For most teams, this was their last chance to make an impression on the college football committee before their respective bowl games. Some did their thing, while others didn’t. Here are my winners & losers:
- Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes overcame a 17-7 deficit, after a questionable spot on 4th down from quarterback J.T. Barrett, running back Chris Samuel’s 15-yard touchdown run helped the Bucks defeat the Michigan Wolverines 30-27 in a double overtime thriller. This game lived up to the hype and then some. The Bucks might get into the playoff, even though they will not be playing in the Big Ten title game.
- Washington Huskies: The Huskies stepped on the accelerator and didn’t look back as quarterback Jake Browning threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Running backs Lavon Coleman and Myles Gaskin rushed for a combined three touchdowns. The defense caught three interceptions as they dominated state rival Washington State Cougars 45-17. The Huskies keep the Apple Cup, win the Pac 12 North, and keep their playoff hopes alive.
- Penn State Nittany Lions: Quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns as the Lions defeated the Michigan State Spartans 45-12, with their win over Ohio State last month being the tiebreaker, the Lions win the Big Ten East, who saw that earlier this season?
- Colorado Buffaloes: Quarterback Sefo Liufau threw for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown as the Buffs held off the Utah Utes 27-22, clinching the Pac 12 South. At 10-2, what an amazing turnaround by head coach Mike MacIntyre.
- USC DB Adoree’ Jackson: The versatile Jackson did it all, as he had a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 52-yard touchdown catch, and a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as he helped his Trojans defeat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 45-27. With other candidates not standing out, Jackson is making his Heisman case.
- Vanderbilt Commodores: Vandy scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter as they defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 45-34. The Commodores become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.
- Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners: The Roadrunners defeated the Charlotte 49ers 33-14. In just their sixth year as a program, the Roadrunners are going bowling, beep, beep.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh combined for the most points in FBS history as the Panthers defeated the Orange 76-61, in the “no college hoops haven’t started conference play, yet” game.
- Michigan Wolverines: Yes that spot was questionable, and they were some penalties that weren’t called, but quarterback Mitch Speights had three costly turnovers including a pick six in their loss to Ohio State. This will be one heartbreaker that Michigan will remember for awhile.
- Auburn Tigers: They only had 66 rushing yards in their loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide 30-12 in their annual Iron Bowl meeting.
- Washington State Cougars: The Cougars weren’t able to slow down Washington’s offense.
- Boise State Broncos: The Broncos defense gave up 314 rushing yards in their loss to the Air Force Falcons 27-20. There will be no Mountain West title nor New Year Six bowl for the Broncos.
- Louisville Cardinals: Despite two touchdown passes and two touchdown runs, quarterback Lamar Jackson’s three interceptions were costly in their loss to the Kentucky Wildcats 41-38. Thus sending Jackson’s Heisman stock dropping even further.
- Oregon Ducks: The defense gave up 310 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Oregon State running back Ryan Nall in their loss to the Beavers 34-24, their first loss in their annual Civil War meeting since 2007. At a very disappointing 4-8, there are already rumors that head coach Mark Helfrich is gone.
Storylines Going Into Week 14:
It’s Championship weekend, and there are a lot of things that need to be sorted out. In the MAC championship game, Western Michigan battles Ohio to keep their New Year Six bowl dreams alive. In the American Athletic Conference championship, Navy plays Temple.
There’s a lot at stake in the Pac 12 title game, Washington faces Colorado for a potential spot in the college football playoff. Clemson and Virginia Tech face off in Orlando in the ACC championship game where the Tigers will try to get back in the playoff.
Can Florida upset Alabama in the SEC championship game and throw everything into chaos? Will the winner of the Wisconsin/Penn State in the Big Ten Championship get a spot in the playoff? While in their annual Battle of Bedlam, state rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State play for the Big 12 title and perhaps make a case for a spot in the playoff.