Week 12 Recap - More of the Mighty Take a Fall

November 12, 2017 by Dave Congrove

Apparently, if you're among the top-ranked teams and you're going to lose, the proper etiquette these days is to get run out of the building. It happened to Ohio State last week when Iowa crunched the Buckeyes 55-24, and it happened twice this weekend as Notre Dame was smoked 41-8 by Miami and Georgia was trashed 40-17 by Auburn.

Georgia went into the weekend as the top-ranked team by the College Football Playoff Committee. Notre Dame was ranked 3rd.

Though undefeated, Miami was only No. 10 in the committee's initial ranking before being elevated to No. 7 after its solid win over Virginia Tech. Suffice it to say that the Hurricanes weren't satisfied with making one statement - they wanted to make the next one louder and clearer. Mission accomplished.

The win over the Irish should prompt the committee to put Miami in the top 4 when the next rankings are released on Tuesday night.

I expect they will have Alabama at No. 1, despite the need for a last-minute escape from their own upset at Mississippi State. A 26-yard TD pass with 25 seconds left provided a 31-24 victory, kept the Tide unscathed, and prevented the SEC from taking two punches to the mouth on the same day.

Oklahoma should follow 'Bama, with Miami at No. 3 and Clemson 4th. But that's just my best guess.

For a few brief minutes, Clemson was on the verge of collapse at home against Florida State. A 17-0 halftime lead was cut to 17-14 with 8:53 to play in the game and the Tigers fumbled it back to FSU on their ensuing possession. But, this being the kind of year when the Seminoles can't accept good fortune, Florida State's attempt to knock home a quick 6 turned into an interception. Clemson, now awakened by the threat of losing, awoke and closed out the game with 2 more touchdowns of their own for a 31-14 win.

Oklahoma was given no such scare by TCU in a 5 vs. 6 battle. The Sooners jumped out to a 38-14 lead at halftime and went on to a 38-20 victory.

Look for Wisconsin to also get a nice bump after cruising to a 38-14 win over Iowa. Yes, that's the same Iowa team that I referenced at the beginning of this article as having destroyed Ohio State by 31 points a week ago. This week, the only points Iowa managed to score came on a pair of interception returns by Joshua Jackson. His 52- and 43-yard pick sixes were a cumulative 29 yards more than the measly 66 yards mustered by the Hawkeyes' offense.

Meanwhile, Ohio State bounced back by undressing Michigan State 48-3.

The upset bug began biting on Friday night when Stanford took down Washington 30-22 as a gimpy Bryce Love ran for 166 yards and 3 touchdowns. The loss by the Huskies likely erases any chance for the PAC-12 to be represented in the 4-team postseason playoff, but anything is possible if chaos continues to reign across the college football landscape.

Rankings Spankings

Nine of the playoff committee's top 25 teams lost this weekend. (1) Georgia, (3) Notre Dame, (6) TCU, (8) Washington, (12) Michigan State, (16) Mississippi State, (17) Virginia Tech, (20) Iowa, and (21) Iowa State.

Virginia Tech fell 28-22 at Georgia Tech, while Iowa State lost 49-42 to Oklahoma State.

Worth Noting

Army collected its 8th win of the season (8-2) with a 21-6 defeat of Duke.

Toledo was cruising along at 8-1 overall and 15th in the Congrove Computer Rankings (CCR Top 130) until Wednesday night's 38-10 loss at Ohio. Akron was tied with the Bobcats atop the East until Tuesday night's 24-14 loss at Miami (Ohio). Toledo already has a win over its closest competitor in the West division, Northern Illinois. It's looking like Toledo and Ohio will have a rematch in Detroit to decide the MAC title.

Toledo is at BGSU next Wednesday while Ohio heads to Akron next Tuesday.

UAB improved to 7-3 with a 24-19 upset of UTSA.

UCF remained undefeated (9-0) with a 49-24 victory over UConn.

Arkansas State was upset 24-19 at South Alabama to put 4 teams in a 4-way tie for first in the Sun Belt. The RedWolves are 4-1 in conference play while Appalachian State, Troy and Georgia State are all 5-1.

Lane Kiffin's FAU Owls improved to 7-3 overall and 6-0 in CUSA with a 48-23 rout of Louisiana Tech.

Butch Davis' FIU Panthers fell to 6-3 overall, 4-2 in CUSA play after a 37-30 upset loss at home to Old Dominion.

Louisville finally joined the list of bowl eligible teams by defeating Virginia 38-21. The Cardinals have won just 2 of their last 5 games and are 6-4 on the season. Virginia has now lost 3 of its last 4 to fall to 6-4.

Virginia's loss means Miami clinches the ACC Coastal, while Clemson's win over FSU secured a third straight Atlantic division title for the Tigers.

Nebraska fell to 4-6 with its 54-21 loss at Minnesota and a final record of 4-8 looks like a real possibility. The 'Huskers travel to Penn State next Saturday before ending the season at home against Iowa.

Wisconsin clinched a fifth conference title game appearance in seven years. The Badgers last won the Big Ten title in 2012.

With it's 45-10 win over UTEP on Saturday, North Texas clinched Conference USA's West division title. FAU will be the opponent in the conference championship game if the Owls beat FIU next week.

USC clinched the PAC-12 South with a 38-24 win at Colorado on Saturday. It will be just the second conference title game appearance for the Trojans in the seven years of the game's existence.

The weekend was capped off with a crazy comeback by Boise State at Colorado State. The Broncos trailed 28-3 nearly halfway through the second quarter, 35-17 at halftime, and were still down 52-38 with under 2 minutes to play. But in true Boise fashion, Bryan Harsin's bunch scored a touchdown, recovered the onside kick and scored again to force overtime. The Broncos scored first in OT and recovered a fumble by the Rams to secure a 59-52 win.

Good Pickin'

My Congrove Computer Rankings (CCR Top 130) forecasted 8 outright upsets this weekend and was correct on seven of those, including the losses by Georgia, Notre Dame, and Washington. Outright upset picks are games in which the computer has a different team winning than the one installed as the 'favorite' by the Vegas oddsmakers. On the season, the computer has lost more than it's won (36-49) straight up, but it's a solid 46-39 against the spread.


There was one FBS vs. FCS battle this week as Massachusetts downed Maine 44-31 at Fenway Park in Boston. FBS teams are 84-9 (.903) vs. the FCS this season, and 1,214-117 (.912) since 2003.

These are the FCS victories in 2017:
September 23: Western Illinois 52, Coastal Carolina 10
September 16: North Carolina A&T 35, Charlotte 31
September 16: Idaho State 30, Nevada 28
September 9: South Dakota 35. Bowling Green 27
September 9: New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
September 2: Liberty 48, Baylor 45
September 2: Howard 43, UNLV 40
September 2: James Madison 34, East Carolina 14
August 31: Tennessee State 17, Georgia State 10.

98 FBS teams are playing 98 games vs. FCS members this year, down substantially from the 110 FBS schools that played 113 games vs. FCS squads last year.


Alabama - Won 39 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 18 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 14 straight road games (FBS second-longest). Won 24 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 31-24 at Mississippi State on Saturday.

Oklahoma - Won 15 straight road games (FBS longest). Won 38-20 vs. TCU on Saturday.

Miami (Fla.) - Won 14 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 41-8 vs. Notre Dame on Saturday.

UTEP - Lost 10 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 45-10 at North Texas on Saturday.

Coastal Carolina - Lost 12 straight conference games (FBS longest). Lost 42-17 vs. Troy on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 45 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 42-27 at Texas on Saturday.