Considering this is the last of my season previews, I just want to quickly thank everyone who has followed the series! NFL content will…
Big games, coaching changes, some important legislative news regarding paying players and the sport’s favourite party trick – ranked teams falling to unranked teams. Just another week in college football, really.
In case you missed the action across the weekend, read on for a look at who covered themselves in gridiron glory and who didn’t with the Week 6 edition of winners and losers.
Winner – Gavin Newsom
The governor of California signed a historic bill that would allow college players in the state to make money from endorsement deals – despite the law not going into effect in 2023. I think this is a fair deal and I hope it happens in some form or another. College athletes are the ones putting their bodies on the line – and the only ones not getting rich. It’s not right, and it needs to change.
Loser – Chris Ash
The under-fire Rutgers coach became the first man fired in big-time college football this year, losing his job on Sunday morning after compiling an 8-31 win-loss record – including 3-24 in the Big Ten conference – since taking over in 2015. The tipping point was the weekend’s 52-0 loss to Michigan, but I don’t know what coach in their right mind is going to want this nightmarish, dead-end job.
Winner – Michigan’s defence
Eight sacks and three interceptions of Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley was critical in the narrow and very important 10-3 win in Ann Arbor. That the Wolverines could only score ten points doesn’t bode well for upcoming contests against the likes of Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Loser – Central Florida
The Knights have lost two of their last three, falling 27-24 to Cincinnati on Friday night. The loss signalled the end of a 31-game streak where they’ve scored more than thirty points and is their first conference defeat since 2016. Their national relevance is fading fast.
Winner – Jonathan Taylor
The Wisconsin star is the best running back in college football and should be at or near the top of all Heisman prediction lists. His Week 6 output – 184 yards and four touchdowns as the Badgers blanked Kent St 48-0.
Loser – Jarren Williams
The highly-touted Miami freshman quarterback only threw seven passes against Virginia Tech before he was pulled in favour of N’Kosi Perry. Three of those were intercepted, one on each of Miami’s first three drives. The Hurricanes spotted the Hokies a 28-point lead and lost 42-35.
Winner – South Florida
The Bulls amassed 313 yards of rushing offence in the 48-22 win over University of Connecticut.
Loser – Auburn
The Tigers are no longer among the ranks of the unbeaten after falling to Florida 24-13 in Gainesville. Freshman quarterback Bo Nix finally had a bad game – throwing three interceptions – the offence managed only 254 total yards and were unable to take advantage of four Gator fumbles.
Winner – Minnesota’s run game
The Gophers are rolling 5-0 under P.J. Fleck and – after last week’s Big Ten record-setting performance by QB Tanner Morgan – it was the turn of the running backs to stand up. And they certainly did, amassing 332 yards on the ground in their 40-17 win over Illinois.
Loser – Boston College’s defence
The Eagles lost 41-39 to Louisville, giving up 664 yards of offence to a third-string quarterback. At this rate, head coach Steve Addazio will be lucky to see out the season.
Winner – Jett Duffey
Making his first start of the season, the Texas Tech quarterback threw for three scores and ran for another as the Red Raiders shocked Oklahoma State 45-35.
Loser – Austin Kendall
The West Virginia quarterback – a transfer from Oklahoma – threw four picks against Texas. Turnovers can kill.
Winner – Southern Methodist
The Mustangs are 6-0 for the first time since 1982 after a three overtime 43-37 win over Tulsa.
Loser – Michigan State’s run defence
Given that they’d only given up two plays of more than 20 yards on the ground, I really thought the Spartan front seven could slow down the Buckeye rushing attack in Columbus. Instead, Ohio State flexed it’s considerable muscle by ripping off 323 total yards.
Winner – Ball State
The Cardinals beat Northern Illinois for the first time since 2008 and won the Bronze Stalk trophy.
Loser – Washington
It’s official – the Pac-12 conference has gone absolutely mad. You tune in for these games because anything could and probably will happen – like Stanford handing the Huskies a 23-13 loss. I must admit I never saw this one coming.
Winner – Khalil Tate
They said Tate might not start at quarterback for Arizona against Colorado. But he went in and he impressed, throwing for 404 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-30 win over the Buffs that improves the Wildcats to an under-the-radar 4-1 for the season.
Loser – Illinois
An ugly 13-10 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln drops the Illini to a mark of 11-30 under much-hyped coaching hire Lovie Smith. Rutgers beat Illinois to the punch in becoming the first Big Ten squad to fire their coach, but I have a feeling Lovie might be joining Chris Ash in the unemployment line before too long.
Winner – Penn State
Their offence is good and their defence is outstanding. Following their 35-7 dismantling of Purdue, I think that the Nittany Lions – with apologies to Jonathan Taylor and Wisconsin – are probably the second-best team in the Big Ten and Ohio State’s biggest threat.
Loser – UCLA I imagine when the Bruins hired Chip Kelly at the end of the 2017 season, they expected far more than what they are getting. Were it not for the stunning 50-point second half against Washington State, UCLA would be a legitimate shot at going 0-12 and Kelly – formerly an offensive genius – is looking very much like an also-ran.
Winner – Cameron Scarlett
The Stanford running back exploded for a career-best 157 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals found some offence in a surprising 23-13 win over Washington. By far the best performance by Stanford all year, to further muddy the Pac-12 waters.