Don’t you dare think that the College Football Playoff won’t be thorough.  The 12 member committee (Archie Manning resigning to recover from surgery) breaks out its first top 25 rankings that will determine football’s final four.  It kind of has a maple syrup feel to it…only with a dozen people working in a tiny cramped kitchen to boil the sap.  While I’m happier with a 4-team field as opposed to a 2-team setup I hope it’ll be less than 15 years before they expand the field to eight (5 major conference winners plus 3 wildcards).  Of course, then the committee would feel pressed to put out a top 50.

 

Alma Mater Update– a fine effort at Clemson comes up short…as the Orange drop to 3-5.  Sadly, the November slate (NC State, Duke, Pitt and Boston College) could convince even the most jaded and cynical that a bowl berth is a possibility…if not a formality.  

 

Maryland ran into a red and white brick wall–falling at Wisconsin 52-7.  November’s forecast could be rather chilly:  road trips to Penn State and Michigan sandwich a visit from #8 Michigan State…thank goodness they finish at home with Rutgers.  Terrapin Triumphs– Deon Long’s 59 yards receiving were his second highest total of the season… and Sean Davis led he defense with 17 tackles (although it’s less than ideal when four of your top five tacklers are defensive backs).  Terrapin Troubles– after moving the ball 40 yards on their first possession, the offense gained 47 yards on its next 12 possessions…the running game stalled to the tune of 46 yards on 28 carries…the defense held Badgers RB Melvin Gordon 50 yards under his average but still coughed up 311 yards on the ground…seven penalties and a lost fumble helped close an already small window of opportunity.  Next:  Saturday at Penn State.

 

Virginia Tech looked lost in Thursday night’s 30-6 defeat at home to Miami…falling into last place of the ACC Coastal Division.  You read correctly– last place in a division with Virginia, North Carolina and Duke.  At 4-4 is the light at the end of the tunnel a train?  Hokie Highlights– Marshawn Williams ran from 100 yards as the team gained 149 yards on the ground (123 more than the previous week against Pitt)…VT was penalized only four times (half their average amount of flags this season)…and the excitement surrounding Buzz Williams taking over the mens basketball program is downright infectious.  Hokie Humblings– the offense gained just 48 yards on 20 first half plays… a third quarter fumble at the Miami goal line sent fans to the exits… the defense allowed 364 yards on the ground, including 249 to Duke Johnson (Gus Edwards ran for 115–giving hope for a Gus/Johnson backfield tandem.  BANG!)Next:  Saturday vs Boston College.

 

Virginia celebrated homecoming–until a 28-27 loss to North Carolina ruined the day.  Up six with five minutes remaining, UVa was getting in position to set up a long field goal when Greyson Lambert was intercepted;  UNC wound up driving the length of the field before capitalizing on an onside kick.  Tough way for the Cavs to come up short.  Cavalier Congrats– Greyson Lambert in his return to the lineup threw for two touchdowns… Kevin Parks ran for 111 yards and a score while catching 4 passes and a touchdown…Eli Harold led the pass rush with 1.5 sacks and led a run defense that limited UNC to 2.9 yards a carry.  Cavalier Concerns– Lambert threw a pair of interceptions in the red that took points off the scoreboard at the UNC 2 and 8-yard lines… the defense was burned by the big play, allowing a 52 yd TD run and TD passes for 57 and 63 yards… UVa didn’t help its cause with 8 penalties for 83 yards.  Next:  Saturday at Georgia Tech.

 

Navy came off its bye week by outscoring San Jose State  41-31.  This is their first win coming off the early/mid-season bye since 2007…and puts the team back on track for the postseason.  Midshipmen Medals– Keenan Reynolds ran for 251 yards and three touchdowns on a career high 39 carries (that his how you return from injury)….ZERO PENALTIES (earns all caps).  Midshipmen Miscues– the Navy D allowed the Spartans to convert on 57% of their third downs and post over 400 total yards.  Next:  Saturday vs #6 Notre Dame.

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