College soccer Week 10 — Top performs, highlights

Georgia entered Saturday’s showdown with Tennessee because the No. 3 workforce within the nation, which says one thing about how these evaluations are made.

It is true, after all, that the Bulldogs seemed listless at instances towards depressing competitors like Kent State and Missouri. And it is true, too, that after a dominant Week 1 win over Oregon, there’s been little on the Dawgs’ schedule to get enthusiastic about. And nobody can dispute that Tennessee had been spectacular in a slender win over Alabama and dominant victories towards LSU and Kentucky.

None of this was flawed.

But, how might anybody doubt these Bulldogs?

The defending champs delivered their reminder in Saturday’s 27-13 win over the Volunteers, and barring an unlikely meltdown within the season’s remaining three video games, they’ve basically punched their playoff ticket.

For thus most of the remainder of faculty soccer’s high contenders, Saturday was nightmare materials.

Alabama misplaced in time beyond regulation to LSU, giving Brian Kelly a signature win and upending the SEC West hierarchy. Bryce Younger struggled, the Alabama protection had no solutions for Jayden Daniels, and the Crimson Tide turned the third top-10 workforce to lose Saturday.

Ohio State slumbered by a miserable day in Evanston, as Northwestern held C.J. Stroud to simply 76 passing yards. The Buckeyes prevailed 21-7, but it surely was the “Star Wars” prequels — a part of the canon, however nobody desires to look at it ever once more.

Clemson’s top-four rating can be short-lived. DJ Uiagalelei was benched for the second straight sport, solely Cade Klubnik entered in reduction simply lengthy sufficient to throw an INT deep within the Tigers’ personal territory to arrange a straightforward Irish TD. Notre Dame marched to a dominant 35-14 win which will properly have been a loss of life blow to Clemson’s playoff hopes.

Michigan rebounded to a straightforward win over Rutgers, however the Wolverines trailed on the half. TCU trailed getting into the fourth quarter. Illinois’ magical season got here to an finish towards Michigan State. Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Syracuse — all driving a wave of enthusiasm simply weeks in the past — all misplaced, too.

In accordance with ESPN Stats and Data, six groups had 40-to-1 or shorter odds to win the nationwide title getting into Saturday. Three of them misplaced.

After which there was Georgia, defending champs, merely caring for enterprise.

A 12 months in the past, the narrative Georgia endured was one among doubt — doubt due to historical past, doubt due to its former walk-on QB, doubt as a result of we demanded proof each week, and no workforce can ship that.

This 12 months, nonetheless, Georgia is powered not by the doubters, however by its personal rabid confidence. This workforce is just like the Kobe Bryant-era Los Angeles Lakers. Why get too excited over a highway journey to Sacramento? Preserve your vitality, bide your time.

After the season-opening win over Oregon, Georgia did not want its A-game. Heck, Stetson Bennett would possibly as properly have relaxed on a garden chair, dangling his ft in a kiddie pool for the primary half in every of Georgia’s previous seven wins. These video games merely did not matter past making certain that Georgia completed with extra factors than the opposite workforce — a job that is grow to be exhaustingly simple.

Simply have a look at how Saturday’s win unfolded. There have been moments of pure brilliance, after all, like Bennett’s throw behind the tip zone, hitting Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. And certainly, the matchup issues Georgia presents with Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington are completely unfair, however that duo accounted for simply 34 yards towards Tennessee.

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Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint elevates to make an impressive snag and will get each ft in bounds to present the Bulldogs a 21-3 lead.

Bennet accomplished simply 17 passes (and one run that provided a solution to a couple hundred prank callers). There have been no 100-yard receivers, no 100-yard rushers, no pick-sixes or lengthy kick returns. Between rain-soaked hedges, Georgia was merely higher in any respect the little issues, and it compelled Tennessee to play by that very same blueprint, a plan overseas to the high-flying Vols. Tennessee climbed to the No. 1 rating by outflanking all comers, by seeing how the magic trick was performed, then plowing by the smoke and crashing by the mirrors. However Georgia provided none of that. The Dawgs simply lined up, mano a mano, and received.

Nothing Georgia did Saturday was exceptional in a micro sense, however to view the win from a macro stage was completely breathtaking. That is what championships are constructed upon — not fireworks and drama, however 11 guys doing the suitable factor on the similar time, one play after one other, many times. That is what Georgia does higher than anybody else can.

Georgia is 9-0 and has two wins over top-eight opponents by a mixed rating of 76-16, not due to a treasure trove of highlights and otherworldly performances, however as a result of they’re simply repeatedly, relentlessly higher.


Tide, Tigers dealt daggers

Alabama is the fulcrum on which all good playoff resumes are constructed, however this 12 months, the Tide’s possibilities of punching their very own playoff ticket now look all however over.

Dabo Swinney assured the world he had his QB even after benching DJ Uiagalelei towards Syracuse and, seems, he was proper. Cade Klubnik’s interception deep in his personal territory doomed the Tigers to a brutal 35-14 loss to Notre Dame, which can properly value Clemson a playoff berth, too.

For the Tide, it is their third loss of their previous 10 video games, its worst stretch since shedding three of 10 in 2013 and 2014. However again then, these three losses had been surrounded largely by dominance. The 2013 marketing campaign ended with back-to-back Ls, however the 9 video games that preceded them had been all wins by 13 or extra, and the 2014 season included a visit to the primary College Soccer Playoff.

Now? Alabama might simply have 4 losses to its identify already, if not for an damage to Texas QB Quinn Ewers and — properly, regardless of the heck you need to say about Texas A&M. Since successful the 2020 nationwide championship, Alabama has had 10 video games that both ended with a loss or a one-possession win.

So what’s gone flawed? Actually the receivers haven’t performed properly this season. The protection, too, has struggled at instances, and had no solutions for Daniels’ mobility on Saturday. After which, after all, there’s offensive coordinator Invoice O’Brien, who spent Saturday wanting like a dad actually attempting to narrate to his teenage children as he talked to them concerning the birds and bees.

Regardless of the causes, the larger takeaway is that this: Alabama used to beat groups getting off the bus. Now, that air of invincibility is gone, and that 2020 dominance appears like an awfully very long time in the past.

The identical is true for Clemson, which ruffled feathers with its No. 4 rating within the committee’s preliminary high 25 after shut wins towards Wake Forest, Florida State and Syracuse. However wins are wins, and the Tigers continued to pile them up, despite all of the pink flags. The luck got here to a screeching halt Saturday, as Notre Dame completely annihilated the Tigers’ O-line, pissed off Clemson’s QBs into two brutal INTs and scored on a botched punt.

It isn’t sufficient for Notre Dame to doom the ACC to a sluggish loss of life by refusing to affix full time. Now the Irish have all however knocked the ACC out of playoff competition. Notre Dame has now received 27 straight video games towards the ACC within the common season, together with beating each of 2022’s seemingly division champs this season. Jack Swarbrick additionally stole Jim Phillips’ lunch cash only for enjoyable.

Clemson’s path to 11-1 remains to be pretty simple — house towards Louisville, Miami and South Carolina to shut out the common season — however there’s an actual query of whether or not turning over the offense to Klubnik with an eye fixed towards 2023 is sensible. Clearly the younger QB wants reps, but it surely appears equally clear he would not make Clemson instantly higher.

Alabama and Clemson have mixed to win 5 of the eight nationwide championships within the playoff period. There’s by no means been a season by which neither workforce made the playoff. After Saturday, 2022 is shaping up as a brand new period.


TCU offers us the drama we deserve

It is a disgrace the College Soccer Playoff committee would not see the great thing about TCU’s modus operandi in 2022. The Horned Frogs entered Saturday ranked No. 7 within the committee’s preliminary high 25, a slap within the face for a workforce that had but to lose, that had 4 wins on the highway, that had toppled 4 straight ranked foes.

The argument, it appeared, was that TCU would not win impressively sufficient, however “impressive” is a subjective time period, and admittedly, we will not think about why anybody would like a blowout to what has grow to be the Horned Frogs’ weekly three-hour drama.

The narrative performed out simply because it at all times does on Saturday. TCU jumped out to an early lead over Texas Tech. The Purple Raiders charged again and took a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter. Then TCU pounced. The Horned Frogs are predators, they usually get pleasure from toying with their prey.

In opposition to Texas Tech, TCU scored 21 factors within the fourth quarter. Sonny Dykes’ crew has now outscored opponents 55-14 within the remaining body of its previous 4 video games.

The committee believes these late-game heroics are an indication of weak spot. However maybe TCU is simply too cool for the committee. The Horned Frogs are the workforce that arrives to a celebration fashionably late, sporting a tuxedo T-shirt, a belt buckle the dimensions of a Ford Focus and carrying a bottle of Hennessy it is not meaning to share.

Who wants blowouts? The faculty soccer season offers us far too a lot of these. TCU offers the individuals need they need — drama, intrigue, purple. It is as if Prince had been a school soccer workforce.

And positive, the dominance of different groups would possibly impress the committee, however dominance is a difficult factor to keep up. Simply have a look at Ohio State’s Saturday journey to Evanston, Illinois. The normally dominant Buckeyes went to halftime tied at 7 with lowly Northwestern, pulled into the depths of distress by a workforce that is aware of that terrain much better. C.J. Stroud’s Heisman Trophy marketing campaign hit its largest roadblock of the season towards an opponent that surrendered 33 factors to Iowa final week. Stroud averaged lower than 3 yards per go in Saturday’s 21-7 win. Now that may be a actual motive for committee skepticism.

However TCU? These shut video games aren’t a motive for doubt. They seem to be a mark of certainty. TCU is constant, and there is real worth in that. The Horned Frogs are like an episode of “Law and Order: SVU.” The early scenes may be robust to look at, the dangerous guys could have the higher hand and Ice-T will appear confused about what’s taking place — however ultimately, the viewers is aware of the great guys at all times discover a method to win.

So, what’s to not like about that? The committee desires blowouts, desires boredom. Nicely, not everybody will get the luxurious of enjoying in the identical division as Rutgers and Indiana.

We’ll take drama each time, and TCU — these guys know the right way to ship the products.


Noles win huge

A 12 months in the past, Florida State’s final-drive comeback to beat Miami seemingly sealed head coach Manny Diaz’s destiny. He was fired at 12 months’s finish, regardless of the Hurricanes successful 5 of their remaining six video games. That loss was an excessive amount of to disregard.

And the transfer paid off, as a result of this 12 months’s loss to Florida State is certainly one Miami followers will need to ignore.

Jordan Travis threw three touchdowns in Florida State’s 45-3 win over the rival Canes, the most important highway win by both workforce within the historical past of this collection.

Trey Benson, who was totally ignored by Mario Cristobal when the 2 had been collectively at Oregon, bought a superb style of revenge, carrying 15 instances for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

The win was so dominant that John Ruiz’s subsequent Miami stadium proposal will truly be only a circus tent within the Everglades, whereas the Seminoles now have a real shot to run the desk and end the common season with 9 wins.


Going for 2

Florida 41, Texas A&M 24

Level 1: Texas A&M was down greater than a dozen gamers for this one, largely because of the flu.

In equity, there was no room within the finances for flu pictures what with everybody checking their sofa cushions to afford Jimbo Fisher’s buyout.

Level 2: Anthony Richardson accounted for 4 touchdowns — two passing, two speeding — and turned in his greatest sport of the season, and Carolina Panthers proprietor David Tepper is already questioning if he can simply go forward and draft Richardson now.

Liberty 21, Arkansas 19

Level 1: Liberty is a failed 2-point strive away from being undefeated with wins over two Energy 5 groups and BYU proper now. The Flames’ remaining schedule is a highway journey to UConn and residential towards Virginia Tech and New Mexico State. There is a good likelihood this workforce will end 11-1 within the common season. It is truthfully a bit heartbreaking to think about how shut we’d’ve been to Liberty holding a parade by Lynchburg and claiming a nationwide championship based mostly on some moderately murky language in an obscure passage within the E-book of Revelation.

Level 2: Except Houston Nutt has any pending litigation at Auburn, would not it seem to be Hugh Freeze makes a ton of sense there?

Temple 54, USF 28

Level 1: Temple operating again Edward Saydee entered Saturday with simply 290 speeding yards on the season. However towards USF, Saydee carried 24 instances for 265 yards and three touchdowns within the 54-28 win.

Level 2: It is truthful to marvel if this was the final straw for USF’s Jeff Scott. The Bulls are 1-8 on the 12 months and have not received a convention sport. The 54 factors allowed to Temple are 24 greater than the Owls had scored in a sport this season. Below Scott, USF is 4-26, and with SMU, a highway journey to Tulsa and the finale towards No. 25 UCF remaining, it is unlikely issues will get a lot better.

Kansas 37, Oklahoma State 16

Level 1: Kansas goes bowling. Nicely, positive, we assume the Kansas soccer workforce spends a lot of December bowling anyway — most likely utilizing these lanes with the gutter boundaries as a result of nobody can endure extra failure after a typical Jayhawks season. However this 12 months, Kansas is definitely going to a soccer bowl sport, because of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State. It will likely be Kansas’ first bowl sport since 2008. Within the interim, each FBS workforce besides UMass and James Madison have performed in a bowl.

Level 2: Saturday additionally marked Kansas’ first win over an AP top-25 opponent since 2010, when the Jayhawks knocked off No. 15 Georgia Tech. In accordance with ESPN Stats and Data, the longest present shedding streak towards ranked opponents now belongs to Rutgers.

SMU 77, Houston 63

Level 1: There have been 140 complete factors scored on this sport. That’s greater than 9 totally different groups had for your entire season getting into Saturday. In Iowa, the printed of this sport was censored as obscene content material and changed with photographs of Kirk Ferentz having fun with a heat glass of milk.

Level 2: Clayton Tune threw for 527 yards, ran for 111 and had eight touchdowns. And he misplaced. Tanner Mordecai, then again, accounted for 10 touchdowns within the win — Ten! — and the mixed effort of 16 passing touchdowns is essentially the most ever in a sport in FBS, FCS, Division II or Division III historical past, based on ESPN Stats and Data.

Texas 34, Kansas State 27

Level 1: Bijan Robinson is a foul, dangerous man, and maybe essentially the most ignored celebrity in faculty soccer. He completed Saturday with 30 carries for 209 yards, and now has greater than 1,100 speeding yards on the season. If Texas can win out, there is a non-zero likelihood Robinson can combat his approach into the Heisman dialog.

Level 2: Kansas State must be essentially the most troublesome workforce to pin down this season. Lose to Tulane, beat Oklahoma. Get edged by TCU late, destroy Oklahoma State, then lose to Texas. It is exhausting in charge Adrian Martinez for any of it. He threw for 329, ran for 52 and accounted for 3 touchdowns Saturday. Nonetheless, he clearly introduced an excessive amount of Nebraska with him to Kansas State. The Cornhusker curse can’t be erased by a easy journey by the switch portal.

Michigan 52, Rutgers 17

Level 1: Rutgers led 17-14 on the half. Always remember that. Alternatively, in its previous 4 video games, Michigan has outscored its opponents 100-3.

Level 2: Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards every ran for 109 yards, and Michigan’s floor sport continues to dominate. The Wolverines are one among simply three groups to hurry for 150 yards or extra in every of their first 9 video games this season, together with Oregon State and Air Pressure.


Essentially the most faculty soccer factor to occur in Week 10

For years, we might foolishly assumed that the “Tech” in Louisiana Tech insinuated some sort of boring technical training, like mechanical engineering or studying the right way to repair computer systems by unplugging them after which plugging them again in. However no. All this time, La Tech has been engaged on a far better marvel of human achievement.

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Louisiana Tech Bulldog’s mascot Tech XXII drives across the finish zone in a distant managed Bugatti.

Did any of the earlier 21 Tech mascots have their very own vehicles? Does it make any sense that the canine is driving a Bugatti moderately than, say, an ideal scale mannequin of the Basic Lee from “Dukes of Hazzard”? And what does Uga take into consideration all of this?

On second thought, do not trouble asking any of these questions. One thing this excellent doesn’t want a backstory.

Oh, and Louisiana Tech beat Center Tennessee 40-24, so truthfully any workforce that does not have a stay mascot in a remote-control automotive might be simply throwing away wins.


The opposite most faculty soccer factor to occur in Week 10

Hey, child. Do your impression of what is occurred to Virginia’s offense this season.


Below-the-radar sport of the week

Marshall received a sport by which it did not rating a landing, had simply 89 passing yards, and turned the ball over twice. Iowa is so jealous proper now.

Alternatively, Marshall’s protection compelled 4 turnovers, held Outdated Dominion to simply 209 yards of offense, and stuffed the Monarchs on 14 of 16 third- or fourth-down tries.

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Outdated Dominion quarterback Hayden Wolff coughs up the soccer and Marshall’s TyQaze Leggs jumps on it.

The Thundering Herd beat Outdated Dominion, 12-0, within the fourth sport this season with out a landing being scored. The primary two, after all, included Iowa. The third got here final week between Miami and Virginia. So, congrats, Marshall. We’re positive you are excited so as to add your identify to that illustrious crew.


Below-the-radar play of the week

After back-to-back losses in ACC play, the league’s defending champ lastly bought again within the win column with a 19-9 victory over Syracuse.

That is to not say all went properly for Pitt, nonetheless.

See, because of this the analytics stated to go for it.


Nothing may very well be finer …

There have not been many simple ones for North Carolina this season, however the Tar Heels escaped Virginia 31-28 on Saturday to present Mack Brown his first win in Charlottesville in his profession. Drake Maye threw for 293 yards, ran for 74 extra and accounted for 3 touchdowns to additional bolster his Heisman credentials. UNC is now 8-1 and appears all however assured of successful the ACC Coastal.

However the celebration would not finish in Chapel Hill.

On Friday, Duke toppled Boston College 38-31 to maneuver to 6-3, which means all 4 of the North Carolina faculties within the ACC — together with NC State and Wake Forest, too — are bowl eligible for the primary time ever.

None of this makes up for the truth that vinegar-based barbecue sauce is like wringing out a health club sock onto your pulled pork, but it surely’s nonetheless deserving of a severe Ric Aptitude “Woooooooo!” to rejoice.


UConn will get chesty

We do not need to alarm anybody, however UConn is one win away from bowl eligibility. It is tremendous. The chances are nonetheless not in its favor, however if you happen to’ve been contemplating constructing that bomb shelter in your yard, now may be a superb time to plunk down the deposit.

The Huskies picked up win No. 5 on Friday by beating UMass, which comes only one week after toppling Boston College, and that had UConn’s social media workforce feeling its oats.

That is new territory for UConn, so we’ll forgive the mashup of John Irving and George R.R. Martin, however what’s completely unforgivable is that this complete erasure of Holy Cross. The Crusaders are 9-0, and till UConn beats them, there can be no official title of Kings of the North bestowed upon anybody.


Large bets and dangerous beats

The most secure wager in sports activities paid out once more Saturday. Each time two service academies get collectively, it is limbo time — go low, decrease and even decrease on the sport totals. The entire for Saturday’s matchup between Military and Air Pressure was simply 40.5 — a quantity Military had eclipsed by itself in every of its previous two video games, and a complete Air Pressure had hit alone 4 instances this season. However we all know how this story ends. Military’s offense managed simply 145 yards complete, and the 2 groups mixed to run the ball — and run out the clock — 85 instances. Closing: Air Pressure 13, Military 7. The win ensured the Falcons the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the primary time since 2016, and since 2005, the below in any sport that includes two service academies is 43-9-1, together with the previous 10 straight (and 15 of the previous 16).


Michigan State pulled off the shocker towards No. 16 Illinois, regardless of managing simply 294 complete yards — 147 fewer than the Illini — and going 3-of-11 on third down. The Spartans had been 16-point underdogs within the sport and the cash line on a Michigan State win paid out at +550. We’re hoping Spartans boosters had loads of money on their guys on this one, since a win like this undoubtedly means a hefty extension is coming for Mel Tucker.


Coming into Week 10, Ohio State had the shortest odds to win the nationwide championship at +190, based on Caesars Sportsbook. However after Georgia’s domination of Tennessee, the Bulldogs at the moment are the clear betting favourite at +150. Ohio State is the second-shortest odds now at +200.