Sprint Option: Week 8

This season is trying to kill me. I have now witnessed, in person, both Florida’s gutsy comeback win over Tennessee and Georgia Tech’s unbelievable final play block six, now being dubbed The Miracle on Techwood Drive. I’m not sure I have the constitution for a third miracle. I’d surely go catatonic. This was supposed to be a quiet football weekend; I’m quickly learning that those don’t exist this season. Bright side: I went 6-4 on Bet the Board!

Let’s get to the option. 

Georgia Tech blocks the best kicker in the country, celebrates, realizes someone is running it back, blocks a return, scores, wins, breaks FSU’s heart…

So, to quiet the “ball should have been blown dead” crowd, that’s not the rule. Blocked FGs that travel beyond the LOS can be advanced by the defense only–blocked FGs behind the line are fully live. So, the officials didn’t blow it. That said, this was a great ball game. I don’t really know how you analyze a crazy miracle upset, but I’ll try. I could not have been more wrong about the outcome. Georgia Tech entered the game ranked 51st in total defense and 85th in rushing defense. I predicted that Dalvin Cook would gain over 250 all-purpose yards, instead he rushed for 81. Tech executed well on offense and for the first time looked coherent in ACC play. Tech’s game plan was to take the ball away from Cook by running its 4 minute offense, which bleeds the play clock every play. Tech gets a C- for clock management, as they burned timeouts early and nearly were flagged for delay of game five times or more. The Jackets defense showed up huge and kept the team in the game. In the process, they also took the Heisman away from Dalvin Cook. I’m also very sorry if you lost your house because of my Bet the Board pick. This will make it better. 

Is there anything better than local radio calls?

Miami stomped, pissed off former Canes finally get Al Golden fired…

Clemson beat the everliving crap out of Miami this weekend, 58-0. The Canes looked listless, disinterested, and uninspired. The dam had finally broken. It was clear that Golden had lost the team. And, famous former Miami athletes took to social media to roast him. They could no longer be ignored. No team that gets the recruits that Miami does should lose to ANYBODY by almost 60. South Florida, dubbed by Miami as the State of Miami, is the most fertile recruiting ground in the country. I will fight you on this. Ever since Miami started targeting local kids, they have never really struggled to have rich recruiting classes. They were peers with, if not superior to, Clemson in terms of raw athletes. But, Clemson is too good to get out-athleted by anyone. Additionally, the Tigers are rolling right now. Miami could not have drawn them at a worse time. Makes no difference, Golden is out. Canes fans are happy about it. The coaching carousel should be a lot of fun to watch. This makes 6 or 7 openings now. 

USC ruins Utah’s dream season, fuels the turmoil in the PAC…

I asked late last week how it was possible that the number 3 team in the country could not be the favorite against an unranked, 3 loss opponent. Then, the game happened, and I had no more questions. Clearly, Utah had no business being in the top ten and had us all fooled. Thanks, Utah. Meanwhile, I don’t even know what to do with USC. They’re good, but they have bad losses. Of all the conferences experiencing dumpster fires this season, the PAC is the 100 hectare tire landfill set ablaze by thermite and napalm. Big fire. Really big fire. Lots of smoke. 

Ohio State pounds Rutgers, finally wins how they’re supposed to…

I don’t know why it took Meyer to bench Cardale Jones. Maybe he just hates admitting he was wrong, maybe he earnestly believes Barrett and Jones are equally good, but that’s inaccurate. Now that Ohio State has sorted out their QB drama and now that they have finally started to give the ball to Zeke, they look like defending champions. I don’t think this is the same team as last year, but maybe they’re finally starting to click, which is good because they get Sparty and Michigan back to back to close the regular season.

Alabama limps to victory over Tennessee, perpetuates the Jekyll/Hyde narrative…

Every year we have at least a few good teams that seem to be just good enough to win some games. This year we’ve had a lot. However, Alabama may be the most game-dependent team this season. They show up and murder Georgia and A&M, then limp to victory over Tennessee and lose to Ole Miss. If the Tide show up, they can beat anyone. Getting them to show up is the hard part. They play LSU in two weeks to potentially hash out the front runner in the division. Then again, Ole Miss has the tiebreaker over Bama, and that’s not worthless. Tennessee is having an interesting season. Their coach is an idiot and their fans are delusional. Come to think of it, that’s not too interesting. That’s a normal season in Knoxville. 

Stanford steamrolls another conference foe…

Stanford is the best team in the PAC 12. They are unstoppable and run the anti-spread offense–lots of tight ends, lots of fullbacks, lots of boredom. However, playing in the PAC is a liability this season. Stanford shouldn’t lose to anyone, but they probably will and further muddy the water. If Stanford wins out, I think they have to make the playoff. Washington didn’t stand a chance in this one. 

 Ole Miss beats A&M soundly, proves me very wrong, and all but eliminates the Aggies from the SEC race…

I was dead wrong on Sumlin and his team this season. They are nowhere close to ready to play with the best, and they are far from complete. Additionally, the discord on the team has reached a fever pitch now that the Aggies have two divisional losses. People are questioning Sumlin’s leadership and whether he has lost the team. College Station is a disaster, but at least Kyle Field is pretty. Meanwhile, Ole Miss will not go away. They have lost to solid teams in Florida and Memphis, and have a pretty good position in the division. Obviously, the Rebels are looking ahead to LSU, and with a win, they take a commanding lead in the SEC West. I think LSU puts them down for good, but stranger things have already happened this season. 

Oklahoma is still pissed off, and is still killing Big XII out of frustration…

Since losing to Texas, Oklahoma has been running roughshod through the conference. The Sooners have a tough road ahead because of Baylor and TCU, but they’re currently playing like their proverbial hair is on fire. I expect the winning to continue until they get Baylor and TCU back to back in November. Could be fun!

Duke outlasts Virginia Tech in a 4OT “thriller”…

I call it a thriller because that’s the favorite buzzword for any game that goes to overtime. I’m a believer in Duke (who will probably represent the ACC Coastal); I also think that VT is better than they’ve played. I’m surprised this game was as even as it was, but Duke is better than they have been and VT is in a swoon. At this point, I’m wondering when/if the Hokies will start planning for Beamer’s replacement. I’m not sure what’s happening up there, but it smacks of the last years of Bobby Bowden at FSU. 

I don’t really know what else to say for this past weekend, except for the fact that Duke and Pitt will play later this year for the divisional title…in football. What is happening?!


Stanford will play USC for the PAC title, and USC will win the conference. The PAC will not have a team in the Playoff. 


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