College Football: Big wins for Alabama and Michigan

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

The Tide rolled while the Wolverines unleashed Shoelace on a big weekend in College Football. Al Dannity breaks down the best of the action.

Tide have a formula Officially there is still a quarterback competition in Tuscaloosa. For all intents and purposes the contest ended in Happy Valley on Saturday. College Football betting fans won’t rate A.J. McCarron as a Heisman contender but he is exactly the kind of game manager the Crimson Tide need under center. McCarron took every meaningful snap in a 27-11 victory over Penn State, ensuring Alabama comfortably covered (as predicted here last week).

The Tide’s route to victory was one we should expect to see repeated a lot in 2011. Ride a powerful defense (just 251 yards given up and 3 turnovers forced) and loaded running game (196 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground), requiring just an efficient and error free passing game (19 of 31 passing with 1 touchdown and no interceptions). McCarron won’t star but with Trent Richardson in the backfield, he may not have to.

Shoelace does it again For three quarters Denard Robinson was largely ineffective as Michigan fell into a 24-7 hole against Notre Dame. By the end of the fourth quarter he would have led the Wolverines on two go-ahead drives, including one where he had less than 30 seconds to save his team. When I picked Michigan to win last week, I could not have imagined the crazy final two minutes of this game.

To recap, Vincent Smith caught a 21 yard Robinson pass to put Michigan 28-24 up with 1:12 left on the clock. Just 42 seconds later it was 31-28 to Notre Dame as Tommy Rees connected with Theo Riddick for a 29 yard score. Then with a mere 2 seconds on the clock, Robinson found Roy Roundtree for the winning score. The miraculous comeback saw Shoelace finish with 4 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing score.

Underdog update Florida International recorded their first ever win over a BCS school on Friday as the Sun Belt champions shocked Louisville 24-17. Iowa State needed overtime to eventually beat in-state rivals Iowa 44-41, ensuring the Big 12 school continues its annual tradition of at least one big upset a season. Rice recorded a famous home victory on Saturday, beating Purdue 24-22.

The most high profile near-miss of the weekend saw Toledo fall 27-22 at Ohio State. FCS school Maine deserves some credit for a narrow 35-29 loss at Pittsburgh, while Wofford pushed Clemson to the brink before going down 35-27.