Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee present why faculty soccer nonetheless runs by way of the SEC

There are just a few inarguable truths in life that every one of us ought to abide by. By no means get entangled in a land warfare in Asia. By no means textual content your ex after 2 a.m. And by no means throw darts with out an applicable quantity of glass in your own home.

OK, that final one’s somewhat fuzzy, however we assume Jimbo Fisher knew what he was speaking about.

However greater than any of these issues, the one bit of recommendation Fisher failed to stick to was this: You come on the king, you finest not miss.

Within the 5 months since Fisher’s incendiary information convention by which he referred to as Saban a false god, urged Alabama cheated with impunity, stated he wasn’t frightened a couple of confrontation along with his former boss, and, sure, mangled the recommendation about stones and glass homes, there was virtually a palpable sense that, no matter what occurred within the season’s first 5 weeks, this is able to be a grudge match for the ages.

Oh, it was.

Each groups went to battle with out their beginning quarterbacks. In fact, a kind of QBs was the Heisman Trophy winner, however like Texas A&M‘s NIL offers, it is best to not dwell on particulars.

For the Aggies, Haynes King really performed nicely, regardless of being plagued by a ferocious Alabama defensive entrance. Will Anderson Jr. danced previous the A&M O-line like a man who had too many Mountain Dews looking for the toilet at a crowded cocktail occasion, racking up eight QB hurries on the evening. Nonetheless, King threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns and was poised to ship the sport winner till — nicely, it is onerous to explain what occurred on the ultimate play of the sport. “Despicable” was a phrase Fisher used again in Might, and it appears becoming now.

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No. 1 Alabama survives a last-second scare from Texas A&M to win a thriller in Tuscaloosa 24-20.

For the Tide, Jahmyr Gibbs led a speeding assault that racked up 288 yards on the evening. In Younger’s place, Jalen Milroe accomplished simply 12 passes, however three went for touchdowns. Alabama turned the ball over 4 occasions and missed two area objectives, however A&M may solely accomplish that a lot with the benefits. Fisher, after all, is not any god. (Although it’s best to most likely go look into his “deal.”)

In the long run, there was nothing fairly about Alabama’s 24-20 win. However a cleanly performed sport would’ve been a disappointment. This one performed out precisely because it was presupposed to, a mirror picture of the battle of phrases between the 2 coaches — a frenetic, ugly, ill-advised slugfest by which each groups did as a lot injury to themselves as they did to their opponent.

It was that form of week within the SEC.

Georgia thumped Auburn, a much-needed sense of dominion in opposition to a crew the Bulldogs have been presupposed to beat handily. Nonetheless, Georgia has now gone three straight video games — and 117 consecutive throws — with no landing go. Will the following problem be as accommodating as Auburn? And significantly, is Auburn simply maintaining Bryan Harsin round for enjoyable now? The person deserves a extra compassionate finish.

Ole Miss fell behind early in opposition to Vanderbilt, then turned on the afterburners and roared to a 52-28 win. The Rebels are 6-0 with three winnable video games in entrance of them earlier than a date with Alabama.

Tennessee, too, stays undefeated, annihilating LSU 40-13 for the Volunteers’ first win in Baton Rouge since Brian Kelly’s ancestors first landed on the swampy shores of Louisiana to arrange a homestead so a few years in the past.

It was a Saturday by which the SEC provided a reminder that it’s nonetheless the chief energy dealer within the nation, with the Tide, Bulldogs, Rebels and Vols now accounting for greater than 1 / 4 of the nation’s remaining undefeated groups. (And Shane Beamer provided his personal reminder with dancing and low cost sun shades.)

And but Ohio State demolished Michigan State and has a robust case for the title of the nation’s finest crew. On the very least, the Buckeyes most likely made Spartans boosters a bit involved about that $95 million funding they made in Mel Tucker. Ohio State has crushed him twice since that deal was introduced, by a mixed rating of 105-27.

And the Crimson River… what are we calling it now? Rivalry? Revue? Rigmarole? They’re all good. Regardless, Texas rolled Oklahoma 49-0. The Sooners have now misplaced three in a row for the primary time since 1998. Their final two losses have come by a mixed 80 factors — or three factors greater than the ten losses the crew had from 2017 to 2021. Quinn Ewers returned for Texas and turned the state truthful into Oklahoma’s Dustbowl 2.0, a cloud of distress that John Steinbeck would’ve discovered too miserable for publication. Miserable, too, is the considered what may’ve turn into of this season for the Longhorns had Ewers not gotten damage within the first half of their sport in opposition to Alabama.

As a substitute, we depart Week 6 largely as we entered it. Groups ranked within the prime 10 went 9-0. The established order stays.

The narcissist in us will not permit us to imagine greater surprises await. Thank goodness Fisher is right here to remind us we’re not gods.


TCU-Kansas lives as much as the hype

There is a concept that means computing expertise will increase exponentially, and if that is true, then there’ll come a time when synthetic intelligence far surpasses human intelligence. And if that is true, then logic may comply with that some society has already reached that time, and as such, there’s a speculation that our whole existence now’s merely a pc simulation.

Till this week, simulation concept existed largely on the fringes of metaphysics, and most everybody agreed it may by no means be proved.

However then, on the identical Saturday because the Crimson River sport and the long-awaited showdown between Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban, the middle of the faculty soccer world was as an alternative in Lawrence, Kansas. That, buddies, is an inarguable glitch within the matrix.

Think about again in Might, when Jimbo Fisher despatched a military of personal detectives to sift by way of Nick Saban’s trash, that Texas A&M- Alabama can be however an afterthought as a result of Kansas was 5-0.

Think about, again when Oklahoma followers welcomed dwelling prodigal son Brent Venables with thunderous approval, that the Sooners’ showdown in opposition to Texas can be a lopsided embarrassment, with Oklahoma being shut out 49-0.

Think about, when Texas landed Ewers and A&M signed the No. 1 recruiting class within the nation, and Houston was hailed as a possible playoff occasion crasher, that as an alternative, the unquestioned prime crew in Texas can be TCU.

Maybe the really wild a part of this fully not possible situation is that Saturday’s TCU-Kansas showdown wasn’t overhyped. If something, we massively underestimated how a lot drama the Frogs and Jayhawks may muster.

TCU’s onetime backup QB now seems to be like a Heisman contender. Max Duggan threw for 308 yards, ran for 55 extra and accounted for 4 touchdowns. Each time Kansas steadied itself and received off the mat within the second half, Duggan delivered one other haymaker, main TCU to touchdowns on 4 of its final 5 drives of the sport.

In the meantime, the fairy-tale season at Kansas performed out — nicely, like a fairy story on Saturday, when the Jayhawks turned to a magic Bean to salvage their fading fortunes. Jalon Daniels left the sport close to the top of the primary half with an injured shoulder, turning over the reins to Jason Bean, who threw 4 second-half TD passes, main the Jayhawks again from the brink of the abyss many times down the stretch.

The second half of Saturday’s sport noticed Kansas erase leads of 10-3, 17-10, 24-17 and 31-24, and solely a failed fourth-down conversion with 37 seconds remaining stored the Jayhawks from an opportunity to tie it at 38, too.

The sport was determined not by inches however by margins undetectable by the world’s strongest microscopes, as Derius Davis tiptoed the sideline for TCU and Quentin Skinner tapped his knee at the back of the top zone on a late rating to maintain Kansas alive.

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Quentin Skiner does a fantastic job as he comes down inbounds for the Kansas’ landing as they tie it 31-31.

It was a battle rife with cinematic drama that not solely warranted the title of Week 6’s finest matchup however will undoubtedly be within the dialog as one of the entertaining video games of the 2022 season.

And it occurred at Kansas.

And sure, Kansas’ document is not unblemished. Actuality — if that is what we’re residing in — needed to return finally. And no, TCU is not more likely to overshadow faculty soccer’s behemoths for lengthy. And sure, had Ewers been wholesome all season, it would nicely be the Longhorns who’re the discuss of the game now.

However for one magical afternoon, nothing in faculty soccer mattered as a lot or provided extra drama than the happenings in Kansas. As the nice Jasper Beardsley stated, “What a time to be alive.”

That’s, if we’re not all really in a simulation.


Massive wins out west

Do not sleep on the Pac-12. OK, sleep somewhat on the Pac-12. The video games are on late. You have received issues to do on Sunday, and Dwelling Depot opens early. Nonetheless, be sure you a minimum of test the scores and highlights, as a result of for the primary time for the reason that Hoover administration, the Pac-12 has some critical playoff juice.

UCLA staked its declare to contender standing with an extremely spectacular 43-32 win over Utah. Dorian Thompson-Robinson was 1 yard shy of throwing for 300, Zach Charbonnet was 2 in need of speeding for 200 and the protection got here up with one essential play after one other.

The Bruins’ first 4 wins have been removed from emphatic, however the previous two weeks, they’ve largely had their approach with Washington and Utah, making a critical assertion that Chip Kelly’s previous decade was like that season of “Dallas” that turned out to all be a dream. Critically, Kelly supposedly coached the San Francisco 49ers for a 12 months. There is not any approach that actually occurred.

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UCLA will get on the board first as Dorian Thompson-Robinson extends into the top zone for a landing.

In the meantime, USC prevented a possible entice sport in opposition to Washington State, and we expect it is time the pundits give credit score the place it is due. Sure, Lincoln Riley has injected new life into the Trojans’ program, and certain, Caleb Williams, Mario Williams and Jordan Addison have been wonderful. However the actual hero of this crew? Travis Dye‘s mustache. Not since Tom Selleck has L.A. had such implausible facial hair.

Two weeks in the past, it appeared like Washington might be an actual playoff contender, too, however Saturday proved an absolute embarrassment in a 45-38 loss to Arizona State. Xazavian Valladay ran for 111 yards, caught 4 passes, scored twice and accounted for a Scrabble factors document because the Solar Devils abruptly look frisky now that Herm Edwards is out.

And if Week 1 satisfied us to surrender on Oregon, the Geese hold attempting to remind us that anybody can lose to Georgia by 46. Oh, certain, not Auburn or Missouri or Kent State … however, you realize, good groups. The Geese dominated Arizona and have topped 40 in 5 straight video games. And are we prepared to like Bo Nix once more? He is like that boyfriend you’ve got determined to dump a dozen totally different occasions, however then he exhibits up with In-N-Out burgers at 2 a.m. and you work, “Ah, one other week cannot damage.”

This listing of real playoff contenders is not lengthy, however because the season approaches its midpoint, the Pac-12 has three groups that match the invoice. That is three greater than it is had at the moment of 12 months in a very long time.


Pokes hold successful

Oklahoma State is the No. 7 crew within the nation, is 5-0 for the second straight season and has a formidable win over Baylor in its again pocket. Nevertheless it may nonetheless be truthful to ask a reasonably primary query: Are the Pokes all that good?

Sure, there have been dominant stretches — the fourth quarter vs. Arizona State, the primary half in opposition to Baylor, Spencer Sanders‘ take-no-prisoners late landing drive Saturday — however these at all times appear to be paired with different stretches by which Oklahoma State cannot get out of its personal approach.

That was largely the story Saturday in opposition to Texas Tech, a crew that has additionally spent a lot of the season wanting like Nic Cage’s IMDB web page — beat Texas one week, make “The Wicker Man” the following — and as soon as once more, it is not fully clear who performed nicely.

Texas Tech began its third totally different QB of the season, and Behren Morton threw for 379 yards. Oklahoma State relied on the veteran Sanders, who accounted for 3 complete TDs regardless of finishing lower than half his passes.

Oklahoma State went up 17-7. Texas Tech went to the half with a 24-20 lead. The Cowboys scored. The Crimson Raiders scored. The Pokes led by simply 3 getting into the ultimate quarter, then a sport full of offensive fireworks slowed to a crawl. One drive is “Leaving Las Vegas,” and the following is “Bangkok Harmful.”

Of all of the groups to begin 5-0 this season, solely Coastal Carolina allowed extra factors within the course of than Oklahoma State. Sanders is finishing simply 56% of his throws in opposition to Energy 5 foes. And but, for just a few drives each sport, Oklahoma State seems to be prefer it’s poised for an additional “Elevating Arizona.” The Cowboys are a paradox wrapped in an enigma topped with a mullet.


Abanikanda runs wild

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi promised his crew would run extra this season after saying goodbye to QB Kenny Pickett and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Mission achieved.

Pitt fed tailback Izzy Abanikanda 36 occasions throughout Saturday’s 45-29 win over Virginia Tech, and he made each one in all them depend.

Abanikanda rushed for 320 yards and 6 touchdowns within the win, changing into the primary Energy 5 or BCS convention again to go for greater than 300 yards and 6 scores since Ricky Williams did it in 1998. After the sport, Mike Ditka instantly texted Saints administration and urged buying and selling as many picks because it takes to get Abanikanda within the 2023 draft.

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Israel Abanikanda cannot be stopped as he rushes for six touchdowns, tying the Panthers’ faculty document set again in 1910.

For Pitt, Abanikanda’s huge day was a salve for an offense that struggled mightily final week in opposition to Georgia Tech. For Virginia Tech, the Hokies are off to their worst begin (2-4) since 1991.

However the story, after all, was Abanikanda, who now leads the nation with 13 scrimmage TDs. His 320 yards have been the fourth most in a sport in ACC historical past, in response to ESPN Stats & Data analysis, and he handed Tony Dorsett for probably the most in a single sport in Pitt historical past.

Now, if some newspaper does not run with the headline “Pitt’s Abanikanda don’t desire none except it is touchdowns, hon” on Sunday, then journalism is formally useless.


Heisman 5

Bryce Younger missed Week 6. Jalon Daniels left early. A half-dozen different big-name QBs additionally handled accidents that price them some or all the Saturday motion, which means it was a good time to get some new names into the Heisman combine.

1. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Stroud threw six TDs to Ohio State receivers and, as a result of he is a person of the individuals, one to Michigan State, too. It was Stroud’s fourth sport this season throwing 4 TDs or extra. Our working concept is that he is been catching up on “Home of the Dragon” on his sideline iPad, and so he is in a rush to attain on each possession to get again to his tales.

2. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker

Hooker led Tennessee to a different dominant win, throwing for 239 yards and two touchdowns with no choose. Since Hooker’s first begin for the Vols in Week 3 of final season, he is 12-5 with 41 passing touchdowns (20 greater than his former crew, Virginia Tech, has in that span) whereas throwing simply two interceptions (19 fewer than SEC East rival Florida).

3. USC QB Caleb Williams

Williams struggled at occasions in opposition to Washington State’s protection, finishing simply over half his throws for simply 188 yards. However he tossed two TDs, transformed a number of huge third downs and stored USC undefeated. But when any Oklahoma followers are studying this, simply know that he is not really blissful and he retains all of your letters in a lavender-scented field subsequent to his mattress.

4. UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson

In simply his 304th begin (word: that is a tough estimate), Thompson-Robinson set the UCLA document for profession landing passes within the spectacular win over Utah. In all, he accounted for 5 TDs on Saturday, averaged 13 yards per throw, and completely flummoxed one of many Pac-12’s finest defenses.

5. Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs and Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr.

OK, we’re most likely not completely dropping Younger from our Heisman contenders, however for this week a minimum of, let’s acknowledge how good two of his teammates have been. Gibbs carried 21 occasions for 154 yards, and since Younger went down with a shoulder damage final week, Gibbs has 328 speeding yards, is averaging higher than 10 yards per carry and has scored twice. In the meantime, Anderson racked up eight QB hurries and spent sufficient time in A&M’s backfield that Jimbo Fisher assumed his NIL collective owed Gibbs cash.


Essentially the most faculty soccer factor to occur in Week 6

Jackson State ran its document to 5-0 as Shedeur Sanders threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns in a 26-12 win over Alabama State. That places Deion Sanders’ crew at 3-0 in convention play, however he has a giant, fats zero in the case of true SWAC-ness.

Alabama State coach Eddie Robinson — no relation to the longtime Grambling coach — was lower than happy with Coach Prime’s obvious prima donna perspective earlier than the sport.

Robinson stated he “prays [Sanders] does not get a Energy 5 job” to allow them to play once more subsequent season and, in concept, actual some revenge.

You hear that, Auburn? No hiring Deion. We’d like extra SWAC grudge matches.


The opposite most faculty soccer factor to occur

Give Florida State credit score. Even after 5 of probably the most depressing seasons in class historical past, the Seminoles hold discovering new methods to inflict ache on their fan base.

On Saturday, the newest blow got here from the punter as a result of it is not sufficient to easily throw salt in FSU followers’ wounds. The Noles wanted to dump a jug of low cost tequila on prime of all that salt.

Alex Mastromanno was both operating a pretend punt or attempting to rugby punt or needed to see what would occur if each Florida State fan on the planet slammed their heads in opposition to a wall on the identical time. It is onerous to say which was his true motivation. However the result’s that, moderately than take off operating and certain selecting up a primary down, he punted past the road of scrimmage, establishing NC State on the FSU 13-yard line.

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Alex Mastromanno fakes a punt for the Seminoles, then on the final minute forgets the place he’s, by accident punting previous the road of scrimmage.

One drive earlier, Devin Leary was sidelined with a shoulder damage, leaving NC State with nearly no solutions on offense, but it surely did not matter. Christopher Dunn booted a 53-yard area objective to drag the Wolfpack to inside 1, then managed one other area objective on their subsequent drive to drag forward 19-17.

FSU nonetheless had an opportunity to win late, however as a result of Mike Norvell had minimal confidence in his kicker, he had Jordan Travis throw into the top zone on a second-and-8 play from the NC State 22, and it was picked off.

NC State trailed 17-13 when Leary went down. It tried simply two passes the remainder of the best way, and nonetheless pulled off the 19-17 win.

There’s ache. There’s unimaginable ache. After which there’s what occurred to FSU on Saturday.

Subsequent up? Clemson.


Purdue lastly fends off a comeback bid

The soccer gods had not been variety to Purdue to begin the season. The Boilermakers led within the ultimate minute of every of their first 5 video games, solely to see Penn State emerge with a four-point win on a TD with 57 seconds to play, and Syracuse win by 2 on a TD with simply seven seconds remaining.

It made for a somber backdrop as Taulia Tagovailoa hit Corey Dyches from 18 yards out for a possible game-tying landing with 35 seconds remaining Saturday at Maryland, however in the end, Purdue’s luck modified.

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Maryland scores a landing, then seems to haul in a game-tying 2-point conversion, however the play is named again and the Terps fail on their subsequent try.

The Terps appeared to have tied the sport on a 2-point attempt within the again nook of the top zone, however the rating was waved off resulting from a flag for an unlawful man downfield (a penalty that has turn into faculty soccer’s equal of your buddy who ruins everybody’s enjoyable by refusing to separate the test evenly as a result of he solely had a salad). Maryland’s second crack on the 2-point attempt got here up brief, and Purdue escaped with a 31-29 win.

Purdue seems to be like the favourite now within the topsy-turvy Massive Ten West, the place the Boilermakers are tied for first with — certainly this cannot be proper? — Nebraska, amongst others, although nobody from the division is ranked within the AP prime 25. It is good to see that, whereas the Massive Ten is stealing groups from the Pac-12, it managed to steal solely the vibe of the ACC Coastal.


Victory bells for Leach’s Bulldogs

That insufferable clanging noise nonetheless ringing in your ears is just the Mississippi State bandwagon rolling by way of SEC nation.

Mike Leach’s crew dominated Arkansas 40-17 on Saturday, with Will Rogers setting the SEC document for profession completions within the win, topping Aaron Murray’s earlier mark of 921 in simply his twenty eighth profession sport.

Arkansas, which performed with out QB KJ Jefferson, suffered a 3rd straight loss, dooming a once-promising season to a 1-3 mark in SEC play.

For Mississippi State, it was an announcement win for a mess of causes. The protection was stout, heading off all three of Arkansas’ fourth-down makes an attempt, stuffing drives at its personal 8, 29 and 37. The bottom sport excelled, too. Whereas Leach usually throws the ball between 40 and 600 occasions per sport, the Bulldogs really racked up 173 yards and three touchdowns on the bottom Saturday. It was probably the most speeding yards by a Leach-coached crew since Washington State went for 253 in opposition to Cal in 2016.

And, after all, the Bulldogs nonetheless threw the ball with ease. Rogers completed with 395 passing yards and three TDs, together with one to Caleb Ducking — who now has seven TD catches on the season, providing a uncommon alternative for Mississippi State followers to really intend to kind the phrase “ducking” in textual content messages.

The occasion may come to a screeching halt over the following month, nonetheless, as Mississippi State goes to Kentucky and Alabama in back-to-back weeks earlier than internet hosting Auburn and Georgia.


Underneath-the-radar play of the day

With two interceptions, it was hardly Drake Maye‘s most interesting day for North Carolina, however he nonetheless threw for 309 yards — averaging 11 yards per try — and tossed two touchdowns, together with this ridiculous completion to Josh Downs that was harking back to both Patrick Mahomes or Neo in “The Matrix.”

The Tar Heels are actually 5-1 and in clear management of the ACC Coastal. Maybe as important for the Heels is their protection held back-to-back ACC opponents to 24 factors or fewer for the primary time since Weeks 1 and a couple of of the 2020 season.


Underneath-the-radar sport of the day

Georgia Tech is now 2-0 since shifting on from former coach Geoff Collins. It is truthful to surprise — if he’d simply let the crew eat one thing aside from Waffle Home, maybe the Yellow Jackets may’ve began taking part in this nicely a lot earlier.

On Saturday, Tech constructed a 20-6 lead on Duke getting into the fourth quarter, however the Blue Devils refused to roll over. A punt return for a TD introduced Duke to inside one possession, and on the ultimate drive of regulation, the Blue Devils went 80 yards on 14 performs earlier than Riley Leonard hit Nicky Dalmolin for a TD with eight seconds remaining to pressure extra time.

Within the additional body, nonetheless, Georgia Tech kicked a simple area objective, then watched as Duke went backward on its possession, with kicker Charlie Ham lacking from 52 yards.

Now, who desires to have a good time with a bacon-egg-and-cheese hash brown bowl?


Massive bets and dangerous beats

UConn went on the street in opposition to FIU on Saturday as a 5.5-point favourite. It marked the primary time the Huskies have been favored in any FBS sport in opposition to a crew not named UMass since 2017 vs. East Carolina, and the primary time as a street favourite since 2015 in opposition to Tulane. It was due credit score for a crew that’s, in the end, not a complete embarrassment. Certainly, Saturday’s 33-12 win over FIU means the Huskies are on a successful streak! They’ve now gained two video games in a row and have three wins in a season for the primary time since 2017. UConn has set an extremely low bar for itself, and it is good to see Jim Mora casually stride over it like Lamar Jackson strutting into the top zone.


The magical begin to Kansas’ season got here to an finish in opposition to TCU, however Jayhawks backers are nonetheless using excessive. Kansas was a 7.5-point underdog at kickoff, and whereas it misplaced 38-31, that is nonetheless a canopy — the ninth straight for the Jayhawks courting again to final 12 months’s 57-56 win over Texas. Since then, Kansas is 6-3, however all three losses have come by seven or much less.


As the nice Chris Fallica famous this week, there have been 18 SEC video games over the previous 5 seasons by which a crew was favored by 30 or extra, as Georgia was in opposition to Auburn for a lot of the week main as much as kickoff. The favourite in these video games is simply 6-12 in opposition to the unfold, with the Dawgs a woeful 1-4. So, fortunate for UGA backers that the road moved right down to 27.5 in time for Saturday’s sport. Auburn was on track to cowl till Georgia engineered a late 11-play, 65-yard drive that included two third-down conversions (one on third-and-15) and was capped by a Branson Robinson TD run. Closing rating: Georgia 42, Auburn 10, and a garbage-time cowl that beleaguered Bulldogs followers deserved.



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