Wild week­end as three un­de­feat­eds go down

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ralph D. Russo

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.

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