WHAT A DAY WAS SATURDAY’S ACTION!? UPSETS ALL AROUND! With the first College Football Playoff poll coming to us on Tuesday night, I needed to get some thoughts about today before my usual post breaking down the CFP poll (should be up on Wednesday). I was going to try to get this up Sunday afternoon but the Eagles game drained me. LET’S FIIIIIIIIIIRE IT UP!
First up, we look to the ACC. Clemson and Miami won their games by a combined total of 19 points when both were heavy favorites. While not covering the spread, these results for surely a cause for concern if you’re a fan of either squad. NC State lost their highly-touted matchup with Notre Dame yesterday 35-14, effectively eliminating them from CFP contention. This puts ND down the right path to the playoff. Given how Miami has played over the last few weeks, if Notre Dame can keep this level of play going, their gauntlet of games may not be so daunting. Given how Miami has played, that game looks more and more winnable. Navy will be tough but that isn’t anywhere near impossible. Playing at Stanford to close the season is the only one up in the air right now. That game is a month away, though, and a lot can change before then–for both squads. The good news for NC State: they play Clemson this weekend at home in what is basically the “ACC Atlantic Division title game.” Miami hosts Virginia Tech this week in the “Coastal Division title game” before hosting Notre Dame next weekend. Notre Dame hosts Wake Forrest this week for a slight break within their gauntlet.
The Pac-12 is definitely done, is the Big XII done as well?
TCU dropped their first game of the season to Iowa State and it’s now safe to call ISU a solid team rather than the “bad loss” label we handed them after upsetting Oklahoma. The Big XII’s top three teams sit at 8, 10, and 11 now and with OU playing OK State and TCU in the next two weeks, it’s possible we could see a true cannibalization of the conference. It leads me to think it if is possible for the conference to be left on the outside looking in when the final CFP poll comes out like the Pac 12 should be. A lot of this assumes OU trips up at some point but if they don’t over their final four regular season games, they’d likely have to face TCU or OK State once more in the Big XII Championship. Nonetheless, an OU run to that game makes numerous teams’ resumes look great–especially Ohio State. I’ve made my case for the Pac 12 to be left out and with Washington being the lone one-loss team in the conference, it seems likely. Washington’s schedule is weak and they could fall once more–it would likely come in the Apple Cup against WSU or in the Pac 12 Championship against USC. Unless utter chaos strikes the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC and all three champions from those conferences have three losses, which is nearly impossible at this point, the Pac 12’s fate is already sealed and they’re now just playing for a New Year’s Six berth.
The Big Ten picture got a bit clearer, but it’s still pretty murky
With Michigan State falling to Northwestern, it’s tough to think that Sparty could go on a run to the Big Ten title game with both Ohio State and Penn State still on the schedule–so we can write them off now. Michigan was practically out with two conference losses anyway, but barely getting by Rutgers might have been the final nail in the coffin. The Wolverines can play spoiler to Ohio State, however. OSU controls its own destiny now but will play two tough road games against Iowa this week and their finale at Michigan. If they’re able to get through this week and next week’s home game against MSU, the Big Ten East is practically OSU’s thanks to tiebreakers. Penn State would need to win out, and have OSU lose twice for them to get the spot in the title game. Winning out shouldn’t be that tough but the Nittany Lions go to Michigan State this week so they will need to be careful and bounce-back strong. Wisconsin continues to roll over their mediocre schedule in the Big Ten West with their only real test before the Big Ten title game is hosting Michigan on November 18th. Because of their schedule, if Wisconsin drops a game before the Big Ten championship they would be effectively done. It’s hard to think the committee would put a one-loss Badgers team in over other options. However, it would show what truly matters to the committee: the strength of schedule/team or the number of losses.
We are all assuming one result in the SEC
It’s no secret that everyone is assuming that both Alabama and Georgia will meet in the SEC Championship as undefeated teams and the consensus would be no matter who wins, both schools get into the CFP. Alabama makes their undefeated berth in that game seem like a foregone conclusion every time they the field. Bama plays three ranked opponents–two on the road–and we are all assuming they will slam each and every squad they face. Georgia, on the other hand, only has one more ranked opponent on their schedule, Auburn, and while they play a couple tough unranked schools to close out the regular season, Kentucky and at Georgia Tech, this Bulldog team has stood up to every test thrown their way. We also can’t forget how solid of team South Carolina has been. If our assumptions are correct, it is very plausible to put both in. 2017 has shown that every layup isn’t necessarily that and these remaining schedules could provide some bumps. I’ve said before that it seems like a season where Auburn could derail a season–much like 2013. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
First College Football Playoff Poll Prediction:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Penn State
The committee drops Wisconsin two spots from the AP Poll due to their schedule and no “quality wins” putting them between Clemson (solid team but a bad loss) and Penn State (currently 3rd in their conference, behind Wisconsin) while moving Notre Dame into the 4-seed. Ohio State has a few more “better” wins so they edge the Irish for the 3-seed. Penn State could flip with Wisconsin due to the “quality wins” factor but neither should be behind Oklahoma.
I could be dead wrong because the committee has been wildly unpredictable coming into the first poll every year so we’ll see how wrong I am on Tuesday night. Let me know your picks in the comments below…Follow @geordo9