SPORTS COLUMN: College Football Playoff talk heating up after week 7

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The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs hammered no. 11 Kentucky 30-13 Saturday. (Mackenzie Miles/UGA Athletics)
  • Back in Business: Alabama blows out Bulldogs. Despite a slow start offensively Alabama was able to turn a 21-6 halftime lead into a 49-9 blowout. Quarterback Bryce Young’s Heisman campaign continued with a 20 for 28 night for 348 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach’s “air raid” offense simply doesn’t have the personnel it needs for success. Despite being able to move the ball well most of the game, once the field was made short in the redzone their offense lost efficiency and had to resort to field goals. Any time you find yourself trading field goals for touchdowns with Alabama it’s not going to end well for you. The Tide now turns its attention to Tennessee hate week. 
  • Constant in the Chaos. Despite the rest of the SEC terrorizing itself, Georgia has proven to be the most constant team in college football. Taking down no. 11 Kentucky at home was yet another flex of the Bulldog’s muscles. Meanwhile no. 19 Auburn continued to gain steam beating a previously ranked no. 17 Arkansas. LSU took down then no. 20 Florida, and despite that Coach O and LSU have decided to go different directions at the end of the season. In former Auburn coach Gene Chizik fashion Coach O will be out just two seasons after winning a national championship. Both caught lightning in a bottle with once in a lifetime transfer (Cam Newton and Joe Burro), and both immediately began trending in the wrong direction. Coach O never seemed like the right guy for the job and now LSU joins USC as a highly desired job that will surely begin a college football coaching carousel this offseason. 
  • Foreeeeee: Get Your Mustard Ready. Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin returned to Knoxville for the first time since his 2009 departure and it produced one of the craziest endings you’ll ever see, and the craziness had nothing to do with actual play on the field. With a 31-26 lead and just under a minute left in the game Tennessee was facing fourth and 24 and delivered a pass that appeared to be good for a first down, but ultimately was ruled short sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Trash began raining down from the stands from water bottles to beer cans to a bottle of mustard, yes, a full bottle of mustard. At one point Coach Kiffin was even hit with a golf ball.

    The crazy thing was it got to such madness that the officials considered ending the game. The cheerleaders and band had to be taken inside. The Ole Miss team had to stand at midfield to avoid the trash. All of this while Tennessee, with three time outs, was very much still in the game. After forcing a three and out and getting the ball back with around 40 seconds left Tennessee actually went right down the field and had a game winning pass slip through the hands of an open receiver. As Ole Miss barely escaped the homecoming Coach Kiffin had this to say about the chaotic series of events, “I feel like they don’t like me a lot.”
  • Upset of the Week: Iowa reaches boiling point. At home as the no. 3 team in the country, the Iowa Hawkeyes, laid a complete egg against a team that is now ranked for the first time since 2007, breaking the longest stretch among Power Five schools. Purdue receiver David Bell had an insane 240 receiving yards, just 32 yards shy of outgunning the entire Iowa offseason. Iowa still controls its own destiny and will be favorited in every contest the rest of the regular season. If they win out, they’ll face the winner of the East, which currently has a remarkable four teams in the top 10.
  • College Football Playoff Update: Oregon escaped another upset and will now head into a big matchup against UCLA. Oregon finds itself at no. 10 with five teams ahead of them guaranteed to lose at least one game meaning if they can win out, they’ll at least be in the conversation for a top five spot. If one of those last teams standing is Ohio State, they will own the head to head and likely be back in the playoffs for the first time since the first year of the playoff where they lost in the title game to the Buckeyes.

    Oklahoma has benched preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler and the Sooners are now a completely different team. In his first career game, Caleb Williams, as a starter has totaled 361 yards and five touchdowns. The Sooners now enter the easiest stretch of their season before ending with a rivalry matchup against Oklahoma State, who has found itself 7-0 after a big win over the Texas Longhorns.

    The Big Ten east continues to promise an amazing finish beginning in two weeks. As mentioned above they hold four of the top 10 spots and starting on the eve of Halloween they will begin playing each other through the end of November. Ohio State has started to find it’s rhythm as of late and is the favorite to win the conference. 
  • Lastly, Crazy Stat of the Week. Eastern Washington’s quarterback Eric Barriere threw for 600 yards. That’s in a single game in only 35 pass attempts, and to top it off, seven of those were touchdowns giving the Eagles a 71-21 win over the Idaho Vandals.
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