With every week that passes this college football season, it gets simultaneously easier to rank teams and harder to rank teams. The field of potential playoff contenders gets smaller and smaller, and the resumes of those teams become easier to differentiate, but then those teams start losing too and you have to scrabble around to fill your top ten.
Take the Big Ten, for example. For weeks, we had a leader in Ohio State with Michigan State and Iowa a little behind. Then the Spartans lost to a Nebraska side struggling to get bowl eligible, and dropped out of contention… until this week when they handled Ohio State and reduced the list of unbeaten Big Ten teams down to one.
Here is it, then: Thanksgiving Week. The biggest week of college football so far, and everything November has been leading up to. The last week of the regular season always contains a bunch of what we would call “derbies” here in the UK, and almost all of them carry some kind of postseason significance.
Yes, a lot of the conference division titles are already decided, but those division champions still face trap games that could severely mess up their hopes of playing on New Year’s Eve and beyond.
And thus endeth another week where three of our top ten lost, and further reduced the list of teams with a chance of making the playoffs. LSU and Stanford both suffered their second loss and are now out of contention entirely, while Baylor slid eight spots to #13 but still have their destiny in their own hands.
The top four itself is unchanged, with Clemson hanging on to their spot at the top with an average performance at Syracuse, with Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame all just recording their wins to keep things ticking over ahead of another big week in college football
If you haven’t been clearing your Saturday evenings so far this season, you really need to start doing it right now. This is very much the sharp end of the season, and if you say you’re a college football fan now is the time to show it by cancelling your plans to go out on the town.
Of course, if you can only manage to cancel your plans for one or two Saturdays, then give this week a miss and roll straight on to the next two as they are even madder than last week, but there’s still enormous games in Columbus and Norman to keep you on your toes.
Rece Davis called last weekend a “separation Saturday” during last week’s GameDay Live, and there are clear separations opening up in this week’s NFLUK Top 25 including a new #1 in Clemson, who have the most votes of any team since Week 2.
Five pollsters have the Tigers as the top team in the country with three more placing them at #2, giving them a healthy lead over a Ohio State team who, ironically, received more votes this week than the last time they topped the rankings back in Week 5.
We’ve reached that time of the year where ESPN essentially becomes a college football channel. The baseball is over, the NBA is over on the other BT Sport channels, and there’s not really anything else on that clashes with the relevant timeslots.
There are twelve live games this week (yes, TWELVE, scroll down and count them) starting tonight, as well as two more “as live” (i.e. being shown the next morning) as if there was enough time to actually watch all those games…
It was a quiet week in the Top 25, with most ranked teams on a bye, so no detailed analysis this week. The ranking is here for comment…
We’ve barely had time to draw breath from Week 9 (mainly thanks to a late, late finish to the NFL’s Week 8), and here we are careening into November and Week 10 of the College Football season with the first Playoff Committee poll being released tonight, immediately followed by ranked Tuesday Night MACtion.
Not only that we should be getting two all-ranked matchups among our nine live games this week that should demonstrate much clearer who is going to be representing the ACC and the SEC in the playoffs. Heck even the 5pm game has playoff implications this week.
The 14 weeks from Labor Day to the first Saturday in December are the greatest time of year. As a reclusive sort, I kinda like the excuse to stay in evenings at the weekend as the nights draw in, and what better entertainment is there than college football.
September is always a month of intrigue, as we get our first looks to see if teams are as good as we thought they were; October is a month of settling down, as conference play takes hold; but it’s November where the excitement really ratchets up a notch or two.
Another week of college football, another #1 team in our Top 25 ranking, and last week’s top team didn’t even really do anything wrong! Despite rolling over Iowa State without breaking sweat, Baylor slide down to #2, to be replaced at the top by LSU.
The Tigers handled Western Kentucky 48-20, and mopped up all the high-end points floating around after Utah got stomped by USC. The Utes slide seven places and are hoping to bounce back.