College football in 2015: the gift that keeps on giving.
Just when we think we’re going to get one week off from the insanity that has taken hold of this latest season, we’re reminded once again that we know absolutely nothing. While there are a handful of extremely talented teams in college football, there is enough parity in the sport to make sure no outcome is ever a guarantee. And truth be told, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks to rock-solid performances, plenty of the country’s best teams were able to stay the course and keep their hopes of a berth in the second-ever College Football Playoff alive. However, not all of top programs were not as fortunate. Therefore, with that in mind, here’s a look at the five biggest surprises from Week 11 in college football.
1. Arizona upends Utah in two overtimes
Any outside chance Utah had of finding its way into the College Football Playoff was officially dashed following its Week 11 matchup with Arizona. For after the Wildcats managed to topple Kyle Whittingham’s crew 37-30 in double overtime, not only will the Utes drop out of the top 10 in the CFP rankings, but to add insult to injury, their position atop the Pac-12 South will be no more. Oh, how the once mighty have fallen.
2. Houston puts together the perfect comeback story
The Houston Cougars didn’t just defeat the Memphis Tigers 35-34 to keep their unblemished record alive, they also overcame two separate 20-point deficits in the process. Credit Tom Herman‘s bunch for their resilience, heart, and unwillingness to crumble in the face of insurmountable odds. The Cougars may not find themselves as one of the top four teams at the end of the year, but it’s become increasingly clear which club represents the best Cinderella story of the 2015 college football season.
3. The Razorbacks run all over the Tigers
Just when we thought Arkansas’s Bret Bielema was among the big-name coaches whose jobs were on the line, the Razorbacks respond with key wins in back-to-back weeks. This latest triumph, thanks to an impressive 299 total rushing yards, involved the complete destruction of the LSU Tigers (No. 9 CFP, No. 9 AP) by a score of 31-14. With this victory, the Hogs get to celebrate winning The Golden Boot trophy for the second consecutive season.
4. “The Ducks fly together”
Unlike seasons past, this year it was Oregon’s turn to play the spoiler. Behind 205 passing yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., the Ducks went on the road and upended the mighty Stanford Cardinal (No. 7 CFP, No. 7 AP) by a score of 38-36. While many folks believed David Shaw’s Stanford team had the goods to sneak into the College Football Playoff, this latest setback puts an end to that dream. We guess it is true what they say, “the Ducks fly together.”
5. Oklahoma owns Baylor
In their first real chance to show the selection committee they deserved to be taken seriously, the Baylor Bears (No. 6 CFP, No. 4 AP) proved they were nothing more than pretenders. With quarterback Baker Mayfield leading the way — 270 passing yards and four total scores — No. 12 Oklahoma came away with the 44-34 victory, officially staking its claim as the best team in the Big 12. If the Sooners can maintain their current level of play, coach Bob Stoops may once again find himself with the opportunity to show the college football community that they don’t call him “Big Game Bob” for nothing.