Written by: David Parks – Staff Writing Intern (@_Parskie)
- Penn State
Avoided a letdown by destroying hapless Purdue. Pretty amazing that Penn State is probably going to win ten games this year seemingly out of nowhere. Wasn’t James Franklin just on the hot seat?
- West Virginia
As mentioned, Stillwater is a tough place to play. I still like this team, but unlike in past years, they don’t have that explosive Dana Holgorsen offense. Sklyer Howard is a serviceable quarterback, but as we alluded to last week – the Mountaineers had played a relatively weak conference slate leading up to last week’s game against Oklahoma State. Their remaining games?
@ Iowa State
- Oklahoma State
I was probably too low on the Pokes leading up to this. Mason Rudolph is pretty damn good and when he and James Washington get going look out. The Pokes seem to always take care of business at home, it’s on the road where they’ve been known to struggle. Something to keep in mind with regards to Oklahoma State? Remember – one of their two losses was to Central Michigan on that crazy last play that shouldn’t have counted. Their schedule still consists of several roadblocks – most notably @ Oklahoma to close the year – but I can’t even imagine the uproar if OSU were to win the Big 12 and finish 10-2.
Well, well, well. For the first time all season Baylor played a somewhat decent opponent and what do you know? They lost.
To be fair, Baylor/Texas was a close game the whole way. But this is exactly the reason I refuse to rank teams high that haven’t played anyone. Just because a team has a zero in the loss column doesn’t mean that team should be ranked ahead over teams with one or even two losses.
- Ole Miss
A 3-5 team in the top 25? Yes.
Those are Ole Miss’ losses this year. 25 is actually low for them – Sagarin currently has the Rebs at 16, as does Massey-Peabody. Yet another Vegas Power Poll has Ole Miss at 19 per RJ Bell.
- Washington State
All I want in life is for both Washington teams to be undefeated when the Apple Cup comes around. I long for the days of Jason Gesser and Marcus Trufant going to battle against Tank Johnson and Nate Robinson (yes, that Nate Robinson) back in 2003 when the Cougs were on the cusp of a BCS National Championship birth. Mike Leach vs. Chris Petersen with huge stakes on the line? Yes ***ing please.
Buffs A) still control their own destiny in the Pac 12 South and B) still remain cool as hell. Seriously such a great story – Mike MacIntyre’s agent has to be one of the happiest men alive right now because his client is fixing to get paid after the season.
Begrudgingly move the Huskers into the top 20 after showing more guts than I thought at Wisconsin. Still though, the Badgers were coming off games against Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa in the last month. While Wisconsin was slugging it out, Nebraska was going to bat against Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. That says all it needs to.
Three-loss FSU over one-loss Nebraska? No doubt in my mind. FSU’s three losses this year:
Louisville (top 5)
UNC last second (top 15)
Clemson by 3 (top 3)
Not to mention a garbage call likely cost the Noles an upset over Clemson this past Saturday. If the Noles and Huskers met on a neutral field this coming Saturday, the question wouldn’t be who would be favored, the question would be by how many is Florida State favored?
I suppose this is good rank for Florida? I honestly have no idea what to think about this team. Their defense is elite, but man, their offense is painful to watch. Florida’s wins this year:
Not exactly murderer’s row, but then again it’s not their fault the entire SEC East is a grease fire. The next three weeks will tell us exactly how good Florida is with trips to Arkansas and LSU before hosting the Noles.
Outside of Auburn and maybe Virginia Tech, USC is the team people don’t want to face right now. Sam Darnold continues to breath energy into what was a lifeless offense. VERY much looking forward to USC @ Washington on 11/12.
Despite the loss, still came away very impressed with Utah. Joe Williams continues to be an amazing story. Despite the loss, a Pac 12 South title can still be had with a win at Colorado on the final week of the regular season.
Tar Heels enjoyed a nice bye week before the final quarter of the season. As of now, the Hokies would get the nod in the Coastal give their head-to-head win over UNC, but the Hokies must still travel to Duke and Notre Dame. The Heels have plenty of incentive to keep the foot on the gas.
- Virginia Tech
Big-time win this past Thursday at Pitt. Other names get tossed around in early “Coach of the Year” discussions but, in my opinion, Justin Fuente is right up there. He took over a program that had suffered from stagnant offense for the better part of the last five years and completely re-vitalized that side of the ball with a first-year starter in Jerod Evans who may just be the most underrated quarterback in the sport right now.
Another week, another big win for Oklahoma. It seems unlikely a two-loss Big 12 Champion would merit playoff discussion, but Oklahoma can certainly make their case with games against Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State remaining.
Easily the team nobody wants to play right now. The Tigers are clicking on all cylinders, but most importantly along both lines of scrimmage. Auburn has Vandy, Georgia and Alabama A&M before an end-of-season showdown in the Iron Bowl, likely pitting two top ten teams.
- Texas A&M
Vehemently disagree with Texas A&M being ranked fourth in the first Playoff rankings. The Aggies have played a good schedule and are a good team. But I don’t believe for a second they’re a better team than Ohio State or Louisville. In fact, RJ Bell says five teams ranked behind the Ags would be favored over them.
8 p.m. EST, under the lights in Death Valley… What more could one ask for. The Tide bottled up Fournette last year. This LSU team is night and day from the one that put up 13 points in a loss at Auburn earlier in the year. If they can hit some big plays early they have the sheer talent to pull of the upset.
Going to cut the Badgers some slack for an overtime win against a mediocre Nebraska team. The Badgers continue to play unbelievable defense despite losing their best two linebackers over the course of the season. If Wisconsin can get by a tricky road trip to Northwestern this Saturday they should be looking at a ten-win regular season.
- Ohio State
Talk about narrowly avoiding disaster. That’s now two games in a row in which Ohio State’s offense – specifically the offensive line – has looked out of sorts. The Bucks should be fine given the amount of sheer talent they have but a Nebraska/@Maryland/@Sparty ending before Michigan could be more interesting than once thought.
Another team that narrowly avoided disaster. The Cardinals scored the game-winning touchdown with just :13 seconds remaining when guess who, scored his fourth touchdown of the game. Despite getting the win, Louisville must look better for the committee to have any chance of securing a bid as a non-conference champion.
Game went almost exactly as I thought with Washington picking up the win but not covering the number. Credit where credit is due – the Huskies didn’t play their best game but were still able to pick up a huge road win and stay undefeated in the Pac 12.
Huge win for the Tigers even though they got bailed out by the refs. That’s the type of close game teams win during special seasons. Clemson is all but a lock to enter the ACC Championship Game undefeated.
Revenge served. Michigan is going to do everything it can to get Jabril Peppers to New York for the Heisman so expect more fun things like this.
First of two remaining challenges standing between the Tide and an undefeated regular season. Bama is currently a 7-point favorite over the Tigers… This feels a lot like 2012 when the Tide were laying 10.5 and took the lead when TJ Yeldon housed a screen pass.