Georgia was gracious enough to score seven Tennessee points in the opening possession. It delighted Neyland Stadium’s crowd before scoring 41-10 for the remainder of the game.

Ohio State’s offense fell by 59 against Purdue. The Boilermakers quickly eliminated any hope of them reducing the number of Big Ten competitors.

New Mexico State was beaten by Alabama. Michigan survived against Penn State. Maryland did not have a problem with Michigan State star running back Kenneth Walker II

Saturday was a success for all major College Football Playoff competitors, except one: Baylor defeated star quarterback Caleb Williams to beat Oklahoma 27-14. This knocked the Sooners out of contention for national semifinals.

Oklahoma, which has suffered a defeat and is facing two more tough games in November in College Football, tops the list this week of college football’s biggest losers and winners.

WINNERS

Baylor

Baylor’s defense rebounded from a humbling letdown in last week’s loss to TCU and held OU to just 260 yards, the Sooners’ worst performance on offense in more than a decade. Meanwhile, Baylor’s offense controlled the tempo with 296 rushing yards, with two players — underrated running back Abram Smith and quarterback Gerry Bohanon — cracking the 100-yard mark. The Big 12 race is shaken up and this loss opens the door to the Bears’ path towards the conference title through several tiebreakers. 

Michigan

These are the games Michigan has lost in recent times. Leading Penn State 16-4 in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines gave up the game-tying touchdown, two-point conversion and fumbled deep inside their territory. Michigan fell behind at 17-14 with just six minutes remaining. But Michigan responded with a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade McNamara to tight end Erick All and will remain in the thick for the playoff with the game against rival Ohio State looming at the end of November.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes dropped 45 points in the first half and sidestepped Purdue’s attempt at a third major upset in conference play, as an offense that scuffled in last week’s win against Nebraska broke through with four scoring plays of 20 or more yards. Quarterback C.J. Quarterback C.J. With the offense back in form, the attention now turns to a defense that had rallied from the low point of September but gave up 481 yards on 6.8 yards per play.

Kirk Ferentz

The 27-22 victory against Minnesota earned Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz $500,000, which he gets when they win eight consecutive games. Ferentz now has $600,000 worth of on-field bonuses this season, in addition to the $100,000 bonus for winning a bowl game. Racking up bonus money is an annual thing for Iowa’s longtime coach: Ferentz, who is making $5 million in basic compensation, has totaled $4.775 million in bonuses since the start of the 2015 season.

Mark Stoops

Mark Stoops, a Kentucky coach is another one who’s cashing in. With the Wildcats’ 34-17 win against Vanderbilt, Stoops will get an automatic one-year contract extension triggered when the Wildcats win at least seven games, including bowls. This extension will keep him on the field until June 30, 2027. Now 56-53 overall and eligible for postseason play for the sixth straight season, Stoops is making $5.25 million this season, and is contractually entitled to a $250,000 pay increase annually. The additional year of his contract is due to start on June 30, 2026. His salary for that extra year is $6.5 million. Because he would receive 75% of the money left on his contract if he were fired without cause, the guaranteed value of the additional year is $4.875 million.

SMU

SMU’s Tanner Mordecai threw three touchdowns, without an interception. The win ended a two-game losing streak and brought an end to a 2-game losing streak. Next weekend’s crucial American Athletic Conference matchup against unbeaten Cincinnati was just around the corner. For the Bearcats to be in the top four in the playoff rankings, they will need to win against stronger competition. 

Notre Dame

In a win that saw the Irish take advantage of the absence of quarterback Brennan Armstrong in Virginia, the Irish beat the Cavaliers by 28-3. This brings the Irish’s record to 9-1. It is shaping up as the most successful coaching tenure of Brian Kelly. Despite all its flaws Notre Dame appears to be locked in for a New Year’s Six bid. If Cincinnati wins the regular season, it will not be difficult to break the top four. 

LOSTERS

Texas

Texas paid over $24 million to jettison Tom Herman and his staff, shelled out another $34.2 million to hire Steve Sarkisian and still managed to lose 57-56 in overtime to Kansas, which converted a two-point try in the first extra frame for the win, and almost everyone is having a deep belly laugh at the Longhorns’ expense. That makes five straight losses for Sarkisian, who will leave his debut season on the hot seat, and there’s a sneaking suspicion that UT is not any better today for last winter’s coaching change. It would be easy to call Kansas’ loss a wake up call. But that is doubtful.

Texas A&M

A&M had been one of college football’s hottest teams for more than a month, a stretch kicked off by an upset of Alabama that rejuvenated the Aggies’ season. Losing 29-19 at Ole Miss is painful across the board: A&M is no longer in the mix for the SEC West, obviously eliminated from the playoff mix — those odds were already borderline at best — and maybe even in bad shape for a New Year’s Six bowl, depending on how things unfold in the division in the next two weeks.

LSU

LSU’s 16-13 win over Arkansas in Baton Rouge means that it is facing its first losing season since 1999. Now 4-6, the Tigers get Louisiana-Monroe at home next Saturday before taking on A&M to avoid a 5-7 finish. LSU lost to the Razorbacks in the smallest way possible. LSU gained 308. yards this year, which is only the 7th time the Tigers failed to reach 380 yards. Do you remember when this team was the home of FBS’s most explosive offense? That was only two seasons ago. 

Florida

The Gators gave up 530 yards of offense and 52 points to Samford — and that’s Samford, not Stanford of the Pac-12 or even Stamford, the second-largest city by population in Connecticut. To be fair, it doesn’t matter that Florida won 70-52 and gained 717 yards. The latest embarrassment to the Football Championship Subdivision and its coach Dan Mullen is being blitzed from the Football Championship Subdivision. This follows the terrible loss suffered by South Carolina seven days earlier.

Oklahoma

With the Baylor loss, Oklahoma’s playoff chances were potentially ruined. However, enough chaos could occur in the coming weeks to propel the Sooners to the Top Four at 13-1 and the Big 12. The conference championship remains in play, though that would demand beating Iowa State, Oklahoma State and possibly the Cowboys again. Unfortunately, the team that lost to Baylor is not in control of the league. It is a huge setback to the Sooners as well as young quarterback Caleb Williams who, for the first-time in his rookie season, looked like he was going down.

Auburn

Auburn was up 28-3 at the end of the first period, but would not score again for Mississippi State until just under 2 minutes remaining. They lost 43 to 34. This loss effectively means the Tigers now have the SEC West in Alabama. It takes away some of this year’s hype for the Iron Bowl. The rivalry will still be a must-see television show. Auburn surrendered touchdown drives of 75 yards, 75 yards, 98 yards, 72 yards, 55 yards, and 45 yard after taking the 25-point lead. The nation’s most accurate passer heading into Saturday, Mississippi State’s Will Rogers completed 44 of 55 attempts for 415 yards and six scores.

Miami (Florida).

After a string of three consecutive wins, the optimism and goodwill surrounding this team and Coach Manny Diaz were wiped out by a loss to Florida State. The Hurricanes suffered a late game meltdown when they lost 31-28 to Florida State. Florida State scored the winning touchdown in 26 seconds. Between the penalties, the turnovers and a clown show of a final drive, this loss exhausts any goodwill developed over the previous three weeks and places Diaz right back on the hot seat.  

Source: USAToday.com

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