College Football 2016: Week 10 Review
As is often the case, so many controversial questions about the rankings in midseason ultimately work themselves out.
Mississippi State 35 – #4 Texas A&M 28: We’ll never know if Texas A&M could have maintained the Top Four ranking, and Playoff bid that goes with it, simply by winning out but finishing second in the SEC West to Alabama. It’s irrelevant now. The Aggies did have to play much of the game without injured QB Trevor Knight, but they were already behind and Knight was struggling up to that point anyway. This is just one of those games you have to find a way to win if you are a Playoff team, and the Aggies didn’t.
#1 Alabama 10 – #13 LSU 0: This was like some of the Alabama/LSU games of a few years ago, two stifling defenses lord over a game that eventually comes down to one big play, or one big mistake. In this case it was a 21 yard TD run by Jalen Hurts early in the 4th Qtr that was the game’s first score, and only TD, of the night. A late FG sealed it for the #1 Tide. LSU had Leonard Fournette back, but like last season he was a non-factor, just 35 yards on 17 carries.
For the other teams that figure in the Playoff picture, it was Cakewalk Week. #2 Clemson shut out Syracuse 54-0, #3 Michigan clobbered Maryland 59-3, and #5 Washington cruised to a 66-27 win over Cal. Even fringe Playoff teams #6 Ohio State (62-3 over #10 Nebraska) and #7 Louisville (52-7 over Boston College) had it easy. It was that kind of week. #9 Auburn was the only other Top 10 team tested, holding on for a 23-16 win over Vanderbilt.
Week 10 Rankings
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Penn State
I feel more confident about these predictions that the ones I came up with last week.
Among the Top 10, I’d say only Louisville and Texas A&M have little to no shot at getting in the Playoff. Louisville needs Clemson to lose each of its next two games, against Pitt and at Wake Forest, to have a chance to play for the ACC Championship. Not happening. A&M’s chances of winning the SEC West are even more remote, maybe even impossible depending on how the conference would decide a 3-way tie between them, Alabama and Auburn. A 3-way tie is exactly what we could see in the Big Ten East between Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, if the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines. Not too hard to imagine that happening, and could be very interesting how that tie is broken. Penn State’s OOC loss at Pitt could be problematic for them if they end up being the Big Ten champ though. That extra loss could make it tough for them to climb ahead of someone like Louisville, even with a conference title to their credit.
Week 11 Preview
A very light week for big games. If you think Mississippi State has another big upset in them, you can watch them take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa on ESPN at noon ET. Baylor plays at Oklahoma for what might be the title of Power 5 Champ Who Won’t Make The Playoff (Noon ET, ABC). That Pittsburgh-Clemson game is on ABC at 3:30 ET. Washington hosts USC who have played very well since a slow start (7:30 ET FOX). That’s all, folks.