December 6, 2022
Trending Tags

College football Week 9 winners, losers, overreactions: ACC emerges as worst of Power Five conferences

Read Time:10 Minute, 47 Second

The ACC has struggled with depth for years, but Week 9 marked a low point for the conference just days before the initial College Football Playoff Rankings are released. Nearly all of the excitement in the ACC is gone after the top two teams featured on Saturday fell in embarrassing fashion. 

Wake Forest moved into the AP top 10 and the edge of New Year’s Six consideration following a 6-1 start. How did the Demon Deacons respond? By turning the ball over six times in a historically terrible third quarter in a 48-21 loss to Louisville. No. 16 Syracuse, meanwhile, followed up its near-upset of Clemson by losing 41-24 against a struggling Notre Dame team.

Down the board, Boston College gave UConn its first win over a Power Five opponent since 2016, while Miami went to four overtimes against lowly Virginia. Even No. 24 NC State needed 19 unanswered points to edge out Virginia Tech. No. 21 North Carolina did manage to erase a deficit against Pitt to remain undefeated in ACC play, so that at least partially salvaged the day.

Clemson stands as the one true national contender in the conference as long as it can avoid the Notre Dame pitfall on the road next week. Still, the ACC is the worst of the five Power Five conferences heading into CFP Rankings season, and it’s not particularly close. 

Here are more winners, losers and overreactions from the college football action in Week 9. 

Winners

Tennessee: If one team has the potential to take over the unbeatable mantle, it’s the Vols. After beating Alabama in its last SEC game, the Volunteers took a tire iron to No. 19 Kentucky in a dominant 44-6 win. The Vols doubled up the Wildcats in yardage as Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another. UK quarterback Will Levis, a projected first-round NFL Draft pick, threw three interceptions as the Volunteers showed their defense has another gear as they head into the stretch run. 

Oregon QB Bo Nix: Has anyone’s quality of life improved more over the course of a year than Bo Nix? Instead of being caught up in the Auburn dumpster fire, Nix is tearing up the Pac-12. Granted, it wasn’t his best performance with his first two-interception game since the opener against Georgia, but he scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to zoom past Cal 42-24. The Ducks are 7-1 thanks to Nix, and he is completing more than 70% of his passes and has 20 touchdowns to only five interceptions. Nix will have a very legitimate case for an All-Pac-12 First Team selection. Not bad for Auburn’s backup last season. Boy, the Tigers sure could use him now, huh?

UConn: Jim Mora Jr. took over a program that had just four wins over the past four seasons. After shocking Boston College 13-3 for the Huskies’ first victory over a Power Five opponent since 2016, UConn sits at 4-5 with a very real shot to earn a bowl trip for the first time since 2015. The Huskies were in as deep a hole as anyone in college football, but Mora has quickly found his footing despite having to play freshman quarterback Zion Turner. 

Losers

Cincinnati: Three years ago, Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati team ended UCF’s 19-game conference winning streak. On Saturday, the Knights returned the favor while handing the Bearcats a 25-21 loss after a game-winning touchdown run from RJ Harvey. The loss drops Cincinnati from full control of its destiny to right in the thick of the AAC race. Three teams — Cincinnati, UCF and Houston — all have just one loss while Tulane remains undefeated. Cincinnati has a home game against No. 23 Tulane on Black Friday that could decide a title game berth.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have been plagued with injuries over the past few weeks, but nothing could have prepared them for what happened on Saturday in a 48-0 loss. No. 22 Kansas State handed No. 9 Oklahoma State one of the most historically embarrassing losses ever for an AP top-10 team, and the loss marked the first time a top-10 squad has been shut out by 40 or more points since 1968. It was OSU’s first shutout loss of any type since 2009 and the worst loss in a shutout since 2000, the year before Les Miles arrived. Needless to say, the Cowboys have to do some soul-searching and figure out how to finish the season stronger. 

Overreactions

There is no Death Star: Two weeks ago, Penn State was walloped 41-17 against No. 4 Michigan. The loss dropped the Nittany Lions out of the top 10 and made them a two-touchdown underdog at home against No. 2 Ohio State. Ultimately, it took a breakaway touchdown from Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson and a Sean Clifford fumble for Big Ten favorite Ohio State to escape Happy Valley with a win. It was far from the only close call of the weekend. No. 1 Georgia needed a strong final 16 minutes to pull away from a feisty Florida squad, while just a passable offense could have kept Michigan State in the game against No. 4 Michigan. 

During the College Football Playoff era, a handful of Death Stars have emerged that are close to unbeatable against lesser competition. This year, none of them have reached the untouchable level. The championship race is truly wide open for the first time in years as seemingly every team is flawed. 

The Big 12 title game will be all purple: Kansas State picked up an early nonconference loss against Tulane, and then fell with a third-string quarterback against No. 8 TCU. But after demolishing Oklahoma State, the Wildcats are suddenly in the driver’s seat to reach the Big 12 Championship Game. 

On the other side of the bracket, TCU remained undefeated after surviving an upset attempt from West Virginia. The Horned Frogs already hold tiebreakers over Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, which should set them up well for the stretch run. The last matchup between these teams was a game of runs as K-State got out to a 28-10 lead while the Frogs came back to win after Howard suffered an injury. 

At a neutral site, there’s no telling which team will escape with the crown. Neither TCU nor Kansas State have won a Big 12 Championship Game since 2003. The Wildcats earning a trip would make a sixth straight year that the title game featured a new participant since its reintroduction in 2017. 





Source link

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Previous post GSI Technology, Inc. (GSIT) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript
Next post Solon Senior Young Caps Stellar Career With Runner-up Finish at State Cross Country Meet