Recapping the top moments from college football’s Week 10 action, which include Michigan housing Penn State and much more.
Not sure if you heard, but Alabama played LSU on Saturday. It was billed as a huge showdown. It became a big beatdown. And it is fair to wonder if we should just go ahead and mail another national championship trophy to Tuscaloosa (and while we’re at it, the Heisman Trophy, too, to Tua Tagovailoa).
At the very least, it seems certain the Crimson Tide is a lock for the College Football Playoff (we could do thought experiments involving whether ‘Bama would get in even with a loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game, but the problem is assuming a loss). So put them in. But the other three spots are still up for grabs, with plenty of time left for chaos (and let’s be honest, we all root for chaos).
STATEMENT MADE: Alabama’s domination of LSU was unnecessary, but impressive
WINNERS AND LOSERS: Highs and lows from Week 10 led by West Virginia’s gamble
We will spend the next few weeks trying to figure out who gets in (Clemson seems fine! Notre Dame just keeps winning! Michigan? Oklahoma? West Virginia?) — and as important: Can they play with ‘Bama? LSU certainly could not, which is why the Tigers are no longer in the Football Four. As always, remember we pick the bracket as if the season was over.*
1. Alabama – The tour of devastation continued. Against LSU, the offense slowed to fairly normal speeds – but we can officially fast-forward Alabama into the SEC championship game now, and might as well push ‘em into the Playoff. Can anyone push ‘em once they get there?
2. Clemson – The Tigers dominated Louisville (then again, who hasn’t?), continuing their build-up toward a potential showdown (again) with ‘Bama.
3. Notre Dame – Ian Book helped the Irish fend off Northwestern’s second-half challenge. Now the challenges to an unbeaten season are dwindling.
4. Michigan – The Wolverines pounded Penn State and now look by far like the Big Ten’s best team. The defense, we knew. But hello, Shea Patterson and the offense are firing up, too.
Four More **
5. Oklahoma – With a wacky night in Lubbock in their rearview mirror, the Sooners are closing in on a double-dip with West Virginia – two meetings in eight days, anyone?
6. Georgia – The Bulldogs found their running game and exposed Kentucky en route to winning the SEC East again. They’ll meet Alabama in the conference championship game. If they win out en route to Atlanta, it’ll be a de facto playoff quarterfinal.
7. West Virginia – “Want to win the game? Let’s go win the game.” – Dana Holgorson, before calling for the two-point conversion that won it in the final seconds against Texas. The Mountaineers are explosive and on track for a showdown with Oklahoma (and then probably another).
8. Washington State – A struggle with Cal, but the Cougars emerged 8-1 after scoring a touchdown in the final minute. The Pac-12’s last hope for the playoff remains alive.
A Few More After That ***
Central Florida – The Knights gave up a ton of yards and points to Temple … but they piled up even more yards and points.
Ohio State – The Buckeyes scrabbled with Nebraska, which is not a good sign that they’ll find some other gear and reemerge as a legitimate contender. But they’re still in position to do it, anyway.
LSU – Outclassed by Alabama, or just exposed as offensively inept? Let’s go with both. The Tigers are good, but they’re still several significant steps shy of great.
Syracuse – Remember when Clemson needed a fourth-down conversion by a third-team quarterback to survive an upset bid by Syracuse? Turns out, the Orange aren’t half-bad. After beating Wake Forest, they’re 7-2.
Futile Four ****
Texas – The Longhorns’ second consecutive loss came in the final seconds to West Virginia. It’ll sting. Also, Sam Ehlinger is making a list of opponents who throw the ‘horns down’ hand signs. This means you, Will Grier – wait, are you throwing the horns down again right now?
Louisville – Clemson hung 77, becoming only the latest embarrassment suffered by the Cardinals. Is this the end for Bobby Petrino … or does it wait a few more weeks? But it’s coming.
Penn State – Oof, that had to hurt. Michigan pasted the Nittany Lions, who lost for the third time in five games and are fast heading the wrong direction.
Colorado – A few weeks back, Colorado was 5-0. Checking back in now and – oh, wow, they’re 5-4 after that loss to Arizona. And bowl-eligibility is not a certainty, with games remaining against Washington State, Utah and Cal.
* The season is not over.
** Don’t be worried that your team sits just outside the cut. This is a weekly snapshot. And what do we know, anyway?
*** See the previous note, but it’s OK to be slightly concerned or very angry. But what do we know, anyway?
**** No note necessary