Three Likely In, Three On The Bubble
With the regular season ending, the playoff picture is becoming a lot clearer. Previous contenders like Michigan and LSU are out, while others have improved their chances. With that in mind, let’s take a look at those likely competing for the four spots.
Alabama, Notre Dame, and Clemson are pretty much locks to be included. For Alabama and Notre Dame, they are all but guaranteed a spot. They are both undefeated at 12-0, and neither one of them has a chance at dropping out of the playoffs. For Notre Dame, their regular season is done as they don’t have a conference championship to play in and for Alabama, even if they were to lose to Georgia (the number 4 ranked program in the country) they would not drop out of the national championship picture— not that I anticipate them losing that game.
For Clemson, who is also 12-0, it is hard to imagine a situation in which they are not in the final four. Granted, a loss to 7-5 Pittsburgh on Saturday would look bad, but I still think they would hold onto a playoff spot.
That leaves three teams vying for one spot. For Georgia, it all depends on their matchup with Alabama. If they win, they are in. If they lose, I think they are out, simple as that. With that in mind, I don’t see them winning that game, meaning I think they will be on the outside looking in.
That leaves Ohio State and Oklahoma. For Ohio State, their win over Michigan is huge for their chances, as a loss would have meant we would have had this same discussion around the Wolverines. In terms of a conference championship, though, they have the much weaker opponent. Not to take anything away from Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern Wildcats program, but they are not a top-25 team. Oklahoma, though, will have to go through the 9th-ranked Texas Longhorns to win. Keep in mind, Texas is the team that gave Oklahoma their one loss earlier in the season. Getting revenge and beating Texas is something I anticipate them doing, and I think that final win will ultimately propel them into the national championship playoff.
My predicted four teams: Alabama (1), Clemson (2), Notre Dame (3), Oklahoma (4)
Unfortunate End To Historic Game
The game was absolutely historic— an instant classic in college football. After seven, yes seven, overtimes, the number 22 Texas A&M Aggies (8-4) beat the LSU Tigers (9-3) 74-72. There was so much good offense on both sides. LSU’s quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns while also rushing for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns. Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond threw for 287 yards and 6 touchdowns while running back Trayveon Williams ran for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns. Then there is A&M’s wide receiver Kendrick Rogers, who made one of the craziest catches that I had ever seen en route to 53 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns. It was historic, emotional and exhilarating, which is all the more reason the aftermath was disappointing.
Sadly, making headlines is not necessarily the game itself, but a fight that broke out afterward. Multiple sides and stories are coming out, but what we do know is that a fight broke out between LSU director of player personnel Kevin Faulk and Jimbo Fisher’s nephew, Cole Fisher. It appears the fight first started after Cole Fisher shoved (although claims have been made it was a punch) LSU assistant Steve Kragthorpe. There is also some video to believe that LSU safety John Battle may have also thrown a punch in the exchange. Regardless of who did what, it was a sad ending to an amazing game.
Ohio State Ruins Michigan’s Title Hopes
Michigan had one of the best defenses in the country. The problem is no one told quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the rest of the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Saturday, the Buckeyes absolutely rolled the Wolverines 62-39, essentially ending the Wolverines quest for a national championship. In the game, Dwayne Haskins was sensational. He went for 318 yards and 5 touchdowns in the victory. On the receiving end, Parris Campbell had the biggest day going for 114 yards and a touchdown.
For the Wolverines and coach Harbaugh, it is another year of not being able to beat the Buckeyes. Quarterback Shea Patterson struggled to the tune of just 187 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception, but the biggest struggle of all came from the defense, who many expected to be able to shut down the Buckeyes’ passing attack. With the loss, the Wolverines have fallen to number 8 in the country while the Buckeyes have moved up to number 6.
Kyler Murray Still Planning On Ditching Football
Kyler Murray is a rare type of athlete, having performed at the highest level at multiple sports. Nothing has been more evident than the fact that he has had a remarkable season at quarterback, possibly giving his team a chance to compete for the national championship, but will ultimately call it a career when it comes to football at the conclusion of the season. The reason: he might be even better at another sport.
During the Major League Baseball draft, he was selected 9th overall by the Oakland Athletics and intends to pursue baseball instead of considering football. It doesn’t hurt that his draft slot of $4.7 million is on the table, but many believe that he could succeed at the next level in football, too. His stats this year might back that up. This season he has thrown for 3,674 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just 7 interceptions. He has also rushed for 853 yards and another 11 touchdowns. While many consider him to be undersized for the next level, he seems like the type that just finds a way to win. After the season concludes, that winning will be on the dirt of a baseball field as opposed to the grass of a football field.