This week's games that made no sense to anyone.
Arizona 31, Oregon 24
After weeks of looking unexpectedly shaky, it now looks very possible that the Pac-12 will miss out on the playoffs. Stanford and USC both took their second losses, while Oregon and UCLA now play each other on Saturday in a de facto elimination game.
Oregon’s injury-plagued offensive line continues to be a serious problem, one that all the brilliance of Marcus Mariota cannot magically fix. In addition to UCLA on Saturday, the Ducks have games left with Stanford, Utah and suddenly competent Cal. It’s hard to see them winning out.
Ole Miss 23, Alabama 17
The bigger of the two upsets in Mississippi on Saturday looked even less likely at halftime. Ole Miss fell behind early 14-3, but Bo Wallace got hot and Alabama’s offense sputtered.
It’s hard to know what to project from this game. As well as Bo Wallace played here, he threw two ugly picks against Memphis the previous week. Alabama, though flawed, is still the most talented team in the SEC West. I still expect Alabama to finish ahead of Ole Miss at the end of the year.
Mississippi State 48, Texas A&M 31
Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott is really good, and Texas A&M does not look like a contender.
It took Dan Mullen a long time, but he finally has the quarterback he needs in Starkville. Prescott is a legitimate Heisman contender, and the Bulldogs have a good enough defense to play with anyone in the conference.
Texas A&M looked brilliant in the opener against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks have been a massive disappointment this season. Following up a thin overtime win over Arkansas with this performance in Starkville seems to show that the Aggies are not in the same class as the top teams in this division.
TCU 37, Oklahoma 33
I’m not sure where I’m supposed to find the outrage in this game. The Sooner defense let up big plays, but settled down in the second half. Trevor Knight played poorly, but the play calling didn’t help, and he did have some explosive plays.
TCU simply outplayed OU by just enough to win. I don't think this game revealed a fatal flaw for the Sooners. Still, this OU team was not supposed to get outplayed by anyone in the conference.
If I had to pick a key turning point in this game, it would be the drive following the pick-six. There were 14 minutes remaining in the game, and the Sooners trailed by four. Three straight incompletions later, OU punted.
It appears that, when the Sooners fell behind, the offense abandoned the running-oriented attack that was supposed to be the focal point this season and returned momentarily to a pass-happy game plan. This has happened before, notably early against West Virginia. It’s year two of the new offense, but for whatever reason, the Sooner coaches do not appear to have fully embraced it.