College Sports with Clint: What Just Happened? (Week 9 Edition)

“What just happened,” indeed. Unbeatens fell en masse in Week 9 of College Football’s regular season, with Penn State, TCU and USF all suffering stunners. Also, for the 723rd time this season, Miami should have lost. Lots to talk about, let’s go.

So, that Penn State-Ohio State game definitely lived up to the billing, didn’t it? In the midst of a repulsive fashion statement, the Buckeyes made one hell of a football statement, rallying to shock then-No. 2 Penn State, 39-38. Ohio State rallied from 15 points down thanks to 3 fourth-quarter TDs by JT Barrett and proved that, yes, they are good this year. Damn it. And really, what’s everyone’s obsession with gray uniforms the last couple years? It’s really stupid.

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Really Ohio State? You wore that?

In another bit-time statement game, Georgia brutalized the rival Florida Gators, 42-7, leaving absolutely no doubt about their status as a contender. It’s going to be one heck of a race to the final four between a number of qualified teams, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the all-knowing CFP committee punched Georgia’s ticket to the playoff if their only loss was to Bama in the SEC title game, which is of course horrible news for my Horned Frogs. Georgia’s victory also ensured that Florida’s Jim McElwain would be the first SEC coach fired this year after just three years and two SEC East titles. Why does anyone want to coach in that conference? Meanwhile, the “Fire Butch Jones” crowd in Tennessee is like…

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Fear and Self-Loathing in Knoxville

Elsewhere, Notre Dame kept rolling against NC State, Clemson got back on track against Georgia Tech (look out for NC State though), Wisconsin, Miami, and UCF remained unbeaten and Oklahoma State and Oklahoma remained in the midst of a crowded Big 12 title hunt. Also, Arizona stunned Washington State – please don’t look back at my predictions for this week.

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Reenactment of my Week 9 predictions vs. reality

Speaking of self-loathing…

Frog Thoughts: Iowa State shocks TCU, 14-7

What a miserable, no good, very bad game. From my perspective of course. It’s amazing for Iowa State, which might I add has fielded one hell of a team this year. Two wins over top 5 teams in 3 weeks is nothing to sneeze at, even if the most recent one was a complete and utter choke job by my Frogs. Matt Campbell is a great coach with a bunch of likeable players. Here’s hoping he stays in the Big 12 and doesn’t become the SEC’s next soon-to-be fired coach.

Just one week after my last doubts in Kenny Hill began to melt away, he turned in the most atrocious game of his TCU career. He was nauseatingly inaccurate and had three turnovers, two of which came within an eyelash’s length of the goal line. But in reality, the loss was far from all his fault. Another outstanding defensive effort was completely and utterly wasted by ridiculous offensive playcalling and awful offensive line play riddled with penalties (Austin Schlottman alone was called for holding FOUR TIMES!). Even with the offense being completely shut out, the game nearly went into OT when Ridwan Issahaku delivered a late pick 6 only to have it called back by an offsides. It was just that kind of day.

This TCU team is built to run the ball and play solid defense, and star running backs Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson performed as advertised when their numbers were called, rushing for 80 and 95 yards, respectively, on just 12 carries apiece. Yet time after time, in key run-friendly situations, Kenny Hill was called on to throw the ball.

Which leads me to another point: far too many people, both TCU fans and national media, have a vastly over-inflated view of Kenny Hill. The dude is NOT Trevone Boykin! Tre was the catalyst for an explosive TCU offense in his junior and senior years. Hill is not that kind of playmaker; he’s not that athletic, nor does he have the capability to put the team on his shoulders to win a key game. Kenny Hill has had a great year before this week because the coaches put him in a position to succeed, feeding Hicks and Anderson and allowing Hill to manage the game with intermediate throws and low-pressure situations. But, you know, if something has worked for seven weeks, it only makes sense to not continue to do it.

A Big 12 Championship and NY6 berth is still very much in reach. Shoot, technically the Frogs could still make it into the CFP. But even if the Frogs do manage to win out, no matter how deserving they might be, it feels like we’ve already seen how this movie ends…

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I’ll never stop being bitter about this.

At least Baylor is 0-8 for the first time since 1969.

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Clint’s Top 10

1. Alabama (8-0): They were off. They’re still No. 1. Next.

2. Georgia (8-0): The Dawgs kept rolling and all but assured themselves an SEC East title at the very least. This team is good.

3. Notre Dame (7-1): Tastes like vinegar, but the Irish are absolutely deserving of being top 4 in the first CFP rankings – which of course matter about as much as these rankings I’m currently writing. Notre Dame has handled almost every challenge they’ve faced and dang near beat UGA.

4. Ohio State (7-1): In my Dennis Green voice, “They’re better than I thought they  were!” Their victory over Penn State also further adds to the value of OU’s win.

5. Penn State (7-1): It’s hard to drop Penn State too low after losing the way they did. This is still a very good team. It’s a shame their path to the playoff is essentially blocked now without a lot of help.

6. Oklahoma (7-1): The Sooners have taken care of business outside of the Iowa State blemish. The next two weeks against OK State and TCU will determine their postseason fate.

7. Clemson (7-1): I’m really starting to sell on Clemson after sqeaking by a good, but not great, Georgia Tech squad. Still the ACC favorites, but they have not been impressive.

8. TCU (7-1): Iowa State is for real, but the loss was a BAD look for the offense. TCU has a championship-caliber defense. The Frogs will go as far as the offense takes them.

9. Wisconsin (8-0): There’s a lot of value in an undefeated record, but there are a LOT of good one-loss teams this year and the Badgers have played (and will play until the Big Ten championship game) nobody. They struggled with Illinois this week. Come on, man.

10. Miami (7-0): See “Badgers, Wisconsin.” Miami keeps finding ways to win against inferior teams, and there’s something to be said for that. But you’d have to think it’s going to catch up to them eventually. UNC is not good at football and the Tar Heels absolutely should have won that game.

Uni of the Week:

This week’s honors go to Boston College for the annual Red Bandana look. The Paisley accents honor BC grad Welles Crowther, who wore a red bandana while he saved at least a dozen people from the World Trade Center on September 11. Classy look honoring the best kind of human.

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