Miami pulled off what many considered the heist of the century by stealing Mario Cristobal from Oregon after the Hurricanes alumnus won a pair of Pac-12 championships as Ducks coach. When Cristobal landed 11 highly touted trades to join heralded quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, the hype train was all set and ready. The U was back. Then the season started.
Losing the game against Texas A&M hurt, but losing against Middle Tennessee was inexplicable. In Week 8, things only got worse when Duke crushed Miami 45-21 to hand the Hurricanes their worst loss in matchup history. Van Dyke came out and the Hurricanes responded with eight turnovers Every week, Cristóbal’s show seems to have a new leak worse than the week before. A bowling game seems like a pipe dream right now.
It’s one thing to lose games against talented teams that are deep in their development cycles. Texas A&M has been in the Jimbo Fisher experiment for five years. While Miami should never have a problem against Middle Tennessee, coach Rick Stockstill has been there for 16 years. Losing to fellow first-year coach Mike Elko, though? That is unacceptable. Cristobal had every advantage against Elko, but dumb and costly mistakes continue to ruin this program. It’s year 1, but frankly, that depends on the training. Despite all the money the promoters are paying Cristóbal, this season’s performance is a total flop.
Here are more winners, losers, and overreactions from Week 8 from around the world of college football.
Oregon: The Ducks were relegated to the dump after losing a 49-3 decision against No. 2 Georgia in the opener. After crushing No. 9 UCLA 45-30, it’s fair to dismiss that result as a Game 1 aberration. The Ducks have taken control of the Pac-12 title race with wins over UCLA and Washington State with No. 15 Utah as the only ranked team left on their schedule. Quarterback Bo Nix has generally stayed error-free in recent weeks thanks to some clever plays from offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. Getting into the Rose Bowl and playoff consideration in Year 1 is a great start for Dan Lanning in his first season.
LSU: Don’t look now, but the Tigers are secretly pretty impressive. No. 7 Ole Miss was probably buoyed by a poor schedule, but LSU blew them away a week after beating Florida by double figures. A 15-point victory over Mississippi State earlier in the year is aging gracefully. The only losses came in a one-point decision against Florida State on special teams and against No. 3 Tennessee. Brian Kelly was mocked for most of the offseason after he took the job in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but LSU has steadily improved each week. The Tigers should re-enter the AP Top 25 on Sunday and even control their own path in the SEC West title race. Everything is on the table.
Texas: The hype train is officially derailed after the Longhorns blew another second-half lead in a 41-34 loss on the road against No. 11 Oklahoma State. Texas was favored for almost a touchdown against a banged-up Cowboys squad, but Quinn Ewers picked a bad time to have a miserable game. Ewers completed just 38% of his passes with three interceptions in his first outing on the road as Spencer Sanders outplayed him in every facet. The Longhorns were limited to just three points for the entire second half and gave up 17 unanswered points. They now enter a tough final stretch with four games lost and two ranked opponents remaining. Steve Sarkisian has lost four games each year as head coach, and the ‘Horns are on the right track.
Syracuse: Frankly, Orange blew a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Death Valley on Saturday. Clemson began the day on a 36-game home winning streak dating back to the 2016 season. The Tigers have won six of the last seven ACC championships. Syracuse hasn’t won a conference title since 1998 as a member of the Big East. The Oranges were leading 21-7 in the first half on the road and 21-10 entering the fourth quarter, and everything was in order for the program to take control of the Atlantic ACC race. Unfortunately for Syracuse, Clemson backup quarterback Cade Klubnik entered the game and scored 17 unanswered points to walk away for the win. Syracuse had three separate drives to win the game and was unable to deliver. The Orange are still having a historic season and should remain in the AP Top 25, but this loss will hurt for a while.
The Iowa offense is an embarrassment: The Hawkeyes have never been a dynamic offensive team under Kirk Ferentz, but Iowa’s offensive performance against Ohio State belongs in the history books for all the wrong reasons, as he managed just 158 total yards at 2.7 yards per play with six turnovers. ball.
But perhaps most pathetic: Iowa’s miserable offense actually ruined their hard-working defense on multiple occasions. Ohio State took a 33-10 lead over Iowa in the third quarter despite only one 24-plus-yard touchdown drive. It took the Buckeyes just 360 yards to score 54 points because Iowa’s offense was historically so inept that it effectively made Ohio State’s drives contribute.
We get it, Kirk, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is your son and you love him. The fact is, the way Ferentz is handling this situation could legitimately tarnish the reputation of the longest-tenured coach in college football. With USC and UCLA set to join the Big Ten in 2024, Iowa as a program may need to ask some tough questions about whether Ferentz’s program can compete when not playing in one of the worst divisions in major college football. .
Injuries will decide the Big 12 race: No. 8 TCU pulled off another miraculous comeback, this time coming back from a 28-10 deficit to beat No. 17 Kansas State 38-28 to take control of the Big 12 race. But while the Frogs moved to 7 -0 with a fourth straight victory over an AP Top 25 opponent, the Big 12 career story has also been about who has No been in the lineup.
Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez left after the first series with an undisclosed injury, while other defensive players missed multiple points. TCU also played the Kansas backup quarterback. In fact, six different Big 12 teams, including TCU, have started a backup quarterback at some point this season.
By many statistical models, the Big 12 is the deepest conference in college football this season. With no weeks off, injuries start to pile up. The Big 12 race could ultimately come down to which teams have built the best depth and can best deal with injuries. Through eight weeks, the undefeated TCU stands out.