A Jersey Guy’s view of what happened in CFB this weekend
We are now approaching the final stages of the regular season and most of the speculation revolves around which teams will emerge as the CFB Selection committee’s Final Four.
Conventional wisdom (after one week of games in November) suggests that Alabama and Clemson are easy picks and that Notre Dame and Michigan are a solid No. 3 and/or No. 4.
But that’s too easy. Let’s look at the biggest potential problems the committee might have to face in the first weekend of December.
So let’s play the What If game.
Like What if?
Clemson finishes with a 13-0 record as the ACC champ
Michigan finishes with a 12-1 record as the Big Ten champ
Notre Dame finishes with a 12-0 record
AND Alabama finishes the regular season with a 12-0 record, but then gets beat on a last second field goal by Georgia in the SEC championship game.
If that happens Georgia, with a 12-1 record, is the SEC champion and gets a spot, so does Clemson. But in that scenario can or will the committee drop Alabama from No. 1 to No. 5 OUT of the playoffs following a narrow loss?
And, if the committee chooses to keep Alabama at No. 4, who gets left out of the musical chair battle between Notre Dame and Michigan? Easy question you say, because Michigan’s only loss was to Notre Dame, but that was in September and the Wolverines are on a 12-game winning streak and will have a win over Ohio State in Columbus on their resume and have what is now regarded by many as the best defensive unit in the country.
We don’t know you, but we’ve seen enough of Louisville football this season to know that it’s time to make a change. Cardinal football coach Bobby Petrino was never user friendly, but was tolerated because he won games. Those days are over. Louisville football has gone from bad to embarrassing, with Saturday’s 77-18 loss to Clemson the latest evidence. Louisville is 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the ACC. Start working on those Please come home Jeff Brohm signs.
The build up for Saturday’s SEC Division showdown between Georgia and Kentucky in the East and Alabama and SEC in the West was far greater than the actual show as Georgia and Alabama, as expected, rolled to easy wins.
Can we cut to the chase and stage a rematch of last season’s CFB national championship game in the SEC title game in Atlanta? Nothing else really matters in the SEC, does it?
Here’s the kicker. The Dawgs and the Tide might play TWICE this season. If Georgia edges out Alabama in the SEC title game, don’t bet on Alabama falling to no worse than 4th in the CFB Final Four rankings, which would mean a potential Final Four rematch in the semifinals or finals. Not sure if the rest of the college football world outside of SEC territory is ready for that.
Not sure if the Big 12 is excited about its championship game on Dec. 1 (between the first and second place teams). Right now, it looks like Oklahoma vs. West Virginia, which on the surface looks pretty good.
But there is a wrinkle. The Sooners are scheduled to end the regular season on November 23rd. Winner takes it all right?
Well, not exactly. Let’s say West Virginia pulls off a mild upset and beats the Sooners. All that could get them is a rematch a week later in the Big 12 title game in Arlington.
And what if Notre Dame struggles in any of its final three games against FSU, Syracuse and USC?
Won’t happen? Let’s wait and see.
There are a few other bracket busters possible, such as Georgia losing its last regular season game against Georgia Tech, but then coming back to beat Alabama in the SEC title game. Will the committee, which has never done so in the previous four seasons of selections, invite a 2-loss team to the playoffs?
There was a time when if we gave you a Top 10 list of teams which included (in alphabetical order_): Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford , Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA, you might have said “”Yes, what’s your point?”.
For a good portion of the past 18 years (at various times) they were the blue bloods of college football.
On Saturday, those teams were a combined 0-10. While Texas and Texas A&M are showing signs of life, the three Florida schools, all are trending downward.
Speaking of Texas A&M. The Aggies were caught in the last quarter by Auburn on Saturday which pulled off a 28-24 come-from-behind win. The loss dropped the Aggies to 5-4, with three home games remaining against Ole Miss, UAB and LSU. The Aggies could win all three of those games, but they could lose to LSU and UAB had better be treated carefully.
One of the reasons Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin and paid Jimbo Fisher $75 million over 10 years to come to Aggieland was because A&M’s record in the previous 4 years was 8-5, 8-5, 8-5, 7-6. A loss to LSU will mean an 8-5 record is the best A&M can achieve. And, life in the SEC West is not going to get easier.
Just wondering, if any buyer’s remorse will show up in College Station if there is another loss or two?
A Jersey Guy has been a big booster of Central Florida and its quest to be seated at the adult table at the CFB playoff party. But after watching the Knights outscore Temple 52-40 on Thursday night my advice would be to keep quiet the rest of the regular season, keep winning games and climb as high as you can in the rankings and hope there are lots of upsets.
Here’s what bothers me about UCF. In the last two games, the Knights defense has allowed 1.165 yards, including 670 yards to Temple, 445 which came in the first half. Championship caliber teams don’t do that. Having said that, winning 21 consecutive games is difficult at the Pee Wee football league level, so give UCF credit for that.