Pandemonium Reigns

#1 and #2 fall in the same weekend. What’s not to love?

In the latest development in one of the most twisting, turning, surprising seasons in recent memory, #1 Kansas State and #2 Oregon fell on the same day.

As Jordan Williamson’s field goal sailed through the uprights of a stunned Autzen Stadium, the silence was telling. Oregon’s national title hopes were again dashed. The country’s most explosive offense was held to 14 points and 405 yards. Both season lows by large margins. Stanford looked tougher, more physical, and perhaps most frightening, just as fast. Oregon thrives on its speed and tempo. The Ducks don’t run many plays on offense, but they’re fast, and they run them to perfection, over and over again. The strategy is that on any given play, one of Oregon’s elite weapons will make a play, and more often than not they do.

The play that said it all came in Oregon’s only offensive possession in overtime. On 2nd and 12, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota ran an option read to the outside. There was only 1 man to beat, outside linebacker Trent Murphy.

Mariota versus a 261-pound linebacker? Easy. Mariota will pick up a huge chunk of yardage, right?

Wrong. Murphy stopped Mariota for a gain of only 3. Oregon’s greatest asset of quickness and flashiness seemed to evaporate before their eyes against a team like Stanford, who probably plays the least stylish kind of football in the country. Mariota’s next pass fell imcomplete, and Oregon missed their field goal attempt, sealing their fate.

Meanwhile in Waco, Baylor rushed out to a 28-7 lead over Kansas State and never relinquished control. The oft-beleaguered Bear defense stood tall, intercepting KSU QB Collin Klein 3 times, and limiting him to only 39 rushing yards. The Baylor offense notched 580 total yards in their 52-24 rout of the Wildcats. It’s actually puzzling to see how a supposed #1 team could look so lost and ineffective against Baylor of all teams (no offense Bears).

Yes, last week I had Oregon and Kansas State being upset (I figured that was worth mentioning), but I thought if anything Kansas State would lose in a shootout. Instead they were dominated.

Where Are They Now? USC Edition

USC’s 7-4 record and fall from grace has been rather hilarious to watch. Matt Barkley, bonafide hunk that ESPN slobbered over all preseason hasn’t really lived up to that preseason hype. Lane Kiffin has cheated by illegally switching players’ numbers and intentionally deflating balls, he possesses one of the most talented offenses in the country, and he’s still lost 4 games.

And for a guy that’s done nothing but run his mouth, and fall upwards into coaching positions after mediocre results it couldn’t be happening to a better person. Kiffin is a man that abandoned the University of Tennessee 2 weeks before national signing day in 2010, less than a year into his tenure in Knoxville. Of course, he left the Vols with some lovely parting gifts: some NCAA recruiting violations.

This year at USC, Kiffin’s brashness has been a rather hilarious example of hubris. He claimed to have voted his team #1 in the preseason polls. Except later he came out and denied it. Following USC’s 28-38 loss at the hands of #17 UCLA, Kiffin ducked out the back door post-game, avoiding any media scrutiny like a loud-mouthed kid on the playground who’s been called out.

The Trojans, now unranked, face Notre Dame next week, who are #1 for the first time since 1993. It’s a hilarious flip of the roles from a few months ago.

Player Of The Week

UCLA RB Jonathan Franklin came up big against UCLA, notching 171 yards and 2 touchdowns against USC.

Play Of The Week

How about the speed of Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk? This was the backbreaker. 

The Week Ahead

Quite a few big games are line up for Rivalry Week.

#8 Stanford vs #17 UCLA

#12 South Carolina vs #11 Clemson

#4 Florida vs #10 Florida State

 

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