This week delivered a number of key matchups on the schedule, guaranteeing that there would be shakeups on the national poll. But before getting to those results, I want to highlight one play from Friday night, both for it being a great execution of a trick play and also for the curiosity surrounding it.
The Wisconsin Badgers went for a 2-point conversion and ran “The Philly Special.” The QB pitched to his halfback, who cut to his left and then lateralled to a wide receiver for a reverse, who then stopped in the pocket and threw to the QB, who had spread out to the right, wide open at the goal line.
THE 2-POINT CONVERSION TO CASH THE OVER (54) IN WISCONSIN-PURDUE
And the announcers knew it too 😂pic.twitter.com/wCgsGX9vGC
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 23, 2023
Making this curious was that with just three and a half minutes remaining, kicking an extra point would have been enough as Purdue would be trailing by 20 and would still need three touchdowns. But the betting total for the game was 54, and this conversion means they hit the “over.”
Now to the results. Some deeply entertaining contests came through the schedule.
(4) Ohio State 17 – (11) Notre Dame 14
This pairing of top-10 ranked opponents was a classic grinding battle, as seen by the 3-0 halftime score. The Irish came through in the second half, controlling the play with the exception of finding the end zone consistently. They held the lead and the ball with about two minutes remaining but the Buckeyes’ defense made a key stop. On the following drive, Kyle McCord hit his receiver in tight coverage at the 1-yard line with 7 seconds remaining, and they next just managed to punch it in with a run up the middle. The whole game was that close.
(5) Florida State 31 – Clemson 24
The Tigers played the top-ranked Seminoles close all game at home and had a chance to win it when their call-up replacement kicker lined up for a 30-yard field goal in the closing moments, but he would have no storybook ending as he missed wide left. FSU never led until Jordan Travis hit Keon Coleman for a 24-yard strike in overtime.
(12) Alabama 24 – (20) Ole Miss 10
There was interest in the top-20 matchup to see how Alabama might respond, and they still do not look like the usual powerhouse, evidenced by their trailing 7-6 at halftime. Instead, they are finding ways to manufacture wins, as QB Jalen Milroe had a good if not great game and the defense held Ole Miss to just 56 yards rushing and only three second-half points.
(13) LSU 34 – Arkansas 31
While not considered a marquee game coming into the weekend, this one turned explosive. The teams produced over 930 yards combined in the back-and-forth contest, but the Razorbacks, while controlling the ball for ten minutes more overall, could not put a final drive together in the closing minutes and LSU hung on.
(9) Oregon 42 – Colorado 6
The Buffalo’s stampede has ended for the moment. The first road contest was one Coach Prime would rather forget. The Ducks ran this show with Colorado not getting any points until the end with Oregon sitting the starters. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders had only 159 yards throwing, and Colorado was held to just 42 rushing yards. They were not in this one at all.
For the new rankings, Clemson, UCLA, and Colorado dropped off, as Fresno State, Missouri, and Kansas moved into the poll. Here are the current Top-25 schools (With first-place votes):
1. Georgia (55)
2. Michigan (1)
3. Texas (2)
4. Ohio State (1)
5. Florida State (3)
6. Penn State
7. Washington (1)
11. Notre Dame
15. North Carolina
16. Washington State
18. Miami (FL)
19. Oregon State
20. Ole Miss
25. Fresno State