2017 NCAA Football Top 25 Rankings – Week Ten!
November 8th, 2017 by The Staff
Another week, and another instance of Alabama throttling an SEC West rival. This time around ‘Bama beat up on LSU to the tune of 24-10, with QB Jalen Hurts taking it easy with 183 yards and one TD pass on 11 completions. Despite being outgained by the Tigers 151 yards to 116 on the ground, Alabama nonetheless managed to double LSU’s rushing touchdown production with Bo Scarborough (39 yards and 11 carries) and Hurts (44 yards on 14 carries) each racking up a scrambling score apiece.
With their 24-10 win over South Carolina (plus a couple of other divisional teams losing), Georgia has officially claimed the SEC East crown, which means they’re going to be going toe-to-toe with whoever wins the SEC West – and of course, whoever wins that might just find themselves cruising to the National Championship Playoffs. Jake Fromm (16 for 22, 196 yards and two touchdown passes) played well yet again, and Georgia’s rushing attack positively crippled the Gamecocks – at the final horn, the Bulldogs outpaced them on the ground 242 yards to 43.
And just like that, the undefeated Badgers have gone from being a mere Big 10 Championship Game lame duck to a legitimate National Championship Playoffs contender. While everyone was aghast at Ohio State and Penn State choking, Wisconsin was just off doing what they’ve been doing all season long, as they outclassed Indiana 45-17. Jonathan Taylor might just be the most underrated running back in the country; his 183-yard, one-TD performance Saturday more than quadrupled the Hoosiers’ entire backfield production.
Despite lobbing three interceptions, Malik Rosier still managed to collect two TD passes and 193 yards off 10 completions in Miami’s 28-10 win over Virginia Tech. He also collected 84 yards and another score running the ball 13 times, while back Travis Homer racked up 95 yards and one end zone visitation on 14 carries. Indeed, with 219 total rushing yards, the Hurricanes easily doubled the Hokies’ ground production on the day.
UCF almost got upset by SMU, but the Knights nonetheless managed to stave off the Methodists for a 31-24 win. McKenzie Milton had one of his worst games of the season, going 23 for 40 for one TD and two interceptions, but he STILL managed to rack up 412 aerial yards before it was all over and done with. Plus he scrambled for another 44 yards (and an extra TD), while UCF’s top rusher Adrian Killins, Jr. killed it with 145 yards and two scores on 14 carries.
|Uh, excessive force much? #HoLivesMatter.|
Wake Forest made a valiant comeback attempt, but Notre Dame managed to hold on for a 48-37 victory. Brandon Wimbush went 15 for 30 for 280 yards and one TD, but where he REALLY shined was running the ball. At the final horn, he managed to rush for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries – needless to say, it’ll be very interesting to see if the Hurricanes can find a way to contain him this Saturday.
It was a close one, but the Tigers still managed to best N.C. State over the weekend 38-31. Kelly Bryant went 20 for 38 for 191 yards, one TD and one INT, plus another 88 yards – and two more touchdowns – running the ball. Equally impressive was back Tavien Fester, who finished the game with 105 yards and one end zone visit on seven carries. Not so impressive for Clemson, though? Their defense letting the Wolfpack torch ’em in the air for 338 yards and three passing touchdowns.
Fuck, you think we might as well give Baker Mayfield the Heisman Trophy and call it a season? Well, after lobbing the rock for five touchdowns and 598 yards in the Sooners’ 62-52 win over Oklahoma State, it’s hard to imagine any player in college football posting a more impressive statistical performance. Still, you can’t give Mayfield all the credit – somebody has to catch his tosses, and in this case, receiver Marquise Brown was the hero of the day; he walked out of Bedlam with an astounding 265 yards and two touchdowns on just nine receptions.
The Huskies made short work of Oregon, roasting the Ducks 38-3 over the weekend. Jake Browning went 11 for 19 for 204 yards, two TD passes and one interception, with top receiver Dante Pettis racking up 87 yards and an end zone pilgrimage on just four hauls. Oddly enough, both the Huskies and the Ducks had the exact same rushing yards – the only difference being that Washington managed to collect two touchdowns running the ball, whereas – as evident by the final score – the Ducks just plain couldn’t.
A week after getting upset by Iowa State, the Horned Frogs returned to form with a 24-7 win over Texas. Strangely enough, TCU QB Kenny Hill had an uncharacteristically low-key day, finishing the contest 18 for 26 for 146 yards and no TD passes. Thankfully, TCU was able to absolutely dominate the run game; not only did they rack up 177 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, the managed to hold the Longhorns’ running backs to a downright retarded NINE yards on the day.
|Fun fact: in the Oklahoma vernacular, there’s no formal word for what we call “defense.”|
Tigers’ QB Riley Ferguson had a hell of a game in Memphis’ 41-14 win over Tulsa. He finished up the contest 27 for 39 for 298 yards and four touchdown passes, with all four of ’em getting air mailed into the arms of separate receivers. But don’t overlook the team’s potent rushing attack, neither – particularly, back Darrell Henderson, who finished the outing with 123 yards on just 14 carries.
At the beginning of the season, I was wondering if it was apropos to call Quinton Flowers a “poor man’s Lamar Jackson.” Well, considering how poorly Louisville has played this year, maybe we ought to start calling the Cardinals’ star player a “poor man’s Quinton Flowers.” No surprise here, but the Bulls easily dispatch UConn over the weekend. Flowers’ final stats? 385 yards and three touchdowns passing, 131 yards rushing; which, for those of you that ain’t too good with the arithmetic, comes out to 516 total yards … a sum 192 yards higher than ALL of Tulsa’s offense combined.
Despite Logan Woodside pitching the rock for 361 yards, he amassed no TD passes in the Rockets’ 27-17 win over Northern Illinois. The MVP for Toledo was undoubtedly back Terry Swanson, who finished the game with 116 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Also performing well were receivers Diontae Johnson and Jordan Fisher, who wrapped up the contest with 166 yards and 102 yards, respectively.
And like that, the Spartans find themselves sitting atop the totem pole of the Big 10 East. In a game that was delayed more than three hours due to inclement weather, Brian Lewerke amassed 400 passing yards rallying the troops to a 27-24 upset win over Penn State. Moreover, Michigan State’s defense came up big time, recorded three interceptions off Trace McSorely and holding Saquon Barkley to only 63 yards on the day.
Jarrett Stidham went 20 for 27 for 268 yards and three touchdown passes in Auburn’s 42-27 win over Texas A&M. Regarding the ground game, the Tigers outran the Aggies 228 yards to 143 in the contest, with Kerryon Johnson leading the herd with 145 yards and one TD on 29 carries. Oh, and he reeled in a touchdown pass, too – you know, just for good measure.
|And like that, J.T. Barrett goes from a first round NFL draft selection to maybe a Canadian Football League walk-on.|
And Penn State follows up their late fourth quarter collapse against the Buckeyes with an even worse one over the weekend. Yep, the old Nittany Stranger Dangers dropped a tough ‘un to Michigan State – a devastating 27-24 loss in a game that was brought to a three-hour plus standstill ’cause of lightning strikes. The dynamic duo of Trace McSorely and Saquon Barkley both underperformed in the defeat – the former lobbed three interceptions, while the latter could only chalk up 63 yards on the ground.
Oh, the difference seven days can make. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes had the National Championship in their eyes after coming from behind to beat Penn State in their home stadium. And then, on Saturday, they inexplicably got drubbed 55-24 by Iowa, in a game that saw J.T. Barrett lob four interceptions and the Buckeyes’ D let the Hawkeyes’ backfield outgain ’em 243 yards to 163. Granted, Ohio State ain’t mathematically out of the Big 10 title hunt, but unless some of the teams in the top ten start chalking up multiple losses, that pretty much sticks a fork in THE Ohio State’s playoff dreams.
Even Mason Randolph throwing the pigskin for five touchdowns and 448 yards wasn’t enough offense to outpoint the Sooners last Saturday, as the Cowboys fell to Oklahoma 62-52. Similarly, even Justice Hill’s remarkable 228 yard, two touchdown rushing day wasn’t enough to close the gap. I guess we’ll have to chalk up the Cowboys’ loss to turnovers; Oklahoma did intercept Randolph twice, as well as jar the ball loose from his hands for a fumble recovery.
Luke Falk may have had his best game of the year in Saturday’s 24-21 win over Stanford. The Cougars’ QB went 24 for 48 for 337 yards, three touchdown strikes and one interception, including an 11-yard zip to Jamire Calvin that gave ’em the go-ahead TD with 6:56 left in the fourth. Just one game behind PAC-12 leader Washington, the Cougars really aren’t out of the conference championship race at this juncture; indeed, if they win their last two games of the season – both road tests against Utah and the Huskies – they would automatically qualify for the title game.
The Trojans topped the Wildcats 49-35 in a shootout, with Sam Darnold going 20 for 26 for 311 yards and a two-to-one TD-to-INT split. Ronald Jones had a career day against Arizona, chalking up 194 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 27 carries, as the combined USC backfield outran their foes 331 yards to 234.
|Hey, if you’re going to be on a team that ain’t going nowhere important for New Year’s, you might as well have some fun while you’re there.|
Josh Jackson had a day to forget in Virginia Tech’s 28-10 loss to Miami. He went 20 for 32 for 197 yards, no touchdown passes and two interceptions – even though he did record one touchdown scrambling for 12 yards on 15 carries. Not that the rest of the Hokies’ backfield did that much better; combined, they could only muster 102 yards on the ground, compared to the 219 rushing yards racked up by the Hurricanes.
Last week, the Wolverines were considered dead in the water. Well, after Penn State and Ohio State’s upset losses over the weekend, Michigan finds itself suddenly relevant in the Big 10 conference title chase once again. Of course, one has to wonder if Michigan’s anemic passing attack – which posted a paltry 56 yards in their 33-10 win over Minnesota Saturday – will keep ’em competitive with both Wisconsin and Ohio State rounding out their schedule.
The Bulldogs got past UMass on Saturday, but they didn’t exactly set the college football world on fire with their performance. In the 34-23 win, Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald went 14 for 25 for 139 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, though he did scramble for an impressive 135 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Thankfully, the Bulldogs were able to find other ways to put points on the scoreboard – including a 58-yard interception return for defender J.T. Gray and an 83-yard punt return courtesy of Deddrick Thomas.
The Blue Turfers made short work of Nevada, blasting the Wolf Pack 41-14 over the weekend. While Brett Rypien had a pretty good day – he went 20 for 27 for 258 yards and two touchdowns – Boise State called upon its run game to get the bulk of its pointage. Alexander Mattison collected 64 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, while Ryan Wolpin hit enemy end zone once and finished the outing with 17 yards on five rushes.
Well, SoCal metaphorically buttfucked NoCal over the weekend. The Aztecs absolutely creamed San Jose State Saturday in a 52-7 laugher that saw San Diego State’s rushing attack combine for 554 yards and six touchdown runs, with Rashaad Penny wrapping up the game with 234 yards and three scores on 20 carries. And just to add insult to injury, SDSU reckoned holding SJSU to just 33 yards on the ground was a real knee-slapper. Unless some extremely fluky shit happens over the next three weeks, it’s pretty much a given SDSU’s going to be clashing with Boise State for the Mountain West Conference Championship – which gives the Aztecs a chance to avenge a 31-14 loss from mid-October.