When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released last week, some had reason to be pleased while others were disappointed.
Then the calendar turned from October to November and all of that noise was irrelevant following one of the most chaotic weekends of the college football season.
Nine different teams ranked in the playoff’s top 25 lost, including two in the top 10 and five in the top 15. The playoff landscape changed dramatically.
Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers during the weekend:
Notre Dame: The Irish’s playoff chances improved exponentially after losses by Ohio State and Penn State. Without a legitimate Big Ten contender, the path to a semifinal spot appears to have gotten a little easier for Brian Kelly’s team. A lack of a conference championship game was a concern, but as long as Notre Dame continues its winning ways and teams like Georgia, Miami, Michigan State and USC keep winning, it will all work out.
Big 12: You couldn’t blame Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby if he wanted to do a fist-pump following the college football free-for-all Saturday. His league seemed on the outside looking in to the playoffs. But nobody could have foreseen the Big Ten’s epic collapse. Oklahoma’s wild Bedlam win over Oklahoma State was great television and next week’s showdown between the Sooners and TCU could give one of those teams the inside track on a playoff semifinal bid.
ACC: Clemson and Miami appear on a collision course for the ACC Championship Game, which is good news for the ACC. Both teams should be ranked in the top eight in this week’s playoff rankings and if Miami survives its clash with Notre Dame, the ACC title game could be a playoff play-in game.
SEC: There’s no denying the SEC hasn’t been its usual dominant self as a league, with just five teams featured in Tuesday’s playoff rankings. That said, those teams put together a pretty strong weekend, going 4-1 overall. The group is led by Georgia and Alabama, who are expected to collide in the SEC Championship Game.
Miami jewelers: Forget the iPhone X. The latest fashion accessory in South Florida these days could soon be the turnover chain. The gold necklace worn by Miami Hurricanes who create turnovers is quickly becoming the talk of college football. After Jennifer Lopez was photographed wearing it Saturday, some industrious entrepreneur is going to make a mint this week as fans scramble to pick them up before this weekend’s huge showdown with Notre Dame.
ESPN/ABC: The giddy squeal you heard late Saturday night came from television executives who were celebrating the fact that Miami and Notre Dame survived the weekend, setting up a guaranteed ratings bonanza this Saturday. Why else would ESPN announce College GameDay would visit Miami moments before the conclusion of the Hurricanes’ game with Virginia Tech?
Big Ten: At the beginning of the season, it appeared almost a given that the Big Ten would wind up with a team in the four-team playoff. Now, there’s the distinct possibility the league could be left out of the mix after Ohio State and Penn State lost. Sure, Wisconsin is undefeated, but the selection committee has already indicated the Badgers’ schedule isn’t great and even if the team goes undefeated, that may not be enough — especially during a season when there are stronger choices among the Big 12, SEC and Notre Dame.
Pac-12: The conference’s best hope of reaching the playoff semifinals appears to be one-loss Washington team. That’s not good, especially when you consider the committee’s views of the Huskies’ weak nonconference schedule that featured Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State. It means Chris Petersen’s team will need to win out against Stanford, Utah and Washington State, win the title game victory and hope more losses elsewhere.
Heisman forecasts: Louisville’sLamar Jackson ran away with the Heisman Trophy last season, wrapping up the award early on in the season. This season, however, hasn’t been as clear, with previous favorites USC’sSam Darnold and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley falling from the top perch. After Saturday’s carnage, it’s going to be tough to predict who might walk away with college football’s top individual award.
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