UNDER THE RADAR: Florida--Can I Get an Amen?
1. Not Really a Hail Mary: Florida’s last second touchdown to beat Tennessee has been labeled a “Hail Mary” in multiple media stories but it really wasn’t. Hail Mary’s usually involve three receivers to one side all running to the same area and the quarterback throwing a jump ball. As such the defense has more guys deep. With the game tied Florida did not show a Hail Mary formation. Tennessee played a standard coverage that gave Florida a chance to hit a deep post against the safety. The quarterback had some options underneath so it was less of a "Hail Mary" and more of a “Can I get an Amen!”
2. Clemson Gets a Louisville Bump: After this weekend some people have already determined that Alabama and Clemson will be playing for the National Title again. Clemson got a huge bump in perception after a big win at Louisville…but should they? Louisville has now gone 2-4 in their last 6 games dating back to last year and has been outscored in those 6 games by 56 points. Clemson also gets credit for beating Auburn, a team that eked out a 24-10 win over Mercer.
3. Darnold Keeps His Cool: For the 2nd time in his last 4 games Sam Darnold found himself on the field and trailing late in the 4th quarter. In last year’s Rose Bowl he led a 17-point comeback to beat Penn State. Late Saturday night against Texas he moved his team down the field with no timeouts and under 45 seconds left to force overtime. He made two throws in OT in the back of the end zone that only a handful of college guys could both read and throw accurately (one was a TD and one was dropped). With Darnold at QB USC is 12-1 and on a 12-game win streak. Along the way they are 4-1 against ranked teams, have beaten the Big Ten Champions, The Pac-12 Champions and the Pac-12 runner up (Colorado).
4. Fantasy College Football: Fantasy football has become the NFL’s ultimate hook to keep fans watching games they may not otherwise watch. College football has not quite found that tie-in for the glut of games on TV. To fill that void you’re now hearing broadcasters talk openly about subjects like point spreads and individual player’s NFL futures. Those subjects had been something announcers in the past avoided as it came to covering the college game. Now those subjects are discussed at length. And as point spreads get discussed more and more do not be surprised if we see a point-shaving racket pop up again in the near future.
5. Here Come The Badgers: Wisconsin is college football’s most consistently under-rated program. After Barry Alvarez re-built Wisconsin and retired following the 2005 season, he stayed on as the Athletic Director. Under his leadership the school has had three Head Coaches and Alvarez has made the right call picking the men who’ve led the program. In those eleven years the team has averaged 10 wins per season, won 3 Big Ten titles and has gone to a bowl game every year. They are back in the Top 10 again and they look like the best team in the Big Ten West. With all the hype and glitz of the Big Ten East’s big three programs the Badgers are easily overlooked and that may be exactly how they like it.