clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Beyond the Fort: Week 6

The playoff picture and conference championship races are shaping up after another big weekend!

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Another fantastic weekend of college football is in the books. We’re starting to get a better idea of who the true contenders are for both conference championships and the playoffs. I know TCU fans are struggling to enjoy the season with the performance of the Frogs, so I encourage you to look outside of the problems in Fort Worth because we’re having one hell of a football season. This sport truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Sooners pull off an upset over the Longhorns.

When Steve Sarkisian took his foot off the gas pedal and decided to settle for a long field goal with just over a minute left in the game I had a feeling that Oklahoma was going to tie things up. I did not expect it to be such an easy thing to accomplish. Dillon Gabriel stepped into the spotlight and led Oklahoma on a 5-play, 75-yard drive that took just one minute. I’ll never understand why coaches play prevent defense on anything other than the last play of the game, but that’s exactly what the Texas Longhorns chose to do, and Oklahoma made them pay. The Sooners got out of Dallas with a 34-30 win and have inserted themselves into the playoff conversation.

I felt that the true difference in this game was the coaching. Steve Sarkisian looked like he was doing everything he could to not lose. Brent Venebles coached to win. In my experience, the coach who does the latter usually walks away with a win. I will say, however, that this game also highlighted just how good this Texas team really is. Going -3 in the turnover battle and still having a shot to win the game against a quality opponent is a really hard thing to do. The Sooners were better on the day, and I expect these two teams to meet again in the Big 12 Championship game. I still give the edge to Oklahoma right now, mostly due to the clip below.

Mario Cristobal, we need to talk...

The Miami Hurricanes played like absolute trash on Saturday, but still managed to come away with a victory. Oh, wait... Do you mean to tell me that it’s 3rd and 10 with 38 seconds left, Georgia Tech is out of timeouts, and Miami didn’t take a knee? What Mario Crisotbal did on Saturday night, refusing to take a knee on what should have been the final play of the game, was the single most idiotic, irresponsible thing I’ve ever seen a coach do. ACC Championship hopes? Gone. Just take a look at this yourself.

So after the fumble Georgia Tech went down the field and scored to win the game. I feel bad for the kids. I feel worse for the fans. And Mario Cristobal refused to take the blame for what happened in his post-game remarks. This is infuriating to me and I don’t even like Miami. Frankly, I’m tired of watching people who get paid millions of dollars make decisions that are this stupid. I heard a quote from Paul Finebaum this weekend that really summed up the way I felt about this whole thing: “It will transcend sports, the stupidity of Mario Cristobal... there are very few times in our industry where you see something as bone-headed and moronic as what we saw from Miami.” Finebaum went on to say that he had another head coach text him and ask the following: “Have you ever seen a more egregious display of coaching malpractice than that?” The answer is no.

Alabama takes control of the SEC West.

The highly anticipated matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M was another great game on the afternoon. The Crimson Tide escaped College Station with a 26-20 victory, and many people say Jimbo Fisher is to blame. The Texas A&M defense played well for most of the game. Alabama had -13 rushing yards to start the fourth quarter, and they finished the game with just 23. That’s something I haven’t seen happen to Alabama in my years of watching football. The problem was that Texas A&M just couldn’t get anything going on offense either. The Aggies’ longest drive of the game was 62 yards (their final possession) and it resulted in a field goal try from the 2-yard line. The importance of scoring touchdowns, especially in the red zone, cannot be understated in football. Field goals don’t win games, touchdowns do. Alabama’s defense is elite, and one could argue it’s the best in the country. Nick Saban has proven, once again, that he’s not done yet, and I think we see Alabama in Atlanta in December.

Also, I just had to share this nugget for any Aggies out there...

The national picture is shaping up.

After the first weekend of October, I think we can say that there are 13 teams left that have a shot to make the college football playoff. This will obviously work itself out in the coming weeks, but let’s take a look at those teams.

Georgia (6-0): The Bulldogs looked like the dominant team we’ve come to know under Kirby Smart in their 51-13 thrashing of Kentucky this weekend. Georgia’s toughest remaining opponents are Ole MIss and Missouri, but I don’t think either of them put a scare in the Bulldogs.

Alabama (5-1): The Crimson Tide will need to win out and beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game to make the playoff. They have the talent to do it, but the offense has a lot of work to do.

Louisville (6-0): Who had the Cardinals at 6-0 in Jeff Brohm’s first year at the helm? The Cardinals took down Notre Dame in a 33-20 win on Saturday. Louisville’s schedule sets up pretty well for them to make a run at the ACC Championship game. They get Duke and Kentucky at home, and their toughest test will probably be at Miami on November 18th.

Florida State (5-0): The Seminoles just keep winning. Looking back, their wins over LSU and Clemson aren’t quite as impressive as they were at the moment, but they’re still important. All the Noles have to do is win out and they’re in. Florida State gets Duke and Miami at home and has a road trip to the Swamp in their final game.

North Carolina (5-0): The Tar Heels got Tez Walker back as the NCAA finally declared him eligible, and Drake Maye finally looked like a Heisman contender in their 40-7 win over Syracuse on Saturday. UNC gets Duke at home but finishes the season with trips to Clemson and NC State which could be tricky.

Oklahoma (6-0): The Sooners got their signature win and announced to the world that they’re for real. Looking at the schedule, Oklahoma shouldn’t lose another regular season game. Trips to Kansas and Oklahoma State could get tricky, but I think OU runs the table here.

Texas (5-1): Despite their loss to Oklahoma the Longhorns are still in the hunt. However, Texas cannot afford another loss, They have to run the table (and maybe even be convincing in all their wins) and then beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game to get into the playoffs.

Michigan (6-0): The Wolverines looked scary good once again on Saturday as they demolished Minnesota in a 52-10 win. They don’t have to make their trip to Penn State until November 11th, and they get Ohio State at home to finish the season.

Penn State (5-0): The Nittany Lions were on their bye week and they host UMass next Saturday as their warm-up for Ohio State. They travel to Columbus on the 21st, then host Michigan on November 11th. In my opinion - Michigan or Penn State wins the Big 10 and gets this playoff bid.

Ohio State (5-0): The Buckeyes took a while to get going but looked impressive in their win over previously undefeated Maryland. They host Penn State in 2 weeks and then finish the season at Michigan. Of the three, the Buckeyes are probably the only one that can drop a game and still find their way to the playoff because of their win over Notre Dame. We’ll see.

USC (6-0): It’s basically a miracle that USC is still undefeated. This one will work itself out as the Trojans have a pretty brutal schedule moving forward. Notable games remaining: at Notre Dame, home against Washington, at Oregon, home against UCLA.

Oregon (5-0): The Ducks are probably the most talented and complete team in the Pac-12. They travel to Washington this week, so one of the two gets eliminated. The Ducks host Washington State, USC, and Oregon State later in the year, making their schedule the most friendly of the three Pac-12 teams.

Washington (5-0): The offense has looked incredible this season, but they have some questions on defense. The Huskies host Oregon this week and then get the two worst teams in the Pac-12, but the finish to this schedule is rough: at USC, home against Utah, at Oregon State, home against Washington State. It’s hard to see Washington finishing 12-0.

Coach Perry’s Power Rankings: Week 6

  1. Ohio State - The Buckeyes handled a pretty good Maryland team, but I have concerns about this offense. We’ll see how they look against Penn State in 2 weeks.
  2. Michigan - The Wolverines are really, really good.
  3. Georgia - Carson Beck looked really, really good in their win this week and the Dawgs look scary once again.
  4. Florida State - The Seminoles have been great in the second half this year, but their 2 big wins don’t look quite as impressive now.
  5. Oklahoma - The Sooners inserted themselves into the national conversation with their huge win over Texas this week.
  6. Penn State - We’ll see just how good the Nittany Lions are in 2 weeks.
  7. Oregon - The Ducks are ready to prove they’re the best in the Pac-12 this week.
  8. Washington - The Huskies are ready to prove they’re the best in the Pac-12 this week.
  9. Louisville - Big win over Notre Dame and the schedule sets up really well for a run to the ACC Championship.
  10. North Carolina - The Tar Heels defense was atrocious last year, and they look much improved. The offense is one of the best in the country, and this team will be hard to beat.