Week 10 saw the SEC conference final’s participants decided fully a month early as Alabama quietened the few dissenting voices stating they had not faced a proper test yet. They answered them in no uncertain style shutting out LSU on the road to book their place.
On this display, barring a swathe of injuries they will be National Champions again this season. Facing them in the final will be Georgia who finally put an end to Kentucky’s unbeaten run with a comfortable 34-17 win also on the road. The SEC championship game should be a good un.
On slightly more mundane matters Clemson continued to sweep aside all in the ACC annihilating Louisville 77-16 to sew up their place in their Conference championship game. Who they will face from the Coastal division nobody knows but whoever gets through is likely to have at least 4 losses.
Number 3 Notre Dame came through what was probably their toughest remaining game to go to 8-0 and they are in a win out and you are in position, as it is impossible to see a scenario where the Bowl Committee leaves out an undefeated ND.
Michigan also have their destiny in its own hands after they thrashed Penn State 42-7. It’s been a while since the Wolverines were relevant but on this display, they could keep it relatively close against Alabama in the playoff semi-well at least until halftime. They will replace LSU in the playoff places. Penn State who started the season with high hopes are now likely to miss out on an NY6 Bowl.
There were not as many shocks this week well as far as AP-ranked teams were concerned with 9 of the top 10 winning and the only loss coming in an all-ranked team match-up. Outside the top 10 things were a bit different and several teams with New Year Bowl aspirations might have to rearrange their schedules. Utah who two weeks ago looked likely to play in the PAC 12 championship game but will now have to win out after their surprise defeat at Arizona State.
Suddenly the Sun Devils are in with a chance of becoming bowl-eligible thanks to two good wins in a row. The other big shock was Houston going down at SMU. Their hopes of pinching the At Large place now seem dead and buried. Overall 8 of the top 25 teams lost.
AP Top 25 results
1 Alabama – Won at LSU 29-0
2 Clemson – Beat Louisville 77-16
3 Notre Dame – won at Northwestern 31-21
4 LSU – Lost at home to Alabama
5 Michigan – Beat Penn State 42-7
6 Georgia – won at Kentucky 34-17
7 Oklahoma – won at Texas Tech 51-46
8 Ohio State – Beat Nebraska 36-31
9 UCF – beat Temple 52-40 That’s 21 wins in a row for the Knights
10 Washington State – Beat California 19-13
11 Kentucky – Lost at home to Georgia
12 West Virginia – won at Texas 42-41
13 Florida – lost 38-17 at home to Missouri
14 Penn State – lost at Michigan
15 Texas – lost at home to West Virginia
16 Utah – Lost at Arizona State 38-20
17 Houston – Lost at SMU 45-31
18 Utah State – Beat Hawaii 56-17
19 Iowa – lost 38-36 at Purdue
20 Fresno State – won at UNLV 48-3
21 Mississippi State – Beat Lousiana Tech 45-3
22 Syracuse – won at Wake Forest 41-24
23 Virginia – lost at home to Pittsburgh 23-13
24 Boston College – won at Virginia Tech 31-21
25 Texas A&M – lost 28-24 at Auburn
Racking them up
Nine teams managed 50-plus points this week including one who lost! see below. No one came close to Clemson through with 77. They were 63-3 up nearing the end of the 3rd quarter and scored at least 2 TDs in each quarter. A nice way to move to 9-0 and they are hitting top form at just the right time.
Is it Basketball?
Plenty of contenders this week but the award goes to (minor drum roll) UMass 62 – Liberty 59. The Minute Men are no strangers to high-scoring games with 7 of their 10 games this season involving one team scoring over 49 points; including losing by exactly 58-42 two weeks running – the odds of that must have been in the millions to one.
Honourable mention here goes to Memphis 59 East Carolina 41. 100 points are no mean feat and it’s the 5th time this season Memphis has scored 50+ points, and only one of their games has had less than 60 in it!
Game of the day
For sheer gutsy play, it has to go to West Virginia who went for 2 to cap off a come-from-behind win with 16 seconds left. There were 9 lead changes in the game and the Mountaineers are not completely out of the playoff hunt thanks to this win.
A close contender was Oregon State for their crazy comeback win against Colorado. The Beavers looked dead and buried trailing 31-3 in the Third Quarter but battled back to win it 41-34 in Over Time.
Performance of the day
For us, it was Missouri who bounced back from last week’s heartbreaking loss to Kentucky with a huge win at Florida. Bowl eligibility now looks within reach and a top-25 ranking is not out of the question by the season’s end.
UAB 52 UTSA 3 – as we mentioned in our half-term report on C-USA the Blazers are having a great season and are way ahead of expectations having only recently restarted their football programme. But for that somewhat incomprehensible loss to Coastal Carolina, they would be undefeated and at 8-1 they look set to play in the conference final. Their defense is the star with 3 shutouts and they have conceded 7 points or less 6 times. They are getting no love in the rankings but with a game at Texas A&M to come, that could change (although we can’t see them competing with the Aggies). A nice Bowl awaits them whatever.
Wake Me Up When It’s All Over
Snooze of the day was at Tennessee who edged past C-USA also ran Charlotte 14-3. All the points came in the first half a 16-yard TD pass a punt return and a solitary FG for Charlotte. Tennessee had 20 yards rushing!
UTEP’s run of 20 consecutive losses came to a shuddering halt as they beat fellow strugglers Rice 34-26. Rice are now the worst team in the FBS having lost 9 in a row and sporting a 1-9 record.
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