With the very first college football playoff rankings coming out tomorrow night, week nine saw a little bit of everything: standouts, comebacks, and a little wackiness. Here are my winners and losers:
- Clemson Tigers: Quarterback Deshaun Watson overcame two early interceptions, led his team down the field and threw the go-ahead 34-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Leggett with just over two minutes left. Late defensive stops helped the Tigers hold off the Florida State Seminoles 37-34 in an ACC thriller. With wins over FSU and Louisville, the Tigers have an inside track of the ACC Atlantic division.
- Washington Huskies: Wide receiver Dante Pettis’ 58 yard punt return for a touchdown ended up being the game-winner as the Huskies defeated the Utah Utes 31-24. Staying undefeated, and keeping their Pac 12 and college football playoff hopes alive.
- Wisconsin Badgers: The defense caught two interceptions. Running back Dare Ogunbowale rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown which was the game-winner as the Badgers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 23-17 in overtime. The Badgers keeping their Big Ten West division hopes alive.
- South Florida Bulls: Quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns helped the Bulls defeat the Navy Midshipman 52-45.
- Texas Longhorns: The defense gave up 624 total yards but they made key stops late as they upset the Baylor Bears 35-34. Not sure if this will save head coach Charlie Strong’s job but nonetheless this is a big win for them.
- Auburn Tigers: Running back Kamryn Pettway rushed for 236 yards and a touchdown helping the Tigers defeat the Ole Miss Rebels 40-29. That’s four wins in a row for Auburn.
A couple of Heisman notes: Michigan’s Mr. Do-It-All Jabrill Peppers had a rushing touchdown, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a two-point conversion return helping the Wolverines seal their win over rival Michigan State Spartans 32-23.
Louisville’s quarterback Lamar Jackson led his team down the field to a game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaylen Smith as the Cardinals avoided the upset of the Virginia Cavaliers 32-25.
- Tennessee Volunteers: Quarterback Josh Dobbs’ three turnovers doomed the Vols in their loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks 24-21. An uncharacteristic performance from Dobbs and the free-falling Vols have now lost three in a row. If that’s not enough, unhappy with his role in the offense, running back Jalen Hurd has decided he wants to transfer and switch positions.
- Florida State Seminoles: The Noles wasted a great showing by running back Dalvin Cook who rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns. Penalties and quarterback Deondre Francois being sacked six times derailed them in their loss to Clemson.
- Nebraska Cornhuskers: Two interceptions by quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. stalled drives in their loss to Wisconsin.
- Boise State Broncos: A late safety led to the Wyoming Cowboys upset of the Broncos 30-28. It’s the Cowboys first win over the Broncos in 11 games and their first win over a top 25 team since 2002. Looks like there will be New Year Six Bowl for the Broncos.
- Big 12: Despite a great win by Texas Tech who defeated TCU 24-21 in double overtime, the conference lost their two undefeated teams. I told you about Baylor’s upset at the hands of Texas. Meanwhile turnovers were West Virginia’s undoing in their loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 37-20. Unless utter chaos ensues, the Big 12 will not have a representative in the college football playoff this season.
Storylines Going Into Week Ten:
In the Big 12, Texas goes to Texas Tech. TCU faces Baylor. Oklahoma State meets Kansas State.
In the Big Ten, Iowa and Penn State face-off. Nebraska travels to Columbus to face Ohio State.
In the Pac 12, UCLA will try to derail Colorado. Arizona will try to upset Washington State. Oregon and USC meet. Washington might be on upset alert against California.
In the SEC, Florida plays Arkansas. Alabama travels to LSU