In a few days, the eyes of the college football world will be on Ohio State vs Michigan and Auburn vs Alabama. But before we get hyped and start breaking those rivalries down later this week, let's take a quick look back at what we saw this past weekend.
The Heisman race opened up somewhat after Louisville got smacked by Houston on Thursday night. Lamar "Action" Jackson was harassed all night long by an inspired Cougars defense, only gaining 33 yards on 25 rushing attempts. He was also limited to completing just 45% of his passes while throwing for 211 yards and one score. Jackson was also sacked nine times. In Louisville's first four games this year, he was sacked three times. In the seven games since, he's been sacked 30 times.
With Louisville now officially out of the hunt for a playoff spot, Jackson is still the Heisman front-runner, but his once insurmountable lead is now within striking distance if his team continues to struggle down the stretch.
No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State are headed toward a monumental clash this weekend, but we need to give the entire Big 10 its props for being the best conference in all of college football this year. Nebraska is a Top 20 team and Wisconsin and Penn State are both in the Top 10.
Speaking of teams in the Midwest, Western Michigan is the only undefeated team in the country other than Alabama. Quarterback Zach Terrell and wide receiver Corey Davis can play with any and everybody.
People laughed at me last week when I said that Oklahoma deserves to be looked at by the playoff committee. Well, ask the folks in Morgantown, West Virginia if they're doing any laughing today. After losing two of their first three, the Sooners are now resembling the team that we thought they had the potential to be.
West Virginia's defense was expected to present some problems for OU's prolific offense, but they gave up scores easier than Ginger served it up to Lester Diamond in Casino in the 56-28 blowout.
Dede Westbrook's 75-yard touchdown run, and the bruising running back duo of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon had the OU attack eating on the Mountaineers and spitting them out like Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House.
I'll go for the Captain Obvious award and say that Rutgers stinks. They lost 58-0 to Ohio State, 78-0 to Michigan, 49-0 to Michigan State and 39-0 to Penn State this weekend. I'm sure they getting plenty of requests to be next year's homecoming opponents by many a school.
How is head coach Chris Ash motivating the Scarlet Knights during such a dreadful season. I'm pretty sure that the screams of, "Paul Robeson is not walking through that door!" is falling on some deaf and dumbfounded ears.
Washington is still in the mix after rebounding from their loss to USC to beat upon Arizona State 44-18. The Huskies are very fun to watch, in addition to having the fastest dude with the coolest name in all of college football, Chico McClatcher!
Say Chico McClatcher out loud ten times in a row. Go ahead, do it. I promise you'll feel like you did some mindfulness breathing exercises while relieving any stress that's bothering you right now.
I think Charlie Strong is a great football coach. He inherited a disastrous situation at Texas and proceeded to clean house while trying to bring about a culture of accountability and success. Losing to Kansas, yeah, there's no defending that, but the recruits were coming in while he made due with one of the youngest and most inexperienced teams in the country.
I know that in big-time college football, it's all about wins and losses. He won't be Texas' coach next year, but I'm not so sure they deserved him in the first place. He'll land on his feet someplace else and prove that what he did at Louisville, he could have done at Texas with more time and patience.
Here were some of my top performers from this past weekend:
Houston's Defense: They made Louisville's prolific offense look like Louie after the Duke and Duke Christmas party in Trading Places. Freshman tackle Ed Oliver and linebacker Steven Taylor were more disruptive than Bay-Bay's kids.
Western Michigan Quarterback Zach Terrell and Receiver Corey Davis: Terrell put up a career-high 445 yards and tossed four touchdown passes. Davis, who you'll be saying, "Where did that guy come from?" when he's lighting it up in the NFL next year, caught 13 balls for 173 yards and two scores. Davis is the Mid-American Conference all-time leader in career receptions.
West Virginia Running Back Justin Crawford: The Mountaineers were obliterated by Oklahoma, but Crawford was exceptional, rushing for 331 yards.
Stanford Running Back Christian McCaffrey: The guy who has a very strong case for getting the TJM (you know what that is, right? THE JERK MOVE!!!) in last year's Heisman voting reminded everyone of what makes him so special with his performance against Cal.
He got his Mark Morrison on, letting everybody know that they were witnessing the return of the Mack, on some, "Watch my flow! Here I go!". He averaged nine yards per carry en route to a 284-yard day with three touchdowns in Stanford's 45-31 win.
Arkansas Running Back Rawleigh Williams: He smoked Mississippi State for 205 yards and four touchdowns.
East Carolina Receiver Zay Jones: ECU got smashed by Navy, 66-31, but Jones was singing, "Zay, Zay, Zay, what you need, but don't play games with my affections!" He caught 12 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns.