Heisman hopefuls: QB Marcus Mariota (Oregon), QB Dak Prescott (Miss St.), QB Trevone Boykin (TCU), RB Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), and RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)
Top 4: Miss St, Florida St, Oregon, Alabama
Playoff Projections: Florida St, Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State
Conference power rankings: SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, B1G, ACC
Northwestern must be tired of seeing the Michigan uniform, back to back overtime losses and then they lose on a failed two conversion while going for the win against the maize and blue. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald went against the book and went for two and the win at home, instead of the tie. Obviously, it backfired, as they lost 10-9. The B1G has been fighting to build up its reputation nationally then they come out and have a game like that or that ugly Penn St-Indiana game. You cannot watch the B1G and then turn it to the SEC and not think they are drastic differences in their products. Yes, they are good quality teams at the top of the conference, but top to bottom it is noticeably inferior. But, hey, Indiana beat Mizzou…Wisconsin and Michigan State both had marquee opponents on the ropes in the third quarter, but the conference as a whole does not provide the competition week in and week out that the SEC or Pac 12 does. It will be interesting to see what the committee does with a 1-loss B1G champion and a 2-loss SEC West team when they set the playoff.
Staying in the B1G, Fitzgerald gets credit for being a great coach after taking over Northwestern during a difficult time, but the last two seasons have been frustrating for them. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have had another upstart season and are building momentum as a program, but closing the season with Ohio State, at Nebraska, and at Wisconsin should extinguish some of that momentum. Still, they won both the Little Brown Jug (Michigan) and Floyd of Rosedale for the first time in the same season since 1967 following their 51-14 blowout of Iowa Saturday.
Trevone Boykin has put the nation and Heisman voters on notice. TCU looks to be for real. A team once known for its defense and tough running game is now full of team speed in a high-powered offense.
Oregon is pushing through the portion of the schedule that has cost them in previous seasons. Is this their year?
Florida State might finish the season undefeated and be the 1 seed in the playoff, but they will be the worst of the four playoff teams.
The CFB playoff committee certainly has their hands full. You almost have to think that they are rooting for Florida State to go unbeaten. A one loss Florida State team could be facing the same fate as a one loss B1G team, which could mean the committee will have to figure out what to do with a (potentially) one loss Ohio State and Florida St and all of the 2-loss SEC teams. What do they do with all of the SEC teams that have beaten each other up? That is a tough position to be in. It is awfully early and as we have seen before this has a tendency to work itself out…I think the best option for the playoff would be expanding to eight teams with all conferences playing a title game and nine games within the league. The top two teams – regardless of division – play for the title. All five champs make it + three at large’s.
Big games this week:
- Nebraska at Wisconsin – Winner is in the B1G West driver’s seat.
- Mississippi State at Alabama – Winner wins the SEC West, you would think…
- Auburn at Georgia – even bigger considering Georgia’s showing in Jacksonville
- Ohio State at Minnesota – Minnesota back to back solid seasons, not many people have noticed.
- Florida St. at Miami – Great rivalry which has faded, a Hurricane win can spark it back to life.
Until next week.
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