It was quite an historic week in college football, as three of the country’s top four teams were upset. The only other time that happened was on October 19, 1985, when No. 2 Michigan fell short at No. 1 Iowa, No. 3 Oklahoma lost to Miami and No. 4 Arkansas went down against Texas. I’m a fan of how that season ended up turning out.
Two more top 10 teams — Texas A&M and Auburn — also went down on Saturday, thereby allowing the Sooners to continue ascending in the rankings. Although fellow 2-loss teams Wisconsin and Penn State currently still sit ahead of OU, the Big 10 scenario is quite complicated and could ultimately work out in OU’s favor if the Sooners win out. After the Clemson and Michigan losses, the chances the Big 10 sends two teams to the CFP are slim.
This on the Big 10 race from CBS Sports:
“If Ohio State and Penn State both win out as expected, it will be the Nittany Lions playing for the Big Ten Championship instead of the Buckeyes because of the head-to-head tiebreaker… Michigan's loss changes the projection for Ohio State from a record of 12-1 and a conference championship to 11-1 and no conference championship. That's how a second straight 62-3 win ends up being part of a bad day for Ohio State. With all that in mind, Wisconsin is now projected to win the Big Ten title over Penn State.”
Oh boy. Despite the scenario above, all three top-4 teams that lost today still control their own destiny if they win out to reach their conference championship games. The Pac-12’s playoff hopes may have taken a hit with Washington’s loss, but if the Huskies win out (the Apple Cup and conference championship are no given), then they will be assured of one of the four spots. The Sooners will surely be cheering on Mike Leach’s Wazoo squad on Thanksgiving weekend. But if the Huskies lose again and either Penn State or Wisconsin do end up winning the Big 10, then there’s a great chance a red-hot, Big 12 champion Oklahoma would earn a berth in the playoff.
Projected CFP rankings entering Week 12:
- Bama (10-0)
- tOSU (9-1)
- Clemson (9-1)
- Louisville (9-1)
- Michigan (9-1)
- Washington (9-1)
- Wisconsin (8-2)
- Penn State (8-2)
- OU (8-2)
- Colorado (8-2)
Though I favor Louisville over Clemson on a neutral field, I’ve ranked the Tigers ahead for now only because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. But I wouldn’t be shocked if the committee moved the Cardinals ahead of Clemson in the next ranking given how the two teams have looked for most of the season. Plus, you know, Lamar Jackson.
Sooner Side Notes
Does Joe Mixon remind anyone else of a bigger LaDainian Tomlinson or a faster Le'Veon Bell?
Also, congrats Coach Stoops on yet another career milestone.