We’re halfway through the season and with the first playoff rankings to be unveiled this week, teams are doing what they can to impress the committee. Here are my winners and losers:
- Ohio State Buckeyes: Quarterback J.T. Barrett rushed for two touchdowns. He also threw for 236 yards and a touchdown which ended up being the go-ahead in overtime. Late defensive stops helped the Buckeyes hold off the Wisconsin Badgers 30-23 in a Big Ten thriller.
- Alabama Crimson Tide: Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 143 yards. He also rushed 132 yards and three touchdowns. Defensive back Ronnie Harrison had a pick six as the Tide dominated the Tennessee Volunteers 49-10. No doubt who’ll be the number one when the first playoff rankings come out.
- North Carolina Tar Heels: In an interesting ACC game, quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns as the Heels defeated the Miami Hurricanes 20-13.
- West Virginia Mountaineers: Quarterback Skyler Howard threw for 318 yards and a touchdown. Running back Rushel Shell rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns as they defeated Texas Tech 48-17. The Mountaineers are a quiet 5-0.
- Colorado Buffaloes: Running back Phillip Lindsay rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Sefo Liufau threw for 269 yards and a rushing touchdown as the Buffs defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 40-16.
- Syracuse Orange: Quarterback Eric Dungey threw for 311 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Orange upset the Virginia Tech Hokies 31-17. Great win for head coach Dino Babers and the program.
- Wisconsin Badgers: Badgers just didn’t have an answer for Ohio State late in the game eventually leading to their overtime loss.
- Tennessee Volunteers: Injuries finally caught up to Tennessee and they were only able to muster 163 total yards in their loss to Alabama.
- Ole Miss Rebels: A late fumble kept the Rebels from attempting a game-winning drive losing to the Arkansas Razorbacks 34-30 in a shootout.
- Michigan State Spartans: They only had 51 rushing yards and the defense gave up 490 total yards in their loss to the Northwestern Wildcats 54-4. It’s the most points that the Spartans have given up since ’03 and it’s their fourth straight loss at home.
- UCLA Bruins: Quarterback Mike Fafaul’s two interceptions stalled drives in their loss to the Washington State Cougars 27-21.
- Georgia Bulldogs: They had the edge in total yards, time of possession and first downs. But they had to settle for field goals in their loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores 17-16. For Vandy, this is the annual upset for them. As for Georgia, this is definitely a head scratcher.
Storylines for Week Eight:
Miami goes to Virginia Tech. Boise State will try to stay unbeaten as they host BYU.
In the Big 12, Texas travels to Kansas State. TCU faces West Virginia. Oklahoma will try to avoid the upset at Texas Tech.
In the Big Ten, Wisconsin battles Iowa. Ohio State plays Penn State
In the American Athletic, Memphis goes to Navy.
In the Pac 12, Utah faces UCLA. Arizona State hosts Washington State
In the SEC, Ole Miss plays LSU. Arkansas travels to Auburn. Texas A&M fresh off a bye, goes to Alabama.