Sports Commentary By: Seth Rainey
Week 11 in the CFB world could be described as many things.
It could be called exciting, thrilling and even the greatest week so far this year. It really should be described as a College Football Playoff earthquake, cracking the top four and opening up new space for those who were on the outside looking in.
There were no surprises with the Alabama Crimson Tide, who remained steady after they destroyed Mississippi State, 51-3.
After their noon game, however, there was nothing but mayhem.
Each of the next three teams, Clemson, Michigan and Washington all suffered their first losses of the season.
Clemson was involved in a shootout against Pittsburgh, with Deshaun Watson throwing an absurd total of 70 passes, completing 52 of them. He threw for 580 yards and three touchdowns, but also had three interceptions on the night. Pittsburgh kicker Chris Blewitt, ironically, nailed a 48 yarder to win the game as time expired.
Michigan continued the losing trend in a defensive slugfest against Iowa. The Hawkeyes came out on top 14-13. Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight broke his collarbone during the contest and has been declared out for the season. Michigan will turn to backup quarterback John O’Korn to get the job done for the remainder of the campaign.
Washington’s time in the top four did not even last a full week as they were defeated by a surging USC squad by a score of 26-13. Heisman candidate Jake Browning had a tough night, going 17 for only 36 but with two interceptions.
The number 2,3 and 4 seeds all lost, opening the door for complete insanity in the last couple of weeks of the season.
Ohio State and Louisville now enter the fray of teams vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a new sense of urgency, both having something to prove to the committee with only two weeks remaining in the regular season about their place among college football’s elite after much discussion.
Ohio State vs. Michigan will take place the last week of the regular season, undoubtedly knocking one of the two out of the Playoff conversation, which means four of these five teams will be battling for three spots, assuming Alabama does not stumble against an Auburn squad with nothing to lose in the Iron Bowl.
Here are the results following the CFP Committee’s unveiling of the aftermath of Saturday’s earthquake.
College Football Playoff Rankings
|Rank||Team||Overall Record||Next Opponent|
|1.||Alabama Crimson Tide||10-0||Chattanooga|
|2.||Ohio State Buckeyes||9-1||@ Michigan State|
|4.||Clemson Tigers||9-1||@ Wake Forest|
|5.||Louisville Cardinals||9-1||@ Houston|
|6.||Washington Huskies||9-1||Arizona State|
|7.||Wisconsin Badgers||8-2||@ Purdue|
|8.||Penn State Nittany Lions||8-2||@ Rutgers|
|9.||Oklahoma Sooners||8-2||@ #14 West Virginia|
|10.||Colorado Buffaloes||8-2||#22 Washington State|
As expected, Alabama remains at the top of the college football world following their demolition of Mississippi State. They face a Chattanooga team that let’s face it, has a .000001% chance of victory, and that still might be a stretch.
Following Alabama, the real chaos ensues. Ohio State jumped Clemson, Michigan and Washington following each of their losses this past Saturday, and now the Buckeyes control their own destiny in the playoff.
Michigan also controls their own destiny due to the HUGE matchup with Ohio State next weekend. If they win out, they are in.
Due to Clemson’s victory over Louisville earlier in the season, the Tigers just have to win out to be in the playoff, while the Cardinals might be able to sneak into the Top 4 following the Ohio State vs. Michigan matchup.
From the sixth seed back stand the teams that definitely require some help to find their way to being one of the final four squads left in the nation. Washington, however, is the team that has the most to gain from a collapse ahead of them. With only one loss, the Huskies could use either a Clemson or Louisville loss in order to steal the fourth spot away.
Wisconsin, Penn State, Oklahoma and Colorado are on the outside looking in, with the door to the playoff slowly but surely closing. If the door to the playoff shuts, these teams will hope for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.