By: Jason Earle
The college football playoff committee surprised everybody when they granted Texas A&M the #4 spot in the initial poll of the season. It didn’t take long for the Aggies to give up that reward. The Mississippi State win was one of many upsets this weekend. But the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the #10 team in the nation by 59 points, meaning Washington may have to wait yet another week to reach the top four. Here’s a look at the weekend events in college football.
Ohio State (8-1, 5-1): Just as concerns began to surround the Buckeyes, they silenced everybody with a 62-3 win over 10th ranked Nebraska in a game that puts Ohio State right back on track. Also, their lone loss to Penn State is now gaining respect as the Nittany Lions continue to roll through the Big Ten. Texas A&M’s loss moves this team a step closer to the top four, but the ultimate test will be the regular season finale against Michigan in Columbus.
Oklahoma (7-2, 6-0): After starting the year 1-2, Bob Stoops’ crew has now won six consecutive Big 12 battles to take control of the league. At this point in the season, there is very little hope for the Big 12 to get a team in the playoff, but Oklahoma has to be the favorite out of this conference. They have three ranked matchups to end the year. If they win all of them, their bolstered résumé would have to be considered.
Oklahoma State (7-2, 5-1): The Cowboys are another rallying group out of the Big 12. They started the season 2-2 with a loss to Central Michigan and have won five in a row since a road loss to Baylor in late September. As West Virginia and Baylor have fallen from the top of the league standings, Oklahoma State becomes the top competitor to the in-state rival Sooners.
Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2): Texas A&M dropped their second game in the past three weeks on Saturday, falling to a bad Mississippi State group fighting for bowl eligibility. The committee did the Aggies a huge favor by boosting them to the top four of the college football playoff rankings, and it didn’t take long for this team to prove they shouldn’t be there. They still have two difficult contests left on the schedule in Ole Miss and LSU but have likely eliminated themselves from playoff contention.
Nebraska (7-2, 4-2): The Cornhuskers had a very difficult two game stretch in Wisconsin and Ohio State. A win over either would’ve kept these guys on the playoff radar, but a 59 point loss unfortunately tells the nation that Nebraska cannot hang with the elite teams in college football. Tommy Armstrong Jr. left a game that already showed signs of a blowout, and Nebraska is not a playoff team nor a Big Ten championship contender regardless of who is under center.
Florida (6-2, 4-2): Florida has been gifted with one of the easiest SEC schedules in the league, and they still fail to consistently win games that should be won. They control their own destiny in the SEC East, but they have now put themselves in a position where the November 19th road game at LSU is more of a must-win to get into the SEC title game.
Washington State (7-2, 6-0): The Cougars started the year 0-2 but have cruised through the easier portion of their Pac-12 schedule picking up seven consecutive victories including a 42-16 win at Stanford and a 69-7 result over Arizona on Saturday. Washington has gained all of the attention in this league so far, but Washington State is very capable of stripping the Huskies of a playoff spot in the final week of the regular season.
5. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
Alabama, Clemson, and Michigan stay in the top three yet again after continuing their undefeated seasons. With Texas A&M’s loss, Washington should take the #4 spot, but Ohio State could easily end up there after their huge victory over Nebraska. Louisville, Wisconsin, Auburn, and Oklahoma all move up with wins, and the Aggies fall to #10 to round out the top of the poll.
1. Lamar Jackson
2. Jabrill Peppers
3. DeShaun Watson
The Heisman picture has rarely been this clear after nine weeks. Lamar Jackson proved to be the frontrunner once again this weekend with seven total touchdowns. Peppers and Watson are next, but they have a lot of work to do if they’re going to compete with Louisville’s star sophomore quarterback.
1 Alabama vs 4 Washington
2 Clemson vs 3 Michigan
Alabama over Michigan