A little over a month ago, college football had a ‘Sweet 16,’ but as of Sunday we are down to only three perfect teams. The list shortened again this past weekend as Baylor and Minnesota dropped from those ranks. Baylor blew a 25-point lead as Oklahoma came back to win a wild one in Waco. Minnesota, who went to Iowa, started slow and ended up losing a close one to the Hawkeyes.
The final three with perfect marks are LSU, Ohio State and defending national champion Clemson. LSU gave up over 600 yards of offense to Ole Miss, but Joe Burrow saved the day as he passed for a career high of 489 yards and five scores. Clemson could have played their best game of the year as they totally embarrassed Wake Forest. While back at home, Ohio State rested as they are anxiously preparing for once beaten Penn State this week. What is the fate of the three perfect teams left? When the regular season ends on November 30th, they all could still be perfect.
Bowls or No Bowl?
Ole Miss (4-7, 2-5), despite a 21-point loss to top-ranked LSU, seems to be improving every week. The Rebels offense was unstoppable in the second half, but they committed several mistakes in the first half that led to a 24-point deficit at the break. Remember, LSU scored 46 points on a Nick Saban defense the week before, so maybe allowing 58 points is not all that bad against LSU. As a head coach, Coach O is now 4-0 against his former team.
Mississippi State (4-6, 2-5) will have to win this Saturday against Abilene Christian and on Turkey Day against their rivals from up north to go bowling this December. They, much like Ole Miss, had a slow start and never could recover against a talented Alabama squad. The Bulldogs need to play better than they did Saturday or they will be home for the Holidays.
Southern Mississippi (7-3, 5-1) with a big win over UTSA this past Saturday will go bowling for sure this post-season. The Golden Eagles have a chance to play for the C-USA championship with a couple wins and a La. Tech loss. Next up is Western Kentucky this Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Odds & Ends
Mississippi College (5-5) knocked off Delta State (6-4) for the first time since 1993 this past Saturday. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak the Statesman had over the Choctaws. The loss also ended any playoff hopes DSU might have had.
Alcorn (7-3) and Jackson State (4-7) meet in the “Soul Bowl” Saturday afternoon at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Alcorn won a last second thriller over Alabama State to wrap up their sixth straight Western Division SWAC title. Jackson State, Valley, Millsaps and Belhaven all lost this past weekend.
The Saints (8-2) rebounded with a big win at Tampa Bay. Atlanta whipped Carolina (5-5) to give the Saints a three-game lead in the NFC south. Drew Brees passed for 228 yards and three scores in the game.
The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-0) round ballers are both off to great starts to the basketball season. Ole Miss has a big test at Memphis this Saturday. Southern Miss (1-2) lost two nail biters on the road last week and will host William Carey this Sunday afternoon. The Lady Bulldogs (3-0) scored a whopping 124 points in a win over Murray State. The MSU ladies will visit Jackson on Thursday to tangle with the J-State Lady Tigers. USM and Ole Miss will meet this week in Hattiesburg as both teams entered the week at 2-1.
Dale is a resident of Waynesboro and has been writing sports since 1973. Contact Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org.