There are Saturdays when the real playoff contenders show up with such ferocity and dominance that they cannot be ignored.
There are Saturdays when the whole system feels rigged and glitches knock team after team out of the elite.
And then there are Saturdays, like Week 4, where the goal is just to survive.
In Winston-Salem, the upstart Wake Forest decimated a battered second-in-command Clemson to the point where, after Dabo’s game, Sweeney suggested he was one step away from playing cornerback himself.
At the Palouse, Washington State struck against the Oregon Corps in an effort to destroy the Pac-12 power structure.
At the Big House, Maryland refused to leave, upsetting Michigan again and again.
In the west, the Lincoln Riley offense finally met its match at Oregon State, which tormented QB Caleb Williams until the Trojans’ final attack.
However, in each case, the favorite survived.
It was the same story up and down the top 25. Georgia struggled to beat Kent State, scoring more than twice as many points on Saturday as the Bulldogs did all season. Baylor had two withdrawals, held Iowa State for only 66 yards on the ground, and still had to hold his breath on the last kick attempt of the game. Ole Miss barely passed Tulsa. Kentucky went into halftime tied with Northern Illinois. Tennessee dominated Florida and then nearly let the Gators back in a hectic last few minutes, partially saved by Billy Napier’s inexplicable decision to go two-by-two with 4:49 to play, 11 behind.
Saturday was like one long thriller, the main character narrowly avoiding one harrowing scenario after another, showing up battered, bloody and bruised… but alive.
The same could not be said for everyone.
In Texas, a 14-point lead vanished in the second half as Texas Tech roared back to lead 34-31 with 21 seconds left. However, the Longhorns fought back, sending the game into overtime, only to see Bijan Robinson fumble the ball in the first play of overtime. It was the Longhorns’ seventh loss with a touchdown or less in the last 11 games.
Arkansas went to Dallas and seemed poised to take down Texas A&M, but KJ Jefferson’s fumble as he jumped into the end zone turned into a 97-yard touchdown for Aggie and the whole scenario was turned upside down. Jimbo Fisher took a deep dive into his Cheesecake Factory menu – wait, no, we’re told these are his playlists – and finally found the spark to attack Aggie, knocking out the Razorbacks 23-21. It was a shocking result, considering that Jerry Jones usually has to wait until the NFL playoffs to see his team inexplicably fall apart.
Jimbo apparently does expense reports between games. pic.twitter.com/mNDwVPfxFe
— ️♈️🆔 (@ADAvidHaleJoint) September 25, 2022
Oklahoma has become another victim of the Scott Frost curse. The Northwestern beat Nebraska in week 0 and haven’t won since. Georgia Southern stunned the Cornhuskers in week two before losing to UAB the following week. Oklahoma crushed Nebraska last week and then couldn’t stop former Huskers quarterback Adrian Martinez on Saturday as Kansas State knocked the Sooners undefeated 41-34. Nebraska is like the VHS tape in the movie The Ring. All who come into contact with him are doomed to death within seven days.
It would be easy to find fault with Clemson, who needed overtime to take out Sam Hartman and Wake’s passing attack, but the Tigers still won and remain in playoff hunting. Perhaps that’s all that matters. In addition, Sweeney had to scold reporters for criticizing his QB.
Had Georgia dreamed she went through what she reasonably expected as an easy win? Probably. But it’s okay for 21 guys to sleepwalk, while Brock Bowers sometimes runs.
Did JJ McCarthy look mortal in front of Maryland? Maybe. But after playing three of the nation’s worst teams to open the season, Michigan had to face a tougher sled in Big Ten play.
Riley could have added transfers from the 2019 St. Louis Rams, the 2013 Florida State, and a few members of the 2001 St. Louis Rams, but that might not have been enough to respond to Oregon’s amazing defensive play. But Williams, who completed less than half of his passes, completed the necessary shots.
You see, it’s hard to win, and for several potential applicants, Saturday’s work was too big.
Otherwise, they will live a little longer. But like all horror movies, there will be sequels, and what ultimately determines who’s ready for a real playoff run and who just gets a cameo in the next movie may depend on what lessons they’ve learned. from brutal week 4.
Kansas actually good
It is written in the Book of Revelation (or maybe Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) that at the end of time all mountains and valleys will be level with plains, and we assume that Jayhawk will rise from these Great Plains. ashes.
Well, we’re in for the apocalypse. Thank you very much, Lance Leipold.
Yes, Kansas is 4-0. And it’s not just a 4-0 plan. On Saturday, the Jayhawks flipped the undefeated Duke, throwing for 324 yards, rushing out for 204 and looking like one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. This came after a win over West Virginia in overtime and a surprise loss to Houston.
Kansas, dare we say it, really exists.
To understand how wild this sounds, remember that the last time Kansas won four games in an entire season, Avatar was in theaters. (Okay, we’re being told Avatar is somehow back in theaters. Is this season in Kansas just a CGI from James Cameron?)
The Jayhawks went to the Orange Bowl in 2007, won eight games in 2008, and then stumbled to a 5–7 finish in 2009. What followed was the most prolific comedy run since Bob Hope. Now what are we going to laugh at? Will it still be funny the next time Kansas beats Texas?
Kansas has spent a decade trying out dated quick fixes like Charlie Weiss and Les Miles and up-and-coming trainers like Turner Gill and David Beatty. We’re pretty sure that at some point the Jayhawks enlisted the help of a shaman and a wax statue of Bryant Bear. None of this helped. Then Leipold arrived, and the program seemed to awaken from a long sleep.
Think of the large number of players who have come through Lawrence in the last 15 years. Seriously, think about them, because honestly, we don’t remember anything. For a generation of college football fans in Kansas the closest they had to a celebrity was Baby Mangino and is now a retired orderly living outside of Sarasota, Florida collecting welfare (again, we assume).
But now there are stars. Jalon Daniels threw for 324 yards on Saturday, ran for 83 more and had five touchdowns. The Jayhawks boosters could start chipping in on this guy’s statue by now. Four different receivers from Kansas caught a touchdown against Duke. In 2020, four different receivers from Kansas caught a touchdown all season! Kansas has a quarterback named Kobe Bryant. Sure, it’s spelled differently than the better-known Kobe, but “C” is a more versatile letter than “K” and the extra “E” means “we’ll be ranked eventually.”
And no, that probably doesn’t mean the end is near. If Kent State outplayed Georgia, or Central Michigan stayed with Penn State, or Wake Forest got a win over Clemson, then it might be time to head to the underground bunker.
But these are strange times. Jayhawks are not just relevant, they are actually good.
Perhaps there is a lesson here for all of us—something about persevering through adversity and knowing that someday hard work will be rewarded. Or perhaps you should never enter into a long-term contract with Charlie Weiss. Both options are good advice.
The rest of the schedule will be tighter with Iowa State undefeated by TCU and then three in a row. This may be the Jayhawks’ high point for 2022. If so, then everything is in order. Because we saw a new horizon for a team that has spent the last 15 years steadily walking into a brick wall like a video game character after your cat sits on a controller. But now Kansas is something more: a pulsing program, a team moving in the right direction, a fan base that isn’t just counting down the days until basketball season.
We also have 4-0
Kansas may have finally earned some respect with their Saturday win to go 4-0, but the Jayhawks aren’t the only undefeated teams left that are still hoping to draw in a few voters.
PJ Fleck likes to tell his crew to “row the boat” when the Minnesota Golden Gophers are sailing on a yacht confiscated from a Russian oligarch. The Gophers dominated Michigan on Saturday, and Tanner Morgan and company continue to impress. But the most interesting thing about Minnesota is the defense. The Gophers held 16 consecutive opponents and scored less than 30 points – the longest active streak in the country.
Florida State thrashed Boston College 44-14 on Saturday to go 4-0. Jordan Travis returned to action with a career-best 321 yards. In Travis’ last 13 starts, Florida State is 10-3.
UCLA barely managed to pull away from weaker opponents earlier this season, but Chip Kelly’s team took a dominant 45-17 win over the underwhelming Colorado on Saturday. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, which is impressive for a guy who should be about 50 by now.
The Syracuse outlasted Virginia on Friday to go 4-0, and the Oranges were on track to become the 12th seed to face Kansas in the Elite Eight.
After Tulane lost to the Southern Miss on Saturday, Coastal Carolina became the last remaining team outside of Power 5 with a 4-0 record. Of course, with quarterback Grayson McCall leaving the game this week after defeating Georgia State with an injury, the Chanticleers’ hopes could be dashed.
It may be too early to fully support any of them, but it seems like it’s high time for each of them to get voter attention and some love in the top 25 polls.
Punt-a-palousa on the plains
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