With seven matchups between AP-Top 25 teams (tied for most in a week in history), this week was bound to create some big headlines. Here are a few:
- The Big Ten messed with the playoffs. #6 Ohio State took an embarrassing loss against Iowa, while #7 Penn State fell to #24 Michigan State. This leaves room for a lot of the programs that were previously in the #8-#12 slots to continue to dream of playoff contention, and should give the committee a lot to think about before the new rankings are released on Tuesday.
- The Bedlam Series shook up the Heisman Trophy race. Baker Mayfield had an electric performance in #5 Oklahoma’s 62-52 win over #11 Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State), Bryce Love (RB – Stanford), and JT Barrett (QB – Ohio State) all had below-average performances. Mayfield looked like he was falling behind the pack prior to this week, but after this performance, it’s back up for grabs.
- The SEC remains the biggest playoff question mark. The conference currently holds the #1 and #2 spot in the college football playoff rankings, with Georgia and Alabama sitting on top. The question is, if they both enter the SEC Championship undefeated, will they make history and both make the playoff no matter what the result is? And don’t forget, both of these teams still have Auburn left on their schedules.
- Saturday appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M. Multiple reports have come out saying that the university will be officially moving on from the head coach at the end of the 2017 season, potentially earlier, following the Aggies’ 42-27 loss to Auburn. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following hot seat discussions at all this season, but it’s certainly interesting that the information’s been leaked this early.
- Strength of schedule is of the utmost importance. We learned this on Tuesday when the committee put #1 Georgia ahead of #2 Alabama, and had undefeated Wisconsin and Miami at #9 and #10 respectively, behind six one-loss teams. Programs should be on high alert that they don’t just need to win, they need to dominate in order to make the playoff.