FSU tops Notre Dame. SEC West rises to the top. Four teams remain undefeated. An upset causes a riot. Here are five takeaways from the weekend in college football.
Florida State remains in the #2 AP spot after its thrilling victory against Notre Dame. In a neck-and-neck battle, the game was largely decided on an offensive pass interference call against Notre Dame which negated the winning touchdown. QB Everett Golson would throw an interception on the next play, which sealed the game.
Somehow, QB Jameis Winston is able to block out all of the accusations and background noise as he continues to lead his team to victory. This win against Notre Dame showed that FSU has what it takes to win in tough spot. The Seminoles’s last remaining challenge will be going to Louisville on a Thursday night to face a defense only allowing 14.6 points per game. FSU is on upset alert.
SEC in Top 5
Not only are four SEC teams in the Top 5 of the AP Poll, but all are from the SEC West. This puts to rest, at least for this season, the debate as to whether the SEC West is the toughest division in college football. Each of these teams has two games remaining against its current Top 5 brethren, which makes for great television and interesting narratives as we look to the post season. FSU and Oregon have the most to gain if the SEC teams pick each other off in round-robin fashion.
Eyes on Mississippi
Ole Miss soundly defeated Tennessee on Saturday. Its offense looked suspect in the first half against the Volunteers. Yet, the vaunted Ole Miss defense picked up the slack, forcing four turnovers and allowing 191 total yards.
The Rebels next task will be traveling to Baton Rouge to tangle with #24 LSU. Ole Miss usually plays well on the bayou, but is also usually the underdog with something to prove. Ole Miss fans circled the LSU matchup each year, considering it a rivalry. The Tigers generally consider Ole Miss as their pesky little brothers, surely not rivals. With the roles reversed and both defenses playing very well, this game will be an emotional defensive struggle.
Mississippi State rested this weekend. They will go to Lexington to face a much improved Kentucky squad on Saturday.
And Then There Were Four
So long, Notre Dame! Goodbye, Baylor! Only Mississippi State, FSU, Ole Miss, and Marshall remain undefeated in the FBS. Because the Mississippi teams will face each other after Thanksgiving, we now know that at least two playoff teams will have at least one loss (Note: Conference USA’s #23 Marshall is undefeated but has almost zero chance of making it into the CFB Playoff).
West Virginia Burning
Unlike the postgame celebrations in Oxford and Lexington a fortnight ago, the weekend “celebration” following #22 West Virginia’s home upset of Baylor is being roundly criticized and labeled as a riot by university and local officials.
Kentucky fans rushed the field; WVU fanatics rushed onto construction sites. The Rebel faithful tore down the goal post. Morgantown residents pushed over streetlights and burned couches. Mississippi fans locked lips on the gridiron. The Mountaineer hooligans dodged tear gas canisters in the streets. The Mississippi athletic director tweeted at fans. WVU officials are reviewing social media to affect further arrests.
There’s a proper way to celebrate a signature win. WVU fans got it wrong.
Follow Daniel J. Freeman on Twitter @djfree