Those who read The Funvee Tailgate last year remember the posts I’d write in reaction to the College Football Playoff polls and how I’d try to make sense of the movements. Given the way this weekend shook out in the FBS, I figured that this was as good of a time as any to get my thoughts on paper and put my tin foil hat on. Four Top 10 teams lost, others looked shaky, and I think one conference is done. I love this time of year.
First up, we’ll talk about the first huge loss from Friday night: Clemson’s 27-24 loss at Syracuse. Clemson didn’t look very good in this one, Syracuse’s QB Eric Dungey looked OUTSTANDING, and the Tigers fall to #7 in the newest AP Poll. Nevertheless, this puts the ACC in an interesting. Clemson now sits a half-game behind NC State who put on a very impressive performance winning at Pitt 35-17. With the two teams set to face off in three weeks, this will obviously resolve itself but it puts Clemson in a must-win situation down the stretch (we can say that now that they’ve played seven games). You could say that the November 8th road game at NC State is Clemson’s only test, and it likely will be given how Georgia Tech floundered their game at Miami (Tech and Clemson play in two weeks). But you could’ve said that about Syracuse.
The Pac 12 is DONE. Might be a bit too early for the hot take but I think it’s safe to say it: the Pac 12 will be left out of the CFP once again. With Washington and Washington State both losing yesterday, it’s likely that neither would make it in despite winning out and taking the conference title. The only thing that might help WSU is beating USC twice but I’m not even sure the Trojans will make it to the title game. Okay, that one is too much of a stretch but USC looked very shaky once again in their win over Utah yesterday. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the Trojans drop another. Perhaps UCLA rebounds from two-straight conference losses and wins out INCLUDING their regular season finale versus USC! But even the Bruins winning-out seems to be a stretch as well so who knows. USC goes to Notre Dame this weekend in the Battle for the Jeweled Shaleighleigh.
ND is a team that could emerge from this madness into the playoff. Some real crazy-person stuff, I know, but hear me out. I said on the podcast last week that the Big XII really helped itself in adding a championship game because now they get that extra shot. Well if four top ten teams going down points towards a season much like 2007, then maybe that extra game isn’t as valuable in this case. A LOT would have to happen, probably something even crazier than the final month of the 2007 regular season for Notre Dame to get in. Really quick note on USF and UCF since I’m not sure where else it would fit but how crazy would things get if the winner of their November 24th matchup ends up being one of the only undefeateds in the nation? Neither would get in presumably since neither is on the same plane as any of the Power Five schools we’re talking about. Something to keep in mind although THAT kind of stuff will really get to you if you overthink it.
Auburn losing makes it seem like Alabama should cruise to the playoff, right? The Tide may play LSU on November 4th, but those Tigers haven’t held a candle to Bama in quite some time. Alabama’s one true test before the SEC Championship should be Auburn. The loss almost gives me the feeling that the Iron Bowl might be out of those instant classics like 2010 or 2013–seems like we’re overdue for one. The Tiger needs to get through Georgia, though. The Bulldogs continue to cruise through the SEC East. Aside from the Auburn game on 11/11, Georgia’s road doesn’t look too bumpy. UGA plays Florida in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” in two weeks and finishes up the season at Georgia Tech, but both schools have been shaky as of late.
Nothing too much to theorize from the Big Ten and Big XII as the teams that should have won did–albeit, barely *cough* Michigan and Oklahoma *cough.* Part of the reason is that there a number of directions we’d need and go through and definitely not enough time to do so. We’re going to start seeing these teams take on one another so that will give us an idea of which way we’re headed. Penn State hosts Michigan on Saturday so that will be the first domino to fall.
Stay tuned for this week’s podcast. Not sure if we’ll be getting Matty D for it so potentially a guest host!Follow @geordo9