Every week, college football is filled with pageantry and tradition, but when all that stuff’s done, there’s plenty of weird stuff left behind, too. It’s the beauty of college football that every weekend, something has you saying “That Just Happened.”
Here’s what stuck out from Week 3 across college football:
How bizarre, how bizarre: Wisconsin looked ready to center the ball and kick what would have been a game-winning field goal, but a frantic final 18 seconds gave Arizona State a controversial 32-30 win. Badgers quarterback Joel Stave shuffled behind his offensive line and appeared to kneel and set the ball down, but officials didn’t whistle the play dead and time continued to tick. Arizona State recovered what may or may not have been a fumble, but Wisconsin kept the ball and by the time it snapped the ball, it was too late to try and win the game. Arizona State escaped Sun Devil Stadium with one of the wackiest wins in recent history that’s sure to drive plenty of conversation and debate in the next week.
More magic for Manziel: Eli Manning and David Tyree would have been proud, even if the use of a helmet wasn’t required to convert a crazy third down in the Aggies’ game against Alabama on Saturday. Manziel provided another memorable moment with a frenzied scramble and heaving a prayer after escaping the hands of Jeoffrey Pagan. Edward Pope hauled it in for a 12-yard gain, and Manziel kept A&M alive later with a 95-yard bomb to Mike Evans. Alabama got the last laugh, though, knocking off the Aggies 49-42 in College Station.
Just do it, please: Mack Brown’s bosses, AD DeLoss Dodds and president Bill Powers, both backed the Texas coach before Saturday’s game vs. Ole Miss. Apparently, Texas A&M fans feel the same way. Fox Sports Southwest’s Anthony Andro spotted some maroon “Keep Mack” shirts for sale outside Kyle Field. I’m guessing fans in Manhattan, Fort Worth and Norman might be interested in more than a few of these. That didn’t change after Texas suffered another blowout loss, this time to Ole Miss, 44-23. The Longhorns have been outscored 40-7 in the second half the last two weeks.
Send some prayers up for Jerry Kill: The Minnesota coach has been open about his issues with seizures, and suffered another one on the sidelines on Saturday. He was carted off the field after being tended to by trainers and taken to a local hospital. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery and a return to the field next Saturday. I’ll take that, thank you: Who needs blocked punts? Stolen punts are where it’s at, and much more stylish. Just ask Bowling Green’s Paul Senn, who swiped one off the punter’s foot and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. The bad news: It was the Falcons’ only touchdown of the day in a 42-10 loss to Indiana.
For Lane Kiffin, the people have spoken: You’re bound to get a dip in attendance after a rough loss, but when was the last time we saw anything like the scene in the Coliseum for USC on Saturday? Coming off last week’s loss to Washington State, the crowd for the Trojans’ game against Boston College was smaller than ones we’ve seen at a whole bunch of spring games. The fans made their thoughts on Kiffin’s future at USC crystal clear.
Flying high in Michigan: It wasn’t a banner day for Michigan football, who narrowly escaped a historic upset against Akron, but a few Wolverines took their in-state rivalry to the skies on Saturday. Before Michigan State’s game against Youngstown State in East Lansing, a plane skywrote “Go Blue” in the sky above Spartan Stadium. Now that’s dedication.
It gets weird in Lubbock: Lubbock, Texas has a reputation for strange nights on the football field, and it doesn’t get much stranger than Thursday night’s win over TCU. As if a fox scrambling around the sidelines wasn’t weird enough, running back DeAndre Washington turned a 50-yard touchdown into what could have been a forehead-slapping game-changer. He dropped the ball before reaching the end zone, but Davis Webb’s touchdown pass to Bradley Marquez made the mistake a mere footnote on a night with questionable officiating, though the Big 12 reinforced the officials jobs after the game.
No, no, no, don’t do that: McNeese State blew out South Florida in Week 1, and the Bulls lost an ugly game to Michigan State last week. It’s not getting better in Tampa. New coach Willie Taggart is going to have a tough time getting many folks to buy bus passes if his running backs keep forcing fumbles.