For some time, the 2021 college football season was taking up a chaotic character. It appeared, not less than for a couple of weeks, like some uncommon suspects may take over the game for a yr, whereas commonplace blue-bloods would take a backseat. That’s proved true to some extent, but when the second-to-last week of the common season exemplified something, it’s that the game’s finest groups are nonetheless fairly arduous to knock off. Plus, a couple of coaches received fired. Right here’s a collection of whose lives received higher in Week 12 and whose positively didn’t.

Winner: Ohio State

The Buckeyes thrashed Michigan State in Columbus, 56-7, and arrange a Huge Ten East winner-take-all recreation with Michigan subsequent week, which tends to work out effectively for the staff from Ohio. The Ohio State offense is likely to be essentially the most purely proficient within the nation, but it surely’s struggled in opposition to sturdy defenses. Michigan State has a robust protection, or not less than appeared to earlier than the Buckeyes tore it into one million little items. This recreation was over nearly instantly. By the point it was formally accomplished, OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud had extra landing passes (six) than incompletions (three) on 35 passes.

Loser: Dan Mullen

Florida fired Mullen, its principally profitable head coach of just about 4 seasons, after a 24-23 loss at a mediocre Missouri on Saturday. Mullen took the Gators to a New 12 months’s Six bowl in every of his first three years and received two of them, however this yr’s staff was 5-6 and misplaced 4 of 5 video games going again to Week 7 at LSU. Mullen is considerably a sufferer of circumstance in that his firing is unattainable to decouple from UF’s largest rival within the SEC East, Georgia, sitting at No.1 within the polls and recruiting like a school soccer Dying Star. However alternatively, Mullen’s obvious lack of recruiting enthusiasm and Florida’s non-elite outcomes have helped Kirby Good construct his machine in Athens. Florida’s subsequent coach will likely be tasked with retipping the size.

Winner: Pitt

The Panthers clinched the ACC Coastal and moved to 9-2 by beating Virginia in a 48-38 shootout. The sport’s important play got here within the closing two minutes, when Kenny Pickett threw a floater of a deep ball that appeared like a sure UVA interception to arrange a possible game-tying area aim or go-ahead landing. As a substitute, Pitt receiver Jordan Addison snatched the ball away and ran for a 62-yard rating that sealed the sport. It was Addison’s fourth landing of the evening, and it made him the primary Pitt receiver since Larry Fitzgerald in 2003 to cross 200 yards in a recreation. It additionally bolstered Pickett’s case to be a Heisman Trophy finalist. Probably the most shockingly enjoyable seasons in school soccer rolls on unabated.

Loser: Texas

The Longhorns misplaced an unbelievable sixth recreation in a row and fell to 4-7. The staff that received to beat them this week was West Virginia, 31-23. Steve Sarkisian wasn’t purported to win a nationwide championship in his first yr, however he additionally wasn’t purported to miss a bowl and preside over the worst half-season of Texas soccer in program historical past. There’s a 50/50ish probability the Horns lose to Kansas State subsequent week and submit an inexplicable 4-8 file. Texas has underachieved for greater than a decade, in order that half’s not new. However the diploma of the unhappiness is new.

Winner: A aggressive Bedlam?

The Oklahoma-Oklahoma State rivalry is named “Bedlam.” It’s a nickname that’s equal elements cool (it sounds wild), arduous to pin down (no one actually is aware of why it ever received that title), and intensely deceptive (Oklahoma wins nearly yearly and has a 90-18-7 all-time file within the collection). Something can occur in Bedlam, I prefer to say, so long as Oklahoma wins. However 2021 is likely to be an actual recreation: Oklahoma State simply gave up a comically small 108 yards in a shutout win over Texas Tech and carries a 10-1 file into this model of Bedlam—an equal mark to the Sooners, who’ve struggled as of late on each offense and protection. The Cowboys host this weekend’s assembly in Stillwater and are, for a change, 3.5-point favorites.

Loser: Buffalo

From 2018 to 2020, the Bulls had been essentially the most constant, winningest staff within the MAC. They went 24-10 over these years, and head coach Lance Leipold constructed one of the crucial punishing run video games within the Group of 5 conferences. Leipold left earlier than this season for Kansas, and the Bulls misplaced a superb little bit of expertise across the time he departed. The consequence has been a tricky first yr for brand spanking new coach Mo Linguist. Wednesday evening was the hardest second but. On the aim line in time beyond regulation in opposition to NIU, the Bulls tousled a handoff alternate and fumbled away possession. NIU received on the subsequent collection and knocked UB to 4-7, out of bowl rivalry.

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