Something was in the air yesterday in college football. We have seen undefeated teams fall. We’ve seen undefeated teams struggle in games that should have been easy wins. We’ve seen undefeated teams lose their game and still have their chances of making the playoffs. It was a day for underdogs, undercats and underleprechauns.
These are the plays and the moments that sent ripples, waves and gasps through the NCAA in Week 10.
ohio state to the northwest
For the Buckeyes, there was literally something in the air – winds so high they grounded flights out of O’Hare. However, I doubt the playoff selection committee would consider that a valid excuse for losing to a 1-win team, so luckily the Buckeyes pulled themselves together despite Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern team put up a great fight.
Northwestern managed to confuse the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball, with CJ Stroud throwing for just 76 yards. Yes, you read that number correctly. The man who was Heisman’s favorite for so much of the season managed to throw for just 76 yards against a team whose only win came in the first week of the season. And don’t get me started on the defense, which looked like the JV version of the 2021 defense. Northwestern looked hungry.
We can definitely blame the wind for some of that. It became clear at some point that this had an impact on players’ ability to hear play calls or communicate, not to mention its actual impact on the ball itself. But the Buckeyes looked shaken up in a way they really haven’t, even in Week 9, which wasn’t an easy win for them. For them to remain undefeated feels like a bit of a miracle considering how some of the other games have gone, but they’ll definitely have to iron out those issues before they face Michigan in a few weeks or their playoff chances could be down. kaput.
Tennessee to Georgia
If you had told Tennessee fans that a New Year’s Six bowl was on the table at the start of this season, they would have told you to quit the drugs. If you told them they could lose to Georgia and still have a chance in the playoffs? They might have had you committed.
And yet, that’s where the Vols ended up yesterday. Georgia looked like the dominant force that terrified people at the end of last season and the start of this one. Despite some struggles early in the season, the undefeated Bulldogs seemed to be finding their groove when it mattered, as they woofed in the faces of these Vols.
But the chaotic part of this match was not the end result (a 27-13 victory in Georgia). It was the fact that even though this loss most likely knocked Tennessee out of the SEC title game (Georgia would absolutely fall apart in the next 3 weeks), their playoff dream is still alive, thanks to LSU and Our Lady. A loss to TCU would also help, but their impressive schedule and performance to date might be just enough to propel them to that No. 4 spot at the end of the season.
Alabama at LSU
We love free football! We love free football that results in defeating Nick Saban! We love free football that rocks the SEC championship game everyone expected to see. We love the free football that seems to put the final nail in Alabama’s playoff coffin.
Alabama and LSU went neck and neck the entire game, and honestly, that’s the kind of football game you want to watch. The great thing about the Tide is that winning or losing, they force their opponents to play 60 (or in this case more) minutes of football. In the end, it was a delightful 2-point overtime conversion that sealed the deal for the Tigers, giving Brian Kelly annoying bragging rights and control of their own destiny in SEC West.
Clemson at Notre Dame
If you saw me talk about Notre Dame at any time this season, no you didn’t (OK fine, yes you did and I still hate their fans). But for just one day, I was glad they had the luck of the Irish on their side in their win over previously unbeaten Clemson. It’s a beautiful thing to see an overrated team fall apart, especially when that team has made the playoffs so many times over the past few years that we’re bored with them.
It wasn’t just a small upheaval. Our Lady CRUSHED them. It felt like an amateur hour. They completely demolished Clemson’s O line. They forced significant turnovers. He exposed all the holes Clemson’s opponents had complained about. Since the start of the modern playoff era, there has never been a season in which neither Clemson nor Alabama have made the playoffs. In many cases, both teams were successful. And yet, this year is for fresh starts and new playoff teams (let’s just hope the Buckeyes are the exception there).
michigan to Rutgers
The Buckeyes’ last real challenge of the season (barring a tie against Indiana or Maryland) will be when the Wolverines come to the ‘Shoe in three weeks, and yesterday the Buckeyes revealed a few holes in their game.
Fortunately, they weren’t the only ones to do so. The Michigan-Rutgers final score of 52-17 was an impressive win for TTUN, but that doesn’t indicate Rutgers was leading 17-14 at halftime. Now they haven’t scored, but for two quarters of football Michigan haven’t been the impressive force they have been so far, leaving windows open for the Buckeyes to observe their pre-game weaknesses. .