Wild weekend as three undefeateds go down
The announcement was made and the sellout crowd at the Washington-USC game roared. Pittsburgh 43, Clemson 42. It is safe to say that never before has an ACC score made a Seattle crowd so excited.
The announcement was made in Husky Stadium and the sellout crowd at the Washington-USC game roared. Pittsburgh 43, Clemson 42. It is safe to say that never before has an ACC score made a Seattle crowd so excited.
Then Washington went out and lost, too. And Michigan followed up with a loss at Iowa and just like that there were three College Football Playoff-shaking results on a Saturday when all the top contenders were big favorites.
Thoughts, takedowns and takeaways from Week 11, when everything got a little more interesting.
1. OK, everybody just relax. Especially those rooting for the Tigers, Huskies and Wolverines. Clemson, Michigan and Washington can all recover from these losses by winning out and winning their conferences in the process.
2. Think about it. What teams would have better cases if those three all finished 12-1?
3. So who benefits from those losses? Maybe No. 11 West Virginia and the Big 12, which has had dirt thrown on it for weeks. The Mountaineers have a huge home game against No. 9 Oklahoma next week. Maybe Louisville, which is hoping to get in without winning the ACC.
4. Michigan’s stunning loss to an Iowa team that allowed more than 300 yards rushing to Penn State last week and lost at home to North Dakota State earlier in the season is the result with the most potential to complicate things for the College Football Playoff selection committee. Now it is possible that if the Wolverines lose to Ohio State on Nov. 26, Penn State would win the Big Ten East, potentially shutting both of the conference’s best two playoff hopes out of the conference title game.
5. So Ohio State won by 59 points for the second straight week and had a bad day.
6. The last time the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 teams in the AP poll lost in the same weekend was the first weekend of October 2014. Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma all went down that weekend. Oregon and Alabama still made the first playoff. The last time Nos. 2, 3, and 4 in the AP poll lost on the same day was Oct. 19, 1985. No. 2 Michigan lost at No. 1 Iowa; No. 3 Oklahoma lost to Miami; and No. 4 Arkansas lost to Texas.
7. Thought on Clemson: Too many red-zone turnovers. It’s been an issue all season.
8. Thought on Washington: USC made the Huskies look ordinary up front, which was supposed to be UW’s advantage.
9. Thought on Michigan: Wilton Speight is a betterthan-average quarterback, but that’s about it.
10. Meanwhile, it was just another awesome day for Alabama.
11. Georgia beat No. 8 Auburn to end the SEC West race. No. 1 Alabama has clinched so the Iron Bowl goes from championship implications to solely for pride. The Crimson Tide could lose and still make the playoff. Maybe Nick Saban will rest some of his starters?
12. That’s a joke but it is very much something that concerned college football officials when they were putting together the playoff: Late-season games with teams locked into spots that would suddenly become devalued. Pretty sure Alabama will still be taking Auburn seriously. And after Saturday’s performances by both teams it’s hard to imagine the Tigers will be seriously competitive in Tuscaloosa.
13. The Crimson Tide essentially used its game against Mississippi State and the Bulldogs’ suspect pass defense to work on Jalen Hurts’ passing. It went well.
14. USC might be the best team in the Pac-12, but unless some things break the Trojans way, they won’t even win the Pac-12 South. And Sam Darnold is the best quarterback in the Pac-12.