I have come to the opinion that teams should not be allowed to schedule non-Division 1 opponents after Week 5. This was an awful week for football. The football was so bad that Baker Mayfield giving his opinion of Kansas' efforts to frustrate him had not worked.
This coming week is the last regular season week for most teams. Most teams are also playing rival games. With Thanksgiving and these games it should be a good week of football.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0)
Alabama beat a non-Division 1 school in their preparation for the Iron Bowl. Not much else to say about that.
Last week: Defeated Mercer 56-0
Up next: at #2 Auburn
2. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)
Oklahoma easily defeated Kansas this week but naturally that is not the story people are talking about. What people are talking about is the rude gesture and language that Baker Mayfield directed at Kansas players after a TD. Baker has apologized for his actions, which he should have. What I find distressing is the entire context that has been left out of the situation. This is something that commonly happens on the political side, but the efforts being undertaken by the media in trying to slime Mayfield is quite astounding.
Naturally I am not giving Mayfield a pass, however before the game even started Kansas players refused to shake Mayfield's hand. During the game the Kansas defense played unusually dirty and aggressive, throwing Mayfield down during plays or after tackling him holding him to the ground. This kind of thing happens all the time in football but the lengths that the Kansas players went to, I understand why Mayfield did what he did.
Having said this, the story will be an non-story by Monday. It was not that huge of an issue. On a weekend where so many teams are playing cupcakes the media has to talk about something.
Last week: Defeated Kansas 41-3
Up next: at home against West Virginia
3. Miami Hurricanes (10-0)
For a large part of the game against Virginia, Miami looked like a team that was going to lose. They quickly went down 14-0 before coming back to tie the game. From there it was a dogfight until Miami went on a 20-0 run to end the game.
Last week: Defeated Virginia 44-28
Up next: at Pitt (Friday 11/24)
4. Wisconsin Badgers (11-0)
Wisconsin continued on it's winning ways taking out Michigan on a very cold wet day. If Wisconsin wins out (which includes the Big Ten Championship game) they will be in the playoffs
Last week: Defeated Michigan 24-10
Up next: at Minnesota
Next Two Up
1. Clemson (10-1)
Another team with a non-Division 1 opponent. They won, moving on.
Last week: Defeated the Citadel 61-3
Up next: at South Carolina
2. Auburn (8-2)
The won, at least it was against a Division 1 opponent, moving on.
Last week: defeated Monroe 42-14
Up next: at home against #1 Playoff Alabama
I continue working on the rest of this list to make it a bit more realistic as far as bowl match-ups are concerned. Ohio State won, but also dropped in the rankings. This is a bit personal (and I have no issues admitting that). The Buckeyes were destroyed at home by Oklahoma and embarrassed at Iowa, yet somehow if they win out they have a better chance of making the playoffs of undefeated Miami and what would be one loss Wisconsin. The pollsters have some kind of infatuation with the Buckeyes I do not understand for a second.
3. Georgia(10-1)(up 4): Last week: Defeated Kentucky 42-13; up next: at Georgia Tech
4. Penn State(9-2)(up 1): Last week: Defeated Nebraska 56-44; up next: at Maryland
5. TCU(9-2)(up 1): Last week: Defeated Texas Tech 27-3; up next: at Baylor (Friday 11/24)
6. Central Florida(10-0)(down 4): Last week: Defeated Temple 45-19; up next: at home against #16 South Florida (Friday 11/24)
7. Notre Dame(9-2)(up 1): Last week: Defeated Navy 24-17; up next: at #18 Stanford
8. USC(10-2)(up 2): Last week: Defeated UCLA 28-23; up next: Off
9. Washington(9-2)(up 2): Last week: Defeated Utah 33-30 up next: at home against #13 Washington State
10. Ohio State(9-2)(down 1): Last week: Defeated Illinois 52-14; up next: at #17 Michigan
11. Oklahoma State(8-3)(down 7): Last week: Lost to Kansas State 45-40; up next: at home against Kansas
12. Memphis(9-1)(-): Last week: Defeated SMU 66-45; up next: at home against East Carolina
13. Washington State(9-2)(up 1): Last week: Off; up next: at #11 Washington
14. Northwestern(8-3)(up 3): Last week: Defeated Minnesota 39-0; up next: at Illinois
15. Boise State(9-2)(up 1): Last week: Defeated Air Force 44-19; up next: at Fresno
16. South Florida(9-1)(up 2): Last week; Defeated Tulsa 27-20; up next: at #6 Central Florida
17. Michigan(8-3)(down 4): Last week: Lost to Wisconsin 24-10; up next: at home against #10 Ohio State
18. Stanford(8-3)(unranked): Last week: Defeated Cal 17-14; up next: at home against #7 Notre Dame
19. Mississippi State(8-3)(up 1): Last week: Defeated Arkansas 28-21; up next: at home against Ole Miss (Thursday 11/23)
20. Virginia Tech(8-3)(unranked): Last week: Defeated Pitt 20-14; up next: at Virginia (Friday 11/24)
Falling Out: Arizona and West Virginia
Coming In: Stanford and Virginia Tech
Bowl and Playoff Projection
The playoff obviously stay the same this week as does all but one team in the New Year's Six as TCU replaces Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The only major change is that with Arkansas, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt all become bowl ineligible (in addition to Ole Miss which is banned from post season play this season) the SEC does not have enough teams to fill it's slots, so C-USA member Western Kentucky (who is bowl eligible) replaces the SEC slot in the Independence Bowl. Now, it is possible that if Vanderbilt wins it's last game to finish 5-7 they may still get a bowl invite, but we will wait and see on that (and in the mean time I will place bowl eligible teams in those empty slots.
Obviously I had Ole Miss in bowls until this week until I realized that they were not going bowling no matter their record. Attention to details sometimes is not my forte.
January 1st, 5 PM
#2 Oklahoma vs #3 Miami
January 1st, 8:45 PM
#1 Alabama vs #4 Wisconsin
New Year's Six
December 29th, 8:30 PM
#5 TCU vs #7 Notre Dame
December 30th, 4 PM
#8 USC vs #4 Penn State
December 30th, 8 PM
#1 Clemson vs #10 Ohio State
January 1st, 12:30 PM
#3 Georgia vs #6 Central Florida
Rest of the Bowls
New Orleans Bowl
Troy vs Florida International
Tulane vs Appalachian State
Las Vegas Bowl
Boise St vs Arizona St
New Mexico Bowl
Alabama-Birmingham vs San Diego State
Akron vs Georgia State
Boca Raton Bowl
Temple vs Florida Atlantic
Houston vs Louisiana-Monroe
South Florida vs North Texas
Southern Miss vs Ohio
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Northern Illinois vs Wyoming
Missouri vs Memphis
Armed Forces Bowl
Army vs Marshall
Dollar General Bowl
Toledo vs Arkansas State
SMU vs Fresno St
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Texas Tech vs Indiana
Quick Lane Bowl
Minnesota vs Duke
Kansas St vs Oregon
Western Kentucky vs Florida State
Michigan vs Virginia
Foster Farms Bowl
Purdue vs Washington State
West Virginia vs Texas A&M
Navy vs Boston College
Camping World Bowl
Texas vs Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State vs Stanford
Washington vs Northwestern
Kentucky vs Louisville
Arizona vs Georgia Tech
Music City Bowl
Mississippi State vs Iowa
Louisiana vs Colorado St
South Carolina vs Wake Forest
Iowa State vs Florida
Michigan State vs LSU
Auburn vs North Carolina St
Game of the Week
#1 Playoff Alabama at #2 Auburn
There are actually quite a few choices this week but I can not overlook the Iron Bowl. If Auburn loses this week they are eliminated from the playoff. If they win they may still not make the playoffs but their chances improve dramatically. Auburn actually has a lot more to play for than Alabama in this game.
This week there were no coach firings but Arkansas inexplicably fired their Athletic Director Jeff Long. The firing absolutely makes no sense (some believe this will lead directly to the firing of Brett Bielema). The timing is awful if Arkansas even wants to sniff at bringing a big name into the program. Most coaches will not go to a school where they do not know who their boss is. If the rumors are true that the primary reason Long was fired is because he stepped on the toes and angered big money donors to the school then Hogs fans better console themselves to an extended period of bad seasons to come as ADs AND coaches will not exactly want to go to a school where the donors will fire people for no actual reasons.
+ Oklahoma - Bob Stoops suddenly retired during the summer and the same day Lincoln Riley was named as the new head coach (no interim tag)
++ Ole Miss - Hugh Freeze resigned before the season started and Matt Luke was named the interim head coach for this season. It is believed that he will not be named head coach following the season
+++ South Alabama - Though Joey Jones resigned today he is going to finish the season with the team. They are not going to a bowl this season (record) so there should not be any interim coached appointed.