Week 7 Summations - Another Top 5 Upset
And hot seats getting hotter...
While the level of “Top” matchups was not what it had been in recent weeks, the 7th week of the college football season really brought us some important mid-level conference matchups and another top 5 upset, as well as some near misses. We’re setting up for some phenomenal weeks over the next month. Here’s what stood out to me about Week 7->>>>
Another big upset shakes up Top 5…Georgia and Cincinnati cruised, Alabama looked like it’s rebounded a bit and Oklahoma may be getting some momentum with their switch to Caleb Williams at QB BUT…#2 Iowa went down to Purdue which probably means they have to win out, including the B1G to make the playoff. Other Big 10 undefeateds/one loss contenders were either off or survived (Michigan State).
Additional surprises and notable results further down the Top 25:
Oklahoma State came from 14 down to beat Texas on the road, staying undefeated but Arizona State went down to Utah – leaving the PAC12 with only one Playoff contender left (Oregon). Florida and Arkansas both bit the dust – the Gator loss to LSU was the biggest surprise but one loss Liberty lost to ULM as well.
Hot Seats Getting Hotter…LSU Ousts Orgeron…Who’s Next?
LSU had a surprise upset win…and then on Sunday they announced that they are parting ways with Ed Orgeron – who will coach out the rest of the year. It’s not surprising, although the timing is a little unusal after a big win. Two other hot seats I mentioned last week are now completely on fire - Manny Diaz at Miami and Scott Frost at Nebraska are as good as gone after losses to beatable teams this weekend. You can probably add Justin Fuente of Virginia Tech to that group after a listless loss to Pitt.
Game of the Day:
Without question it was Ole Miss beating Tennessee 31-26. Expected to be a high scoring shootout, the game took 4 and a half hours plus but that was in part due to a 20 minute delay because Tennessee fans were throwing things onto the field and at the Ole Miss bench and players…and we’re not talking about stuffed animals. In the end, the Rebels held on 31-26 after the second to last play of the game was a pass just over the fingers of a Vol receiver in the end zone. Frankly, the defenses played better than expected and it’s a big win for Lane Kiffin in his return to Knoxville as a head coach, but the whole thing was also an embarrassing spectacle for Vol Nation. However…I certainly couldn’t look away.
Top 3 Coaching Performances of Week 7:
1. Jeff Brohm - Purdue: Any time you go into the #2 team in the country’s place and win convincingly, you’ve done a great job but considering how Iowa was suffocating teams that didn’t have high powered offenses, it’s even more impressive. The Boilermakers clearly were going to make sure they didn’t turn the ball over and force Iowa to beat them on long fields. They got a lead and stuck with their plan. Brohm has had some criticism that he hasn’t gotten Purdue to a higher level than 6-6-type seasons but they are 4-2 this year and, for now, in first place in the Big 10 West.
2. Dave Doeren – N.C. State: He’s been on some hot seat lists in the past but what Doeren has done this year with the WolfPack has broken them out of their “underachiever” label – typically you’d expect the Pack to lose games like the one in Boston College Saturday where they could really make a statement. They didn’t. Instead, they dominated the Eagles and served notice that they are probably the top contender for the ACC Atlantic (apologies to Wake Forest – they haven’t played Clemson, N.C. State OR B.C. yet).
3. Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State: It seemed like the undefeated Cowboys would finally meet their match down in Austin. They were trailing 17-3 in the second quarter and the Longhorns were driving. A pick six later, Oklahoma State was back in it and they came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat Texas 32-24. It’s always a big win for them to beat Texas but now Oklahoma State is 6-0 and looking like the second best team in the Big 12. Gundy’s offense has struggled mightily this year but they’ve been solid on defense. He comes in for a lot of criticism at times – need to recognize what he’s accomplishing in Stillwater, especially this year.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn, Jeff Traylor, UTSA, Ed Orgeron, LSU
The 3 Worst Coaching Performances of Week 7:
1. Dan Mullen - Florida: Something’s just not right in Gainesville. Mullen – who by all accounts is a really good coach – has just not been able to get his team right. They are now juggling QBs and couldn’t stop an LSU team on the ground…who had not been able to run all year and were about to announce the firing of their head coach. Mullen isn’t probably in any real trouble, but the fact remains that Florida is 4-3 on the year and two of their three losses are to teams they probably should have beaten.
2. Justin Fuente – Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech coming off a tough loss to Notre Dame, and likely playing for their coach’s job, layed an absolute egg against Pitt at home. Offensively they had no real success all day and the 28-7 final score really wasn’t even that close. The Hokies SHOULD be better than this. It’s been one of the great mysteries of the past 3-4 years that the Fuente hire hasn’t worked out. It seems that things are finally coming to a head in Blacksburg.
3. Hugh Freeze - Liberty: When you’re a 32 point favorite against one of the supposed worst, and least funded and supported, teams in FBS, you CAN’T lose. Not when you supposedly have one of the best 10 QBs in the country. The Flames gave up 28 straight points in the third quarter to ULM. Liberty is 5-2 but it has been a disappointing season in many ways for them. Freeze is still really good and going to be in high demand, but underachieving in a game like this has to get laid at feet of the head coach.
Dishonorable Mention: Herm Edwards, Arizona State, David Shaw, Stanford
The season keeps on rolling and – I don’t know about you – but I’m having a great time! Check back here Thursday for the top 10 Most Meaningful Matchups for Week 8 – which is looking pretty epic and remember to follow me on Twitter @readycfb to keep conversation going!