A Business-as-Usual Weekend, Unless You're Irish
The best game of the college football weekend happened out on the Left Coast when Stanford eliminated Notre Dame from playoff contention, 38-36, on Conrad Ukropina's 45 yard field goal as time expired.
Where was that when the Cardinal played Oregon?
This time, David Shaw had his club playing with a sense of urgency the entire game:
That made one Selection Committee decision easier.
Clemson finished their season at 12-0, even though they struggled with South Carolina, defeating the Gamecocks 37-32. Thos in-state games involve more that sheer talent, and this was yet another case in point:
QB Deshaun Watson led the Tigers in rushing and passing, and if he and his Tiger buds do the same to North Carolina in the ACC championship game on Saturday, they'll be playing in the semi-finals. The Tar Heels are 11-1 and have their own star QB in Marquise Williams, but they lost to South Carolina on opening night and have played no one all season. Their biggest win was against an 8-4 Pitt team.
Alabama survived the Iron Bowl, 29-13, led by that amazing o-line that set the stage for Jake Coker and Derrick Henry:
The Tide has an interesting SEC championshp opponent in Florida, who's struggled since QB Will Grier was suspended.
One team that definitely has its playoff ticket punched is Oklahoma, who dominated Oklahoma State in Bedlam, 58-23.
A playoff berth looks assured for the Big Ten, too.
Unbeaten Iowa and one-loss Michigan State clash for the conference title this weekend. No one had Iowa in their picks to go anywhere this season, but The Daily Player 12 has had them in the running since the real poll began at mid-season. Players like QB CJ Bethard and RB Jordan Canzeri thought differently and have the Hawkeyes on the brink of a special season.
Pretty damn PC putting Rutgers and Purdue in there, even if it was the start of the season. Even they knew the closest they'd get to that trophy was if they found a ticket scalper.
What if, somehow, Clemson and/or Alabama get knocked off over the weekend?
- Could that drop them below Ohio State, who still feels they are the best team in the country, even though they lost to Michigan State two weeks ago?
- If North Carolina wins, they may have a say about that, but
- If Florida upsets the Tide, there's no way they can advance.
No matter how slight it looks with the chalk, the intrigue continues.