Apparently more college football was played Saturday outside the state of Iowa. Maybe. It was really hard to muster up much enthusiasm for more football after what went on inside Kinnick Stadium yesterday afternoon. SirNicholas33 wrote a fantastic Morning After that pretty much speaks to my exact feelings, but allow me a few paragraphs to voice a couple thoughts (read: vent).
The Cooper DeJean touchdown-that-wasn’t now joins Jack Campbell’s pick-six against the Gophers last year and Chad Greenway’s “offsides” in the 2006 Outback Bowl as one of the most notorious officiating goofs in Hawkeye history. It was one of the most electric, amazing, unbelievable returns you will ever see, and a replay jockey in Pittsburgh felt it was the perfect time to educate everyone on what is and is not a valid fair catch signal. Sure, by the black and white letter of the law DeJean’s left hand motion could be considered invalid. But it’s hardly ever called that way because it’s understood the returner is not trying to gain an advantage over the kicking team. Good officials understand that, and understand the intent. When it isn’t called 99.9% of the time how is Coop supposed to know not to do it? It shouldn’t be on the players to enforce it themselves. I feel absolutely terrible for him.
I have much less sympathy for Kirk and Brian for trotting out this rancid excuse for an offense and expecting us to be happy because “well, at least we’re winning games.” For the last three years Iowa’s defense and special teams have had to clean up the projectile vomit put out by the offense while Kirk and Son, Inc. continue to feed it more raw meat.
Sort of feels like we are entering into the 'Find out Stage' of the Fuck Around and Find Out game— JMinKC (@jontificate) October 21, 2023
Even after Coop’s return was negated the Iowa offense had only to gain 25-30 yards in a minute and a half to get into field goal range and they managed to fail in the most spectacular way imaginable. At every level this offense is a coaching failure. It’s a failure of recruiting, of scheming, of play calling, and of development and they’re laid squarely at the feet of Kirk Ferentz for allowing it to get to this point. He’s also failed his athletes for putting them in this situation in the first place.
Whew...anyway. The AP released their new top 25. You don’t need me to tell you Iowa dropped out after this egregiously terrible performance against the Gophers but let’s take a quick peek at what else went down.
Teams Dropping Out: Iowa
New Teams In: JMU
Biggest Mover: North Carolina (-7)
Big Ten Teams: #2 Michigan, #3 Ohio State, #10 Penn State
Ohio State and Penn State finally had their long anticipated clash and it did not go great for the fighting Franklins. Sure, the final score was 20-12 but in real time the Buckeyes had complete control over this game from start to finish. Ohio State stands pat at #3 due to the immovable objects of Georgia and Michigan ahead of them, but Penn State tumbles to #10. This also allowed for Alabama to jump back into the top ten at #9. It seems like each week they look ripe for the upset in the first half, only for them to remember that they’re Alabama and cruse to a mostly comfortable victory. Their path to the CFP remains open if they continue winning. If they get by LSU next Saturday they should cruise to the SEC championship. Win and you’re in.
The biggest story of the weekend is out of Chapel Hill where Virginia upset the Tar Heels 31-27. The loss knocked the Heels down to #17. Although the rest of their schedule is mostly favorable, outside a date with Duke on November 11, they’ll need to not slip up elsewhere if they want to play for a conference title.
Those Blue Devils put up a good fight against Florida State but just couldn’t hold up against the Seminoles in the second half, losing 38-20. It doesn’t help that Duke lost their star quarterback Riley Leonard to injury in the third quarter, but Florida State took a page out of Bama’s book and stopped playing with their dinner late in the game to win comfortably. Duke was one of a pair of teams dropping 4 spots (the other being Tennessee) and now finds itself at #20.
USC had a chance to exorcise its own demons against Utah but stellar play by walk on Ute backup quarterback Bryson Barnes allowed them to kick a game winning field goal. That’s the third time in two seasons the Utes have bested the Trojans. I’m starting to get a sense of the real reason USC is making the move to the Big Ten.
Finally, the newcomer to the poll is James Madison, who are off to a 7-0 start after beating Marshall last Thursday night. It was an ugly affair, sitting at 3-2 into the third quarter. The Dukes have only been playing at the FBS level for a little over a year and a half and this is already their second appearance in the AP poll.
We now enter the long dark of a bye week after a loss. Plenty of time to compile every single clip of an invalid fair catch not being called to submit to the league office.