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College Football Roundup: Week 3
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Like I said last week, some wins are better than others.” —South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier on South Carolina’s win against No. 6 Georgia. The 38-35 win put South Carolina back in the race for the SEC Championship. Both Georgia and South Carolina, who play in the eastern division of the SEC, now have one loss apiece.
THINGS TO KNOW
No. 24 South Carolina Beat No. 6 Georgia
In other words, the SEC is all shook up.
Before the 2014 college football season started, Georgia and South Carolina appeared to be the top teams in the SEC’s eastern division. But after week 1, when South Carolina lost to SEC rival Texas A&M and Georgia beat No. 16 Clemson, Georgia seemed to earn the top spot and control their own destiny.
Now, after Georgia’s 35-38 loss against South Carolina, each team has one loss apiece, and Georgia is helpless unless South Carolina loses again. The scenario after this week’s game: If both teams win the rest of their games, South Carolina will play for the SEC Championship because they won the tiebreak. Sorry, Georgia.
USC Flubbed Up
Last week, USC appeared to be a strong contender for the national title when they beat Pac-12 rival Stanford, moving USC up to No. 9 in the polls. But after losing 38-31 this week against unranked Boston College, a team that hasn’t beaten a top-10 opponent since 2004, USC dropped to No. 17.
So, what does that mean?
USC can still win the Pac-12 (Boston College plays in the ACC, and out-of-conference wins and losses don’t affect the crowning of conference champions), but USC’s chances of playing in the National Championship have dwindled. Even if USC wins the Pac-12, they’ll have to work their way far enough up the polls to convince the College Football Playoff committee that they’re one of the top four teams in the country, a tough task after this week’s loss. The cherry on top? It’s largely out of USC’s control. They need to win, but they also need other teams to lose.
LOOK AT IT THIS WAY…
Do you think money buys happiness?
Maybe it does, but it doesn’t seem to buy wins. Remember how all the Big Ten’s top contenders lost last week and the week before? The downward spiral continues for one of the nation’s richest conferences.
Remind me, what happened to the Big Ten?
Last week, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 8 Ohio State, and traditional powerhouse Michigan, all Big Ten teams, lost to out-of-conference opponents, and No. 19 Nebraska almost lost to an opponent that has less money going toward college football than 128 other teams in the country. (And, the week before, ranked Big Ten team Wisconsin lost to SEC team LSU.)
And this week?
Big Ten team Indiana lost to Mid-American Conference opponent Bowling Green. Reminder: The Big Ten is one of five “power conferences” that have the most money going toward college football. The Mid-American Conference is not one of these power conferences with money coming out their ears. Oh, and this is the third time a Big Ten team has lost to a Mid-American team in the last two weeks.
A “trap game” occurs the week after a team plays a rival or tough opponent. Especially after winning a big game, a team may relax and lose focus during that week’s practice, often resulting in a loss the next week against a lesser opponent.
Who got trapped: USC (who beat No. 13 Stanford last week only to lose to unranked Boston College this week) and Virginia Tech (who beat No. 8 Ohio State last week only to lose to unranked Eastern Carolina this week)
GAMES TO WATCH
Auburn (#5) at Kansas State (#20): ESPN, Thursday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. EST
Clemson (#22) at Florida State (#1): ABC, Saturday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m. EST
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