As the end of the college football regular season vastly approaches, let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from week 13.
Those hoping and praying to keep Alabama out of the College Football Playoff might be required to go ahead and add yourself to the “losers list” this week alongside the teams that are helping whisk them into it.
- Baylor. Two years ago the Baylor Bears were 1-11 and it appeared the program was in ruins as a result of a rape scandal. Now, Matt Rhule has the Bears in the Big 12 Championship game and a 10-1 record to boot. Rhule should probably be the national coach of the year especially after hammering pre-season darlings Texas at home. While we’re at it, let’s make Texas a loser this week although this was…entertaining?
- Arkansas. Interim coach Barry Lunney took his Razorbacks to Death Valley as a 43.5 point underdog to #1 LSU which is one of the largest spreads in SEC conference history. The Hogs trailed 56-6 at one point but scored two touchdowns late to cover the spread and lost 56-20. Hey, if you’re an Arkansas fan you’ll take anything at this juncture.
- Georgia. The Bulldogs beat a ranked team at home to get to 10-1 on the season and yet there is some hesitation to list them here. Sure, if they win out, they’ll be in the playoff but every time they play you find yourself underwhelmed (specifically with the offense). Jake Fromm has been a warrior down in Athens throughout his career but it’s hard not to think “what if?” when it comes to Justin Fields and if he had been named the starter at some point before his departure.
- Alabama. Sure, they wiped out Western Carolina 66-3 and new starting quarterback Mac Jones appeared to be more than capable, but the Tide gained more perhaps from an inexplicable Oregon road loss. Can you really see the committee omitting Alabama from the playoff in lieu of Utah (should they even with the Pac 12 title?) Not only that, but Oklahoma had to hold on for dear life to beat TCU which makes them also very unlikely to jump Alabama come seasons’ end.
- Oregon. The Ducks were very much alive in the playoff conversation and were looking forward to a meeting with Utah in the Pac 12 Championship in hopes of leapfrogging Alabama. Unfortunately, they forgot to show up for three quarters in Tempe on Saturday and Arizona State held off a late surge to beat Oregon 31-28. This greatly diminishes the Pac 12 title situation and it’s hard to fathom Utah getting in now that a win over Oregon has been diminished.
- Missouri. Remember back in mid-October when Missouri was ranked and sitting at 5-1 with an easy schedule remaining? Well, they’ve managed to lose every game since including a home loss to Tennessee on Saturday to fall to 5-6 on the season. Given the schedule and amount of talent returning to Columbia this year, this is quite inexcusable and head coach Barry Odom has found himself in a very painful situation that a win next week over Arkansas cannot sooth.
- Texas. They were mentioned above but this program deserves its very own spot on this week’s list. The Longhorns were media darlings heading into the season and ranked in the top 10. Coach Tom Herman has apparently spent more time trying to get people to stop doing the “horns down” symbol than he has coaching his team as they are 6-5 and just another mediocre team….again.
- Maryland/Rutgers. Without looking it up, I couldn’t name either team’s coach. They were added to the B1G for the DC/New York media markets but I can’t imagine either school commanding much positive news in either city. Maryland lost at home 54-7 to a REELING Nebraska squad while Rutgers has solidified itself as the worst power five team in America as they fell to 0-8 in conference and 2-9 overall (it’s unfathomable to conceive of who they beat in those two wins).