Fun for your FCS Weekend Blues
#4. Oklahoma Sooners – Look, I get it. You beat TCU this past weekend and the week before you beat Oklahoma State. You even have a win over Ohio State. What are you complaining about? If the race for the playoffs ended today, you would escape play Clemson. The Tigers beat you stymied your offense in 2015 and the Clemson defense is better now that it was then. Miami just beat the crap out of Notre Dame and missing out on playing them right now should be a joy. But the best reason of all for being happy about the #4 ranking, the chance to beat Alabama and reach the National Championship Game. Bama has struggled with top competition this year after blowing out the bottom feeders. Oklahoma has the offense to outscore the Tide and set up an intriguing National Championship matchup.
#3. Miami Hurricanes – The committee admitted that it was a tough task to decide the second and third positions. While the Hurricanes are undefeated, both Clemson and Miami have wins over Virginia Tech (who is no longer in the rankings). Miami owns the win over Notre Dame but Clemson beat Auburn to begin the season. Auburn looks like the better of the two teams right now. The good news for Mare Richt and Miami is, they get a shot at Clemson and the #1 overall ranking before it’s all said and done.
#5. Wisconsin – Joining Miami in the undefeated ranks are the Wisconsin Badgers. While I was wrong last weekend in predicting the streak would come to an end, Wisconsin still doesn’t have a schedule that jumps out at you. Being undefeated is great, but when you don’t play anyone other than Sisters of the Blind University, it is hard to wow the committee. Wisconsin has another shot this weekend with Michigan. Take the Wolverines to the woodshed and you might just find yourself in the Top4. Lose to Michigan and the arguments against you in the future will be stronger. You control your fate, don’t let a great opportunity turn into irreparable misery.
#1. Alabama – After being so close to defeat, the Crimson Tide remained unscathed and now hold onto the #1 ranking. That is until they travel to the plains to take on the Auburn Tigers. Alabama looked great through the first 5 weeks of the season. Three of the last five have not gone according to plan. The two that did, well they were against the worst teams in the SEC East and West. Texas A&M and their mobile QB gave Alabama trouble and the Aggie defense wasn’t too bad either. Then came the LSU Tigers. Yes, they have the win over Auburn but Auburn handed them the game on a silver platter. The Bayou Bengals gave Bama all it could handle and the Tide managed only 24 points. They have found a way to win but that won’t be good enough in two weeks on the road against a team that obliterated former #1 UGA. Injuries or not, isn’t it supposed to be next man up at the premier university?
#2. Clemson – Something struck me with a bit of concern out of Clemson this week. In one press conference, Dabo Swinney made a comment about going up 17-0 on Florida State. It came off as if the head coach thought that 17 points was going to win it. The Tigers were moving the ball effectively until that point. Then, Clemson decided to change up its strategy on offense and defense. What happened throughout the rest of the game was telling. If you want to win another National Championship, you can’t be afraid to embarrass opponents. Dabo has never wanted to do that in his tenure at Clemson but now is not the time to be empathetic towards your opponents. Clemson lost to Syracuse and if it doesn’t win convincingly over the next two weeks, a loss in the ACC Championship Game would spell doom.
Your 2017 Bowl Predictions (Top 25)
National Championship – (1) Clemson vs (3) Auburn
Rose Bowl (Semifinal)– (2) Oklahoma vs (3) Auburn
Sugar Bowl (Semifinal) – (1) Clemson vs (4) Alabama
Citrus Bowl – (7) Georgia vs (8) Ohio State
Peach Bowl – (6) Notre Dame vs (10) UCF
Orange Bowl – (5) Miami vs (12) Wisconsin
Outback Bowl – (17) Mississippi State vs (13) Penn State
Fiesta Bowl – (9) Southern Cal vs (11) Oklahoma State
Liberty Bowl – (16) TCU vs South Carolina
TaxSlayer Bowl – LSU vs (14) Michigan State
Cotton Bowl – (15) Washington State vs (18) North Carolina State
Music City Bowl – (24) Texas A&M vs (20) Virginia Tech
Sun Bowl – (19) Washington vs Georgia Tech
Belk Bowl – Wake Forest vs Kentucky
Alamo Bowl – Stanford vs West Virginia
Camping World Bowl – Texas vs Louisville
Quick Lane Bowl – (21) Northwestern vs Boston College
Arizona Bowl – (22) Boise State vs Troy
Pinstripe Bowl – Virginia vs (23) Michigan
Hawaii Bowl – (25) Memphis vs Fresno State
16-Team Playoff Projection
20 Bowl Games or 15 Games to decide a National Champion, what’s your choice?
Guide Through The Chaos (College Football)
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