We are four weeks into the college football season, and we officially have our first "winners and losers" topic/person that I didn't include in a post because he's so great, that it's just going to be repetitive to list him with three other people here every week. His greatness is both fearsome and beautiful, and he is a threat to change a game every time he touches the ball, either through his blinding speed or his earth shattering power.
Behold, the truth. Leonard Fournette. The man. Here are all of his great plays in the win over Syracuse this weekend….
Now onto mere mortals…..
4. Chip Kelly
So Utah absolutely destroyed Oregon in Eugene by a score of 62-20. This is just a couple weeks after Oregon lost to Michigan State in East Lansing. This week is the first time since 2009 that the Ducks have been out of the AP Top 25, and it's fair to ask if the heat will turn up at all on head coach Mark Helfrich, who has the unfortunate role of perceived caretaker for Chip Kelly's recruited talent the last couple years. Taking it next level, Chip Kelly has struggled to a 1-2 start in Philadelphia with some dubious personnel decisions, so he could be out looking for work sometime after the season. That's not out of the question. What if Oregon goes, say, 7-5, and Kelly is available? Could Kelly's trip to the NFL wind up being a big three year work to get his salary at Oregon tripled? Is your mind blown yet?!?
Ever wonder what a game with over 1,300 yards of total offense and NO turnovers looks like? Well, go find the tape of TCU's 55-52 win over Texas Tech on Saturday night because that's what happened in Lubbock, with the Horned Frogs getting the win on a fluky deflection touchdown in the final minute. This is what MADDEN would look like if they had a "preschool" setting on the video game. TCU's back end of the schedule this season is shaping up like a gauntlet of games with point totals in the 80's — West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Baylor, all between 10/29 and 11/27.
2. A.J. Hughes
Virginia Tech lost at East Carolina as a double digit favorite on Saturday in rainy Greenville, NC. Nothing about the game was very newsworthy, just another slow step of the slide into irrelevance for The Frank Beamer Era. However, the game did include this amazing play by Virginia Tech punter A.J. Hughes to keep the Hokies deficit at seven points in the second half….
For a punter to make "4 Winners, 4 Losers," it has to involve something extreme and mind blowing, either good or bad. That was pretty damn good.
1. Texas A&M bettors
When the Aggies and the Razorbacks kicked off on Saturday night, the line on the game was A&M favored by 6.5. For a neutral site game between an undefeated team and a team that had lost to Toledo and Texas Tech at home the last two weeks, siding with Texas A&M appeared to be great value. And in the end, it paid off, but it took all the way to the end of the game to get into winning position. Arkansas scored first and never trailed by more than three during regulation. They led by eight and had the ball midway through the fourth quarter. Then, after an A&M touchdown and two point conversion, Myles Garrett forced a Brandon Allen fumble and the Aggies had a look at a 38 yard field goal to win the game. If Aggie kicker Taylor Bertolet made that kick, the Aggies win and don't cover. Instead, he shanked it wide right, the Aggies score a TD and PAT in overtime, and win by seven. The Aggies literally were covering for one series of downs in overtime the entire night. But it was the most important series — the last one.
So, I tweeted this out Saturday morning….
I love the UNDER 59 in UMASS/ND today. Sandwich game for ND betw Ga Tech and Clemson and they don't need any more injuries. Win and GTHO.— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) September 26, 2015
The score of that game was 35-20… at HALFTIME. The moral of the story is that I am an idiot.
3. Cardale Jones
Jones could've left for the NFL after his three game body of work last December and January — a 59-0 Big Ten title win over Wisconsin and the two College Football Playoff wins — and likely been a first or second round pick on spec. Almost certainly, he would've been the third quarterback taken after Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Instead, he came back to Ohio State where he's been the starter, but many of his flaws have been exposed in this first month of the season, namely shaky decision making and a lack of anticipation skills when throwing to receivers on the move. Personally, I've gone from wanting the Texans to draft him with the 16th pick last season to not wanting them to touch him in the first three rounds this coming spring. He's looked very average, and whoever told him to come back to school should be sued for malpractice.
2. Derek Jeter's right hand
So Derek Jeter was at the Michigan-BYU game on Saturday afternoon, which the college football world interpreted as some sort of sign that Michigan games have the cachet of Laker games back in the Showtime Era. Whatever. So we got the obligatory shot of Jim Harbaugh and Jeter bullshitting before the game, and we got this….
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Hope Jeter enjoyed that phlegm bomb that Harbaugh threw his way. Sorry, Jeets.
1. The state of Arizona
Blowouts were the order of the day in the Pac-12, not just Utah's trouncing of Oregon, but how about the city of Los Angeles declaring war on the state of Arizona and winning decisively? USC 42, Arizona State 14….UCLA 56, Arizona 30. As a result, all of the women in Arizona must now obtain fake breasts and collagen injections. (By the way, Arizona hosted College Gameday for the second time in the history of the school, and they're now 0-2 in those two games. In 2009, they lost to Oregon.)
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.