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Holiday Break: The Best of College Football This Week

by George Mitrovich, published

THE GAME OF THE DAY SATURDAY WAS OHIO STATE/WISCONSIN, and the Badgers losing, 27-21, seems fitting, since it adds to the already chaotic state of a chaotic season.

Who’s in?

Who out?

Who’s up?

Who’s down?

Can we do this dance all-around?

What is almost certain, Clemson will be ranked number one in the polls by the AP and coaches, and in the one that matters most — College Football Poll.

THAT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER “DABO” SWINNEY’S TIGERS BEAT THE HURRICANES OF MIAMI, 38-3, as Kelly Bryant, the Clemson QB, hit on 23 of the 39 passes he threw, good for 252-yards and one TD.

This was important because no Tiger running back ran for more than 25-yards, as Clemson’s total was a mere, 104.

Too bad the ACC’s championship game was so one-sided and — B-O-R-I-N-G.

It doth appear, doth it not? that for the third year in a row, we will see “Dabo’s” boys in the NCAA title game.

And, maybe, Nick Saban’s Bama boys, too.

Will I watch if that happens?


Because the last two title games ended, 45-40 Alabama, and 35-31 Clemson. You can’t ask for anything more in a title game. Amazing.

BUT WHILE OHIO STATE/WISCONSIN WAS THE GAME OF THE DAY BECAUSE OF THE HEADLINERS PLAYING, the greatest game Saturday was Memphis and the University of Central Florida, with the Knights winning in two OTs, 62-55.

Oh, my!

McKenzie Milton, the kid with the Walker Percy name, threw 40 passes, completed 28, for, get this, 499-yards and five TDs, and three interceptions.

The QB opposite, Memphis’ Riley Ferguson, threw 42 passes, completed 30 for 471-yards and four TDs, with only one interception.

The Knights and Tigers totaled 1,479-yards. They combined for 64 first downs. And, yes, there was the slight problem of 195-yards in penalties.

With the victory, UCF is now 12-0 — the only undefeated team in the FBS.

This is a team that scored 593 points in its 12 games, averaging 49 a game. They should be one of the four teams to play for the national championship, but strength of schedule will likely do them in, as their only significant out of conference win was over Maryland of the Big Ten, who they soundly defeated, 38-10.

But, I believe they have the talent to beat anyone. They just won’t get the chance.

IN THREE OF THE OTHERS GAMES PLAYED SATURDAY, Georgia avenged its loss to Auburn, by winning the SEC championship, 28-7. Oklahoma won the first-ever Big 12 conference playoff championship over TCU, 41-17, and Boise State beat Fresno State on that terrible blue carpet for the Mountain West championship in the Idaho capital, 17-14.

FRIDAY NIGHT AT LEVI’S STADIUM IN SANTA CLARA, CA, the PAC-12 championship game between USC and Stanford took place before 16,969 empty seats.

Which raises a question:

Why does the PAC-12 continue to play its signature game in a stadium that has never come close to selling out?

SC/Stanford at LA’s Memorial Coliseum Friday night would have seen 30,000-40,000 more fans in the stands — guaranteed.


It was a terrific game with the Trojans winning 31-28; winning because Stanford’s coach, David Shaw, on a fourth and one at SC’s goal line, with the score 24-21 SC, decided to go for it, and it didn’t happen, as the Cardinal were stopped.

Stopped because of one of the greatest defensive plays I’ve ever seen.

The play called for the Stanford back, Scarlett Cameron, to run to his left, which he did.

However, the Trojans’ outside linebacker, Uchenna Nwosu, came across the Stanford line untouched to the right, racing to his right behind the Stanford line and tackling Cameron by his ankles for the loss, with the ball going over to SC — and that one defensive play was a game changer.

It occurs to me, in all the College Football Notes I’ve written over the years, I do not recall having written before about a linebacker.

But here he is — Uchenna Nwosu (seen in the photo below).

Where does SC go from here? In the chaotic world of this season’s NCAA, who knows?

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