The Culling of College Playoff Contenders Has Begun
And then there were six.
Not that being an undefeated team assures them of much when the College Football Playoff selectors meet in Dallas for their weekly junket.
There should be major changes in their rankings. Do know there will be in The Daily Player 12, the de facto conscience of the CFP, as if it actually had one.
Clemson posted their biggest win in years, finally beating Florida State, 23-13.
If chalk holds, the Tigers will play North Carolina in the ACC championship game. Clemson controls its destiny, but anyone who's cast a glace near Chapel Hill lately will have noticed that the Tar Heels have been firing on all cylinders.
Yes, their schedule has been margarine, but after a frustrating first-game loss to South Carolina, the Heels have reeled off eight straight wins, with the latest being a 66-31 destruction of a demoralized bunch of Dookies.
Alabama had the biggest win of the weekend, decisively taking down LSU, 30-16.
If the Tide wins out, they'll play Florida for the SEC title. A win there, and it's a safe assumption they'll advance to the tournament for the second straight season in spite of its lone loss.
Ohio State's game with Michigan State in two weeks should still have Big Ten title implications, but Sparty's margin of error is basically zero after being upset by Nebraska. The Buckeyes aren't as smooth without JT Barnett at the helm, but they're still unbeaten and should remain so after dealing with Illinois this weekend.
Notre Dame, Baylor, and Oklahoma State are knocking ever more loudly on the CFP door.
It's not out of the question that the four Big XII contenders do a déjà vu of last season and knock each other off:
|Wk 10||Wk 11||Wk 12||Wk 13|
|Baylor ...||v Okla||at Ok St||at TCU||v Tex|
|Oklahoma State ...||at Iowa St||v Baylor||vs Okla|
|Oklahoma ....||at Baylor||v TCU||at Ok St|
|Texas Christian ...||v Kansas||at Okla||v Baylor|
If so, weak non-con schedules -- except for the Sooners -- could come back to haunt them again.
Iowa is 9-0 and faces Minnesota, Purdue, and Nebraska in an effort to finish 12-0. It could thus be 12-0 Iowa vs 12-0 Ohio State for the BIg Ten championship in December. Stranger things have happened.
Stanford and Utah held serve out West, and both still have challenges ahead, so from coast-to-coast, if any team starts thinking they're a lock for the Featured Four on New Year's Eve, they'll be ripe for the sort of wackiness that's gonna arise somewhere before all is said and done.
Always has done. Always will do.