Under The Radar: The Citadel Wins, SEC Schedules are Softer, The 3 Plays that Define a Game & He
1. The Citadel Wins versus Alabama: The Citadel's Twitter Feed won college football on Saturday at Alabama. They were so good that some Alabama fans were even responding with "Moral Victory" comments. Alabama fans getting into it with a military college from the FCS level with just 63 scholarships tells you The Citadel won. Clearly someone in Charleston has a sense of humor. The Citadel scored and they trolled Alabama’s previous “No Score November” tweet as well as LSU and Mississippi State (who got shutout by Alabama). With the score tied at halftime they tweeted “Upset Alert” with the Tweet “Bama in Trouble….kinda….” After The Citadel missed a field goal early in the 3rd quarter Alabama turned on the jets. But the Bulldogs weren't done. On Sunday morning they followed up with tweet showing they scored more points on Alabama than Louisville, Missouri, Ole Miss, Arkansas State LSU and Mississippi State. Give The Citadel credit for making a mismatch game entertaining.
2. Speaking of SEC Cupcake Week…..: The Playoff committee needs to look at each conference's scheduling patterns and recognize the three conferences playing 9 conference games versus 8 conference games in the ACC and SEC. If the committee keeps rewarding SEC teams playing schedules made up of fewer Power-5 games, the Big 12, Pac 12 and Big 10 should go back to an 8-game schedule. The SEC and The ACC are also notorious for playing FCS teams as well. The SEC teams played 14 FCS games, ACC teams played 13, Pac 12 teams played 8, Big 12 teams played 6 and the Big 10 just 2.
So here are the average number of FBS and Power-5 games played by each conference's team for this year. There is a significant difference as each Big 10 and Big 12 team played an extra Power-5 opponent every year (and the Big 12 is right there as well).
Avg FBS Avg P-5
Big 10 11.9 10.0
Big 12 11.4 10.0
Pac12 11.3 9.8
ACC 11.1 9.2
SEC 11.0 8.9
Most Games Come Down to 3 or 4 plays…: If you look at almost any football game there are a handful of key plays to be made that can alter a game's outcome. In Penn State’s 20-7 win at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights had three plays to make that could've given them a chance to win.First on Penn State's first punt a Rutgers player had a clean shot to block the punt and missed it. Then right before the half a Rutgers player had a sure interception in his hands in the end zone that would've eliminated the ensuing field goal. Third on a fourth-down trick play that fooled everyone Rutgers dropped a sure touchdown. One play in each phase of the game could've led to a 13 or 17-point swing and given Rutgers a chance for the upset. But without those plays......
Entertaining Finishes: In Boston's Fenway Park, Harvard beat Yale 45-27 in their 135th meeting, while out west they played another old FCS rivalry in Missoula, Montana. In a game called “The Brawl of the Wild”, Montana State took a late lead and withstood a last second drive to hold on for the 29-25 win. Just a few yards from the end zone with seconds to play, Montana scored to win. But the play was blown dead by a Montana State timeout. The very next play as Montana’s RB was headed in for the score a Montana State defender forced a fumble that the Bobcats recovered to win in the 117th game in a rivalry dating back to 1897.
Screen Shot of the Day---The Wildest Finish in the Big 10: In a game that was more Big 12 than Big 10, Maryland scored a touchdown in the first overtime with a chance to tie Ohio State and go to a second overtime. Maryland Coach Matt Canada—who has done a tremendous job with the Terps this year—decided to go for two. The pass was just wide of an open receiver giving OSU a 52-21 win. But how did he get so open? Maryland had a linemen downfield who was not only blocking a defender trying to cover that receiver, but that linemen was actually deeper than the receiver….which was a penalty that was not called.