Big Nut, a.ok.a. Ohio State superfan Jon Peters, had a really unhappy day in Iowa City. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)
Breaking down the highlights and lowlights from Saturday’s school soccer motion …
There might but be a playoff group hailing from the Big Ten. It simply isn’t going to return from the powerhouse East Division.
Per week after Penn State took its first lack of the season at Ohio State, it stumbled once more as Michigan State kicked a last-second area objective to earn a 27-24 victory in a lightning-delayed recreation in East Lansing.
And Ohio State’s management of the division lasted all of seven days because it went to Iowa and departed with a 55-24 drubbing (see extra under).
That’s two losses apiece for Ohio State and Penn State. And whereas we’re at it, that’s two setbacks every for Michigan and Michigan State.
A philosophy of two-and-through as an eliminator has successfully labored within the first three years of the playoff period. That gained’t work yearly, however it’s value asking: Who have these guys defeated, in addition to one another?
Penn State gives some hope with defeats of Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern. Michigan State has its division triumphs to go along with victory over Iowa of its personal. Ohio State? It beat Army and Penn State … and that’s about it.
The Buckeyes are mainly executed as a playoff contender, and each Michigan State and Penn State want some badist elsewhere to go together with profitable out. It all leaves 9-Zero Wisconsin — a group largely forgotten about partially as a result of it performs within the unquestionably weak Big Ten West — as essentially the most believable semifinal candidate from what was as soon as briefly the land of Legends and Leaders.
* Baker Mayfield. The Oklahoma quarterback threw for a school-record 598 yards plus 5 touchdowns because the Sooners outlasted Oklahoma State, 62-52, to stay within the nationwide title chase.
[It’s Bedlam as Mayfield and Sooners outgun Rudolph and Cowboys]
While the Sooners (Eight-1, 5-1 Big 12) tacked on a formidable street victory, Mayfield has a case to be the favourite for the Heisman Trophy with 4 weeks left within the season. Unlike final 12 months, when Louisville’s Lamar Jackson emerged as the plain decide and will afford some November hiccups, there’s a bit extra parity to this 12 months’s area.
That means a shaky recreation from Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and quiet ones from tailbacks Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and Bryce Love (Stanford) — all in losses, all on the identical day — will badist Mayfield’s candidacy. It additionally opens the door for a well-liked voting trope — greatest participant on the most effective group, or on the very least, greatest participant on a playoff group — to dominate the Heisman proceedings subsequent month.
* Iowa. Where on this planet did that come from?
Not the Iowa-beating-Ohio State-at-home a part of issues. The Hawkeyes have a historical past of constructing life depressing for visiting groups. They beat Michigan final 12 months. They practically beat Penn State earlier this season. And this isn’t precisely a current phenomenon, both.
But the hanging-half-a-hundred portion of the festivities? That was sudden.
Consider that the Hawkeyes (6-Three, Three-Three Big Ten) hadn’t scored 50 factors towards any Big Ten opponent since 2008 (Minnesota). In the 9 years since that 55-Zero victory, Iowa had reached 50 factors in nonconference play solely twice (towards Western Michigan in 2013 and North Texas in 2016). In their final 4 outings, the Hawkeyes had participated in three 17-10 video games.
Nate Stanley was excellent, throwing for 226 yards and 5 TDs, and 4 Barrett interceptions led to 1 defensive landing for Iowa and one other 10 factors secured on brief fields. Even with these components, it’s powerful to seek out one thing extra stunning this weekend than Iowa scoring with such ease towards Ohio State.
* Baylor. It took two months longer than anybody would have guessed and got here towards the Big 12’s largest punching bag, however the Bears have their first victory beneath Coach Matt Rhule.
Charlie Brewer threw for 3 landing pbades as Baylor smashed Kansas, 38-9, to grow to be the final energy convention group to earn a victory. With the Bears (1-Eight, 1-5 Big 12) on the board, the one winless groups left within the FBS are Georgia Southern and Texas-El Paso.
* Georgia. Not solely did the Bulldogs (9-Zero, 6-Zero SEC) deal with South Carolina, 24-10, they sealed the SEC East when Kentucky misplaced to Mississippi. Given the dominance of the Georgia protection and the chaos in another leagues (to various levels within the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12), it’s trying extra seemingly 12-1 Georgia with a loss to Alabama within the SEC title recreation would nonetheless discover its means into the playoff.
* Virginia. The Cavaliers (6-Three, Three-2 ACC) are headed to the postseason for the primary time since 2011 after warding off Georgia Tech, 40-36. It spares Virginia the distress of a six-game shedding streak to finish the 12 months at 5-7 — which was a definite risk with Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech nonetheless to return — and is an indication of concrete progress in coach Bronco Mendenhall’s second season.
* Florida. Turns out a 42-7 bludgeoning by the hands of Georgia adopted a day later by the ouster (sorry, “mutual parting”) of coach Jim McElwain wasn’t all-time low for the Gators. Maybe a 45-16 drubbing at Missouri will qualify because the low level for Florida (Three-5, Three-Four SEC), which should win out towards South Carolina, UAB and Florida State to grow to be bowl-eligible.
[Florida got destroyed by Missouri and trolled by its own Twitter account]
The Gators are caught enjoying out the string in a misplaced season beneath interim coach Randy Shannon. But there’s no motive that must be apparent to all who’re watching. While Missouri (Four-5, 1-Four) is enjoying higher since its bye week, it nonetheless owns a wobbly protection. That didn’t matter towards Florida, which wanted 11 possessions earlier than scoring its first landing.
* Kevin Sumlin. The Texas A&M coach was a well-liked possibility for warm seat lists earlier than the season. Then got here the opening week meltdown towards UCLA, a commendable rebound and now back-to-back losses to Mississippi State and Auburn, the latter a 42-27 setback at house on Saturday.
At 5-Four, the most effective the Aggies can do by the top of the common season is attain Eight-Four. And that’s precisely the common season file Sumlin led Texas A&M in three of the final 4 seasons.
It’s plain for all to see that Texas A&M has hit a plateau — the proverbial Glen Mason Territory, although Glen Plus One is perhaps a extra acceptable time period on this case — and would possibly finally regress by a recreation or two this 12 months. A late-season slide is nothing new in College Station, and this 12 months’s appears prone to precipitate a change.
* Stanford. Three losses equals three strikes for the Cardinal, regardless of how wacky the 12 months. Stanford’s 24-21 loss at Washington State doesn’t totally knock it out of the Pac-12 North race, however David Shaw’s group isn’t going to climb again into the playoff hunt even when it beats Washington, Notre Dame and the Pac-12 South champ over the subsequent month.
Side word: This just about leaves Washington — feeble nonconference schedule and all — as the one viable playoff risk within the Pac-12.
Read extra from The Post:
‘He’s nonetheless stealing from us, that little sawed-off S.O.B.’: Nick Saban’s lengthy shadow lingers at LSU
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The Turnover Chain is so Miami Hurricanes. But is their file idiot’s gold?
Lane Kiffin jokes about level unfold after FAU fails to cowl due to wacky ending
Navy falls at Temple for its third consecutive defeat
Let’s hope the coaches on the College Football Playoff committee don’t vote like coaches