We had another amazing week of College Football action. We had upsets, contenders starting to step up, and close finishes.
Here are my final words on College Football week eleven.
Down Goes The Sooners
Oklahoma saw its College Football Playoff hopes all but eliminated as the previously unbeaten Sooners were upset by Baylor 27-14.
The win by the Bears leaves No. 1 Georgia as the lone Power Five school without a loss and could potentially open the door for No. 3 Cincinnati, which improved to 10-0 with a 45-28 victory over South Florida Friday, to become the first ever Group of Five team to reach the playoff.
Oklahoma’s loss was the culmination of several close wins that cast doubt on its ability to navigate the Big 12 with the toughest games on the schedule in the final three weeks.
Things had improved with the switch to freshman Caleb Williams at quarterback, though his one previous road start was a shaky effort against one-win Kansas that wasn’t decided until the final minutes.
The Sooners (9-1, 6-1, CFP No. 8) were held to 260 total yards, their fewest ever with coach Lincoln Riley in his five seasons as head coach and two seasons as offensive coordinator before that. This was also Oklahoma’s first lost in November under Riley.
This was the first signature victory in two seasons under Aranda for Baylor. Fittingly a standout defensive performance from the former defensive coordinator for LSU’s national championship two seasons ago was key. It was a huge rebound after allowing 531 yards to TCU’s first-time starting quarterback, Chandler Morris last week.
21 Observations From College Football Week Eleven
Kansas Finally Wins a Big 12 Road Game
- Kansas won its first Big 12 road game since 2008, beating Texas 57-56 in overtime. The win ended a 56-game Big 12 road losing streak. A total of 43 teams had won a road game at a Big 12 school since then, including five FCS teams. It was Kansas’ first win in Austin and first win against an FBS team since 2019.
Texas Is Not Back
- Texas is on a five-game losing streak for the first time in 65 years (1956). At halftime of the Red River Showdown, Texas was 4-1 and led Oklahoma 38-20. Since then, the Longhorns have been outscored 185-121 and have lost five consecutive games.
Samford Scored, Alot Against Florida
- Samford led 42-35 at halftime but lost 70-52. The previous record for points in a half against Florida was Florida State’s 38 in 1992. The only other FBS team to allow at least 42 points in a half to an FCS team over the past 20 years was North Texas to Portland State in 2015 (45).
Old Dominion Loves to Score Two Points
- Old Dominion scored two points four times, in three ways, in a win against FAU. The Monarchs got two safeties on defense, returned a block extra point for two and converted a two-point conversion on offense. ODU won 30-16 in a final score that does not accurately portray the strangeness of the game, which it led 4-3 in the second quarter.
James Madison Kicker Ethan Ratke is Kicking It Old School
- Ethan Ratke became the NCAA’s all-time leader in points scored by a kicker and field goals made. Ratke hit a field goal in the first quarter of a win against William & Mary to reach 500 career points, and he made a school-record six field goals in the game, giving him 100 field goals and 517 points for his career.
Tennessee Scored The Most Against Georgia
- They became the first team to score 17 on Georgia, and still lost by 24.
Mississippi State With A Huge Comeback
- Mississippi State had the biggest comeback in school history for the second time this season. The Bulldogs trailed Louisiana Tech by 20 points in the fourth quarter but came back to win earlier this season. On Saturday, Mississippi State trailed Auburn 28-3 late in the first half but scored 40 consecutive points and won 43-34.
Michigan State Loves the Flea-Flicker
- Michigan State has scored a touchdown on a flea-flicker four times this season. The latest was a 52-yard touchdown pass to Montorie Foster to open the scoring against Maryland in a 40-21 win. The Spartans have completed four of six flea-flicker passes this season. It also worked for a touchdown against Youngstown State, Rutgers and Nebraska.
Washington Is Losing in Weird Ways
- Washington is 1-4 this season when the opposing team throws for fewer than 100 yards. The latest was a 35-30 loss to Arizona State in which the Sun Devils passed for 90 yards. The Huskies also lost to Michigan (44 yards), Oregon State (48) and Oregon (98) and beat Arizona (57).
Bryce Young Is Completing Passes At A High Rate
- The Alabama QB broke the school record for completion percentage (minimum of 15 attempts) for the second time this season. Young completed 21 of 23 passes (91.3 percent) in a win against New Mexico State, completing his first 13 passes of the game. That completion rate surpassed his previous mark of 20 for 22 (90.9 percent) against Southern Miss this year.
Virginia Tech Finally Broke Out a Good Offense
- Virginia Tech had more than 500 yards for the first time in 43 games. In a 48-17 win against Duke, the Hokies had 573 yards, their first 500-yard game since a 2018 loss to Old Dominion. It was their most in a win against an FBS team since Sept. 23, 2017, against ODU.
UConn Could Not Run The Ball
- UConn had minus-17 rushing yards against Clemson, including minus-49 at halftime. That includes Clemson’s six sacks, and it’s the second-worst rushing performance in the FBS this season. (Colorado had minus-19 vs. Minnesota.)
Lew Nichols Leading The Way
- Central Michigan ran 12 consecutive plays to the running back. That included a run, a completion to him, nine consecutive runs to cap a touchdown drive and one more run on the next drive. Nichols finished with 43 carries for 215 yards and four touchdowns.
Western Michigan Allowing A lot of Special Teams Touchdowns
- Western Michigan has allowed three special-teams return touchdowns in two weeks. Maybe it’s something with midweek MACtion. Last week, Central Michigan returned two punts for touchdowns in a win against the Broncos. On Tuesday, Akron returned a kickoff for a touchdown against WMU. The Broncos also returned a kickoff of their own in a win.
Cincinnati And USF Have a Sloppy Sequence
- Cincinnati and USF traded three turnovers in a span of five plays. The Bearcats fumbled the ball away on their first play of the game, and USF fumbled it back on the next play. On Cincinnati’s ensuing drive, the Bearcats threw an interception on the third play. Cincinnati went on to win 45-28 after cleaning up the sloppiness.
Another QB for Southern Miss
- Eight players have taken QB snaps for Southern Miss this season. Two more did on Saturday against UTSA, and neither was a quarterback, as the Golden Eagles basically ran a wildcat offense. USM hung around for a while but lost 27-17.
Tulane Is Great With the Onside Kicks
- Tulane has recovered four onside kicks this season. The latest came Saturday against Tulsa, which set up a tying field goal by the Green Wave, but they eventually lost in overtime.
UMass Is Struggling
- UMass has lost two games to FCS opponents this season. The Minutemen lost to Rhode Island last week and to Maine this week. The last FBS teams to lose two FCS games in one season were Idaho and ULM in 2003. (Georgia State lost three in 2013, but it was a transitioning team up from FCS and went 0-12.)
Notre Dame Continues Its Rise
- Notre Dame won another blowout 28-3 over Virginia. Brennan Armstrong was missing, but this was an impressive showing for the Irish as they do their rise towards the playoffs.
Oklahoma State May Be The Best In Big 12
- No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-1, 6-1) walloped TCU 63-17 on Saturday to move into a tie for first with its Bedlam rival. It came into the game ranked fifth in the country (4.4 yards per play allowed), notched seven sacks and allowed just 11 first downs. This, mind you, a week after Horned Frogs QB Chandler Morris threw for 461 yards in a surprise win over Baylor. He finished 11-of-20 for 103 yards against Oklahoma State.
Ohio State Is Great on Offense
- No. 4 Ohio State (9-1, 7-0 Big Ten) goes into next week’s showdown with No. 7 Michigan State fresh off its most complete offensive performance all year. QB C.J. Stroud (31-of-38 for 361 yards, five TDs, 0 INTs) led the Buckeyes to touchdowns on their first seven possessions of an eventual 59-31 rout over No. 19 Purdue.
My Prediction Record After College Football Week Eleven
- Last week: 13-5
- Overall: 145-54
- Upset Picks Overall: 4-7
Pretty decent week, I called some upsets (Ole Miss over Texas A&M & Baylor Over Oklahoma) and missed out on some other ones.
Here is to next week.
My Personal College Football Top 10 (And Playoff Predictions)
After week eleven, here is who I have in my College Football top 10:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Michigan State
- Oklahoma State
- Wake Forest
Here are my predictions for the College Football playoffs:
- Ohio State
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
My Heisman Predictions After Week Eleven
- Kenneth Walker
- Bryce Young
- CJ Stroud
- Kyren Williams
- Sam Hartman
Looking Ahead To College Football Week Twelve
Here are your biggest games for week Twelve.
- Michigan State at Ohio State
- Iowa State at Oklahoma
- SMU at Cincinnati
- Arkansas at Alabama
- Oregon at Utah
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