It's Week 4 of the College Football Report Card, and the semester is moving along just fine with this weekend's play sometimes thrilling and sometimes head-scratching.
The same thing goes for grading as last season. High marks will be only for the spectacular, and failing grades have no chance of being reversed.
The highest grades last week went to Appalachian State on its Hail Mary that won the game against Troy, and more schools adding to the athletics budget because of guaranteed money games. Failing grades were achieved by Purdue and its 60 yards' worth of unsportsmanlike penalties in the final minutes of the fourth quarter against Syracuse, costing the Boilermakers the game.
HIGHS AND LOWS: Winners and losers led by Clemson, Tennessee
WHAT YOU MISSED: Texas A&M, Kansas State top the five biggest things
TOP 25 RUNDOWN: Scores and results from the biggest games in Week 4
Without further ado, here is the Week 4 analysis of how fans, teams, players, and coaches fared:
61 problems and a home run ain’t one
ESPN, the network and self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, is on this Earth for one reason and one reason only: to provide a telecast and entertainment in whatever sport they are paying millions and often billions of dollars to broadcast. ESPN also wants to be in the assumption business, meaning those at the network think they know what viewers want.
On Saturday, a day made specifically for college football, ESPN thought it would be wise to split screen games with Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and his quest to tie the American League record for home runs in a season. Does anyone else see the issue here? The reason you didn’t see that on Friday night is because the game against the Boston Red Sox was nationally televised and the network isn't allowed to break into coverage.
College football fans, especially the teams whose games were split screen, don’t care about Judge or baseball, at least not while their team is playing. If a consumer wanted to watch the Yankees, there are plenty of other ways to do that, but the network must think people don’t own smartphones, can’t stream, or go to a bar to watch if they really wanted to see history.
ESPN had the same issue with the its Monday Night Football telecast, assuming that fans wanted to be updated on the other game with that dreaded split screen. Only when Clemson and Wake Forest went to overtime Saturday did they use some common sense and update Judge’s chase instead of breaking into live action.
By the way, Judge had no hits and two strikeouts in three at-bats.
Worldwide nuisance: D
Pulled one out of where?
There is a reason most "live" broadcasts have a five- or 10-second delay. Lots of things can happen: naked fans running on the field, technical problems, and the most common issue – broadcasters with the proverbial slip of the tongue.
But judging by the way the commentators were talking at the end of the Texas-Texas Tech game, they might as well have been broadcasting at the local watering hole.
Check out this beauty from ESPN play-by-play man Dave Flemming as Texas trailed Tech by three points with 21 seconds left but somehow got in position for a game-tying field goal and made it.
"With no timeouts, the first play didn't go the way they wanted it to," Flemming astutely said. "And then Texas pulled one out of their hats."
— John Yarbrough (@John_Yarbrough2) September 24, 2022
It certainly sounded like Flemming said something else (it rhymes with brass) which would have been an all-time great call and probably made a few executives upset. Texas went on to lose in overtime, so the Longhorns ended up not pulling anything.
Bevo's derrière: A
The thrill of defeat
Anyone who watched Missouri take on Auburn had to be shaking their heads for most of the game, especially late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at 14, the visiting Tigers had a first and goal from the Auburn 3 with 45 seconds left. Two kneel downs later, Harrison Mevis, an AP second-team preseason All-American, lined up for a 26-yard field goal and you guessed it … he missed it … badly.
Missouri QB Cook thought he had the win & realizes he doesn’t. pic.twitter.com/2CT3O8z6oN
— Sports & Videos Guy (@SprtsAndCharcol) September 24, 2022
Auburn kicked a field goal on its first possession of overtime and Missouri got the ball with a chance to seal the victory. Missouri back Nathaniel Peat then got loose on the left sideline and ran for 19 yards before stretching out and trying to break the plane of the end zone. Peat got there, but the ball didn’t, as it was fumbled in the end zone and recovered by Auburn.
Show me an 'L': F
Mizzou was THIS close to an OT win in Auburn 🤐 pic.twitter.com/KN1GmSmHqw
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 24, 2022
Stats for you:
1 – Sacks Kansas has given up this year in 94 pass attempts.
34 – The Over/under point total in the Iowa and Rutgers game. The teams combined for 37 in Iowa's 17-point victory.
52 - Age that Miami head coach Mario Cristobal turned on Saturday. The Hurricanes' birthday present to him was losing to Middle Tennessee State 45-31 by giving up 507 yards, including 408 passing on only 16 completions.
63 – Straight games Wake Forest has lost against teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll.
98 – Points scored by Stephen F. Austin in a 98-0 rout of NAIA's Warner University. Four different quarterbacks threw touchdowns for the Lumberjacks and 12 players caught at least one pass.
320 – Receiving yards by Fordham wide receiver Fotis Kokosioulis in a 59-52 loss to Ohio. Kokosioulis had 13 catches and four touchdowns.
$5.2 million – The amount collected by Kent State for playing Washington, Oklahoma and Georgia. It lost those games by the combined score of 117-45.
Best and worst of the week
Maryland returner Tai Felton has the opening kickoff bounce right off his face and Michigan recovers and scores on the very next play.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 24, 2022
Rock chalk: A+
The 4-0 Kansas Jayhawks, ladies and gentlemen, with a nice sip of the Kool-Aid.
Stylin' and Profilin': Straight to graduation
Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. sports an Apple Watch and Louis Vuitton cleats on the field.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is playing with an Apple Watch and Louis Vuitton cleats 😯❄️ pic.twitter.com/gmQiU3gCpk
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2022
Beard's weird: ?
Just leaving the house looking like this has to be commended.
Respect the confidence here ⬜️🟧 pic.twitter.com/yCZ2bQpPtV
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2022
The Dog of the Week: Sacramento State at Colorado State
For fans of the Hornets and Rams (the mascots of Sacramento State and Colorado State if you weren't familiar with what they call themselves), Saturday's game, especially if you watched it in person, had to be three hours plus you couldn't get back. Fortunately, for Hornets fans they at least left the stadium with a smile on their faces after the 41-10 win, while the administration of Sacramento State collected $400,000 (a recurring theme this season) for their troubles.
Now for those who didn't make the 16-hour car ride or two-hour flight to Fort Collins from Sacramento or were in the immediate vicinity and still didn't care enough to go to the game, you were in luck, sort of. The game was broadcast on the Mountain West Network's website for free and apparently could be streamed on your favorite devices. That's what 0-4 will do for you.
Follow Scooby Axson on Twitter @scoobaxson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football Week 4: ESPN, Missouri drop ball in different ways