Upset Saturday was upon us and we didn’t even know it. Here are the five takeaways from the weekend in college football.
Oregon sent the weekend into a tailspin losing to the Pac-12 South’s Arizona on Thursday night. Unforseen to all, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and UCLA would share in the misery on Saturday. All were in the AP’s top eight.
The weekend highlighted college football’s best aspect…unpredictability. The oddsmakers, the pundits, even Katy Perry can’t predict the winners and the losers. The game must be decided on the gridiron.
Going forward, Alabama, Texas A&M, and Oregon have the ability to resurrect their seasons due to strength of schedule. Each must win out and hope that those currently in the top eight suffer losses. The season remains young and undecided.
Mississippi Teams Tied for #3
Ole Miss and Mississippi State contributed to the weekend’s chaos as underdogs going into their matchups with Alabama and Texas A&M, respectively. The college football gods couldn’t have given a more appropriate gift to the state of Mississippi than to place both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the number-three spot in the AP Poll.
Should the status quo hold, the Egg Bowl, usually unheralded outside of the state of Mississippi, may ultimately decide the SEC West. Either way, the bitter rivalry will be closely contested as Ole Miss is top ten in total defense and Mississippi State is top twenty in total offense.
Top 25 Undefeateds
Florida State remains undefeated after handling Wake Forest. Its toughest test will be against #6 Notre Dame in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will also face Georgia Tech, also undefeated, if both teams reach the ACC title game. Georgia Tech’s most daunting regular season test will be its trip to Athens to face rival #13 Georgia.
Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State remain unbeaten from the SEC. Each will see the others before the season ends. Auburn is currently ranked #2.
Arizona, at #10, remains the only Pac-12 team without a loss after exposing Oregon. Arizona will face three ranked opponents, including rival #20 Arizona State the day after Thanksgiving. Yet, the Wildcats raised their profile and showed a lot of promise by besting Oregon in hostile Autzen Stadium.
Tearing Down Tearing Down the Goalpost
Contrary to popular fan belief, rushing the field is not an acceptable form of celebration. So says the SEC. Students at Ole Miss and Kentucky rushed the field before rushing off to the bars on Saturday, earning their academic institutions fines from the league office. Ole Miss fans carried QB Bo Wallace on their shoulders, made out on the field, removed a goalpost, and victoriously hoisted it through the Grove and into the downtown Oxford Square, showing that they clearly take their field-rushing more seriously than Kentucky.
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) October 4, 2014
Texas A&M defensive end Qualen Cunningham was ejected from Saturday’s game at the 11:03 mark in the first quarter. His iniquity was a questionable hit to the head of Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott. He was sent to the showers less than four minutes into the game.
Consider that Auburn safety Nick Ruffin was disqualified for absolutely annihilating an LSU receiver coming across the middle of the field after missing a pass. Ruffing never let up as he hammered the defenseless receiver. He was ejected at the 4:55 mark in the second quarter.
Of course, the world is not fair and neither is football. However, the NCAA would do well to review a system that unevenly penalizes players. A quarter or half suspension that is transferrable to the following game could bring more equity of punishment for players who, according to the NCAA, are still learning the game and honing their talents.