Login |

College Football Mondays

'College Football Mondays' - Frank Coyle's New Weekly Column

CFP National Championship Game - #1 Clemson vs #2 Alabama

RobinsonAlabama.jpg

It’s Alabama-Clemson In National Title Game

CFP National Championship Game - Jan. 11
8:30 p.m. Glendale, Ariz. - #1 Clemson vs #2 Alabama

Photo - DT A’Shawn Robinson - Alabama

Sometimes the season resolves itself through the college postseason playoff system and provides a true championship matchup. The College postseason playoff system is in its’ second season after years of heated debate and pits #1 Clemson vs #2 Alabama in a battle of the two best teams in college football. Clemson remains unblemished after running the table in the ACC and beating Oklahoma in the semi-finals. Alabama is peaking after an early season loss and has run the table including winning the SEC title and the semi-final matchup while pitching a shutout of the tough Michigan St. club. Bama has won with Old school football – strong ground game, field position and a tough physical defense. Clemson has fought off every challenge behind an outstanding season by soph QB Deshaun Watson who has won games with both his arm and feet in this spread attack. The Clemson defense is a fast big play unit that has been instrumental in the Tigers winning 17 games in a row, the longest winning streak in college football.

“We have a great rushing game and a great passing game, so if you want to stop the passing game, then we can pass the ball,” quarterback Deshaun Watson said. “You want to stop the pass, then we can rush the ball. It doesn't really matter what the defense does.

“We just focus on us and our job and just really just focus on that one play, and if it's a run play, we dominate the line of scrimmage, and if it's a pass play, the receivers get open and make competitive plays.”

This proved true vs Oklahoma which actually led by a point at halftime before Clemson’s offensive barrage in the second half. Clemson has now gained at least 500 yards of offense in each of its past 10 games. Nor will it be new for Alabama, which has seen similar offenses in and out of Southeastern Conference play.

Alabama’s physical defense has had a weakness – it’s spread offenses; teams such as Ohio St, Auburn, Mississippi and Texas A&M all who have given the Tide trouble where the hurry up attacks limit the rotation of defenders in situational defenses. The Tide defense is led by DL A’Shawn Robinson, Jon Allen and Jarraun Reed and LB Reggie Ragland. This Tide defense is their best in years especially along the defensive line where their combination of power and speed is unmatched this season.

The national championship may come down to whether Clemson can find weak spots in Alabama’s defensive scheme with its quick-strike offense. The extra time to prepare for the title game gives the Tide time to develop a scheme capable of stopping Watson and the explosive Tigers.

Alabama was dominant in their one sided victory against a very good Michigan St club. Few defenses in recent season can match the talented depth seen on Alabama’s roster. Clemson’s young offensive front will be thoroughly tested here, but has answered every call this season vs the likes of Notre Dame, Florida State and Oklahoma in critical matchups. They may hold the key to any further success in the title game. Watson is the main man operating running this attack and he needs a big performance from sophomore running back Wayne Gallman. Watson totaled over 3500 yards passing and over 1000 yards rushing in one of the best all around performances in college history The Alabama defensive front will provide a very tough test where they pressure the pocket consistently while being one of the most stout run defenses in recent seasons.

“I think if we focus on us and focus on Clemson and play to the standard Clemson has set, we can beat anybody, so we don't really worry about who's in front of us,” Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware said. “There's going to be 11 guys in front of us. We don't care what the name is on the back of their jersey. Our goal is to beat them every snap.”

Clemson wants an early lead to dictate the tempo of this game. Alabama wants to control the clock and field position to force the Tigers to take risks. Alabama’s offense is a power attack that relies on Heisman Trophy junior running back Derrick Henry. Both teams want the lead though operate through differing styles.

The Tigers and Alabama proved the playoff system works best and have lived up to their #1 and #2 rankings that will produce a true national champion with virtually no debate.

“Shouldn't be real hard to get guys ready to play for the national championship,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “This is it. This is truly the biggest game of the year. We've got four quarters left or however many it takes, and so we'll be ready.”

It’s old school football at its’ best and looks like Bama can claim another national title in a great matchup of contrasting styles. Bama continues their run under head coach Nick Saban in one of the great stretches by any school in college football history.
Alabama 27 - Clemson 13

It’s Alabama-Clemson In National Title Game - Jan 11th

DeshaunWatson.jpg

It’s Alabama-Clemson In National Title Game

CFP National Championship Game -
Jan. 11 8:30 p.m. Glendale, Ariz. -
#2 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson

Photo - QB Deshaun Watson - Clemson

College Bowl Season Results
Bowl / Date / Time / Site / Matchup /Result

New Mexico Dec. 19 2 p.m. Albuquerque, N.M. - Arizona 45, New Mexico 37
Las Vegas Dec. 19 3:30 p.m. Las Vegas, Nev. -
Utah 35, BYU 28
Camellia Dec. 19 5:30 p.m. Montgomery, Ala. - Appalachian St 31, Ohio 29
Cure Dec. 19 7 p.m. Orlando, Fla. -
San Jose St 27 Georgia St 16
New Orleans Dec. 19 9 p.m. New Orleans, La. - Louisiana Tech 47, Arkansas St 28
Miami Beach Dec. 21 2:30 p.m. Miami, Fla. - Western Kentucky 45, USF 35
Potato Dec. 22 3:30 p.m. Boise, Idaho - Akron 23, Utah St 21
Boca Raton Dec. 22 7 p.m. Boca Raton, Fla. - Toledo 32, Temple 17
Poinsettia Dec. 23 4:30 p.m. San Diego, Calif. - Boise St 55, Northern Illinois 7
GoDaddy Dec. 23 8 p.m. Mobile, Ala. Ga. - Southern 58, Bowling Green 27
Bahamas Dec. 24 Noon Nassau, Bahamas - Western Michigan 45, MTSU 31
Hawaii Dec. 24 8 p.m. Honolulu, Hawaii - San Diego St 42, Cincinnati 7
St. Petersburg Dec. 26 11 a.m. St. Petersburg, Fla. - Marshall 16, Connecticut 10
Sun Dec. 26 2 p.m. El Paso, Texas - Washington St. 20, Miami (Fla.) 14
Heart of Dallas Dec. 26 2:20 p.m. Dallas, Texas - Washington 44, Southern Miss. 31
Pinstripe Dec. 26 3:30 p.m. Bronx, N.Y. - Duke 44, Indiana 41
Independence Dec. 26 5:45 p.m. Shreveport, La. - Virginia Tech 55, Tulsa 52
Foster Farms Dec. 26 9:15 p.m. Santa Clara, Calif. - Nebraska 37, UCLA 29
Military Dec. 28 2:30 p.m. Annapolis, Md. - Navy 44, Pittsburgh 28
Quick Lane Dec. 28 5 p.m. Detroit, Mich. - Minnesota 21, Central Michigan 14
Armed Forces Dec. 29 2 p.m. Ft. Worth, Texas - California 55, Air Force 36
Russell Athletic Dec. 29 5:30 p.m. Orlando, Fla. - Baylor 49, North Carolina 38
Arizona Dec. 29 7:30 p.m. Tucson, Ariz. - Nevada 28, Colorado St 23
Texas Dec. 29 9 p.m. Houston, Texas - LSU 56, Texas Tech 27
Birmingham Dec. 30 Noon Birmingham, Ala. - Auburn 31, Memphis 10
Belk Dec. 30 3:30 p.m. Charlotte, N.C. - Mississippi St 51, NC St 28
Music City Dec. 30 7 p.m. Nashville, Tenn. - Louisville 27, Texas A&M 21
Holiday Dec. 30 10:30 pm San Diego, Calif. - Wisconsin 23, Southern California 21
Peach Dec. 31 Noon Atlanta, Ga. - Houston 38, Florida St 24

National Semi-Final Games
Orange Dec. 31 4 p.m. Miami Gardens, Fla. - Clemson 37, Oklahoma 17
Cotton Dec. 31 8 p.m. Arlington, Texas - Alabama 38, Michigan St 0

Outback Jan. 1 Noon Tampa, Fla. - Tennessee 45, Northwestern 6
Fiesta Jan. 1 1 p.m. Glendale, Ariz. - Ohio St 44, Notre Dame 28
Citrus Jan. 1 1 p.m. Orlando, Fla. - Michigan 41, Florida 7
Rose Jan. 1 5 p.m. Pasadena, Calif. - Stanford 45, Iowa 16
Sugar Jan. 1 8:30 p.m. New Orleans, La. - Ole Miss 48, Oklahoma St 20
TaxSlayer (PrimeSport tickets) Jan. 2 Noon Jacksonville, Fla. - Georgia 24, Penn St 17
Liberty (PrimeSport tickets) Jan. 2 3:20 p.m. Memphis, Tenn. - Arkansas 45, Kansas St 23
Alamo (PrimeSport tickets) Jan. 2 6:45 p.m. San Antonio, Texas - TCU 47, Oregon 41
Cactus (PrimeSport tickets) Jan. 2 10:15 pm Phoenix, Ariz. - West Virginia 43, Arizona St 42

CFP National Championship Game - Jan. 11
(PrimeSport tickets) Jan. 11 8:30 p.m. Glendale, Ariz. - Alabama vs. Clemson

College Bowl 2015-2016 Schedule Enters Key Weeks

ChampionshipBanner.jpg

College Football Playoff Schedule

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl
Dec. 31 - No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Clemson

Miami Gardens, Florida | Sun Life Stadium
4 p.m. on ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Alabama

Dec. 31 - Arlington, Texas | AT&T Stadium
8 p.m. on ESPN

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T
Jan. 11 - Glendale, Arizona |
University of Phoenix Stadium
8:30 p.m. on ESPN

College Bowl Schedule – 2015-2016
42 Total Bowl Games

Dec. 22
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Akron vs. Utah State
Boise, Idaho | Albertsons Stadium
3:30 p.m. on ESPN

Marmot Boca Raton Bowl
Toledo vs. Temple
Boca Raton, Florida | FAU Stadium
7 p.m. on ESPN

Dec. 23
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Boise State vs. Northern Illinois
San Diego | Qualcomm Stadium
4:30 p.m. on ESPN

GoDaddy Bowl
Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green
Mobile, Alabama | Ladd-Peebles Stadium
8 p.m. on ESPN

Dec. 24
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl

Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
Nassau, Bahamas | Robinson National Stadium
Noon on ESPN

Hawai'i Bowl
San Diego State vs. Cincinnati
Honolulu | Aloha Stadium
8 p.m. on ESPN

Dec. 26
St. Petersburg Bowl

Connecticut vs. Marshall
St. Petersburg, Florida | Tropicana Field
11 a.m. on ESPN

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Miami vs. Washington State
El Paso, Texas | Sun Bowl
2 p.m. on CBS

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl
Washington vs. Southern Miss
Dallas | Cotton Bowl
2:20 p.m. on ESPN

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Indiana vs. Duke
Bronx, New York | Yankee Stadium
3:30 p.m. on ABC

Camping World Independence Bowl
Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech
Shreveport, Louisiana | Independence Stadium
5:45 p.m. on ESPN

Foster Farms Bowl
UCLA vs. Nebraska
Santa Clara, California | Levi's Stadium
9:15 p.m. on ESPN

College 2015 Awards - Derrick Henry Sweeps Heisman, Maxwell & Walter Camp Awards

ColemanBaylor.jpg

Tide's Derrick Henry Sweeps Heisman, Maxwell & Walter Camp Awards
LB Tyler Matakevich Wins Chuck Bednarik & Bronko Nagurski Awards

Photo - WR Corey Coleman - Baylor

Complete List of 2015 Award Winners

Heisman Memorial Trophy
Outstanding Player

2015 Derrick Henry ALA
2014 Marcus Mariota ORE
2013 Jameis Winston FSU

Maxwell Award
Outstanding Player

2015 Derrick Henry ALA
2014 Marcus Mariota ORE
2013 AJ McCarron ALA

Walter Camp Award
Player of the Year Award

2015 Derrick Henry ALA
2014 Marcus Mariota ORE
2013 Jameis Winston FSU

The Home Depot Award
Coach of the Year

2015 Dabo Swinney CLEM
2014 Gary Patterson TCU
2013 Gus Malzahn AUB

Doak Walker Award
National Running Back Award

2015 Derrick Henry ALA
2014 Melvin Gordon WIS
2013 Andre Williams BC

Davey O'Brien Award
National Quarterback Award

2015 Deshaun Watson CLEM
2014 Marcus Mariota ORE
2013 Jameis Winston FSU

Fred Biletnikoff Award
Outstanding Receiver

2015 Corey Coleman BAY
2014 Amari Cooper ALA
2013 Brandin Cooks ORST

John Mackey Award
Outstanding Tight End

2015 Hunter Henry ARK
2014 Nick O'Leary FSU
2013 Austin Seferian-Jenkins WASH

Outland Trophy
Outstanding Interior Lineman

2015 Joshua Garnett STAN
2014 Brandon Scherff IOWA
2013 Aaron Donald PITT

Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award
Outstanding Lineman

2015 Carl Nassib PSU
2014 Scooby Wright III ARIZ
2013 Aaron Donald PITT

Bronko Nagurski Award
Defensive Player of the Year

2015 Tyler Matakevich TEM
2014 Scooby Wright III ARIZ
2013 Aaron Donald PITT

Chuck Bednarik Award
Defensive Player of the Year

2015 Tyler Matakevich TEM
2014 Scooby Wright III ARIZ
2013 Aaron Donald PITT

Dick Butkus Award
Outstanding Linebacker

2015 Jaylon Smith ND
2014 Eric Kendricks UCLA
2013 C.J. Mosley ALA

Jim Thorpe Award
Outstanding Defensive Back

2015 Desmond King IOWA
2014 Gerod Holliman LOU
2013 Darqueze Dennard MSU

Paul Hornung Award
Most Versatile Player

2015 Christian McCaffrey STAN
2014 Shaq Thompson WASH
2013 Odell Beckham Jr. LSU

For the Rest of College Awards go to Next page

College Football Monday - Ohio St & Clemson Remain Undefeated

CookMSUnew.jpg

College Football Monday - Week 11

Ohio St & Clemson Remain Undefeated
Alabama Continues to Peak

Team of the Week: Oklahoma

Players of Week
Offense: RB Jordan Howard - Indiana
Defense: LB Eric Striker - Oklahoma

Photo: QB Connor Cook - Michigan St.

Ohio St Meets Michigan St and Oklahoma St. Faces Baylor in Key Big Ten & Big 12 Matchups

The upcoming Saturday will provide key answers to conference titles in both the Big Ten and Big 12 with vital matchups in both the Pac 12 and ACC on the agenda. The Big 12 schedule has created several key matchups over the final month and Saturday saw Oklahoma drop Baylor from the unbeaten ranks with an impressive victory. The Sooners relied on the passing of QB Baker Mayfield to blitz the undefeated and high powered Baylor offense, 44-34. It was the fifth consecutive game that the Sooners totaled over 500 yards as they snapped Baylor’s 20 game home winning streak. The Sooners (9-1) moved into the top ten rankings at #7 and can continue to move up the charts with two top ten teams, TCU and Oklahoma St left on the schedule. They could surprise and challenge the final four clubs if they sweep those two teams.

Ohio St. (10-0) remains undefeated since September of 2014 and ranks in the final four after beating a weak Illinois club, 28-3. They host Michigan St. this week before meeting Michigan in Ann Arbor in their finale. The Buckeyes continue to rely on power tailback Ezkiel Elliott who rushed for 181 yards on 27 carries and 2 TDs in the win over the Illini. With that performance, he went over 1200 yards rushing with 14 TDs and the key catalyst in the Buckeyes offense. With a strong finish vs two highly ranked Big Ten opponents and defenses he will get strong consideration for Heisman Trophy honors.

Alabama has been a dominant force in the SEC since a September lost to Ole Miss. They have man handled opponents weekly and produced another strong performance with a 31-6 win over Mississippi St. The Tide faces Charleston Southern and Auburn to close their schedule and holds the cards for the SEC West title. They can clinch the West title in the Iron Bowl match at Auburn. They continue to win on a powerful ground game and a physical dominating defense that will be hard to beat in the postseason. Junior tailback Derrick Henry produced another impressive effort rushing for 204 yards on 22 carries for 2 TDs vs a tough Bulldog defense. He has been the difference maker weekly for the Tide that puts their aggressive defense in good position consistently to protect a lead. Henry will still be the key rusher with backup Kenyan Drake out with a broken arm for a few weeks. Henry is another running back who is one of the leading Heisman candidates currently.

Oregon beat Stanford 38-36 in one of the most exciting Pac 12 games in recent years while Michigan needed some late game dramatics to comeback to defeat Indiana 48-41 in double overtime. The Ducks win shocked the Cardinal club that had moved into the top ten rankings in recent weeks. They are in a wild scramble in the Pac 12 that could go down to the final week of the season. Stanford closes with Notre Dame that will have a huge impact on the final four for both clubs. Michigan needed the late rally to improve to 8-2. They have Penn St. and Ohio St. remaining with a sweep probably moving them into the top 8-10 rankings.

North Carolina continues to be one of the surprise teams of the year and crushed a faltering Miami club 59-21. The Tar Heels improved to 9-1 and have rode the hot hand of QB Marquise Williams who has put up huge numbers vs ACC defenses. He ran for 101 yards and 3 TDs, in addition to throwing for a TD. They are undefeated in the ACC and close the season on the road with Virginia Tech and NC State. They need only 1 win to clinch a berth in the ACC Championship game.

Games of the Week – Baylor (8-1) at Oklahoma St. (10-0)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

College Football Monday - Bama Dominates LSU in SEC Showdown

RaglandAlabama.jpg

College Football Monday - Week 10

Alabama, Clemson & Oklahoma St. Win Huge Conference Matchups.
Six Undefeated Teams Remain for Final Month

Team of the Week: Alabama

Players of Week
Offense: RB Derrick Henry - Alabama
Defense: DT Chris Jones - Mississippi St

Photo: LB Reggie Ragland - Alabama

Bama Dominates LSU in SEC Showdown, Oklahoma St. Bounces TCU

This past Saturday saw three huge conference matchups among leaders that will shape the SEC, ACC and Big 12 conference titles. The Bama-LSU was a physical matchup that the Tide controlled behind a dynamic running duo of Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. Henry gained 213 yards on the ground and scored 3 TDs that were instrumental in the Bama 30-16 victory. Drake was a fine change of pace back opposite Henry and added 68 yards on 10 yards showing the burst to get to the second level.

Leonard Fournette was held to a season low of 31 yards on 19 carries as the Tide defense swarmed to the star tailback. The Bama front seven controlled the line of scrimmage and kept the Tiger star off balance all night and not capable of getting into his usual running rhyme. DT A’Shawn Robinson and MLB Reggie Ragland spearheaded an aggressive Bama defense that keyed on the Tigers star and gave him little room to get past the line and into the second level. DT Robinson put on a dominant performance that disrupted blocking schemes consistently. Alabama won in their usual methodical style that was more dominant than the score indicated.

Clemson held their #1 ranking with a nice win over Florida St 23-13 that clinched the ACC Atlantic Division for the Tigers. It was their first victory over FSU since 2011. They won on a strong second half comeback after trailing 10-6. They held Seminole tailback Dalvin Cook to only 37 yards over the second half after an impressive 158 yards in the first half. The Seminoles played without starting QB Everett Golson who missed his second game due to a concussion. The loss pushed their record to 7-2 which all but eliminates them for national title consideration.

Oklahoma St. bashed TCU 49-29 that elevated the Cowboys to the #5 spot in the new Top 25 teams. The Cowboys relied on QB Mason Rudolph who passed for 352 yards and 5 TDs. OSU travels to Iowa St this week before finishing at home with Baylor and Oklahoma that makes the Big 12 stretch run intriguing. TCU had its school record 16-game winning streak snapped. It was the nation’s second-longest active winning streak, behind Ohio State (21). They fell out of the top ten for the first time this season.

Notre Dame continues to impress with a strong win over a ranked Pittsburgh club. Freshman Irish QB DeShone Kizer directed the Irish’s fourth straight victory. He threw for 5 TDs on 19 of 26 attempts for 262 yards and no interceptions. Once again, Kizer went to star wideout Will Fuller who caught 7 passes for 157 yards and 3 TDs. Fuller continues to be a dominant receiver weekly who has ben uncoverable despite double coverage often. The Irish finish with Wake Forest, Boston College and Stanford in that order. The final at Stanford will most likely matchup two top ten clubs that could provide the winner a final four placement.

North Carolina has quietly had a strong season that improved to 8-1 after a 66-31 blasting of Duke. QB Marquise Williams threw for 494 yards with 404 of them coming by halftime. The Tar Heels have not lost since the season opener vs South Carolina. They host Miami this week before closing the season on the road with Virginia Tech and NC State.

In addition to LSU and TCU, Michigan St (8-1) fell from the unbeaten in a thrilling finish vs Nebraska . The Spartans lost on a strange TD call late in the game when the Nebraska receiver appeared to have gone out of bounds and came in to catch the ball and score. Michigan St was up by two TDs most of the second half but could not hold off a wild Nebraska comeback.

QB Tommy Armstrong drove Nebraska 91 yards in the final minute, hitting Brandon Reilly with a 30-yard touchdown pass that withstood a video review with 17 seconds left to hand the Spartans a devastating 39-38 loss. Referees ruled that MSU corner Jermaine Edmondson forced Reilly out of bounds that allowed him to reenter the field and make the winning score. That was a highly questionable call, though one that can not be reviewed. The loss was the first for Michigan St. and may prove the costly and keep them out of the final four unless they get help from several of the top clubs losing over the final regular season month. Nebraska (4-6) has suffered a few heartbreaking losses this season and hopes to finish strong with Rutgers and a currently undefeated Iowa (9-0) remaining on the schedule.

Games of the Week – Baylor (8-0) at Oklahoma (8-1)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

College Football Monday - Upcoming Showdown Weekend

BoykinTCU.jpg

College Football Monday - Week 9

Upcoming Showdown Weekend Set with National Title Impact

Team of the Week: Notre Dame

Players of Week
Offense: QB DeShaun Watson - Clemson
Defense: DE Emmanuel Ogbah - Oklahoma St
Special Teams: S Jabrill Peppers - Michigan

Photo: QB Trevone Boykin - TCU

College Football Monday - Week 9

As the college football season moves into November for critical conference games, this past Saturday saw five of the top ten clubs idle with their bye week. The upcoming week features two huge conference games with LSU at Alabama and TCU at Oklahoma St. contests that will have a huge impact on the national championship race, in addition to Florida St. at Clemson and Notre Dame at Pittsburgh. It has the makings of the most critical weekend for college football this season.

Alabama and LSU scheduled their bye week prior to the matchup to give them both two weeks to prepare and get healthy for an annual game that has national and SEC title ramifications. Each club is starting to peak and the winner will have a stronger case for a top three or higher ranking. Last season, Bama won in OT 20-13. The prior season Bama won 38-17. The LSU play at QB has been lacking and clearly the difference that has kept the Tigers from title game appearances.

Oklahoma St. and TCU enter the game unbeaten, two of the ten remaining D1 teams who have not tasted defeat. The matchup is expected to be another Big 12 scoring fest where defense rarely shows up. Oklahoma St. warmed up for this critical game with a 70-53 thrashing of Texas Tech. The combined point totals are the 3rd most involving a ranked team without playing overtime. The Cowboys used it as another tune up prior to the TCU clash. OSU has scored under 30 points only once in their opening victory 24-3 over CMU. Last week, they waxed pathetic Kansas 58-10, probably the worst D1 team over the past decade.

TCU brings in Heisman Trophy candidate, QB Trevone Boykin who has directed this high powered attack. The Horned Frogs have scored under 50 points only once this season, in an opening day win 23-17 over Minnesota. The Oklahoma St. matchup is obviously critical with the winner in position to claiming #1 nationally and Big 12 leadership. TCU closes its season with Oklahoma and Baylor, both top 15 clubs and Baylor currently #2. Oklahoma St. faces the same final two matchups in reverse order making it an intriguing close to a wild Big 12 season. The Big 12 may come up short vs the SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12, but their games are usually an offensive juggernaut that keep fans captivated to the final minutes with every club alive in high scoring affairs.

On Saturday, several high scoring dramatic games made the weekend significant for national and conference standings, though the higher rated clubs won each game. The Clemson-NC St. (56-41), Notre Dame-Temple (24-20), Oklahoma St- Texas Tech (70-53), Michigan-Minnesota (29-26) and Stanford-Washington St. (30-28) were all wild intense contests that changed often and most decided on late big plays.

None though matched the zany Miami-Clemson (30-27) game that ended on an incredible kickoff return that included 8 laterals before Hurricane Corn Elder took the last one for a game winning and closing TD. The play included a controversial knee down, three illegal blocks in the back and additional 12th Miami player on the field without a helmet. The referees blew all the illegal blocks, though they were right in front of them. They also missed the down knee that would have ended the play. The knee down part of the play was reviewable, though the replay officials also blew the play despite Miami’s Mark Walton being clearly down before he flipped the ball. The ‘series of errors’ was addressed Saturday night by ACC Commissioner John Swofford who stated that the final play “was not handled appropriately.” Swofford suspended the on the field crew, replay official and the communicator for two games in one of the biggest debacles in recent college football history. How the replay official missed the Miami player knee touching is inexcusable. The ACC acted properly in suspending the officials responsible for such shoddy decision making and maybe they were too lenient in the amount of game time suspended.

The tainted Hurricane victory comes one week after the firing of HC Al Gooden who could not survive the embarrassing loss to Clemson (58-0). Prior to the Clemson disaster, the beat a falling Virginia Tech and two losses to Cincinnati and Florida St. The loss to Florida St. (29-24) was particularly upsetting as they lost late in the 4th quarter. It was the 6th straight loss to the instate Seminoles, one that alumni frown on for recruiting purposes. He was hired to bring Miami back to prominence then was tasked with the added burden of cleaning up giant problems that he never knew about when taking the job.

Golden was hired in December 2010 as he took over a falling program due to the massive mess created by the violations of rampant rule breaking by a former school booster who is currently in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Each of Golden's five seasons have been affected by that NCAA probe. The school was penalized through scholarship reductions that are still in place this season as part of the sanctions.

Game of the Week - LSU (7-0) at Alabama (7-1)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Syndicate content