Week 9 was not nearly as crazy overall as last week, as only one team in the Top 10 went down. #21 South Carolina upset #5 Mizzou (and yes, that is a real sentence we just typed), while #6 Stanford, #7 Miami, and #15 Oklahoma escaped close scares. #1 Alabama, #2 Florida State, #3 Oregon, #4 Ohio State, and #8 Baylor all cruised to easy victories.
Winners – Duke, Minnesota, Tulane
This may seem like a weird amalgamation of teams to select as this week’s winners, but they all have something in common (besides having a color in their team name): they all got their sixth win yesterday. The Duke Blue Devils, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the Tulane Green Wave are all bowl eligible. Duke upset #14 Virginia Tech 13 – 10, Minnesota upset #24 Nebraska 34 – 23, (for their first win over the Huskers since 1960) and Tulane defeated Tulsa 14 – 7. All three of these teams are now bowl eligible. For the Blue Devils, it is the first time they are going bowling in consecutive years…EVER. This is a first in program history, and congrats to David Cutcliffe and his staff for a job well done. And for a Tulane program ravaged by Hurricane Katrina less than a decade ago, this a tremendous accomplishment. Perhaps even more surprising is this:
So Duke, Minnesota & Tulane are all bowl eligible before Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Georgia & USC
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) October 26, 2013
Losers – Texas Tech, Mizzou
As you’d expect, the two teams to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten are this week’s biggest losers. Texas Tech was competitive with Oklahoma all game, and Kliff Kingsbury pulled out all the stops, from trick plays to onside kicks. Alas, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Sooners, who triumphed 38 – 30. Bu of the two losses, Missouri’s was the far tougher one to swallow.
Up 17-0 at the start of the 4th quarter, the Tigers allowed 17 unanswered points to the Gamecocks, who forced overtime at Faurot Field. Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime (although it took a conversion on 4th and long by South Carolina to extend the game), and the Gamecocks settled for the field goal in the second overtime to go up by three. The corresponding Mizzou drive stalled at the South Carolina 6-yard line. So Andrew Baggett was called upon to make a chip-shot 24-yard field goal from the left hash. Easy enough.
Except it wasn’t.
Mizzou loses, 24 – 27.
As Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde points out, the north end zone is cursed. From the Flea Kicker by Nebraska in 1997, to Colorado’s “5th down” in 1990, to yesterday’s soul-crushing missed field goal: all occurred in Faurot Field’s north end zone. If they wanted to knock the whole damn thing down and start over, I don’t think anyone would blame them.
Top 25 Upsets
- #21 South Carolina over #5 Missouri, 27 – 24
- #15 Oklahoma over #10 Texas Tech 38 – 30
- Duke over #14 Virginia Tech, 13 – 10
- Minnesota over #24 Nebraska, 24 – 23
A Look Ahead
The biggest game by far next week will be #7 Miami at #2 Florida State. A matchup of two undefeated Top Ten teams, GameDay will be making the trip to Tallahassee for this in-state rivalry. The Canes open as a 21-point underdog at Florida State, and our only question is: is this enough? Miami has struggled against Wake Forest and North Carolina the past two weeks, while Florida State has been blowing teams away with ease. As fans of college football, we hope it will be close, but we have a feeling this one will get out of hand quickly.
In the Big 12, Texas Tech looks to bounce back against Oklahoma State after a tough loss to the Sooners, and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party actually means something after the Mizzou loss – it serves as a de facto elimination game in the SEC East: Florida and Georgia play in Jacksonville on CBS at 3:30. Michigan travels to East Lansing to play Michigan State in next week’s featured matchup in the B1G.