College football winners, losers, overreactions for Week 11: Texas, Florida hit embarrassing lows

Week 11 in college football didn’t feature the depth of high-profile matches like the last few weeks, but the incredible lows will live on for years in our collective memories.

Specifically, two of the proudest programs in college football – Florida and Texas – have set records for all the wrong reasons. The loss of No. 8 Oklahoma to No. 13 Baylor was not so bad, but the Sooners posted the worst overall offensive performance since Lincoln Riley took over as offensive coordinator in 2015. That poor showing may now have cost them a playoff spot.

While most of the top 15 cruised, No. 12 Wake Forest bordered No. 16 NC State 45-42 to take control of the ACC. Nr. 15 Ole Miss beat Texas A&M 29-19 and Nr. 17 Auburn failed hard to shake up the SEC West race.

Here are the winners, losers and some of Week 11’s overreactions in college football.

Winners

Ohio State: Fine, Buckeyes. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. While No. 19 Purdue was certainly over-ranked, No. 4 Ohio State looked more like a national championship challenger. Quarterback CJ Stroud threw for 361 yards and five touchdowns, running back TreVeyon Henderson added two rushing touchdowns and the Buckeyes went up 35-7 from the second quarter cruising to a 59-31 victory. The pass defense remains a minor concern as Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort, but the offensive firepower is so explosive that it’s hard to predict Ohio State ever losing a shootout.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have a temporary coach, missed their two best quarterbacks and hosted one of the best defenses in the Big 12. But in its first home game since the dismissal of Matt Wells, some Raider magic finally came its way. Kicker Jonathan Garibay nailed a spectacular 62-yard field goal when time expired against Iowa State to send the Red Raiders to their first bowl game since 2017. The kick was the longest field goal in Texas Tech history, and could not have come at a better. time.

Awakening Forest: NC State came into its matchup with the Demon Deacons ranked among the best defensive teams in the ACC. When the dust cleared, No. 12 Wake Forest wildly was anyway in a 45-42 victory over the No. 16 Wolfpack to nearly clinch the ACC Atlantic for the first time since 2006. Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman turned the ball over three times. but made critical passes and runs as part of a 13-game drive that took more than 6 minutes to bleed the clock and earn a touchdown to go up double digits. While Wake Forest has no way to the College Football Final, cementing a place in the top 10 and taking control of the ACC race is an incredible achievement for Dave Clawson and this program.

Michigan impresses as Oklahoma and Texas fall, Florida has a rough rough day and more in this week’s Cover 3 crew’s Instant Reaction summarizing Week 11 scores and results in college football.

Losers

Florida: The Gators managed to survive 4-6 FCS Samford in a 70-52 decision thanks to a 35-10 run in the second half, but the performance was embarrassing enough in a win that it will continue to force a major soul-searching effort in Gainesville. The 52 points allowed ties the most ever given up by an FBS opponent against an FCS enemy and ranks as the most ever surrendered by Florida against a non-Power Five opponent. Florida coach Dan Mullen decided to fire defensive coordinator Todd Grantham after a series of embarrassing results, but giving up a combined 92 points to South Carolina and Samford in consecutive weeks should be impossible for a Florida talent team.

Texas: There are not enough facts on God’s green earth to describe how embarrassing it is for Texas to lose against Kansas. The Longhorns have not lost five straight games since 1956. Kansas has not won a Big 12 road game since 2008. Texas has never lost to the Jayhawks in Austin in the nine all-time matchups dating back to 1997. The last time Texas lost to. Kansas, it fired head coach Charlie Strong two weeks later. Somehow, the program reaches historic lows one year into the time of Steve Sarkisian. Whether Sark can withstand the storm will ultimately determine whether he has any chance of succeeding at Texas – and it’s a hell of a storm.

Auburn: Losing against Mississippi State is not in itself embarrassing. The Bulldogs had nice wins over No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 16 NC State and Kentucky entering Saturday. Unfortunately, No. 17 Auburn surrendered a 28-3 second quarter lead and gave up 40 unanswered points in an incredible collapse to pick up a fourth loss. The usually solid Tiger defense gave up 415 yards passing and six touchdowns to Will Rogers, five of which came in the second half. Two weeks ago, Auburn had a way to the College Football Playoff. After two brutal losses against Texas A&M and Mississippi State, it’s an eighth straight year with at least four losses.

Oklahoma State is the new Big 12 favorite

Many left No. 10 Oklahoma State for dead after a miserable start to a non-conference game, including wins over Missouri State, Tulsa and Boise State by a combined 13 points. But since the loss of a nail-biter in the final minutes against Iowa State, Oklahoma State has been absolutely unstoppable. With a 63-17 victory over TCU, the Cowboys outscored their last three opponents by a combined 142-23.

Oklahoma State already has a win over No. 13 Baylor, giving the Cowboys a clean road to the Big 12 title game. With the way No. 8 Oklahoma looked in a 27-14 loss against the Bears on Saturday, the Sooners seem as vulnerable as they have ever been since Lincoln Riley joined the program as offensive coordinator in 2015.

When the College Football Playoff rankings are released on Tuesday, the Cowboys – not the Sooners – will be revealed as the best shot of the Big 12 playoffs. If Oklahoma State can find a way to finally defeat Riley, the Cowboys really have a chance.

Notre Dame should be taken more seriously

When we talk about No. 9 Notre Dame, it’s mostly in the context of being a quality win for No. 5 Cincinnati. But after beating a decent Virginia team 28-3 – acknowledging that the Knights didn’t have starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong – the Fighting Irish deserve to be treated as more of a side show.

While the schedule is not particularly impressive, Notre Dame has double-digit wins over No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Purdue and North Carolina. The young defense has only allowed nine points in the last two weeks against Virginia and Navy. Especially in a year where the top of the sport has struggled, Notre Dame deserves more credit for its consistency, especially since suffering a loss.

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