Any Given Saturday Recap, Week 8: The Luck of The Irish Was Hidden In The Big 12’s Misfortune

Tornado Alley is an unpredictable geographic hotspot for rotating air columns originating from cumulonimbus clouds that includes Texas and Oklahoma.

Undefeated Baylor’s path to the college football playoff was one of the easiest after they skipped through one of the nation’s lightest first half schedules for a national title contender. Oklahoma still had a faint chance. Yet, neither is in the hunt after the weekend's events.

This weekend the narcoleptic Bryce Petty slept too long paralyzing Baylor’s vaunted passing attack while the West Virginia defense tranquilized the Bears rushing attack.

Baylor rushed for 95 yards on 42 carries which contributed to their 3-for-16 rate of success on third down conversions. Petty threw for a pair of touchdowns, but could never get the passing attack rolling downhill, completing fewer than half of his 36 attempts for 223 yards and struggling with his accuracy on a slew of deep throws.

Conversely, Clint Trickett and Kevin White continued subjugating opposing defenses through their sheer talent and will. White’s eight catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, were just a portion of his contributions.

White drew five 15 yard interference penalties, one of which was declined on the touchdown catch. In total, those 75 additional yards made the nation’s leader in reception yardage responsible for 207 total yards.

Oklahoma ended the unluckiest weekend for a program by missing an extra point and two missed field goals. The final shanked attempt by kicker Michael Hunnicut occurred after the Sooners offense was halted on the 1-yard line.

After Kansas State pulled out the win that kept their Big 12 title aspirations from walking into the light, Bill Snyder was astonished about how it ended.

"The youngster that missed the field goal, he will go another hundred years without missing another field goal," Snyder said. "So we were just lucky. That happens.”

The chaotic weekend in upsets likely ends the Big 12’s bid for a team to gain privileged into the college football playoff.

One man’s misfortune is another’s fortune and while Kansas State’s victory obviously keeps them in the conference hunt, the Big 12’s disastrous weekend also has national ramifications.

The winners of Baylor and Oklahoma’s Week 8 Big 12 meltdown is Notre Dame.

Blessings come in disguise for the Luck of the Irish. On the weekend their playoff hopes took a hit, a glimmer of hope also emerged.

College football’s Golden Domers may not have a conference, but their schedule is one of the most difficult and diverse in the nation.

Multiple one-loss teams will be selected to participate in the inaugural college football playoff. There are only three undefeated teams left among Power 5 conferences and two of them will play each other in the Egg Bowl during the regular season finale.

UGA controls its own fate. Winning the SEC Championship Game against (assuming they defeat Aubun on Nov. 15) Ole Miss, Alabama or Mississippi State is their only route to the Final Four. Baylor is out. Oklahoma was ejected into the abyss.

Alabama has a smorgasbord of playoff-caliber competition in its path including Mississippi State. Ole Miss has the aforementioned Egg Bowl and SEC Championship Game between now and the college football playoff’s shining moment.

Is Oregon more deserving than Notre Dame? Neither the AP nor USA Today polls have Notre Dame ranked ahead of Oregon. But they're juxtaposed beside one another in the each poll, the only difference being that Michigan State is ranked ahead of Oregon in the USA Today incarnation.

Everett Golson has evolved since his freshman season into a high volume passer, unafraid to make mistakes, but who completes all the critical throws under duress. He threw game-winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter against North Carolina, Stanford and against Florida State. On Notre Dame’s (near) game-winning drive, Golson brought time by scrambling outside the pocket and firing a pass to Corey Robinson, who had a star turn in this game.

If the Fighting Irish’s receivers understood the difference between a pick and a rub route, Notre Dame would be an undisputed undefeated favorite and Golson’s Heisman odds would have spiked dramatically.

Despite the troubling result, their season-ending matchup with 20th ranked USC has an added weight to it.

Thanks to the playoff, Notre Dame’s remaining schedule has national championship relevance instead of generating the traditionally insipid conversation about a BCS bowl bid.


In Florida’s offense, Jeff Driskel is a camper cradling a crying baby under the moonlight as 11 walkers corner his position. For three years, Will Muschamp has been releasing bloodcurdling screams of shock, horror and occasionally anger while Driskel has been offensive anti-matter in an arid desert.

Saturday night’s massacre may have spurred the overdue cancellation of Florida’s Walking Dead.

If there’s one rule about Driskel and The Walking Dead that overlap, it’s that thee calm always foreshadows a storm. Last week against LSU, Driskel was as proficient as anyone could ever expect him to be late in their loss to LSU.

There was the occasional splattering of interceptions on the canvas, but he was manufacturing plays to keep Florida in the mix and almost made the game-winning play. However, once bitten the entire offense was infected with ineptitude.

Driskel is Patient Zero for the sickness plaguing Florida’s offense.

On a grim night when Maty Mauk completed just 6 of 18 passes for 20 yards, one interception and the Tigers were outgained 119 to 283 yards from scrimmage, Driskel was a Trojan horse. During the course of Missouri's 42-13 win, the offense only scored one touchdown.

On the Gators first drive, Driskel fumbled and on the second he threw an interception. In the third quarter Markus Golden scooped up one of Driskel's fumbles with a pooper scooper and galloped 21 yards for a touchdown. As if that wasn't enough, Driskel also threw a pick-6.

Treon Harris also got into the turnover ac, but he also led Florida on two drives that ended with touchdowns.



Alabama is angry. First the loss to Ole Miss put them on the outside looking into the national college football playoff. Then they crept past Arkansas.

Texas A&M was wounded. Mississippi State and Ole Miss scored 83 points combined but the 59-0 execution at the end of Alabama’s axe.

A few weeks ago, Kyle Allen, the No. 1 prospect at the quarterback position in the 2014 prep class looked like he’d need to transfer out in order to get a starting opportunity before he was a grad student.

Sumlin inserted Allen after Hill played three clumsy quarters.

As if Hill couldn’t look worse, he goes further into the negative after allegations emerged that he was sloppy drunk in College Station on the Thursday night before A&M’s Tuscaloosa trip.

Hill could have been hung-over on Saturday afternoon and nobody could fault him for Alabama's defense making plays like this.

Conversely, Sumlin’s defenses have been playing like sedated guard dogs.

Here’s Alabama rumblepack Derrick Henry, noted football pugilist, looking for someone to hit. Instead, he goes 41 bittersweet yards untouched to the end zone. He’s so disappointed by the lack of a challenge during his romp he seems crestfallen instead of ecstatic after reaching pay dirt.

Here’s Blake Sims freezing defenders as he jets from the pocket with rockets in his shoes and leaves multiple defenders bowing at his feet. Here lies the Texas Agriculture and Mechanical University defense.


What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top