SPORTS COLUMN: Chaos continuing to build after week 10

The Purdue Boilermakers topped Michigan State Saturday to pick up their second win over a top 3 team this season. (Purdue Athletics)
  • Tide escapes disastrous upset. Alabama’s season almost came to an end Saturday as LSU returned to Tuscaloosa for the first time since beating the Tide behind a monstrous game that helped seal a Heisman trophy for Joe Burrow. No, their season wouldn’t literally be over had they lost, but their shot at another national title would have likely been long gone and by Alabama’s standard, the season would have been a wash.
  • The offense continued its inconsistent play and remained stagnant for much of the game. The offense line was banged up and struggled mightily against a Tiger defense that blitzed early and often. The pressure had Quarterback Bryce Young out of rhythm all night and Alabama was held to a mind blowing six total yards on the ground. This is a Tide running game that has averaged over 150 yards a game. If Alabama makes it to Atlanta in the SEC title game against Georgia, they had better figure something out. 
  • Despite the struggle offensively the defense came up with big play after big play and showed much of what was hoped for going into the season. Special teams however struggled from its punting game to field goals. Paul Tyson, great-grandson of the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant, bobbled two snaps which led to a missed field goal and a missed extra point, the first of kicker Will Reichard’s career. The missed extra point was almost the difference in the game had LSU mustered up one more score. Despite all of that, Alabama won and improved to 8-1. Tide fans can breathe a sigh of relief as they host New Mexico State next week. 
  • Texas A&M claims state of Alabama as “East Texas”. Texas A&M hosted Alabama and Auburn this season and was able to win each matchup. Both Auburn and Texas A&M came in Saturday with many question marks. Both have shown they were capable to playing very well, while both had shown they can play very poor football. With the four possible outcomes Saturday showed a mix of everything. 
  • Auburn struggled to move the ball all game, while holding Texas A&M to just 12 points offensively. The Aggies, meanwhile, struggled to finished off drives and their lone touchdown came off a 24-yard fumble return on a scoop and score when Quarterback Bo Nix was hit while scrambling. 
  • While Auburn’s playoff hopes are now over, they could help Texas A&M out by knocking off Alabama in a few weeks in Jordan-Hare, giving the Aggies the West title for the first time since joining the SEC. Both have plenty to worry about before then though as they each take on the Mississippi schools. Auburn will host Mississippi State, while Texas A&M will have to prove they can win on the road as they take on the Rebels of Ole Miss.
  • Spoilmakers take out Spartans. Eight more ranked teams lost in week 10 despite their being only one top 25 matchup. The most impactful was Purdue beating previously unbeaten Michigan State 40-29. Purdue has an incredible 17 wins against top five teams when unranked, and they’ll have another opportunity next week as they travel to Columbus to take on a surging Ohio State. 
  • Constant in the Chaos. Georgia did what they have done all year, dominate. Their defense terrorized Missouri all game long while their offense racked up over 500 yards of offense. Tennessee is much improved and gets the Dawgs at home, which is the final test for Georgia before they walk into Atlanta for the SEC championship. 
  • Key week 11 Questions. Several games will have playoff implications. Can Texas A&M keep their playoff hopes alive and finally win a big one on the road against Lane Kiffin’s Rebels? Can Penn State stop the bleeding and knock Michigan out of the playoff picture? With TCU winning over Baylor for their first game without Gary Patterson since 2000, will the Bears bounce back to give Oklahoma their first loss of the season? Will Tennessee be able to challenge Georgia at home or will the Dawgs continue to dominate? Will the Spoilmakers go back to back top five upsets against Ohio State? All this and more next in week 11!
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