From shocking upsets to complete buffoonery, week 9 of the college football season certainly had it all. We have previously dead programs beginning to trend upwards while others are plunging towards the earth with no hep in sight.
- Michigan. Just when Jim Harbaugh appears to be dead and buried in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines completely dominate the 8th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45-14. Michigan certainly has a bad loss (a 38-0 drubbing by sinking Wisconsin) but the team is 6-2 currently and could be back in the top 15 starting this week.
- Auburn/LSU. There had to be a loser and that happened to Auburn but what a hard-fought game in Baton Rouge on Saturday. The Auburn offense just doesn’t quite have enough right now to win games like this but huge props to them for keeping LSU’s superhuman offense in check. This all but assures the LSU/Alabama winner on Nov. 9th will go to Atlanta, but the loser of that game could snag the final playoff spot should things get even crazier than they already are.
- SMU. Don’t look now but the Mustangs are 8-0 under coach Sonny Dykes. From the depths of literal death 30 years ago to becoming a viable program again is great to see. They play a lot of close games against blah teams and there’s no way they can make the playoff but you have to feel really good for this program right now that is clearly on the rise.
- Minnesota. The Gophers are 8-0 and lead the Big 10 West by two games. Many thought P.J. Fleck was a bit on the hokey side and things did not start very well up there in Minneapolis but he has things rolling now. Minnesota will find it difficult to continue to row the boat coming up as they take on Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin in the next four weeks but it’s still been a sweet turnaround type season for Fleck.
- Tennessee. Don’t look now but the Volunteers appear to have a real division 1 football team. After playing Alabama in respectable fashion a week ago, they dismantled South Carolina in the second half in route to their third victory of the season.
- Missouri. The wheels have come off what was supposed to be a potentially special season in Columbia. Missouri followed up one of the worst performances you’ll ever see last week (a 21-14 loss to Vanderbilt) with an equally pathetic effort in a 29-7 drubbing by Kentucky. This is not what most Missouri fans had in mind with the schedule that the Tigers have faced this season.
- Nebraska. Oh Nebraska, frequent visitors to our “losers” list this season. Yes, the Huskers lost to Indiana at home on Saturday, but the worst part about that is that we aren’t shocked by it anymore. They are just another program that merely exists right now. Scott Frost is now 5-9 in Big Ten games at Nebraska and The Huskers are 7-5 at home in the last two seasons.
- Texas Tech. Not only did the Red Raiders lose to Kansas but this is how they did it.
- The Big 12’s playoff hopes. First off, huge props to Chris Klieman and Kansas State for pulling off the upset over #5 Oklahoma. They deserve a spot on the winners list for sure, but it’s now going to be very difficult for the Big 12 to find its way into the College Football Playoff. The Baylor Bears are currently leading the conference race and are undefeated and there’s a chance OU could get in with one loss if chaos happens but it looks like it could be curtains.
- Texas. Far too many of us believed the Longhorn hype heading in to 2019 and the program that always underachieves is doing it again. Texas is currently an “arms-length” program, meaning they can play close games against top-flight teams like LSU and Oklahoma but can’t beat them and can nearly lose to Kansas and get run off the field by an average TCU team. Horns definitely down.