The 45-23 victory was the first time Michigan has won in Columbus in 22 years, and knocks Ohio State out of the Big 10 championship game. Michigan seems like a lock for the final four
With three TD’s in the fourth quarter, Michigan knocked their favored opponents down from “THE” Ohio State University to “AN” Ohio State University. Michigan’s star running back was injured and left the game after two short carries, but their sophomore back-up guy, Donovan Edwards, was pretty much unstoppable in the fourth quarter, with touchdown runs of 85 and 75 yards.
- Georgia won easily and seems poised to sail into the finals.
- TCU gave poor, lowly Iowa State a major ass-kicking (62-14), thus moving one step closer to clinching another of the final four slots.
- USC moved to 10-1 by defeating Notre Dame. They seem to be the headed for the fourth spot in the fab four. Their opponent in the conference championship game will be Utah. (Surprise!) That happened because the Oregon loss created a three-way tie for second place, and the anfractuous tie-breaker system worked out in Utah’s favor. The practical consequence is that a USC win is the only hope for the conference to get a team into the fab four. I think we all know that the committee is not going to put in three-loss Utah team over Ohio State or Alabama. By the way, a Utah victory is not far-fetched at all. They have already beaten USC once this year!
- LSU’s spot as the next-in-line was eliminated by their loss to the Aggies in College Station. Clemson’s long-shot chance to make the final four fell off the table after a loss to South Carolina. Oregon’s desperate, hail-mary shot ended with a loss to Oregon State, and that even cost them their spot in the conference championship.
South Carolina was this year’s spoiler team. They had a good, not great, year at 8-4, but they were tremendous in the last two weeks, knocking off Tennessee and Clemson when each was considered a contender for the national championship.
USC and the three undefeated teams (Georgia, Michigan and TCU) all seem to be sure finalists if they win their conference championships.
I think that Georgia is already in the fab four, win or lose in the conference final. If they lose, there will (presumably) be two undefeated teams, and Georgia would be the best team with one loss, giving them a third seed. Michigan has a similar, if slightly weaker case.
On the other hand, USC and TCU wins seem to be the only hope for their respective conferences. If one or both of them should lose, Ohio State and Alabama will probably be the next teams under consideration, with Ohio State first in line because they have but one loss to Alabama’s two.
Here’s how the bookies see the odds of winning the national championship after Saturday’s play:
Ohio State 15-1
RUTGERS watch: they closed out their season in fine fashion by dropping a 37-0 squeaker to Maryland, following last week’s nail-biting 55-10 loss to Penn State.
Their debating teams are, however, excellent. One of their campuses won the national championship in 2017.