Winners and losers: 'Bad Bo' comes out at the most inopportune time for Ole Miss

The College Football Playoff can make you do desperate things.

That’s the only explanation for the eventual final play Ole Miss decided to run as it attempted to stave off a loss to LSU.

Instead of kicking a game-tying 47-yard field goal, which was within kicker Gary Wunderlich’s range, quarterback Bo Wallace rolled to his left and heaved a severely underthrown ball toward the end zone that fell into the waiting arms of safety Ronald Martin.

The look on coach Hugh Freeze’s face as he watched the play unfold and then looked back at his quarterback said it all. It was “Bad Bo’s” first appearance in several weeks and it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.

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Ole Miss lost 10-7, its first loss of the season, and just a few days before the first rankings from the College Football Playoff committee are released.

But it didn’t have to go down that way.

Ole Miss had lined up for a game-tying field goal from 42 yards out but was called for a delay of game. The penalty moved the kick back five yards. So when presented with the penalty with 9 seconds remaining, Ole Miss put its offense back on the field.

Wallace had a couple different options as he found himself with time when he rolled left. Instead of making the safe pass or tossing it out of bounds, he decided to take the riskiest route.


The move was the antitheses of what we’ve seen from Wallace during SEC play. In fact, he had all but shed the “Bad Bo” moniker after brilliant play against his SEC brethren. But this throw was a mixture of a bad decisions and pure panic. He didn’t have to win the game, he just had to make sure he didn’t lose it.

And losing games in the most dramatic and infuriating fashion is exactly what Bad Bo does best.

Of the four SEC teams ranked in the Top 5 of the Associated Press poll, Ole Miss is the only team to fall. Yes, it’s a one loss team and yes it beat Alabama, a team that was among those four teams, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a tumble.

With the College Football Playoff rankings due out on Tuesday, the AP and Coaches polls are really just rough guides to determine the best teams in college football. The true guide will be that Tuesday ranking and each one of those committee members watch Bad Bo rear his ugly head.


This much we know: Mississippi State is in and Florida State is in as the two best undefeated representatives from the power five conferences. Then it gets tricky. There are a lot of one-loss teams — a lot of good one-loss teams — and the ones who didn’t lose this weekend might get preferential treatment simply because the loss isn’t so fresh. Does that mean Auburn? Alabama? Oregon? Ole Miss? There are a slew of choices, all with their own merits, and many who have played each other and will play each other.

Ole Miss’ loss to LSU, a ranked team, isn’t a bad loss, it’s just a poorly-timed loss. But it also not the last time SEC teams will take out their own while jockeying for position. Ole Miss hosts Auburn next week and then the all important Egg Bowl against Mississippi State on Nov. 29.


TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) celebrates a score against Texas Tech in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Boykin threw a school-record seven touchdown passes and No.10 TCU showcased a new fast-paced offense by scoring the most points in its history in an 82-27 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) celebrates a score against Texas Tech in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Boykin threw a school-record seven touchdown passes and No.10 TCU showcased a new fast-paced offense by scoring the most points in its history in an 82-27 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Trevone Boykin: Texas Tech has never been accused of playing tough defense, but still, you have to marvel at what Boykin did against the Red Raiders in a 82-27 whipping in Ft. Worth. The junior quarterback, enjoying his finest campaign to date, completed 22-of-39 passes for 433 yards and seven touchdowns (a school record to go with the school record for points scored in a game and the Texas Tech school record for points allowed in a game – ouch). The performance boosted his season totals to 2,306 yards and 21 touchdowns to just three interceptions. The next two weeks against West Virginia and Kansas State will be pivotal for the Horned Frogs, but Boykin’s current form should give them all the confidence in the world.


Elijah McGuire: The Louisiana-Lafayette running back merely ran 19 times for 265 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-40 shootout win over Arkansas State. Before you do the math in your head, that’s a staggering 13.9 yards-per-carry mark, and a performance that blew away McGuire’s output this season. His previous high was 129 yards in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 45-6 opener against Southern, and the 265-yard clip was just his second triple-digit tally of the year. Good time to bust it out, though.

Mike Boone: A quick history review on the Cincinnati freshman running back reveals he was the fourth option for the Bearcats at the position to start the season, and that makes his 212 yards and one score on 19 carries all the more remarkable. Quarterback Munchie Legaux’s late revival (14-of-15 for 121 yards after Gunner Kiel exited with a rib injury) made it an underdog night to remember as Cincinnati handled South Florida 34-17. Boone’s performance was the first 200-yard game by a Bearcats running back in four years. Not bad for a guy that was a receiver for most of his senior year of high school, and was slated to be redshirted this year due to his inexperience.

Illinois: The Illini got their second Big Ten win in 19 tries under head coach Tim Beckman, cooling his red hot coaching seat for a moment and knocking upstart Minnesota from its perch atop the Big Ten West (the Gophers now get to share that spot with Nebraska). Beckman’s team is sitting at 4-4, just two wins away from bowl eligibility, which would be a boon to whatever staying power he can muster. Yes, this is making a large deal out of very little, but that’s what it has come to in Champaign.

Georgia Southern: In a clash between new FBS schools, the Eagles did something crazy, running for more yards (613) against Georgia State than eight teams had all year entering Saturday. Those teams: UCF, Penn State, UConn, Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU, Washington State and Wake Forest. In case you haven’t been paying attention (and it's OK that you haven’t), Georgia Southern is now 5-0 in the Sun Belt and 6-2 overall. Not too shabby for a team just getting used to FBS play.



BYU: You can tell just how important quarterback Taysom Hill was to the Cougars by how epic their collapse has been since he was lost for the season thanks to a horrific broken leg. Before Hill went down, BYU was 4-0 and had started up chatter about its chances to crash the College Football Playoff. Since the moment he went down, the Cougars have lost 35-20 to Utah State, 31-24 to UCF, 42-35 to Nevada, and on Friday, 55-30 to Boise State. Oof.

With Hill under center, the Cougars averaged 230 rushing yards per game, but have dropped to 149 yards per game since. And the defense is feeling it, ending up on the field more often, surrendering an average of 473 total yards in their last four games, compared to 364 total yards the first four. It could also just be that the competition has stiffened, but you have to believe it wouldn’t have gone off the rails had Hill stayed healthy.

Maryland: To be fair, the Terps’ opening campaign in the Big Ten hadn’t been going that badly. They were 5-2 overall and 2-1 before walking into Camp Randall Stadium. Then Wisconsin happened, all over the place, in a crushing 52-7 rout. It would have been 52-0 if not for a last-gasp, semi-face saving Stefon Diggs touchdown reception with 57 seconds left in the game.


The Badgers trampled the Terrapins’ defense, running for 311 yards and five touchdowns, and Joel Stave appears to have rid himself of the yips, completing nine of 15 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Maryland put up a paltry 175 yards of offense.

It’ll get worse before it gets better for the Terps, who travel to Happy Valley next week before hosting Michigan State. Michigan and Rutgers wait at the end of the road, though, so it's not all bad news.

Texas: The Longhorns were supposed to be back on track after a close loss to Oklahoma and a shootout win over Iowa State, but Kansas State put Texas firmly back into the cellar with a 23-0 win in Manhattan, the Longhorns' first shutout since 2004.

The same offense that scored 48 against the Cyclones and 26 against Oklahoma had nothing working from the start. The Longhorns had just 196 total yards against a Kansas State defense that has quietly put together a strong campaign, entering the game 17th in the nation (and sure to rise higher now thanks to the shutout) in average points against with 19.3.


Still left for Texas? Texas Tech, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU. You see any obvious wins there? Neither do we. Lose them all and Texas will finish 3-9. The last time Texas finished with three or fewer wins? That would be 1956’s mark of 1-9 under Ed Price, who was replaced in 1957 by Darrell Royal.

Virginia: This was the situation: North Carolina led 28-27 in Charlottesville with 1:17 left to play, facing fourth-and-2 at the Virginia 21-yard line. They sent out the field goal unit. Whether the Tar Heels made or missed it, the Cavaliers would get a shot at winning it with over a minute to play. But then, after a timeout, Virginia was hit with a defensive substitution penalty. We repeat: After a timeout. That gave North Carolina a first down, and the game. Just like that. Virginia head coach Mike London’s reaction said it all.

Sean Mannion: The Oregon State quarterback's senior season is not going as planned. After throwing for 4.662 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, Mannion's stats through seven games this year aren't even close. He's got 1,576 yards and seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Yes, Oregon State is without WR Brandin Cooks, who went to the NFL, but that can't be the only reason. And Mannion's Saturday against Stanford continued the mediocre trend. He was 14-of-30 for 122 yards and no touchdowns in the Beavers' 38-14 loss on the road. At 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-12, Mannion needs to rebound over the next five games for Oregon State to go to more than just a bottom-tier bowl.


Nick Bromberg and Max Thompson contributed to this post.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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