College Football Chaos: Alabama, Tennessee and Clemson go down

LSU beats Alabama Mason Taylor touchdown 2022

Many of us are tired the the never-ending debates about college football rankings, but we’ll never get tired of days like yesterday.

Three teams in the top ten went down yesterday, including #1 Tennessee, perennial power Alabama and a clearly overrated Clemson.

Brian Kelly and LUSU stun Nick Saban and Alabama

Brian Kelly isn’t very likeable, but the guy can coach. He got tired of facing Alabama with Notre Dame-level talent, so he abandoned the Irish and took his talents to LSU. And now he’s beaten Nick Saban and Alabama in his first try.

Alabama came into Death Valley as 13.5-point favorites, but they found an LSU team that was ready for a fight. The fourth quarter of this game was insane, with Bryce Young working his magic multiple times to escape what seemed like certain sacks to pull out amazing throws. Meanwhile, Nick Saban made a serious of bone-headed decisions going for 2 after touchdowns. The Tide failed both attempts and that would kill them, as the game-tying field goal may have been a game-winning field goal instead.

Meanwhile, first-year LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels came up big, and LSU found a new hero with tight end Mason Taylor (son of NFL great Jason Taylor), who caught a huge fourth-quarter touchdown and then became a hero catching the two-point conversion in overtime. Kelly decided to go for two in overtime after LSU answered an Alabama touchdown. It was a ballsy move and he was rewarded with a play LSU fans will never forget.

Georgia stomps #1 Tennessee

Tennessee has been one of the feel-good stories of 2022, but reality set in yesterday in Georgia. The reigning National Champs made a statement, and Kirby Smart has his boys poised to battle for a repeat titles. The Bulldogs will be #1 this week.

Notre Dame smacks overrated Clemson

Anyone who has watched Clemson this season knew that the Tigers just weren’t very good. DJ Uiagalelei just isn’t a very good quarterback, and Dabo Swinney’s winning formula at Clemson has always centered around dynamic talents at quarterback. Meanwhile, the Irish have had a mediocre season under new head coach Marcus Freeman, but they were able to out-muscle this Clemson team and knock them out of playoff contention.

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Lucky Tennessee escapes with win vs App State

They might want to tone down the volume on this hype video.

The Tennessee Volunteers literally needed a fumble into the end zone in overtime for a lucky TD to defeat Appalachian State tonight. The Vols were ranked 9th in the AP poll heading into the season with the hype machine behind this program in overdrive.

And while you could clearly see the superior talent on the field, the Vols had trouble all night with App State. They needed a missed extra point and a missed field goal by App State along with a lucky fumble recovery to pull this one out.

The Vols will surely drop out of the top ten, but this may be a much-needed wake-up call. Volunteers QB Josh Dobbs needs to use his legs more, as his passing skills won’t lead this team to an SEC title.

It’s easy to make too much of opening weekend games in college football. These are young college kids who don’t get the benefit of any preseason games, so we’ll wait and see before we completely bury Tennessee.

College Football Week 3 Picks & Predictions

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Texas A&M, 3:30PM ET
The most anticipated matchup of Week 3 will take place at Kyle Field in College Station today. One thing that has made Nick Saban so successful is his ability to get his team focused on one game at a time. But you know he and the Crimson Tide have circled this date since Johnny Manziel and A&M rolled into Tuscaloosa and upset ‘Bama a year ago. The Aggies are just 1-4 all-time at home against top-ranked teams and since the start of the 2008 season, the Tide are 41-0 when it has fewer turnovers than its opponent. Look for ‘Bama to limit its mistakes, keep the ball on the ground (they’re 51-0 when rushing for at least 140 yards) and generate pressure on Manziel. If they can stay disciplined defensively and maintain good gap responsibility, they should get their revenge.

Tennessee vs. No. 2 Oregon, 3:30PM ET
Butch Jones tried to ratchet up the tempo this week in practice in order to get his players ready for what they’ll see today in Eugene. But Oregon is too fast, too athletic and too skilled on the perimeter for an overmatched Tennessee squad. The Ducks are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games overall, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games, and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. The Vols, meanwhile, are 0-4 against the number in their last four games versus the Pac-12 and 0-7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS win. Look for Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas to run wild on a gassed Tennessee defense in the second half.

No. 19 Washington vs. Illinois, 6:00PM ET
This game has become more interesting in the past two weeks. Washington turn heads by crushing Boise State in Week 1 and Illinois surprised the masses by routing a previously underrated Cincinnati team 45-17 last Saturday. While quarterbacks Keith Price and Nathan Scheelhaase will receive all of the attention tonight, keep an eye on Huskies junior middle linebacker and defensive leader John Timu (13 tackles vs. Boise), and the duo of Jonathan Brown and Mason Monheim for the Illini. The under is 5-1 in Illinois’ last six neutral-site games and 4-0 in the Huskies’ last four games in September. While defense won’t dominate this game, the combined score should fall under the total.

No. 21 Notre Dame vs. Purdue, 8:00PM ET
The Fighting Irish have won five straight games against the Boilermakers but two of those contests were decided on Notre Dame’s final drive. The Irish have new players on both sides of the ball that are growing on the job, which is part of the reason why their defense allowed 411 yards per game over their first two contests. Quarterback Tommy Rees is still trying to find his rhythm as a passer too, so look for this game to be somewhat tight. The underdog is 6-2 against the spread in the last eight meetings between these two teams and the Irish are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.

Les Miles continues to be the luckiest man on the planet

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 04: Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers yells to his team after their 30-24 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Only Les Miles could get called for delay of game on a fourth-and-nine, then call a timeout.

And only Les Miles could get bailed out by the other team having 12 men on the field on the final play.

LSU survived at home against a pitiful Tennessee team today, remaining one of the more unimpressive undefeated teams in the country. The Tigers won 16-14 and scored from a yard out as time expired after a Tennessee penalty gave them second life.

Had LSU lost this game, I’m assuming the LSU faithful would have forcibly removed Miles from his position. I understand that winning in the SEC is a tough thing to do each week. And I understand that a lot of teams get lucky in their wins. But Les Miles is setting records for luck and incompetence all at the same time. Yet he still has a job and still is pulling in good recruiting classes.

LSU has four losses left on its schedule, but will 8-4 be enough to get rid of Miles? Or even worse, if he lucks his way into a couple of wins against Florida, Auburn, Alabama or Arkansas, do they extend his contract? He might be the only many lucky enough to fall into that situation.

Stoops, Arizona look for big-time program win

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Coach Mike Stoops of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates with cornerback Mike Turner #2 after beating the USC Trojans 21-17 in the NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on December 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Under the direction of Mike Stoops, Arizona has won some very big games. The Wildcats knocked off a top 10 team three years in a row from 2005-07, with UCLA, California and Oregon all being their victims. This past year, Arizona even knocked off the Pac 10’s Goliath in USC.

But those wins all came late in the season, when Arizona had already piled up a handful of losses. One thing the Wildcats — who seem to perennially be thought of as a sleeper team — have not done, is capitalize on any preseason hype with a big-time early-season win.

They have the chance to do that tonight, though, when they play host to No. 9 Iowa. A win moves the Wildcats to 3-0 and gives them some serious national respect. It would also be a huge victory for the Pac 10, which is trying to assert itself as a top conference, even with a lethargic, and penalized, USC.

Can Stoops and Arizona pull it off? Click through for that prediction, and more from today’s games. Read the rest of this entry »

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