioux” nickname for “Fighting Hawks”…Nice look at how OSU’s Miller made the switch from QB to WR…
CFB Game of the Week (Football 3 Ways)
#9 Michigan State @ #3 Ohio State
Ohio State was thought to be the clear front-runner for this year’s College Football Playoff, with their “defending champions” belt and their potential 6 first-round NFL picks and their century-swaying swagger. But this season they’d yet to recover the mojo that led them to the championship last year, buzz-sawing through the playoffs to the crown. They’ve played almost timid, perhaps shackled by the weight of expectations and QB-shuffling and offseason puff pieces getting them fat on the land. Who knows? But they’d manage to escape near-upsets all year and the public was salivating to see the Bucks finally tested this week against the tough Spartans of Michigan State. While MSU seemingly had their playoff hopes smashed with a bad-ref-call-assisted loss to Nebraska earlier in the year, a potential upset of OSU would give them a shiny glimmer of playoff hope.
Once these two B1G beasts met on a drizzly, Saturday afternoon we saw who was who and what was what. Ohio State confirmed their fan’s worst fears in laying an offensive dud, Sparty stayed stout and pulled off the big upset, knocking off the defending champs with a last-second, 41-yard FG to win. Where MSU goes from here is anyone’s guess, and some of OSU’s key players were unsurprisingly apoplectic in the aftermath, with RB Ezekiel Elliot strongly calling out OSU’s coaches for not giving him the rock enough and declaring his intentions to go pro, which Cardale Jones echoed on Twitter shortly thereafter. Overall a huge win for a MSU program this close to establishing itself as a steady behemoth in the CFB hierarchy and an even bigger question mark gets slapped on OSU’s present and future, with their current temp. being TENSE.
Michigan State 17 – Ohio State 14
- Ohio State’s studs were duds, but who’s to blame? Where OSU’s now incredibly combustible team goes from here with a huge date coming next week versus Michigan is anyone’s guess. Joey Bosa was non-existent against MSU’s sturdy O-line, Ezekiel Elliot was Keyshawn-ing after the game wishing Urban would’ve just given him the damn ball, Braxton Miller was quiet as a tit mouse, and the QB carousel failed to get the Buckeyes offense rolling.. This falls on both coaches and players in the scarlet and gray, as the guys on the field couldn’t get it done and Urban definitely underutilized the beastly Elliot against Sparty on a rainy, cold day built for running the football. Ultimately the MSU offense did just enough with their backup QB filling in for Connor Cook, and their clutch kicker kept them
- Where do these teams go from here? Supposedly Elliot’s gone after this year, along with Cardale Jones and a number of the other stud juniors are likely to leave for the NFL as well, putting heavy emphasis on those famous Urban Meyer recruits waiting in the wings for the future of the Buckeye Empire. OSU will have to keep their fiery fellas in line and focused for next week’s game against a Harbaugh-strong Michigan team that would love nothing more than to put a second straight loss on OSU’s record. Meanwhile MSU is right back in the playoff race if they can win out, beat Iowa in the Big Ten championship game and hope their resume stacks up well enough for the CFP committee to consider putting them in the Final 4.
- MSU’s Geiger Counted: Turns out the amount of people interested in seeing this game was huge, as this is currently the highest-rated CFB game of the year. That much interest generates a ton of pressure, and having a kick, on a slick field, at the end of the game to potentially take down the defending champs in front of your fellow students and fans generates a ten-fold ton of pressure for a college-aged kicker. That’s exactly the scenario MSU’s Michael Geiger faced this past Saturday, with Sparty Nation’s playoff hopes riding on his right foot from 41-wet yards away, with seconds trickling down to zero in a tie-ball game. How’s he react? He stepped up and nailed the kick, sending Spartans to a rollicking night of playoff-dreaming and all-but dashing OSU’s repeat hopes in one, fell, swoop of the leg.
At the End of the Day: CFB’s Top 25 Went this Way (All Rankings from Official College Football Playoff Poll)
#8 Florida vs. Florida Atlantic U.
FAU puts fear of the Owl in Gators’ heart, UF holds on in OT to survive
#5 Iowa vs. Purdue
Hawkeyes thrash the drunks, clinch Big Ten West title
#21 Memphis @ Temple
Owls smash Tiger cats, continue to amaze in the city of Brotherly Haze
#12 Michigan @ Penn St.
Jimmy’s kids keep rolling, stuff Penn St. and prep for next week’s big-un against OSU
#17 North Carolina @ Virginia Tech
Beamer’s last stand at home saw a thrilling Hokie comeback, only to fall in the end. Bye, Frank.
#14 Florida St. vs. Chattanooga
Seminoles play cornhole with Chatty’s upset hopes, smash n’ grab the win
UCLA @ #13 Utah
Bruins ruin Utes high hopes, as UCLA skies the winning slope
#24 USC @ #23 Oregon
Ducks’ Davis unwraps Trojans’ D, leads Duck to big victory
#19 Houston @ Connecticut
Huskies surprise Coug’s, upset Houston, show UCONN do more than women’s hoops
#20 Northwestern @ #25 Wisconsin
‘Cats put Badger victory caps back on the dusty shelf, Fitzgerald’s Felines rub UW the wrong way
#1 Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Tigers get holy, make mince meat of Demon Deacs’, continue the fun of being #1
#9 Michigan State @ #3 Ohio State
Sparty wins with FG late, knocks that other State from undefeated ranks
#15 LSU @ #22 Ole Miss
Rebels yell, smoke Tigers, and keep LSU in Miles’ hell season
#2 Alabama vs. Charleston Southern
‘Bama blasts FCS “test”, gears up for potential playoff berth
#16 Navy @ Tulsa
Navy painfully shaves Golden Hurricane’s capability, emulsify Tulsa
#4 Notre Dame vs. Boston College
Irish fight the upset bug, give BC’s win valve a plug and keep playoff hopes chugging along
#6 Ok State vs. #10 Baylor
Bears’ 3rd-stringer takes down the cow-pokes, sending Baylor soaring and T. Boone’s ego sore-ing
#18 TCU vs. #7 Oklahoma
Sooners score sooner and later, hanging on for thrilling 1-point victory over the horny frogs
#11 Stanford vs. Cal
No bands on the field, just good feels for the Cardinal as Stanford scolds Bears of gold
NFL WEEK 11 PORTION OF THE PROGRAM
Divisional races are heating up as the season sails toward the final weeks.
NFL Link Dinks and Dunks of the Week
Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco tears ACL, out for season…Great inside look at how the Cardinals and Carson Palmer game prep…Nate Newton’s ex-wife claims the Cowboys supported him despite knowing of his domestic violence issues….Oakland’s Aldon Smith suspended for 1 calendar year….FanDuel bars New Yorkers from playing….Tony Romo’s return sends backup Cowboys’ QB Weeden packing…Saints’ struggling D-Coord Rob Ryan finally canned, to return with brother Rex’s Bills?…Lost season for Ravens’ 1st-rounder Perriman, as he goes on IR without playing one snap this year…
NFL Game of the Week
Bengals @ Cardinals
The Sunday night clash between two division-leading teams did not disappoint as Cincy and Arizona traded scores, big plays, and plenty of excitement. Ultimately, the Cards were able to overcome some Carson Palmer miscues and the Bengals were not able to overcome a costly Domata Pekoe 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late for calling out ‘Zona’s offensive signals, allowing AZ’s kicker Chandler Catanzaro to kick a very manageable 32-yard FG with two seconds remaining, clinching the game for the Cards.
Arizona Cardinals 34 – Cincinnati Bengals 31
- Palmer outduels Dalton: Carson Palmer continues his dominant season, and while he threw 2 interceptions he kept the Cards flying with 4 TD passes, as well as some clutch throws late getting AZ in field goal range to ultimately clinch the game. Though Dalton threw for 310 yards and two scores, it wasn’t enough in the end.
- Cincy slide a sign of something larger, or just a blip? After starting the year 8-0, Cincy has lost two games in a row and now has to deal with a potentially-reborn Seattle Seahawk team nipping at their NFC West heels for the division lead. Are the two losses an anomaly (1 bad one, 1 defensible) for an otherwise solid Cincy team that’ll likely right the ship with upcoming games against the Rams and Browns? Or is this a sign of something larger troubling Cincy? Only time will tell, but I’m betting it’s the former, and the Bengals will be booming again soon.
- Pivotal Patrick Peterson “shuts down” AJ Green: Dalton kept his connection with TE Tyler Eifert rolling, tossing 2 TD’s his way. However in the matchup between one of the best WR’s in the league and one of the top CB’s, ‘Zona’s Peterson was able to limit Green to 4 grabs for 79 yards and, most importantly, 0 TD’s. Most of Green’s yards came on a single 42-yard reception, and Peterson’s clamp-job on one of the scariest receiver’s in the league helped put Arizona in the win column for this slug-fest.
NFL Results Roundup
Titans @ Jags (Thursday)
Bortles and the ‘Villes of Jackson topple Tennessee’s Titans in game of misery
Colts @ Falcons
Matt H. beats Matty-Ice in back-and-forth matchup, Colts win with Adam V’s FG for victory
Cowboys @ Dolphins
Dallas rolls Dolphins in Romo’s return as Campbell’s interim power continues to fade
Buccaneers @ Eagles
Winston tosses 5 TD’s in Bucs’ win, causing Kelly to seize, sneeze
Raiders @ Lions
Detroit says “see ya later, Raiders” in win at home
Jets @ Texans
Houston has problems, but one less than NY today as Texans best Jets
Rams @ Ravens
Baltimore’s kicker Tucker hits game-winning FG as time expires, busting Rams’ tired gams
Skins @ Panthers
Carolina continues to be finah, smokes Skins in huge Panther win
Broncos @ Bears
Brock’s Broncos bust Bears’ butts, Denver hangs on late to win
Chiefs @ Chargers
Reid’s steeds stomp San Diego, like real, real bad
Packers @ Vikings
Pack get back on track in their division, down Vikes in the Purple-dome
49ers @ Seahawks
Seattle slew 49ers “new” QB Gabbert ‘til he’s blue in the face, ‘Hawks roll
Bengals @ Cardinals
‘Cards cut Bengals stripes to shards, show Cincy it’s a sin to test AZ, see?
Bills @ Patriots (Monday Night Prediction)
GQ’s Man of the Year “Tim Brody” keeps the Patriarchy rolling along, sings Rex’s “10-piece lap-band” a sad song, n’ sends Bills back to soon-snowy Buffalo throngs
My Tip for Fans of Fantasy Football