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This is the first Saturday since July that I haven’t been in Los Angeles. I spent the day at a wedding for some 15%’ers in Birmingham. It was lovely. Then I drove back home and watched the late games on my couch. Which was awesome as well. So here’s Outkick’s top ten on a day when only one of our top ten teams lost.
Get ready for a chaotic final weekend of the college football regular season. (Excluding the Big 12’s final week of the season coming when everyone else is playing conference title games).
The Crimson Tide took care of Western Carolina. Now the big question is this, how healthy will Amari Cooper be for the Iron Bowl? And I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but does Alabama even need Amari Cooper for the Iron Bowl the way Auburn is playing coming down the stretch? Could they rest him for the SEC title game?
The Ducks were dominant against Colorado and now face Oregon State in their regular season finale. We’re setting up for a Friday night Pac 12 title game between Oregon and UCLA. Can the Bruins avenge an earlier season loss? If they do, how close is UCLA to rising from the college football dead and surging into the playoff? Pretty damn close.
3. Mississippi State
Mississippi State delivered the most dominating performance of the SEC season, totally crushing Vanderbilt 51-0. Now State enters the Egg Bowl with a chance to post an 11-1 record and wait around for a week to see if that will be good enough to make the playoff. Will it? Here’s one vote for yes.
Baylor jumped out to a big lead and was never seriously challenged by Oklahoma State. Given that TCU didn’t play, will the committee narrow the gap between Baylor and TCU this week or wait until Baylor beats Kansas State in the final week of the Big 12 season?
Early upset call, Texas beats TCU on Thanksgiving night. If that happens then the door swings wide open for Baylor to be the sole champion of the Big 12. We’ve got this game on FS1 and it should be a really good one.
Yes, FSU won, but once again the Seminoles slipped past a mediocre opponent in the final minutes of a game. While #fsutwitter is convinced it’s all haters, I’ve been on this for a month or more — the focus on FSU off the field has served to camouflage how bad they’ve actually been on the field this season. If I’d take the Arkansas Razorbacks head to head against FSU right now — Vegas says FSU would be a 1.5 point favorite on a neutral field — how in the world can I justify putting FSU in my playoff? Put simply, I can’t. I think every team I have in my top ten right now would beat FSU on a neutral field next week. If Ohio State had played decently against Indiana I’d have the Buckeyes above FSU too. FSU’s not very good against the run and Florida will line up and run it at them fifty times on Saturday. So will Georgia Tech a week later. If the Seminoles get past both those teams I think FSU will get blown out by either Alabama or Oregon in the first round of the playoff. But I’m really not sure the Seminoles will make it past Florida or Georgia Tech.
7. Ohio State
The Buckeyes struggled with Indiana, trailing late in the third quarter against a winless Big Ten team. As if that wasn’t enough, Virginia Tech lost to Wake Forest 6-3 in overtime. This means Tech is now 5-6 on the season. I’m sorry, when you lose by 14 points to a team that may well finish with a losing record, how in the world can you make a four-team playoff? I understand it was early in the season, but so what? Mizzou lost to Indiana early in the year too. Some losses are so bad they kill any argument you might have to play for a title.
The committee ought to just make this a rule — if you lose at home by double digits to a team that goes 6-6 or worse, you aren’t allowed to play for the title. Period.
What an impressive win for the Bruins over USC. Two weeks I took UCLA at 200 to 1 to win the national title and those odds are really going to plummet now. Beat Stanford and then Oregon and it’s downright possible that UCLA could advance to the playoff. Stranger things have happened in college football, that’s for sure.
The Bulldogs finish their season with Georgia Tech. Given that Arkansas plays at Mizzou on Friday, the Bulldogs will know whether they’ve won the SEC East before they even take the field on Saturday. If I’m a Bama fan I’m rooting hard for Mizzou to beat Arkansas. Mizzou is a much easier match-up for Bama than Georgia is.
10. Kansas State
Kansas State got a nice win on the road at West Virginia. I’m giving them the nod here for the final spot in Outkick’s top ten because unlike Michigan State — who won’t have a top 25 win when the new poll comes out — Kansas State has a nice road win at Oklahoma.