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The Weekend that was in College Football

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Recapping college football action from around the country

Oregon v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Good morning. I’d write about hoping that those of you with young children didn’t suffer too much during this edition of Daylight Saving Time, but I know the truth. Hell, our DST was last week and one of my kids didn’t sleep past 6 a.m. this weekend. But hey, at least there was the typical megadose of college football craziness to mitigate the damage. So let’s talk about that, shall we?

Pac-12

Arizona is on the board!

Before we get to our favorite story, we want to start with a heart-warmer. Congratulations to the Arizona Wildcats, who rallied late to beat the California Golden Bears Unfortunately for Justin Wilcox and superfan Jon Wilner, Cal couldn’t overcome Arizona’s fourth-string quarterback and the Berkeley Public Health Department. You could tell how much this win meant to the team and its coach.

That’s all well and good, and we are genuinely happy for the Wildcats (especially because they won a game before going to Pullman!), but almost as importantly, it means that one team still stands alone in conference ignominy.

Speaking of the Washington Huskies...

Jimmy Lake and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad week

We’re all aware of the stupid stuff Jimmy Lake and his academically prowess mouth said earlier in the week. But unfortunately for Jimbo, that was largely a footnote to the disaster that unfolded Saturday against Oregon. While UW didn’t get blown out, things were very, very bad. To boot:

  • Until late in the fourth quarter, Washington’s longest scoring drive covered a whopping six yards.
  • Trailing by eight points and needing a score with two minutes to go, Jimmy decided to punt the ball away, despite the fact that Oregon was absolutely mashing Washington between the tackles. Let’s see how the veritable act of surrender turned out:

Welp.

The end of this game showed that Mario Cristobal is a classier gentleman than I, because he had a chance to punch in another touchdown from inside the 1, but decided against it. Given all the BS that Lake was spreading in the lead-up to the game, Cristobal could have been excused for rubbing Washington’s face in Oregon’s 15th win in this series’ last 17 games. But Cristobal let the clock expire, satisfied with the fact that his team rushed for nearly double the amount of yards that Washington amassed IN TOTAL.

But somehow, none of those events equaled Jimmy’s worst moment.

Which led to:

When the AD has to make a statement, you know things went south. Interestingly, I watched the entire Pac-12 After Dark show, and they didn’t even mention the incident. Good job, good effort. Ts & Ps, Jimmy Dang Derp.

The Stanford Cardinal seem positively Wulffian

So I recorded Friday night’s game, and woke up Saturday to take it in. I lasted roughly 20 minutes of game play. Look, I realize that Stanford had some injuries, particularly its starting quarterback, and I know Utah is a good team. But my god, David Shaw, is this what it’s come to? Two of Utah’s second quarter touchdowns covered 58 and 96 yards. AND THEY WERE BOTH BASIC RUNNING PLAYS. I mean, just look at this. It’s a simple off-tackle play.

I don’t know about any of you, but watching Stanford brought back lots of late-2000s WSU memories for me. Maybe a tad of optimism coming in, followed by play after play in which my team gets steamrolled. Lucky to get a first down on offense, lucky to hold the opponent to a field goal on defense. We haven’t seen a Stanford team look this bad for about 15 years, and it should probably be the death knell on David Shaw’s tenure on The Farm.

And to think that all WSU needed to beat Utah was competent quarterback play. Alas.

I thought the Oregon State Beavers were supposed to be good?

The last couple weeks certainly haven’t supported that hypothesis. Just 15 days ago, the Beavs took down what now seems to be the conference’s hottest team. Since then, while needing just one more win to clinch a bowl game, they were boatraced in Berkeley and bested in Boulder.

While the former could be explained away, this one really can’t, as OSU entered the game as a 12-point favorite against a Colorado team that is pretty darn bad. Aside from a win over hapless Arizona, Colorado hadn’t won a game since Labor Day weekend. Its last five losses came by 30, 22, 23, 23 and 23. Three losses by the same 23-point margin seems odd! What isn’t odd is the fact that Oregon State had no business losing this game.

In fact, it seemed like things were setting up for an OSU miracle after Colorado couldn’t put the game away. But a great punt return and a quick pass set up a 60-yard field goal attempt to force OT. Let’s have a look:

Ok, while that kick’s distance and accuracy may have been the best part about that play, the funniest aspect was the absolute sniper moment at the end. And yes, the cheerleader is fine.

But as we all know, and as we’ll delve into later on, college kickers gonna be college kickers.

CAN ANYBODY AROUND HERE END THIS THING

Luckily for OSU, it faces the Stanford Doormats next weekend, so bowl eligibility is all but assured.

The Arizona State Sun Devils get right, if only for a week

It certainly helped that hapless the USC Trojans were the opponent. Like many Pac-12 teams, ASU seems to get up when it plays the LA schools since many of its players hail from Southern California. Running back Rachaad White is not one of those guys (he’s from Kansas City), but that didn’t stop him from absolutely shredding USC. What he did to this poor safety is illegal in several states.

But as great as White was for the Sun Devils, his running exploits were not the story of the night in Tempe. No, the headlines belonged to a mammal of the four-legged variety.

That fox was running as free through Sun Devil Stadium as Calvin Jackson, Jr. was just a week ago.

So to recap, three Pac-12 running backs ran for more yards (Travis Dye, 211 / Rachaad White, 202 / Tavion Thomas, 177) than the Washington Huskies had total (166).

Around the Nation

College kickers, man.

Let’s start in Lincoln, where this happened.

But wait! There’s more.

In case you were wondering, Nebraska trailed by exactly six points late into the game, and lost by nine. But Scott Frost deserves as much derision as this poor kicker, because he was a two-touchdown underdog and kept settling for field goal attempts. You may have noticed that both of those attempts came with Nebraska needing four yards for a first down. Just two of the many reasons he will be former Nebraska coach Scott Frost in about a month.

There is some upside for that Nebraska kicker. At least he’s not kicking for the Mississippi State Bulldogs! Two #Clanga kickers went 0/3, including a missed 40-yarder that would have sent the game to overtime. But at least Mike Leach took it well.

Leach is probably realizing how spoiled he was - 2014 excepted - by guys like Andrew Furney, Erik Powell and Blake Mazza.

Then again, sometimes college kickers are a gambler’s best friend. That was the case when the TCU Horned Frogs took on the Baylor Bears. Leading 30-28, TCU had this chip shot to go up by five points late.

Now, unless you’ve a gambler, you probably don’t realize what the big deal was. Wwll, turns out the total was exactly 58.5. Had this kick gone in, “under” bettors would have lost. Instead, “DOINK” brought new life, and TCU intercepted a Baylor pass to seal a 30-28 win. The Gamble-Tron is forever indebted to that TCU kicker.

College punters on the other hand...

Positively Forrestian.

Let’s not be mad at the CFP’s stance on Cincinnati

Look, Cincinnati is a really good team. However, it is not one of the four best. If they were worth a darn in the CFP conversation, the Cincinnati Bearcats would have blown the doors off of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Instead, Tulsa could have - probably should have - sent this to OT. After missing a PAT early on, Tulsa still had a shot to score and tie the game, but came up a yard short. All Cincy had to do was hang on to the ball and drain the clock. LOL NOPE

Tulsa has new life! It just needs five yards for a shot at a tie! Let’s take you to third and goal from the 1.

Ok, well, we still have a shot on fourth down and we only need six inches!

Nevermind.

Here’s what grinds my gears - Tulsa was less than a foot from the goal line, AND WAS LINED UP IN THE SHOTGUN. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe I don’t understand the nuances of football these days. But when success or failure is separated by that miniscule distance, maybe line up under center and sneak it? But I’ve never coached FBS football so I’m probably too stupid to suggest such a thing.

So anyway Cincinnati isn’t making hte CFP unless multiple weekends of chaos ensue.

Tell me more about the importance of “Time of Possession”

The Tennessee Volunteers possessed the ball for exactly 13 minutes and 52 seconds on Saturday night. The Vols scored 45 points. The Vols won. The Gamble-Tron was on the Vols (-1) but we digress. If you think time of possession is really important, stop. Plays like this are the reason it’s possibly the most overrated statistic in the sport.

Tay Martin appreciation section

Really wish Mr. Martin was still catching passes for the Cougs! Dude is a full blown man.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Jimmy Lake may have had the worst week in college football, but Dan Mullen isn’t far behind. Mullen, whose Florida Gators were a 3-touchdown favorite, watched his guys get murdered by a South Carolina Gamecocks team that is really, really bad. Part of that bludgeoning was a FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN!

Dear anonymous Maryland Terrapins running back, let’s leave the leaps to Max Borghi.

David Bell is good at football and the Purdue Boilermakers continue to slay giants.

Part II

This may be my favorite fake punt of all time, courtesy of the LSU Tigers and Da COACH O.

Dear Wake Forest, if you hang a double-nickel and lose, I don’t know what to tell you.

Never underestimate the creativity and resourcefulness of young people. I’d love to know how much class time was missed to brainstorm this thing.

This was the Gamble-Tron when Kansas State covered by 1 and the Ole Miss -8.5/Under 67.5 double dip came home in rapid succession.

Trolling P.J. Fleck will always garner a spot in in our hearts.

Uh, we got nothing.

And finally, let’s come full circle.

Cougs vs. Ducks in Eugene next week. Let’s go.

Football

Saturday Night Five: Arizona’s big win, Cal’s COVID woes, Lake’s mistake and division separation
Instant reaction to Pac-12 developments on and off the field.

Canzano: Oregon Ducks find some killer instinct in win over Washington - oregonlive.com
Oregon should have punched it in. The Ducks should have used the final play of sopping-wet regulation to send a message on Saturday night. Not just to the Washington Huskies and adjunct professor Jimmy Lake, but to all of college football.

This Week in Parenting

This week/weekend was one of the greatest Mrs. Kendall and I have had in several weeks. Why? Because there was hardly anything to do! Ever since mid-August, we’ve had multiple football practices, baseball practices, football games, baseball games etc. Saturday brought a gold lesson and a two-hour end-of-season football party at the trampoline park. Outside of that, we ain’t had sh*t to do!

This was especially true on Sunday, when there were no official events scheduled. My god it was glorious. Unfortunately, it’s certain to be an outlier, as winter sports will soon kick in, and there’s more traveling to do. Meanwhile, I’m going to savor this Sunday of nothingness for just a little bit longer. I’ll try to savor it while having to lock the door in order to keep the cat barging into our room in middle of the night. That’s right. I have to lock our bedroom door, because if I don’t, the cat will open it and jump up onto the bed.

Non-Sports

When a Witness Recants | The New Yorker
At fourteen, Ron Bishop helped convict three innocent boys of murder. They’ve all lived with the consequences.

The Demand for Money Behind Many Police Traffic Stops - The New York Times
Busted taillights, missing plates, tinted windows: Across the U.S., ticket revenue funds towns — and the police responsible for finding violations.

Vaccine reluctance in Eastern Europe brings high COVID cost
Truck driver Andriy Melnik never took the coronavirus seriously. With a friend, he bought a fake vaccination certificate so his travel documents would appear in order when he hauled cargo to other parts of Europe.