After a really intense rooting session you have to take a little time off, but we’re back again this week to once again color your viewpoints on the other games of import this weekend. With TCU once again kicking off in prime time, it’s going to be a long wait for kickoff, so why not spend it rooting with your friends? Once again let’s refresh the rooting rules!
1.) Teams ranked above TCU and undefeated teams need to lose
This one is fairly obvious, but it bears a bit of explanation. We ideally want TCU to be ranked #1 in the nation, not just for bragging rights and potential recruiting gains, but it also sets the Frogs up with the best possible matchup when the games begin- No, we don’t actually want Bama (at least not in round 1), and a trip to the Sugar Bowl would be much easier on the players than a return to the Rose Bowl (even thought that would be awesome) and the highest seeded team is placed in their nearest semifinal location.
2.) The SEC needs to only get one team in
Last time we were concerned about both the SEC and the Big 10 potentially sneaking in two teams, but that was before Penn State dropped games to both Ohio State and Michigan State, and before Ohio State got absolutely stomped by Iowa. Still with Alabama and Georgia both in high positions in the committee’s rankings, you know ESPN will be pushing the “Let’s have two SEC teams” narrative hard unless there are reasons to exclude them. Let’s get those reasons.
3.) Iowa State is not our friend anymore
Despite being an excellent blog, delete Wide Right and Natty Lite from your friends list until further notice. While the ideal scenario is of course TCU getting a satisfying revenge against the Cyclones in the Big 12 title game, what is more important is that TCU definitely makes the title game in the first place. To that end, Iowa State needs to lose to make sure that TCU has the greatest chance to make the Big 12 title game.
4.) Just don’t get humiliated, Arkansas
Yeah, the whole “We want Arkansas to win so we look good” thing is kind of asking for disappointment. Let’s just hope that they lose to teams less than they lost to us.
5.) Baylor should lose
Some things are more important than conference respect. Stupid Kansas ruined Baylor’s chance at a perfect season, but they’re still within range of the SMU special: 1-11.
With those rules in mind, let’s have a look at this week’s matchups!
Rule 1 games
If Georgia is going to drop a game, it’s probably going to be this one (Yes, Georgia Tech is decent and has a unique offense, but they haven’t beaten the Dawgs in Atlanta since 1000) so get your War Eagles out for the Tigers in this one. Man, Auburn has a lot of mascots.
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide @ #16 Mississippi State
Alabama remains Alabama, but they’ve been taking some severe hits to their linebacking depth these past few weeks. I mean, they’re still starting four and five stars across the board I’d wager, but they might not be quite as good as the previous lot? Root for the bulldogs to carry on some Mississippi magic in this one, even if they are probably really overrated at #16.
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ #7 Miami Hurricanes
Now here is an interesting one, as Notre Dame is more highly ranked, but the Hurricanes hold the undefeated card, so which one is more worthy of your rooting energy? The answer is simple: Root for Miami. While it’s true that an undefeated Miami squad will likely overtake the Frogs in the polls, in order to finish undefeated they would have to beat (and knock out of playoff contention) #4 Clemson in the ACC title game. One way or the other, the Hurricanes will either remove themselves or another problem from the Frogs path, so let’s focus on them beating Notre Dame, whose remaining schedule is not impressive once past the Hurricanes. Somehow I don’t think the “Lack of a 13th data point” is going to hurt them, either. Root hard for the Canes.
Somehow the Big 10’s last remaining playoff contender is... Wisconsin? With every other Big 10 team sporting at least a “2” in the loss column, it seems that way. So far Wisconsin has played a schedule that is actually significantly worse than UCFs, however, so there is definitely some room for a good root to knock them out of contention in the space of a single afternoon. Enter the Iowa Hawkeyes, fresh off an absolute pasting of Ohio State, and packing a dynamite rush defense. Root for the men in black to take care of the ‘round jumpers.
Rule 3 game
#15 Oklahoma State @ #21 Iowa State Cyclones
As big of a believer as I was in Matt Campbell, if you’d told me before the season that we’d have to root against Iowa State for TCU to make the Big 12 title game, I would have called you crazy. With both teams coming off of stinging losses, this should be a hard fought contest between two teams that are desperate to remain in the Big 12 title picture. The Cowboys started to click again on offense last week, so if they can build up an early lead it would bode well for their chances. Root hard in this one, we want to win this dang conference.
Rule 4 game
Just don’t get terribly blown out, okay hogs? Don’t expend too much energy rooting in this one, but if you can fit in a little root, why not?
Rule 5 game
This in an interesting game not just for rule 5 purposes, but simply because it matches up the two remaining opponents on TCU’s schedule. Even if you can’t bring yourself to root for Tech, having a look at this one will at least give you an idea of what to expect the next few weeks (and don’t think of it as rooting for Tech, but rather rooting against Baylor).
With those preferred outcomes in mind, enjoy a full Saturday of rooting before the prime time showdown. Go Frogs, and root hard!