Here we go again.
Another week, another round of heartbreaking finishes, surprising upsets, and championship dreams shattered. The unpredictability that has been the 2015 college football season doesn’t appear to be coming to an end anytime soon. For those of you who wish to see the season played out in its entirety before knowing which teams will prove to be the most deserving of a place in the College Football Playoff, this year has your name written all over it.
Thanks to the craziness of this past week’s games, we expect there to be plenty of movement in the next edition of the College Football Playoff rankings. And while those results will be sure to stir up loads of controversy, we think it’s important to analyze the matchups that not only caused the greatest amount of commotion, but will more than likely play the most crucial role in shaping the rest of the 2015 season.
Therefore, with that in mind, here’s a look at the biggest surprises from Week 12 in college football.
1. Temple Takes It to Memphis
Behind 200 yards on the ground and 461 yards of total offense, the Temple Owls made the Memphis Tigers wish they had never made the trek to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. With this 31-12 victory, coach Matt Rhule and the 9-2 Owls remained in control of the AAC East and moved one step closer to securing a place in the conference championship game. For the Tigers, who came into this affair ranked No. 21 in the CFP rankings and began the year 8-0, this marks the team’s third consecutive loss, further hurting its chances of playing in a major bowl game.
2. UConn Puts a Halt to Houston’s Perfect Season
Coming into Week 12, Tom Herman and the Houston Cougars held a 10-0 record, were ranked No. 19 in the CFP standings, and had every intention of keeping their fairytale season alive. The Connecticut Huskies had plans of their own. By controlling the clock and forcing four turnovers, UConn was able to dictate the pace of the game and pull off an unlikely 20-19 upset win. So much for the Cougars’ hopes at an undefeated campaign in 2015.
3. LSU Loses Its Third Straight Game
After starting off the year 7-0, the LSU Tigers’ season has taken a massive turn for the worse. Following their 38-17 thumping at the hands of the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tigers have now lost three consecutive games and superstar running back Leonard Fournette is essentially out of the race for the Heisman Trophy. For Tigers coach Les Miles, who came into this contest facing reports that he was coaching for his job, this loss certainly hurts his chances of remaining with the program past the 2015 season.
4. Baylor Buries Oklahoma State
Despite 430 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Mason Rudolph, the Oklahoma State Cowboys couldn’t avoid losing their first game of the season. The No. 10 ranked Baylor Bears ran for 304 yards and racked up 700 yards of total offense on their way to an impressive 45-35 road victory. While it seemed as if Art Briles and the rest of the Bears no longer had a shot of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff, this latest win actually keeps those hopes alive. At least for another week, anyway.
5. Sparty Stuns the Buckeyes
In a battle of two of the country’s top head coaches, the game ball most certainly belongs to Mark Dantonio. Thanks to a 41-yard field goal as time expired, his Michigan State Spartans — No. 9 in the CFP rankings — stormed into Columbus and shocked the defending champs by a score of 17-14. For the Ohio State Buckeyes, this loss snaps the team’s 23-game win streak, ends their run at a perfect season, and puts their chances at winning a second consecutive national title in serious jeopardy.