Redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston at Clemson on Oct. 19.
The question is, can Week 8 of the college football season be topped with seven weeks remaining? One wouldn’t think so, but this is college football and anything can happen.
There were five Top 10 teams that lost this week. No. 11 South Carolina and No. 15 Georgia lost as well, meaning four SEC teams in the Top 15 lost.
Overall it was not a good Saturday for the conference, as No. 6 LSU lost to unranked Ole Miss on the road, No. 7 Texas A&M was upset at home by No. 24 Auburn, No. 11 South Carolina was upset on the road by an unranked Tennessee team and No. 15 Georgia was upset at unranked Vanderbilt.
These upset losses could come back to haunt the SEC, especially if Alabama was to suddenly get upset by LSU, Auburn or by the SEC East Division Champion in the SEC Championship game.
Alabama losing unexpectedly could result in the SEC not having a representative in the BCS Championship game for the first time since USC played Texas in 2005. That’s if Missouri doesn’t continue to keep pulling off upsets and stays undefeated.
The Crimson Tide (7-0) seem to be in command of the SEC West Division after dismantling Arkansas 52-0, but the East Division is up for grabs now. After a rough first season in the SEC, the Missouri Tigers are undefeated at 7-0 for the first time since 2010.
Is Mizzou For Real?
As Missouri did against No. 22 Florida on Saturday, the Tigers relied on backup redshirt freshman quarterback Maty Mauk. Mauk, who passed for 295 yards and scored two touchdowns against the Gators, will be under center until James Franklin returns from a shoulder sprain.
Missouri currently has a two game lead in the division and would win in a tiebreaker over Georgia and Florida. A win over South Carolina this upcoming Saturday at home during homecoming though, would be exactly what it needed to be a true contender in the SEC.
The 'Noles Blowout the Tigers
With all of the craziness surrounding the SEC, Florida State vs. Clemson became the biggest letdown game on Saturday. What was supposed to be potentially one of the best games of the regular season between two Top 5 teams became a blowout.
Clemson’s three costly turnovers in the first half put it well behind. Two of the turnovers were from quarterback Tajh Boyd, who had his fumble returned for a Florida State touchdown and had a pass intercepted on Florida State’s seven-yard line.
The ‘Noles blowout 51-14 route over Clemson has officially put them in the national title race. Redshirt freshman Jameis Winston is proving to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country, as he had a big night in a hostile Death Valley by passing for 444 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner had himself a big game as well, by recording eight tackles, one sack and one interception.
UCF Gets Big Win in Louisville
Another big upset that rocked the Top 10 was No. 8 Louisville giving up a 28-7 lead to American Athletic Conference newcomer UCF in the fourth quarter. The Knights, who pulled the 34-31 upset at Penn State and almost knocked off South Carolina this season, came back to defeat the Cardinals 38-35.
UCF now puts itself in a great position to potentially take the AAC title. It will still have difficult home games against Houston and Rutgers, though.
Lastly, No. 2 Oregon flew past Washington State 62-38.
Overall Record: 55-25
Week 8 Record: 5-5
Note: Team in bold indicates author’s pick
Prediction: Florida 23, Missouri 17
Result: Missouri 36, Florida 17
Prediction: Texas A&M 48, Auburn 24
Result: Auburn 45, Texas A&M 41
Prediction: Stanford 30, UCLA 27
Result: Stanford 24, UCLA 10
Prediction: Notre Dame 24, USC 21
Result: Notre Dame 14, USC 10
Prediction: Clemson 45, Florida State 38
Result: Florida State 51, Clemson 14
Prediction: Texas Tech 48, West Virginia 28
Result: Texas Tech 37, West Virginia 27
Prediction: Oklahoma State 34, TCU 24
Result: Oklahoma State 24, TCU 10
Prediction: BYU 35, Houston 21
Result: BYU 47, Houston 46
Prediction: Washington 41, Arizona State 32
Result: Arizona State 53, Washington 24
Prediction: LSU 38, Ole Miss 26
Result: Ole Miss 27, LSU 24
It was the unveiling of the first BCS rankings of the 2013 season this week. Here is the current Top 10:
1. Alabama .9841
2. Florida State .9348
3. Oregon .9320
4. Ohio State .8553
5. Missouri .8219
6. Stanford .7414
7. Miami (FL) .7200
8. Baylor .7120
9. Clemson .6249
10. Texas Tech .6220
Current BCS Bowl Projections
BCS National Championship (Pasadena, CA)
Alabama vs Florida State
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)
Oregon vs Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ)
Baylor vs Fresno State
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
Missouri vs Stanford
Orange Bowl (Miami)
Clemson vs UCF
There is a lot of talk about who is in the running for the BCS National Championship and the shake-up in the SEC, but what has happened to the Florida Gators?
A team that went 11-2 last year and finished the 2012 regular season at No. 3 in the BCS Standings, which earned them an automatic BCS Bowl bid to the Sugar Bowl, has already lost three games this season.
The Gator defense continues to be stout and has basically won their team every game this season. The offense though, is still a big problem. There was supposed to be improvement in a run-heavy Gator offense led by an improved quarterback in Jeff Driskel, who injured his lower right leg against Tennessee on Sept. 21.
Driskel, though, struggled at in-state rival Miami (FL) in the second week by fumbling once and throwing two interceptions. On the play Driskel was injured on, he actually threw an interception that went for a 62-yard Tennessee touchdown.
Junior quarterback Tyler Murphy looked promising when he came in against Tennessee and at home against Arkansas, but since the LSU and Missouri games, the offense has looked terrible again.
The offense has been held to a total of 23 points and an average of 195.5 yards in their past two games.
The problem is that opposing defenses know Florida is going to run the ball a lot. Also, if Murphy has any chance of completing a pass, he is forced out of the pocket and put into a situation where he is scrambling to get the ball off.
If the pass happens to be more than 15 to 20 yards, it’s almost a guaranteed incompletion. The longest pass Murphy has completed in the Gators' past two games has been a 20-yard pass, which he threw in the fourth quarter at LSU.
In Florida’s past two games, Murphy is 30-of-56 for 207 yards and he's been sacked 10 times.
If the Gators want any chance of winning anymore games this season, it’s going to be up to the defense and special teams to get the job done. Their tough opponents remaining (Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State) can all score enough points to blow them out on the scoreboard.
At this rate, Will Muschamp’s squad could be sitting at 6-6 at the end of the regular season.