USC, Michigan ship large with emphatic Week 13 wins

The strangest factor in regards to the response to USC hiring Lincoln Riley a yr in the past had nothing to do with the college itself. Riley was a house run. That a lot was apparent, and the one query gave the impression to be when he’d revive the Trojans program, not if. No, the actual twist was in the best way it was celebrated as a win for your complete Pac-12, a league so determined for nationwide relevancy that, even when its greatest staff made a rent more likely to upend the ability construction of the remainder of the convention, it was nonetheless a communal celebration. It was a win for everybody as a result of, after years inhabiting school soccer purgatory, the Pac-12 would once more have an opportunity for prime billing.

On Saturday, Riley and the Trojans delivered on that promise.

It isn’t that USC’s ticket to the School Soccer Playoff is punched simply but. There’s nonetheless the small matter of a convention championship recreation that awaits. However with the 38-27 win over Notre Dame in a prime-time recreation by which your complete school soccer world was targeted, there was a transparent feeling that one thing seismic had modified.

Alabama‘s playoff hopes are on life help.

Clemson‘s playoff hopes ended with a loss to South Carolina on Saturday.

Ohio State was dealt a probably deadly blow by rival Michigan in emphatic trend, too.

Oklahoma and Notre Dame, two of the opposite groups with as many playoff berths alone because the Pac-12 has as a league, have lengthy since been afterthoughts.

And so right here we’ve got USC, the feel-good story of the season.

Properly, possibly.

The reality is, USC could have stepped into a much more attention-grabbing position with its dominant win over the Irish. In a yr by which Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma did not dominate the headlines, on a Saturday when Ohio State misplaced to Michigan for the second straight yr and Brian Kelly, despised by hundreds of followers who cannot fairly articulate why, acquired his comeuppance in opposition to Texas A&M, the school soccer villainy vacuum was by no means so clear.

Enter the Trojans.



Caleb Williams throws for one landing and rushes for 3 in a spectacular efficiency as USC defeats Notre Dame 38-27.

The narrative actually suits. In any case, this can be a staff constructed with a checkbook, luring Riley from Oklahoma, who in flip, lured a number of key gamers through the switch portal (with some assist from hefty NIL offers) to utterly remodel the roster after a 4-8 marketing campaign only a yr in the past. It is a program poised to shrug off a century of historical past to chase cash within the Huge Ten, probably destroying the Pac-12 within the course of. It is a staff that rose up the rankings regardless of a mushy schedule and nil significantly spectacular wins till every week in the past.

Wish to root in opposition to any individual in a yr by which Alabama and Clemson and Ohio State do not warrant that sort of consideration? USC positive makes for an ideal unhealthy man. And make no mistake, school soccer loves a foul man. To be the heel will not be a slight. It is an honor that is earned solely by groups that may command real ire on a nationwide stage.

The one downside with this concept is that, as soon as USC stats taking part in, the Trojans are awfully laborious to dislike, and Saturday was an ideal instance of why.

Quarterback Caleb Williams is perhaps probably the most riveting participant within the sport proper now. He is school soccer’s closest factor to Patrick Mahomes — although maybe that is not even a correct comparability. He is extra just like the dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, his each transfer feeling each completely executed and fully improvised. He pinballed off Notre Dame pass-rushers repeatedly Saturday, even his incompletions producing as a lot edge-of-your-seat pleasure as most QBs muster with a 50-yard bomb. He completed with 4 touchdowns.

With out Travis Dye, USC’s floor recreation nonetheless ran roughshod over a ferocious Notre Dame entrance, with Austin Jones going for 154 yards. Sure, USC lured Mario Williams and Jordan Addison into the fold through the switch portal, however Williams truly accomplished passes to 9 completely different receivers Saturday. There may be an absolute wealth of riches within the receiving corps.

And the protection — the maligned unit that just about coughed up a result in UCLA every week in the past — appeared incredible. In USC’s loss to the Utah Utes on Oct. 15, it was tight finish Dalton Kincaid who did the majority of the harm, catching 16 passes for 234 yards. Certainly USC would have its palms full with Michael Mayer then, proper?

Mayer had a tremendous recreation — 8 catches, 98 yards and a couple of touchdowns — however he hardly dictated the motion, and for a lot of the second half he was a mirage. His final landing got here as USC appeared to easily run out the clock.

Notre Dame’s energy run recreation, sturdy tight finish play, stout protection — it is the poor man’s model of what Georgia and Michigan provide, and it proved no match for USC. How enjoyable would possibly these Trojans be within the playoff then?

And in the long run, is not that price rooting for?

We have seen so many semifinal blowouts, so many mismatched video games, so few really attention-grabbing matchups within the playoff and such a small regional footprint for the most important video games. However whether or not you’re keen on them or hate them, the Trojans are most actually attention-grabbing. Extra necessary than that, Saturday proved that this USC staff is actually good.

Michigan beats Ohio State with model and brazenness

The fantastic thing about the showdown Saturday between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan is that it was not merely a matchup of playoff contenders in a heated rivalry recreation, however such a stark distinction in types.

Ohio State is the sports activities automotive, all flash and pace with extra talent place expertise than the typical Huge Ten staff has in a decade.

Michigan is a Jeep, a rugged machine designed for brute pressure. The Wolverines win not by sprinting previous opponents, however by working over them.

And if that had been the script that performed out Saturday — and, for a lot of the primary half, it was — the Buckeyes is perhaps headed to the Huge Ten title recreation.

As a substitute, Jim Harbaugh’s staff confirmed it is from a one-trick pony. On Saturday, Michigan was Meryl Streep, effortlessly slipping into a brand new position, forged in opposition to sort and taking part in the half completely.

Ultimately, after all, Michigan nonetheless ran the ball for 252 yards, pressured two Ohio State turnovers and held the Buckeyes to 5-of-17 on third and fourth downs, however that was merely the denouement. Michigan received via the air, via model, pizzazz and an virtually comical stage of brazenness from Harbaugh that he has hardly ever proven in the midst of his teaching profession.

Blake Corum suited up, however he touched the ball simply twice within the recreation. As a substitute, Michigan relied on quarterback J.J. McCarthy to ship the large performs.

Again in September, Harbaugh gambled on McCarthy as his starter, benching the QB who took the Wolverines to the School Soccer Playoff in 2021, Cade McNamara, in favor of the extra versatile sophomore. For a lot of the season, the gamble paid minimal dividends, with McCarthy deferring to his run recreation in a sequence of solely formulaic wins in opposition to lesser opponents, like a poker participant checking repeatedly ready for simply the suitable hand to go all-in.

Saturday, McCarthy was dealt one ace after one other.

Coming into the sport, Michigan had simply 12 completions of 30 yards or extra all yr. Towards Ohio State, McCarthy delivered 4 of them, together with landing throws of 69, 75 and 45.

And if McCarthy’s shredding of an overmatched Ohio State secondary wasn’t sufficient, Michigan used its linebacker-turned-running again to throw a 15-yard soar move on third down in what was much less a play name and extra akin to slipping a whoopee cushion onto Ryan Day’s seat simply as he sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. It was designed to embarrass as a lot as to succeed. Such is the fantastic thing about a rivalry like this one.

Certainly, it was unhealthy sufficient that even Michigan’s punter was dunking on the Buckeyes.

Maybe as stunning as Michigan’s position reversal on offense was the best way Ohio State merely cashed in its chips down the stretch. The Buckeyes mustered simply three factors within the second half, turned the ball over twice and watched as Michigan’s Donovan Edwards reeled off landing runs of 75 and 85 yards on consecutive drives. Had Ohio State stored the sport shut, fought to the tip, took Michigan to the brink — maybe there’d nonetheless be an inexpensive case to place the Buckeyes into the School Soccer Playoff.

As a substitute, the epitaph on their season will learn, “Misplaced by 22 at house to that staff up north.”

It is laborious to know what this implies within the larger image for Michigan. Final yr, the Wolverines made the playoff, however their destiny all the time felt all however assured, a sacrificial lamb simply comfortable to stay lengthy sufficient to get a free journey to South Seaside earlier than getting whipped by Georgia.

Saturday confirmed one thing extra to the 2022 incarnation although. Whereas Day punted away possibilities to shut the hole within the second half, Harbaugh appeared like a hedge fund supervisor on a heater at a Vegas craps desk — all gasoline, no brakes, tipping the waitress with $100 payments on each recent glass of two% milk she brings (which is what we assume Harbaugh could be ingesting in Vegas). Whereas Ohio State was unable to maneuver the foothills in its souped-up sports activities automotive, Michigan confirmed it may possibly sling it across the area, then run it down your throat. And whereas the Buckeyes have been knocked from their place atop the record of contenders for Georgia’s throne, Michigan could properly have delivered a press release that reverberates past Huge Ten nation. This staff is for actual.

Gamecocks ice the ACC

There was a time, two complete weeks in the past, when the South Carolina offense was a multitude. This was a distinct period, after all, again earlier than our lengthy nationwide nightmare ready for Taylor Swift tickets and properly earlier than Matt Rhule might find Nebraska on a map. Many individuals had solely seen “Black Panther: Wakanda Perpetually” twice. A lot has modified since then.

Again in these darkish days of mid-November, South Carolina was embarrassed by Florida 38-6 and its offense was in shambles.

However now, the Gamecocks have the most well liked offense within the nation and Spencer Rattler instantly appears to be like like … properly, 2020 Spencer Rattler.

After throttling No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 final week, the Gamecocks placed on an encore efficiency by toppling No. 8 Clemson for the primary time since 2013, 31-30, and successfully ending the ACC’s playoff hopes within the course of.



South Carolina’s particular groups get better the fumble to regain management in last minutes.

Rattler was dazzling once more, finishing 25 of 39 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns whereas including a 3rd on the bottom.

Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei, however, was a multitude, finishing 8 of 29 throws, because the Tigers turned the ball over thrice whereas losing a 14-0 lead.

Will Shipley ran for 132 yards on the bottom, however had simply two carries on Clemson’s last 4 drives.

Now, the ACC championship recreation will characteristic two groups that each misplaced their rivalry video games to shut out the yr, with North Carolina shedding to NC State 30-27 Friday evening in double additional time.

South Carolina, however, will wrap the common season with a probable top-25 rating and sufficient cachet to warrant some critical buzz heading into their bowl and past. The Gamecocks received eight regular-season video games for the primary time since 2017 and snapped a seven-game shedding streak to the Tigers — handing Dabo Swinney his first house loss in 41 video games in addition.

TCU makes playoff assertion

The playoff committee has spent the previous few weeks mentioning all the failings in TCU’s recreation. The Horned Frogs simply have not received impressively sufficient to wow anybody.

On Saturday, nonetheless, Sonny Dykes principally held the severed head of Cy the Cardinal aloft and yelled, “Are you not entertained?”

TCU destroyed Iowa State 62-14 behind three landing passes from Max Duggan and a protection that pressured three turnovers and scored twice.

It was TCU’s first win by greater than 10 factors since beating Oklahoma by 31 on Oct. 1, and it sealed an ideal common season for the Horned Frogs, who’ll transfer on to the Huge 12 title recreation with an opportunity to pressure their means into the School Soccer Playoff — until after all the committee finds {that a} 48-point win over the last-place Huge 12 staff is not as spectacular as a 22-point loss to Michigan. Obtained to understand these high quality losses, and admittedly, it is an actual knock on TCU that it would not have any of them.

Certainly, this is the very definition of irony: What if TCU loses the Huge 12 title recreation subsequent week, then is handed by Ohio State within the committee’s last rankings?

That might imply that the Horned Frogs misplaced out on a playoff berth to Ohio State in 2014 as a result of the Huge 12 did not play a title recreation … then misplaced out on a playoff berth to Ohio State in 2022 as a result of it did.

Rivalry roundup

It is rivalry weekend. So, how did among the much less aggressive rivalry video games go? We have got you lined with a full rundown.

Iron Bowl: Alabama 49, Auburn 27

Scene: Clenching a glass of scotch and sweating nervously, Boo Corrigan stares out the window of his room on the Gaylord Lodge, the place the playoff committee is ready to fulfill one last time.

Beneath, a low fog hangs over a graveyard. Lightning flashes. A thunder crash booms.

Out of the blue, the bottom begins to maneuver. From the recent dust bursts a clenched fist with championship rings on each finger.

“My God,” Corrigan gasps. “It may possibly’t be.”

Into the moonlight, the visage is evident. It is him. He lives.

OK, so it is nonetheless a protracted shot, however we’re not writing off Nick Saban. The person is indestructible.

As a aspect observe: Bryce Younger belongs in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He will not win it, however he has been unbelievable.

The rivalry previously generally known as the Civil Warfare: Oregon State 38, Oregon 34

Oregon led this recreation 34-17 with 13 minutes to play.

Oregon State led by 4 with eight minutes to play and by no means appeared again.

How is that this potential? It was a sheer comedy of errors. There was the 43-yard run Oregon allowed that arrange a vital third-quarter TD. There was the Geese settling for a area purpose after having the ball with first-and-goal on the 10. There was the massive kick return and face masks penalty that arrange one other Beavers landing. There was the fumble on the 2 recovered by Oregon State. There was the failed fourth-and-1 conversion that gave Oregon State the ball again once more deep in Geese territory.

However greater than something, there was this man. He is not the hero Oregon State deserved. He is the hero it wanted.

Governor’s Cup: Kentucky 26, Louisville 13

Will Levis threw two landing passes and the Wildcats received the Governor’s Cup for the fourth straight yr — all by double digits. What this implies for Scott Satterfield’s future at Louisville would be the large query for Cardinals followers, however the extra necessary query for everybody else: How is the trophy for this recreation not simply an outsized bottle of Pappy Van Winkle?

Clear, Previous-Normal Hate: Georgia 37, Georgia Tech 14

Georgia Tech scored on its first possession and led this recreation properly into the second quarter. By any cheap metric, that is an enormous success. (Notice: Really profitable this recreation would’ve been an unreasonable metric.) In the meantime, Georgia can now absolutely flip its consideration to the SEC championship recreation, the place Stetson Bennett can accomplish the one factor he has but to do in his profession.

Previous Oaken Bucket: Purdue 30, Indiana 16

The Boilermakers secured a visit to the Huge Ten championship recreation with the win Saturday. Purdue is unranked. Purdue in its historical past has 9 wins as an unranked staff in opposition to top-two opponents, greater than double some other program within the nation. Purdue will play a probable second-ranked Michigan subsequent week. What might go fallacious?

Land of Lincoln Trophy: Illinois 41, Northwestern 3

Bear in mind when Northwestern surprised Nebraska in Week 0? The Wildcats scored 31 in that recreation. They did not prime 24 in one other recreation all season. Within the month of November, Northwestern scored a grand whole of twenty-two factors. Possibly we should not have been making enjoyable of Iowa all this time. The Hawkeyes are the 2000 St. Louis Rams in contrast with Northwestern.

Paul Bunyan’s Axe: Minnesota 23, Wisconsin 16

What to make of Minnesota’s season? The superior metrics beloved the Gophers all yr. Really profitable video games, nonetheless, was tough. After a 4-0 begin, Minnesota topped 23 factors simply twice — in opposition to Rutgers and Northwestern. However the Gophers did shut out the common season on a excessive observe Saturday, profitable the axe for a second straight season after Wisconsin had dominated the rivalry for a lot of the earlier 25 years. As a aspect observe, we recognize all rivalry trophies that can be used to fell a tree. Extra colleges ought to contemplate getting trophies from Residence Depot.

Land Grant Trophy: Penn State 35, Michigan State 16

Penn State received simply, permitting the Nittany Lions to rejoice with a trophy that’s truly only a bunch of issues Joe Paterno as soon as present in an previous storage unit that he caught collectively utilizing a glue stick and duct tape. Anyway, the necessary factor right here is the Nittany Lions at the moment are 10-2 and formally rely as a very good win for Ohio State because it makes its case to nonetheless be invited into the playoff.

The Eighth Additional time Cup: Texas A&M 38, LSU 23

OK, we made that title up, however after the 2018 seven-overtime recreation between these two groups, it feels acceptable. As a substitute of a trophy for the winner, Jimbo Fisher’s nephew can simply sucker punch the shedding coach. There’s numerous potential right here. Let’s maintain workshopping.

On the sector, the Aggies pulled off the gorgeous upset behind 215 yards and two touchdowns from Devon Achane, who has primarily been like Paul McCartney in Wings this season. He is a generational expertise. Everybody else? A bunch of session musicians. Nonetheless, it was the suitable mixture to topple the Bayou Bengals, whose playoff hopes have been nixed within the loss. Will this lead to a three-year contract extension for Jimbo Fisher? Jimmy Sexton is making some calls as we communicate.

The (different) Governor’s Cup: Kansas State 47, Kansas 27

The Wildcats punched their ticket to the Huge 12 title recreation, the place they will search for somewhat revenge in opposition to TCU. Deuce Vaughn completed with 229 yards of offense, Will Howard threw for 2 touchdowns, and the Ok-State offense had greater than 200 yards passing and dashing.

However let’s take a second right here to recall that, at one level, Kansas was 5-0. “School GameDay” went to Lawrence. The world felt like a safer, higher place. Ultimately, Kansas finishes the common season at 6-6, which appears like a disappointment after the new begin. Nevertheless it’s truly immense progress for a staff that was extremely enjoyable all season lengthy and one which has real trigger for optimism transferring ahead. Someplace, a now-grown Child Mangino is pondering of beginning a household of his personal, figuring out he may need somewhat child Lance Leipold sooner or later. And all will probably be proper with the world as soon as extra.

The no-name rivalry: Tennessee 56, Vanderbilt 0

How have these colleges had 130 years to give you a very good title for this recreation and it is by no means occurred? On the very least, the winner ought to get possession of the Solar Sphere. This yr, fortunately, the sphere stays in Knoxville, as Tennessee dominated in its first recreation with out Hendon Hooker, counting on a floor recreation that accounted for 362 yards and 6 touchdowns. If Tennessee hadn’t fallen aside in opposition to South Carolina final week, the Vols’ playoff hopes would truly be wanting fairly sturdy proper now. In the meantime, after profitable back-to-back SEC video games, Vandy was again to being Vandy. However we really feel assured that Clark Lea’s promise that the Commodores could be one of the best staff within the nation will come to fruition subsequent yr.

Apple Cup: Washington 51, Washington State 33

In one other yr, with much less high-profile competitors, maybe at a college sufficient of the nation stayed as much as watch, Michael Penix Jr. could be a Heisman contender. The Washington QB continued his prolific season with greater than 500 yards of offense and 5 touchdowns in a win over Washington State. It was Penix’s third recreation with 400 yards passing and his tenth with greater than 300 yards via the air (whereas ending one other at 298). Penix led Washington to 704 yards of offense in opposition to the convention’s greatest protection. The Huskies appear to be a top-10 staff.

Past the implications in Washington, the win — mixed with Oregon’s loss and Utah‘s routing of Colorado — means the Utes will go to the Pac-12 championship recreation for a rematch with USC. The Trojans could be a clear-cut playoff staff in the event that they have been to avenge their lone loss (which got here on a 2-point conversion), however they will want to seek out a solution for Cameron Rising, Dalton Kincaid and the Utes’ explosive offense.

There’s additionally this: The Pac-12 has six groups with 9 wins or extra and may make an inexpensive case because the nation’s greatest convention (so long as you pay completely no consideration to Colorado).

Heisman 5

What had been a wide-open race for a lot of the season now appears down to 1 man: Caleb Williams. The remainder of the pack continues to be deep and proficient, however every has run into tough waters sooner or later, however Williams retains plugging alongside. Pretty much as good as a few of his competitors is perhaps, it is laborious to argue that he is not been probably the most entertaining participant in school soccer this yr.

1. USC QB Caleb Williams

Not solely is Williams the clear favourite to win the Heisman now, however he is rapidly constructing a case as one of the best of the Lincoln Riley winners, too.

By way of 12 video games in 2017, Baker Mayfield had 4,342 yards, 42 touchdowns and 5 turnovers.

By way of 12 video games in 2018, Kyler Murray had 4,527 yards, 48 touchdowns and 9 turnovers.

By way of 12 video games this yr, Williams has 4,063 yards, 44 touchdowns and three turnovers.

Yet one more recreation left to go earlier than the trophy is handed out, however in the end, that debate would possibly come right down to what occurs after.



Caleb Williams does a fantastic job to maintain the play alive for the completion, tops it off with a TD run later within the drive after which strikes the Heisman pose.

2. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Stroud threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, however he additionally threw two picks and, for the second straight yr, misplaced to rival Michigan. Stroud’s case for the Heisman continues to be a very good one, however and not using a likelihood to play another recreation on a championship stage, it is laborious to think about he can overcome Williams for the highest spot.

3. Texas RB Bijan Robinson

He has been off the nationwide radar for a lot of the season, however there is no query at this level that Robinson is among the many recreation’s greatest gamers. His 179 yards and two touchdowns within the win over Baylor put Texas in place to make the Huge 12 title recreation Friday, and he is hit 100 yards in 9 of his previous 10 video games. In equity, it does really feel bizarre to write down good issues about Texas, however that is simply how good Robinson is.

4. Alabama QB Bryce Younger

The place would Alabama be this yr with out Younger? His 2022 candidacy feels very like Jameis Winston in 2014 or Lamar Jackson in 2017 — gritty, sensible, solely spectacular, however simply not as magical because the previous yr. Numerous that may be pinned on a lesser supporting forged and a midseason damage although, and the final word takeaway stays that Younger is simply an extremely spectacular quarterback and worthy of a spot in New York.

5. TCU QB Max Duggan

There’s one thing rewarding a few Heisman finalist who opened the season on the bench. That would actually be the story for Duggan, who threw for 3 extra touchdowns in Saturday’s win over Iowa State that secured an undefeated common season for TCU, and it might give hope to the entire remainder of us spending time on life’s bench, figuring out that Heisman contenders can blossom after Week 1 and guys who write snarky school soccer columns each Saturday do not typically attain their peak till their mid-50s.

Underneath-the-radar recreation of the day

So possibly UTSA‘s comeback in opposition to UTEP did not carry the identical significance on the nationwide stage because the Oregon State win over Oregon, but it surely was nonetheless fairly wild.

UTEP scored on its first 4 possessions to go up 24-0. Then UTSA determined to play.

The Roadrunners scored on a 65-yard Frank Harris TD move, acquired a pick-six, then scored on their first three drives of the second half to tie the sport at 31.

Among the many ridiculousness of the frenetic comeback was this wild — or maybe actually sensible — play that turned an enormous acquire for UTEP right into a drive that ended with a punt.

UTEP nonetheless had a shot to retake the lead, establishing store with a primary down on the UTSA 14, however Calvin Brownholtz tossed his second INT of the sport to finish the drive.

Ultimately, UTSA drilled a 28-yard area purpose as time expired, sending the Roadrunners to their tenth win of the season.

Underneath-the-radar play of the day

Nate Cox‘s last throw of Nevada‘s 27-22 loss to UNLV had extra drama than most (however notably, not all) Siegfried and Roy reveals.

First off, have been you conscious that there is a rivalry trophy for the winner of the Nevada-UNLV recreation every year? It appears redundant since Las Vegas is the leisure capital of the world and Reno is a spot to discover a low cost steak and get rid of proof, so no trophy might matter all that a lot in figuring out which campus is healthier. However alas, right here we’re.

In any case, this yr’s installment of the Wayne Newton Trophy* got here right down to the ultimate drive, and Nevada practically pulled off the kind of miracle 90-year-old chain-smoking girls dream of whereas taking part in the nickel slots.

(*Notice: OK, we made that up. The precise trophy is a life-sized rendering of the Blue Man Group taking part in rock, paper, scissors mounted atop Celine Dion’s authentic tour bus.**)

(**Notice: OK, we made that one up, too. The actual trophy is known as The Fremont Cannon and was as soon as utilized by the mafia to fend off successful outdoors the Golden Nugget.***)

Nevada trailed 27-16 with lower than seven minutes to play however engineered a 12-play, 75-yard landing drive that included a fourth-and-5 conversion to tug to inside 27-22.

UNLV’s ensuing drive went nowhere, and the Rebels punted.

Nevada acquired the ball again with 2:05 remaining, managed 12 performs and had a shot on the recreation winner on a fourth-and-1 from the UNLV 5 with 7 seconds to go. Nate Cox’s move to Jamaal Bell appeared like a potential completion — with one official signaling landing and one other waving it off — however in the long run, the decision was incomplete, and UNLV held on for a 27-22 win.

(***Notice: OK, we do not know if the cannon was utilized by the mafia both.)

Freeze ends chilly

Liberty opened the yr 8-1, its lone loss approaching a failed 2-point attempt in opposition to Wake Forest.

Since then, nonetheless, the wheels have come off, and Hugh Freeze seems to nonetheless be flying down the freeway, rims sparking, bumper hanging off, en path to Auburn.

If the Freeze period at Liberty is over, there is perhaps an actual argument that this departure, following a 49-14 loss to New Mexico State, is much more embarrassing than the one at Ole Miss.

Freeze is in talks to take the vacant head-coaching job at Auburn, which three weeks in the past would possibly’ve appeared a house run rent for the Tigers.

Now? Properly, laborious responsible Freeze for the consequence Saturday. New Mexico State had solely crushed one FBS staff by 35 or extra previously 20 years, so clearly the Aggies have been due.

Saturday was the cherry on prime of the embarrassment sundae Liberty has loved the previous three weeks. First got here a loss to UConn, getting the Huskies bowl-eligible for the primary time for the reason that Taft administration (Notice: We did not fact-check that, but it surely feels proper). Then got here a loss to a 2-8 Virginia Tech staff that hadn’t received since mid-September. And now, an absolute demolition by New Mexico State.

After all, there’s much more that may go into Auburn’s final resolution than simply three principally meaningless video games. The necessary factor on The Plains is to make sure the Tigers get a coach who will fortunately acquire a $40 million buyout in 2025.

Essentially the most school soccer factor to occur Saturday

New Hampshire received its first-round recreation within the FCS playoffs 52-42 in opposition to Fordham, and tailback Dylan Laube acquired to celebrating early.

Laube’s 87-yard landing run within the first quarter put UNH up 7-0, however he did not trouble with the complete 87 earlier than high-fiving teammate Brian Espanet, who was trailing him down the sector.

It is a much better option to rejoice than the now solely by-product faux hamstring pull. However this is a fair higher thought: a high-five heading into the tip zone however then tuck your arm inside your jersey and make it seem to be the high-five was so emphatic, your arm fell utterly off. We have achieved that with toddlers and it all the time kills.

Huge bets and unhealthy beats

Clemson closed as a 14.5-point favourite in opposition to South Carolina on Saturday, which ought to’ve been a positive factor for the Tigers. Dabo Swinney was 62-1 straight up when favored by two touchdowns or extra. Alas, the Gamecocks do not care about historical past. They solely care about melting faces and protecting spreads. South Carolina received outright, a cash line payout of +430.

One bettor dropped $753,535 on a cash line wager on Ohio State at -315. That wasn’t all that sensible.

Michigan’s win will make for lots of tough Sunday mornings in Ohio, and at the very least one in Las Vegas.

Trailing 31-10, Oregon State’s hopes of beating rival Oregon appeared slim. Vegas agreed. The stay odds on the sport topped out at +2500 at Caesars Sportsbook, which means a $100 wager on the Beavers to win would’ve paid $2,500. And that is precisely what occurred, as Oregon State erased a 17-point deficit in 5 minutes of motion within the fourth quarter and received 38-34, giving any bettors who nonetheless had religion a pleasant payday.

After subsequent week’s championship video games, the School Soccer Playoff committee will decide one of the best groups within the nation. However bettors needn’t wait that lengthy to know who probably the most worthwhile groups of the season have been.

Based mostly on closing traces, Oregon State and Tulane each delivered large outcomes for backers this season, going 10-2 in opposition to the unfold. TCU (9-2-1), Penn State (9-3), UConn (9-3), Ohio (9-3) and Tennessee (9-3) additionally paid stable dividends.

On the flip aspect, if you happen to have been seeking to fade a staff, you could not have achieved higher than Miami or Colorado, every of whom completed 2-10 in opposition to the unfold this yr. Nothing goes with a depressing season fairly like shedding money for anybody who believed in you.

And when it got here to betting totals, nobody was a safer wager than the Kentucky Wildcats, who went beneath the quantity in 11 of 12 video games this season. Houston dealt with the other finish of the spectrum, hitting the over in 10 of 12 video games.

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