What a weekend of football! Alabama falls, Penn State falls, and the playoff race is now going to get very interesting.
Let’s get into the Post-Week 11 Overreactions, Tier List, Heisman Favorites and more!
ALABAMA’S DYNASTY IS OVER! – Easy sailor… Alabama is still easily one of the best teams and programs in the country, it’s just that a handful of teams have caught up. All the credit in the world to LSU and Ed Orgeron for catching up and Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia and more are all sitting right there with them.
Alabama may never win another national title under Saban, but they will consistently be in the hunt until he leaves. Alabama’s “dynasty” can be defined in many different ways, but they are still alive and well. Their defense isn’t quite what it used to be, but then again, LSU has shifted from defense to offense (they gave up 541 yards and 41 points too) and the other top teams aren’t looking like all-star defensive teams either except maybe Ohio State, who like Alabama, hasn’t really played anyone yet. The state of college football is just shifting, and for now Alabama has the offense to play with anyone, but that’s the same excuse other teams like LSU are using too.
We’ll see what Alabama’s defense looks like once their youth grows up in the next year or two.
THE SEC SHOULDN’T GET TWO TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF! – Well, get ready because it’s still very possible. Instant reaction had Alabama dropping to 5th or lower from people but the more I see from it, the more I expect Alabama to still have a very realistic path to the playoffs. Hell, there may be a chance for LSU and Georgia to split and both get in.
Here is the best chance for Alabama:
– LSU has to win out and look strong in winning the conference over Georgia. You can’t hope that Auburn beats Georgia, then LSU loses a game along the way (to a team like Texas A&M that Alabama beat) and then have Georgia win the conference with two losses (and LSU then having two losses). While that is still possible, it’s not the best way in my opinion for them to get in. It’s probably better for LSU to look unstoppable and play off the fact that Tua wasn’t 100% and yet it was still a 5 point game. Try to make it like 2011 all over again.
– Ohio State has to win out
– Clemson has to win out and look strong
I think the best path is for those three to easily get in. Kind of the equivalent to letting a team score a touchdown so you have more time on the clock. Let the three seeds get in and shoot for the fourth seed. As for what happens after that:
– Georgia is the wildcard, but luckily LSU winning out would knock Georgia out. Auburn beating Georgia would help too to definitely kick them out but also give a win over Auburn a higher respect.
– Oregon/Utah are sitting at one loss a piece and are most likely heading to the Pac-12 title game against each other. Oregon has a better chance to make it because their loss is to a decent Auburn team (especially if Auburn beats Georgia). Utah lost to a mediocre USC team so I don’t know if they will have a chance to make it. I don’t see Alabama dropping behind Utah if they both win out. With Oregon, the committee will see that Alabama went on the road and beat Auburn while Oregon lost in a neutral site game to them. So while the conference championship means an extra win and a conference title (which they seem to value), it’s tough to put them ahead in my opinion, but the committee may value their overall seasons with a conference title.
– Oklahoma/Baylor is the tough one. The Big 12 champion has a chance to be an undefeated Baylor, which would knock Alabama out. But if Oklahoma wins, do they give Jalen the nod with a loss to a (at best) 3-loss Kansas State team? Or Alabama who lost to the best team in the country, but would have to play them again away from home after losing to them AT home. I think there is a chance Oklahoma would get in, but this is the closest argument for a 1-loss team over Alabama in my opinion. The Sooners still have games against Baylor and Oklahoma State who are both ranked right now while Baylor has Oklahoma and a Texas team that could end up ranked.
– Minnesota/Penn State will have a hard time getting in over Ohio State and I highly doubt two Big Ten teams make it. Minnesota just started their tough stretch with Penn State but they got the win. They have Iowa and Wisconsin left and a potential date with Ohio State. Should Penn State win out they will have a chance, but that would be bad for Alabama because they get thrown in with Penn State and Ohio State. If Penn State wins out, that means they beat Ohio State and most likely head to the Big 10 title game where a rematch with Minnesota could be for that final spot (especially if Minnesota is still undefeated). Alabama needs to hope Ohio State runs over this conference so Penn State has multiple losses and Minnesota has a loss as well.
Jon’s Playoff Rankings
1. LSU (9-0) – Has wins over Texas, Alabama, Florida, Auburn. All quality wins, and still have a decent Texas A&M squad left (but Alabama/Clemson also beat them).
2. Ohio State (9-0) – Has a win over Wisconsin, but that’s about it right now. Still have Penn State/Michigan left plus a potential Big Ten title game against either Minnesota or Wisconsin.
3. Clemson (10-0) – Has a win over Texas A&M, not that quality of a win when potentially three other contenders could have wins over them too (LSU, Alabama, Georgia). They play Wake Forest who is ranked now, but a win could knock them out of being ranked. They could end with zero ranked wins, including in the ACC title game.
4. Georgia (8-1) – Has wins over Notre Dame, Florida. Have a chance to beat ranked Auburn on the road, and potentially win the SEC championship over #1 LSU.
5. Alabama (8-1) – Has a win over Texas A&M, but once again, not that quality of a win. Their loss is to #1 LSU by 5 points at home. Still have a chance to beat ranked Auburn on the road.
6. Minnesota (9-0) – Has a win over Penn State. Not a great resume otherwise, but they still have Iowa (on the road) and Wisconsin (at home) left on their schedule. They only need to win one of those and beat Northwestern to make it to the Big Ten title game to have a shot at Ohio State (or potentially Penn State).
7. Oregon (8-1) – Has no ranked wins. Their loss is to highly ranked Auburn. Nothing much going for them other than they could be a one-loss conference champion with a somewhat quality loss (although if Auburn loses to Georgia/Alabama, that won’t be quite as quality). Their only other ranked game will most likely be against Utah in the Pac-12 title game (and they still have a chance to slip up).
8. Baylor (9-0) – Has no ranked wins. They get Oklahoma this week for their first ranked win and Texas could be ranked when they meet next week. Plus a potential shot at Oklahoma or Texas again in the Big 12 title game.
9. Penn State (8-1) – Has wins over Iowa, Michigan. Their loss is to undefeated Minnesota. Still have Ohio State in two weeks to stay alive for a Big Ten title and potentially a playoff spot.
10. Utah (8-1) – Has no ranked wins. Their loss is to 6-4 USC and that loss could be costly if they are upset anywhere in their next three games because it could knock them out of the Pac-12 title game. As it stands, they are the weakest of the 1-loss teams in my opinion.
11. Oklahoma (8-1) – Has a win over Texas. Their loss is to unranked Kansas State. They have one of the worst losses and have struggled lately, only winning by 1 over Iowa State. However, they have undefeated Baylor and a ranked Oklahoma State left on their schedule plus a Big 12 title game shot against either Baylor or Texas.
1. QB Joe Burrow (LSU)
2. QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
3. QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
4. RB Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State)
5. QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
Honorable Mentions: Jonathan Taylor, Chase Young, Justin Herbert, Anthony Gordon