CFP Shuffle Rounds Up the Usual Suspects
If one point was driven home in college football's Week 12, it's this:
Do not ever turn off the television in mid-game and think Florida State has lost.
The Seminoles seem to mail it in until the second half, almost as if they're teasing their haters.
Florida State is now the only Power Five team that remains unbeaten. They'll stay in the CFP Selection Committee's Featured Four when the rankings come out on Tuesday.
The 'Noles have held the top bracket spot on The Daily Player 12 for the past two weeks, and it won't be a surprise to see the Selection Committee follow suit this week. Why? Because The Daily Player 12 criteria is based on what the committee itself claims as its mandate. Nothing like holding a crew to its word.
Alabama was already in The Daily Player 12 Featured Four, and the projection was Mississippi State needed to win out or sink like a stone. And the plop-o-rama has happened:
Meanwhile, an ambush was afoot out on the prairie. TCU trailed lowly Kansas, 27-17, in ther third quarter before rallying to salvage a 34-30 victory.
Here's the play that vaulted the Frogs into a lead they wouldn't relinquish:
Time to see where style points figure in the Selection Committee's scheme of things. Odds are the Horned Frogs will be jumped by Alabama, meaning TCU didn't cover like Florida State didn't cover, but the Horny Toads will be the team to take a rankings hit. Perception sucks.
Tell Marshall about it.
The unbeaten Thundering Herd have a scheduling problem. Not just that their 2014 slate is soft, but because that's all it could get. The big brand schools won't play them for fear of an upset. They're dangerous like that.
So all Marshall has left is style points, and they laid a packet of them on Southern Mississippi two weeks ago. Their 63-17 rout of the Golden Eagles is similar to Mississippi State's 49-0 home field whitewash, while the Herd did it in Hattiesburg.
Oregon State wasn't a trap game; it was a cold-weather challenge for a warm-weather team meeting a Beavers contingent clinging to hopes of making a bowl game. Swag matters, dudes.
Then there's Ohio State, fresh off its destruction of Sparty in East Lansing. How did the Buckeyes know they'd better adapt to an 18ºF climate at kickoff? Here's a clue:
JT Barrett quickly realized he had to keep moving to keep warm, and so he did. In this instance, he set a school record for longest run from scrimmage by a quarterback. It was 86 yards.
It was one of Barrett's four TD romps, as the Buckeyes picked off a 31-24 skatefest amidst the snowflakes.
Week 13 is going to be all about holding serve for the CFP hopefuls. Mississippi State will try and rebound, and should, with an easy game against Vanderbilt (3-7). Then comes the Egg Bowl at Oxford. Ole Miss needs help, but they're still in the SEC West race, too, so intrigue still abounds within that division.
The spotlight will be on Baylor, who plays an Oklahoma State team that has now lost four in a row, and the Pac-12 South, with an incredible five teams still in the title race. The big one will be UCLA hosting USC.
The Bruins are the only school in that mix to control its own destiny. If there really is such a thing.