November is the month when legacies are made. It is the month when Heisman Trophies, conference titles and College Football Playoff spots all line up. Just don't ask Tyler from Spartanburg about it this Week 10.
The game has sort of a nouveau rivalry feel to it, at least since 2011 when the Crimson Tide lost in overtime to the Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium, failed to win the SEC West and still ended up national champions.
This isn't that. Once again, Alabama has a path to the College Football Playoff. LSU has the ability to (help) eliminate the SEC from the championship structure (BCS/CFP) for the first time since 2005.
Here's that worst-case scenario: An LSU win Saturday drops Bama from the CFP picture. Depending on the result of Texas A&M-Ole Miss, there could be a three-way tie for the SEC West between the Tide, Tigers and Rebels. It's up to you to decide whether No. 10 Ole Miss (7-1) has a chance to get to the playoff.
Such a scenario would leave No. 2 Georgia or … No. 12 Missouri (?) as the primary CFP contenders out of the SEC. That particular issue will be decided Saturday in Athens, Georgia. A win by undefeated Georgia obviously benefits the SEC more than an upset by Missouri. But this being November, .
In general, the SEC is down. Future member Texas might have the nation's signature win (at Alabama on Sept. 9). Georgia has played and beaten one ranked team going into November. The Tide have been uneven -- at least by their standards. South Carolina has fallen off from last season. Tennessee might be headed that way. Jimbo is Jimbo at TAMU.
It's all a reminder that November can be a month of renewal. As mentioned, this is the month Heismans are won, too. The unwritten November formula is this: The stiff-arm holder usually has to win 10 games, create a Heisman moment (or two) in the next four weeks ... and be quarterback.
The story within the story Saturday night: Grab your popcorn in Tuscaloosa. Daniels is Florida State, Ole Miss), the Arizona State transfer completed 67% of his passes averaging 380 yards passing with five total touchdown passes.for the highest-scoring team in the land. In LSU's two losses (
Against everybody, Daniels has been historic. He leads SEC quarterbacks in rushing for the second straight year. His season pass efficiency number (204.32) would be the second-highest all-time and No. 1 among Power Five quarterbacks if the year ended today.
"If LSU wins, I think he's the solid front runner," said long-time Heisman expert Chris Huston, host of the award's official podcast. "Assuming he has a big game."
That's easy to assume. LSU has morphed into that latest team that has to outscore its opponent to win. LSU was down by 15 points at Mizzou before rallying to win, 49-39. It scored 49 at Ole Miss but gave up 55. Since the opening night loss to FSU, LSU has scored at least 34 in each game.
There are legitimate comparisons to the 2019 forever team. That one four years ago had a marginally better defense. This one leads the country in scoring just like Joe Burrow's group in 2019. LSU's overtime win last year in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, might have been Daniels' coming of age moment with the Tigers.
How that translates on the road against the SEC's No. 3 defense remains to be seen -- or it may not translate at all. LSU doesn't pressure the quarterback much (five sacks in its last four games), and Alabama has problems across the offensive line all season. Its 35 sacks allowed are now tied for the fifth most.
Kelly is attempting to become the fourth coach to beat Nick Saban in consecutive seasons. Back-to-back conference championship games to start his SEC career wouldn't suck, either.
This is one of those games where there is a story either way: LSU stays alive for the SEC West and Kelly beats Nick again, or Alabama stays alive for a CFP berth.
Either result might be considered an upset considering where these teams were prior to November. You can catch Alabama-LSU live Saturday at 7:45 p.m. ET as the conclusion of a CBS college football tripleheader.
Week 10 storylines
Welcome to Separation Saturday where conference races take shape.
Would a Michigan conference title be tainted? Based on the latest reports, it's a fair question. That has to be the first question from the postgame media following Saturday's game against Purdue. It is now public, per ESPN, that at the sign-stealing scandal seeking action from the league. The No. 3 Wolverines are 32.5-point favorites.
The last of Bedlam (at least for a while): It's a happy, sad, intriguing, tragic ending to a great rivalry. We've gotten this far, and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy still hasn't adequately explained why he didn't use running back Ollie Gordon as a weapon until about Game 4. Gordon is having one of the most explosive seasons in Oklahoma State's grand tailback history. The sophomore has rushed for 569 of his 1,087 yards in the last three games. Gordon and Barry Sanders are now the only two Cowboys to have consecutive 250-yard rushing games. Gundy had a heart-to-heart last week after Gordon acted out on the sidelines in frustration after losing a fumble. Gundy, who played with Sanders and Thurman Thomas, basically said the great ones never acted that way.
This is lining up as the result that knocks No. 9 Oklahoma out of playoff contention. No. 22 Oklahoma State is the best team that wasn't ranked (until this week) having won four in a row while mustering all the hate it can for OU. It's worth a view here to see Gundy recount just how bitter the OU rivalry has been. Go to the 22:30 mark where Gundy says, "Bosworth spit in my face. I spit in his face."
No. 23 Kansas State winning at No. 7 Texas would be so on brand in this age of realignment. Part of the reason the Texas administration wanted out of the Big 12 is because it didn't want to play the likes of K-State, Iowa State, Kansas, etc. Let's see how that works out playing the big boys in the SEC. K-State developed its modern reputation beating Texas in the Big 12, winning nine of the first 13 meetings in the conference. The Longhorns have won the last six, five by 7 points or fewer. Look for the Wildcats to continue to be that speck in the Longhorns' eye that won't go away. Texas backup quarterback Maalik Murphy faces the Big 12's best defense.
One last gasp for USC: The No. 20 Trojans still have only one loss in the Pac-12 and control their own destiny in the conference with No. 5 Washington coming to town. The Huskies were probably not given the benefit of the doubt for a spot in the top four by the CFP Selection Committee because they have won their last four games by a total of 27 points. They won the first four by at least 27 each.
Ohio State tour as No. 1 begins at Rutgers: With TreVeon Henderson back healthy (162 yards vs. Wisconsin) and wide receiver Emeka Egbuka expected to return, the Buckeyes should roll. Marvin Harrison Jr. is chasing a Heisman. Rutgers is chasing history having not beaten a ranked team since -- wait for it -- 2009. Greg Schiano has already guided the Scarlet Knights to their most wins since 2014.
Hearing that Georgia sharpened itself going good on good early on this season instead of using more scout team reps. That's paying off now for an offensive line that might one day see all five starters drafted. (Eventually, left tackle Earnest Greene III is a redshirt freshman). Missouri comes to town for its biggest game since winning the SEC East in 2014.
Dabo Swinney's Clemson's coach contended the "expectation is greater than the appreciation" from the fan base. News flash: Coaches are evaluated on a minute-by-minute basis, so the expectation is the standard, especially after winning at least 10 games 12 years in a row. If you don't get an "atta boy" frequently enough, well, $11 million per year ought to ease your mind. No. 15 Notre Dame visits Clemson with a chance to knock the Tigers below .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2010.overlooked one thing:
OK, we get it Lane. Texas A&M outspends Ole Miss. The pressure goes both ways for the "cash-poor" Rebels. The metrics say the Aggies shouldn't be much of a challenge. Their road losing streak (eight) is the fourth-longest in the FBS. A loss to Ole Miss would tie the school record (nine). Quinshon Judkins (122.5 yards per game in his last four) seems poised to run all over Texas A&M.
Who else thinks No. 19 UCLA is set up to be Jedd Fisch's signature win at Arizona? It's more than a trap game. There are quarterback issues for the Bruins going on the road. Meanwhile, Fisch has found his guy in redshirt freshman Noah Fifita. The Wildcats are playing their fifth straight game against a ranked opponent having lost three games by seven or less. They are 7-1 against the spread this season (UCLA is favored by three).
Iowa interim athletic director Beth Goetz made the right call this week in firing offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. The Iowa offense and its boss had become national punchlines that were impacting the entire university's brand. Firing Kirk Ferentz' son was the correct move just because the narrative had become as much or more about nepotism than the offense's ineffectiveness. Here's more proof: The total in Iowa-Northwestern (29.5) is less than 59 teams are averaging on their own. Wrigley Field hasn't seen such a display of low scoring since the 1947 Cubs. Look it up, kids.
No. 4 Florida State (at Pittsburgh) is on the brink of a unique CFP comeback. It would be nine years between the Seminoles playing in the first CFP (2015) and getting back in 2024. It took four head coaches and, so far, 106 games to get to this point … digging deeper on Daniels' Heisman chances, even if LSU loses to Bama: Since 2007, three players have won the Heisman playing for three-loss teams at the time the trophy was awarded. That would be Tim Tebow in 2007 (Florida, 9-3), Robert Griffin III in 2011 (Baylor, 9-3) and Lamar Jackson in 2016 (Louisville, 9-3). Those Cardinals lost their last three games to finish 9-4 … Kelly has coached two of the seven players in history to pass for 11,000 career yards and rush for 2,000: Daniels and Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan)