It’s a noon slot of pure chaos yet again, as the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners finally met their match in Waco against No. 13 Baylor and were promptly subjected to one of the more unhinged endings to a game that I’ve ever seen. Caleb Williams was struggling on offense all day, throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns (though he ran it in for two scores). The Sooners’ rushing defense was no match for Gerry Bohanon and the Bears’ run game, which put up 296 on the ground alone in an impressive showing. Benched senior Spencer Rattler even got in for a few snaps that didn’t go anywhere, and the CFP committee will finally be able to justify Oklahoma’s low ranking (although now that they have a quality loss on their previously undefeated resume, maybe they’re movin’ on up in the world! Who needs wins?) In an uncharacteristically low-scoring Pac 12 game, the Bears ended it 27-14 — with “ended” being the key word here.
The finale of the Bears-Sooners matchup may have left my face in a permanent cringe. With one second still left on the clock, Baylor students were just too excited to wait for time to run out — and on they ran to the field, despite Bohanon’s attempts to communicate that the game was not, in fact, over. As the yellow-shirted students had to be shepherded off the field, the entire Oklahoma team left the field through the tunnel. Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley was throwing an absolute fit on the sideline, berating the referees (for, I’m assuming, not just letting the clock run out).
The refs actually ended up adding two extra seconds on the clock. The Oklahoma defense got dragged back out onto the field from their quiet exit in the tunnel in a somewhat humiliating show, and rather than just taking a quick knee to end this charade, Baylor (already up 10, about to win) elects to kick a field goal! It’s good — and will really only come in handy if the Big 12 comes down to a very specific tiebreaker for the championship game — and the students come rushing back out to celebrate the upset. Kind of a dick move, but made for great CFB comedy. Short of a miracle, Oklahoma’s playoff chances for this season are shot. Another Top 10 team bites the dust.
No. 6 Michigan came oh-so-close to a second loss this afternoon in Happy Valley in a matchup that took place in the world’s largest puddle. It felt like the Penn State receivers couldn’t find the ball today, and the run game was abandoned early, but they still hung in there until a late fourth quarter Wolverines touchdown sealed the 21-17 victory. I’m going to say it — this Michigan team does not look ready to face the Buckeyes with a viable chance of winning. Maybe it was the weather, or the away game, but they’ll need to step it up for Thanksgiving weekend.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the 17th-ranked Auburn team packed up for a delightful picnic lunch mid-game against unranked Mississippi State who went on a 40-point run — yep, you read that right, forty unanswered points — over the length of two quarters to win 43-34. The weirdest part of this is that there were zero meaningful turnovers in this game. The Auburn defense just completely fell apart after building a 28-3 lead. The Tigers missed a couple of field goals, but there is truly no explanation for what I just watched on my television screen.
Speaking of 40-point runs, Clemson-UConn started with a thrilling 7-point lead after the Huskies fumbled the opening kickoff, picked it up, and proceeded to run it 99 yards back for a touchdown (complete with a mid-run high five that was admittedly kind of sick). That was the last time UConn would score for the next 60 minutes. Clemson wrapped it up neatly (you don’t hear that much anymore, huh) with a 44-7 final.
And the Florida Gators shocked the world today in the way that you really never want to shock the world. It’s a miracle Dan Mullen didn’t get fired tarmac-style at halftime in the Swamp against the 3-4 FCS Samford Bulldogs. The Gators closed out the first half down 42-35 after trailing the 3-4 FCS Samford Bulldogs by two touchdowns at one point. While the game ended 70-52 (and Baylor-Oklahoma ended 27-14?? What alternate universe have I fallen into?), I’d like to take this moment to remind everyone that this Florida team came thisclose to beating Alabama earlier this season.
You really can’t write anything as funny as fall Saturdays can accidentally produce.