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College Football Roundup: Week 2
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We’ve got some things to clean up—excessive celebrating for sure. What’s the penalty? Well, we’ll show it to the team, and we’ll see how Bucky dances. And then he’s got an appointment with me on Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. We’ll check his dance moves out then.” —Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer on the excessive celebration penalty against Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges. Hodges started dancing after he caught the go-ahead touchdown that eventually led Virginia Tech to a 35-21 win against No. 8 Ohio State. Virginia Tech was unranked.
THINGS TO KNOW
No. 8 Ohio State Lost
Many sports commentators picked Ohio State to win the Big Ten and compete for the National Championship in the new College Football Playoff. They may still win the Big Ten, but after losing 35-21 at home against unranked ACC team Virginia Tech, they’re probably not going to finish in the top four (which means they’re definitely not playing for the National Championship).
Hold up. One game can do all that?
It can when you’re Ohio State and you play only one ranked team all year (compared to say, Auburn, who plays seven ranked teams this year including five in the top 15 and four on the road).
Although Ohio State is a member of one of the five “power conferences” in college football (i.e., the conferences with the most money going toward athletics), they rarely play ranked opponents outside the Big Ten, which means voters often have a difficult time comparing them to other teams, even when their record is unblemished. One loss against an unranked team tends to make the decision easier. If Ohio State can’t hang with the little guys, they probably can’t hang with the big guys, voters say.
Side note: To be fair, Ohio State lost their starting quarterback Braxton Miller, who was expected to be one of the best players in college football this year, to a season-ending injury Aug. 18. That helps explain why Ohio State lost, but it also shows how much they needed Miller to be successful this year. In other words, goodbye National Championship hopes.
The Big Ten Isn’t Looking Good
Ohio State’s chances of competing for the National Championship have gone out the window, but what about other teams in the Big Ten? Well, they don’t look so hot either.
First, let’s talk No. 7 Michigan State, sports commentators’ other favorite team from the Big Ten. They played their only game against a ranked out-of-conference opponent, No. 3 Oregon, this weekend and lost 46-27. Things to know: Michigan State was winning 27-18 heading into the fourth quarter, but Oregon put 28 unanswered points on the board in the last quarter to win by more than two touchdowns. This is the second week in a row a Big Ten team has led, been shut out, and lost in the fourth quarter by giving up more than 20 points in less than 15 minutes. (Remember: Last week, SEC team LSU beat Big Ten team Wisconsin by scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.)
The other notable Big Ten team that lost this weekend was Michigan, who didn’t score a single point against No. 16 Notre Dame. (Notre Dame won 31-0.)
Even No. 19 Nebraska, the only other ranked Big Ten team, struggled against unranked McNeese State. Nebraska won 31-24 but should have dominated. Why? Because McNeese State isn’t even a part of the 120 some-odd teams, like Nebraska, that have the most money going toward college football. Rather, McNeese State competes in the Football Championship Subdivision and technically ranks behind the 128 schools that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (i.e., all of the conferences we’ve talked about so far). McNeese State almost won by making plays like this:
To summarize, if games like this continue, the Big Ten won’t be in the National Championship conversation period.
USC Appears to Be Leading the Pac-12 South
With a win against No. 13 Stanford, No. 12 USC appears to be one of the teams to beat in the Pac-12, of which both Stanford and USC are members. USC’s 13-10 win over Stanford makes for an interesting matchup between USC and fellow Pac-12 rival UCLA later this season. UCLA is currently ranked No. 11. Stay tuned.
Texas Lost to BYU Again
When football great Texas gave up 550 rushing yards against BYU last year (and lost 40-21), everyone thought it was a fluke. Apparently, that’s not the case. Texas lost to BYU again, only this time they lost 41-7. And just think: Last year’s loss led Texas to fire their defensive coordinator. This year should be interesting, especially considering Texas plays No. 11 UCLA next week (and No. 10 Baylor and No. 4 Oklahoma a few weeks after that). Bad news for a team with a historic amount of wins and championships.
LOOK AT IT THIS WAY…
Have you been following the sexual assault scandals surfacing on college campuses across the country?
Florida State’s football program is reliving one that surfaced last year involving its highest-profile player, quarterback Jameis Winston. Remember: Winston, who was voted the most outstanding college football player in 2013 and led Florida State to win the 2013 National Championship, spent much of last year in the midst of a rape investigation where he was the alleged attacker. No charges were filed, but reports later surfaced that university police did very little to investigate the alleged rape (and even encouraged the victim not to press charges).
The New York Times reported this week that Florida State officials interviewed the victim last month, nearly 21 months after the initial accusation, as part of a new disciplinary investigation. Few details are yet known about the new investigation.
Think about a “pick six” in terms of the words that make it up. A “pick” is the same thing as an interception, and six is the number of points a player scores when he makes a touchdown. Thus, a “pick six” occurs when a defensive player intercepts a pass and returns it for a touchdown.
How to use it in a sentence: Ohio State lost against Virginia Tech this week after Ohio State’s freshman quarterback J. T. Barrett threw a pick six late in the fourth quarter.
GAMES TO WATCH
Georgia (#6) at South Carolina (#21): CBS, Saturday, Sept. 13, 3:30 p.m. EST