Talk about a shakeup Saturday! What a day of college football action! Mid-October, mid-way thru the season and temps in the mid 50’s. It doesn’t get any better than this. Here are my “Ten Takeaways” from another wild weekend of college football.
1. Jeremy Pruitt gets top billing. The Vols invaded Jordan Hare Stadium as a 14-point underdog at kickoff (Line opened Auburn -18.5) and left “The Plains” with a 30-24 victory! Tennessee ended their 11-game SEC losing streak with a banner day from QB Jarrett Guarantano. Auburn clearly has issues, but don’t allow ANYONE to diminish this win for UT. That was a fantastic win. A signature win. A win all Vols fans should enjoy. The Volunteers are now 3-3 on the year with 6-games remaining. If you examine their schedule, all of the sudden my preseason prediction of 7-wins doesn’t seem so far fetched. They would need to go 4-2 down the stretch and that seems possible. 4 of their final 6 are at Neyland and 1-game in Nashville. Basically, they have 1 guaranteed loss (next week vs Alabama, my guess Bama -25.5) and 1 true road-game left (at South Carolina, who stinks) and that’s it. Pruitt will absolutely get this team bowl eligible and a 7th win is feasible. I CAN’T wait to go to Knoxville next week for the 3rd Saturday in October.
2. How in the world did Vanderbilt lose this game? I picked the Gators to cover this week on Morning Drive, that said, you CANNOT blow a 21-3 lead if you’re Vandy. Mullen vs Mason needs to happen at WrestleMania. That was fantastic drama and great TV. However, it’s pretty obvious that woke-up Florida and the guys from Gainesville flipped the boom-switch in the 2nd half. I like Coach Derek Mason, a lot, but eventually he needs to win a game like this.
3. L-S-U! What a day for “Coach O” and the Bayou Bengals! They absolutely destroyed Georgia. The turning point? Kirby Smart and the UGA play-calling. The Dawgs put together a drive that featured 10-straight rushing attempts, led by Elijah Holyfield obliterating everything in his path. Georgia then decided to throw the ball inside the red-zone, and was forced to settle for a FG. Then, for some unknown reason, Kirby’s brain was hijacked by Les Miles, circa 2010, and he decided to run a fake-fg-flip pass to his kicker. LSU sniffed it out and the flood-gates opened in Death Valley. Brutal loss for Georgia, but a signature win for Ed Orgeron.
4. Speaking of upsets, how about West Virginia. This morning, on “Saturday Tailgate”, I said I was starting to buy in on the Mountaineers. As soon as I do, they tank. Will Grier was limited to 15-pass attempts and the Mountaineers never had the ball nor could they slow down Iowa State.
5. How about another upset? Washington’s 30-27 loss in OT in Eugene should all but end the Pac12’s chance at a playoff spot. Oregon looks really good. Mario Cristobal is doing a fabulous job at Autzen Stadium and the Ducks are quacking.
6. I’ve said all year that Penn State is overrated. After back-to-back losses, that appears to be the case. Michigan State has been less than spectacular this season and they roll into Happy Valley a 2-touchdown underdog and defeat Penn State 21-17. The reality is the Nittany Lions lost a lot of players to the NFL offensively and they aren’t the same without Saquon Barkley.
7. Close calls and scares for #5 Notre Dame, #9 Texas and #10 UCF. The Fighting Irish needed a late rally to hold-off Pitt, who always plays the Irish tough. The Longhorns were given a stiff battle from Baylor. With WVU going down, my Texas BIG12 Championships preseason prediction now looks really, really good. Defending National Champs (sarcasm) needed every thing and then some to avoid the upset at the hands of Memphis. UCF remains undefeated and hasn’t lost a game since 2016. A couple of more upset and UCF might really start knocking on that CFB Playoff door.
8. The Tide rolls to a 39-10 win but gets a scare from Tua. As soon as the injury occurred Twitter almost broke. You know Alabama is next level when the starting QB goes down and the “back-up”, who is 26-2 lifetime, is a significant downgrade. The struggle…
9. My Heisman 5…
1. Tua, 2. Haskins, 3. Murray, 4. Grier, 5. Milton
10. My CFB Top 12 Teams
2. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame
CFB Gambling Picks go 4-1 ATS
Michigan -7 (W), LSU +7 (W), Florida -7 (W), Oregon +3 (W) and Indiana +4.5 (L)