Georgia and Alabama dominance leads debates over potential playoff teams
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making the news of college football (popcorn sold separately at Oxford, at reduced prices):
FIRST QUARTER: THE SIX DEBATES THAT COULD OVERMORE THE PLAYOFF
It was a good weekend for the college football playoff cleaning. We got rid of a bit of the clutter – September flashes came out of Arkansas, Mississippi, Notre Dame, and Maryland. We dusted off a relic (Michigan) and put it back on display alongside a shiny new addition (Cincinnati). And we kept a reserved coat space for two prize possessions (Georgia and Alabama).
But there will always be different opinions on how to accessorize a venue, and nothing creates debate like the playoff mansion. Here are the six looming feuds that could spice up the next few weeks:
Two teams from the Southeastern Conference (1). Even among the most stubborn scolders who believe a team should win their conference championship to qualify for the playoffs, it’s impossible at this point to argue that Georgia and Alabama aren’t in the top four. country teams. If they continue to make it through the regular season 12-0 and meet in what would be an SEC Championship game, they would both be guaranteed spots in the CFP.
It would sound like a lot of kvetching, reinforcing concerns outside the South that the SEC is close to dominance that diminishes national interest in the sport, not just now, but in the future when Oklahoma and Texas arrive. . Fear of an SEC planet – and its ESPN moon – would only intensify.
Two of the Big Ten (2). With four current unbeaten and one loss in Ohio State, don’t overlook the growing possibility that at least two Big Ten teams will be in contention early in the season. The winner of the Iowa-Penn State game on Saturday will be high in number one – and if that winner is the Hawkeyes, the rest of the schedule looks manageable. In the East, the five-Saturday stretch from Oct. 30 to Nov. 27 could be fun, with Michigan (5-0), Michigan State (5-0), Nittany Lions (5-0) and the Buckeyes (4-1) playing all three games against each other.
If an Eastern side come out undefeated or defeated and meet an Iowa 12-0 in the Big Ten title game, that could present a case for two bids from the nation’s oldest conference.
(Something else to keep in mind, if we progress to a CV contest involving Georgia, Alabama and Penn State: all three will have played Auburn. The Nittany Lions beat the Tigers 28-20 to home in September, the Bulldogs visit them this week, and the Crimson Tide play their old rivals on November 27. The results against this common opponent could influence the perceptions of the three.)
Oregon loss vs. Ohio State loss (3). It could be an interesting argument if the two continue to win: Do the Ducks stay ahead of the Buckeyes in the playoff hierarchy, even though the overall strength of the schedule would likely tip heavily in Ohio State’s favor? Dash believe Oregon’s Saturday loss to Stanford isn’t fatal for the playoffs, for two reasons: The Ducks lost in part due to an untimely save after a controversial flag in a game where their coordinator offensive was absent due to illness; the Ducks have the best non-conference win of the season, beating Ohio State at Columbus.
Until further notice, Oregon is expected to stay ahead of the Buckeyes with all righteous humans. Understandably, poll voters missed this, leaving the Ducks one spot below Ohio State in the AP poll and two spots below in the AFCA Coaching Poll. Because why bother with one-on-one results when inflating the biggest brands is so natural?
Oregon may be too injury-ridden to cut through the rest of the slate with just one loss, but if they do, it’s a loss with plenty of extenuating circumstances. And there was nothing hazardous about his victory at the Horseshoe. But if Ohio State beats Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa with a 12-1 record, that’s a solid resume.
The debate would be: the results on the field between the two teams vs the whole work. Of course, if they both finish 12-1, they could both be and that argument is moot.
Cincinnati to resume (4). The Bearcats (4-0) are in a position to break the Power 5 playoff cabal and should be considered a playoff team if it all ended today. But this is not the case, and we will have to see if the CV holds up over time. They did what they needed to do with double-digit wins over Indiana and Notre Dame. They never hung out and dominated at South Bend, breaking the Fighting Irish’s 26-game home winning streak. But Notre Dame has carried the unmistakable smell of overrated in this contest, and the Hoosiers are now 2-3. If they both rack up additional losses the rest of the way, how much does that devalue Cincy’s iconic wins?
With the Power 5 leagues hogging the spotlight by early December, the American Athletic Conference won’t offer much to its flagship schedule in terms of big games. The Bearcats’ next six opponents — Temple, Central Florida, Navy, Tulane, Tulsa and South Florida — total 9-19. A November 20 home game against SMU (5-0) looms and the Championship game looms. of the AAC should produce a strong opponent, but Cincinnati has to lean hard for Notre Dame and Indiana to win the games the rest of the way.
Representative of Oklahoma against that of Oklahoma to resume (5). With Notre Dame now out of the top 10, the Sooners are currently America’s undisputed most overrated team. Their combined winning margin against four FBS opponents is 21 points, and the combined record for these FBS opponents is 9-12. Oklahoma hasn’t put anything on paper – or on tape – that suggests it belongs more to the playoff argument than rival neighbor Oklahoma State, but the brand name matters more than it should. . Inflated with blueblood helium, the Sooners are ranked sixth in the AP poll and fifth in the coaches poll.
Oklahoma have the Red River game against Texas (4-1) on Saturday, and the winner will likely get another layer of cheers – that’s what happens when the bluebloods play the bluebloods, no matter what. point they are good. So keep in mind that the Longhorns lost by 19 to a team from Arkansas who just lost by 37 to Georgia. The game that (so far) counts the most on the Sooners’ schedule is the regular season final against the Cowboys in Stillwater. Then the two could possibly meet again the following week in the Big 12 Championship game.
BYU… or Coastal Carolina (6). If chaos ensues, which seems entirely possible, given the domestic season’s arc so far, do you stand a chance? Maybe not, but let’s see how crazy things get. The Cougars (5-0) moved up to 10th in both polls and played seven games against 5-power opponents. The downside: only Arizona State has less than two losses at this point among those seven opponents, and Boise State’s demise doesn’t help. The Chanticleers (5-0) have dominated so far, but the competition is soft: Citadel, Kansas, Buffalo, Massachusetts and Louisiana-Monroe. Coastal has a road game against Appalachian State on Oct. 20 and a potential Sun Belt Conference title game against Louisiana, but that only helps the resume a lot.
Can we get another spontaneous clash between these two like we did last season? The winner would get their best win of the season.
(While the playoffs remain a fantasy at this point, The Dash will continue to drop Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall for Heisman Trophy recognition. His nationally best passing efficiency rating is now rose to 224.98 after going 13 for 13 for 213 yards and two touchdowns in an UL-Monroe rout. Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral just saw his Heisman train get run over by a crimson elephant on Saturday, It is therefore time to consider alternative candidates again.)
FOUR FOR THE Playoffs
Dash’s weekly view of what the college football qualifiers would look like if today was Selection Sunday:
Orange Bowl: superior seed Georgia (7) vs fourth seed Cincinnati (8).
The Bulldogs (5-0) applied the cold slap of reality to Arkansas with a 37-0 beating that was over after a quarter. The nation’s best defense added more to its sizzling reel with a second straight shutout and allowing just 162 total yards. Right now, the ‘Dawgs are statistically poised to be the most dominant D since the 2011 Alabama National Championship team. Georgia didn’t even need starting quarterback JT. Daniels, with tested replacement Stetson Bennett IV while trying to get Daniels back to full health.
Then for Georgia: in Auburn.
The Bearcats, as seen above, secured their validation victory in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus and with plenty of red in the stands at Notre Dame Stadium. They won quite easily despite missing two short field goals. (If you want a red flag for Cincy, kicker Cole Smith is – he’s only 2 of 6 this season.) Wide receiver Alex Pierce, a tall, tenacious deep threat who wins plenty of jump ball, had the best game of his career against the Fighting Irish with six catches for 144 yards.
Next for Cincinnati: Friday night at home against Temple.
Sugar bowl: second seed Alabama (9) vs third seed Iowa (10).
The Crimson Tide (5-0) embarrassed Lane Kiffin and Mississippi, posting a 35-0 lead and qualifying for a 42-21 victory. “Bama rushed over 200 yards for the first time this season against an SEC opponent, controlling the play and limiting the explosive Rebels to their lowest Kiffin-era totals in plays, yards, yards per. game and points Nick Saban lets Lane talk as he walks.
Next for Alabama: at Texas A&M, in a clash that has lost much of its luster.
The Hawkeyes (5-0) picked up their propensity to let the opposition fight to new highs on Friday night, watching Maryland melt away with seven turnovers in a 51-14 blowout. For the season, Iowa now has an impressive plus-12 revenue margin, leading the country in take-out (16) and interceptions (12). Quarterback Spencer Petras had the best efficiency game of his career against the Terrapins, scoring 182.52; Since it seems reasonable to believe that Iowa will have to win an attacking game at some point, that’s a good sign.
Next for Iowa: Penn State is coming to Iowa City for a big one.
Dropped out: Oregon, Arkansas.
Also considered: Penn State.