Ranking the top 3 most unique tailgates in college football
From barbecues to trains to boats… college football fans love getting creative with their tailgate plans. Mackenzie Salmon highlights the three most memorable experiences from around the country.
The No. 1 team in college football plays like the No. 1 team.
You might say this is obvious, but it’s not always the case. However, so is Georgia, which continues to dominate the SEC rated competition and lays claim to the top US LBM AFCA Coaches Survey and College Football Playoff rankings.
After outscoring Mississippi 52-17 last weekend, the Bulldogs dominated Tennessee for nearly every second of a 38-10 win. The Volunteers scored on a 75-yard run on the game’s opener. From there, it was all Georgia.
You’re starting to see that a program has won the past two national championships just in time to win a third and make college football history. Georgia may have looked vulnerable after some questionably close games to start SEC play and losing tight end Brock Bowers to an ankle injury, but those doubts were put to rest as the Bulldogs reached another level near the finish line of the regular season.
Powers returned from an ankle injury before last week’s game against the Rebels and picked up where he left off, with another touchdown against the Volunteers on a 60-yard run. One constant was the increasingly productive play of quarterback Carson Beck, who completed 24 of 30 throws for 298 yards and three scores. Beck now has 21 touchdowns and five interceptions and is completing nearly 73% of his throws.
Georgia comes together. It’s best to be wary of the rest of the FBS programs — especially Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama and the other blue blood programs in the national championship mix.
The Bulldogs top Saturday’s biggest winners and losers:
Washington’s 22-20 win over Oregon State sent the Huskies into the Pac-12 Championship game and making a statement. The Huskies were casually dismissed by the playoff selection committee, which ranked them last among undefeated Power Five teams despite having the best single win in the country, earlier this season against Oregon. The physical nature of the win and the fact that it came against one of the best teams in the country could be enough to push Washington up to No. 4 in the playoff standings and make the playoff calculations very easy: Win and you. Re-entry. The Huskies also snuck to the win on the road despite an uncharacteristically poor performance from quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who completed just 13 of 28 throws for 162 yards but had two touchdowns, no interceptions and a key third-down conversion to seal the win. Winning in bad weather conditions. Before Saturday, Oregon State was 5-0 at Racer Stadium this season and 17-1 since the start of the 2021 season.
Down by 11 points in the third quarter, Kansas State came back and beat Kansas 31-27 to stay alive in the Big 12 chase and extend its winning streak in the rivalry to 15 games. Trailing 27-16, the Wildcats capped an 87-yard drive with a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 27-24 heading into the fourth and then took the lead on Will Howard’s 15-yard score with just over 10 minutes left. . The Jayhawks did a great job of devising a game plan for third-string quarterback Cole Ballard, who had 217 yards of total offense and averaged 10.2 yards per pass attempt, despite having two interceptions. Running back Devin Neal added 138 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. But it wasn’t enough for the Jayhawks to get past Howard, who also caught two touchdown passes. Winners of eight games for the fourth time in five years under Chris Klieman, the Wildcats can reach the conference championship game with a win next Saturday over Iowa State and some help.
Jedd Fisch is the Pac-12 coach of the year and should be one of the top names on the national staff after Arizona’s stunning 42-18 win over Utah secured the Wildcats’ first eight-win season since 2014. The Wildcats had one touchdown through a punt return Blocked and then scored on a garbage-time touchdown pass with less than a minute left, inflating the final margin of victory by a touchdown. But such was the dominance: Arizona had four punts of 60 or more yards, didn’t turn the ball over, and held Utah to 3.2 yards per carry and an average of 7.7 yards per game, the most the Utes have allowed in a game this season.
Another notable contender for National Coach of the Year is Louisville’s Jeff Brohm, whose homecoming debut with the Cardinals has to go down as one of the most memorable years in program history. After a 38-31 win at Miami (Fla.), the Cardinals are on an impressive 10-1 win in the contest against Kentucky and are in the ACC Championship game against Florida State. Everyone expected immediate improvement under Brohm, a formidable offensive coach, but no one saw it coming: Louisville has a small but recognizable path to the playoff with victories over the Wildcats and Seminoles.
SMU has quietly been one of the best teams in the Group of Five since September. This can be attributed in part to a schedule that includes high-profile matchups against Oklahoma and TCU but missed Tulane and Texas-San Antonio during American Athletic play. Beating Memphis 38-34 on the road is easily the most impressive result of the season for the Mustangs, who are now at the finish line with an unbeaten record in conference play and a play for the AAC crown with a win next week over Navy. What will be interesting to see Tuesday night is whether the playoff committee ranks the Mustangs — not that it matters, but their seeding heading into the AAC Championship game ensures that SMU will reach the New Year’s Six with a win.
Think back to August, when Pat Fitzgerald was fired amid allegations of wrongdoing within the program, and consider the low expectations around Northwestern and first-year defensive coordinator David Brown, Fitzgerald’s interim replacement. Who saw the bowl game coming? Well, here we go: Northwestern will reach the postseason after getting 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Cam Porter to beat Purdue 23-15. In addition to the summer turmoil and coaching change that followed, don’t forget that Northwestern had won four games the previous two seasons and lost at least nine games in three of the past four. So what the Wildcats did is incredible, and explains why Brown was hired this week as the team’s permanent coach.
State of Arkansas
Butch Jones was fired by Tennessee in 2017, spent a few years learning new tricks as an assistant off the field at Alabama, then took the job at Arkansas State in 2021 in an attempt to revive his coaching career. His first two teams were terrible, with just five wins, and this year looked like more of the same after the Red Wolves gave up 70 points in a humbling non-conference loss to Oklahoma. About two months later, Arkansas would land in a bowl game after using four takeaways to record a 77-31 blowout of Texas State. Remarkably, none of the Red Wolves’ nine touchdowns came through the air, with seven on the ground — three from Ja’Quez Cross and two from Zach Wallace and Cedric Hawkins — and the remaining two coming on interception returns in the fourth quarter.
Florida State fell behind 13-0 to North Alabama before getting back on track and winning 58-20. But here’s the bad news: Star quarterback Jordan Travis went down with a serious lower-body injury late in the first quarter, likely ending the Heisman Trophy contender’s season and putting the Seminoles’ championship hopes in tatters. Tate Rodemaker stepped in for Travis and looked good, throwing for 217 yards and two scores, and the former three-star recruit could give the NFL enough with wins over Florida and Louisville to mount a perfect regular season. But there’s getting to the playoff and then winning once or twice when you get there, and losing Travis greatly impacts the Seminoles’ chances on college football’s biggest stage.
Misery index: Florida State’s season is in doubt after Travis’ injury
The only good thing you can say about the Trojans’ regular season is that it’s over. thanks God. The ending was predictable: UCLA capitalized on mistakes, controlled the line of scrimmage and were the better team, in a 38-20 win, extending the Chip Kelly era for at least another week. As they had to do all season, the Bruins made minimal returns on offense and let defense lead the way; The defense responded with three quick points and constant pressure on Caleb Williams. After making the Cotton Bowl last year and starting the year as one of the latest playoff picks, USC heads into the postseason at 7-5 and one of the biggest disappointments in the country. They will have to regroup quickly with Williams potentially heading to the NFL.
harsh. harsh. This has already been an ugly year for Florida, which went 6-7 in Billy Napier’s first season and was 5-5 heading into games against Missouri and Florida State to end the regular season, needing at least one win to reach a bowl and two. Wins in a possible three games to avoid back-to-back losing seasons to start Napier’s tenure – something that will be very difficult to overcome. Despite losing quarterback Graham Mertz to injury in the second half, the Gators led Missouri 31-30 with 1:34 remaining and were in position to earn bowl eligibility with one defensive stand. Instead, Missouri drove 62 yards in 12 plays, including a ridiculous fourth-and-17 conversion to star receiver Luther Borden, and then kicked a 30-yard field goal with five seconds left to win 33-31. This is brutal.
Now, to be clear: This is not your father’s New Mexico, or even your older brother’s New Mexico. The Aggies are a different group under the great Jerry Kill, who led the program to a bowl game in its first appearance last season and has his second team in the Conference USA championship game. But maybe you should sit down for this: New Mexico State 31, Auburn 10. One week after beating Arkansas to reach bowl eligibility under Hugh Freeze, the Tigers were put in full scrutiny by a ball-control offense that had possession of the ball for Approximately 39 minutes. It helped the Aggies outgain Auburn 414 yards to 213. It was the first SEC win after 27 straight losses to New Mexico State, which was paid $1.85 million to come to Auburn and beat the Tigers like a drum. Good return on investment, guys!
Once 5-3, the Cornhuskers head into the final against Iowa in real danger of missing the postseason in coach Matt Rhule’s first season after losing to Wisconsin 24-17 in overtime. In a larger sense, not having a win short of Ball eligibility does not make Rhule’s debut an unsuccessful one, especially in light of the situation Rhule inherited from former coach Scott Frost. But Nebraska has spent much of the month knocking on the door of the program’s first bid since 2016. Not getting there would not only be difficult, it would also be detrimental given how important extra bowl practices are to Rhule, the staff and the roster.
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