In the words of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino “We blew it”. That they did, big time. With a crushing 36-10 loss to Houston, Louisville’s outside draw at the College Football Final Four went down the drain. The Cardinals now have two losses and surely will fall out of contention. Their impressive win earlier in the season over Florida State and their narrow defeat against Clemson now mean nothing. Lamar Jackson’s brilliance will win him the Heisman and they’ll go to a sexy bowl game but nothing more. For the committee their life becomes a bit easier as we can now cross one team off the list. But a huge question mark still remains…
Assuming Alabama and Clemson both win out and take their conference championships they are both in. The commotion starts in regards to the Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences. There are arguments to be made for multiple teams and it could get ugly depending on how things shake out. The Big Ten could be the most messy, especially if Penn State runs the table and takes the Big Ten Championship. It will be hard to argue not including them but how can you exclude a one less Ohio State side? I personally would make that call as Ohio State is the better side. Michigan can spare us that drama if they take care of business at Ohio State and then against Wisconsin which will be no easy task.
Michigan beats Ohio State, Michigan wins Big Ten Championship vs. Wisconsin – IN
Michigan beats Ohio State, Michigan loses Big Ten Championship vs. Wisconsin – OUT
Ohio State beats Michigan, Penn State loses Big Ten Championship – IN
Ohio State beats Michigan, Penn State wins Big Ten Championship – IN
Ohio State loses to Michigan – OUT
Penn State beats Michigan State, Penn State wins Big Ten Championship – OUT
Penn State beats Michigan State, Penn State loses Big Ten Championship – OUT
Wisconsin beats Minnesota, Wisconsin wins Big Ten Championship – OUT
Washington beats Washington State, Washington wins Pac 12 Championship – IN
Washington beats Washington State, Washington loses Pac 12 Championship – OUT
Washington loses to Washingston State – OUT
USC beats Notre Dame, USC wins Pac 12 Championship – OUT
Colorado beats Utah, Colorado wins Pac 12 Championship – OUT
In summary I’m basically saying that if Ohio State beats Michigan this weekend I think they are in no matter what happens. They would be 11-1 with their only loss coming against Penn State on the road in a flukly yet legitimate loss. They will have defeated Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan. A one loss Buckeye team is superior than many of the two loss teams that we could see.
So that brings us to Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. I think Washington jumps back in the mix if they win out. They’ll need to add wins against Washington State and then either Colorado or USC in the Pac-12 championship to add to their weaker resume. They did smash Top 10 Stanford at the time and have also beaten Utah but the Utes are sliding having loss to Oregon last week. The Huskies one loss was against USC at home but if they win the championship, and possibly beat USC in a rematch, I think it’s avenged and they’re Top 4 worthy. If somehow Washington loses then all hell is going to break lose and the #4 seed is up for grabs with Penn State, Wisconsin, Colorado, USC, Michigan and Oklahoma all having legitimate gripes.
Elite Player of the Week
Christian McCaffrey (RB) – Stanford: 31 carries, 284 yards, 3 TD. Win over Cal
Legendary Performance of the Week
Justin Crawford (RB) – West Virginia: 24 carries, 331 yards, 0 TD. Loss to Oklahoma