So how many of you actually watched football yesterday? If you did watch, did you find the games didn't quite hold your attention? I suspect that's because there was a singular lack of importance--gravitas, if you will--surrounding most of these games. That's what happens the weekend before practically every team in the country takes it on its most hated rival.
Still, whether we enjoyed it or not, real live football was played yesterday. Here's a quick breakdown of the highlights (or otherwise) by conference:
Field goals were at a premium in the conference, as Florida State needed one late in the game to put away Boston College. Jamies Winston also managed to incidentally shove an official, an offense that normally draws at least a flag, if not an ejection. Winston and his team are both made of Teflon, apparently.
Notre Dame was less fortunate, when a missed field goal sealed the win for Louisville. It's hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago, Notre Dame was in playoff contention and the narrative was that a single close loss should not keep the Irish out of the final four.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest managed the near-impossible, playing into two overtimes and scoring a grand total of 9 points in a 6-3 win for the Demon Deacons.Big 12
Iowa State had a three-point lead late in the game, but could not hold on, as Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Red Raiders down the field on a 75-yard scoring drive to win the game against the Cyclones. Query how much longer Paul Rhoads keeps his job, now that Iowa State is officially the bottom dweller of the conference. At least they beat Iowa?
Bryce Petty did not trip this time, as Baylor buried a hapless Oklahoma State team 49-28. The Bears were already up two scores before the game was even a minute old, and Baylor never looked back.
The big news of the day happened in Norman, as Oklahoma beat Kansas. Just a week after Melvin Gordon set the single-game rushing record against Nebraska, Samaje Perine shattered it, running for 427 yards and five touchdowns. What did we learn from this? Nebraska, Kansas, same same.Big Ten
Illinois beat Penn State 16-14 on a late field goal, because this is 2014 and that's how the Nittany Lions roll. The point of critical importance here? The Illini kicker has only kicked four field goals in his entire career, and he was so unreliable before that Illinois would usually just go for it on 4th down.
Indiana put a temporary scare into the hearts of Buckeye fans for a few minutes before order was restored, and Ohio State cruised to a 42-27 victory over the Hoosiers. With the win, the Buckeyes have clinched the Big Ten East, no matter what happens against Michigan next week.
Speaking of Michigan, their cup runneth over. With misery, that is. After leading for much of the game, Michigan gave up two late scores to Maryland to lose the game and drop to 5-6 on the season. That means that Michigan has to beat Ohio State to even qualify for a bowl game. Sorry, I cannot stop laughing now.
All of the action in the Big Ten yesterday was really in the West, with Minnesota taking on Nebraska in the only conference game between ranked teams. The Gophers overcame a 21-7 halftime deficit to beat the Huskers for the second year in a row. The best thing about the game? The Gophers managed to turn an internet joke into a real rivalry trophy. All hail the Bits of Broken Chair Trophy. With the win, Minnesota is now joint leader in the Big Ten West and will play Wisconsin next week for more than just Paul Bunyan's Axe.
Speaking of Wisconsin, the Badgers needed nearly all four quarters to beat a feisty Iowa team. Jake Rudock rallied his team from 16 points down to bring Iowa within two points late in the game. But behind another 200-yard game from Gordon, the Badgers rallied for a late score and put the Hawkeyes away for good 26-24. The Axe game looms large for Wisconsin and a return trip to the Big Ten championship game.
Oregon beat Colorado in a 44-10 romp, where Marcus Mariota furthered his Heisman chances with a solid 4 TD performance. The quarterback, who may have played his last game in Eugene, received a standing ovation from the crowd. Afterwards, a 12-year old reporter asked Mark Helfrich about Mariota, in the week's best journalistic performance.
Arizona State overcame a slow start to beat Washington State 52-31. Although no longer in playoff contention, the win helped the Sun Devils get over last week's upset loss to Oregon State. If they win against Arizona next week, and Stanford knocks off UCLA, Arizona State will head to the Pac-12 championship game against Oregon. That may not be as tall an order as it seems.
In the Pac-12's only rivalry game of note to be played yesterday, UCLA beat USC 38-20 and cemented its position at the top of the Pac-12 South standings. Brett Hundley threw an interception early in the game, but ultimately had four TDs on the day, and announced that "UCLA runs L.A., if you guys didn't hear last year."
On a day when a number of SEC teams took on FCS teams in non-conference action (seriously, it's November, and why?), the standout games featured two shutouts and a too-close-for-comfort win.
Mississippi State took all its frustrations out on Vanderbilt, blanking the Commodores 51-0. Dak Prescott won himself a bunch of style points, throwing three touchdown passes and running for another score in the rout. This was the first 10-win season in program history and also the largest margin of victory for the Bulldogs in an SEC game since 1936. The game also sealed an undefeated home season for Mississippi State in a year that has already exceeded all expectation.On Senior Day in Fayetteville, Arkansas' stellar defense forced six turnovers, including a 100-yard interception return for a score, as the Razorbacks shut out the once-mighty Ole Miss Rebels for only their second conference win in as many seasons. Arkansas has now beaten two ranked teams without giving up a single point. With the Arkansas win, every single team in the SEC West is above .500 on the season.
In the late SEC game, Missouri struggled to beat Tennessee, but ultimately put the game out of reach for the Volunteers, thanks to Maty Mauk and his two fourth-quarter touchdowns. A win over Arkansas on Friday will clinch the Tigers a spot in the SEC championship game for the second consecutive season. Please to mull on that fact and that Missouri was usually only a middle-of-the-road team in the Big 12.
And now on to Kansas State news…
As much talk as there is around the playoff hopes of Baylor and TCU, nobody is really talking about the elephant in the room, i.e. Kansas State winning the Big 12 and knocking Baylor out of contention. David Ubben takes note though, in his Week 13 Big 12 Thoughts.
CBS Sports Jerry Hinnen reminds that world that Kansas State knows how to clamp down a high-powered offense, and it would be a mistake to pencil in a W for Baylor against the Wildcats.
But first things first, the the 111th edition of the Sunflower Showdown is set to kick off on November 29. Unleash your rivalry week hate.
Kansas State is headed to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. This is the team's first trip back to Maui since 1998, and it may not have happened at all, but for Bruce Weber.
Meanwhile, Kansas State is one of four teams tabbed for the 2015 CBE Classic, along with North Carolina, Northwestern, and Missouri.
Laura Galvan finished a disappointing 129th in the NCAAs in Terre Haute, Indiana. The event was won by Kate Avery of Iona, with Michigan State taking team honors, just ahead of Iowa State. Galvan will continue to compete for Kansas State in the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
The equestrian team lost to Fresno State to wrap up the fall season. Although Alexis Graves won the Most Outstanding Performer award for Equitation over Fences, the team was down 8-2 by the Lady Bulldogs.
The equestrian team will be back in action in January, traveling to Tennessee to take on Tennessee-Martin and Georgia.
The volleyball team swept TCU last night in straight sets, behind another great performance from freshman outside hitter Kylee Zumach. In this SE feature, Kelly McHugh takes a closer look at Zumach making Wildcat history.