CANTON,Ohio- What an unbelievable Saturday it was for college football as the #2,3 and 4th ranked teams all suffered losses. It’s the first time in 31 years that the 2,3, and 4 teams have lost on the same weekend.
Question? Who had Pittsburgh going to “Death Valley” and defeating #2 Clemson. Well, you might actually be surprised about that. If you’ve been watching Clemson throughout the season, you would know they’ve been having some close calls. This was just the first time they got burnt while playing with fire. Chris Blewitt nailed a 43 yard field goal with 6 seconds left for the Panthers.
My question regarding Clemson is this. Will they drop out of the top four? If so, how far? Keep in mind, they lost to an unranked Pittsburgh team with only 2 weeks left.
What happened to Washington? At home, hosting the 20th ranked Trojans of Southern California. While I only caught the second half of the Pittsburgh, Clemson game, I tuned into the USC, Washington game at 7:30 ETS. It was a very fun game to watch. QB Sam Darnold had a pretty good game for the Trojans. He handled the rowdy crowd at Husky stadium very well. His receiving core did an excellent job of helping him look good as well. The rushing attack kept their offense balanced.
Washington couldn’t get much going offensively in the first quarter. I think that really hurt Washington. So what does this loss do for them?
Finally, IOWA! Yes, they take down MICHIGAN! Keith Duncan delivered a walk-off game winning field goal to send the Wolverines to their first loss of the season. With this loss, there is a three way tie atop the Big Ten East.
So here is the situation. As far as the Big Ten East goes. If Ohio State wants to win the East, they must win out. They travel to East Lansing then host Michigan. After that, they need Penn St to lose 1 game. The Nittany Lions play Rutgers and Michigan State, neither of which are expected, on paper, to give Penn State much of a fight. Penn State is one of the hottest teams in the country right now. But this is why they play the games.
Remember, If Ohio State can beat Michigan, they would own the tie-breaker in that case. But since Ohio State lost to Penn St earlier this year and Michigan losses to the Buckeyes, the Wolverines would then have two losses, leaving Ohio State and Penn State, if the Lions win out, tied atop the East, in which Penn State wins the tie breaker. So basically if your’re a Buckeye fan, you hope the Buckeyes win out and hope for one Nittany Lion loss.
Now with all that being said. Depending on the selection committee, Ohio State may have moved ahead of the one-loss pack. That means they could still get a playoff bid without winning the Big Ten and having to beat perhaps Wisconsin for a second time this year in the title game. But Ohio State may no longer control it’s own destiny.
With all that being said, these final couple of weeks are shaping up to be must watch, which is exactly what college football both wants, and is built for. It’s the best regular season setup in sports. College football now has a playoff system that compliments the regular season.
I just hope they don’t change the playoff system from a top 4 setup to a top 8. The next thing you know, it’ll start looking like March Madness. Way too many teams!
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis