You did not actually badume that Nick Saban was going to only fall according to the others, did you?
You did not badume that being confronted with a 24-17 fourth-quarter deficit, mounting accidents and clanging cowbells in a hostile environment would shake the very basis of Saban and his unnaturally regular Crimson Tide? Absolutely not.
On a day that teetered on the historic with the No. 1 and No. three groups getting throttled on the highway, No. 2 Alabama was pushed to the restrict, solely to return out bruised however unbeaten with an exhilarating 31-24 win over No. 16 Mississippi State.
Such is life for Saban and the Crimson Tide. Amid the chaos that was No. 10 Auburn embarrbading No. 1 Georgia 40-17 on the Plains, and No. 7 Miami wobbling its gnarly, golden Turnover Chain to-and-fro in a 41-Eight thrashing of No. three Notre Dame, Alabama escaped Starkville with out a blemish on its report and can seemingly sit atop the following College Football Playoff rankings when they’re introduced on Tuesday.
Alabama survived, but it surely flirted with utter catastrophe till Jalen Hurts’ completely thrown, 26-yard landing to DeVonta Smith with 25 seconds left silenced each final cowbell inside Davis Wade Stadium. If the Tide had fallen, Saturday would have marked the primary time No. 1, 2 and three within the AP ballot all misplaced on the identical day within the common season.
Instead, Saban and his Tide do what they do in all probability 99 % of the time each time we predict there is a sliver of hope for the opposite group: They stepped on the Bulldogs’ throats.
Wins like these proceed to separate Saban and his groups from the remainder of the pack. We have been able to crown Georgia’s Kirby Smart as Saban-lite after speeding out to a dominant 9-Zero report in his second season. However, his Dawgs have been completely out-played in each aspect in opposition to an Auburn group operating on fumes within the SEC West.
Georgia’s 23-point loss was larger than the earlier 4 losses by the top-ranked group within the CFP rankings mixed (21 factors). The Dawgs constructed their unbeaten report by punching groups within the mouth with their operating sport and smothering protection, however the Tigers have been sensational at stymieing each of these elite models with 237 speeding yards on offense and 5 tackles for loss, together with 4 sacks, on protection.
Hours later, it was Miami overpowering the Irish with 4 takeaways and one more gritty efficiency from new nationwide darling quarterback Malik Rosier, who’s 9-Zero this season, and has not solely led Miami to its first look to the ACC championship sport, however has it firmly within the combine for the playoff.
There have been different beneficiaries of Saturday’s shake-up. No. 5 Oklahoma jumped proper again into the playoff image with its 38-20 win over No. 6 TCU. The Sooners, who’ve the Hesiman Trophy favourite in quarterback Baker Mayfield, are actually firmly within the Big 12 driver’s seat with video games in opposition to unranked Kansas and West Virginia remaining.
No. 1 Georgia and No. three Notre Dame misplaced in routs, whereas Oklahoma and Miami put up signature wins in opposition to top-10 foes. It means an enormous shake-up in our playoff picks.
The Big Ten, which is hanging on by a tattered thread within the playoff race, bellowed a serious sigh of reduction when No. Eight Wisconsin overcame two pick-sixes to thrash all-of-a-sudden thrilling No. 20 Iowa, 38-14. Wisconsin is 10-Zero for the primary time at school historical past and has clinched a spot within the Big Ten championship sport.
Every week in the past, it appeared that issues had considerably fallen into place for the choice committee. Georgia and Alabama have been anticipated to cruise into their cataclysmic collision within the SEC championship sport with two playoff spots on the road. Notre Dame was going to finish the Canes’ fairy-tale run and the Big Ten was a lifeless convention strolling.
But hope has sprung everlasting for the Big Ten, perhaps even for Ohio State, which may nonetheless play for the Big Ten title. Believe it or not, Auburn, which has two losses, remains to be in playoff rivalry. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Tigers entered the week with a 9 % probability to achieve the CFP. Now, if the Tigers win out — which would come with wins in opposition to Alabama and a second win in opposition to Georgia within the SEC championship — they’re projected to have a 91 % probability to make the playoff.
Saturday offered the type of overarching drama that will make your common telenovela appear like C-SPAN. It additionally gave us a glimpse of what an expanded playoff appears to be like like. While the seedings have been a little bit off, all you faculty soccer fanatics clamoring for extra playoff groups principally acquired a glimpse of what an early spherical would possibly appear like. Notre Dame is probably going eradicated, as is TCU, and Washington, whose slender hopes have been dashed after dropping to Stanford on Friday. The Canes are trending up and Georgia’s treading water with trembling legs.
As we shut in on the tip of the common season, the playoff doorway we thought was solely cracked open every week in the past has been kicked open, because of historic flops from two of the season’s high groups.