With Week 10 in the books, we’re finally starting to get clarity — in some cases — in regard to the four-team College Football Playoff. In other cases, we’re not. But we can overreact to results anyway!
Here are the four biggest Week 10 knee-jerk reactions:
1. No, Texas A&M’s loss was not an indictment of this year’s CFP selection committee.
Sorry — we know that was a semi-funny and incredibly lazy reaction to the Aggies’ loss to Mississippi State. Twitter had so much fun with that one. But just because the selection committee put Texas A&M at No. 4 last week ahead of unbeaten Washington doesn’t mean it mattered. Midseason rankings don’t mean anything.
It’s part of a ratings-driven television show that riles up fan bases weekly by evaluating teams with incomplete résumés. Conference championships matter, and we’re still weeks away from them. Washington’s Playoff chances were never actually threatened by Texas A&M’s midseason No. 4 ranking. So, the Aggies’ loss doesn’t mean much, either. Calm down.
2. Alabama is not only dominant, it is also demoralizing.
LSU played the Crimson Tide better than anyone else has all year in a tough, physical game that stayed scoreless into the fourth quarter. Yet despite forcing two Alabama turnovers in the game, the Tigers couldn’t get much of anything going offensively. They rushed for just 33 yards on 27 attempts, and had 125 yards of total offense.
It only took one Tide touchdown, scored early in the fourth quarter, to completely and thoroughly crush LSU. There was zero chance the Tigers could or would come back after that. Which bodes poorly for Bama’s upcoming opponents, too.
3. Penn State might be a legitimate Big Ten East contender.
Hear us out. The Nittany Lions do not control their own destiny — they own the tiebreaker against Ohio State but they need Michigan to lose once before the Wolverines play Ohio State, and then Michigan also to lose to the Buckeyes — but they sure are playing well.
Penn State’s offense has been remarkably confident and explosive since the upset win over Ohio State, including Saturday's 41-14 thrashing of Iowa at home. Now, Penn State has no teams with records above .500 remaining, which means that a team hitting its stride at the right time of the season should win out. Next, it just needs two prayers answered.
4. Mark Helfrich’s days might be numbered.
Oregon’s 25-point loss to Southern California on Saturday night was just the latest embarrassingly lopsided defeat to teams that good Ducks teams of recent years used to beat on a consistent basis. USC put up 579 yards of total offense while holding the Ducks to just 85 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Yuck. The Ducks have lost five of the last six games while showing no tangible signs of improvement on either side of the ball. This is not Chip Kelly’s Oregon — or Marcus Mariota’s Oregon. It’s all on Mark Helfrich now, and it might not be his for much longer.
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