I actually watched the entire Michigan / Ohio State game instead of channel surfing. As expected, the teams were evenly matched, and the result easily could have gone the other way. Michigan won because:

(1) They pulled off two critical interceptions;
(2) They are completely confident on 4th-and-short. They have a little cannonball of a short-yardage specialty running back, and they feel that he can gain one or two yards no matter what. They’ll run him even when the other team knows what’s coming. This essentially gives them an extra down to work with;
(3) They got a really lucky call on a TD that could just as easily have been ruled an Ohio State interception. Since the replay was considered inconclusive, the call on the field would have stood no matter which way it went. It went in Michigan’s favor. Reverse that call and Ohio State wins by one.

Georgia, Washington and Florida State remained undefeated, which means that THE Ohio State University will need a miracle to get back into the playoff since there are four undefeated teams. Florida State and Michigan seem to have clear paths to their conference championships and undefeated records. Georgia faces a tough test in Alabama, but even a Georgia loss would not guarantee a playoff re-entry for Ohio State, as the playoff committee may be loath to begin a playoff without a representative of the tough SEC. Ohio State’s best bet is for Washington to lose to Oregon, which seems like a realistic possibility since the opening line favors Oregon by 7.5. A Washington loss will not guarantee Ohio State a berth, but it would get the Buckeyes back into the conversation.

Craziest stuff this week:

13th-ranked Oklahoma allowed 45 points – and still won by 24. Gotta love Big 12 football. Hope you took the over on that one.

10th-ranked Louisville will absolutely drop out of the top ten after an embarrassing home loss to Kentucky. Here’s a tip for you athletic directors: if you want to pad your record, don’t fill one of your non-conference weeks with an SEC team unless it’s Vanderbilt. Kidding aside, Louisville doesn’t really have much choice about scheduling that game because the intrastate rivalry is a big deal in Kentucky. That doesn’t work out well for Louisville since Kentucky, although only a mediocre team by SEC standards (3-5 conference record), kicks their asses pretty much every year.

As noted in the comments, Alabama pulled off a miraculous, do or die, 4th-and-31 TD to pull out the Iron Bowl in the final minute.

Scoreboard

14 thoughts on “College Pigskin, Week 13

  1. True but their starting QB was injured most of the season, otherwise they would have been better. As for conference they left they still wouldn’t have won as Tulane and SMU would have beaten them as they did last year and Tulane is going to New Years Day Bowl. As for FSU they beat Louisville they are in Playoff.

    1. Yup. I assume FSU, Michigan and Georgia are in.

      If Washington wins they would be in over an undefeated AAC team, but if Oregon and Washington each have a loss, then an undefdeated AAC team would sneak in, as Cincinnati did a couple of years ago, even though everyone knew they would get crushed.

      Given that there is no such AAC team, Oregon might get in with a win, but it’s not guaranteed.

      If Oregon and Alabama win, it’s a tough choice between Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas and Oregon for two spots

      If Oregon and Georgia win, then there’s only one spot open, and it’s a tough call between Texas, Ohio State and Oregon. Personally, I’d take Ohio State.

      If Washington and Georgia win, then it seems to be “case closed” as they join Michigan and FSU in the final four.

      As I mentioned in an earlier comment, about 99% of the country wants Louisville to knock FSU out of there so all the big boys can play. FSU might even get the #3 seed, which would give the #2 seed (presumably Michigan) just about a free pass to the championship game.

      1. I agree but I think Georgia being a 2 time champion is a lock even if they lose a close game to Alabama. I agree Fsu would get 3 if Wash loses making Oregon 4. But ideal scenario all 4 teams undefeated since it has never happened before.

        1. That was my original point: the CFP loves the SEC and would really want to take Georgia even if they lose.

          But how do you tell Texas that you’re taking a team they beat and another team that didn’t win their conference over them?

      2. If it comes down to a choice between one-loss power teams (assuming Alabama, Oregon, Texas, Michigan and FSU all win the conference championship games), then in a perfect world the tie-breakers would be:

        (1) Conference championship (knocking out Washington , Georgia, and Ohio State)
        (2) Head-to-Head: which would put Texas over Alabama

        So then it boils down to Oregon vs. Alabama. Alabama would have all the predetermined biases in their favor, and they would have also just beaten the two-time defending champions. Oregon would need a very impressive win to sway the voting, and even with that it’s probably unlikely.

        Even after that, it’s possible that the actual second and third best teams will be sitting at home.

        1. True. I have to think that Ohio State is one of the top three teams, and you could make a decent case that they could win the whole ball of wax if given the chance, but they may be relegated to the Consolation Bowls.

  2. When the THE didn’t go for it on 4th &1, my inner seer said. “They’re going to lose. And they’re going to lose by one score.” I wish that bad boy wasn’t so right so often.
    Day is getting into John Cooper territory here (111-43 but 2-10-1 against “Up There”- (Woody Hayes, who hated to say Michigan).

  3. Actually, the craziest thing this week was Alabama pulling the win over Auburn out of their asses by scoring on the last play of the game, 4th-and-goal from the 31.

    If Alabama beats Georgia, there will be a lot of bleating from Tuscaloosa that they should be invited to the playoff, especially if Texas barely gets by in the Big-12 championship game.

    1. I’m not sure what the committee considers, but if ‘Bama wins and it comes down to Alabama vs Texas, it’s worthwhile to contemplate why Alabama has one loss this year.

      If Alabama and Oregon both win, it will be a “pick any two” between Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Oregon and THE. Losing the conference championship game would not be an automatic DQ for Georgia. I recall that last year the committee placed TCU into the playoff despite their having lost the Big 12 championship game. On the other hand, that made for a very lopsided national championship game when Georgia ran over TCU as if they were a Pop Warner team.

      I guess the unkind’st cut is that Florida State seems to be locked in for one of the four spots, and I don’t see them as truly competitive with the big boys, but then I remember that they crushed LSU, so maybe I have it wrong.

      1. Yes, Bama lost to Texas (in Tuscaloosa no less), but you have to remember the first rule of CFP is Thou Must Have An SEC Team and Two If Possible. If Bama beats Georgia there’s no way they don’t take Bama, and they will be sorely tempted to take Georgia as well (although I don’t see how they could get away with that, given the other options).

        In contrast, the Pac-12 has the same situation as the SEC, but if Oregon beats Washington, neither team would get nearly the same consideration as their SEC counterparts, even though I think the strength of schedule for both teams was higher than Georgia’s. I could easily see the committee bypassing both.

        FSU doesn’t have a chance on the field against any of the top teams because they lost their #1 QB to injury. The committee would love to bypass FSU, and they apparently are allowed to use the injury as a consideration in the selection process, but that would be a bad look if FSU finishes undefeated. I bet the committee is secretly praying for Louisville to beat them in the ACC championship to free up a spot.

        1. Their precedent is to put in the undefeated team, even if from a second-tier conference, although everyone knows they will not be competitive. (Cincinnati two years ago, e.g.)

          Since Florida State is from a stronger conference than Cincinnati was in 2021-2022, I have to think they will let them in, but I agree with your assessment that every fan outside of Tallahassee is rooting for FSU to lose so the final four is stacked with real powerhouses.

          Sidebar: I wonder how Cincinnati, Houston and UCF feel about transitioning from being the best three teams in a shit conference to being pretty close to the worst three in a real conference. I wonder if they have any regrets.

          1. On your sidebar I think UCF feels pretty good finished ahead of TCU, Baylor, BYU and the other 2 teams they came in with, became bowl eligible and a couple weeks ago kicked the living shit out of Okla St who I believe is playing for Big 12 Title. So I believe it benefited from move and will probably contend for Big 12 Title next couple of years.

          2. They were definitely the best of the newcomers, and the Oklahoma State game was amazing, but that was literally the only one of the previous Big 12 teams they beat. They even lost to Baylor at home, going 1-6 against the established teams. Their other five wins were against Cincinnati, Houston and three non-conference teams. Without the Okla State game their conference intro would have been a complete goose egg.

            On the other hand, they were competitive in most of those losses. They had a chance to beat Oklahoma, which was ranked in the top ten at the time, and they had a massive lead on Baylor before the wheels came off. Sagarin ranks them #8 in the conference, ahead of all the other newcomers, plus Texas Tech, West Virginia and Baylor! (And approximately even with Oklahoma State and TCU.)

            But the point I was making is that if they had not switched conferences, they would probably now be undefeated and waiting for Oregon to knock off Washington so they could take the 4th seed in the playoff (as Cincinnati did recently with an undefeated team). Instead they had to deal with a 3-6 conference record. They have to have a least a little regret about that.

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