So the regular season is “unofficially” over. We do have some games left (Army-Navy), but this weekend is all about conference championship games, and the top 4 teams in the CFP locking down their spots. Ohio State, LSU and Clemson can finish undefeated with wins. However LSU can directly affect who takes the #4 spot when the final playoff rankings come out this coming Sunday, 12/9. Why? Check out Scott & Logan’s hot takes to find out!
Incidentally, this will be our final column of the season. Thank you so much for your support in reading every week and keeping us on our toes. There will be a PODCAST in the coming weeks previewing the Bowl Schedule, including our Playoff picks, so stay tuned!
Buckeyes make a statement: The Big Ten has some of the best rushing defenses in the country, including Michigan. Those defenses’ Kryptonite however, has been J.K. Dobbins. He has completely shredded every defense in the Big 10 this year, and Saturday was no different. 211 yards and 4 TD later, Ohio State crushed their rivals 56-27 to conclude an undefeated regular season. Justin Fields threw for 302 yards and 4 TD, including throwing a TD pass one play after leaving the game with a twisted knee. Ohio State is ready, and they are clutching to #1 with all they have. Look out Wisconsin, you lost 38-7 to the Buckeyes earlier in the year. The Big 10 Title game Saturday…could be worse.
Dabo is tired of the bullshit: The defending National Champions concluded their undefeated regular season with a 38-3 thrashing of South Carolina in the Palmetto Battle. Trevor Lawrence had 295 yards passing and 3 TD, while Travis Etienne had a quiet 51 yards rushing, but he did have 2 TD. Dabo Swinney continues to bang the drum for his team, saying he’s tired of the committee coming up with excuses as to why Clemson’s the only “precarious” undefeated team. They face Virginia in the ACC Title game Saturday, and if I’m Bronco Mendenhall (who’s Cavaliers have had a great season) I’d be aware of what lies ahead in Charlotte. Clemson is just as deserving of being in the Top 3 as Ohio State and LSU. It’s not Clemson’s fault that the ACC is trash. The committee needs to stop doing this. It’s not these teams’ fault that conferences are down or are mediocre. Then dump the conferences and let teams just schedule whoever they want.
Should ND head to Miami?: There’s some rumblings that Notre Dame has an outside shot at a New Year’s Day bowl game. Their 10-2 season concluded with a 45-24 win over Stanford, another slow start game in the rain and muck in Palo Alto. So, are they good enough to go to the Orange Bowl? Right now projections have them going to Florida…but Orlando for the Camping World Bowl on December 28. I still think the program should look at deciding if Brian Kelly is the future head coach. The Georgia loss is forgivable, that ugly mess in Ann Arbor is not. Time will tell where they play, who they play and how they do in that final game.
Can a Pac-12 team make the CFP: Utah’s 45-15 win over Colorado sets up Friday night’s Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon, who won the Civil War 24-10 over Oregon State. Utah joins Baylor & Oklahoma as teams that are considered for the #4 spot if Georgia loses to LSU in the SEC Championship. Oregon losing to Arizona State is unforgivable in Eugene, because they could beat Utah. And they would have been in consideration. What a day Saturday is going to be.
Academies Update: Simply put, the Army-Navy game on December 15 will decide the Commander In Chief trophy.
Egg Bowl Gets A “Wee” Out of Control: In the past few years the Egg Bowl has become what many have described as a “toxic” rivalry. Things between the fans, the schools, and the teams themselves have gotten a little out of control on social media and on the field. On Saturday things didn’t get much better. While most of the games the players were able to keep themselves in check, but with 4 seconds left the Rebels scored what would likely have been a game tying touchdown. Elijah Moore was the recipient of that touchdown and would then go on to celebrate that touchdown by pretending to pee like a dog (a callback to DK Metcalf doing the same two years ago). This would end up being a 15 yard penalty assessed on the extra point try. Luke Logan would miss that extra point due to the distance change and the Rebels lost the game by 1 point. This stupid selfish act not only lost the Rebels the game but cost head coach Matt Luke his job. For the Bulldogs, they are now bowl eligible for the 10th straight year and also likely saved coach Joe Moorehead’s job.
Iron Bowl End Alabama’s Streak: Alabama has been the symbol of dominance in college football for the past decade. This dominance has been proven by the fact that they have qualified for every College Football Playoff so far. They have also never been ranked lower than #6 in any CFP Ranking so far. With all their injuries and an earlier loss to LSU these streaks were in jeopardy. Traveling to play a stout Auburn defense was a difficult ask for the Tide without their starting QB. Auburn would go on to outduel Alabama, besting them 48-45, effectively knocking them out of the playoff for the first time ever.
Big 12 Championship Preview: Even though we knew the teams that qualified for the Big 12 Championship last week, both teams still had one game left to get some style points to impress the committee. Baylor traveled to Lawrence and hammered the Kansas Jayhawks 61-6, while Oklahoma dominated the second half of Bedlam against in state rival Oklahoma State 34-16. This is of course a rematch of a game that Baylor knows they let slip away, and a game Oklahoma showed great resilience in coming back. The winner of this game has a shot at the playoff but will likely need Oregon to win the PAC 12 and LSU to win the SEC, both of which could very likely happen.
SEC Championship Preview: Like with the game above, we’ve known the participants in this game for a multiple weeks now. This week was just again for style points. LSU welcomed Texas A&M, while Georgia traveled to Atlanta to take on in state rival Georgia Tech. They would outscore their opponents by the score of 102-14. LSU showed more moxie on defense than they had all season, which is good going into their biggest and most important game of the year. For Georgia, they were able to dominate on both sides of the ball but will lose key receiver George Pickens for the first half due to in game fight. Georgia will be the best defense LSU has faced all year by far, while LSU will be the best offense Georgia has seen as well. This will definitely be the game of the weekend and I for one can’t wait to see it
Minnesota’s Boat Gets Sunk in the Snow: Minnesota has been one of the huge surprises of the year. They not only came into this week 10-1 but had a chance to win their division and play in their first Big 10 Championship, which no one would have predicted at the beginning of the season. They would welcome Wisconsin in with the Big 10 West Division on the line. Wisconsin’s experience and Minnesota’s inexperience in this type of big game proved to be the difference as Wisconsin used Jonathan to run away with not only the Paul Bunyan’s Ace but a trip to the Big 10 title game as well. They will hope that their rematch with Ohio State goes better than the first, as the Badgers lost 38-7. As I see Wisconsin likely playing better, I believe the Buckeyes will still come away with the victory.
Here’s the updated Playoff Rankings:
IN THE PLAYOFF
1. Ohio State (12-0)
2. LSU (12-0)
3. Clemson (12-0)
4. Georgia (11-1)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
5. Utah (11-1)
6. Oklahoma (11-1)
7. Baylor (11-1)
Simple enough? Here’s the weekend’s conference championship schedule, which could throw the above list into total chaos.
8pm: #5 Utah vs. #13 Oregon (Pac-12 Championship, Santa Clara)
Noon: #7 Baylor vs. #6 Oklahoma (Big 12 Championship, Arlington)
Noon: Louisiana vs. #21 Appalachian State (Sun Belt Championship, Boone)
3:30pm: #20 Cincinnati vs. #17 Memphis (American Championship, Memphis)
4pm: #2 LSU vs. #4 Georgia (SEC Championship, Atlanta)
4pm: Hawai’i vs. #19 Boise State (Mountain West Championship, Boise)
7:30pm: #23 Virginia vs. #3 Clemson (ACC Championship, Charlotte)
8pm: #1 Ohio State vs. 8 Wisconsin (Big 10 Championship, Indianapolis)