Oh my. When I started this column in August, I always imagined that I would share the love equally throughout the course of the season. But as the season has gone on, it has been increasingly difficult to stay away from repeat performers.
First to take the honors was Penn State head coach James Franklin, who mis-managed two late game for the Lions and saw 4th quarter leads against Ohio State and Michigan State slip away last month. No harm, no foul. Or so I thought. But we have another repeat Dud this week, once again a college coach who has put himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
To compensate for the redundancy, I present to you Studs & Duds: A Weekend In GIFs.
STUD - West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgerson
Coach Dana managed to pull a win out of his visor on Saturday by tapping into at least two separate plays in an effort to go for two and win in the final 0:16 of the contest.
West Virginia lined up to run an attempt and Texas called timeout. West Virginia changed alignments and got WR David Sills aligned against a freshman corner, throwing a slant pass to the isolated Sills to convert. But Texas saw the match-up and called another timeout, so it was on to the next one for Holgerson and company.
A QUARTERBACK DRAW. That Texas actually played quite well, no less. Until QB Will Grier bounced the ball outside the pocket, raced to the pylon and held the ball in the air as he crossed the goal line to win the game.
That, of course, leads us two our repeat offender this week.
DUD - Texas Head Coach Tom Herman...Again
I really, really want to like Coach Herman. He's on the right track in getting this Texas program back (see what I did there) to the expectation surrounding the program. But unless Herman is shooting for a corporate sponsorship and/or spokesman deal with Kleenex, it's time to cut the waterworks.
Last week Herman was pulled from the field in the closing seconds of a 38-35 loss to Oklahoma State, shouting and pointing at Mike Gundy along the way for a perceived (and inaccurate) slight of a Longhorns player. Herman was assessed a 15-yard penalty as a result.
This week, Herman seemed to take exception that Grier held the ball in the air before crossing the goal line.
"I thought taunting before you cross the goal line negated a score....I've got to brush up on my rules and get some questions answered." - Tom Herman after Texas' 42-41 loss to West Virginia.
Hey, Tom. You know what else can negate scores? Your defense. The Longhorns should try that instead after coughing up 80 points in the last two games. Don't expect the referees to make that call in that situation. Expect your players to make a play.
STUD - Arizona State Wide Receiver N'Keal Harry
N'Keal is on one hell of a tear. In the last three games, Harry has logged 21 receptions for 346 yards and four touchdowns. Oh, he also had that Odell Beckham Jr. style catch last weekend against the Trojans. That was pretty sweet.
You know what else was sweet? Seeing Harry break back across the field and set up a wall of blockers on a quick toss, turning his play into essentially a punt return.
Harry is regarded as an Alshon Jeffery type receiver, but I think Harry brings more after the catch and he's a better athlete than I had originally given him credit for over the summer.
DUD - The Entire LSU Tigers' Performance
Listen girl...whoever you are. Where ever you are in Baton Rouge...I love you.
This LSU fan is too real. The Tigers trailed Alabama 22-0 late in the third quarter when the most meme-able moment of the year blessed us all. As a matter of fact, this might be the best performance we saw from a Tiger on Saturday night, period.
CB Greedy Williams was tested to a degree we haven't seen all season. LB Devin White, much to the surprise of Gary Danielson, was unable to boost the LSU offense in the second half upon his return from a targeting suspension.
(Note to Gary: typically linebackers aren't a huge difference maker on offense.)
Offensively, the line was dominated by DT Quinnen Williams and company and LSU QB Joe Burrow would have been better off pooch punting in any third down situation he faced. The Tigers rushed for 12 yards on the night courtesy of 25 carries.
Needless to say, #LSUBae had every right to be a little ticked off.
STUD - New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas
No, Thomas didn't tip off the FBI during the Saints' win to end the Rams' undefeated season. But I for one am here for Thomas whipping out a cell phone (he stashed one under each upright) to celebrate his big touchdown to ice the game.
It was a career day for Thomas, who is flourishing like few young receivers to have passed through the NFL Draft in recent seasons. I'm sure it is great to have Drew Brees passing you the rock. It's also great to have Marcus Peters not prepared to press you at the snap.
But don't let that distract you from Thomas' dominance, which was on full display Sunday afternoon.
DUD - The UCF Jersey Auction
Y'all remember those sick space themed jerseys the Knights were going to wear? Well, they wore them and they were freaking awesome. I loved them more than I've loved anything else I've seen this football season.
So naturally when it was announced that the school was going to be auctioning off the uniforms after the game, I was a bit excited. That is, of course, until I pulled open the auction page for the first time, found my number of choice and proceeded to try to bid. I was met with a notice that minimum bids are ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Listen, Central Florida. I don't know how many spare fun coupons you think I've got smattered around the house but you're nuts if you think I'm dropping a grand on a uniform.
And you've broken my heart. In doing so I will now bitterly root against a repeat undefeated season, you monsters.
Threads Of The Week: The Oregon Ducks
It's Oregon's world and we're all just living in it, people. The Jordan brand made a strong debut for the team from Eugene this past weekend, with Oregon blacking out their kits and rolling out the sickest helmets of the year thus far. A black/black chrome set of duck wings was all we needed to see.
Step up your swag game, America. The Ducks are running away with this series.