Week 6 winners & losers: Texas finally catches a tasty wave; Georgia wipes out
It's been a rough season for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns, but Saturday's Red River Showdown provided a bright spot -- and maybe even saved Strong's job. Who else had cause to crowdsurf, and who had reason to cower?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Winner: Charlie Strong (and, finally, Texas football)
Texas fans haven't had much reason to smile this season, and Charlie Strong's seat has been growing hotter by the week. But on Saturday, at long last, the 'Horns broke through, upsetting No. 10 Oklahoma in one of college football's fiercest rivalries. Is it enough to save Strong and the Texas program? Time will tell.
Loser: Ohio State football
Another week, another underwhelming showing from the supposed No. 1 team in the country. The Buckeyes did finally pull away from lowly Maryland in the end, but the game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. Ohio State's schedule was supposed to be a lot easier than this, but all those cupcakes keep fighting back. And we're still waiting for the Buckeyes to impress us.
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY SportsJoseph Maiorana
Winner: LaQuan McGowan
It was a moment we've all been waiting for. Baylor's 410-pound tight end scored his first receiving touchdown of the season on Saturday vs. Kansas. LaQuan McGowan's 18-yard reception last season in the Cotton Bowl vs. Michigan State was a classic, and it was only a matter of time before Art Briles pulled out his secret weapon again, to the delight of Bears fans everywhere.
John Rieger-USA TODAY SportsJohn Rieger
Loser: Georgia football
Not only did the No. 19 Bulldogs blow a massive lead to SEC East rival Tennessee, and not only did that loss probably ruin the Dawgs' shot at the playoff, but Georgia also lost stellar running back Nick Chubb to a gruesome injury in the game. Once again, a season that started with such promise for Mark Richt and company appears to be destined for more disappointment.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY SportsJim Brown
Winner: Michigan football
The Wolverines got another big win Saturday, this time destroying No. 13 Northwestern. And honestly, despite an opening-day loss to Utah, Michigan could easily be mistaken for the best team in the Big Ten right now (with apologies to underwhelming Ohio State and Michigan State). Oh, and BTW: It's Michigan's third shutout in a row. Jim Harbaugh has Big Blue thinking big, and with the way the season is trending, why not?
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsRick Osentoski
Loser: Maryland football (and Randy Edsall)
For a minute there on Saturday, it looked like the beleaguered coach and his Terrapins were gonna do the unthinkable and knock off the No. 1 team in the nation. It didn't end that way, though, and the postgame news conference didn't end very well, either, as Edsall stormed out of the room. Speculation has swirled this week about Edsall's future at Maryland, and a scene like that can't help matters.
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY SportsJoseph Maiorana
Winner: LSU and (yet again) Leonard Fournette
The Heisman front-runner broke the 1,000-yard mark a mere four-and-a-half games into the season, thanks in part to a spectacular 87-yard touchdown run on Saturday vs. the Gamecocks. But his best move Saturday? Offering to auction his jersey to help with South Carolina flood relief. And LSU as a program also deserves a big thumbs-up. In the wake of the catastrophic rains in S.C., the Tigers went above and beyond for their fellow SEC members, hosting the Gamecocks, playing their fight song, donating ticket revenue and more.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportDerick E. Hingle
Loser: Michigan State football
Seems like the Spartans, along with the Buckeyes, end up on the wrong side of this list each week -- not because they're not winning their games, but because they're playing down to the level of their competition, each and every week. There's no reason the No. 4 team in the nation should have been trailing Rutgers -- Rutgers! -- at the half. That's pitiful. But what's worst is to be taken down to the wire by the Scarlet Knights. That's just plain embarrassing.
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY SportsJim O'Connor
Winner: Dalvin Cook (FSU football)
Florida State's hated rival, Miami, put up a good fight, but the Seminoles prevailed nonetheless, and they now enjoy a six-game winning streak over the Hurricanes. But what's more impressive is that the 'Noles' star RB, Dalvin Cook, ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who was nursing a strained hamstring after last weekend's action.
Phil Sears-USA TODAY SportsPhil Sears
Winner: Trevone Boykin (and TCU football)
While LSU's Leonard Fournette gets most of the Heisman love, Boykin is certainly proving he's worthy of consideration with games like this one. The Frogs' QB threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yard bomb with just more than a minute left in the game to help lead his No. 2 team to victory over a stout K-State squad eyeing a huge upset. Boykin also ran for 124 yards himself and tacked on two rushing TDs for good measure.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY SportsScott Sewell
Loser: Oregon football
Dropping a game to Washington State? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Cougars snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Ducks, and boy, does Oregon miss Marcus Mariota or what?
Getty ImagesSteve Dykes
Winner: Florida football
The surprising (and already-bowl-eligible) Gators are off to a sizzling start, this time smashing the Missouri Tigers (who, by the way, are the defending SEC East champs). Safe to say almost no one expected this in Jim McElwain's first year at the helm, and with Georgia's stunning loss to Tennessee on Saturday, Florida could very well be bound for the SEC title game now.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsDenny Medley
Winner: Utah football
We can't talk about surprising teams, of course, without discussing the Utes. These guys held off a strong challenge from No. 23 Cal and QB Jared Goff, thanks in part to Goff's multiple INTs. With Oregon a shadow of its former self and no other serious challengers appearing to emerge in the Pac-12, is it possible that Utah will be playoff-bound?
Winner: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley
Amari Cooper’s departure to the NFL left a huge hole at receiver for Alabama, and big expectations were quickly thrust on true freshman Calvin Ridley’s shoulders. In the Tide's win vs. Arkansas, the five-star recruit accounted for a career-best 140 yards on nine catches. Could Ridley be hitting his stride ahead of a key matchup with Texas A&M? No doubt ’Bama fans hope that’s the case.