Who said this week would be full of boring games? Certainly we did not. (Pay no attention to last week’s blog entry.) Baylor and Oregon both lost ins spectacular fashion, and are this week’s biggest losers. But fear not! Not to be outdone, the Florida Gators also made the list!
Losers – Baylor, Oregon, Florida
Coming into this week, Baylor was ranked #4 in the nation, and only fractions of a point behind #3 Ohio State. With a win over #10 Oklahoma State, the Bears would just the Buckeyes and take over the #3 spot in the BCS. All they had to do was take care of business against the Cowboys.
Instead, the Cowboys took care of them. After three quarters of play, Oklahoma State led 28 – 3, and that would be all they’d need en route to a 49 – 17 victory. With the loss, Baylor’s chances at the Fiesta Bowl are all but gone, and the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 championship.
After Stanford’s loss last week, all Oregon had to do was win out, and then would play in the the Pac-12 Championship Game, and probably the Rose Bowl thereafter. But a few days after a few Oregon players complained about repeatedly playing in the Rose Bowl, the Arizona Wildcats neatly eliminated that problem for them. It was a 42-16 shellacking. As the SBNation Oregon blog put it:
We’re getting out Oregon’ed. That sucks.
— Addicted To Quack (@AddictedToQuack) November 23, 2013
Never mind the Rose Bowl; the Ducks will probably play in San Antonio. In the Alamo Bowl.
And Florida. Oh Florida.
That’s no way to sugar-coat this: Florida lost to FCS Georgia Southern 26 – 20. Don’t even think of blaming this one on injuries: Georgia Southern had as many, if not more than, Florida. The Eagles just played better than Florida, and they did so without completing a single pass. Just think about that: a team that will finish fifth in its conference in the FCS beat an SEC team without completing a single pass. Unbelievable.
Except for this Florida team, it’s entirely believable. Head Coach Will Muschamp won’t get fired; the boosters and the administration like him too much, and they’re willing to give him a mulligan due to the rash of injuries that occurred this year. Additionally, there very well could be head coaching positions opening at USC and Texas, and in a bidding war against those two schools. Florida will lose. Period. They simply do not have the resources to compete with these two athletic departments. The staff will get reshuffled, but even with a huge loss against Florida State this week, Muschamp will be the head coach in 2014. But make no mistake: 2014 is a make-or-break year for Muschamp; he’ll be coaching for his job.
Winners – Auburn, Wisconsin, Michigan State
Auburn had a bye this week, so it seems odd to include them in the winners category. But losses by Baylor and Oregon have a vacuum, and Auburn plans to fill it. The Iron Bowl could pit #1 vs. #4 next week, and what Malzahn has done to this Auburn program is nothing short of extraordinary. This Tiger team went 0-8 in the SEC last year, and now they are one win away from the SEC Championship. What a turnaround.
In the longest-played rivalry in FBS, #19 Wisconsin beat #25 Minnesota in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, 20 – 7. With the victory, Wisconsin moves to nine wins on the year, and are quietly amassing a rather impressive season. They’re currently #19 in the polls, and should move up tonight. With a victory over Penn State, they just might sneak into the Top 14, and play in the Orange Bowl. If it weren’t for inept Pac-12 refs, Wisconsin could very well be 10-1.
And finally Michigan State, in defeating Northwestern 30 – 6, clinched a spot in the B1G Championship Game as the Legends Division Champion. They will face the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Indianapolis in two weeks.
Top 25 Upsets
- #10 Oklahoma State over #4 Baylor, 49 – 17
- Arizona over #5 Oregon, 42 – 16
- #22 LSU over #12 Texas A&M, 34 – 10
- #17 Arizona State over #14 UCLA, 38 – 33
A Look Ahead
The Iron Bowl is by far the biggest game of the week, with two Top 5 teams facing off and the winner advancing to the SEC Championship Game. But it’s also rivalry week, and you never know how these games will turn out. Take nothing for granted. Florida State should run over Florida, and Ohio State should curb-stomp Michigan, but hey, stranger things have happened. #12 Texas A&M plays at #8 Mizzou, #7 Clemson plays at #11 South Carolina, and #14 UCLA plays a resurgent #23 USC.