College Football Upsets: What does it mean?

Daniel Dalenburg

Staff Writer


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Going into Saturday, the top four teams in the country were undefeated.  By the end, three had lost seriously shaking up the college football playoff landscape.  Clemson lost in a thriller, where unranked Pittsburg won on a 48-yard field goal with six seconds left, shocking the number two team in the nation.  The number three team in the country, Michigan, headed to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.  In a long defensive battle Iowa, down 13-11, hit a 33-yard field goal as time expired to take down Michigan.  If two top four teams losing wasn’t enough, the number four team in the country, Washington, was defeated by  20th ranked USC.  According to the podcast Pardon My Take, this Saturday was the first time the number two, three and four ranked teams in college football lost in the same week since 1985.  So what can we make of this crazy week?

  1. If Alabama wasn’t the clear favorite to win the national championship before this week, they are now. Currently, the Crimson Tide are the only remaining undefeated team from a power five conference.  With only two games remaining, ‘Bama seems primed for another College Football Playoff appearance, in their quest to be back to back champions.  Although they are an elite team, they are not unbeatable.  While he has performed well under pressure so far this year, the biggest question for Alabama is how Freshman QB Jalen Hurts will respond to the big stage that is the College Football Playoff.
  2. The Big 10 Champion will make the College Football Playoff. In two weeks, Michigan and Ohio State will play and the winner will most likely meet the Wisconsin Badgers for a spot in the Playoff.
  3. If Louisville and Clemson win out (they cannot meet in the ACC championship), I say that they will both make the playoff as one loss teams. Clemson has two signature wins against Louisville and Florida State.  Louisville’s only loss came in a thriller against Clemson (at Clemson) which is a loss that shouldn’t hurt them too much in the grand scheme of things.
  4. The Big 12 and PAC 12 will both be left out of the College Football playoff. Even if Washington stays undefeated, I do not believe that they have a big enough signature win to be included in the playoff.  Their relatively weak non-conference schedule will come back to bite them.

Pre-Playoff Rankings Predictions

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Louisville
  5. Michigan
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Washington
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Penn State
  10. LSU