LockedIN on College Football October 27

The Good, The Bad and The NCAA

What a week in College Football! Some Huge Plays and Great games this week.Tons of big hits and plays this week in College Football. Let’s check in on what happened….

Oklahoma looked like it had a clear path to the playoff. It had already hurdled Texas this month, and the Big 12 isn’t a league loaded with top-15 teams this season. It also doesn’t have many pushovers, as the Sooners learned the hard way Saturday.

Kansas State scored on eight consecutive possessions, then held on for a 48-41 victory to deal Oklahoma its first loss of the season and leave the Big 12 without an undefeated team.

Unquestionably, it’s a stellar result for first-year coach Chris Klieman, who won his share of big games while leading North Dakota State to four FCS titles. K-State (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) had some commendably long drives, but also took advantage of short fields created by an interception, a fumble and a short punt.

For as much as Michigan has come up wanting in big games under the fifth-year coach, the Wolverines’ 45-14 demolition of Notre Dame is one of Harbaugh’s finest moments since returning to his alma mater.

While Hassan Haskins (20 carries, 149 yards) played a role, this was very much a masterpiece for the Michigan defense. Notre Dame managed just 3.0 yards a play and 1.5 yards a rush, and it took 10 possessions before the Irish got on the scoreboard.

Mac Jones the Jacksonville Florida native took control of the Tide this week. The Alabama quarterback encountered minimal resistance in his first start in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa. Arkansas proved to be the perfect opponent to ease into a starting role against as Jones completed 18 of 22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns as the Crimson Tide pummeled the Razorbacks, 48-7.

Coach Ken Niumatalolo said after going 3-10 last year, he’ll never take bowl eligibility for granted again. The Navy Midshipmen didn’t make it easy to get there, blowing a 24-point lead before finally finishing off Tulane, 41-38, on freshman Bijan Nichols’ 48-yard field goal as time expired.

Navy (6-1, 4-1 American) has had harrowing fourth-quarter escapes at home against Air Force and Tulane this month to help it become eligible for the postseason for the 15th time in 17 years. Friday’s trip to Connecticut will give the Mids a good chance to get to 7-1 before their annual game against Notre Dame.

Appalachian State. Life as a ranked team in the FBS suits the Mountaineers just fine. A week after crushing Louisiana-Monroe, 52-7, Appalachian State sailed past South Alabama, 30-3.

The Mountaineers are one of two undefeated Group of Five teams left, along with Southern Methodist. If they can turn back South Carolina in two weeks, they’ll have a chance to remain in the conversation for a Cotton Bowl bid as the Group of Five’s representative in the New Year’s Six structure.

Heisman watch

1. QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (2,074 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT passing; 705 yards, 10 TD rushing). He is second in the country in total offense (behind Washington State QB Anthony Gordon) after lambasting West Virginia for 316 yards passing, 74 yards rushing and five total touchdowns. The graduate transfer still has some looming tests; the Sooners’ next four opponents all rank in the top 50 nationally in total defense. (Last week: 2)

2. QB Joe Burrow, LSU (2,484 yards, 29 TD, 3 INT passing; 94 yards, 2 TD rushing). Meet the new single-season passing touchdown record-holder in Baton Rouge. There are still five games left in the regular season. Burrow shredded Mississippi State for 327 yards and four touchdowns in a road rout. (LW: 3)

3. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (2,166 yards, 27 TD, 2 INT passing; 30 yards, 2 TD rushing). The junior’s ankle surgery alters the race for the stiff-arming statue, and he will tumble a few more spots if he misses any more than the Crimson Tide’s date with Arkansas on Saturday. But there could be chances for a singular moment against Auburn or in a potential SEC title game if the Crimson Tide is still in the playoff hunt. (LW: 1)

4. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State (1,492 yards, 22 TD, 1 INT passing; 291 yards, 8 TD rushing). Fields has yet to throw more than 25 times in a game, an illustration of how well the Buckeyes have had games in hand so far. He should be in for a more taxing day against Wisconsin’s defense. (LW: 4)

5. QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (1,882 yards, 21 TD, 1 INT passing). Herbert had a 280-yard, four-touchdown day against Washington as the Ducks seized firm control of the Pac-12 North. The absence of high-profile opponents the rest of the way will work against him — not to mention Oregon’s playoff hopes. But he is having a sensational season. (LW: Not ranked)

The Nov. 9 game between Alabama and LSU will, barring any change in the next week, indeed be a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 — just not in the order anyone initially expected. Following a 23-20 win over Auburn on Saturday, LSU is the new No. 1 team according to the latest AP Top 25 poll. The Tigers barely edged the Crimson Tide by two points (1,476 to 1,474) to claim the top spot. Furthermore, No. 3 Ohio State is only eight points away from LSU as voters clearly see those three teams as the best in college football. Alabama and LSU have an open week ahead of their Nov. 9 showdown in Tuscaloosa. Barring an extreme change of direction, they’ll stay in the top two spots for the next week. 

Clemson and Penn State round out the top five while Oregon jumps up to No. 7 after barely beating Washington State on Saturday night. Oklahoma falls from No. 5 to No. 10 after its loss to Kansas State. Speaking of the Wildcats, they’re No. 22 and one of three new teams to be ranked this week along with No. 24 Memphis and No. 25 San Diego State. The biggest faller was Texas, which fell out of the standings entirely after losing to TCU. 

Here’s how the entire AP Top 25 poll looks:

1. LSU
2. Alabama 
3. Ohio State
4. Clemson
5. Penn State
6. Florida
7. Oregon
8. Georgia
9. Utah
10. Oklahoma
11. Auburn
12. Baylor
13. Minnesota
14. Michigan
15. SMU
16. Notre Dame
17. Cincinnati
18. Wisconsin
19. Iowa
20. Appalachian State
21. Boise State
22. Kansas State
23. Wake Forest
24. Memphis
25. San Diego State

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