College soccer Week 10 — Prime performs, highlights

Georgia entered Saturday’s showdown with Tennessee because the No. 3 crew within the nation, which says one thing about how these evaluations are made.

It’s true, in fact, that the Bulldogs appeared listless at instances towards depressing competitors like Kent State and Missouri. And it is true, too, that after a dominant Week 1 win over Oregon, there’s been little on the Dawgs’ schedule to get enthusiastic about. And nobody can dispute that Tennessee had been spectacular in a slender win over Alabama and dominant victories towards LSU and Kentucky.

None of this was unsuitable.

Yet, how might anybody doubt these Bulldogs?

The defending champs delivered their reminder in Saturday’s 27-13 win over the Volunteers, and barring an unlikely meltdown within the season’s last three video games, they’ve basically punched their playoff ticket.

On a Saturday when Ohio State appeared pedestrian, when Illinois’ magical run got here to an finish, Georgia was altogether totally different — a crew that did not should be nice or depend on magic to ship essentially the most emphatic assertion by any crew this season.

Were the Bulldogs really upset about that No. 3 rating? Finding motivation may be the one problem for this crew, so it is fully doable the committee did coach Kirby Smart an unlimited favor, like DoorDash dropping off a case of rat-poison repellent on his entrance porch. The defending champs, loaded with expertise and favored by 9, hosted Tennessee — and one way or the other it was the Volunteers who had the goal on their chest.

A 12 months in the past, the narrative Georgia endured was one among doubt — doubt due to historical past, doubt due to its former walk-on QB, doubt as a result of we demanded proof each week, and no crew can ship that.

This 12 months, nonetheless, Georgia is powered not by the doubters, however by its personal rabid confidence. This crew is just like the Kobe Bryant-era Los Angeles Lakers. Why get too excited over a highway journey to the Sacramento Kings? Conserve your power, bide your time.

After the season-opening win over Oregon, Georgia did not want its A-game. Heck, Stetson Bennett may as effectively have relaxed on a garden chair, dangling his toes in a kiddie pool for the primary half in every of Georgia’s previous seven wins. These video games merely did not matter past guaranteeing that Georgia completed with extra factors than the opposite crew — a job that is turn into exhaustingly simple.

Just have a look at how Saturday’s win unfolded. There have been moments of pure brilliance, in fact, like Bennett’s throw behind the top zone, hitting Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. And certainly, the matchup issues Georgia presents with Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington are completely unfair, however that duo accounted for simply 34 yards towards Tennessee.

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Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint elevates to make an impressive snag and will get each toes in bounds to provide the Bulldogs a 21-3 lead.

Though he accomplished simply 17 passes, Bennett was good. There have been no 100-yard receivers, no 100-yard rushers, no pick-sixes or lengthy kick returns. Between rain-soaked hedges, Georgia was merely higher in any respect the little issues, and it pressured Tennessee to play by that very same blueprint, a plan overseas to the high-flying Vols. Tennessee climbed to the No. 1 rating by outflanking all comers, by seeing how the magic trick was executed, then plowing via the smoke and crashing via the mirrors. But Georgia supplied none of that. The Dawgs simply lined up, mano a mano, and received.

No, nothing Georgia did Saturday was outstanding in a micro sense, however to view the win from a macro stage was completely breathtaking. This is what championships are constructed upon — not fireworks and drama, however 11 guys doing the appropriate factor on the identical time, one play after one other, many times. This is what Georgia does that nobody else can. The Dawgs do not want gimmicky schemes or something greater than merely flawless decision-making, repeatedly and relentlessly.

Georgia is 9-0 and has two wins over top-eight opponents by a mixed rating of 76-16, not due to a treasure trove of highlights and otherworldly performances, however as a result of it is merely higher than everybody else, down after down. That’s actually terrifying.


TCU offers us the drama we deserve

It’s a disgrace the College Football Playoff committee does not see the great thing about TCU’s modus operandi in 2022. The Horned Frogs entered Saturday ranked No. 7 within the committee’s preliminary high 25, a slap within the face for a crew that had but to lose, that had 4 wins on the highway, that had toppled 4 straight ranked foes.

The argument, it appeared, was that TCU does not win impressively sufficient, however “spectacular” is a subjective time period, and albeit, we won’t think about why anybody would favor a blowout to what has turn into the Horned Frogs’ weekly three-hour drama.

The narrative performed out simply because it at all times does on Saturday. TCU jumped out to an early lead over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders charged again and took a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter. Then TCU pounced. The Horned Frogs are predators, they usually get pleasure from toying with their prey.

Against Texas Tech, TCU scored 21 factors within the fourth quarter. Sonny Dykes’ crew has now outscored opponents 55-14 within the last body of its previous 4 video games.

The committee believes these late-game heroics are an indication of weak spot. But maybe TCU is simply too cool for the committee. The Horned Frogs are the crew that arrives to a celebration fashionably late, sporting a tuxedo T-shirt, a belt buckle the scale of a Ford Focus and carrying a bottle of Hennessy it isn’t meaning to share.

Who wants blowouts? The school soccer season offers us far too lots of these. TCU offers the folks need they need — drama, intrigue, purple. It’s as if Prince have been a university soccer crew.

And positive, the dominance of different groups may impress the committee, however dominance is a difficult factor to take care of. Just have a look at Ohio State’s Saturday journey to Evanston, Illinois. The often dominant Buckeyes went to halftime tied at 7 with lowly Northwestern, pulled into the depths of distress by a crew that is aware of that terrain much better. C.J. Stroud’s Heisman Trophy marketing campaign hit its largest roadblock of the season towards an opponent that surrendered 33 factors to Iowa final week. Stroud averaged lower than 3 yards per go in Saturday’s 21-7 win. Now that could be a actual motive for committee skepticism.

But TCU? Those shut video games aren’t a motive for doubt. They’re a mark of certainty. TCU is constant, and there is real worth in that. The Horned Frogs are like an episode of “Law and Order: SVU.” The early scenes may be robust to look at, the dangerous guys may have the higher hand and Ice-T will appear confused about what’s taking place — however in the long run, the viewers is aware of the nice guys at all times discover a approach to win.

So, what’s to not like about that? The committee desires blowouts, desires boredom. Well, not everybody will get the posh of enjoying in the identical division as Rutgers and Indiana.

We’ll take drama each time, and TCU — these guys know methods to ship the products.


Going for 2

Florida 41, Texas A&M 24

Point 1: Texas A&M was down greater than a dozen gamers for this one, largely because of the flu.

In equity, there was no room within the finances for flu pictures what with everybody checking their sofa cushions to afford Jimbo Fisher’s buyout.

Point 2: Anthony Richardson accounted for 4 touchdowns — two passing, two speeding — and turned in his greatest recreation of the season, and Carolina Panthers proprietor David Tepper is already questioning if he can simply go forward and draft Richardson now.

Liberty 21, Arkansas 19

Point 1: Liberty is a failed 2-point strive away from being undefeated with wins over two Power 5 groups and BYU proper now. The Flames’ remaining schedule is a highway journey to UConn and residential towards Virginia Tech and New Mexico State. There’s a superb probability this crew will end 11-1 within the common season. It’s truthfully a bit heartbreaking to contemplate how shut we would’ve been to Liberty holding a parade via Lynchburg and claiming a nationwide championship primarily based on some somewhat murky language in an obscure passage within the Book of Revelation.

Point 2: Unless Houston Nutt has any pending litigation at Auburn, does not it appear to be Hugh Freeze makes a ton of sense there?

Temple 54, USF 28

Point 1: Temple working again Edward Saydee entered Saturday with simply 290 speeding yards on the season. But towards USF, Saydee carried 24 instances for 265 yards and three touchdowns within the 54-28 win.

Point 2: It’s honest to surprise if this was the final straw for USF’s Jeff Scott. The Bulls are 1-8 on the 12 months and have not received a convention recreation. The 54 factors allowed to Temple are 24 greater than the Owls had scored in a recreation this season. Under Scott, USF is 4-26, and with SMU, a highway journey to Tulsa and the finale towards No. 25 UCF remaining, it is unlikely issues will get significantly better.

Kansas 37, Oklahoma State 16

Point 1: Kansas goes bowling. Well, positive, we assume the Kansas soccer crew spends a lot of December bowling anyway — in all probability utilizing these lanes with the gutter limitations as a result of nobody can endure extra failure after a typical Jayhawks season. But this 12 months, Kansas is definitely going to a soccer bowl recreation, because of Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State. It can be Kansas’ first bowl recreation since 2008. In the interim, each FBS crew besides UMass and James Madison have performed in a bowl.

Point 2: Saturday additionally marked Kansas’ first win over an AP top-25 opponent since 2010, when the Jayhawks knocked off No. 15 Georgia Tech. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the longest present shedding streak towards ranked opponents now belongs to Rutgers.


The most school soccer factor to occur in Week 10

For years, we would foolishly assumed that the “Tech” in Louisiana Tech insinuated some kind of boring technical schooling, like mechanical engineering or studying methods to repair computer systems by unplugging them after which plugging them again in. But no. All this time, La Tech has been engaged on a far higher marvel of human achievement.

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Louisiana Tech Bulldog’s mascot Tech XXII drives across the finish zone in a distant managed Bugatti.

Did any of the earlier 21 Tech mascots have their very own automobiles? Does it make any sense that the canine is driving a Bugatti somewhat than, say, an ideal scale mannequin of the General Lee from “Dukes of Hazzard”? And what does Uga take into consideration all of this?

On second thought, do not hassle asking any of these questions. Something this excellent doesn’t want a backstory.

Oh, and Louisiana Tech beat Middle Tennessee 40-24, so truthfully any crew that does not have a stay mascot in a remote-control automotive might be simply throwing away wins.


The different most school soccer factor to occur in Week 10

Hey, child. Do your impression of what is occurred to Virginia’s offense this season.


Under-the-radar play of the week

After back-to-back losses in ACC play, the league’s defending champ lastly acquired again within the win column with a 19-9 victory over Syracuse.

That’s to not say all went effectively for Pitt, nonetheless.

See, this is the reason the analytics mentioned to go for it.


Nothing could possibly be finer …

There have not been many simple ones for North Carolina this season, however the Tar Heels escaped Virginia 31-28 on Saturday to provide Mack Brown his first win in Charlottesville in his profession. Drake Maye threw for 293 yards, ran for 74 extra and accounted for 3 touchdowns to additional bolster his Heisman credentials. UNC is now 8-1 and appears all however assured of successful the ACC Coastal.

But the occasion does not finish in Chapel Hill.

On Friday, Duke toppled Boston College 38-31 to maneuver to 6-3, that means all 4 of the North Carolina faculties within the ACC — together with NC State and Wake Forest, too — are bowl eligible for the primary time ever.

None of this makes up for the truth that vinegar-based barbecue sauce is like wringing out a gymnasium sock onto your pulled pork, however it’s nonetheless deserving of a severe Ric Flair “Woooooooo!” to have fun.


UConn will get chesty

We do not need to alarm anybody, however UConn is one win away from bowl eligibility. It’s high quality. The odds are nonetheless not in its favor, however for those who’ve been contemplating constructing that bomb shelter in your yard, now may be a superb time to plunk down the deposit.

The Huskies picked up win No. 5 on Friday by beating UMass, which comes only one week after toppling Boston College, and that had UConn’s social media crew feeling its oats.

This is new territory for UConn, so we’ll forgive the mashup of John Irving and George R.R. Martin, however what’s completely unforgivable is that this whole erasure of Holy Cross. The Crusaders are 9-0, and till UConn beats them, there can be no official title of Kings of the North bestowed upon anybody.


Big bets and dangerous beats

The most secure guess in sports activities paid out once more Saturday. Whenever two service academies get collectively, it is limbo time — go low, decrease and even decrease on the sport totals. The whole for Saturday’s matchup between Army and Air Force was simply 40.5 — a quantity Army had eclipsed by itself in every of its previous two video games, and a complete Air Force had hit alone 4 instances this season. But we all know how this story ends. Army’s offense managed simply 145 yards whole, and the 2 groups mixed to run the ball — and run out the clock — 85 instances. Final: Air Force 13, Army 7. The win ensured the Falcons the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the primary time since 2016, and since 2005, the beneath in any recreation that includes two service academies is 43-9-1, together with the previous 10 straight (and 15 of the previous 16).


Michigan State pulled off the shocker towards No. 16 Illinois, regardless of managing simply 294 whole yards — 147 fewer than the Illini — and going 3-of-11 on third down. The Spartans have been 16-point underdogs within the recreation and the cash line on a Michigan State win paid out at +550. We’re hoping Spartans boosters had loads of money on their guys on this one, since a win like this undoubtedly means a hefty extension is coming for Mel Tucker.