Welcome back college football fans, to the newest slate of scorching Hot Takes! The big issue going into the weekend was that a one loss Texas A&M team had the 4th playoff spot over an undefeated Washington team. Did that change? Let’s dive in! Logan Crosland is up first!
-Big Upset in Starkville: Texas A&M came into Starkville Saturday riding high on the fact that they snuck into the first playoff rankings at #4. All those good feelings quickly vanished though as Mississippi State not only defeated the Aggies, but pretty much thoroughly dominated them. As someone who was there, the final score doesn’t at all describe how much the Bulldogs dominated the Aggies in almost every facet of the game. Nick Fitzgerald was able pick apart the Aggies defense all day, becoming only the third player to pass for 200 yard while also running for at least 175 yards. He joins Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel in that category. It’s good to see exciting times in StarkVegas, even if it’s only for one week.
-Rebels Lose Star QB: Chad Kelly has never been someone who wasn’t closely followed by controversy, but there is no denying he is pretty damn good QB. Unfortunately for Kelly and the Rebels during Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern he tore his ACL and meniscus, effectively ending his senior season and his college career three games early. As a Mississippi State fan, it is hard for me to feel bad for the Rebels or Kelly when it comes to most things, but you hate seeing someone have such a serious injury in their last year of college. I believe that he will still be drafted by someone in next year’s draft if his recovery goes well. The Rebels on the other hand might be in trouble, as they are currently only sitting there with 4 wins with 3 games to go and without their leader it could be a tough path to a bowl game.
-SEC L-EAST?: The SEC West is known and has proven to be the best division in football. The SEC East on the other hand, while still very good compared to the rest of the country, never seems to live up to its conference counterpart no matter the hype. Tennessee and Florida were supposed to be the cream of the crop of the division this year and while Florida sits atop the division, Tennessee sits ahead of only Vanderbilt and Missouri in the standings. Kentucky were spoonfed a chance to take their place atop the standing, but didn’t take advantage as they lost to Georgia. It seems to be down to Kentucky and Florida, but the Wildcats would need to win their last SEC game against Tennessee and Florida would have to lose its last two SEC games, due to Florida’s head to head win.
-National Powers Continue Their Struggles: Anyone who has read this article week to week knows that after a week 3 win over Notre Dame, I said the Michigan State Spartans would contend in the Big Ten. You’d also know I have been tracking their progress throughout the season and how they have yet to win a game since I made that statement. Well that streak continues, as they lost again to an Illinois team that just isn’t very good and will cause the Spartans to miss a bowl game for the first time in many years. Oregon is another program whose recent success has made them a legit power in college football, even playing for the National Championship only 2 years ago. Last year they were able to finish 7-5 and make a bowl game, despite not living up to preseason expectations. This year they had those same expectations, which were to be a Pac-12 front runner and also to maybe make a run to be a contender for the playoff. They sit facing the same fate that fell on the Spartans with 1 more loss, as they currently sit 3-6. Eugene and East Lansing may be in for some changes very soon.
-Can We Just Give Lamar Jackson the Heisman?: Lamar Jackson is going to win the Heisman. You heard it here first from me. He was dominant again this week, picking apart Boston College by the way of 7 total touchdowns. That is his third game of at least 7 touchdowns this season. No one else has more than 1 such game in the country. Barring him going down with catastrophic injury I’d say pretty comfortably that he’ll be holding the Heisman Trophy in the near future. Even if he goes down with injury at this point, I would probably still give it to him due to his sheer dominance over everyone all year.
Thanks Logan! Let’s see what I have here…
-Huskies take it by the throat: Washington definitely went into Saturday night’s game with California having a huge chip on their shoulder. As an undefeated team and having to look up at one loss Texas A&M in the Playoff rankings. Well they definitely showed who’s deserving of that spot with a 66-27 thrashing of the Golden Bears. That combined with A&M’s loss in Starkville gives the Huskies the spot. Jake Browning had 378 yards at six touchdowns. This coming week they take on the “underdog” USC Trojans.
-Still the ONE: As competitive as these two are when they play each other, Saturday’s Alabama-LSU game was eye-bleeding if you were a fan of offense. But once again Nick Saban can win any kind of game, low scoring, high scoring. Doesn’t matter. Bama’s 10-0 win over the Tigers hands Ed Orgeron’s first loss since replacing Les Miles. The Tide have Mississippi State and Chattanooga the next two weeks before the Iron Bowl.
-What the Buff?: Colorado is truly showing that they are going to mix things up in the Pac 12 this year. They may be even a bigger shock than Washington is. The Buffaloes’ 20-10 win over UCLA puts them at 7-2 and still leading the South Division by a half game over USC and a game over Utah. They have Rich Rod’s Arizona Wildcats this coming week, followed by back to back games over Washington State and Utah. Speaking of the Cougars, could this year’s Apple Cup be the biggest game in the history of the Washington-Washington State rivalry?
-Another Irish letdown: What used to be a huge shock, is just another sad day at the office for 3-6 Notre Dame, who lost 28-27 to Navy in Jacksonville. Will Worth ran for 175 yards and two TD’s for the Middies who are now 6-2 on the year. More on them in a moment. DeShone Kizer had 3 TD passes but the defense gave up 320 yards rushing and gave up four 4th down conversions. This week they play Army in San Antonio, and they may actually lose this game too. Brian Kelly is watching the clock tick so he can bolt for an NFL job.
-Service Academies Update: I’ve already mentioned Army-ND, but Navy will face Tulsa at home this week before back-to-back road tilts with East Carolina and SMU. As for Air Force, they’ve already clinched this year’s Commander-In-Chief trophy with Saturday’s 31-12 win over Army. They’re 6-3 and this week are home to Colorado State.
Now a look at the up to date Playoff Standings:
#4 Washington vs. #1 Alabama
#3 Michigan vs. #2 Clemson
Outside Looking In:
#5 Ohio State
#8 Texas A&M
So Washington is now in the top 4 after winning, but those Buckeyes are lingering at #5 and they still have Michigan on their schedule. Alabama has #9 Auburn in a few weeks and the eventual SEC Championship. Now a look at this week’s big games:
Baylor at #11 Oklahoma, Noon: Baylor needs this one if they want any playoff chance
#16 West Virginia at Texas, Noon: Expect another possible ambush as Charlie Strong keeps fighting for his job
Pittsburgh at #2 Clemson, 3:30pm: Sure it’s at home, but this one could be a trap game for Dabo Swinney. Pitt can come to play when they want to
#24 LSU at #25 Arkansas, 7pm: Big bowl implications for these two in Fayetteville
#20 USC at #4 Washington 7:30pm: Trojans playing spoiler? We think the Huskies will be up for the challenge