THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF POLL will look vastly different tonight, when the new poll is released. A stunning loss by Auburn, and losses by Kansas State and Michigan State all but eliminated those teams from the playoff party. Among the Power 5, only Florida State, a 34-20 winner over Virginia, and Mississippi State who beat Tennessee-Martin 45-16 remained unbeaten. Those two clubs should fill the top two spots in the poll, and Oregon should slip in at number three. The fourth and final spot is where things should get interesting. Alabama managed to pull off an overtime victory at LSU, but looked lethargic in doing so. Three other teams were very impressive in victory, including Baylor which went on the road to Oklahoma and sneaked out with a dominating 48-14 victory, TCU which throttled Kansas State 42-20, and Ohio State which won at Michigan State.
Baylor’s win over Oklahoma was the first time since 1991 that the Bears had beaten a ranked opponent on the road, after losing the last 37 times! The Bears fell behind 14-3, then reeled off 45 unanswered points, while dominating time of possession by 10 minutes, and holding huge advantages on first downs 31-13 and total yards, 544-319. The Bears now control their own destiny to claim the Big 12 Championship. They have three remaining games, against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, all at home. If they win out they could play in the College Football Playoff.
TCU also remains in the thick of the Big 12 race, but will need a Baylor loss down the stretch to win the championship. Trevone Boykin again showed why he is suddenly in the Heisman race with a 4-TD performance, highlighted by a couple of highlight-reel touchdown runs. The Frogs have been dominant with the only blemish on the season a fourth quarter meltdown at Baylor that resulted in a 3-point loss. The Frogs finish with road games at Texas and Kansas, and a home tilt against Iowa State. An 11-1 finish could have the committee leaning their way.
Ohio State continues to improve! The Buckeyes started slowly in their 49-37 win over Michigan State, trailing most of the first half. Freshman quarterback J. T. Barrett accounted for five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) as he out-dueled Spartan QB Connor Cook. The win puts the Buckeyes in firm command of the East Division of the Big 10. This weekend, the Buckeyes travel to Minnesota, before hosting Indiana and Michigan.
- Clemson held Wake Forest to seven yards rushing!
- Duke QB Anthony Boone’s record as a starter for the Blue Devils now stands at 18-1. The Blue Devils continue to lead the Coastal Division with a 4-1 mark.
- Georgia Tech rushed for 479 yards in their win at North Carolina State Saturday. That’s the highest single-game rushing total for the Yellow Jackets in an ACC game.
- Florida State’s 34-20 win over Virginia was its 25th consecutive victory. The Seminoles became the 18th major college program to win 25 straight games.
- Safety Gerod Holliman intercepted three passes to set up three Louisville scores Saturday night as the Cardinals beat Boston College 38-19. Holliman leads the nation with 13 interceptions this season.
BIG 10 NOTES
- Michigan kept its bowl hopes alive with a 10-9 win over Northwestern. The game was only the third FBS game this season to be scoreless at halftime.
- The Minnesota Golden Gophers blasted Iowa 51-14. They forced three turnovers, and dominated every offensive category in the rout, moving to 7-2 on the season.
- Penn State again had to rely on a stingy defense to squeak out a 13-7 win over Indiana. The win moved the Nittany Lions to 5-4 on the season, one win away from bowl eligibility.
- Melvin Gordon continued his Heisman campaign in Wisconsin’s 34-16 win over Purdue. Gordon is the fourth player in Wisconsin history with four games of at least 200 rushing yards. He also ranks second in the FBS in rushing yards per game (162.0) and leads all Power 5 running backs with 11 touchdowns inside the tackles.
BIG 12 NOTES
- The Texas Longhorns have won three of their last four games. Their 33-16 win over West Virginia leaves them one victory shy of bowl eligibility, with games left against Oklahoma State and TCU.
- Interim head coach Clint Bowen earned his first win at the helm of the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas defeated Iowa State 34-14. He’s already matched the number of Big 12 wins that Charlie Weis and Turner Gill managed during their tenures at KU.
PAC 12 NOTES
- Oregon had a big victory over Utah 51-27, but lost two key performers for the year when Center Hroniss Grasu and Tight End Pharaoh Brown suffered severe leg injuries.
- Arizona State’s defense rose to the occasion Saturday afternoon, , Irish Quarterback Everett Golson seven times and forcing four interceptions and a fumble. The win by the sun Devils puts them in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South.
- Walk-on Freshman QB Luke Falk led Washington State to a surprising 39-32 road victory over Oregon State. Falk was subbing for Connor Holliday who was lost for the season last weekend.
- Washington allowed more than 40 points for the third time in 10 games this season, their first under Chris Petersen. In 105 games as the head coach at Boise State, Petersen’s Broncos allowed more than 40 just four times.
- UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley set a school record for career touchdown passes with two pay-dirt tosses against Washington. He also ran for two touchdowns.
- Florida quarterback Treon Harris won his second-straight start since taking over under center. The Gators defeated Vanderbilt 34-10 and now sit at 5-4 on the season.
- Alabama’s dramatic overtime win at LSU keeps the Tide in firm control of their own destiny in the SEC race. This weekend the Tide face top-ranked Mississippi State.
- Auburn had lady luck turn against them on Saturday, as they twice fumbled inside Texas A&M territory in the final minutes.
- Isaiah McKenzie was a one man wrecking crew for the Georgia Bulldogs in their 63-31 rout of Kentucky 63-31. McKenzie opened the game by returning the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. He later added a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown.
MY TOP FOUR