Some brief thoughts about Week 11 of the college football season:
• I don’t feel sorry for Utah’s Kaelin Clay, who pulled a DeSean Jackson and let go of the ball at the 1-yard line while heading in for an apparent touchdown that would’ve given the Utes a 14-0 lead on No. 4 Oregon. It was a foolish play, a shockingly careless play, and it cost his team a shot at a special season.
• I do feel sorry for Auburn center Reese Dismukes, whose premature snap on Auburn’s final drive against Texas A&M cost the No. 3 Tigers their shot at a national championship. Dismukes, a senior, is a great player, easily one of the top centers in the country. Plus, let’s face it, interior linemen are too cuddly to get mad at.
• It’s a relief to see Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave persevering through the “yips” issue that kept him off the field for the first four games of the season. It was no sure thing Stave would get past the mental block that was threatening his career, but he had his best game of 2014 in a 34-16 victory at Purdue, completing 19 of 29 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns — beautifully placed balls to Melvin Gordon and Alex Erickson — with one interception.
• Who needs Todd Gurley when you’ve got Nick Chubb? Gurley’s suspension hasn’t hurt Georgia’s running game in the slightest because freshman Chubb simply is one of the best backs in the country. He has rushed for 671 yards in his last four games, including 170 — on only 13 carries — in Saturday’s victory at Kentucky.
• In the Somebody’s Got to Win Bowl, Kansas rolled Iowa State 34-14. That gave interim coach Clint Bowen (1-4 thus far) his first Big 12 victory — equaling the totals of previous head coaches Charlie Weis and Turner Gill over 19 and 17 league games, respectively. Amazing how bad things have been in Lawrence.
The final four
My top four are Mississippi State, Florida State, Alabama and Auburn, and rest assured those will be the top four teams in the next College Football Playoff rankings, though the order they’re in might be a bit different. Remember: Mississippi State plays at Alabama on Saturday.
My Heisman top three
1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon. He threw for 239 yards, rushed for 114 and had four total touchdowns against a very tough Utah defense. There’s some distance between him and No. 2 now.
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State. All Prescott has to do to retake control of this thing is put on a virtuoso performance at Alabama and, you know, win the game. Easy, right?
3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin. Just another quiet 205 yards on the ground at Purdue for the nation’s leading rusher. Like every other Badgers opponent, Purdue loaded the box to stop Gordon, too. Still he can’t be stopped.
One more thing
I get the emotional side of why Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald elected to go for a two-point conversion late in the Michigan game, trailing 10-9. Still, it was a strange decision. The Wildcats had momentum and the home field, and the odds of winning in OT nearly always are better than they are of converting a two-point play.