College football Week 6 roundup with the 5 things that matter, winners and losers, overrated and underrated parts of the weekend, and what it all means.
College Football Week 6 Roundup
Winners & Losers From Week 6
Loser: The Bret Bielema Bowl. The former Wisconsin head coach got a shot at his old program when the Badgers came to Champaign to face Illinois, but …
Winner: The Wisconsin defense didn’t let the home side have any fun. Already the best in the nation in several categories, the Badger D gave up just 93 yards of total offense, one third down conversion, and allowed the O to have the ball for almost 43 minutes in the 24-0 win.
Loser: BYU finally lost on its home field. The Cougars hadn’t dropped a game in Provo since a 45-19 blowout to Washington in 2019. It hadn’t lost at home to a team outside of the Power Five since a strange 7-6 clunker to Northern Illinois in 2018, and then …
Winner: Boise State took one for the Mountain West. BYU might have had its fun beating the Pac-12 South – with wins over Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah – but it couldn’t get by the Broncos at home in a 26-17 loss. At 2-3 coming into the game, it might have been a season-saver for Boise State and new head man Andy Avalos.
Loser: West Virginia. It started the season with a loss in a good battle at Maryland. That was fine – it could’ve gone either way – followed up by two wins including a 27-21 victory over Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers have dropped three straight with a 45-20 loss to Baylor on Saturday.
Winner: Baylor is now 5-1. More on this later, but don’t scoff – there are a surprising few Power Five teams undefeated or with one loss. The Bears lost to Oklahoma State a few weeks ago, but that’s been it. It’s a very, very rough road ahead, but second-year head man Dave Aranda has turned things around fast.
Loser: USC lost to Utah 42-26 to drop to 3-3. Losing to the Utes isn’t all that new – it happened in 2018, too – but including the 1993 Freedom Bowl, it was the first time the Trojans lost to them in the greater LA area.
Winner: Akron against Bowling Green. The Zips started the season 1-4, but it didn’t beat an FBS program until it took down the Falcons 35-20. Their only win last year was against Bowling Green, too. Those two were the only victories over an FBS team since beating Central Michigan in the middle of 2018, right after the last road win of any kind, beating Kent State.
Loser: The Rutgers defense that was starting to get a reputation for being good enough to keep the team in games – especially with a ton of takeaways – got ripped up by Michigan State in a 31-13 loss.
Kenneth Walker ran for 232 yards including a 93-yard touchdown dash – the longest play in Spartan history. WR Jalen Nailor caught five passes for 221 yards and three scores, but he didn’t get a walk-off like …
Winner: Wake Forest WR AT Perry caught three passes in the 40-37 overtime win over Syracuse. All three went for touchdowns, with a 46-yarder in the second quarter, a 69-yard play late in the third, and the game-winner in OT from 22 yards out.
NEXT: The really big Week 6 thing was …
The Really Big Week 6 Thing Was …
Texas A&M 41, Alabama 38
Alabama lost games in the regular season before under Nick Saban and everything turned out fine on the way to a national title, but this one wasn’t like the others.
The Tide already looked vulnerable on the road against Florida, and on Saturday night they couldn’t come up with a late meaningful stop against an Aggie team that couldn’t get the O going.
A&M failed to get to 300 yards in three of the four games before hosting Alabama, and it finished with 379 with 285 through the air – the second most passing yards since hanging up 292 against Kent State in the opener.
The Bama offense worked, and there were plenty of chances to put this away after getting down early, but special teams breakdowns, missed defensive chances late, and the inability to run the ball to bring it home were all a part of the stunner.
This time, it felt different than when Johnny Manziel went off in 2012, or when absolutely every break went the other way in the 2015 loss to Ole Miss, or when the Tide lost on a last-second play to the Rebels in 2014.
And it sure felt different than the 9-6 defensive slugfest classic against LSU in 2011.
If a Texas A&M team that struggled against Colorado, and lost to Arkansas and Mississippi State could pull it off, then maybe someone else can beat Bama, too?
All it takes is one more loss, and realistically, that’s it. Alabama is out of the national title chase.
The door is now possibly open for a crazy year coming from someone outside of the norm possibly winning the national title. More on that in the What It All Means section.
NEXT: The most overrated thing was …
The Most Overrated Thing Was …
The 2021 Heisman race. If there is one, it took a big hit last weekend.
There are certain arguments I know I’ll never win – at least with a few people – and I’ve learned to be okay with it.
Cilantro is evil, The Wire is instant memory-dump boredom – NOTHING HAPPENS – and I’m not even starting with my unwavering belief that Norman Dale is the most overrated coach in the history of cinema and/or real life.
I’m dead-on right on this one.
We should vote for the Heisman after the bowl games instead of before.
I’m always shocked at how many normally brilliant people want to take the history test before reading the final few chapters to find out how the war ended. I’m also always shocked at how freaking mad the anti-full season crowd is at the idea.
This year, though, I’m going from this being a polite suggestion – let’s just call it the Vince Young pivot – to outright demanding it. And why?
There’s NO ONE to vote for in the 2021 Heisman race, and I’m absolutely certain that our votes will look ridiculous after the bowl games and College Football Playoff are over.
We went into this week with Alabama QB Bryce Young as the presumptive favorite, only because there’s absolutely no one else on the radar. He was good against Texas A&M – 369 yards and three touchdowns with one pick – but his team lost.
Part of the whole Heisman thing is being able to come through in the clutch when everyone is watching. Fair or not in this beauty contest, that didn’t happen.
Again, though, it still might be his to lose. Who else is there?
Matt Corral? The stats are great, the hair is fabulous, and Katy Perry likes the Ole Miss quarterback for the Heisman, but he didn’t lead the way to a win over Alabama. As we found out, the former No. 1 team was beatable.
Again, as a quarterback, you should win your biggest game if you’re the signature player of a college football season.
Bijan Robinson? Talent-wise, yeah, but the 137 yards and one touchdown against Oklahoma were like a statistical spitball at a battleship. The star Texas running back was overshadowed by Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams. Throw in the 69-yard day in the loss to Arkansas, and it’s not happening.
Spencer Rattler? If social media is having an in-game argument about where you should transfer to, you’re probably not going to win the Heisman.
Desmond Ridder? I know weren’t not supposed to Group of Five-shame, but the Cincinnati quarterback was terrific-not-Heisman-amazing in the only decent games on the team’s schedule. He failed to hit 60% of his passes in the wins over Indiana and Notre Dame.
CJ Stroud? The Ohio State quarterback has been phenomenal over the last few weeks, but his team lost the game it had to have – even though he threw for 484 yards and three scores against Oregon.
TreVyeon Henderson? I’ll buy talent-wise, but the superstar freshman Buckeye running back only ran for 54 yards against the Ducks, and the big all-around numbers aren’t there.
North Carolina QB Sam Howell? The Heisman campaign basically ended when Enter Sandman started playing in the opener at Virginia Tech.
Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei? Done, and just when everyone was finally starting to figure out how to pronounce his name.
These things always work out, and someone will rise up and take over the lead when the November games start to add to the intensity, but …
Really. If we can vote right after the confetti starts flying in Indianapolis, it’ll be okay.
And we’ll get it right.
NEXT: The most underrated thing was …
The Most Underrated Thing Was …
Ohio State 66, Maryland 17
On a weekend when weird, fun, and crazy things were happening all over the place, all of a sudden, the superpower that’s been all but ignored in the College Football Playoff chase really, really, started to look the part.
Iowa already burst the Maryland bubble two weeks ago with a blowout win, and taking down the Terps and beating Rutgers isn’t any big whoop, but when it comes to 2021 Ohio State and its development and confidence, those two games matter.
Everyone is gushing over the Hawkeyes, and Michigan is interesting again, and the world got caught up in Penn State because it beat Auburn when everyone in the crowd wore white t-shirts, but Ohio State still might be the best team in the Big Ten.
We’re now a month out from the Oregon game when the defense allowed – gasp! – 35 points.
That was coming off the 31 points given up in a win over Minnesota. Combine that with the loss to Alabama in the national championship to end the 2000 season, and Ohio State was on the worst three-game bender of scoring defense in the history of the program.
That all changed over the last few weeks.
The light and fluffy competition certainly helped, but this might be a case of a team needing a little time and a few layups to work its way into the season.
The offensive parts are NFL good, the offensive line is still fantastic, and there are big-time players on the defensive side, even if they struggled early on.
The D has responded by getting more aggressive – it sacked Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa five times and allowed just 56 rushing yards – TreyVeon Henderson ran for three scores, and CJ Stroud threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns.
Yeah, that’s what Ohio State is supposed to do, and that’s sort of the point.
It looked and played like Ohio State again, winning the last three games by a combined score of 177 to 37. Now it gets a week off, a tune-up at Indiana, and then it’s on with Penn State, at Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, and at Michigan to close things out.
Now that just about everyone but Georgia seems vulnerable, the Buckeyes are right back in it.
WIth all of that said, another loss might be fun for the rest of college football because …
NEXT: What It All Means: Week 6
What It All Means: Week 6
Is this really happening? Are we really going to get a crazy College Football Playoff?
Probably not. This is starting to look a whole lot like 2019 LSU and 2020 Alabama when it comes to 2021 Georgia – the Dawg D might be the equivalent of those respective Tiger and Tide Os – but …
WIth Texas A&M’s win over Alabama, there’s now a real, live chance the College Football Playoff could be without anyone who won a national championship- at least recently.
No two-loss team has ever made it in. Realistically, you have to win your Power Five conference championship and be no worse than 12-1. Do that, especially this year, and the College Football Playoff will love you.
Clemson is effectively out with two losses, and it would take Ohio State to lose another game to be done, but we’re not halfway through the season and three of the supposed sure-things for the CFP are already hit with at least one defeat.
To make this even more interesting, let’s say Ohio State ends up losing one more game and Alabama drops a date anywhere else – including in the SEC Championship.
Auburn is out, LSU is 3-3, Florida is realistically done, Texas is done, USC is long gone, and Miami and Florida State were instantly out.
Tennessee and Nebraska weren’t ever contenders, and neither were Washington, Georgia Tech, and Colorado.
That means, at the moment – be it realistic or not – Michigan State (the last national title was 1966), Georgia (1980), Penn State (1986), Notre Dame (1988), Michigan (1997), and Ole Miss (sort of in 1960) are the only other teams still alive other than Alabama and Ohio State who have won a national championship acknowledged by the NCAA, and it’s been a while for all of them.
Iowa? Kentucky? Never.
Cincinnati, Oklahoma State, and Wake Forest? Never.
NC State could win out, take the ACC Championship, and at 12-1 be in. The same goes for Arizona State and Oregon when it comes to their respective Pac-12 title hopes – neither one has won a national title.
It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but with one loss, Baylor and Boston College are still alive for the CFP, too.
Fine, so the 2021 season’s College Football Playoff will probably be a mix of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma – with maybe three of them and some new team in the mix – but Texas A&M just changed the game, just like Oregon changed it up with a win over Ohio State a few weeks ago.
The table is now set. One more bad day by the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide and college football will have a new national champion for the first time in over 40 years.