College Football Week 8 Winners, Losers, Overreactions: Miami Hits Another Low as Oregon Keeps Soaring

Miami pulled off what was seen by many as the coup of the century by stealing Oregon’s Mario Cristobal after the Hurricanes graduate won two Pac-12 championships as coach of the Ducks. When Cristobal landed 11 hyped transfers to join announced quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, the hype train was primed and ready. The U was back. Then the season started.

Dropping the game against Texas A&M hurt, but losing against Middle Tennessee was inexplicable. Things only got worse in Week 8 as Duke defeated Miami 45-21 to give the Hurricanes their worst loss in matchup history. Van Dyke walked out and the Hurricanes responded with eight sales. Each week, Cristobal’s schedule seems to spring from a new leak that’s somehow worse than the week before. A bowl game seems like a pipe dream at this point.

It’s one thing to lose games against talented teams deep in their development cycles. Texas A&M has been involved in the Jimbo Fisher experiment for five years. While Miami was never supposed to fight Middle Tennessee, trainer Rick Stockstill has been there for 16 years. But losing to fellow freshman Mike Elko? This is not acceptable. Cristobal had every single advantage against Elko, but stupid, costly mistakes continue to fail this program. It’s year 1, but frankly, this is coaching. For all the money boosters are paying Cristobal, the performance this season is a total failure.

Here are more Week 8 winners, losers, and overreactions from around the college football world.


Oregon: The Ducks were relegated to the trash can after losing 49-3 to No. 2 Georgia in the opener. After defeating No. 9 UCLA 45-30, it’s fair to dismiss that result as a game one anomaly. The Ducks have taken control of the Pac-12 title race with victories over UCLA and Washington State, with No. 15 Utah as the only ranked team still on their schedule. Quarterback Bo Nix has remained generally clean in recent weeks thanks to some nifty play calls from offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. Getting into the Rose Bowl and playoff consideration in the freshman year is a great start for Dan Lanning in his freshman season.

LSU: Don’t look now, but the tigers are secretly quite impressive. Ole Miss No. 7 was likely sustained by a poor schedule, but LSU crushed her a week after beating Florida by double digits. A 15-point win over Mississippi State earlier in the year is aging gracefully. The only losses came in a one-point decision against Florida State, wielded by special teams, and No. 3 Tennessee. Brian Kelly was taunted for most of the offseason after taking the job in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but LSU has steadily improved every week. The Tigers should rejoin the AP Top 25 on Sunday and even control their own path in the SEC West title race. Everything is on the table.


Texas: The hype train is officially off the rails after the Longhorns lost another second-half lead in a 41-34 loss to No. 11 Oklahoma State. Texas was almost favored by a touchdown against a battered Cowboys squad, but Quinn Ewers picked a bad time to have a miserable game. Ewers completed just 38% of his passes with three interceptions on his first road start as the elder Spencer Sanders outplayed him in every facet. The Longhorns were held to just three points throughout the second half and gave up 17 unanswered points. They are now entering a difficult final phase with four losing games and two ranked opponents remaining. Steve Sarkisian has lost four games every year as head coach, and the Horns are on the right track.

Syracuse: In all honesty, the Orange missed a golden opportunity in Death Valley on Saturday. Clemson started the day with a 36-game winning streak that stretched back to the 2016 season. The Tigers have won six of the last seven ACC championships. Syracuse has not won a conference title since 1998 as a member of the Big East. The Orange led 21-7 on the road in the first half and went into the fourth quarter 21-10, and everything was in place for the program to take control of the ACC Atlantic race. Unfortunately for Syracuse, Clemson’s backup quarterback Cade Klubnik came into play and scored 17 unanswered points to seal the win. Syracuse had three different drives to win the game and failed to deliver. The Orange are still having a historic season and should remain in the AP Top 25, but this loss will hurt for a while.


Iowa’s offense is embarrassing: The Hawkeyes have never been a dynamic offensive team under Kirk Ferentz, but Iowa’s offensive performance against Ohio State belongs in the history books for all the wrong reasons, as it conceded just 158 ​​total yards at 2.7 yards per game with six turnovers.

But perhaps most pathetically, Iowa’s miserable offense has screwed up its hard-working defense on multiple occasions. Ohio State took a 33-10 lead over Iowa in the third quarter, despite catching just one shot for 24 yards. It took the Buckeyes just 360 yards to score 54 points because the Iowa offense was so historically unsuitable that it effectively caused Ohio State to run a chip-in.

We get it, Kirk, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is your son and you love him. The fact is, the way Ferentz is handling this situation could justifiably tarnish the reputation of college football’s longest-serving coach. With USC and UCLA slated to join the Big Ten in 2024, Iowa as a program may have to ask some tough questions about whether Ferentz’s program can compete if it’s not playing in one of major college football’s worst divisions.

Injuries decide the Big 12 race: No. 8 TCU pulled off another wonderful comeback, this time from a 28-10 deficit to beat No. 17 Kansas State 38-28 and took control of the Big 12 race. But while the Frogs moved up to 7-0 with a fourth straight win over an AP Top 25 opponent, Big 12 racing history was also about who pulled it off Not been in the lineup.

Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez left the team after the first drive with an undisclosed injury while other defensive players were lost at various spots. TCU also played against the backup Kansas quarterback. In fact, six different Big 12 teams — including TCU — have started a backup quarterback at some point this season.

By many statistical models, the Big 12 is college football’s deepest conference this season. Without a week-long break, the injuries are piling up. The Big 12 race could ultimately boil down to which teams have built the best depth and are best at dealing with injuries. For eight weeks, the undefeated TCU stands apart.


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