It’s the one time a year when you’ll tailgate and share beers with the opposing fan base. Why? Because these people have been your friends for ten years and you genuinely enjoy their company. But let’s be honest, these people that you call “friends,” you want to crush them. Their potential anguish directly coincides with your happiness. This is Rivalry Week! There isn’t another game all season that you want to win as bad as this one.
It was a big week for everyone across the country, so let’s break down all the action that went on…
No. 6 Ohio State may have beaten hated rival Michigan 42-28, but it lost so much more. Buckeye’s quarterback J.T. Barrett broke his ankle. Barrett had been one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, and his 45 total touchdowns are second only to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. This is devastating for Ohio State. The Buckeyes were vying for the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff and without Barrett they’re likely to be left out by the committee.
Wisconsin will play Ohio State in the Big 10 championship after beating Minnesota 34-24. Heisman hopeful Melvin Gordon ran for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns in the victory.
The Georgia-Georgia Tech game may have been the most exciting game of Rivalry Saturday. The Bulldogs appeared to have the game locked up after scoring the go-ahead touchdown on fourth and goal with 18 seconds left. But the Yellow Jackets wound up with great field position after the Bulldogs’ squib kick on the kickoff. Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butler booted a 53 yard bomb as time expired to make the game 24-24. Georgia Tech struck first in overtime, but after Georgia blocked the extra point they were still in danger. The Yellow Jackets intercepted the Georgia quarterback Huston Mason to seal the 30-24 win.
No. 3 Florida State just will not go away. Jameis Winston threw a career high four interceptions, (three of which came in the first quarter), but that still wasn’t enough to stop the Seminoles. For as bad as the Florida State was offensively, they were as good defensively. The Seminoles only allowed the Gators to muster 282 yards of total offense and picked off Florida quarterback Treon Harris twice. The Seminoles escaped with a 24-19 victory. Florida State extended its winning streak to 28 games, and also just completed the least impressive undefeated season in college football history.
No. 7 Baylor won the game, but it may have also ended its chances of getting into the College Football Playoff. Baylor nearly blew a 25-point lead (42-17 in the third quarter) against a 4-8 Texas Tech team. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with his team up 35-17, and it was a new ball game without his presence. The Red Raiders roared back. Texas Tech freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 598 yard and six touchdowns. Mahomes threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Bradley Marquez with under two minutes left to make it 46-48. The Red Raiders couldn’t convert the two-point conversion, and Baylor left Cowboy Stadium with the win.
No. 5 TCU handled business and throttled Texas 48-10. The Horned Frogs now appear to be the team that will lock up the number four spot in the playoff. With Mississippi State’s loss, the Buckeyes’ losing J.T. Barrett, and Baylor’s poor showing, it would appear that TCU will be in.
Do you remember when everyone was up in arms about the SEC having three teams in the top four of the College Football Playoff Rankings? Four weeks ago Miss State was No.1, Auburn was No. 3, and Ole Miss was No. 4. Alabama was on the outside looking in at No. 6 … Oh how things have changed.
Alabama is now No. 1, and they’ll be the only SEC partaking in the playoffs.
No. 4 Mississippi fell to No. 19 Ole Miss 31-17 in the Egg Bowl. I’d go into more depth on this, but there’s really only one thing that matters … Miss State will not be in the playoff.
We were on upset alert in the Iron Bowl. No. 15 Auburn was up 33-21 on No.1 Alabama early in the third quarter. But then Alabama turned it on, outscoring Auburn 34-3 at one point. Wide receiver Amari Cooper was beastly, catching 13 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. The Crimson Tide took back bragging rights with its 55-44 victory.
Alabama will take on Missouri in the SEC Championship.
PAC 12: (Just really quick for you)
USC torched Notre Dame 49-14. Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler threw for 372 yards and six touchdowns.
No.8 UCLA will not be partaking in the PAC 12 Championship after getting drubbed 31-10 by Stanford. Instead, the No.11 Arizona Wildcats will have a rematch with the Ducks at Levi’s Stadium after they beat instate rival No.13 Arizona State 42-25.
For the moment, the playoff picture is finally in full focus. With Mississppi State’s loss, TCU becomes the default selection for the fourth spot. Had Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett not broke his ankle, the committee would have been in a very tough spot on who to select (especially if Ohio State beats Wisconsin in the Big 10 title game). But without Barrett (who has been one of the most dynamic players in the country) it’s hard to make the Buckeye’s a viable option… While Florida State has the best record in the country, they are far from the best team.
There’s a very realistic chance that Georgia Tech will beat Florida State in the ACC Championship, which would really shake up the playoff picture. There are many question marks surrounding many of the top teams, but not No. 1 and No. 2. Alabama and Oregon are at the head of the class in the hierarchy of college football, and the two appear to be on a collision course to play in the National Championship — as long as they both make it through their conference championship games, which in this particular year is hardly a given. By any means, it’s the matchup we’ve all been begging to see for years.