The 2015 college football season hit the first double digit week. That makes it official, the season is almost finished. This is the time when teams start to think about where they stack up in their conference, and the national stage. There isn’t much time left, so now more than ever each win counts more. A loss counts double, moving down in the rankings and aren’t afforded the time to claw back into position. Lose early and you still have a chance. Lose late, and not only will you lose out on a potential playoff spot, but a “New Years 6” bowl game. For that matter any top bowl game. There wasn’t much news coming out of Week 10 other than the games, and the fall of a few Heisman hopefuls. LSU running back Leonard Fournette might still be in the hunt, but to me he isn’t the frontrunner anymore. The two TCU hopefuls of Josh Doctson and Trevone Boykin slid down as well.
Before the weekend arrived we already witnessed an upset. On Tuesday, November 3, Northern Illinois walked into #24 Toledo and handed them a 32-27 loss.
The two “Big Games” showed two teams were who we thought they were, and one team might not have been worthy of so much praise. In the first game, #1 Clemson defeated #16 Florida State 23-13. This win clinched the ACC Atlantic division for Clemson, and a spot in the ACC championship game. The late night heavy saw #2 LSU falter to an impressive #4 Alabama team. Alabama continued their winning streak over LSU, 30-16. Fournette didn’t have 50 rushing yards while Alabama’s Derrick Henry ran wild for 210.
Tenth ranked Florida won an ugly game 9-7 with a comeback over Vanderbilt on a 43 yard field goal with 2:27 remaining. Florida overcame four turnovers to win the SEC East and earn the right to compete in the SEC championship game.
Another notable comeback win was against B1G foes as #21 Northwestern beat Penn State 23-21 with a 35 yard field goal.
Fifth ranked Notre Dame won on the road against a strong Pitt team and looked impressive as they did so. Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer was responsible for six touchdowns in the 42-30 victory. Kizer, receiver Will Fuller, and backup running back Josh Adams all had big days for the Irish offense. Adams stepped in and stepped up when C.J. Procise left the game with an upper body injury in the first half. Procise injury doesn’t appear to be serious and at present he is day-to-day and could play in the next game.
What would a college football Saturday be without a few upsets? Week 10, or “Separation Saturday”, had its share. The first two might not be huge upsets as the winners had impressive records, but it was who they beat and how they did it that was as unexpected as the victory. A one loss Navy team handed #13 Memphis their first loss of the season with a 45-20 victory. In a battle of Big XII undefeated teams, #14 Oklahoma State shocked #8 TCU in front of a rapid home crowd 49-29. TCU lost receiver Josh Doctson to a wrist injury, and Trevone Boykin threw four interceptions.
In other upset news, Nebraska finally had something go their way at the end of a game to beat #7 Michigan State 39-38. This loss took Michigan State out of an undefeated season with a heroic Nebraska drive that started with less than a minute left in the game. The final play had a controversial official decision, and Michigan State was ahead 38-33 at the time. Arkansas needed a miracle and overtime to beat #18 Ole Miss in Oxford 53-52. Arkansas converted on a 4th and 25 with a lateral play that resulted in a touchdown. A defensive facemask on a stopped two point conversion allowed Arkansas another attempt. This time it was good. Ole Miss no longer controls the SEC West. Auburn shocked #19 Texas A&M in College Station 26-10. Texas A&M looked awful and have several times over the course of the season.
Week 11 is approaching fast. There isn’t a shortage of good games, plenty of football to watch. Unfortunately, all these games are around the same time slots. Make sure you have room on the DVR. While not a big game, this is important to me so I’ll list it. At 3:30 on NBC, #4 Notre Dame will host Wake Forest from Notre Dame Stadium. This is the last home game for the Irish. Also at 3:30 on CBS, #2 Alabama travels to Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville to take on #17 Mississippi State. At 7:00 on ESPN2, a battle of small conference powers takes place. In what could be a very interesting game, #21 Memphis tries to bounce back as they travel to TDECU for a battle with undefeated #24 Houston. Fox has a PAC-12 battle between Oregon and #7 Stanford from Stanford Stadium. The “Game of the Week” under the prime time lights on ABC is deserving of the title. At 8:00 #12 Oklahoma goes to McLane Stadium to play #6 Baylor in Waco. The final game of note is on ESPN at 10:45 as Washington State travels to Pasadena to play #19 UCLA in the Rose Bowl.
As always, I’ll watch the Notre Dame game. I might check out some of the Oregon/Stanford game, but I really want to see Oklahoma/Baylor. The late game out west will be the final course.
What are you going to be watching in Week 11?
My Top 4 Playoff Teams:
1. Clemson Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys
College Football Playoff Rankings
25. Wisconsin Badgers (8-2)
24. Houston Cougars (9-0)
23. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-1)
22. Temple Owls (8-1)
21. Memphis Tigers (8-1)
20. Navy Midshipmen (7-1)
19. UCLA Bruins (7-2)
18. Northwestern Wildcats (7-2)
17. Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2)
16. Florida State Seminoles (7-2)
15. TCU Horned Frogs (8-1)
14. Michigan Wolverines (7-2)
13. Michigan State Spartans (8-1)
12. Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)
11. Florida Gators (8-1)
10. Utah Utes (8-1)
9. LSU Tigers (7-1)
8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-0)
7. Stanford Cardinal (8-1)
6. Baylor Bears (8-0)
5. Iowa Hawkeyes (9-0)
4. Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish (8-1)
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0)
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1)
1. Clemson Tigers (9-0)
Copyright © Drew Martin 2015