Jimbo Fisher instructed us this present day was coming, and we laughed.
We laughed as a result of the concept that Texas A&M, contemporary off back-to-back losses, would someway finish Alabama‘s 100-game successful streak towards unranked opponents appeared ludicrous. We laughed as a result of Nick Saban had by no means misplaced to a former assistant, an ideal 24-0. We laughed as a result of Saban himself laughed, suggesting Fisher’s prediction of an eventual win over Saban should have been in reference to golf.
Saban’s in all probability not trying ahead to his subsequent spherical of 18 with Fisher now.
Week 6 gave us Oklahoma‘s remarkable comeback towards Texas, Iowa‘s protection punishing Penn State‘s overwhelmed backup quarterback, Michigan and Notre Dame surviving on late discipline targets and a showdown between the 2 worst groups within the nation, and but none of it might have ready us for what occurred in Faculty Station.
Saturday was nuts — like, actually.
— Brutus Buckeye 🌰 (@Brutus_Buckeye) October 9, 2021
It was only a week in the past, in any case, that Alabama appeared unbeatable. The Tide dominated Ole Miss, Saban dumped popcorn on yet one more former assistant, and the trail to a school soccer championship appeared to converge within the SEC title recreation, with Alabama and Georgia clearly the dominant forces.
And now, we’re residing in a world the place Jim Harbaugh is undefeated, Florida State has a successful streak and UMass has received a recreation extra lately than Nick Saban. What a time to be alive.
There’s a principle that the world is made up of infinite universes, the place each attainable actuality is manifest in its personal alternate timeline. Saturday’s school soccer motion will surely provide some credence to that speculation.
Texas A&M, Michigan, Iowa, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Wake Forest all trailed within the fourth quarter Saturday. All of them received.
On the Crimson River Showdown, we got here oh-so-close to with the ability to make one other spherical of “Texas is again!” jokes, earlier than a fox ran throughout the sector, the Longhorns imploded and Lincoln Riley benched his preseason All-America QB in favor of freshman Caleb Williams, who led the Sooners to 25 fourth-quarter factors and a shocking 55-48 win.
Through the Oklahoma-Texas recreation, a fox is noticed working on the sector early within the first half.
Ole Miss and Arkansas mixed for 3 touchdowns within the recreation’s remaining 90 seconds. The Razorbacks ran 94 performs, however the remaining one — a two-point strive with time expired — got here up brief. Scott Frost had an opportunity to alter the narrative that has dogged his tenure at Nebraska, however an Adrian Martinez fumble led to a Michigan discipline aim, which led to a facepalm for the ages.
— no context school soccer (@nocontextcfb) October 10, 2021
Iowa followers booed Penn State gamers they thought have been faking accidents to sluggish the Hawkeyes’ tempo, marking the primary time “Iowa” and “tempo” have been utilized in the identical sentence. Nonetheless, it was Iowa’s protection (4 extra takeaways) and Tory Taylor‘s punting (398 punting yards and 6 punts downed inside Penn State’s 20) that made the distinction. It was essentially the most Iowa of all recreation plans.
The most effective workforce within the nation is now clearly Georgia — a workforce being led by a passing duo named Stetson Bennett IV and Ladd McConkey. Significantly, neither of these names are made up.
This QB-WR duo 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/XvKUdE7hgO
— SEC Community (@SECNetwork) October 9, 2021
And in Faculty Station, the true chaos unfolded. That Alabama was down early was a stunner. The Tide hadn’t trailed by greater than a landing in two years. Nonetheless, an Alabama comeback felt virtually preordained. This was Saban toying with Fisher, letting him get fitted for his personal Aflacket earlier than delivering one other humiliating defeat.
Down 24-10, Alabama lastly discovered its footing. A blocked punt resulted in a TD. Bryce Young related with Jameson Williams for 2 touchdowns. When the Tide twice settled for chip-shot discipline targets within the fourth quarter, it appeared a wonderfully affordable concession, a solution to string the Aggies alongside somewhat extra.
However Saturday was that uncommon event by which the inevitable is overmatched by the unbelievable, and when Zach Calzada related with Ainias Smith to tie the sport with three minutes to play, the sense that Alabama would discover a manner was changed by the sensation that Fisher would have two or three extra contract extensions earlier than the season’s over.
We’re on the midway level of the 2021 season, and Wake Forest, Kentucky and Michigan are undefeated. Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson will not be.
That is, certainly, an odd new universe.
Oklahoma and Texas commute within the fourth quarter, with the Sooners ultimately scoring the successful landing with seconds remaining.
All the things’s greater in Texas
Texas is again.
Properly, not the Longhorns. They blew a 21-point result in Oklahoma and can spend the subsequent yr in agonizing distress reliving how that recreation presumably acquired away.
However exterior of Austin, the state of Texas is doing fairly effectively.
Texas A&M’s surprising win over Alabama was the showstopper of Saturday’s motion, however down the pecking order of Texas soccer, a couple of different groups are trying good, too.
Heck, even Texas State received Saturday, discovering the tip zone on the ultimate play of regulation to tie South Alabama, then successful 33-31 in 4 overtimes.
So, whereas issues look bleak for Texas, the varsity, the state of Texas is using excessive. That ought to absolutely be sufficient to cheer up a couple of Longhorns, proper? Whats up? Anybody?
Hope rising at Tennessee
Tennessee’s offense stayed pink scorching in a 45-20 win over South Carolina on Saturday, and the Volunteers have now scored 107 factors of their previous two video games. The important thing to the Vols’ success has been QB Hendon Hooker, who threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for an additional towards the Gamecocks.
The Virginia Tech switch got here off the bench in Week 2 towards Pitt and almost pulled off a dramatic, come-from-behind win. Since then, he has blossomed into one of many nation’s prime passers.
Hooker has thrown for a number of TDs in 5 straight video games — the primary Tennessee QB to take action since Tyler Bray in 2012 — and Hooker already has matched his profession excessive with 13 TD throws. All this success for Hooker has been a marked change of tempo for the Vols, who managed simply 14 TD throws all of final season and have not had a QB toss 20 TDs since Joshua Dobbs in 2016. If Hooker can sustain this tempo, and with a couple of extra months of in depth psychotherapy, Tennessee followers would possibly lastly sleep via the evening with out waking up in a chilly sweat screaming, “Guarantanooooooo!”
A preferred narrative emerged final week within the aftermath of Cincinnati’s signature win over Notre Dame. What if the Bearcats weren’t the perfect workforce exterior the Energy 5? In any case, BYU was undefeated too and had wins over Utah and Arizona State.
Take into account the scenario resolved.
BYU turned the ball over 4 occasions in a 26-17 loss to Boise State on Saturday, formally ceding the excessive floor amongst future Huge 12 members to Cincinnati.
In fact, the Bearcats aren’t the one undefeated workforce exterior the Energy 5 with huge desires. SMU edged Navy 31-24 to maneuver to 6-0, with QB Tanner Mordecai tossing two extra TD throws to carry his season complete to an FBS-best 26. The Mustangs have a date with Cincinnati on Nov. 20. In the meantime, final yr’s Cinderella workforce, Coastal Carolina, routed Arkansas State 52-20 on Thursday to get to 6-0, and the Chanticleers will now journey to Appalachian State for a Wednesday kickoff on Oct. 20.
In a possible 12-team playoff, this might make for some fascinating conversations about a number of groups exterior the Energy 5 making the minimize. However since we’re nonetheless caught at 4 groups within the Faculty Soccer Playoff, we stay up for certainly one of these groups beating an unmotivated Florida within the Peach Bowl.
There was a time — consider it or not, it was simply six weeks in the past — when North Carolina was ranked within the prime 10 and was one thing of a playoff darkish horse. And for each media member who helped perpetuate that preseason absurdity, Mack Brown thinks you’ll want to take a while to sit down and be alone along with your wrongness.
Oh, positive, you is likely to be inclined responsible UNC for its woeful 3-Three begin to the season, which included one other embarrassing loss, 35-25 to Florida State, on Saturday. The Tar Heels’ protection was flummoxed by FSU QB Jordan Travis, who racked up 4 TDs on the day, even if Travis additionally flummoxed the Heels with a virtually an identical recreation plan only a yr in the past. However you would be mistaken. The issue was the media.
“The expectation for us to be a top-10 workforce [was] mistaken,” Brown stated after Saturday’s loss. “I suppose we should always all be vital of the media for choosing us that prime.”
It is a honest level. Sure, North Carolina is arguably the most important disappointment in school soccer this season, however you’ll be able to’t disappoint with out first having expectations. Set the bar low and every part can grow to be successful. So, here is betting UNC’s bus breaks down on the facet of I-85 and the workforce spends subsequent Saturday camped out in a Sheetz parking zone. Now, if the Heels even make it to kickoff, it’s going to be one thing to have fun.
The most effective of the worst
Certain, we acquired some epic comebacks by undefeated powers like Oklahoma and Iowa and, sure, even Wake Forest, and if that is the sort of soccer you want, it was a enjoyable Saturday.
However for the remainder of us, the real school soccer sickos, there was one thing much better: Winless UConn at winless UMass. It represented two historic applications dealing with off in one thing nearer to a slumber occasion pillow struggle than a real conflict of titans; however, it technically constituted a soccer recreation. On the road was the highest spot within the Bottom 10 and, after all, the much-coveted rivalry trophy, which we’re instructed is a used copy of “Cats” on VHS.
UMass — winless for the previous two calendar years — ran for 247 yards. It was essentially the most dashing yards by the Minutemen since 2018, once they hit that very same precise complete towards — watch for it — UConn! The Huskies, in the meantime, went 1-of-10 on third down, missed a discipline aim, punted 5 occasions and turned the ball over thrice. We’ll chalk that as much as the dominance of the UMass protection.
Enjoyable reality: UMass has received a soccer recreation extra lately than the New England Patriots. Chew on that, Invoice Belichick.
— UMass Soccer (@UMassFootball) October 9, 2021
The chief stays the identical, however the line of gamers hoping to unseat Bryce Young because the Heisman favourite is getting awfully lengthy, and his loss by the hands of Texas A&M definitely opened the door for some severe shakeups. From Pitt’s Kenny Pickett to Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, USC’s Drake London and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker, we might simply go 10 deep on robust candidates this week.
1. Alabama QB Bryce Young
Younger struggled early behind a shaky offensive line, however he did his half to present the Tide an opportunity to win. Younger completed 28-of-48 for 369 yards and three touchdowns, however the one stat that anybody will bear in mind is the “L.”
2. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral
Corral’s Heisman marketing campaign misplaced some shine final week towards Alabama. However he reminded the world why he is among the nation’s most harmful weapons towards Arkansas, throwing for 287 yards, working for 94 extra and totaling 4 TDs — all even if his playbook was coated in popcorn butter stains.
Matt Corral will get a push from teammate Henry Parrish Jr. and muscle tissue his manner in for an Ole Miss landing.
3. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud
We wrote off Ohio State after the house loss to Oregon, and positively wins over Rutgers and Maryland should not full a redemption arc for the Buckeyes, however Stroud has been constantly nice from the beginning. Saturday’s 66-17 blowout win towards the Terps was the newest eye-popping stat line for Stroud, who accomplished 24 of 33 passes for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns.
4. Texas RB Bijan Robinson
It definitely wasn’t Robinson’s fault that Texas blew a 21-point result in Oklahoma. He completed with 20 carries for 137 yards and a TD for his fifth straight recreation with greater than 100 yards on the bottom. No, the larger subject is that, after Texas went up 41-23 (thanks partly to a 33-yard run from the star tailback), he noticed simply 5 extra carries, which amounted to only 4 yards.
Auburn ran for 46 yards on Saturday. It marks the fifth time in six video games that Georgia’s protection held the opposition to lower than 100 yards on the bottom. Certain, it is unfair for us so as to add three gamers to the No. 5 spot, however how do you choose only one? It is like naming your favourite Hanson brother; they’re all important components of 1 magical group.
Beneath-the-radar play of the week
Michigan State retains successful, and Kenneth Walker III retains placing collectively a severe Heisman case. The Wake Forest switch had one other stellar outing on Saturday, carrying 29 occasions for 232 yards, together with a 94-yard landing run with a couple of half-dozen ridiculous jukes alongside the way in which. However the pièce de résistance got here on the finish of the play, when Walker reached out to high-five teammate Jalen Nailor on the 15-yard line. Certain, we would have most popular a fist bump or presumably a fast recreation of rock, paper, scissors, however this was however Saturday’s greatest present of swagger and pretty much as good a Heisman second as you will discover.
— Huge Ten Community (@BigTenNetwork) October 9, 2021
Beneath-the-radar recreation of the week
Not for the reason that premature finish of the Civil ConFLiCT has a made-up rivalry meant a lot as Saturday’s showdown between FCS Gardner-Webb and Campbell within the inaugural East/West Barbecue Bowl.
The Camels scored the ultimate 21 factors of the sport, upending Gardner-Webb 42-28 and touchdown this candy trophy with a pig on prime.
— Gardner-Webb Soccer (@GWUFootball) October 4, 2021
Extra importantly, the shedding workforce has to furnish a full barbecue dinner for the winners, so Gardner-Webb will probably be sending over some White Swan Bar-B-Q for the Camels to get pleasure from. However let’s be severe right here: No recreation goes to alter the truth that western North Carolina nonetheless has the higher barbecue, and vinegar sauce is weak.