College football Week 14 roundup with the 5 things that matter, winners and losers, overrated and underrated parts of the weekend, and what it all means.
College Football Week 14 Roundup
5. Winners & Losers From Week 14
Winner: Iowa State and QB Brock Purdy
Iowa State started playing college football in 1892, and it has never won an outright conference championship. It won a share of the Missouri Valley titles in 1911 and 1912, but that was it. No championships in the Big 12, or the Big 8, or Big 6, or Big 7. Nothing.
The program throttled a solid West Virginia team 42-6 after veteran QB Brock Purdy completed 20-of-23 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns along with a rushing score. It’ll be off to the Big 12 Championship in a few weeks to take on Oklahoma – who it beat 37-30 earlier in the year.
Loser: Blocking for Clemson RB Travis Etienne
Etienne is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher, he’s a future NFL star, and he’s been almost criminally underappreciated during Clemson’s run of national championship-level greatness over the last three seasons. But the guy who put up back-to-back 1,600+ yard rushing seasons hasn’t had any room to move.
He’s been great – rushing for over five yards per carry with 12 scores, and catching 41 passes for 512 yards and two touchdowns – but he was held to 66 yards against Virginia Tech for his sixth straight game of the season – and eighth overall – without 100 yards rushing.
Winner: Wisconsin’s defense
The Badgers lead the nation in total defense but a mile. Marshall is No. 2 in the country allowing 254 yards per game, and Wisconsin is allowing 229.
The D is No. 1 against the run, it’s No. 2 in scoring defense, and it’s No. 1 – again, by a huge margin – in third down stops. And yet the program is 2-2 because …
Loser: Wisconsin’s offense
Wisconsin can’t score.
The offense is moving the ball – it came up with 342 yards against Indiana after putting up 366 against Northwestern – but it scored just one touchdown in the last two games and 13 points total in the two losses.
The last time UW failed to score more than seven points in back-to-back games was in early November of 1991, losing to Illinois 22-6 and then Michigan State 20-7.
Winner: USC against Washington State
Kedon Slovis threw five touchdown passes and Amon-Ra St. Brown caught four first quarter scoring throws as USC looked and played the part in a 38-13 win over Washington State.
USC was LA’s most interesting football team on Sunday afternoon.
The Chargers might have been rocked on the other side of town by Cam and the Patriots, and the Rams rolled against the Cardinals earlier in the day, and then the Trojans came up with their best performance of the season by far. But …
Loser: The Pac-12
USC played its game without about five people watching – it went off Sunday night while that Mahomes guy was going against Denver.
It was the type of performance that would’ve won over hearts and minds, but the Trojans will likely struggle to push anywhere near the top ten in the next College Football Playoff rankings.
Meanwhile, Stanford beat Washington – meaning there won’t be any unbeaten team from the Pac-12 North to go to the championship, Colorado and USC won’t play, Oregon lost again, and worst of all, this really, really fun conference is being missed.
Utah’s 30-24 win over Oregon State was a blast, and UCLA’s 25-18 victory over Arizona State was one of the best games of the day.
And it’s all being played in the dark.
Winner: South Carolina new head coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina got its head coach.
Shane Beamer – the son of legendary former Virginia Tech head coach, Frank Beamer – has taken the Gamecock gig after spending the last few years working with the Oklahoma offense. He’s been an assistant on the defensive side at South Carolina and Mississippi State, on the offensive side for a few years at Georgia before going to OU.
He has a whole lot of work to do, because …
Loser: South Carolina football
South Carolina has one won conference championship since 1892 – it took down the 1969 ACC Championship with a 7-3 record before going on to lose the Peach Bowl.
Since joining the SEC in 1992, the program has had just nine seasons with a winning SEC record, 17 with a losing one, and four going .500. It has been to one SEC Championship – 2010, losing 56-17 to Auburn – and hasn’t finished ranked in the top 25 since Steve Spurrier’s 2013 team ended up fourth.
This year’s team started out 2-2, but after stunning Auburn, it has lost six straight including last week’s 41-18 clunker against Kentucky.
NEXT: The really big thing was …