Looking back at college football’s weekend

by Gary Shelton on November 15, 2018 · 2 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general, University of Florida, USF

Thursday, 4 a.m.

5 Observations

1. Charlie Strong says that USF, a program in reverse, isn't big enough nor deep enough. So now Willie Taggert has to feel bad about that, too? He's in control of two slumping teams.

2. Most of the impact made by the Florida schools in their heyday was because of quarterbacks. All eight Heisman Trophy winners from Florida, FSU and Miami were quarterbacks. This year? What do the teams have besides just another guy in just another chinstrap. You want to be someone, guys, you have to be led by someone. You know, like UCF.

3. Speaking of UCF, it doesn't say anything bad about the program that they're no closer to the playoffs than they are. It says tons, however, about their competition, which is awful.

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4. I'm kind of weary of hearing people blame the college football playoffs for the apathy toward the college bowls. Hey, the Outback Bowl never had a thing to do with the national title. Neither did the Weedeater or the Independence. People are tired of seeing mediocre teams play exhibition games against other mediocre teams.

5. Yes, the late-season slump of Florida (before the comeback win over South Carolina) is disappointing. But others have it worse. FSU is the most disappointing team in the state, followed by Miami. I'd rank USF third and FAU fourth.

They Said It

“He called the right one because that’s what we signaled. He’s a little flaky sometimes. We ran the same play the play before. It’s just our quarterback off tackle play. We signaled run the same play and they ran the same play. If he had run it right the two previous times he wouldn’t have had to run it on fourth down.

“I like that he wants the ball in his hands for the game-winning play. I always think that’s huge. You want guys that want the ball in their hands to win the game. That just shows the confidence in themselves and belief in themselves that they can make the play.”

-- Florida coach Dan Mullen, on Feleipe Franks' winning score.

"We're not good enough to lose a player and replace a player. Just say when (Randall) St. Felix went down (at receiver), we don't have enough depth yet where you can take St. Felix off the field and replace him."

-- Charlie Strong on his lack of depth.

“It's important to us. It's important to our players, it's important to our fan base. It's important to the teams that came before us that we keep it going and we talked about it as a team and our guys understand what's at stake,” he said. “It’s important for our seniors to leave here and not be that senior class that didn't go to a bowl game.”

-- FSU coach Willie Taggart, on keeping his team's 36-year bowl streak alive.

“If you look across the country, people do it both ways. Sometimes the head coaches are making the calls, sometimes they’re not. It’s what that coach decides is the best thing to do. You’ve seen head coaches that have coordinators that have great success and head coaches that have coordinators that don’t have great success.

“We’re certainly not hitting on all cylinders right now. I know this: whoever is calling the plays, whether it’s the head coach or not, he’s the guy who is going to get most of the criticism because that’s what people can see and point to — just like at quarterback and the play-caller, those are the guys that end up getting most of the… they’re at center stage, so to speak.”

-- Mark Richt, on hiring an offensive coordinator

"There's a lot of distractions with this week. It's exactly what we want too as a program. You want the spotlight on you. You want each game that you play to get bigger. That indicates that you're doing the right things inside your program and you're winning football games. Kids will be excited about going out and playing a really good football team. Talked about this this morning  -- just about all the outside noise. At the end of the day, that has no bearing on what's going to happen on Saturday.

-- UCF coach Josh Heupel, on the hype of the week

Player of the Week

His team lost, okay? But thanks to Taylor Cornelius, the Oklahoma State Cowboys had a shot at upsetting rivl Oklahoma.

Cornelius threw for 501 yards and three touchdowns to bring his team to within 48-47. Cornelius hit a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:03 to pay, but his two-point conversion was short.

Oklahoma State is 5-5 on the year. Oklahoma is 9-1.

Team of the Week

A lot of conversation was about the other team and the other quarterback. No one paid much attention to Wake Forest.

But the Deacons upset 14th-ranked North Carolina State Saturday, pulling out a 27-23 victory for 5-5 Wake Forest. First-time starter Jamie Newman hit 22 of 33 passes for 297 yards and three second-half touchdowns, including the winning touchdown (a 32-yard pass to Jack Freundenthal with 30 seconds to play),

Computer Rankings

                       Colley Billingsley Sagarin  A&H.   Wolfe      Massey

UCF               9        11      23       10         10      10

Florida          12     12       27       11         12     12

USF              52       56       84       65        58      78

Miami            72       62       39       70        62     56

FSU              82       77        65       74        70       65

FIU              70        53      106       78       82       92

FAU              85        69       94       74       81       86

Notes about the Computers

1. Jeff Sagarin continues to have an issue with a lot of Florida teams. He has Florida ranked 23rd (every other computer ranking has them 11th or 12th) and by far gives  the worst ranking for USF, FIU and FAU. Of course, if a team is rated lower than 50, what does it matter?

2. All six of the computers that once  decided national championships finally agree that Alabama is No. 1. The AP and Coaches' polls agree. So who sees the Tide stubbing their toes?

3. Speaking of Sagarin, he has unbeaten Notre Dame ninth in his poll, behind a three-loss Penn State team. Is it possible his computer has a virus?

4. Peter Wolfe has LSU ranked sixth with two losses, ahead of Oklahoma, Ohio State, West Virginia, UCF and Washington State, all of whom have one loss or less.

5. In both the Massey and Colley, Georgia is ahead of Michigan. Not that it matters now. If Georgia beats Alabama, it's in. If Michigan beats Ohio State, it's probably in, too.

Toughest Games Ahead

Alabama           ....            No. 5 Georgia in SEC title game (neutral)

Clemson           ...             5-4 South Carolina (home)

Notre Dame     ...            No. 12 Syracuse (home)

Michigan         ,,,              at No. 10 Ohio State

State's Leading Passers

14. Milton, UCF                  288.6

20. Barnett, USF                267.9

28. Francois, FSU              250.6

44. Morgan, FIU                231.9

67. Robison, FAU             186.6

State's Leading Rushers

10. Singletary, FAU              116.9

14. Cronkrite, USF                109.1

64. Whyte, FAU                       76.5

68. McCrae, UCF                      74.8

72. Homer, Miami                    73.2

State's Leading Receivers

60. Davis, UF                            71.4

74. Murray, FSU                      65.0

82, St, Felix, USF                     63.5

113. McCants, USF                   56.7

121. Terry, FSU                         55.4

America's Most Disappointing Teams

Preseason Ranking                    Team                        Record

4.                                         Wisconsin                         6-4

8.                                            Miami                            5-5

13.                                        Stanford                            5-5

15.                                             USC                               5-5

16.                                              TCU                             4-6

19.                                             FSU                             4-6

20.                                       Virginia Tech                   4-5

Receiving Votes                   Oklahoma State             5-5

Receiving Votes                           FAU                         5-5

Receiving Votes                   Kansas State                 4-6

Bowl Projections

(CBS Sportsline)

Fiesta               Florida vs. UCF

Gasparilla        Cincinnati vs. FAU

Boca Raton      FIU vs. Tulane

Cure                  USF vs.. Appalachian State

Best-Ever Players -- Notre Dame

(One of a Series)

1. Joe Montana

2. Jerome Bettis

3. Tim Brown

4. Alan Page

5. Joe Theismann

Hot Seat Rankings

1. Randy Edsall, UConn

2. Clay Helton, USC

3. Lovie Smith, Illinois

4. Mike McIntyre, Colorado

5. Willie Taggart, FSU

]Random List

(Best Broadcasters)

1. Lee Corso

2. Gary Danielson

3. Kirk Herbstreet

4. Todd Blackledge

5. Bob Griese

State Predictions

FAU 29, North Texas minus-2

Florida 61, Idaho 3

Temple 111, USF 20

FIU 20, Charlotte 10

Boston College 38, FSU 14

Virginia Tech 30, Miami 7

UCF 31, Cincinnati 21

National Predictions

USC 21, UCLA 7

Ohio State 42, Maryland 0

Stanford 23, Cal 12

West Virginia 38, Oklahoma State 35

Notre Dame 21, Syracuse 17

If the Playoffs Had Eight Teams

(Start Your Arguments)

1. Alabama-Georgia winner vs. Utah State

2. Clemson vs. UCF-Cincinnati winner

3. Notre Dame vs. Washington State

4. Oklahoma-West Virginia winner vs. LSU

One Man's Heisman Rankings

1. Gardner Minshew, Washington State

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

3. Will Grier, West Virginia

4. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

5. McKenzie Milton, UCF

Closing Thoughts

1. I understand why Feleipe Franks would want to shush his own fans. But he didn't play well enough to stop comments like "The Gators desperately need a better quarterback."

2. What is is about this week that makes college football teams schedule powerpuffs like it's opening weekend? It's almost as if the major schools wanted to schedule a win, but they didn't want to take the week off. So you end up with games like Alabama vs. The Citadel, LSU vs. Rice, Florida vs. Idaho  and Georgia vs. UMass (what conference do those guys play in again?). I grew up on SEC football, but why take a week off?

3. A lot of decent, honorable men work hard and lose their jobs. Then there is ex-Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who begged to be fired with the first whistle he was ever given.

4. I don't know who your favorite team is, but UAB should be in the top three. The Blazers didn't exist two years ago after the bosses pulled the plug on the program. Now, they're 9-1.

5. Should head coaches call plays? FSU's Willie Taggart has given up the job, and Miami's Mark Richt is stubbornly holding onto his. The thing is, even the best coach is a victim of his players. You can't look smart throwing deep if the quarterback has a noodle arm, and you can't be bright running the ball if your offensive line is bendable. Really, it's just something to drive the fanbases crazy.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Martin November 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm

You sure do a lot of work for your readers with these in-depth commentaries/stat pieces. I sure hope there are more and more subscribers being added to your site for your efforts. Really appreciate what you’re doing for area sports fans/readers.

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Gary Shelton November 15, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Thanks, Rick. I liked the one about the preseason rankings and the most disappointing teams today. I learned something researaching that one.

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