And So It Is Written: Breaking Down Week 6

    The ten most important things to happen in the history of our great planet – at least this weekend. How will Week 6 of your college football season be

    October 6, 2014

    The ten most important things to happen in the history of our great planet – at least this weekend. How will Week 6 of your college football season be remembered in the history books? And so it is written …

    1. Yeah, that was about as fun as it gets 
    Every sport no matter how ridiculous or boring has it’s moment when the meatball fans can thumb their noses at meatball fans of other sports and do the “we dom, you suck … we dom you suck (clap clap)” chant. Fine, so maybe anything from the WNBA die-hards fall on deaf ears, but most fan bases can point to an amazing playoff stretch, or a tournament, or a time when everyone watches because their sport is amazing, and not just because they need something to do to avoid hanging out with the people they’re supposed to hold near and dear to their hearts. 

    This was that weekend for college football, and it could be argued that it was among the most entertaining of all-time. 
    This was the reason fans get so geeked out, and it was the reason why college football can still boast the honor of having the undisputed best regular season in all of American sports. 

    From the RichRods of Arizona bearing down on the Oregon team that couldn’t seem to block anyone on Thursday night, to the shocker of BYU getting blown out by Utah State on Friday night (no, that wasn’t fun for a variety of reasons, but it was a big deal – more on that in a moment). 

    From the Saturday opening act of Dak Prescott and Mississippi State ripping apart Texas A&M, to Florida-Tennessee going from horrific to mesmerizing with one quarterback change to a Gator freshman who saved the day. 

    From the fighting Katy Perrys in Oxford winning a classic over Alabama, to Everett Golson’s tremendous play to lift Notre Dame over Stanford, to TCU’s pick six against Oklahoma, to Wisconsin’s last gasp attempt to avoid disaster after a horrific day from the quarterbacks – and an epic one from Melvin Gordon – against Northwestern. 

    From the fun Oregon State shootout win over Colorado, to the Michigan desperation performance in a loss to Rutgers, to a Hail Mary that looked like a regular old deep pattern by Arizona State to beat USC, to Nebraska’s gutcheck but ill-fated comeback attempt against Michigan State, to Kentucky’s wild program-changer over South Carolina, to UCLA getting two chances at the same game-winning field goal attempt against Utah – and missing them both, to the late night Boise State-Nevada shootout in the Mountain West, to the improbable fireworks between Cal and Washington State; if you didn’t find something to enjoy about college football this weekend, I can’t help you. 

    2. The world revolves around Mississippi 
    In 2011, Ole Miss went 2-10 and lost to Alabama 52-7. Over the last two years, the Rebels lost to the Crimson Tide by a combined score of 58 to 14, hadn’t beaten the next door state neighbors since 2003, and had won just three times in the series since 1976. The 23-17 win over the Tide seems like more of a jumping off point than a culmination, but now the pressure is on to be that team each and every week. If you’re good enough to beat Alabama, you’re good enough to beat anyone. 

    Meanwhile, in the first two years of life in the SEC, Texas A&M hadn’t had too many problems with Mississippi State. One 48-31 blowout win later, and the Bulldogs have their turning point for the program and an announcement that this might really be the best team in college football. Under Dan Mullen, the Bulldogs have been bumslayers, cranking up decent records by beating the Kentuckys and Alcorn States of the football world, but not anymore. MSU cranked up the noise on LSU a few weeks ago – at least until a late letdown – and Texas A&M ran into a highly-motivated, razor-sharp team was absolutely flawless. 

    However … 

    3. SEC West continues to rock 
    Everyone is going to gush over all things Mississippi over the next week, but reality could come crashing down hard. The Rebels have to go to Texas A&M next week. They still have Tennessee, at LSU, Auburn, at Arkansas and Mississippi State to deal with – good luck with that. Mississippi State has to host Auburn, before going on the road to face a solid Kentucky team, and deal with Arkansas, and go to Alabama, and go to Ole Miss. 

    The rest of the college football world doesn’t want to hear it, but the SEC West is playing at a whole other level. How many games outside of games against other SEC West teams has the SEC West lost this year? Try zero. 

    For all of the amazing things the Mississippi teams did this weekend, Auburn came out and took care of business against LSU in brutally efficient and effective fashion on both sides of the ball. Just because Alabama and Texas A&M lost this weekend doesn’t mean they’re out of it, and Arkansas appears destined to tag someone talented before the year is up. 

    4. The exposure of the Pac-12 
    There’s no funner league – yes, the word applies considering how ridiculously wild some of these Pac-12 games have been. California is seemingly incapable of playing a game that’s not indescribably crazy. Arizona State’s Mike Bercovici stepped in for an injured Taylor Kelly and threw for almost 1,000 yards in his first two starts with a Hail Mary to beat USC. Arizona and Oregon put on a show, Oregon State and Colorado came up with something special, and the Utah-UCLA game was a heart-stopper. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone in the conference is any good. 

    Stanford’s loss to Notre Dame didn’t help the cause, and the USC loss to Boston College is still too fresh. And remember, Arizona needed everything in the bag just to get past UTSA. 

    The Pac-12ers are beating up on each other now, so while every game in the league has become a must-watch every week, it’s not the SEC West. However, the league does have its one gigantic win over … 

    5. Michigan State isn’t bad at playing college football, but … 
    Just when it seemed like the Spartans were about to make everyone believe that they’re absolutely, positively worthy of a playoff spot if they can win out, they took their foot off the gas against a gritty Nebraska squad and almost let a boring blowout slip right through their fingers in the 27-22 win. On the plus side, Ohio State appears to have figured it out, and with the destruction of Maryland this weekend, the stage is being set for an epic Buckeye-Spartan showdown on October 8th with the winner likely to be the flag-bearer for the Big Ten. If it’s not the winner of the East, then it has to be Nebraska, who’s effort to fight back in the close call with the Spartans was enough to make it a more-than-acceptable one loss. Considering Wisconsin’s inability to complete a forward pass to players on its own team, and Iowa’s loss to Iowa State a few weeks ago, the Big Ten needs the Huskers to come out of the West 11-1 and into the championship game. 

    6. Michigan is still bad at playing college football 
    Brady Hoke is keeping his head down as he’s continuing to fight the good fight, but now the Wolverines are 2-4 with three straight losses to Utah, Minnesota and Rutgers – not exactly a trio of death. Yes, there’s still hope, and yes, everything changes if by some miracle Michigan is able to beat Penn State and pull off the massive upset over Michigan State, but the offense still isn’t working, the defense couldn’t come up with a key stop against the Rutgers passing game, and after a 26-24 loss, now it seems cemented in stone that a new Michigan man will be coaching Michigan next year. 

    7. TCU makes its first real Big 12 statement 
    Before joining the Big 12, TCU had gone on a run of six out of seven years with 11 or more wins, highlighted by the 13-0 Rose Bowl-winning campaign of 2010. After stepping up to a seat at the adult table, the Horned Frogs went 11-14 in their first two seasons in the Big 12 and only came up with two conference wins – Iowa State and Kansas – last season. All of a sudden, everything seems to have come together under Gary Patterson with an offense that can finally start to match the defense, and with the 37-33 win over Oklahoma for a 4-0 record, now the spotlight is on with a trip to Baylor up next. Win that, and put the Horned Frogs in the top five in all the polls. 

    8. Everett Golson’s Heisman moment 
    For about 55 minutes, the Stanford-Notre Dame game wasn’t fun, it wasn’t pretty, and it certainly wasn’t interesting. Stanford took a 14-10 lead with just over three minutes to play, and the defense appeared to have the Irish dead in the water after coming up with a few good stops. But on 4th-and-11 with just over a minute to play, Golson scrambled to his left and found Ben Koyack in the back of the end zone for an improbable 23-yard touchdown and the win. It wasn’t a particularly good throw, but Golson proved once again what a magical difference-maker he is in key moments. The big tests are coming with road trips to Florida State, Arizona State and USC still to play, and home games against Northwestern and Louisville, but if Notre Dame is undefeated, or loses a close thriller to a good team, and if Golson ends up in New York, the Stanford game gave him his highlight.

    9. BYU’s disastrous Friday night 
    Football-wise, it’s almost impossible to have a worse night than BYU ended up dealing with. A 20.5-point favorite against a Chuckie Keeton-less Utah State, it was supposed to be a walk in the park on the way to 5-0 and more talk about a possible spot in the playoff. Instead, the secondary couldn’t stop Aggie QB Darell Garretson on the way to a brutal 35-20 blowout loss that now means it’s on to the contractually obligated Miami Beach Bowl if the Cougars can get to six wins. The worst part, though, was the loss of star quarterback Taysom Hill for the year with a broken leg, taking away the team’s leader and star. Christian Stewart came in and was awful, completing 10-of-29 passes for 172 yards and three interceptions as BYU lost its national relevance in the playoff chase, its Heisman dream, and its main man all in one night. 

    10. Three really cool things that you missed because you were doing something else with your life that you think were slightly more important than watching college football on a Saturday you silly, silly person 
    – There can’t and won’t be a weirder and wilder game this season. Washington State’s Connor Halliday completed 49-of-70 passes for an FBS-record 734 yards and six touchdowns – and lost 60-59 to Cal. Why? Not because Bear QB Jared Goff did him one better – he only came up with a paltry 527-yard, five touchdown day. Wazzu kicker Quentin Breshears Norwooded a 19-yard chip shot attempt as time ran out. 

    – Miami University’s 42-41 win over UMass might have actually been the best game on a phenomenal day of games. The RedHawks hadn’t won a game since October 27th, 2012, but were saved because, down one and at the MU two with time running out, UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel inexplicably threw one more pass rather than spike it and take the extra point-like field goal. Time ran out, and Miami players were happy. 

    – Shhhhhhh. The best team in the American Athletic Conference might be Memphis. East Carolina is putting on a show, but Memphis drilled Cincinnati on the road 41-14 to kickoff AAC play with a terrific defensive performance and an offense that’s starting to hum. The two losses came in a battle with UCLA and a 24-3 loss at Ole Miss – no shame there. 

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