ANOTHER WILD WEEKEND! The chaotic 2017 College Football season rages on! The best part is: the Playoff picture isn’t that much clearer. I’ll explain as we dive into the week that was:
Down to go the Dawgs!
#1 Georgia’s loss at Auburn wasn’t over-the-top in terms of shock value, but it does change the narrative we’ve been using as the basis for ranking teams. With just Alabama left in the SEC as an undefeated team, the likelihood that two teams getting in from the conference certainly lowers–but by how much? Assuming Alabama beats Auburn in the Iron Bowl in a couple weeks, they’ll likely punch their ticket before the SEC Championship begin. Well, what would happen if a one-loss Georgia team comes in BEATS Bama? You would have to put both teams in, right? Granted, that’s assuming a lot. Georgia hosts Kentucky next week and then travels to in-state rival Georgia Tech. Both games are losable for the Bulldogs and it would spell disaster on this still-promising season. Auburn puts themselves right into the conversation with the win. The Tigers absolutely handled Georgia and showed their defense is not to be messed with. Auburn faces Lousiana Monroe next week before the Iron Bowl. Alabama escaped their showdown at Mississippi State by the hair of their chin. The Tide’s rally from behind looked great and you have to think that they’ll STEAMROLL Mercer next weekend with, likely, their new-minted CFP #1 ranking.
Notre Dame Dummied by The U
This is basically what we saw last night:
SWAGGER FOR DAYS. Miami’s monster win last night should propel them up in the standings and the question becomes how high to do they climb? Miami has the best Strength of Record according to ESPN and while they’ve had some close calls, their defense is outstanding and keeps looking better and better each week. We should see The U in top 4 after this week’s CFP poll–especially considering they’ve moved all the way up to #2 in the AP Poll. Notre Dame is likely out of contention after the loss but they “back-door cover” their way in, as Matty D would say–the Irish come in at 9th in the newest AP poll. ND still has two tough opponents on the schedule: Navy and Stanford. Wins against both of them and their only losses are a 1-pointer to UGA and last night could impress the committee enough to sneak ND in. A TON would need to happen though as they would now need to leapfrog a lot of other two-loss teams.
Clemson and Miami have both booked their ACC Championship trips. Assuming both win-out until the title game, that matchup would be a play-in for the CFP. Miami hosts UVA next week and travels to Pitt the day after Thanksgiving–both easier games but have trap-game potential. Clemson, on the other hand, hosts the Citadel (blowout warning) followed by their in-state rivalry game with South Carolina. Those final regular season games for both Clemson and Miami could cause a stir, but we’ll get there.
Other Notes: Big Ten & Big XII Narrowing Down
Wisconsin stayed undefeated after another GREAT win over Iowa. The Badgers have clinched their berth in the Big Ten Championship with the win as they are two games up on Northwestern with as many games to play and UW having already beaten NW back in September. Matt and I talked about this yesterday: if you’re the committee, you’re praying for a UW loss to give you some excuse to edge them out of the Top 4. Crazy to think that with a BIG TEN team but the Badgers get their chances for quality wins down the stretch. UW hosts Michigan next week before their rivalry game against Minnesota. Crazily enough, with Ohio State’s beatdown of Michigan State, Michigan can win out and make the Big Ten Championship Game–well, potentially. It becomes much easier if Michigan State and Penn State lose again but still a chance for the Wolverines. A Michigan win next week would throw the Big Ten’s chance at making the playoff more unlikely, though.
The Big XII basically played yesterday as a practice for the Championship Game. TCU beat both OK State and West Virginia and will play a relatively easier schedule down the stretch. The Horned Frogs’ showdown at Texas Tech has trap game potential but that’s really it for them. Oklahoma plays West Virginia to close out the season which could cause a four-way tie but Oklahoma and TCU would likely still come away as the combatants in the conference championship game.
It’s worth noting that UCF won again to move to 9-0. The Knights play up at Temple next week before closing out the season against USF. UCF is still ranked 14th in the AP poll but now ranked higher than almost every Pac 12 (USC at 12th), which we can say officially marks that conference as DONE for 2017.
Predicting the Next CFP Poll
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
What shocked you the most from this weekend? Who’s rounding out your top four? Let me know in the comments…Follow @geordo9