SPORTS COLUMN: A calm week 8 of college football turns chaotic

(Illinois Athletics)
  • A Calm Week Turns Chaotic. In a week that gave us no ranked vs ranked matchups it seemed this would would be a cake walk, but if this season as taught us anything no one is safe, ever. Starting the week off Appalachian State upset previously ranked no. 14 Coastal Carolina, giving Appalachian State their first win over a ranked team since the shocking 2007 win over a top five Michigan. 
  • Several teams were able to avoid upsets including, no. 2 Cincinnati, no. 3 Oklahoma, no. 10 Oregon, and no. 22 San Diego State. No. 6 Michigan and no. 4 Alabama both were able to pull away in the second half on the way to blowouts. Alabama’s Bryce Young continued to improve his Heisman chances totaling 413 total yards and four touchdowns. 
  • Oklahoma’s new breakout star, quarterback Caleb Williams, made one of the most heads up plays you’ll ever see. Facing 4th and 1 at midfield with just a few minutes left and clinging to a 28-23 lead Williams handed the ball off to running back Kennedy Brooks. Brooks ran a sweep to the right, where he was met by a Kansas defender. Realizing the importance of getting the first down Williams ran to Brooks, took the ball from him, and sprinted 5 yards for the first down that ultimately led to the game clinching touchdown. 
  • Not So Lucky. Oklahoma State has once ahead taken a hit to a team that has become serious thorn in their side. OSU lost yet another heartbreaker to Iowa State, who dashed their 2011 title hopes in a 2OT classic. Purdue, who found their first ranking in 17 years, will quickly be falling out after a close lost to Wisconsin. 
  • Not one, not two, not three…. But nine overtimes is what it took for Illinois to take out previously ranked no. 7 Penn State. After a lack luster game ended 10-10, the traded FGs over the first couple OTs, before it turned to the new format where each team gets a two-point conversion attempt from the 3-yard line until a winner is determined. The lack of offense continued in OTs 3-8, where both failed to convert a single two-point conversion. Illinois finally found the end zone in the 9th OT, and then kept Penn State out once more to seal the win in the longest game in NCAA history. 
  • Big 10=Big Matchups. Penn States loss took some steam out of this week’s matchup up against Ohio State. The game was set to be a top ten matchup. It still no. 5 vs no. 20 with plenty on the line. Penn State would love nothing more than to ruin their rival’s playoff hopes and at 11 a.m. no. 6 Michigan takes on no. 8 Michigan State to help shape the Big 10 East division. 
  • Playoff Darkhorses: This week will provide a major matchup up with a potential playoff spot on the line. Ole Miss (6-1) travels to the plains of Auburn (5-2) and both have paths to the playoff. A win here paves the way for Ole Miss to finish with a single loss (to Alabama on the road) while an Auburn win could set up a four-round playoff starting in the Iron Bowl. The winner would go on to face Georgia in the SEC championship game, where the winner there would make the playoff. After a very shaky start Auburn is starting to click with the biggest two remaining games on the schedule at Jordan-Hare Stadium, where magic happens, it will be a very interesting finish to the Tigers schedule. 
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