Week nine in college football ends with just five undefeated teams. Baylor, West Virginia, Nebraska, and Boise State were this week’s upset victims. Today will certainly bring a major shakeup in the rankings. What else did we learn yesterday? Let’s review.
Things We Learned In College Week Nine
Clemson’s playoff spot is all but locked up. Florida State was the last true test on their schedule, and they took care of business. They finish the season with Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest, and the traditional rivalry game with South Carolina at home. Presumably they’ll be playing in the ACC Championship as well. You never know, especially with rivalry games, but I’ll be shocked if they don’t win out and return to the playoff.
Big Ten West
The Big Ten West could go down to the last week of the season. After Nebraska‘s loss to Wisconsin last night, there’s a big of a logjam at the top of the division. Nebraska still leads at 7-1, but Wisconsin and Minnesota are right there at 6-2. To add to the chaos, Minnesota still has games against both the Cornhuskers (Nov. 12) and the Badgers (Nov. 26) coming up. Mathematically, I think Iowa could sneak in as well — although they would need a lot of help. (Disclaimer: I am bad at math until at least my second cup of coffee). With games against both Michigan and Nebraska ahead, I think the Hawkeyes are all but out of contention.
More Pac-12 games in early time slots, please. I’ve been waiting for a chance to see both Washington and Utah, and yesterday did not disappoint. That was one of the best games I’ve seen this season. Huskies QB Jake Browning didn’t have his best day statistically, but was still impressive. I really like their RB, Myles Gaskin, too. As for the Utes, I watched them beat Michigan a season ago and thought they looked good. They might even be better now.
What can’t Jabrill Peppers do? Here are his stats from yesterday, as the Wolverines handed Sparty a sixth straight loss for the first time since 1982. Seven tackles, four solo, two tackles for loss. One sack. One punt return for eight yards, one kick return for 15 yards. One reception. Five carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. Hell, if Michigan‘s kicking woes resurface at some point, let him try that, too. At this point, he would have my Heisman vote. I love his versatility.
What’s going on in Knoxville? After their hot start and streak of Cinderella finishes, Tennessee has now lost three straight. Yesterday they went down to an unranked, 4-4 South Carolina team. Florida, at 6-1, has a tough stretch to end the season, but they have to be considered the favorites for the SEC East at this point. The Gators’ one loss? A late one against Tennessee.
Beatable Buckeyes? A week after being upset by unranked Penn State, Ohio State escaped unranked Northwestern with just a four-point victory. My remote control will be getting a workout next Saturday night flipping between Ohio State-Nebraska and Alabama-LSU.
Louisville Escapes Virginia is not something I expected to be writing this morning. When I heard someone on the Minnesota broadcast say that Louisville was losing to Virginia at halftime, I actually went online to look — I assumed I must have heard wrong. I had not. Lamar Jackson did his thing and threw a late TD with thirteen seconds on the clock, and the Cardinals got out of Charlottesville with a win. This is a situation to keep an eye on for the next few weeks, as I’ve seen this happen before- really good teams start to assume they can make mistakes early and bail themselves out late if they have to. Look at Tennessee earlier this season.
Navy Keeps Fighting. I’d be remiss not to mention the Navy–South Florida game on Friday night. I was watching other things and channel-surfing at commercials, and I clicked over to this game a few times. Navy was having very little success and was down, I think, 35-7 the last time I looked. I noticed this morning that the final score was 52-45. Navy didn’t win the game, but that’s a hell of a comeback effort. Just what you want to see from the young men who will be in the United States Navy in the next few years. Way to go, guys. Love the fight.
Don’t forget to check back later today for the LWOS Top 25! Have a great week everybody.