College football Week 12 grades: Auburn shells out big-time bucks to get its butt kicked

by 24USATVNov. 19, 2023, 4:20 p.m. 17

Welcome to the college football Week 12 grades. Don’t worry, sad Michigan fans, this is the penultimate post of the year. After spending all week emailing and tweeting me nonsense, you can have some crow for dinner ... while yours truly sips some tea.

The same thing goes as far as grading from last season: High marks will be only for the spectacular, and failing grades have no chance of being reversed.

Last week’s low marks went to the aforementioned school, aka "America’s team," which has gone from high and mighty to folding under the pressure as the sign-stealing investigation continues.

Here is the Week 12 analysis of how fans, teams, players and coaches fared:

For the past three years, this space has given failing grades to schools who schedule inferior teams in this part of November − often paying them millions because they have the ability, and gall, to do so.

The minute the calendar turns to November, we can look forward to Mariah Carey coming out of hiding, corny, unrealistic Lexus commercials and people putting up Christmas decorations way too early. In the southeastern portion of the country, schools start the season of giving as well; FCS and Group of Five schools litter the schedule, the spoils of being a Power Five institution shining brightly.

But sometimes it backfires in spectacular fashion, as it did Saturday in Auburn, Alabama. The financially savvy Tigers gave nearly $2 million to New Mexico State, who laughed that direct deposit all the way to a 31-10 beatdown and its first-ever win over an SEC team. Unfortunately for Auburn, the Aggies are no slouch this season, improving to 9-3.

Perhaps Auburn fans can use the toilet paper they were going to throw on the oaks at Toomer's Corner to clean up after their own team.

Three hours to the northwest, Alabama and Chattanooga of the FCS got together in what was a $600,000 pay day for the Mocs and the equivalent of a seven-on-seven drill for the 66-10 victors in crimson.

Florida State, fighting for a playoff berth, shelled out a modest $400,000 to North Alabama ... and lost its starting quarterback in the process.

They said it:

"This is a life we’ve chosen. This world, to me, is always like the mafia. You get hired, eventually, you get whacked, and you live as much as you can in between," said Nebraska head coach Matt "Don" Rhule, who makes $5.5 million to portray the godfather of Cornhusker nation.

The worst and best of the rest

19: Interceptions this season by Oklahoma and Liberty, leading the nation.

33: Rushing touchdowns allowed by North Texas in 11 games, the only FBS team to allow 30 or more this season.

88: Yards passing for Penn State against Rutgers, a week after dismissing offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.

$1.85 million: Amount received by New Mexico State for trip to Auburn.

The Dog of the Week

The pups had the week off but enjoy this beauty:


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