With six of the top ten teams in the AP Poll on the road, upsets were bound to happen in Week 9. While most were avoided, it was Oklahoma who couldnʻt get away from Kansas. Here is the rest of what happened on a spooky week of college football in the Week 9 Saturday Takeaways.
The Big 12 just got interesting
Week 9 Saturday Takeaways #1: A couple of weeks ago, I was sure that Texas would meet Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference Championship. Now, I am not so sure.
Oklahomaʻs undefeated season was ended in Lawrence by the Kansas Jayhawks. It was Kansasʻ first win over the Sooners since 1997.
Oklahomaʻs loss plus wins by Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State, means there is a five-way tie for first place in the Big 12 heading into November.
The defending conference champs, Kansas State, are red-hot at the moment. The Wildcats followed up a 38-point win over TCU a week ago, with a 41-0, shutout victory against Houston on Saturday.
Texas was able to fend off BYU without QB Quinn Ewers. The Longhorns rush defense was stout against the Cougars, holding them to just under 100 yards. Next week is a big week for Texas and K-State as they meet in Austin for a game that could be a Big 12 Championship qualifier.
Worried about Washington
Week 9 Saturday Takeaways #2: Washington took the spotlight after a close win over Oregon, but they are back in the news following close wins against Arizona State and Stanford.
Washingtonʻs elite offense did not find the end zone a week ago against Arizona State, although they did end up with a 15-7 win. In Week 9, Washington could not separate from Stanford on the scoreboard or on the stat sheet.
The Cardinal outgained the number five team in the nation 499-460, the third straight game that Washington had been outgained offensively.
The concerning close calls against inferior teams comes at a bad time in Washingtonʻs schedule as the Huskies are set to face three currently ranked squads back-to-back-to-back with the regular season wrapping up with rival Washington State.
Itʻs a good thing USC has Caleb Williams
Week 9 Saturday Takeaways #3: Because if they didnʻt, there is no way they survive that roller-coaster against California.
Williams threw for 369 yards and two touchdowns plus two scores on the ground while leading the charge in the Trojansʻ 14-point, fourth quarter comeback in Berkeley.
Saturday was the fifth USC game to go over 80 points combined. While they have won all five, it is still a worrisome stat as the Trojan defense (ranked 107th nationally) will face three opponents that rank top 20 in total offense in the final three games of the season.
We will like the 12-team Playoff
Week 9 Saturday Takeaways #4: In the final year of the 4-team College Football Playoff format, there is a chance that only two conferences get representation. Following Oklahomaʻs loss, if it is not either the Sooners or Texas that take the Big 12, then that conference is out. Florida State is the last remaining hope for the ACC, and the Pac-12 is on the verge of another casualty. It just doesnʻt look promising for the rest of the Power 5, besides the Big Ten and SEC.
With the 12-team format, every P5 conference champion gets in. And in a season like 2023 has been, where anything can happen, any week, every game could be magical, no matter the matchup.
Justice for James Madison
Week 9 Saturday Takeaways #5: The 25th-ranked James Madison Dukes, in their second season of FBS football, improved to 8-0 with a hard-fought 30-27 win over Commonwealth rival Old Dominion. The Dukesʻ top-ranked rush defense and national sack leader, Jalen Green, wonʻt be playing for a Sun Belt Championship although all things point to JMU being the Sun Belt East division leaders by the end of the season. James Madison also wonʻt be participating in a bowl game.
Why? Because of the NCAAʻs transition rules. With good reason, these blockades have come under immense scrutiny with the success of transitioning teams over the years such as Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Jacksonville State.
Enjoy JMU football while it lasts in 2023, because no matter if they end up 12-0 or not, their season wraps up in Week 13 in Myrtle Beach against Coastal Carolina.
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