And just like that, the Playoff race got a whole lot more fun. Oregon never had a chance against Utah and their blowout loss to the Utes opens up the 2021 Pandora’s box. Cincinnati, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, heck even Oklahoma now have a much more plausible path to the dance.
Leaving our Top 10 is Oregon, Michigan State, and Wake Forest (who got trounced by a Clemson team that finally remembered who they are). One regular season week left, here’s how the rest stack up.
1. Georgia (10–0)
Last week: Beat Charleston Southern 56-7
Next week: Georgia Tech
You could play this game 100 times and 100 times and Georgia wins it 100 times. You know how this goes. The headline from this is all Jordan Davis. The big man scored a touchdown! Finally!
Then finished his last ride in style conducting a sweet symphony.
2. Ohio State (10-1)
Last Week: Beat Michigan State 56-7
Next week: Michigan
It’s hard to go 32-for-35 for 432 yards with six touchdowns in a practice drill against air, but CJ Stroud and the Buckeyes did that against the Spartans. It was an unholy beatdown in The Horseshoe where the Buckeyes turned in one of the most impressive performances any team has this season, and in a conference game no less (they were 19-point favorites for a reason).
3. Alabama (9-1)
Last week: Beat Arkansas 42-35
Next week: Auburn
The sound you’re hearing is Bryce Young completing another place. A staggering 561 yards passing for the Alabama quarterback shatters a school record and goes a long way to cementing the Bama QB’s Heisman campaign. Arkansas’s offense, to be fair, did not go quietly into the night themselves with an onside kick attempt that gave them a chance for a game-tying drive, but it bounced out of bounds and the Tide held on in the end.
4. Cincinnati (11-0)
Last week: Beat SMU 48-14
Next week: ECU
How’s that for style points? The Bearcats may not have won in the sexiest of ways over the last few weeks but this game was a statement for a Cincinnati team whose Playoff chances now look a whole lot better whether they blew out this SMU team or not.
5. Michigan (10-1)
Last week: Beat Maryland 59-18
Next week: Ohio State
The Wolverines bit Maryland hard after a close win over Penn State next week. The Game looms next week, but until then we have an absolute shellacking of a Maryland team that looked alright early in the season. Michigan was up 31-3 before Maryland scored its first touchdown. A pick six and a kickoff return turned a regular dominating win into an absolute beatdown.
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6. Notre Dame (10-1)
Last week: Beat Georgia Tech 55-0
Next week: Stanford
It’s beyond time to start a dialogue about these Fighting Irish. Maybe they aren’t as good as last year’s team, but they sure are putting together some impressive results in the last weeks. Week by week the Irish fly under the Playoff radar, and as chaos happens above them in the rankings they continue to rise. Here they are in our rankings at No. 6, and you can expect them to be right around there in the Playoff committee’s rankings on Tuesday.
7. Oklahoma State (10-1)
Last week: Beat Texas Tech 23-0
Next week: Oklahoma
It ain’t flashy, but dammit if it ain’t effective the way Oklahoma State just keeps on chuggin. Counter to many of their best teams, the Cowboys are not here to score a lot of points. But the other part of the equation: you’re not going to score either.
8. Baylor (9-2)
Last week: Beat Kansas State 20-10
Next week: Texas Tech
No big game hangover for the Bears. Kansas State is a tough out, but Baylor took care of them the week after beating Oklahoma. The loss of Gerry Bohanon is a crushing blow for the Bears, but the defense gave them enough to get through this one.
9. Oklahoma (10-1)
Last week: Beat Iowa State 28-21
Next week: Oklahoma State
OU bounced back from that tough Baylor loss to put themselves back in the drivers’ seat to make the conference championship game with a win in Bedlam next weekend. But their offense was flat-out horrible with only two explosive passes in an 8-for-18 performance by Caleb Williams. Besides a 74-yard run by Williams and a fumble return for a touchdown for OU it was a pretty barren offensive performance for the Sooners.
10. Ole Miss (8-2)
Last week: Beat Vanderbilt 31-17
Next week: Mississippi State
You’d probably want to beat a terrible Vanderbilt team by a better margin, but maybe it’s a lookahead spot for the Egg Bowl coming up next weekend. While the run game didn’t show up for the Rebels, Matt Corral sure did with 326 yards through the air.
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