It was a great weekend of college football, with some upsets and near misses. The top two teams both won tough SEC games by identical 24-10 scores. The Big Ten took it on the chin, as Penn State got beat and Ohio State got flushed. There is a bevy of big matchups coming this weekend across the land.
1.Alabama – Despite being again bitten by the injury bug, Alabama extended its win streak over LSU to seven games. Bama’s depth is so impressive. It’s on to Starkville Saturday, as Bama tries to make it ten straight over MSU.
2. Georgia – The Bulldogs 24-10 win over South Carolina was the eighth largest margin of victory for this tremendous team this year. Now comes the trip to Auburn, arguably the toughest challenge the Dogs have had this year.
3. Miami – A 28-10 dismantling of Virginia Tech in a game that looked like they were wearing each other’s uniforms made a believer of many. Now it’s Notre Dame with major stakes in a South Florida flashback to say 1989.
4. Wisconsin – The Badgers put a beat down on Indiana and are now 9-0. Now comes a big game with Iowa as Wisconsin closes in on a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game. The running game is very strong in Madison.
5. Notre Dame – Avoiding the trap against Wake Forest, the Fighting Irish took care of business. Now comes the showdown with Miami. The winner is right in the thick of the playoff talk, squarely in the top four, at least for a week.
6. Clemson – What a win it was in Raleigh, as the Tigers escaped with a 38-31 win over N.C. State. A late penalty was big for Clemson. A win over struggling Florida State would lock up another berth in the ACC Championship Game.
7. Oklahoma – Are you serious? Bedlam was 38-38 at the half. 62-52 the final. But the Sooners prevail and are smart money to play in the Big XII Championship Game. Perhaps against TCU, which comes to Norman Saturday.
8. TCU – The Horned Frogs took care of Texas – which will get the bump next year – to make it 8-1 and now go to Norman. For long time TCU fans, imagining beating Texas and Oklahoma in back to back weeks would have been hard to do not that long ago.
9. Washington – The Huskies pounded Oregon, further exercising that demon, and now turn their attention to The Farm, where tough Stanford awaits. Jake Browning is a terrific quarterback and he will have to be at his best for a tough three-game close.
10. Auburn – The Tigers put up an impressive 42-27 win at Texas A&M to make it 7-2 on the year. Auburn now heads into the home stretch and the first of the “big two” rivals, as the Dogs invade Jordan-Hare.
11. Central Florida – Scott Frost’s name comes up every time a major program with a coach on the hot seat loses. Obviously, there is interest in Gainesville, and you would think at his alma mater Nebraska.
12. Mississippi State – The Maroon Bulldogs took care of business against UMass and head into Saturday’s Starkville showdown with Alabama at 7-2. Even if things go Bama’s way, a 9-3 season is well within reach.
13. Michigan State – What a win for the Spartans, who handed Penn State a second straight crushing loss. Were it not for a tough loss to a good Northwestern squad, the men in green would be in that playoff picture. They might just play for the Big Ten title.
14. Penn State – First it was the one-point loss to Ohio State, a classic game that got away for Penn State. Then last week, Michigan State beat the Nittany Lions on a last-second field goal. Time to readjust the goals. Rutgers visits Saturday.
15. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys hung “half a hundred” plus two on Oklahoma … and still lost by 10. Chances at the Big XII title appear bleak now. It’s off to Ames for a battle with Iowa State Saturday.
16. Memphis – The Tigers continue to roll, trouncing Tulsa 41-14. Mike Norvell is some kind of hot commodity. He is one of those coaches who is really being pursued by some major programs.
17. Washington State – The Cougars took care of Stanford in Pullman and improve to 8-2 on the year. Now comes a tough trip to Utah, then an open date and a mighty big Apple Cup in Seattle against the Huskies.
18. Southern Cal – The Trojans put a vice grip on the PAC-12 South with an impressive win over Arizona. The altitude and Buffaloes await in Boulder. Then comes UCLA in the Coliseum. USC plays 12 straight weeks.
19. South Florida – The Bulls play Tulsa Thursday night in Tampa, as they try and improve to 8-1 on the year. South Florida got a nice win this past week, taking down Connecticut 37-20. That “War on I-4” could be mighty big.
20. Ohio State – The Buckeyes got humiliated by Iowa 55-24, as the Hawkeyes handed Urban Meyer and Ohio State one of their most embarrassing losses ever. Things don’t let up, as Sparty comes to the Horseshoe Saturday.
21. South Carolina – The Gamecocks played a good game against an outstanding Georgia team and came up short 24-10. They can make it 7-3 with a win over reeling – and I mean reeling – Florida on Saturday at Williams-Brice.
22. N.C. State – The Wolfpack were right there with Clemson but came up short 38-31 in one of the best games of the day. The Pack needs to close strong, they have had too good a season. A trip to Chestnut Hill for B.C. could be tough.
23. Northwestern – The Wildcats have certainly made their mark the last few weeks, beating Iowa, Michigan State, and Nebraska. Their next two are at home, with Purdue and then Minnesota coming to Evanston.
24. Iowa – Think there is a lot of excitement in Iowa City? That 55-24 beatdown of Ohio State was absolutely epic. It will be tough this week at Wisconsin. There will be a lot of schools around the country cheering for Iowa.
25. LSU – The Fighting Tigers put up the good fight against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. But it was the Tide prevailing 24-10. Now comes a dangerous game against Arkansas. This one is all about which team has more motivation.
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