Alabama survives, Miami silences doubters and more


THIS ONE IS FOR YOU — Although popular opinion has doubted the Miami Hurricanes until recently, their on-field swagger has everybody excited to see what they can do. (Miami Herald)

Another week of college football is in the books, and it was a crazy one. With multiple top 25 teams facing each other, you knew that this was going to be an entertaining weekend. This week makes the college football landscape much more interesting. In this article, I will analyze some of the biggest moments and try to make sense of the chaotic landscape of November college football.

Alabama looks mortal:
This week, Alabama played a good Mississippi State squad that pushed them to their limit to get a win 31-24. The injuries to the defensive side of the ball have crippled the usually elite defense of Alabama, who let up 172 rushing yards throughout the game against Mississippi State Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and running back Aeris Williams. The secondary looked good, led by Minkah Fitzpatrick, having only let up 158 total passing yards the whole game. The star of this game was Calvin Ridley, who had five receptions for 171 yards. Mistakes on the defensive end near the end of the game almost brought Mississippi State back with a last second pass interference call bringing the Bulldogs within 35 yards of tieing the game. What this game showed was that, with Alabama’s many injuries on the defense, good teams will be able to keep games close. One matchup to watch for will be in a couple of weeks against Auburn in the Iron bowl. The winner of that matchup will play Georgia in the SEC championship game.

Miami is the real deal:

This week showed that Miami should be a front-runner for the college football playoff. The undefeated Hurricanes were near perfect this saturday in their game against Notre Dame. The final score was 41-8, and Miami was in the driver’s seat for the entire game. The Miami secondary had a field day with three interceptions with one of those picks being returned for a touchdown. Miami’s coveted “turnover chain” was worn by Jaquan Johnson, Malek Young and Trajan Bandy, who each had one of the three picks in the game. This squad has brought the Hurricanes back to the ranks of the best teams in the country. They have brought back some of the magic of the great Cane’s squads of the 80’s and early 2000’s. They have clinched the coastal division of the ACC and will play Clemson in the ACC championship game. However, they still have to play a good Virginia squad and Pitt. They will probably win both of those games and play Clemson to determine who goes to the college football playoff.

The underdog UCF:
In all of the great football witnessed this weekend, one question arises, what does the committee do with an undefeated non-power five conference team? That is the question that now has to at least be brought up, as the University of Central Florida remains unbeaten after beating Connecticut 49-24. The question now has to come, does a two loss team like Ohio State, Auburn or Penn State get in in front of an undefeated UCF squad? I am not sure, but it will be interesting to see how the Playoff committee handles the situation.

Wisconsin continues pace:

Wisconsin just keeps on playing hard as they beat a ranked Iowa squad that had just crushed Ohio State last week. They are still undefeated, but are currently on the outside of playoff talks due to people believing that their undefeated season has come without facing much resistance. With guys like Jonathan Taylor on this squad, it is hard to see this team losing to anyone of the Big Ten teams they could face in the Big Ten championship. They face a season-defining test this weekend as they square off against No. 19 Michigan.

Two loss team in the Playoff?:
More and more each week, the possibility of a two loss team making it into the playoff continues to grow. Especially with teams like Ohio State and Auburn making great cases for them being in the playoff. Auburn especially had a huge victory against an undefeated and number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs team. If this chaotic season continues, we could very easily see a two-loss Big Ten or SEC team get into the playoff. However, Clemson and Oklahoma would both have to lose, and I see Oklahoma running the table.

These next couple of weeks are going to be very entertaining to see what teams will make or break for the college football playoff. With the landscape of November college football shaping up, we get a pretty good idea of what squads will have a shot at the playoff. When the dust settles, the four teams for the playoff will be Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. These four teams could very well end up running the table and going to the playoff. Here’s to a few more fantastic weeks of football.

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