Chaos was so close to happening

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

College football chaos almost took hold last Saturday. Lord almighty, it was close.

But alas, Clemson lived on to fight another day with an undefeated record, the longest active win streak in college football at 20 games.

I have to give North Carolina coach Mack Brown all the credit in the world. The Tar Heels took Clemson down to the wire. Wait—no, that’s not close enough. It was down to the thin rubber layer that encases the wire. The 2-3 Tar Heels almost pulled off the biggest upset in their program over the last decade, at least.

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The big debate is whether Brown made the right call to go for 2, and thus the win, or take the PAT. I believe the right choice was made. Converting a 2-point conversion was North Carolina’s best chance at winning from that moment forward. In overtime, Clemson would have beaten the North Carolina, no doubt about it. When a team’s athletes are that much better and that much deeper than another team’s, it is infinitely more likely they will win. I wouldn’t have trusted North Carolina for one play in overtime, and apparently Brown thought the same thing. So going for 2 and hoping your defense prevails was the best bet.

But an option play? I just got done talking about how much more athletic Clemson is than North Carolina. An option play around the edge that seemed to blow up almost as soon as the ball was snapped is quite possibly the questionable call of the year. I realize I’m being an armchair quarterback here, but sheesh! I would’ve run the ball up the gut before doing that.

Clemson has had a game like this for the past few seasons. Either they win it close, or they lose it close, and it’s always an inferior opponent. I’m thinking this was the wakeup call Clemson’s players needed. They’ll be better because of it, which is bad news for the rest of the teams on their schedule who were hoping to sneak up and beat the Tigers.

Other thoughts from the weekend:

Teams are scoring a whole lot of points. Alabama put up 59, Ohio State 48, Oklahoma 55, Auburn 56 and Penn State 59. LSU might’ve been up there to had they not had a bye week. Georgia coach Kirby Smart seems like he’s taken notice of the big points trend, mentioning the Bulldogs will work on opening their offense more and more in the coming weeks.

Jacob Eason! Justin Fields! Two former Georgia quarterbacks who are doing great things for their teams. Washington and Ohio State could both be looking at conference championships led by these guys, respectively.

Virginia sorta kinda made it a game against Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish remembered at halftime that they are a way better team than the Cavaliers. That might’ve been the hardest game remaining on Notre Dame’s schedule following the Georgia game. I think they’ll bulldoze everyone from here on out. One thing is for sure: Notre Dame is praying for the other conferences to cannibalize each other to the point where it can sneak back into the playoff picture.