Well. That was nuts. In what was perhaps the craziest weekend in college football history, one in which 11 of the AP Top 25 came tumbling down, the Group of Five remained virtually devoid of the nail-biting upsets that peppered the gridiron Saturday (UMass and Miami (OH) should not count. For anything). Marshall is still Marshall, East Carolina still controls the AAC, and the Sun Belt winner will still be picked out of a fedora at Larry Blakeney's retirement roast. To the games!
BYU's potential dream 12-0 season came crashing to a halt Friday when Taysom Hill went down with a broken leg, paving the way for Utah State to snag a 35-20 upset in Provo. It was a devastating loss to a team that seemed poised to run the table and usurp the Group of Five's New Year's Day bowl game from ECU or Marshall. It was also a coming out party for Aggie quarterback and Chuckie Keeton backup Darrell Garetson who, aside from sounding like your friendly next-door neighbor who enjoys a good barbecue, also threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in Utah State's win.
SOUTHERN MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
Southern Miss traveled to C-USA contender Middle Tennessee Saturday and put up a commendable fight, losing 37-31 and only turning the ball over two times this go-around. PROGRESS! The two teams racked up over 1,000 yards and 68 points, with a furious fourth quarter Golden Eagle rally falling just six points short. MTSU ran and passed all over Southern Miss seemingly at will. If any team is going to compete with Marshall for the C-USA crown, it's the team that still employs Tommy West for some reason.
Memphis is good. That is not a sarcastic sentence. The Tigers rolled up 610 yards and 40:15 minutes of possession to demolish Cincinnati on the road 41-17. Quarterback Paxton Lynch tossed two touchdowns and ran for two more as Memphis exposed a worse defense than the one used by Oscar Pistorius. Cincy benched Gunner Kiel late in the game to let Munchie Legaux have a turn, and he somehow looked worse. The AAC race has become a lot more fun to watch, which still makes it not that fun to watch.
NATIONAL CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MIAMI (OH)
This game was the equivalent of every kid ever picked last in P.E. for dodgeball forming two teams and playing each other in a best of 100 series. But guess what! Miami (OH) snapped the nation's longest losing streak (21 games) with a dramatic 46-45 victory over UMass to give the RedHawks their first win since Oct. 27, 2012. The Minutemen gift-wrapped the W for Miami when coach Mark Whipple elected to throw the ball in the end zone as time expired instead of trotting out his shaky kicker for the game-winner. DO NOT tell Ben Roethlisberger about your celebration party.
Sally is actually in the running to be SMU's head coach but apparently pulled out due to contractual differences. East Carolina slept walked through a 45-24 win over the 'Stangs to stay atop the American and preserve ECU's Top 25 ranking. Out of all the crazy, unbelievable things to happen over the weekend, SMU scoring 24 points has to be number one.
GOD BLESS AMERICA, DAMMIT
Air Force quarterback Kale Pearson threw three touchdowns to lead the Falcons over Navy for their first Commander-In-Cheif's trophy since 2011. Despite being outgained by over 30 yards by the Midshipmen, Pearson's precision and Navy's two turnovers ended up being the difference in the game. Suck it, ISIS!