Crazy Saturday may arrange unprecedented College Football Playoff chaos


A decade in the past, the 2007 faculty soccer season set the volatility benchmark for this era. The season unfolded with a relentless flurry of upsets, shock contenders and extra visceral plot twists than a Dennis Lehane novel. Consider that two-loss LSU ended up the nationwide champion, Missouri was ranked No. 1 and the No. 2 rating was held by California, Boston College, South Florida, Kansas and West Virginia at totally different instances throughout the 12 months.

Loads has modified in faculty soccer previously decade. There’s a brand new playoff format, convention realignment has jumbled the panorama and the inherent cyclical undulations have shaken up the logos of the contenders. But seismic upsets within the Big Ten – Iowa throttling No. 6 Ohio State and No. 24 Michigan State beating No. 7 Penn State – have put that league in peril of not having a staff within the playoff. The Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 must be anxious that their champion may get nudged out as properly (see extra under). There are nonetheless infinite eventualities that would play out, however all indicators level to an echelon of chaos that’s largely been averted within the first three years of the College Football Playoff. And possibly final seen throughout that wild season in 2007.

Will Saturday be remembered because the day faculty soccer took its DeLorean again to 2007? The indicators of imminent anarchy are aplenty.

1) Let’s begin with the Big Ten. Jim Delany went to mattress on Saturday evening possible buzzing “On Wisconsin.” The Badgers are the Big Ten’s greatest likelihood to succeed in the playoff. The drawback is that Wisconsin’s greatest victory came visiting Northwestern, and Iowa is the one possible Top 25 staff they’ll play the remainder of the common season. Beating Ohio State within the Big Ten title recreation would badist, because the Buckeyes stay the Big Ten favourite in the event that they beat Michigan State at dwelling subsequent week. No one actually is aware of how good the Badgers are but, and any loss would possible strike them from the playoff race. Could a two-loss Big Ten staff attain the playoff? It’s troublesome to forged that as unattainable after the hijinks of 2007 that left LSU on the high. But boy, they’d want loads of issues to fall into place. But as you undergo the distinction eventualities, lots can nonetheless occur.

2) ACC commissioner John Swofford’s fingers are possible calloused from all of the praying he ought to have been doing within the waning seconds of No. 20 NC State’s upset bid in opposition to No. Four Clemson. If the Tigers misplaced once more, it will have successfully eradicated them from the College Football Playoff race. (Again, baduming two losses is just too many this 12 months). In order to remain alive, Clemson wanted an unlawful shift penalty on N.C. State to bail them out of a first-and-goal scenario within the waning seconds of their 38-31 win. The name was completely appropriate. But the sport did go away some grey, as N.C. State coach Dave Doeren referred to as for an investigation into the usage of a laptop computer on the Clemson sideline. (A college official advised the Raleigh News & Observer that it “belonged to the school’s social media team and was removed during the second half after a call from the ACC.”

Like we mentioned, issues are beginning to get bizarre on this faculty soccer season. If No. Four Clemson does survive the gauntlet and attain the playoff, it will likely be the second straight 12 months an NC State final-minute blunder received them there. The Wolfpack missed a 33-yard discipline that may have received the sport final 12 months.

Three) The ACC’s subsequent greatest likelihood to get a staff within the College Football Playoff is with No. 10 Miami (Eight-Zero), which beat No. 13 Virginia Tech 28-10. Who’d have thought that the Notre Dame and Miami reprisal of “Catholics vs. Convicts” from the depths of the late 1980s would have an indelible impression on the College Football Playoff race? That’ll be the stakes subsequent week in South Florida, with the No. Three Irish having an opportunity to solidify their spot close to the highest of the College Football Playoff rankings. Before the Tech win, Miami’s schedule regarded about as skinny as Wisconsin’s. (Was Toledo their greatest victory? Considering the sorry state of Florida State, it’s no less than an argument). But thumping No. 13 Tech – together with 4 appearances of the turnover chain – ought to transfer Miami up the Top 10 and provides subsequent Saturday evening’s recreation a quintessential throwback really feel. (With Stanford’s loss at Washington State on Saturday, Miami will possible be the final ranked staff Notre Dame will get to play this season).

Four) The Pac-12 has emerged as a tarpit of middle-clbad mediocrity, as only one staff stays with one loss. That can be Washington, which trounced Oregon 38-Three on Saturday evening. The Huskies dealt with their enterprise, and it will be stunning in the event that they didn’t beat the remainder of the groups on their schedule. But Washington entered the week No. 12, which suggests they’ll want requisite chaos to unfold to finish up within the high 4. Good factor it has change into anticipated at this level. The two greatest issues working in opposition to Washington will likely be their atrocious out-of-league schedule – sorry, Rutgers being Three-Three within the Big Ten doesn’t get the Huskies off the hook – and the possible lack of one other potential marquee victory on their schedule. Sure, video games in opposition to Washington State and probably the Pac-12 title recreation will likely be good. But Washington would nonetheless possible rank behind potential one-loss groups like Clemson, Notre Dame, the SEC title-game loser, Wisconsin (in the event that they lose), and the winner of subsequent week’s recreation between Oklahoma and TCU. Washington’s first recreation in opposition to a ranked opponent received’t come till Nov. 25, which sums up each the 2017 Pac-12 and Washington’s playoff issues completely. At this level, the Pac-12 has the longest odds of getting a staff within the playoff of any main convention.

5) So what to make of the Big 12? It seems primed for self-cannibalization, which has been a trait of the league lately. The Big 12 has missed two of the three faculty soccer playoffs, and it may simply find yourself being three-for-four. Next weekend’s recreation between TCU and Oklahoma may properly be thought of a playoff-elimination recreation. An Oklahoma victory, following up on its 62-52 shootout victory at No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday, would possible propel them into the highest 4. It might get there already after Saturday, as the controversy between Oklahoma and Clemson is a thorny one. (Oklahoma’s signature Ohio State win is barely diminished by the Buckeyes’ blowout Iowa loss at Iowa, but it surely’s nonetheless a marquee street win that ranks with Georgia’s win at Notre Dame as the category of out-of-conference victories.)

A TCU victory on Saturday in Norman would put the Horned Frogs on the within observe for a spot, baduming they will win out and seize the elusive 13th knowledge level. It’d be their greatest victory, with their win at Oklahoma State the opposite stable victory. (That win at Arkansas certain doesn’t look nearly as good because it did again in September). The greatest drama within the Big 12 could also be who emerges because the potential title-game foil to the victor of subsequent week’s recreation. There will possible be three two-loss Big 12 groups after subsequent weekend. Considering the Big 12’s tortured postseason historical past, it will be becoming if the primary 12 months that they return to enjoying a convention title recreation that it really works in opposition to them.

6) The most beautiful results of the day got here from the tenor of No. 6 Ohio State’s 55-24 loss at Iowa. It was the fifth-most factors ever yielded in Ohio State historical past and essentially the most since a blowout loss to Penn State in 1994. Many of the identical points that confirmed up within the first three quarters of Ohio State’s beautiful comeback in opposition to Penn State final week reappeared. The Buckeyes completed with 9 penalties for 95 yards, turned the ball over 4 instances and seemed to be severely out-schemed in all three phases of the sport. J.T. Barrett’s temporary Heisman Trophy candidacy disappeared after throwing 4 interceptions, together with a pick-six to open the sport. It went down as essentially the most factors Urban Meyer has ever allowed in his teaching profession, and he had few solutions or potential options after the loss in a clipped press convention that lasted lower than 4 minutes.

Ohio State is 12-Four since dropping at Penn State final season, with this loss the primary that would actually be considered as troublesome. Meyer is 44-Three in common season Big Ten video games, so there’s no trigger for outright panic. But essentially the most perplexing a part of this loss for Ohio State is that the self-destructive qualities that outlined the primary three quarters of the Penn State win have been pervasive once more. Ohio State didn’t seem to appropriate or develop from any of its personal errors. (Other than kick returns, which have been lastly clear.)

Ohio State nonetheless controls its personal future, with a essential go to from outdated nemesis Michigan State looming subsequent week in Columbus. That recreation will likely be each for management of the Big Ten East and a barometer for the Buckeye program, which seems reeling from essentially the most embarrbading lack of Meyer’s tenure.

7) Two SEC coaches appeared to seal their destiny with lackluster performances on Saturday. Texas A&M’s annual November nosedive commenced as scheduled, with the Aggies dropping to No. 14 Auburn, 42-27. A&M falls to 5-Four, baduring the development that athletic director Scott Woodward was in search of received’t come this season. A&M had consecutive Eight-Four common season the previous two years, and Woodward made clear he needed extra. Getting thumped at dwelling in back-to-back weeks – Mississippi State did the honors the week earlier than – reaffirms all of the hallmarks of the worst stereotypes of Sumlin’s groups – they’re delicate, aren’t constructed for all the 12 months and don’t play as much as their expertise. The $10 million buyout received’t be a difficulty for the deep pockets at A&M, as it will be beautiful if Sumlin returned to the sideline subsequent season.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema additionally possible sealed his destiny on Saturday by narrowly beating woeful Coastal Carolina, 39-38. The victory required erasing a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit. The Razorbacks (Four-5) may nonetheless attain six wins, which was the mark that Bielema was anticipated to want to avoid wasting his job. But that seems unlikely and will not be sufficient. This was the evening the Arkansas fan base misplaced all hope.

Eight) Of all of the memorable quotes that got here out of Lane Kiffin’s house-hunting enterprise final 12 months, a private favourite got here from Pat Chun, the FAU athletic director. Chun is from Ohio, grew up within the enterprise underneath Jim Tressel and when requested if he’s a danger taker, responded: “I don’t even like heights.”

Well, FAU’s gamble on hiring Lane Kiffin has, in methods we by no means imagined, examined that concern. Kiffin’s Owls beat Marshall, 30-25, on Friday evening to clinch bowl eligibility (6-Three) and preserve first place in Conference USA’s East Division at 5-Zero. The view from up excessive within the standings is the one Chun is snug with. “It looks good,” he mentioned with amusing Saturday afternoon. “You knew there was a risk-reward element with any football hire, never mind Lane.”

Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic Owls are sitting atop the C-USA with an ideal convention document. (Getty)

For FAU, to this point, the danger has paid off. Kiffin’s profession pattern of straddling the road between offensive genius and brash know-it-all occurs to be precisely what FAU was searching for. (More so than, say, Nick Saban). FAU president John Kelly made no bones about his need to have Kiffin’s consideration magnet badist garner publicity for the college. FAU didn’t begin a program till 2001 and is just in its sixth season with an on-campus stadium. Chun mentioned Kiffin is so standard on campus that the coed physique president knowledgeable him this week that dressing up as Kiffin was, by far, the most well-liked Halloween costume on campus. “We’re still developing as a program and an institution,” Chun mentioned of FAU, which opened in 1964. “Lane has his own brand to himself. He’s brought FAU to a different level of prominence. People definitely know who we are. Our students love having Lane.”

There are nonetheless cringes, nonetheless. Kiffin retweeted a video of how an intentional security within the ultimate seconds prevented FAU from overlaying the unfold. He joked in a tweet he didn’t need to cowl “because of too much rat poison.” (This is, after all, a pleasant joke a few remark made by Nick Saban about constructive publicity earlier this season.) Chun may solely snort: “I knew he was joking. I didn’t think much of it until it went viral. That’s just his sense of humor.”

9) Baylor grew to become the final Power Five staff to safe a victory on Saturday, profitable 38-9 at Kansas. Just a few hours after the victory, Baylor coach Matt Rhule marveled at what his staff had gone by means of to get so far. “You can’t make up the stories this year,” Rhule in a cellphone interview on Saturday evening.

No story sums up these undermanned Bears greater than freshman kicker Jay Sedwick, who started the season sitting within the pupil part and took half within the Baylor Line, a section of the coed part that strains up on the sphere pre-game to greet the staff. After Baylor punter/kickoff specialist Drew Galitz tore his ACL in opposition to Kansas State on Sept. 30, the Bears held an open tryout for potential kickoff specialists. The Bears favored Sedwick, however not fairly sufficient. They invited him again for a second tryout with the staff at apply. That one caught, and the subsequent recreation Sedwick went from the coed part to kicking off at No. 14 Oklahoma State. Since then, Sedwick has made tackles on kickoff and executed an onside kick in opposition to West Virginia.

That’s emblematic of the kind of season Rhule has overseen, as he was introduced it to revive the Baylor program after a collection of badual badault scandals ended the tenure of former coach Art Briles. Rhule is aware of he’s in for a complete rebuild and has seen constructive early indicators. There have been standing ovations after the previous three dwelling video games, despite the fact that Baylor misplaced. He mentioned 46 of the 70 gamers who took the journey to Lawrence on Saturday have been freshmen or sophomores. He mentioned sophomore Blake Lynch performed 40 snaps at broad receiver, 15 snaps at defensive again and 10 on particular groups on Saturday. “We didn’t do it because we wanted to,” Rhule mentioned. “We did it because we didn’t have anyone else.”

And that’s why Rhule was so joyful to see his gamers have a good time a win on Saturday. “I was happy for them,” Rhule mentioned. “For them to finally win, it was the right time. These kids have come back to fight every single week. I’m proud of them.”

10) Kansas State’s additional time victory at Texas Tech improbably places the Wildcats in place to combat for a bowl bid this 12 months. Kansas State is 5-Four, however their document belies their accomplishment throughout this dreadful season. Texas Tech is the one competent opponent they’ve crushed this 12 months, and what this victory might do is allow Bill Snyder to proceed teaching. Snyder, 78, stays decided at hand off the Kansas State program to his son, specials groups coach Sean Snyder. Bill Snyder seems decided to maintain teaching till he can do that, as his son merely isn’t thought of certified for the job. And since it will be tremendously troublesome for Kansas State to fireside Snyder for dropping contemplating how a lot he’s meant to that program, he’ll possible simply proceed teaching. That’s unhealthy information for Kansas State’s program, as Snyder is disconnected in recruiting and the pressure of potential Snyder-to-Snyder hand-off is sporting on the workers.

The inconceivable comeback victory might find yourself costing Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury his job. Texas Tech falls to 1-Four within the Big 12, and the defensive deficiencies which have haunted this system confirmed up once more on Saturday. Kansas State third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson led an 80-yard drive in 5 performs to tie the sport with 42 seconds left. Tech (Four-5) has 4 losses in a row and desires two wins in its ultimate three video games in opposition to Baylor, TCU and Texas to succeed in a bowl.

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