The playoff picture got a little clearer, with Ole Miss getting eliminated by Auburn, as I thought they would. Starting next week, I'll be giving my own prediction on who the final four will be. While I like the idea of revealing a top four every week, it's obvious that the selection committee isn't really taking into consideration the upcoming games, or they wouldn't have included Mississippi State, Auburn and Ole Miss in the top four. My top twenty picks were pretty good, but Penn State, Oregon State and my own Hokies let me down.
Last Week: 14 - 7
Overall: 161 - 67
Thursday night (from an earlier blog):
(2) Florida State (7 - 0) 27 @
(25) Louisville (6 - 2) 24: Correct. for some reason, an ESPN poll has Florida State with a 34% chance of winning out. Really? Virginia, Miami, Boston College and Florida don't exactly sound like murderers row. I like for the 'Noles to run the table and defeat Duke in the ACC championship game. Florida State 42 - 31.
Arkansas (4 - 4) 24 @ (1) Mississippi State (7 - 0) 31:
Correct. Eventually a young Arkansas team will figure out a way to close the deal. When they do, watch out. As far as Mississippi State goes, I don't think they'll get through unscathed. Mississippi State 17 - 13.
(3) Auburn (6 1) 20 @
(4) Ole Miss (7 - 1) 17: Correct. Auburn's lone loss to Mississippi State continues to look good as long as the Bulldogs keep winning. The Tigers don't control their own destiny, but could be in the playoff mix if they win out. Auburn 35 - 31.
Stanford (5 - 3) 23 @ (5) Oregon (7 - 1) 28:
Correct. The Oregon seniors took out a lot of frustration on the Cardinal as they got their first win over Stanford. A big trip to Utah awaits the Ducks, but they are a good bet to meet and beat the Pac-12 South champ to advance to the playoff. Oregon 45 - 16.
(7) TCU (6 - 1) 37 @ (20) West Virginia (6 - 2) 40:
No. West Virginia is clearly the best three loss team. Losses to Alabama (5), Oklahoma (15) and now TCU (6) are nothing to be ashamed of. They can still play a big roll in the playoff picture as they host Kansas State in a big Thursday night game on November 20. TCU 31 - 30.
Oklahoma State (5 - 3) 16 @ (9) Kansas State (6 - 1) 28:
Correct. Speaking of the Wildcats, they got ready for a big showdown at TCU by drubbing the Cowboys. No trap game in this one. Kansas State 48 - 14.
(10) Notre Dame (6 - 1) 30
vs. Navy (4 - 4) 21 in Landover, Md.: Correct. Navy hung close, but as expected got worn down in the fourth quarter. The Irish shouldn't be considered for the playoff unless their defense can start stopping people. If Navy can score 39, what's Arizona State going to put on the board? Notre Dame 49 - 39.
Florida (3 -3) 20 vs. (11) Georgia (6 -1) 34
in Jacksonville, FL: No. I didn't see this one coming at all. Georgia had been on a big roll since the Todd Gurley suspension and the Gators have been struggling for most of the season. The loss definitely knocks the Bulldogs from playoff consideration and the win gives Florida hope for the rest of the season. Florida 38 - 20.
(12) Arizona (6 - 1) 37 @
(22) UCLA (6 - 2) 34: No. UCLA played a defensive gem, holding Rich Rod's high powered offense in check. The Bruins don't have a shot at the playoffs, but can still make it to the conference championship game. UCLA 17 - 7.
Kansas (2 - 5) 13 @ (13) Baylor (6 - 1) 41: Correct. I predicted that this one could get ugly, and it did. Enough said. Baylor 60 - 14.
(17) Utah (6 - 1) 20 @ (14) Arizona State (6 - 1) 37: Correct. This was a terrific, if low scoring game. I just can't count the Sun Devils out yet as they control their own destiny in winning the Pac-12 South and a possible date with Oregon to reach the playoffs. Arizona State 19 - 16.
Purdue (3 - 5) 17 @ (15) Nebraska (7 - 1) 35:
Correct. Nebraska might be the best team no one is talking about. I didn't give them much chance early in the season, but they've dominated most of their opponents and are just a touchdown short at Michigan State form being undefeated. They get an off week before meeting Wisconsin in their next game. Don't count these guys out. Nebraska 35 - 14.
Illinois (4 - 4) 24 @ (16) Ohio State (6 - 1) 34: Correct. The Buckeyes face Michigan State this week in what is a playoff elimination game. The winner positions itself to play for the Big Ten title against any number of challengers, but most likely Nebraska or Wisconsin. Ohio State 55 - 14.
(18) Oklahoma (5 - 2) 34
@ Iowa State (2 - 5) 23: Correct. Bob Stoops has his Sooners focused on playing well, despite being out of the playoff hunt. They can still be a major spoiler against Gaylr this week. Oklahoma 59 - 14.
(23) East Carolina (6 - 1) 30 @
Temple 21: No. The Pirates really stubbed their toe in an effort tot play their way into a major bowl game. They held the Owls to less than 200 yards, but turnovers doomed them to a loss. Temple 20 - 10.
(24) Duke (6 - 1) 28 @ Pittsburgh (4
- 4) 17: Correct. Duke's only loss was at Miami, yet the committee has them stuck behind eight two-loss teams and just ahead of a three-loss team. This team could very well run the table to face Florida State in the ACC championship game. Duke 51 - 48 2OT.
Boston College (5 - 3) 20 @ Virginia Tech (4 - 4) 24:
No. four of the Hokies' five losses have come near the end of the game. If they can't find a way to win a couple down the stretch, Virginia Tech's 21 consecutive bowl streak will be coming to screeching halt. Meanwhile, BC is playing well enough to pull a surprise or two the rest of the way. Boston College 33 - 31.
Virginia (4 - 4) 20 @ Georgia Tech (6 - 2) 27:
Correct. Virginia, after a strong start, appears to be fading. The Yellow Jackets need to win out in the conference, not so easy a task as they have Clemson left on the schedule, and hope for a Duke loss and for Miami to keep winning. Stranger things have happened in the ACC Coastal. Georgia Tech 35 - 10.
Texas (3 - 5) 37 @
Texas Tech (3 - 5) 34: Correct. The Longhorns showed a glimpse of things to come in Austin. They're still in contention for a bowl game if they can win a couple. Not an easy task as they host West Virginia and TCU around a road trip to Oklahoma State. Texas 34 - 13.
(4 - 4) 34 @ Oregon St. (4 - 3) 40: No. Cal has lost their last three while
the Beavers have dropped three of their last four. Not exactly a lot of
momentum being brought into this game. When in doubt, I take the home
team.California 45 - 31.
Maryland (5 - 3) 19 @ Penn St. (4 - 3) 24:
No. Maryland is bowl eligible after an upset in not so Happy Valley. Maryland 20 - 19.