November 15, 2016
It was http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/college-footballs-nos-2-3-4-all-lost-saturday-for-the-first-time-since-1985/">shake up Saturday in college football as the teams that were previously ranked No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 all went down on the same weekend for the first time since 1985. The losses are sure to shake up the college football playoff top 25 when it comes out on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Just when everything in college football seemed to be going to script, like nearly every year, at some point a weekend like this past weekend happens. The door is now open for several one-loss teams and a few two-loss teams.
There were winners and losers this weekend and not just on the scoreboard. Plus, not all the winners and losers have to deal with the playoffs.
The University of Alabama is the biggest winner this weekend. Not only did Clemson University, the University of Washington and the University of Michigan all get upset, but Auburn University fell to the University of Georgia.
The Auburn loss gave the SEC West title to the Crimson Tide, and the other losses gave Alabama breathing room it didn’t have until the upsets happened. Now, the Iron Bowl loses some of its luster since a Tide loss won’t have any effect on the division race.
In theory, Alabama can still lose to Auburn, win the SEC Championship game and make the playoffs. Things might change if the Tide stumbles against a weaker foe from the east in the title game.
Right now only one team is a lock for a playoff spot, and that team is Alabama.
Another winner thanks to all the losses is the University of Louisville. The Cardinals were on the outside looking in after falling to Clemson earlier in the season.
Depending on how things shake out, Louisville could end up with one of the four playoff spots. It seems unlikely that Clemson would lose to Wake Forest University this weekend, but if they do, the Cardinals would win the ACC Atlantic division.
Even if Clemson doesn’t stumble, Louisville just needs to win against the University of Houston and the University of Kentucky to end the season. The Cardinals only need a little more chaos to take place to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Penn State University is a winner this week thanks to the University of Iowa’s win over Michigan. The Nittany Lions just need Ohio State to beat Michigan in the season finale and not stumble along the way to Rutgers or Michigan State universities.
If Penn State wins out and Ohio State beats Michigan, the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten East. That would put the Penn State in the conference championship game.
After losing to Michigan, Penn State needed someone to knock off the Wolverines after they upset the Buckeyes. That would be a major accomplishment for Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin.
The http://www.espn.com/college-football/recap?gameId=400869055">University of Mississippi is a winner this week after having to pull the redshirt off highly recruited quarterback Shea Patterson. The freshman didn’t disappoint after throwing for 338 yards on 25 of 42 passing with one touchdown and interception.
More importantly, Patterson led the Rebels down the field for the game-winning field goal against Texas A&M University. The first-time starter mustered his heroic feat on the road to added to this already impressive feat.
Now UM is just one win away from six victories needed to become bowl eligible. The Rebels still must face http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/schedule/_/id/145">Vanderbilt University and Mississippi State University and win one of two games to get to a bowl.
It would seem highly unlikely that UM doesn’t get enough wins to go bowling. The rest of the SEC better be ready next season when they full enter the Shea Patterson era.
http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27400&ATCLID=211292341">Alcorn State University has won the SWAC East with a 61-7 victory over Mississippi Valley State. The Braves got some help from Alabama State University, who beat Jackson State to give it the division win.
ASU is the second team to reach the championship game for three-straight years since the championship game inception. Grambling State University reached three SWAC Championship games from 1999-2001.
The Braves will face the winner of the Grambling State-Southern University game. Both West teams are currently undefeated in conference play.
ASU winning the East means this weekend's Jackson State game is all for pride. Even if it is just for bragging rights both teams are going to win to this rivalry game.
Clemson’s stunning lost to the University of Pittsburgh brings the Tigers back to the pack of one-loss teams. The Tigers have been flirting with losing all season, and it finally bit them in a game where they look like they are still sleepwalking after last year’s title-game loss.
As long as Clemson doesn’t lose again, it should win the ACC Atlantic division and play in the conference title game. The Tigers and Louisville, to a lesser extent, got some bad news when both Coastal division leaders, Virginia Tech University and the University of North Carolina, fell in upsets.
Both Clemson and Michigan lost to teams that are currently 6-4, and both need those teams to close with as many wins as possible. Getting into the playoffs might come down to which one-loss team has the best loss.
Michigan’s even more stunning loss to the University of Iowa ends any of the Wolverines’ margin for error. Now Michigan has to win out in conference play and the conference title game, but that seems rough with Ohio State lurking in the season finale.
The Wolverines aren’t out of the playoffs but of all the one-loss teams, they have a tough road ahead with the Buckeyes. The same can be said for Ohio State.
Michigan can’t overlook Indiana University this weekend and get beat twice by Iowa or looking ahead to Ohio State. If the Wolverines win its last two regular season games and the Big Ten Championship game, Michigan is without a doubt one of the four teams in the playoffs.
Ohio State is a loser by the Michigan loss. The Buckeyes wanted the Wolverines to win out and then beat them in the season finale, but they also needed a Penn State loss to help them out.
Now if the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines, they have the division title to the Nittany Lions. Ohio State must get through the state of Michigan with its final two games against Michigan State University and Michigan, and root for Penn State to lose to either Rutgers University or Michigan State.
Still, the Big Ten could see two teams get into the playoffs depending on how the rest of the conferences play themselves out. The loser of the Michigan-Ohio State game might not have their playoff hopes dashed.
Washington now finds itself behind in-state rival Washington State University in the Pac-12 North. The Huskies have to beat Arizona State this weekend and the Cougars in the season finale.
Even if Washington wins out, the Huskies still have to get past a team from the Pac-12 South, which could be the University of Southern California, the University of Utah or the University of Colorado. USC just trounced The Huskies, so it would seem likely that the team would rather face Colorado or the Utes, who they beat earlier in the season.
If the Pac-12 continues to stumble, it could get shut out of the playoffs. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the ACC or the Big Ten get two teams into the playoffs.
Conferences holding championship games have to feel like losers this week. There is a good chance that most of the conference title games won’t help the teams playing in the game.
Alabama won’t get a boost from winning the SEC title game against a much weaker east division. The same goes for Clemson or Louisville in the ACC, but a loss could end the Tigers’ or Cardinals’ playoff hopes.
The Big Ten could see Penn State in the title game with one-loss Ohio State at home. Washington State reaching the title game would end the playoff hopes for the conference.
Then there is the Big-12, which doesn’t have a championship game and whose best team is the University of Oklahoma, which Ohio State destroyed. The Sooners might win the conference but need more upsets to even think about a playoff spot.
Alabama blasted Mississippi State University, as expected, this weekend. The Bulldogs now have six losses, and one more will mean no bowl game.
MSU plays the http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/schedule/_/id/344">University of Arkansas and the University of Mississippi at the end of the season. The Bulldogs must sweep to get into a bowl game. The margin for any error is completely gone.
The University of Southern Mississippi has messed around, and at 5-5, in needs one win in its final two games to go to a bowl game. USM plays the University of http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/schedule/_/id/2572">North Texas and Louisiana Tech University at the end of the season.
The Golden Eagles are starting to run out of room for error. It would be wise for USM to get a win over 4-6 North Texas instead of waiting until the season finale against 8-3 Louisiana Tech.
Texas A&M University is a loser after two straight losses. The http://www.espn.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/21/seasontype/2/year/2016/week/10">playoff committee loved the Aggies in http://www.espn.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/21/seasontype/2/year/2016/week/11">the first two rankings. Now after two straight losses, any New Year’s Six Bowl is gone for Texas A&M.
Jim Harbaugh joins http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/college-footballs-nos-2-3-4-all-lost-saturday-for-the-first-time-since-1985/">this list for historical reasons. The last time the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 teams went down on the same weekend, Harbaugh was involved.
Harbaugh was a player at undefeated Michigan in 1985 when Iowa upset the Wolverines. Now the coach of Michigan, Harbaugh saw history repeat as the Hawkeyes beat an undefeated Michigan team.
Strange how history repeats, and some of the same people and schools are involved at both moments in time.