Ah, college football. You never disappoint.
Every season, there are a few weeks that, on paper, look like they will be totally underwhelming. This week was supposed to be one of those weeks. With only two games featuring ranked opponents against each other on the slate — No. 17 Louisville vs. No. 24 NC State and No. 23 West Virginia vs. No. 8 TCU — hopes weren’t high.
But things got weird.
Let’s start in Norman, Oklahoma.
The third-ranked Sooners jumped out to a 24-10 lead on Iowa State, which was playing without starting quarterback Jacob Park. Baker Mayfield and OU would cruise to a win from there, right? Wrong. The Cyclones stormed back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. OU tied it, but ISU went ahead for good with a ridiculous 25-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kempt to Allen Lazard.
When the Iowa state flag was planted at midfield of Memorial Stadium, you knew the day had potential.
From there we had a wild finish at Miami where a guy played air guitar with a quarterback’s leg. Ed Orgeron said the word Tigers twice in about three seconds, TCU remained the only undefeated team in the Big 12, Bowling Green notched its first win with a 99-yard fumble return touchdown, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate set an FBS rushing record on just 14 carries, and Western Michigan beat Buffalo in SEVEN OVERTIMES while setting the record for most points in an FBS game in the process.
Oh, and Michigan and Michigan State played in a dang monsoon — and the Spartans pulled off the upset of the seventh-ranked Wolverines.
Just look at these poor guys.
And we forgot to mention that Pitt burned a redshirt on a prized freshman prospect for the final play of a helpless game because of a NCAA rule.
We will never doubt you again, college football.
Here are the winners and losers of Week 6:
Gene Stallings: The former Alabama and Texas A&M coach suffered a heart attack last weekend. But that didn’t stop him from attending Saturday night’s game in College Station between the Tide and Aggies. Stallings, 82, lives in Paris, Texas. He was the coach when Alabama won the 1992 national title.
Kellen Mond and Christian Kirk: This play looked awfully familiar to the iconic play by former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in 2012 that helped A&M upset the Tide. Saturday night’s touchdown didn’t have the same impact — it closed the gap to 14 at 24-10 — but it’s worth an entry here anyway.
Joey Slye: The Virginia Tech kicker is now the all-time leading career scoring leader. Slye broke the Virginia Tech record held by former NFL kicker Shayne Graham at 371 points. Slye had 11 points and is now at 376. He’ll easily break 400 points.
Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic: Look who’s 2-0 in Conference USA? The Owls are now 3-3 overall after a 58-28 win at Old Dominion. FAU quarterback Jason Driskel ran for four touchdowns and FAU ran for eight overall as the team had 69 carries for 453 yards. Could a bowl be possible in Kiffin’s first year with the team?
Notre Dame: Congratulations to the Irish for getting a fifth win in 2017. It must have taken a lot of fourtitude and we’re sure it eight at the Irish and Brian Kelly for being unable to get to that mark last year.
Teams clinching bowls: If your favorite team is 6-0 already this season, congratulations. It’s going to a bowl. That goes for Georgia, Clemson, Penn State, Alabama, Washington, Washington State and San Diego State.
Auburn’s trolling: After Ole Miss certified its student vote yesterday and replaced Rebel the Black Bear with a yet-to-be-determined Landshark as its new mascot, Aubie trolled the Rebels incredibly well during Auburn’s 44-23 win.
Virginia: Where have the Cavaliers come from? After beating Duke on Saturday, Virginia has doubled its 2016 win total and is just two wins away from a bowl game.
Saturday’s win wasn’t pretty, but the Cavaliers dominated time of possession and were better on third down. With games against North Carolina, Boston College and Pitt in the next three weeks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Virginia is 7-1 before playing Georgia Tech on Nov. 4.
Arkansas: Things are not going well in Fayetteville. Arkansas is now 2-3 after a 48-22 drubbing at the hands of South Carolina.
The Gamecocks scored 31 second-half points after leading at halftime 17-10. And Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen had to leave the game after suffering an apparent injury to his right throwing arm.
Arkansas mustered just 106 rushing yards on 32 carries too. So much for a power run game. Coach Bret Bielema’s buyout is nearly $12 million and that number looks more and more palatable with every loss.
Winless teams: Baylor, Charlotte, UTEP, UMass and Georgia Southern have all not recorded a win in 2017. UTEP came agonizingly close in interim coach Mike Price’s first game on Saturday, losing 15-14 to Western Kentucky.
Yes, this list shows that Baylor is the only winless Power Five team in the country.
USC fans: It’s hard to show up the week after your team loses, apparently. USC won 38-10 vs. Oregon State on Saturday and there was not a capacity crowd in attendance.
Vanderbilt rush defense: Georgia ran the ball 54 times for 423 yards in a 45-14 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. It’s the third-straight game the Commodores have given up over 200 yards on the ground.
Florida had 218 yards last week while Alabama had 496 two weeks ago. That’s 1,137 yards allowed in three games. Brutal.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricanes are now 1-5 after getting blown out by Toledo. It’s been a weird season for Tulsa, which has played New Mexico and Toledo close, though you can argue Tulsa should have beaten the Rockets.
Saturday Tulsa was just run over by the Green Wave’s triple-option attack. Tulane ran the ball 70 times for 488 yards in what was coach Willie Fritz’s 200th win in all levels of college football.
Minnesota: When you lead 14-6 at halftime and your opponent has four turnovers throughout the entire game, you should win, right? Well, Minnesota didn’t.
The Gophers gave up 18 fourth-quarter points in a 31-17 loss to Purdue on Saturday. After going 3-0 to start the season, Minnesota is now 0-2 in conference play and both losses have come against teams you can argue it should have beaten. Coach P.J. Fleck’s team will end up in a bowl game, but expecting even a slight upgrade in the win column from 2016 isn’t prudent.
Rice: This team is very, very bad. The Owls dropped to 1-5 Saturday with a 49-12 home loss to Army. In the loss, Rice turned the ball over six times — five lost fumbles and one interception which was returned 48 yards for a touchdown. Rice fumbled on three straight possessions in a span of five offensive plays, leading to Army scoring drives of nine, 23 and 67 yards. David Bailiff has done some good things during his tenure, but it’s looking more and more like he won’t be back in 2018.