Jimbo Fisher informed us at the present time was coming, and we laughed.
We laughed as a result of the concept that Texas A&M, recent off back-to-back losses, would in some way finish Alabama‘s 100-game profitable 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 will need to have been in reference to golf.
Saban’s most likely not wanting 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 subject objectives and a showdown between the 2 worst groups within the nation, and but none of it may have ready us for what occurred in School 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 dwelling in a world the place Jim Harbaugh is undefeated, Florida State has a profitable streak and UMass has received a recreation extra not too long ago than Nick Saban. What a time to be alive.
There’s a idea that the world is made up of infinite universes, the place each doable actuality is manifest in its personal alternate timeline. Saturday’s faculty soccer motion would definitely 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 Pink River Showdown, we got here oh-so-close to having 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 surprising 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 last 90 seconds. The Razorbacks ran 94 performs, however the last one — a two-point attempt with time expired — got here up quick. 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 subject aim, which led to a facepalm for the ages.
— no context faculty soccer (@nocontextcfb) October 10, 2021
Iowa followers booed Penn State gamers they thought have been faking accidents to gradual 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.
This QB-WR duo 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/XvKUdE7hgO
— SEC Community (@SECNetwork) October 9, 2021
And in School Station, the actual 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 linked with Jameson Williams for 2 touchdowns. When the Tide twice settled for chip-shot subject objectives within the fourth quarter, it appeared a wonderfully cheap concession, a technique to string the Aggies alongside just a little extra.
However Saturday was that uncommon event by which the inevitable is overmatched by the unimaginable, and when Zach Calzada linked with Ainias Smith to tie the sport with three minutes to play, the sense that Alabama would discover a means 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 are usually not.
That is, certainly, a wierd new universe.
Oklahoma and Texas commute within the fourth quarter, with the Sooners finally scoring the profitable landing with seconds remaining.
Every thing’s larger in Texas
Texas is again.
Effectively, not the Longhorns. They blew a 21-point result in Oklahoma and can spend the following yr in agonizing distress reliving how that recreation presumably received away.
However outdoors of Austin, the state of Texas is doing fairly properly.
Texas A&M’s stunning win over Alabama was the showstopper of Saturday’s motion, however down the pecking order of Texas soccer, a number of different groups are wanting good, too.
Heck, even Texas State received Saturday, discovering the tip zone on the ultimate play of regulation to tie South Alabama, then profitable 33-31 in 4 overtimes.
So, whereas issues look bleak for Texas, the varsity, the state of Texas is using excessive. That ought to certainly be sufficient to cheer up a number of Longhorns, proper? Hi there? Anybody?
Hope rising at Tennessee
Tennessee’s offense stayed purple 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 one more 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 high 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 number of extra months of intensive psychotherapy, Tennessee followers would possibly lastly sleep by the evening with out waking up in a chilly sweat screaming, “Guarantanooooooo!”
A well-liked narrative emerged final week within the aftermath of Cincinnati’s signature win over Notre Dame. What if the Bearcats weren’t one of the best crew outdoors the Energy 5? In spite of everything, BYU was undefeated too and had wins over Utah and Arizona State.
Take into account the state of affairs 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.
After all, the Bearcats aren’t the one undefeated crew outdoors the Energy 5 with large desires. SMU edged Navy 31-24 to maneuver to 6-0, with QB Tanner Mordecai tossing two extra TD throws to convey his season whole to an FBS-best 26. The Mustangs have a date with Cincinnati on Nov. 20. In the meantime, final yr’s Cinderella crew, 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 outdoors the Energy 5 making the reduce. However since we’re nonetheless caught at 4 groups within the School Soccer Playoff, we sit up for one in every of these groups beating an unmotivated Florida within the Peach Bowl.
There was a time — imagine it or not, it was simply six weeks in the past — when North Carolina was ranked within the high 10 and was one thing of a playoff darkish horse. And for each media member who helped perpetuate that preseason absurdity, Mack Brown thinks it is advisable take a while to take a seat and be alone along with your wrongness.
Oh, positive, you is likely to be inclined accountable UNC for its woeful 3-3 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 though Travis additionally flummoxed the Heels with an almost equivalent recreation plan only a yr in the past. However you would be improper. The issue was the media.
“The expectation for us to be a top-10 crew [was] improper,” Brown mentioned after Saturday’s loss. “I assume we must always all be essential of the media for selecting us that prime.”
It is a truthful level. Sure, North Carolina is arguably the largest disappointment in faculty soccer this season, however you possibly can’t disappoint with out first having expectations. Set the bar low and all the things can turn out to be a hit. So, here is betting UNC’s bus breaks down on the aspect of I-85 and the crew spends subsequent Saturday camped out in a Sheetz car parking zone. Now, if the Heels even make it to kickoff, it will be one thing to rejoice.
The perfect of the worst
Positive, we received some epic comebacks by undefeated powers like Oklahoma and Iowa and, sure, even Wake Forest, and if that is the form of soccer you want, it was a enjoyable Saturday.
However for the remainder of us, the real faculty soccer sickos, there was one thing much better: Winless UConn at winless UMass. It represented two historic packages dealing with off in one thing nearer to a slumber get together pillow battle 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, in fact, the much-coveted rivalry trophy, which we’re informed 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 whole towards — look ahead to it — UConn! The Huskies, in the meantime, went 1-of-10 on third down, missed a subject aim, punted 5 occasions and turned the ball over 3 times. We’ll chalk that as much as the dominance of the UMass protection.
Enjoyable reality: UMass has received a soccer recreation extra not too long ago 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 actually 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 may 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 offer 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 likely one of the nation’s most harmful weapons towards Arkansas, throwing for 287 yards, working for 94 extra and totaling 4 TDs — all even though his playbook was lined in popcorn butter stains.
Matt Corral will get a push from teammate Henry Parrish Jr. and muscle tissue his means 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 definitely 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 actually 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 challenge is that, after Texas went up 41-23 (thanks partially 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. Positive, it is unfair for us so as to add three gamers to the No. 5 spot, however how do you decide only one? It is like naming your favourite Hanson brother; they’re all important elements of 1 magical group.
Underneath-the-radar play of the week
Michigan State retains profitable, 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 best way. 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. Positive, we would have most well-liked a fist bump or presumably a fast recreation of rock, paper, scissors, however this was however Saturday’s finest present of swagger and nearly as good a Heisman second as you will discover.
— Huge Ten Community (@BigTenNetwork) October 9, 2021
Underneath-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 high.
— Gardner-Webb Soccer (@GWUFootball) October 4, 2021
Extra importantly, the dropping crew has to furnish a full barbecue dinner for the winners, so Gardner-Webb shall be sending over some White Swan Bar-B-Q for the Camels to take pleasure in. 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.