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1. Georgia outlasts Auburn, clinches SEC Championship game.
After being slotted in the fourth and final playoff spot this past Tuesday, the Dawgs answered their call with a big win on the road at #12 Auburn. QB Jake Fromm threw for 3 TDs and the defense held off a pesky Auburn team that wouldn’t quit. Georgia gave up their first rushing touchdown of the year in the loss, but managed to quell any fears that they would give up a huge conference game on the road to jumping back into the playoff race. Not only did they win the game, they clinched a spot in the SEC championship and move one step closer to making a run with a potential matchup against LSU. Georgia’s win means the top 4 is likely going to stay the same for another week, depending on what happens at the top.
2. Oklahoma erases 25 point deficit, ends Baylor’s perfect season.
What a game that was! Going into the matchup, I had no idea what to expect from either team as they had both dropped back in the polls despite both winning close games. I figured it would be close, but Baylor came out looking like a legitimate top 10 team, going into halftime up 31-10 over the Sooners. The Bears shut down QB Jalen Hurts, forcing key two turnovers that put them in scoring position. However, Hurts has played in big games before and he showed why he still has a chance to make Heisman history, finishing the game with 297 yards and 4 touchdowns. The defense finally showed up too, holding Baylor scoreless in the second half and getting another late interception to seal the game. It was a hell of a comeback win for Oklahoma and an otherwise fitting end to Baylor’s unlikely perfect run. What this will mean for a Big 12 playoff is yet to be seen, but for now Oklahoma remains the top spot in the conference.
3. Alabama loses QB Tua Tagovailoa for the season after hip injury. Alabama took care of business against Mississippi State 38-7, behind Najee Harris four touchdown game but the big story is injury to QB Tua Tagovailoa. Up 35-7 in the 2nd, the Heisman hopeful was taken down after a scramble and was carted off the field after a bad hip injury. The Tide needed this win, but it’s overshadowed with what happened to Tua. Back up Mac Jones can handle the offense but it will look a lot different going forward. He’ll have plenty of help with Harris running the ball well and star wideouts like Jerry Jeudy, but this is a huge blow for a team looking to make a case for the playoffs as a potential one loss team.
4. Minnesota’s perfect season ends in Iowa. Minnesota’s dream season came to an end Saturday with a crushing 23-19 loss at Iowa. The Gophers were having one their best seasons in school history, but failed to beat the Hawkeyes once again (they haven’t won in Iowa since 1999). They’re playoff hopes are slashed with the loss, but they still retain the top spot in the Big Ten West and could solidify it with a win over Wisconsin. Still, the Gophers lost in a tough environment on the road and simply couldn’t get anything going on offense against Iowa’s fifth ranked defense.
5. LSU, Ohio State cruise to easy victories. The two top ranked teams in the country cruised to wins this week, both dropping at least 55 in the process. LSU’s offense exploded in the first half against Ole Miss and Joe Burrow threw for 489 yards and 5 TDs to further his Heisman run and keep the Tigers unbeaten on the year. They put up an insane 715 yards of total offense but managed to give up 616 in the process. That should definitely be a little bit of concern, but with the way this offense is clicking it might not be that much of a problem.
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, had no issue taking care of Rutgers even without star edge rusher Chase Young. QB Justin Fields also added to his Heisman resume with his first 300 yard game of the year and four touchdowns on the day. They also gave up 21 to a pretty bad Scarlett Knights team, but they will likely have Young back very soon to make up for that. However these teams fare in the rankings won’t matter; I think they’ll will end up playing for the National Championship when it’s all said and done.
6. Clemson obliterates Wake Forest in crucial ACC matchup Clemson beat the crap out of Wake Forest 52-3 and it wasn’t even close. Say what you will about the Tigers not playing a ranked team but the Demon Deacons were 7-2 prior to this and played pretty well on offense. Clemson is just really, really good and they are getting hot at the right time. Trevor Lawrence is looking like a star with his 4 TDs on the day and Travis Etienne recorded another 100 yard game, he’s seventh straight. They have scored at least 50 points in their last four games and have won those last four by at least 45, the first team to do that since 1972. You don’t want to play this Clemson team, not right now. They should be safe as the #3 team.
7. Utah, Oregon continue to dominate the PAC-12. The top two teams in the PAC-12 kept making their cases for a playoff berth with dominant performances in wins against conference foes. Utah needed a big win against UCLA to give themselves some breathing room in the PAC 12 South and as usual, the Utes turned in a balanced offensive performance. RB Zack Moss () was the key to the game and the defense was solid once again, holding the Bruins to 50 rushing yards on the day.
Likewise, the Ducks easily took care of Arizona at home behind Justin Herbert’s 333 yards and 4 touchdowns. His fourth touchdown of the day gave him 90 for his career, as Oregon etched another conference win to their playoff resume. At this point, they should feel pretty good about their playoff chances if they were to win out and take the PAC-12 with one loss. The Ducks and the Utes will ultimately decide if a PAC-12 playoff remains will make the cut in the championship game, and either one has a pretty good case.
8. Notre Dame sinks Navy Notre Dame flat out destroyed Navy! I was wrong as hell about that pick, I’ll admit. They looked really impressive and have bounced back in a big way since their sluggish October. Ian Book was phenomenal, going for 284 yard and 5 TDs, four of them going to WR Chase Claypool (7 rec, 117 yards). The defense shut down the Navy run game early and took a commanding lead before halftime and there was no way the midshipmen could claw back in, as they’re not really known for their passing game. Huge win for the Irish, their first against a ranked opponent.
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Dec 8, 2019; Grapevine, TX, USA; College football playoff selection committee chairman Rob Mullens speaks to the media during selection Sunday at the Gaylord Texan hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports