CFB Week 9: Bye weeks all around!

After yet another week of heartbreaking losses, the Hokies and the Hoos stumble home for a much needed bye week. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of college football to watch!

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Guys! Duke football! The last time the Blue Devils were bowl-eligible was 1994, Fred Goldsmith was the coach, and I was wearing Dr. Martens and a flannel. But, man has Coach David Cutcliffe done a bang-up job at a program that’s been an ACC bottom dweller for several decades. Cutcliffe has, this year, won the same number of games (six) that previous head coach, Ted Roof, won in his entire four-year tenure.1 Last week the Blue Devils took on the Tar Heels at home in the small, but charming, Wallace Wade Stadium. AND THEY WON, making them bowl-eligible. Watch these highlights, the last couple of minutes were awesome:

Also, here’s a video of a guy who managed to run onto the field DURING a play. He’s lucky a linebacker didn’t annihilate him:

The FSU-Miami game also taught me a new rules thing. When FSU lined up to kick a field goal with six seconds left in the half, they spiked the ball to stop the clock–even though they had one timeout remaining. I thought that was weird, but the friend I was watching the game with said “You never know what could happen, you may need that timeout.” Sure enough, on the field goal attempt FSU went offsides, and because there was less than a minute remaining, they incurred a 10-second runoff–which ended the half. But wait! Since they kept that extra timeout, the Seminoles could opt to be charged a timeout instead of taking the 10-second penalty. The field goal attempt was good, and I learned something new.

Here’s a couple notables from this past weekend that you may have missed:

In #3 Oregon’s absolute obliteration of Arizona State, the Ducks scored 1.62 points per minute against the Pac 12’s top-ranked defense. Oregon ended the half with 43 points! Imagine what the score could have been if they would have tried in the second half.

Man, wouldn’t it be great to see Ohio State go undefeated but be kept out of the national championship because of their postseason ban? Talk about an asterisk. The Buckeyes are are rolling, but they’ve won three games by a touchdown or less2–with last week’s game against Purdue going into overtime.

It really is too bad that OSU can’t participate in the postseason, because how good would an Ohio State vs. Florida matchup be? Urban Meyer’s current mistress versus his scorned ex-wife? Sooooo good! I’d pick the Gators in that matchup, because if there’s a better defensive-minded coach than Bud Foster it may just be Coach Eric Taylor, I mean Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks never stood a chance and were only able to muster 11 points against that Gator defense.

Big 12 defenses are terrible! But maybe not really? Even after letting TCU take them into three overtimes and scoring 53 points, the Red Raiders walked away with the win and the #7 ranked defense in the nation. In fact their (OFFENSE + DEFENSE)/2 = 9 (lower is better). I think (and I am way too lazy to make sure that this is true) Florida State might be the only team in the nation with a lower number (4.5).

Speaking of, the West Virginia defense is terrible. Kansas State rolled into Morgantown, dominated the Mountaineers in all phases of the game, and dashed any remaining hopes WVU had of a national championship or Heisman winner.

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Virginia Tech vs. Bye week

Let us never speak of this past weekend again. I thought my mom said it best:

Virginia vs. Bye week

Here is the cold, hard truth staring UVA fans in the face: Virginia is the new Duke of the ACC.

This is a huge bummer for the Commonwealth, and I hope Mike London can turn the ship around. But the reality is the Cavs will be underdogs in their final four games and have almost been mathematically eliminated from a bowl game. The bye week comes at a great time, because, next, the Wahoos travel to Raleigh and take on NC State–it’s their most winnable game remaining on the schedule.

Games worth watching

12:30 PM; FOX; North Carolina State at North Carolina — The 12:00 spot is looking pretty weak this Saturday. NC State still controls its destiny in the ACC and there is a (small) chance they could make it into the ACC Championship Game. Go Wolfpack!

3:30 PM; FOX; #14 Texas Tech at #3 Kansas State — Kansas State, fresh off their beatdown of WVU, Texas Tech, fresh off their…triple-overtime victory? While Texas Tech has a statistically better defense than Kansas State, no one believes that in their heart, do they? PS. Duke plays #12 FSU at 3:30 PM over on ESPNU, if you’re interested.

5:00 PM; ESPN; Ohio State at Penn State — The Buckeyes have squeaked by in their last couple of games, while Penn State’s steadily been putting together a pretty solid season after a couple missteps early on. OSU will need to play better this week to pick up a W on the road.

8:00 PM; ABC; #5 Notre Dame at #8 Oklahoma — OK. Here it is. This is the game that Notre Dame loses. If they, somehow, win this one the next best chance for defeat is their final game at USC.

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Etc

  • Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia (all the teams with “Virginia” in their name) have bye weeks.
  • Game of the Week — #5 Notre Dame at #8 Oklahoma
  • Gus Johnson Watch — #14 Texas Tech at #3 Kansas State
  • Stupid Predictions From the Heart — Let’s go with #14 Texas Tech over #3 Kansas State and Penn State over Ohio State.

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Footnotes

  1. Coach Roof was 6-45 when he was fired in 2007. Now Roof is the defensive coordinator at Penn State, which ranks #22 in total defense. Maybe some people are just better as assistants? 
  2. In OSU’s 2002 national championship season, the Buckeyes won six games by a touchdown or less and let two games (including the national championship game) go into overtime. 
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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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