With their dominant 41-8 demolition of Notre Dame over the weekend, the undefeated Hurricanes easily hop to the front of the line of our weekly top 25 rankings. The U’s defense is no joke; in the 33-point victory, Miami recorded four turnovers and held the prolific Irish offense to just 152 passing and only 109 running the ball. Furthermore, the victory puts the Hurricanes on a collision course with Clemson in the ACC Championship game three weeks from now; pending some major upsets happen between now and then, it’s pretty much a given the victor of that game is a lock for a National Championship Playoffs berth.
For the first time since the 2016 National Championship Game, Alabama entered the fourth quarter trailing last Saturday night. Of course, the Tide rose to the challenge and wound up notching a 31-24 come from behind victory against Mississippi State, in a game that was probably way more competitive than it had any right to be. Next week’s rib-tickler against Mercer is practically a bye week, but you best believe Alabama’s going to be on edge for the rest of November; with this year’s Iron Bowl contested at Jordan Hare Stadium, I reckon this team is going to have all sorts of nightmares about 2013 up until game time …
With their 38-14 win over Iowa behind them, this is – believe it or not – the first time Wisconsin has ever started a season 10-0. They’ve already punched their cards to the Big 10 Championship Game, and as weird as it may sound, they might be having a practice run for Dec. 2 when the Wolverines come to town this weekend. Amazingly, the Badgers might be the only undefeated Power Five team come Championship Saturday – and even more amazingly, conference politics might keep ’em out of the National Championship playoffs
even IF they DO run the table.
While UCF’s odds of making the four-team playoffs is about as likely as Harvey Weinstein becoming the next president of N.O.W., you’d think their impressive play this season would at least garner them a halfway decent New Year’s bowl bid. Indeed, in a less Power Five-obsessed world, QB McKenzie Milton might even be a Heisman candidate. Just take a look at the dude’s stats from last Saturday’s 49-24 win over UConn – 311 passing yards, 52 rushing yards and three touchdowns combined. Indeed, with 22 passing touchdowns and 2,720 aerial yards on the year, Milton might even make the Heisman shortlist this year, regardless.
Fuck it, just give Baker Mayfield the Heisman now and be done with it. In Saturday night’s 38-20 win over TCU, Mayfield went 18 for 27 for 333 yards and three touchdown passes. In all, he’s got 31 touchdown passes on the year and 3,559 aerial yards overall. Oddly enough, though, those impressive numbers STILL don’t give Mayfield the top spot in either metric. West Virginia’s Will Grier and Missouri’s Drew Lock both have more TD passes heading into week 12, and as it turns out, not only does Baker not have the most passing yards in the country, he doesn’t even have the most passing yards in the state of Oklahoma – OK State Mason Rudolph has him beat by a little more than 100 yards with two weeks to go in the “regular season.”
|Oh, the Big 12 – where defensive play remains strictly optional.|
After an easy 31-14 win over Florida State, Clemson’s got themselves a date with Miami in the ACC Championship tilt on Dec. 2. IF the Tigers are to have success against the Hurricanes, more than likely they’ll have to depend on their dynamite, dual-sided run game, which posted 227 yards and four touchdown runs against the Seminoles while holding FSU’s rushers to just 21 yards on the day.
Well, Georgia’ playoff aspirations took a big hit Saturday, as they got drubbed 40-17 by Auburn over the weekend. The Bulldogs’ defense absolutely collapsed, allowing Jarrett Stidham to throw for 214 yards and three touchdown passes, but what was REALLY shocking was the run game discrepancies. Despite having two of the best running backs in the country, Georgia was held to just 46 yards on the ground, while Auburn’s backfield combined for an amazing 237 rushing yards.
Alright, we all know it’s a bad idea to overlook “lesser” opponent, but come on – if Memphis CAN’T surmount Southern Methodist and East Carolina over the next two weeks, I’ll eat my own shit and upload it to WorldStarHipHop. Of course, that would put the Tigers on a fast track for an AAC Championship clash with either South Florida or Central Florida – the latter of whom bested Memphis 40-13 earlier this year.
Pending South Florida gets over Tulsa this weekend (which, let’s be honest, they should), that sets them up for a de facto AAC Championship playoff game against UCF on Nov. 24. Of course, whoever wins that one gets to go toe-to-toe with Memphis (presuming the shit doesn’t hit the fan over the next two weeks, which means either Houston or Navy would slide in) for the conference crown; and while it’s pretty much a lock that none of those teams will make the playoffs, it’s kinda’ hard to imagine the AAC champ not getting a pretty decent consolation prize in the form of a big New Year’s bowl game …
After beating Georgia 40-17 Saturday, the Tigers have an opportunity to steal the SEC West away from Alabama in two weeks’ time. IF Auburn bumps off the Tide, that would give them the divisional tie-breaker (this, despite Alabama having a better overall record) and pencil them in for a second go-at-it with Georgia on Dec. 2. And if Auburn manages to beat Alabama and Georgia twice over the course of just four weeks, how in the hell could you deny them a spot in the National Championship playoffs?
|Even General Sherman is like “shit, nigga, you burning’ Georgia TOO hard.”|
In a 48-3 blowout, the Buckeyes outrushed Michigan State 335 yards to 64, with top back Mike Weber collecting 162 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The victory gives Ohio State, if but for a week, the keys to the driver’s seat of the Big 10 East. Now, the only thing standing between them and a championship hootenanny with Wisconsin is a gimme against Illinois and a road trip to Ann Arbor at month’s end … which, as we should all know by now, isn’t exactly a given considering Ohio State’s performances against Oklahoma and Iowa earlier this season.
The Cougars, hot off a 33-25 win against Utah, now find themselves sitting atop the PAC-12 North. With a bye on the docket for this week, Washington State’s set to lay it all on the line against Washington in what should be a de facto conference championship playoff game in two weeks’ time … with a win there setting the Cougars up for a formal title game against USC on Dec. 5.
It wasn’t easy, but Oklahoma State nonetheless managed to survive Iowa State 49-42 Saturday. Mason Rudolph had another hell of a game, going 25 for 31 for 376 yards and three touchdown passes, while top back Justice Hill wrapped up the game with 134 yards and three TDs on 25 carries. Up next, the Cowboys have back to back go-at-its with Kansas State and Kansas; presuming they win both those contests and Oklahoma or TCU don’t do nothing stupid, that should be good enough to put Oklahoma State in the Big 12’s first Championship Game since 2013. But the bigger question, of course, is against who?
With their 38-24 win over Colorado, the Trojans have officially won the PAC-12 South and will compete for the formal conference title in two weeks’ time. Depending on how things shake out, USC will battle Washington, Washington State or maybe even Stanford for the PAC-12 crown. By the way, USC is 1-1 against those three teams this season; they beat Stanford 42-24 back in September, while the Cougars bested them 30-27 on Sept. 29.
And just like that, the Irish’s national title dreams may have vanished. In the latest installment of Catholics vs. Convicts, it was the orange-and-green-bedecked criminals who came out on top, as Miami positively gang raped Notre Dame 41-8 last Saturday night. You know, some people are blaming Brandon Wimbush’s three turnovers for the loss, but I think that’s not exactly a fair placement of blame; I mean, the run defense DID let Miami rack up 237 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, too, didn’t they?
|Catholics 0, Convicts 6.|
Penn State pretty much ran roughshod over Rutgers, pummeling the Scarlet Knights 35-6 Saturday. Trace McSorely went 16 for 21 for 214 yards and two touchdown passes (plus another 44 yards and another TD running the rock), while Saquon Barkley racked up 35 yards and two rushing TD on 14 carries. Strangely enough, Rutgers still managed to outrush the Nittany Pedobears during the contest, topping Penn State 157 yards to 90.
The Horned Frogs fell short against the Sooners, losing a probable National Championship playoffs eliminator 38-20 last Saturday night. Kenny Hill went 13 for 28 in the losing effort, racking up 270 yards and one passing TD, while Darius Anderson had 42 yards and one rushing TD on seven carries. Alas, this team’s defense has NOTHING to be proud of, letting Oklahoma post 532 offensive yards against them.
After besting Maryland 35-10, Michigan is just two games away from potentially sneaking its way into the Big 10 Championship Game. Not that such will be in any way, shape, or form easy – they’ve got to travel to Madison this Saturday to take on the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers, and after that they have the luxury of hosting the Buckeyes on Nov. 25 for their big regular season finale.
Following a 30-22 loss to Stanford, the Huskies have to run the table if they want to even make it to the PAC-12 Championship, let alone find a way to sneak themselves into the four team playoffs. And Washington better not sleep on Utah ahead of their big clash against Washington State in two week’s time – that home stand against the Utes this weekend has upset written all over it.
It was an unabashed scorefest, but the Broncos nonetheless managed to outlast Colorado State 59-52 over the weekend. Brett Rypien went 23 for 43 for 331 yards, four touchdown passes and one interception, while top back Alexander Mattison racked up 242 yards and three TDs on the ground. Alas, the defense looked like utter and complete shit, allowing Nick Stevens to lob the rock for 309 yards and letting the Broncos’ backfield collect 261 yards and five touchdowns on the day.
|Now there’s something you don’t see every day – the Army giving somebody else PTSD.|
The Black Knights outlasted Duke 21-16 over the weekend, in a game that saw Army outrun the Blue Devils 226 yards to 89. Leading all rushers in the game was Army QB Ahmad Bradshaw, who finished the game with 96 yards and one rushing TD on 20 carries. Oh, and he had just one pass attempt in the whole goddamn game – a 42-yard completion to Kell Walker.
Following a bye last week, SDSU has just two games remaining on their regular season schedule – back to back home stands against Nevada and New Mexico. With a 4-2 conference record, SDSU find themselves one game back in the race for pole position of the Mountain West’s West Division against Fresno State – whom, incidentally, have an overall record (7-3) worse than the Aztecs.
After clobbering Toledo 38-10, the Bobcats sit atop the MAC’s northern division with two weeks to go in the regular season. Of course, running the table won’t be all that easy for Ohio, who have back-to-back road games against Akron and Buffalo to close out their 2017 campaign … and mayhap a re-do against Toledo after that for the MAC Championship, if they play their cards right.
Troy pummeled Coastal Carolina Saturday, besting ’em 42-17 in a game that saw Brandon Silvers go 18 for 30 for 206 yards and a one-to-one TD-to-INT split. The Trojans have just two games remaining on their schedule – a home stand against Texas State this weekend and a season finale against Arkansas State on Dec. 2. Alas, even if Troy does run the table, unfortunately, they won’t be eligible for the Sun Belt Championship … primarily, because the conference still doesn’t have one.
After losing 38-10 to Ohio, Toledo has to run the table against Bowling Green and Western Michigan to even think about participating in this year’s MAC Championship Game. Not that such is entirely unreasonable, considering how solid the play of Logan Woodside and Diontae Johnson has been all season long – the former has the 13th most passing yards in Division I-A ‘ball, while the latter is the seventh most productive receiver in the nation.