Debate is a critical element of college football. In a sport with 130 teams that play between 12-14 games per season, it’s hard to find an accurate and fair way to determine a champion. That’s why we end up with a committee of people sitting in a room who are tasked with deciding who the four best teams are at the end of the season and declaring them fit to fight for a national championship. What the parameters are that make those four teams the best are murky at best and seem ever-shifting considering the people on the committee change.
Luckily this season, we’re entering the final week of the regular season with four undefeated teams. That makes the selection process more straightforward. Of course, one of those undefeated teams isn’t likely to be considered, but that’s because of those murky parameters I mentioned. Still, with four spots available and only three undefeated teams, that means that the fourth spot is up in the air and thus subject to debate.
And, man, will there be a lot of debate about it. You’re going to see coaches showing up on talk shows stumping for their team like they’re running for office. But I’m not going to be a part of it. Not this week, anyway.
I made my feelings about Oklahoma known last week. I’m hoping it doesn’t make the College Football Playoff simply because, after seeing its defense play this season, I don’t think it has an iota of a chance of winning, no matter how amazing its offense is playing. But you know what? If we consider Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia the most likely candidates for that fourth spot, it’s very likely that Oklahoma will be the team most deserving of the spot when the dust settles.
If it is, I’ll say it deserves the spot; my feelings be damned. But when the CFP Rankings come out on Tuesday night, I think it’s a near-certainty that Georgia will be at No. 4 with Oklahoma and Ohio State behind it in some order. This will be an intentional move by the CFP Selection Committee. It will allow them a chance to buy time for a week and hope everything takes care of itself.
Georgia could beat Alabama, which would likely result in both making the playoff, as long as it’s not a blowout. It’s more likely that Alabama beats Georgia. That would probably remove Georgia from the running with two losses. So then the committee would wait to see if Oklahoma loses to Texas again, or if Ohio State suffers a significant letdown against Northwestern. By doing this, the committee is giving the teams one more chance to make their decision for them.
I’m going to follow their lead. Instead of spending my week trying to figure out what should happen now, and what would happen if this happens, or if this happens, and what if that happens, I’m just going to chill. I recommend you do the same.
If everybody wins then the debate can begin. Or we can wait for the committee to make its decision and then we can all yell about it. That’s always the most fun part of all, isn’t it?
Quote of the Week
Washington beat Washington State 28-15 in the snow globe known as the Apple Cup on Friday night. It’s the sixth straight time the Huskies have beaten their in-state rivals, and this year it came with the bonus of destroying State’s Pac-12 title hopes, as well as a possible playoff bid. It also fired up Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, who dropped enough fire to melt the snow when asked about why Washington seems to have an edge on Washington State.
Lake was asked why Washington does such a good job slowing down the Cougars offense, and he said it’s pretty simple: Mike Leach keeps doing the same things.
“It does surprise me [they don’t add new things], but knowing what I read about the head football coach here, he does things a little different way, so hopefully he remains here a long time,” said Lake. “That would be awesome. It makes it real easy for us. Next year, maybe he’ll throw a little curveball. But it makes it very easy when you know what you’re going to get, so it’s awesome. I mean, we know what type of offense we’re playing. They do the same thing, year in and year out. This is five years in a row now, and so it makes it real easy to game-plan.”
Flop of the Week
We should probably call him Floppy Franks from now on.
Coach-Reporter Exchange of the Week
There were a lot of scuffles and kerfuffles over the weekend, which isn’t surprising given that it was rivalry week. One of them was the scene you can see above between NC State and North Carolina. The best part of all of this, though, came after the game. North Carolina coach Larry Fedora was fired on Sunday, but thankfully he was able to have this back-and-forth with a reporter about the shoving match before that happened.
I just wish somebody would have asked Fedora who was on first.
Tweet of the Week
Minnesota beat Wisconsin 37-15 on Saturday. This wasn’t a result that was significant in the Big Ten standings (though it did make Minnesota bowl eligible), but it was important for one other reason. It was the first time Minnesota had beaten Wisconsin since 2003, ending a 14-game losing streak to their border rivals. It was also the first time the Gophers had won in Madison, Wisconsin, since 1994. All of which meant that not only did Minnesota finally get to reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe, but that it could finally throw some shade at Wisconsin on Twitter, and that’s what it’s all about folks.
Play of the Week
I’m sure it worked in practice!
Stat of the Week
UConn set a new record for futility during its 57-7 loss to Temple on Saturday. The 57 points the Huskies allowed made it 605 points allowed on the season by the Huskies, while the 516 yards Temple gained on offense meant the Huskies defense had allowed 7,409 yards on the season.
Both are the most allowed in a single season ever. Seriously, if that isn’t enough context for you, consider this. UConn allowed 605 points this season and the second-most points allowed by a team this year was the 542 allowed by Oregon State. The second-most yards allowed this season was also Oregon State’s 6,441 yards. That’s nearly 1,000 yards fewer than what the Huskies gave up!
UConn allowed 8.81 yards per play, and while Randy Edsall didn’t have a clause in his contract that calls for a bonus for that, don’t worry, he still got an additional $2,000 out of it.
The Worst Defense Ever was led by the man with The Greatest Agent Ever.
AP Voters of the Week
This week’s honors go to Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald and Keith Sargeant of NJ Advanced Media. These gentlemen caught my eye this week because they both not only had 8-4 Northwestern ranked at 13th and 14th, respectively, on their ballots, but they also had the Wildcats ahead of LSU. McKewon had LSU at No. 17 and Sargeant had it at No. 18.
Now, let’s go over the resumes of these two schools. Northwestern is 8-4, without a win over a team currently ranked in the AP Top 25. Its best win is likely Iowa, which is also 8-4 but a bit better than that record suggests. After Iowa, it’s either 7-5 Michigan State or 7-5 Wisconsin. Northwestern’s four losses have come to 10-2 Michigan, 12-0 Notre Dame, 7-5 Duke and 4-7 Akron.
LSU is 9-3 with a 20-point win over 11-1 Georgia as well as wins over 8-4 Mississippi State and 7-5 Auburn. It’s three losses are against 9-3 Florida, 8-4 Texas A&M (in seven overtimes) and the No. 1 team in the country, Alabama. So, not only does LSU have fewer losses, but it has the best win by far between it and Northwestern, and Northwestern has the worse losses.
So what in the world has Northwestern done to earn being ranked ahead of LSU on your ballots? Won a division in which the second-place team went 5-4 in conference play? Whether you base your rankings on which team would win a theoretical game, or on what they’ve accomplished to this point, I don’t see how you can conclude Northwestern should be ahead of LSU.
College Football Playoff Projection of the Week
- Notre Dame
Until the next Monday After!