Half of the teams ranked in the Top 10 of the BCS were off yesterday, so that left so some slim pickings. The afternoon games didn’t disappoint, and Florida State rolled. That’s where we’ll find most of this week’s winners and losers.
Winners – Florida State, Michigan State, North Texas
Miami was a 21-point underdog to Florida State going into the game, and some analysts were suggesting that spread might be a bit high, since
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 29, 2013
As it turns out, it was too low.
#3 Florida State crushed #7 Miami 41 – 14, ending the Canes’ undefeated season and sending them back down to South Florida with their tails between their legs. Jameis Winston did not look perfect, as he threw two interceptions that he’d probably like to have back, but he still completed 21 of his 29 passes for 325 yards and a touchdown. The Seminole offense made Duke Johnson a non-factor, holding him to 97 yards on 23 carries.
This win will almost certainly propel Florida State into the #2 spot in the BCS. With Oregon on a bye, enough voters in both the Coaches and Harris Polls will be impressed by Florida’s dismantling of Miami to give the Seminoles the #2 ranking. Oregon, currently #2 in the BCS, plays Stanford this Thursday in prime time. Their performance against the Cardinal will go a long way to determining their, as well as FSU’s fate.
And in the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy, #22 Michigan State came to play. The Spartan front seven held the #21 Wolverines to only 168 total yards while sacking Devon Gardner seven times and holding Michigan to -48 RUSHING YARDS. The boldface, italics, and capitalization all are mandatory, as this is an incredibly ridiculous feat. Any team that does this deserves to win their game, and the Spartans did just that, defeating their in-state rivals 29 – 6. The Spartans have a week off before playing Nebraska in Memorial Stadium, and a win in Lincoln would almost assuredly clinch them a spot in the B1G Championship Game.
And congratulations are in order for the University of North Texas, who defeated Rice 28 – 16 and became bowl eligible for the first time since 2004! North Texas joins Rice, Houston, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech as teams in Texas that did became bowl eligible before Texas.
Losers – Miami, Florida
As bad as a 41 – 14 loss to your in-state rival is (for both player morale and recruiting efforts), it’s even worse when you lose a star player. And that’s exactly what happened to the Canes. In the third quarter, after the game was already well in-hand, Duke Johnson was tackled by a gang of Florida State defenders and landed awkwardly on his right ankle. He lain on the ground in pain for several minutes before being taken to the Canes’ locker room. Reports that surfaced confirmed the worst fears of the Miami faithful.
Source close to situation tells Miami Herald that #UM RB Duke Johnson has broken his ankle and is out for the season. Surgery next week.
— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) November 3, 2013
Duke Johnson is a hell of a player and fun to watch. We wish him the best in his recovery.
Miami has to regroup quickly if they want any chance of a shot at revenge in the ACC Championship Game. They play Virginia Tech in game that could very well decide the Coastal division.
Florida looked absolutely awful in their 23 – 20 loss to Georgia in the annual Cocktail Party. Although the score makes the game appear close, Florida’s repeated insistence at shooting itself in the foot made the game virtually unwinnable. Positive plays were negated by penalties too often to count. And it was the nature of the penalties that is really striking – taking one’s helmet off after a great play to take your team out of field goal range, chippiness after taking umbrage at something Georgia did – all of these are dumb penalties that impede your chances of winning the game. Some Florida fans have taken to calling the Gators’ style of play BIG DUMB WILL MUSCHAMP FOOTBALL, and we agree.
Speaking of Coach Muschamp, he needs his team to regroup and focus their attention on Vandy, and do so rather quickly. The Gators need two wins to become bowl eligible, and should they fall to the Commodores on Saturday, they would have to beat either South Carolina or Florida State to do so. And the odds of beating either of those teams is slim at best. And if the Gators do not make it to a bowl, Will Muschamp may find his seat very hot indeed.
Top 25 Upsets
- #18 Oklahoma State over #16 Texas Tech, 52 – 34
- #22 Michigan State over #21 Michigan, 29 – 6
A Look Ahead
We have quite the slate of games this week. MACtion on Tuesday, and a pair of Top 10 matchups on Thursday: #6 Baylor plays at #10 Oklahoma, and #2 Oregon travels to #5 Stanford. Both of these games have national title implications, and if either of these games were being played on Saturday, College GameDay would be there.
As it stands, College Gameday is traveling to Tuscaloosa to watch #13 LSU play #1 Alabama. LSU always gives the Tide trouble, and this game should prove no differently. The Tigers are one of two roadblocks the Tide have left on their schedule, and a firm showing would improve their resume, while any slip-ups may doom their hopes for a three-peat. As mentioned above, Virginia Tech travels to Miami in a matchup that could decide the Coastal, while undefeated in-conference Houston travels to Orlando to play undefeated in-conference UCF to perhaps determine who will represent the American Athletic Conference.
[To Be Updated]