After a big week of games, here’s what you should have learned from this week in college football.
Alabama Cruises Past Only Test
It seemed too good to be true, right? A night game in Baton Rouge with both LSU and Alabama having a bye week to prepare. LSU looked to legitimately be the second-best team in the conference and one of the best in the nation. That is until Saturday night.
LSU has become known for its’ running backs, but the Tigers managed a measly 12 yards on the ground while giving up 281 to Alabama. But, at least they made Tua Tagovailoa play in a fourth quarter for the first time all season. That’s something to cheer about I suppose. With the win, Alabama clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game, which the Tide missed last year, to face Georgia. Until then, the Tide play Mississippi State, the Citadel, and Auburn. Hail State and Auburn have been disappointments this season, and they’ve not shown they can compete with Alabama. So until the SEC Championship in December, it appears the Tide will continue to roll.
The Playoff Picture Is Clear
After Alabama knocked LSU out of the top five, the playoff picture has become pretty clear with four teams appearing to control their own destiny: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan. There are other quality teams outside this top four, but these are the teams most likely to make the playoff. Alabama, Clemson and Michigan are the clear favorites to win their respective conferences, and Notre Dame’s schedule and quality wins should be enough to boost them over anybody.
Bama doesn’t appear to have any team close in the SEC. Clemson could see some push-back from Boston College this weekend, but they have a stronghold on the ACC. Michigan has the best defense in the Big Ten and arguably the entire country. Ohio State should give them a hard time, but the Wolverines look to be in the cat-bird seat. Notre Dame disposed of Michigan, Stanford, and Virginia Tech and look to be through with the meat of their schedule. The only challenge left appears to be Syracuse, who should shoot up the rankings.
Will Grier Had His Heisman Moment
Tua is likely the runaway favorite to win the Heisman trophy in December, but West Virginia’s Grier possibly made the race more interesting with the timeliest of throws on Saturday. Down 41-34, Grier threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings Jr. to pull West Virginia within a point of Texas. Then, Dana Holgorsen made a gutsy call on the road to go for two, and Grier delivered by scoring on a quarterback draw to put the Mountaineers up by one and steal the game in Austin.
Going into the season, Grier was among the favorites to win the Heisman going into the season, but Tagovailoa has stolen the spotlight. But Saturday, the West Virginia quarterback had a Heisman moment if I ever saw one.
Ohio State Is A Mess
That’s not a phrase we’ve heard in a few years, but Michigan fans must love the sound of it. Ohio State played Nebraska on Saturday, a team the Buckeyes have dominated in past years. In fact, Saturday was the first time Ohio State had punted against Nebraska since 2012. If not for extremely shaky special teams from the Cornhuskers, the Buckeyes could’ve dropped one at home and kissed any hopes of making the playoff goodbye.
The Buckeyes’ season started off with the Urban Meyer scandal. And ever since, the 2015 national champions have struggled. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins has taken on the entire offensive load with a struggling offensive line. The defense has suffered injuries to the likes of a player like Nick Bosa, so they’re inclined to give up big plays. Right now the Buckeyes are a mess, and if they make the playoff I would be shocked though they are still in contention.