Michigan’s Hassan Haskins had five rushing TDs in his team’s upset of THE Ohio State University, and he did some of that without any blocking, by just dancing around some tacklers, speeding past some, and leaping over others. Ohio State seems to have blown their shot at a national championship. They were rated #2, but suffered a loss to #5 Michigan, so I suppose those teams will swap places on the chart, more or less, but that’s not the key issue. Ohio State’s loss means that they will not play for the conference championship. It will be Michigan against Iowa. If Iowa should win that, the Big Ten will probably get shut out of the playoff. Iowa is not going to make the final four because they had two bad conference losses earlier in the year. They scored only seven in each of those games, and barely survived two other games against the two weak sisters in the Big Ten West (Nebraska and Northwestern).
#3 Alabama barely survived a four-overtime battle against Auburn.
Notre Dame can still sneak into the final four if some of the higher-ranked teams lose a conference championship game – and one of them will for sure, because Georgia and Alabama will play each other. A Georgia win would mean a second loss for Alabama, which would probably knock them out of the final four. It’s impossible to say how the committee will treat an Alabama win. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is no lock against Houston. Michigan will have the smoothest sailing next week, but Iowa is no pushover. Oklahoma State could also leap ahead of Notre Dame with a big win over Baylor, but I’d say Notre Dame has a pretty decent chance to end up in the playoff. Their problem is that their fate is in the hands of others.
The Sagarin computer rankings have a significantly different alignment among the top teams. Cincinnati is in the #7 spot rather than in the top four.