Winners, losers, college football Week 4 overreactions: Kicking errors plague SEC teams, Oklahoma in trouble

There’s a phrase that gets the blood cold from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Provo, Utah: college footballers. On Saturday, the fortunes of four SEC programs were instantly changed when two college kickers painfully missed critical kicks.

Arkansas had a manageable 42-yarder to beat Texas A&M for a second straight season. The Razorbacks passed the Aggies by more than 80 yards and needed just a leg kick to stay in the top 10. Unfortunately, Cam Little’s kick improbably bounced off the top of the post – a fool the likes of which hasn’t been seen in recent football memory.

All Missouri needed was All-American kicker Harrison Mevis to hit a 26-yard field goal. Easy enough right? Mevis had 20 of 22 field goals last season, including three from 50+ yards. A 26-yarder is a no-brainer… except not against Auburn on the Plains, when Mevis deflected the kick to the right and the matchup went into overtime. The game turned again after Nathaniel Peat fumbled an open touchdown at the goal line and that was it. The Tigers are still looking for their first Power Five win.

Here are more winners, losers, and overreactions that highlighted week four action across the country.


Kansas QB Jalon Daniels: Start the Jalon Daniels Heisman campaign. He was so ridiculously good during the Jayhawks’ 4-0 start. Daniels completed 83% of his passes for 324 yards, rushed 83 yards and scored five touchdowns in an emphatic 35-27 win over the previously undefeated Duke. The Lawndale, Calif., junior was the catalyst for a Kansas program that hadn’t won four games in a season in 13 years. He earns the lion’s share of the credit on the field.

Tennessee: The Vols made things a bit hairy in the last five minutes thanks to some quick Florida touchdowns, but the performance was more dominant than the 38:33 final score. This was a coming-out party for Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, who threw for 349 yards, rushed for 112 yards and had three touchdowns in a win over Florida. This was only Tennessee’s second win over Florida since 2004 and gives the Volunteers a great shot at breaking into the AP Top 10 when the polls come out Sunday.


Miami Coach Mario Cristobal: The Hurricanes earned early credit for beating cupcakes, but the last two weeks have been a disaster. Miami had 27 first downs against Texas A&M, the most in a game without a touchdown. On Saturday, a 45-31 embarrassment against Middle Tennessee threw off any Miami hype train. Once-promising quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was benched after two interceptions, but rushing less than 2 yards per carry and handing 500 yards to Middle Tennessee is nothing short of disaster. Cristobal can’t blame talent for that kind of loss – that’s coaching.

Houston: The Cougars needed 10 unanswered points in the last five minutes to survive a 2-2 Rice challenge. The Owls led for much of the game as the Coogs committed 10 penalties and turned the ball over to give Rice a chance. After the game, Houston coach Dana Holgorsen expressed frustration Houston Chronicle.

“I’m tired of yelling at them. I’m tired of motivating them. I’m sick of all that crap,” said Holgorsen.

For a team that was once considered a serious contender for the New Year’s Six, narrowly avoiding a 1-3 start doesn’t bring many warm feelings.

Week 4 overreactions

Oklahoma does not win the Big 12: The Sooners soared in the polls after dominating an easy schedule with Nebraska, Kent State and UTEP. However, the opening of the Big 12 game in Kansas State was a rude awakening. The Wildcats scored more points (41) than the Sooners surrendered (30) all season, thanks to a five touchdown performance by Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez. Suddenly, Brent Venables’ abandonment in Norman feels far less turnkey than it did after gutting the rival Cornhuskers. Considering the depth the Big 12 have shown in non-conference play, no easy games remain.

Kansas State has a tiebreaker over Oklahoma. Road trips to TCU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech could be hairy. Battles with Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma State remain. There are too many speed bumps for the Sooners to make it to Arlington if this is the Oklahoma we’re getting in 2022.

Wisconsin is no longer Wisconsin: Between 2004 and 2017, Wisconsin was the most enduring program in college football. The Badgers went 141-45 and ranked first in 13 of their 16 seasons, including five top-five finishes. Losing to No. 3 Ohio State was expected, but an uncompetitive 52-21 decision to drop to 2-2 suddenly raises some existential questions.

The Badgers have only finished a berth once in the past five years under Paul Chryst. After today’s loss, the Badgers no longer have any ranked teams on their schedule. It’s unlikely they can show enough to hold their own in the polls. Additionally, as of 2012, Wisconsin has had only one Rose Bowl. This used to be a program that could measure success based on trips to Pasadena.

Chryst went 34-7 in his first three seasons. As of 2017, he’s 33-18 — a nice record, but not by Wisconsin standards. To make matters worse, Wisconsin probably has one of the most attractive coaching candidates in the country in defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. Winners, losers, college football Week 4 overreactions: Kicking errors plague SEC teams, Oklahoma in trouble

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