Here we come, down the homestretch in College Football 2014, the inaugural FBS Playoff season, and, instead of becoming solidified, the playoff picture just gets more convoluted. Florida State remains undefeated but just won their third game after trailing by more than 15 points and has trailed in 7 of their 10 wins. Does this ability to come-from-behind mean they are a great team or does the fact that they have trailed by more than 2 touchdowns to some rather mediocre teams mean they are not that good? The SEC West is beating up on each other but should their losses move them down in the standing since they are losing to other really good SEC West teams? Or, do the nation’s best teams all play in the SEC West and therefore, should be represented in the playoffs? Ohio State is looking really good coming down the homestretch but they lost in Week 2 to a below average Virginia Tech squad and their overall schedule is comparatively weak when matched against other playoff contenders. How heavily should that Week 2 loss be weighed? And what exactly will the selection committee consider: how good a team looks NOW or how good it has looked all season? And, without a Conference Championship Game, the Big 12 could end up with two, one-loss co-champions. How will not having to play a conference championship game impact the selection committee’s decision? Like I said, convoluted. And, the best news of all, the next few weeks should muddy things up even more!
For the second week in a row, Week 12 consisted of exactly 50 games in which at least one FBS team participated. Of those 50 games, only 20 (40%) were won by teams that never trailed in the game. And, of the 30 games that included some sort of comeback, an amazing, year-high, 14 games included comebacks of 10 points or more! Week 12 also gives us our first two-team Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner; and, not only that, but they win it for the second week in a row!!
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS
3: Florida State, Iowa, North Carolina, South Florida, Washington 2: Appalachian State, Arizona, Baylor, Boise State, Bowling Green, California, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Memphis, Nevada, North Carolina State, TCU, Toledo, UAB, Washington State
TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COLLAPSES
4: Massachusetts, Western Kentucky 3: Ball State, Colorado, Louisiana-Monroe, South Carolina 2: Arizona State, Arkansas, Boston College, BYU, Buffalo, Florida International, Georgia State, Hawaii, Iowa, Iowa State, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Purdue, San Diego State, Texas State, Texas Tech, Troy, Tulsa
In the Week 12 comebacks from a deficit of 10 points or more:
TCU kept their playoff hopes alive after a big scare from a scrappy, Kansas squad. The Jayhawks led 27 – 17 halfway through the third quarter before the Horned Frogs put up two quick 3rd quarter touchdowns to take the lead. The game was still in doubt near the end before a late interception sealed the victory for TCU, 34 – 30. How much should a close game to a 3 – 6 team impact TCU’s standing as the Number 4 team in the playoff picture coming into the week? We will see on Tuesday.
Virginia Tech handed Duke its second loss of the season 17 – 16 after trailing 10 – 0 in the first quarter. The Blue Devils were trying to earn some respect as a one-loss team but, instead, falls farther down the rankings.
Arizona completed their 10 point, come-from-behind rally over Washington with a last second, game winning, 47 yard field goal by Casey Skowron. The Wildcats win 27 – 26 after trailing by 10 early in the 2nd quarter. A botched extra point by Washington near the end of the 3rd quarter helped account for the one-point, Arizona victory.
The Northwestern Wildcats needed an overtime period to complete their 11 point, come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame by a final score of 43 – 40. Northwestern trailed by 11 at the end of the first quarter, 20 – 9, and again by 11, 40 – 29, halfway through the 4th. A touchdown and two-point conversion pulled them within 3 with just over 4 minutes left in the game, and then, Jack Mitchell connected on a 45 yard field goal to tie the game at 40 – 40 with 19 seconds left in the game. After Notre Dame missed on their 42 yard field goal attempt in the first overtime period, Jack Mitchell was true once again, this time from 41 yards out, to secure the victory.
After going 10 weeks into the season before getting their first lead in any game, SMU was leading South Florida 13 – 0 going into the fourth quarter before losing the game on two South Florida, 4th quarter touchdowns, the second one with just 4 seconds left in the game, to lose 14 – 13. Just when we thought we wouldn’t have to report on SMU any more in this blog, they end up on the wrong side of a double-digit comeback.
In an historic game, Wisconsin rallied back from an early, 2nd quarter, 17 – 3 deficit to easily defeat Nebraska 59 – 24. The historic part of this game was Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon rushing for an NCAA best ever 408 yards! Gordon achieved this record while watching the 4th quarter from the sideline with the victory well in hand. This game also knocked Nebraska out of the playoff picture in a big way.
Appalachian State rallied back from a two touchdown, 20 – 6, deficit to defeat Arkansas State, 37 – 32. The Mountaineers scored 31 unanswered points to take a 37 – 20 lead before two late Red Wolves touchdowns (with failed extra points) made the score appear closer.
North Carolina trailed Pittsburgh, 14 – 0 and then 21 – 7, before rallying back and making this a close game. The Tar Heels finally took the lead early in the 4th quarter, 34 – 28, but Pittsburgh went on top again, 35 – 34 with just 3:33 remaining in the game. North Carolina had one more drive left in them and scored with 50 seconds remaining in the contest to complete the comeback, 40 – 35.
For the third time this season, undefeated Florida State trailed by double digits and the nation just waited for their fall from the top. When will the nation ever learn? FSU trailed the Hurricanes of Miami 16 – 0 and then again 23 – 7 before the Seminole Chop started going to work. In this game, however, the Seminoles did not wrestle the lead away from their opponent until Dalvin Cook scored on a 26 yard run with just over 3 minutes left in the contest. When Brad Kaaya was intercepted on a last ditch 4th and 9 attempt, the Seminoles kept their record unblemished and still solidly in the playoff top four.
But, no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 12 than the team won the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for the second week in a row!
And, the winner is … Boise State!!
Last week, Boise State’s 14 point, come-from-behind victory over New Mexico was good enough to win the Week 11 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award. In Week 12, they had to do that 6 points better to win the award once again.
In its Week 12 game against San Diego State, the Broncos found themselves down by a whopping 20 points before they ever put one point up on the board. Finally, with just 3:25 left in the first half, Boise State’s Dan Goodale was good on a 21 yard field goal to make the score 20 – 3. The Broncos got the ball back with just 1:43 left in the half at their own 22 yard line and managed to march 78 yards for a touchdown to make the score 20 – 10 at the half.
An Aztecs field goal and Broncos touchdown in the 3rd quarter left Boise State trailing by just 23 – 17 going into the 4th quarter with the Broncos sitting at the doorstep to another touchdown. The Broncos punched the ball into the end-zone on the first play of the 4th quarter to take their first lead of the game, 24 – 23.
A touchdown on their next possession put the Broncos up by 8, 31 – 23. The Aztecs managed to put up a touchdown of their own, but failed on their two-point conversion attempt to trail, 31 – 29. The Broncos hung up one more touchdown to put the game away, 38 – 29 and, for the second week in a row, win the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.
Congratulations Boise State on becoming the first two-time winner of the award this year!
Yes, and down the stretch they come. I love the chaos that the playoff scenario has created and can’t wait to see what more excitement this horse race has in store for us over the few remaining weeks. I am sure, someone or someones are going to be disappointed in the end. I just hope it’s not me!
You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 7 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 8 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 9 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 10 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 11 report by clicking here.