The Other McCain

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Tide Rolls, Dawgs Dominate, Ducks Lose, Cincinnati Defeats Notre Dame

Posted on | October 3, 2021 | Comments Off on Tide Rolls, Dawgs Dominate, Ducks Lose, Cincinnati Defeats Notre Dame

Bryce Young led Alabama over Ole Miss.

There will be a shake-up in the college football rankings after Saturday’s games, although the top two teams will remain unchanged.

Alabama faced its first big test of the season at home against previously unbeaten Ole Miss, and won 42-21 in a game that wasn’t really that close. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin had his team going for it on fourth down, and paid the price for his gambles. The Rebels could have gotten on the scoreboard first, but turned down the chance for an easy field goal, instead choosing to go for it on fourth-and-one at the ‘Bama 6-yard line. When they failed, the Crimson Tide took over and drove 94 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown, with Bryce Young hitting a 16-yard TD pass to John Metchie III. On their next possession, Ole Miss again found itself in a fourth-down situation at its own 47, went for it and didn’t make it. Alabama took over and drove for another touchdown, with Brian Robinson scoring on a 7-yard run. By halftime, it was really over, with the Crimson Tide leading 28-0. Robinson finished with 171 yards rushing and four TDs. Young was 21-for-27 passing for 241 yards.

No. 2 Georgia continued to look impressive, with a 37-0 victory over previously unbeaten Arkansas. The Bulldogs won despite the fact that starting quarterback J.T. Daniels was out with an injury. Backup QB Stetson Bennett did nothing spectacular, throwing for just 72 yards, but between their rugged defense and powerful running game, Georgia’s quarterback situation didn’t really matter. The Dawgs racked up 273 rushing yards, while their defense allowed Arkansas only 162 yards total offense. Georgia will almost certainly play in the SEC championship game, and the real suspense of this season is whether both the Bulldogs and Alabama will be undefeated when that game rolls around.

No. 3 Oregon lost to unranked Stanford 31-24 in overtime, continuing a jinx for the Ducks, who have a history of losing to Stanford even in years when they beat everyone else. For example, in 2012, Oregon was undefeated and ranked No. 1 when they got beat 17-14 by Stanford. The question now is whether any PAC-12 team will make it to the NCAA championship playoffs. Meanwhile, in South Bend . . .

Even though No. 9 Notre Dame was undefeated going into Saturday’s home game against No. 7 Cincinnati, everybody could see the Irish were struggling. They barely beat FSU and Toledo, and were ranked No. 9, but they had a 26-game home winning streak, and who are the Cincinnati Bearcats, compared to the storied football legends of Notre Dame? Last year, the Bearcats were undefeated but were snubbed for the playoffs, and then lost to Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Saturday, they beat Notre Dame 24-13 and it wasn’t really that close, as Cincinnati led 17-0 at halftime, as Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder finished the game with nearly 300 yards passing. So even though the rest of Cincinnati’s schedule isn’t much — they do face a late November game against SMU, currently undefeated — their victory over Notre Dame goes a long way toward establishing the Bearcats as legitimate playoff contenders.

No. 6 Oklahoma struggled to beat Kansas State 37-31, while No. 5 Iowa rolled over Maryland 51-14. Going into next week, I expect Oregon to drop down to No. 8 or lower, while Cincinnati should move up to No. 6, Oklahoma at No. 5 and Iowa at No. 4. That sets up next Saturday’s big showdown between Iowa and undefeated Penn State, which beat Indiana 24-0, and should move up to No. 3 this week. With all contingencies considered, there’s a solid chance Cincinnati is a week away from being ranked in the Top 5. Oh, and look out for Kentucky. The Wildcats are now 5-0 after upsetting No. 10 Florida 20-13 Saturday. Expect the Wildcats to show up in the Top 25 for the next poll, but Kentucky faces a major test next Saturday when they travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU, which is coming off a bitter 24-19 loss to Auburn.



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