So college football fans, one week into the OFFICIAL College Playoff Rankings part of the season, and we already have shakeup. Two of the top four from last week lost, and guess what? Clemson won…AGAIN. What does that mean? Let Scott & Logan guide you through it with this week’s fresh takes!
Minnesota Grabs Huge Big Ten Victory: Any other week this game between Minnesota and Penn State would have been the game of the week, but we’ll get to that later. Nonetheless, this game was an incredible game to watch all the way up until the end. While Minnesota had the lead most of the game, Penn State hung around and made it interesting. Penn State had the ball down 5 with less than 2 minutes driving down the field to possibly take the lead and win the game. QB Sean Clifford dropped back on 3rd down from the 25 yard line and threw a pass to the end zone only for it to be intercepted to seal the game and the upset for the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The Gophers remain undefeated and the road doesn’t get much easier from here, as they travel to Iowa this week and then finish the season hosting Wisconsin. For Penn State this is a bump in the road, but if they can score a win in a couple of weeks against Ohio State they’ll find themselves right back in the playoff race.
Baylor Escapes Yet Again Ahead of Huge Clash: Baylor has been one of the more impressive stories of the year, jumping out to a 9-0 start. Their latest victory in this streak came against the TCU Horned Frogs this past Saturday. This game was about as boring a game in regulation as you could get, with the scoring being 9-9 heading to overtime. This is where things got crazy and interesting. The three overtime periods were filled with crazy catches, 4th down conversions, and a game winning interception for the Bears to help them escape with the victory for the second week in a row. This sets up a Top 15 clash in Waco with the Oklahoma Sooners next week.
LSU Wins the Game of the Year: Like I mentioned above, most week’s the clash between Minnesota and Penn State would’ve been game of the week. Well when LSU and Alabama get together it usually will trump anything else. This game definitely lived up to the hype it had coming into the week. Both teams star QBs, Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow, showed up and showed out. In the end it was Burrow who played just a little bit better and was able to help his team come away with the win and with that become the number 1 team in the country. LSU just have to handle business against lower tier SEC West competition before playing Georgia in the SEC Championship. For Alabama, though it was their first loss, they will need to win out and likely need a little bit of help from the teams ahead of them in the polls to vault back into a playoff spot.
Arkansas Fires Chad Morris: Arkansas was never supposed to be anything special this year and expectations were low. Chad Morris was entering his second year as the head man for the Razorbacks, hoping that while they may not be in the top tier of the SEC maybe they could at least hang with some of the better teams in the conference and defeat the weaker ones. Needless to say that hope hasn’t come to fruition. This week’s blowout loss at home to Western Kentucky was the final straw for Morris. He finishes his short career in Fayetteville having never won an SEC game (going 0-14) and going 4-18 overall. The Razorbacks really need to knock this next hire out of the park if they hope to not remain the laughing stock of the SEC.
Oklahoma Gets Late Stop to Avoid Upset: Coming off their first loss of the season, the Oklahoma Sooners need to come out and score early and often in their game against Iowa State this past weekend to avoid any chance at an upset. They were able to build a 35-14 halftime lead, so they were well on their way to making this week a cakewalk ahead of their huge clash with Baylor next week. The Cyclone weren’t going to go down that easy, as they completely dominated the second half and pulled within one point of the lead. The Cyclones were then faced with a choice of kicking the extra point and sending to overtime or go for two and the win. They chose to risk it and go for two only to come up just short of handing the Sooners their second loss in a row. In this situation I am not a huge advocate of going for two, as they had been thoroughly dominating them the whole second half so why not just continue to outplay them in the overtime period. To each his own though. With this victory Oklahoma keeps their slim playoff chances alive and have a chance to get a big victory next week against 13th ranked and undefeated Baylor, in what will likely be the first of two matchups between the teams.
Clemson FINALLY gets a little…respect: So as expected, Clemson pummeled North Carolina State 55-10, and with the Alabama and Penn State losses the Tigers are in the Top 4. Clemson wins the division title with the win so an ACC Title slot is filled. Trevor Lawrence had a nice game (20-27, 276 Yards, 3 TD) and Travis Etienne had 114 yards and 2 TD. Not much more to say, Dabo got what he wanted: He’s in, and Nick Saban isn’t.
ND gets back on the horse: So after an ugly loss in Ann Arbor and a ho-hum win at home against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame looked like the old ND with a 38-7 win at Duke. Ian Book still wasn’t himself (181 yards, 4 TD, but 2 INT) but he did rush for 139 yards. The ND defense, which got lit up against Michigan and at times looked confused last week against the Hokies dominated the Blue Devils, holding them to under 200 yards of total offense. ND may be pining for the Big Ten’s slot in the Rose Bowl if Ohio State holds their slot. The Irish host #23 Navy this Saturday, and they just have to keep winning. 10-2 will get them a NYD game.
Buckeyes defend the top slot, but loses it anyway: Ohio State was the first #1 team in the Playoff Rankings poll, but as the committee does they sometimes shuffle the cards. After a 73-14 win over Maryland, Ohio State was bumped from #1 to #2. I mean you can’t fault the committee after LSU beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Chase Young has to sit out because of some bullshit NCAA infraction but for the next few weeks it won’t matter. They’ll probably drop 70 again this week against Rutgers. But they’re likely locked in at #2 unless LSU loses.
Oregon on the outside looking in: Oregon is probably the best 1-loss team in the country. They had a bye this week but might be sitting pretty in terms of waiting for the carnage in the Top 4 to continue. This week they’re home to Arizona, a 4-5 team with defensive struggles.
Academies Update: We talked about Navy facing ND this week, and Army ended their losing streak with a 63-7 win over Massachusetts. They have VMI at home this week, Air Force’s game with New Mexico was postponed for weather reasons, this week they have Colorado State in Fort Collins.
So after the wins & bloodshed this past weekend, here’s the up to date Playoff Rankings:
The Playoff Four:
1. LSU (9-0)
2. Ohio State (9-0)
3. Clemson (10-0)
4. Georgia (8-1)
The Outside Looking In:
5. Alabama (8-1)
6. Oregon (8-1)
7. Utah (8-1)
8. Minnesota (9-0)
So here’s the important games for Week 12 as all four playoff teams are on the road, all games Saturday, EST:
2:30pm: #23 Navy at #16 Notre Dame
3:30pm: #2 Ohio State at Rutgers
3:30pm: #3 Clemson at Wake Forest
3:30pm: #4 Georgia at #12 Auburn
4pm: #8 Minnesota at #20 Iowa
7pm: #1 LSU at Mississippi
7:30pm: #10 Oklahoma at #13 Baylor