College football is home to some of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. This kind of deep-rooted emotion manifests itself either as enthusiasm or sorrow. A few contenders have been eliminated, but each team’s fate is yet to be determined, so not all fans are angry. Let’s take a look at who is.
The No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners said goodbye to their playoff hopes after losing to rival No. 15 Oklahoma State 27-24 in the annual Bedlam rivalry game. Oklahoma showed promise during its first half of the season — similar to 2022 — but became one of the least convincing seven-win teams.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is well-respected in college football but never seemed to crack the Sooners as a player or coach. As quarterback at OSU, Gundy was winless and was 4-15 at Bedlam as coach. Running back Ollie Gordon III took to the saddle and carried the Cowboys to victory, totaling 137 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon is averaging seven yards per carry this season, which is sixth best in the country.
Meanwhile, in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeff Brohm returned to his alma mater to become head coach. In Brohm’s first season in the coaching helmet, the Cardinals produced high-efficiency performances that matched those of No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Florida State.
With an upset opening win over No. 20 Notre Dame and wins against five Power 5 teams with winning records, the Cardinals are a scary one-loss team. Only Ohio State has more wins against winning teams. Outside of a lopsided 37-20 loss to a 2-7 Pitt team, the Cardinals’ resume is impeccable. However, their one blemish is enough to lower their ranking as the worst team with a loss to #11.
In Week 10, the James Madison Dukes strung together an undefeated season in their second season in FBS I football. The hot topic of discussion is that despite their dominance in the Sun Belt Conference, they are not allowed to be ranked and are not eligible for the Sun Belt title game.
This is due to the fact that they are in their second and final season in the roster transition period in high-level college football. JMU has since contacted the NCAA to request a change. The NCAA is notoriously rigid, so the chances of change are low.
Rutgers managed to pull itself out of laughingstock territory with a 6-3 record thanks to the abilities of head coach Greg Schiano. They are now bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. In their November 4 game against Ohio State, they held a 9-7 lead before halftime and in the fourth quarter, Rutgers trailed but still played close 21-16. However, the Buckeyes ran away with the game, scoring two more times and winning 35-16. If the Scarlet Knights competed in another conference such as the SEC, they would be ranked at bare minimum.
But as of now, many fan bases like No. 9 Ole Miss are still alive and well. For the Rebels, they are tasked with defeating No. 1 Georgia. If head coach Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss can pull this off, it will go down in history as an instant classic. They’re still in contention this deep into the season, and even if the odds aren’t in their favor, there’s no reason to rule out the Lane Train now. I can’t imagine Rebels fans being very upset about this.