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College Football Booms and Busts From Week 13: Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State and More

Blake Corum - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, RB, NFL Draft Sleepers

It is the time of year to give thanks for everything we are grateful for. Obligatory family and friends are on our list, but how about college football? What did we do to deserve this beautiful, chaotic game? If anyone saw the reaction by Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler as they were watching the Iron Bowl ending from their booth in Gainesville, it captured the pure, unadulterated excitement that this sport gives week in and week out. Thank you, college football. 

Rivalry Week is always the best week of the regular season. Regardless of records, point spreads, and momentum, everyone has a chance on Rivalry Week. Whether it is a high-stakes match-up like Ohio State at Michigan or Northwestern at Illinois for in-state bragging rights, it still feels like everybody's biggest game. 365 days of bragging rights is a coveted trophy. Some of the endings that we got to experience this past weekend will rank up there with the Kick-Six and all of the fantastic finishes in the archives. 

As another regular season came to a remarkable close, there were booms, there were busts. As we jump into our final version of Booms and Busts for the 2023 season, we will look at who is moving into the postseason on a high note, as well as who is left looking for answers. Let's take one last look at the highs and lows of the final week of the season. 

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College Football Booms From Week 13

Michigan Wolverines

We almost have to start with Michigan. They have been the target of multiple investigations this year, resulting in them being without their head coach for as many games as they had with him. There are also rumors that Jim Harbaugh will entertain NFL opportunities again after this season. The schedule left a little to be desired outside of their yearly tilt with Penn State and the match-up with Ohio State in Ann Arbor. This game was the Wolverine's chance to put everything behind them and not only set the table for a national championship run but also knock out their arch-rival Buckeyes again.

Michigan did that in a tightly contested game and all but assured themselves a spot in the final four. Michigan still needs to get over a scrappy Iowa team for the Big Ten Championship this weekend, but it is hard to see a scenario where Iowa can outscore Michigan.

Florida State Seminoles

Florida State had a tough assignment heading into The Swamp to face Florida without their star quarterback, Jordan Travis. It was a must-win situation if the Seminoles were to have any shot at making the college football playoff. There is simply no wiggle room from here on out.

The Gators jumped out to a two-score lead and had Florida State on the ropes early, but Tate Rodemaker avoided the critical mistakes, allowing Florida State to earn a resilient comeback win to keep their championship hopes alive. It would be a tall task for FSU to win three postseason games given their current circumstances, but Coach Mike Norvell has done a tremendous job with this team all season. They live to fight another week. 

North Carolina State Wolfpack

North Carolina State’s first-half domination of in-state rival North Carolina capped off an outstanding season for Coach Dave Dorien and his Wolfpack program. Saturday served as the fifth straight win for NC State, and it will give them a chance at a ten-win season if they can pull off a bowl victory. Beating the likes of Clemson, Miami, and North Carolina will make you a popular guy in Raleigh, and double-digit wins could set the table for even brighter days. Dorien has done well with the Wolfpack, and they seem poised for an eventual ACC Championship run.

 

College Football Busts From Week 13

Ohio State Buckeyes

Some may think it is unfair to label an 11-1 team as a bust, but in the case of Ohio State, this was always a one-game season. Beat Michigan, everything is great. Lose to Michigan, the sky is falling as some are calling for the head of an extremely successful coach. While it was a great game, a close loss is still a loss, and now the Buckeyes have not defeated the Wolverines since 2019. If this were 2024, Ohio State would potentially get another crack at Michigan and the national championship, but as it stands, those 2023 dreams appear to be out the window. Ryan Day should survive this, but he needs to figure out how to beat the team up north, as there may only be one more shot to do so.

Auburn Tigers
Hats off to Auburn, as they are the first program to appear on the bust list in back-to-back weeks. It is well-deserved, as they redefined the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory Saturday night in the Iron Bowl. Auburn forced Alabama to punt with under five minutes to play, and the score was 24-20 in Auburn’s favor. The Tigers then muffed that punt to set up Alabama with a chance to take the lead. After a series of miscues by the Crimson Tide, they faced a fourth and goal from the Auburn 31-yard line.

Jalen Milroe hit Isaiah Bond for a touchdown and a coveted spot in the Iron Bowl lure. We all remember being stunned by the Kick-Six, and a decade later, Coach Saban and company flipped the script at Jordan-Hare. Who knows if Hugh Freeze has been able to sleep since that final whistle?
Oregon State Beavers

Oregon State started the year with high expectations, and early on it looked like they might reach those goals. They were 6-1 in mid-October with dreams of a conference championship and a New Year's Six Bowl appearance. The first-half success was especially sweet as the Beavers were left without a conference, and their Power 5 future was up in the air. Fast forward six weeks, Oregon State has lost three of their final five games, and their outstanding head coach Jonathan Smith (Michigan State). A blowout loss to rival Oregon was the most recent contribution to Oregon State’s slide. 8-4 with a bowl game still pending is solid work in Corvallis, but questions surrounding the future cast a black cloud over the athletic department.



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