Tumult in Missouri
University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe resigned Monday amid protests over racial tensions at the school, and the decisive blow might have been the threat of a boycott by the Tigers’ football team (the boycott was the result of their support for a student who had gone on a hunger strike in protest of Wolfe’s leadership). There are broad, systemic issues at play here, but the boycott also showed the power a football program can have to affect change even at a large state university. (Missouri will play its game this week against BYU.)
Bowl for Huskies?
Time is running out for the Huskies to extend their streak of consecutive bowl appearances to six. They are 4-5 with three games left in the season — at Arizona State, at Oregon State and home vs. Washington State. If they beat ASU this week — something they haven’t done since 2001 — they can clinch bowl eligibility next weekend at lowly OSU. But it would be a lot more interesting if UW went into the Apple Cup with five victories, still needing to beat its rival — who is already bowl-eligible – to continue its season.
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In the most recent, still meaningless College Football Playoff rankings, Stanford is up four spots to No. 7 and Utah is up two spots to No. 10. Clemson is still No. 1, Alabama jumped to No. 2 after throttling LSU, Ohio State is No. 3 and Notre Dame is No. 4. And, again, it all means nothing until all games have been played and all data is available.
After LSU’s 30-16 loss to Alabama in which he rushed for just 31 yards on 19 carries, Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette might not be the Heisman front-runner anymore. Instead, in ESPN’s latest “experts’ poll,” Alabama running back Derrick Henry is the new leader, with Fournette close behind. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey checked in at No. 5. And someone gave WSU quarterback Luke Falk one fifth-place vote.
Crucial matchups in the SEC, Big 12 and American conferences highlight this week’s slate: No. 2 Alabama visits No. 17 Mississippi State; No. 12 Oklahoma visits unbeaten No. 6 Baylor; and No. 24 Houston hosts No. 21 Memphis. Those are the only games this week featuring two teams ranked by the CFP (though we’re guessing Oregon-Stanford might be worth watching, too).