The weekend came and went in a hurry and many of us can’t believe Week 7 of the NFL season and Week 8 of the NCAA season are wrapping up already. Here are 5 observations from this past week:
1.) And then there were (still) 5 Undefeated Teams: With Denver, Cincinnati, and Green Bay all on bye weeks, Carolina and New England both came out victorious to stay perfect at 6-0. Tom Brady and the Patriots hung on to post a 4th Quarter comeback against the Jets at Foxboro while an uneven Cam Newton did throw 3 interceptions, but was helped out by another strong ground attack and strong defensive effort as the Panthers were able to control the Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Week 8 will end in one less undefeated team as the Packers and Broncos face off in a primetime showdown next Sunday night in Denver.
2.) Wild Finish at Georgia Tech: Any chance of Florida State having an opportunity to get back to the College Football Playoffs in 2015 may have been derailed on Saturday as the 2-5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets upset the Seminoles on a last second blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown. The #9 Seminoles dropped to #17 in the latest rankings released Sunday. Florida State does play at #3 Clemson on 11/7 and at #11 Florida to end the season, however they will need a lot to bounce their way to move back up in the rankings. Check out the last play of the game:
3.) The NFC East is a revolving door again as the Giants defeated the Cowboys 27-20 to move back into first place after the Eagles fell to the Panthers 27-16. With Washington’s tremendous come from behind win against Tampa Bay after trailing by 24 points, they too find themselves in the thick of things heading into their bye week. While Philadelphia also has a week off to figure things out, the Giants will travel to New Orleans where they have not had much success in recent years, while the Cowboys host Seattle. This Division reminds me of the NFC West of recent prior years where 7-9 or 8-8 was a playoff record.4.) Vegas is not crazy although most people laughed when the odds came out and had the 3-3 USC Trojans favored at home against Utah- the #3 team in the country- ranked 6-0. With all the turmoil taking place this season including the recent dismissal of head coach Steve Sarkisian, it seemed more likely that Vegas should have set the line for this game at +20 for USC. Instead, Vegas set the line right again, as the Trojans manhandled the Utes 42-20. This week, USC travels up the Pacific Coast Highway to take on 5-2 Cal (ranked 20th entering last week before losing to UCLA). It will be interesting to see if sports betters lick their wounds from last week and try to recoup their losses on this matchup or avoid USC altogether.
5.) Another tragedy took place at Oklahoma State on Saturday when a 25 year old woman drove her car full speed into a crowd attending the homecoming parade for the Cowboys. Tragically 4 people, including a toddler, died while 46 others were hurt in the disaster. Despite OSU opting to play (and beating Kansas 58-10), it is in times like these where sports become secondary to more important issues. The community will find a way to come together and rebuild itself emotionally but it was nice to see the outpouring of support on social media from alumni, fellow rival schools, and professional organizations such as from the few below: