Here some of thoughts on Week 11 of the college football season, with three teams of the week, three disappointments of the week along with some notes and stats from around the country.
Teams of the Week
Washington State — It’s been almost two calendar years since we have been able to make the following statement: Washington State wins a Pac-10 game. It’s been almost three years since we’ve been able to chronicle a Cougar victory on the road. But it’s time to give this team its due: Washington State snapped a 16-game losing streak in league play with a stunning 31–14 win at Oregon State. It was the Cougars’ first-double-digit victory over an FBS team since Nov. 10, 2007.
South Carolina — Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks are heading to the SEC title game for the first time in school history thanks in large part to another heroic effort from tailback Marcus Lattimore. The true freshman rushed for 212 yards and three scores on 40 carries (all career highs) in Carolina’s surprisingly easy 36–14 win at Florida. South Carolina is the first team to win the East Division with three league losses and the first team other than Florida, Georgia or Tennessee to represent the division in the SEC Championship Game.
Minnesota — It’s been a rough season at Minnesota, but the Gophers finally broke through with their first Big Ten win of the season, rallying from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Illinois, 38–34, in Champaign. Jeff Horton, who stepped in as the interim head coach after Tim Brewster was fired in mid-October, is 1–3. Brewster was 15–30 overall and 6–21 in the Big Ten in his three-plus seasons at Minnesota.
Disappointments of the Week
Indiana — There is no shame in losing at Wisconsin. There is, however, shame in giving up 83 points. The Hoosiers, who had lost their previous two games (Northwestern, Iowa) by a combined eight points, lost by 63 points on Saturday. The Badgers, who did not punt, scored 10 offensive touchdowns, one defensive touchdown and kicked two field goals.
Cincinnati — Cincinnati continues to struggle in the post-Brian Kelly era. The Bearcats, who went 13–1 in the Big East the last two seasons en route to back-to-back league titles, dropped to 1–3 in conference play with a 37–10 loss at West Virginia on Saturday. UC is 3–6 overall and must win its final three games (Rutgers, at UConn, Pittsburgh) to become bowl-eligible.
Kansas — One week after rolling up 453 yards of offense and scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter in a monumental comeback win over Colorado, the Jayhawks managed a total of 87 yards in their 20–3 loss at Nebraska. Kansas completed 3-of-13 passes for 15 yards and ran the ball 34 times for a net of 72 yards. It was the Jayhawks’ 20th straight loss to Nebraska in Lincoln.
• Florida did not have a drive of over 30 yards vs. South Carolina until the fourth quarter.
• All three teams that have already fired their coach won on Saturday — Colorado (beat Iowa State), Minnesota (Illinois) and North Texas (Middle Tennessee).
• Utah has dropped from No. 3 in the nation in scoring offense (42.3 ppg) to No. 15 (37.2 ppg) in the last two weeks.
• San Diego State is 7–3 with the three losses by an average of 3.7 points.
• TCU gave up more points last week to San Diego State (35) than it had in the previous six games combined (23).
• Georgia has finished the SEC season with a losing record (3–5) for the first time since 1996. Only Florida had a longer active streak of non-losing SEC seasons (1986).
• Georgia Tech is in the midst of its first three-game losing streak since 1996.
• Memphis ranks 117th in the nation in total offense and 120th in total defense. The Tigers only rank in the top 85 in one of the 17 main statistical categories kept by the NCAA; they are 38th in net punting.
• Stanford was held to under 30 points for the first time this season last week in its 17–13 win at Arizona State.
• Wake Forest has lost eight straight games, five by 31 points or more.
• Oklahoma State is off to a 3–0 start on the road in the Big 12 for the second straight season.