The last week of October is the time of year when college football contenders start to break out of the peloton and contenders are sent out to don their clown costumes for Halloween to trick people into believing they were legitimate threats to win the title.
The college football newsletter is here to highlight the best plays of the week and the questionable decisions that get even the most hardened fans on their feet.
Last week, Iowa was shamed so badly that several columns were written about it (including this one), with the Hawkeyes getting failing grades all around.
Remember, the same goes for the standings as last season. High marks will only be for show, and failing marks have no chance of being reversed.
Without further ado, here’s Week 9’s analysis of how the fans, teams, players and coaches fared before things got interesting next week with the release of the first football playoff rankings. academic:
Follow every game: NCAA College Football Live Scores
College Game Day in Jackson
After nearly three decades on the air, ESPN’s “College GameDay” is nothing more than an acquired taste. Either you love the program and see it for what it’s worth, or you think the whole shtick is cheesy and it’s a waste of three hours of airtime. Whatever your feelings about it, when ESPN does it well, it makes for good TV.
Let’s be real, the only reason GameDay showed up in Jackson, Mississippi is Deion Sanders. If the same Jackson State team had the same record with a different coach, that GameDay bus parks somewhere else.
The Jackson State Tigers are whipping up their competition at a historic pace and there’s no reason to believe they can’t keep going, as evidenced by their 35-0 thrashing against Southern on Saturday.
Sanders revitalized the discourse around HBCUs and shined a light on the good football that most countries don’t pay attention to. Sanders, who pointed to Jackson’s water crisis, made Jackson State a major player for top rookies. He is a candidate for other Power Five jobs at schools looking for an infusion of energy.
GameDay should really take half of its shows and visit lower division schools, whether they’re good or not. If unique lore and pageantry is what college football is meant to be, and if that’s what GameDay claims to encompass, then make it happen. People are going to watch the big games whether the networks’ pre-game shows are in town or not.
Jackson State Premier: A+
The Collapse of the Deacon Deacon
Wake Forest have been playing football for 115 years. Most of them have been plagued by pathetic splashes on the pitch. The program has just two 10-or-more win seasons and two AP Poll appearances as a top-10 team.
Last year’s team pulled off the feat and quickly lost a high-scoring affair to North Carolina. The second top-10 finish came this week when the Demon Deacons were again seeded 10th ahead of their road contest with Louisville.
Wake was actually winning 14-13 at halftime. Apparently the team that entered the locker room stayed there because the team that came out for the second half had no interest in keeping possession.
Check out this Deacons comedy of errors starting in the third quarter: Interception, fumble, fumble, interception, fumble, kick, interception, fumble, interception.
You won’t beat an elementary school team flipping it like that.
Good for you math pros. A total of eight turnovers in one half, including two pick-sixes.
The Cardinals won that laugh 48-21.
Christmas in October:F
Thrown from the bench
Usually, when a player is ejected from a football match, it’s for something egregious, like targeting.
Since there’s a good chance Akron backup quarterback Jeff Undercuffler Jr. wasn’t going to play in the Zips’ game against Miami, Ohio, he decided to give the officials his two cents to the end of the fourth quarter with his team well on their way to defeat.
Undercuffler looked confused by the ejection, but replays made it clear he threw a few choice “F” bombs towards the officials, getting an early shower and a failing grade here.
For the F-bomb: F
Statistics for you:
1 – Win in 11 tries against the top five opponents James Franklin has in his tenure at Penn State.
3 – Games this season where a touchdown was not scored. It was a field goal and two-point conversion battle in Charlottesville, as Miami creaked past Virginia 14-12.
ten – False start penalties for Virginia Tech in a road contest against NC State. Overall, the Hokies were flagged 13 times in the 22-21 loss.
48 – Defeat of Oklahoma State by Kansas State. It’s the Cowboys’ worst loss in the Mike Gundy.
Best and worst of the week:
Pac-12 refs: Definition of incompetence
Tracking ball not required: F
Fog Bowl arrives in Ypsilanti, Michigan
You can not see me: A
Oklahoma textbook deception
love shot: Immediate diploma
Penn State’s Sean Clifford sees ghosts in the name of JT Tuimoloau.
A man destroying the crew: A++.
Your Weekly Brock Bowers Highlight
Drill tip: A
One meter less: Incomplete
Dog of the Week: State of New Mexico to Massachusetts
Give it up for Ripken the Batdog, who usually works his magic for the Tampa Bay Rays’ Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls. The good boy worked the NC State-Virginia Tech game on Thursday, and no doubt had the rest of the puppies rolling their eyes for this week’s pick for Dog of the Week.
Now let’s get to the game:
Going into this contest, the teams had a combined 3-11 record, with the Minutemen’s only win a 20-3 triumph over Stony Brook. If two teams had to go out of their way to program themselves and drive thousands of miles to do it, at least get compensated for it. Neither team received a dime for their efforts, but for the approximately 9,200 spectators in attendance, they watched as New Mexico State cruised to a 23-13 win to spoil UMass’ homecoming. .
Follow Scooby Axson on Twitter @scoobaxson.