This is going to be late. Usually, we like to put this out on Tuesday, but with the CFP rankings coming out later in the evening, we had to drink a few extra Red Bulls to stay up late and see all the mix up amongst the rankings. Now I know how the poor SEC feels trying to watch a Pac-12 game.
It was a big week for the Big 12. After a few weeks of being the fifth wheel, and not allowed to the cool kid lunch table, that may have changed. OU, OSU ad WVU are their last hopes, no Star Wars pun intended. And the fun thing with that, is OU has to play both of the other teams to get to the end. Also, it helped with Clemson, Michigan, Washington, Auburn, and Texas A&M all losing their games. The rankings kept the first three still in the top-6, but there is now more room for the 3 Big 12 teams to make a move into the playoffs.
OU came in a 9 in the country, and as much as we may not want to admit it, they are playing the best in the league right now. They dominated Baylor, go to Morgantown to play a tough West Virginia team, and then end the year with Bedlam. If the Big 12 has a hope, the Sooners are it. Their losses came early, which is what the committee likes, and they have the name recognition that everyone likes.
I will throw this out there. OU gets beat by WVU, OSU beats TCU and OU to finish 10-2. Will the committee actually forget the dreaded Central Michigan loss and count them as an 11-1 team? If all that happens, the answer is most likely no, because that means they would have to put a powerful offense in the playoffs, and no one wants that, right?
Much like the Big 12, they made a big case for themselves this weekend, minus the Washington loss. I know it is hard to ignore that loss, but we want to look beyond the CFP. Colorado is in the top 10, USC looks to be making a comeback, and Washington State is 22. Wait, what? 22 you say. For some reason, the committee sees it fit to put Tennessee, Florida State, and Auburn ahead of the mighty Mike’s. The Cougars only losses have been to Boise State, who is ranked, and Eastern Washington, who is 9-1. They have big wins against Oregon, 15th ranked Stanford (at the time), Arizona and Cal. They finish playing Colorado and Washington, so we can see what they are really made of.
We went on a little Cougar tangent, but the Pac 12 made a case this weekend to be in the top 25. They may not get a team in the playoffs, but you can see a few teams, who have been dormant for a while, starting to make their way back to the spotlight. I know it is tough, and Finnebaum and Booger need their beauty sleep, but boy do we hope they stay up to watch the games, because those boys can play some football.
Again, we challenge you to think outside of the CFP. Because they have Clemson and Louisville still in the running. But as a whole, UNC losing to a bad Duke team does not look good. Clemson losing, at home, to Pitt. Virginia Tech also losing at home, to Georgia Tech, is a tough one as well. There just isn’t much to look forward to in this conference in the years to come. When Lamar Jackson leaves, will Louisville be able to keep the same momentum going. Does the fact that they are tops in basketball hurt them?
This will be short. Minus Bama, what else are they. The next closest rank is Auburn, and to be honest, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, FLorida and Texas A&M are all probably ranked too high. They are in there because of Bama. Nick Saban is carrying this conference. We know it is a good conference. We know they level of play there is big. But we also know that it is ok to have a down year.
What we are really excited about are the Bowls this year. Can we get them against more Power 5’s this year?
College Football Playoff
We hit most of the questions, but here are some that make us scratch out head.
- Why is Colorado not ranked higher? Good wins, good losses, is it #Pac12afterdark
- Are they doing all they can to keep A&M in the rankings? Why not put Ole Miss? Pitt? Minnesota?
- Does it really matter where we are now?
Big 10 – With Penn State, Nebraska and Ohio State having big wins, this conference may easily be the most dominant now. 2 teams in the top 4. Great from top to bottom. They can rival any other conference, and we are not sure there is anyone close.
LSU – Grat win for Coach O. Now it was against a Razorback team that would let Bob Barker rush for 316 yards, but you can still see this team coming together. They want Coach O to succeed. But will he be the coach for them next year?
Texas A&M – At least they aren’t Baylor. I would say the Aggies wheels are wobbly now, where the Bear’s wheels have completely fallen off. The Aggies have had a tough month. Going from being over ranked, to barely hanging on. With Trevor Knight out, you can’t expect much from them
Texas – This one is easy. They are in trouble. I am not sure if anyone, shy of Saban or Meyer, can help this team out. And the reason we say them, is that they are the only guys who would be given enough leeway and time to make it their team. Not sure anyone else will be given that much freedom.
GAMES TO WATCH
We don’t like to toot our own horn, at all, unless the horn needs tooting. We put the Texas A&M/Mississippi State game on watch two weeks ago. Last week we told you all to look out for the Michigan/Iowa game. Do we have enough magic this week?
Washington State vs Colorado – this will be a game to see if the Cougars are for real
Florida vs LSU – Can Coach O prove he is redneck enough to stay in Baton Rouge
Louisville vs Houston – This is the one to watch. A month ago everyone thought this was the game to determine either’s playoffs hopes. Well, now it could determine Tom Herman’s job. So … Friday night, in Houston, conference implications on the line … If Greg Ward can stay healthy, watch out for the Cougars.