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Playoff Hopes Fade Away For Many in Week 6

College football would not be college football if it wasn’t for its massive upsets and this weekend did not disappoint. #5 LSU, #7 Oklahoma, #8 Auburn, #13 Kentucky and  #14 Stanford, all had major loses while also shattering the hopes of any of them making the playoffs. Most notably Oklahoma’s loss to Texas was a big one as there had been a lot of questions surrounding the Texas program and many were asking if Texas was “back.” Well we can now say that after beating Oklahoma 48-45 in the Red River Showdown, Texas close to being a top tier program in the nation again. In the game, Oklahoma’s defence looked terrible while their offence tried to keep them in the game, but as usual another upset was complete with Texas kicker Cameron Dicker making a last second field goal.

Another major upset was #5 LSU losing to unranked Florida. LSU’s season was looking good so far after big wins against Miami and Auburn. Even though they have an insanely tough path to the playoffs, having to play #1 Alabama and #2 Georgia in the near future, if they do win those two games they are basically guaranteed to make it. However, with this loss to Florida their chances plummet to almost zero and all they can hope for is just putting up a fight against the top two programs in the nation.

With being halfway through the season now, here are my predictions for who will make it into the college football playoff. The four teams will be #1 Alabama, #2 Ohio State, #3 Clemson and #4 Notre Dame. Alabama is leaps and bounds ahead of every single team in the country and will definitely make it in 100%. Ohio State has a fairly straight forward schedule with their only real big match up left being against their arch rivals #12 Michigan. If they win out, they should be in as they will have some big name defeats on their resume. Clemson looks to make it back to the playoff for a 4th year in a row and now look to healthy freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence to take them there. They’ve had a pretty simple schedule this year and their only big opponent left is #20 NC State in week 8. If they win the rest of their games they should be in the playoff, but you never know what the committee will do on decision day. Finally, Notre Dame is looking extremely good right now and they have the resume to get them to the playoff. Big wins over Virginia Tech, Michigan and Stanford, will be critical in proving why a non conference team should be allowed in the final 4. Two teams that could easily be dark horses in the mix are Georgia and West Virginia which are both undefeated. They story is win and they should be in. This year will be a real difficult year for the committee to decide who makes it to the playoff as there are many one and zero loss teams on the hunt. Hopefully there will be more big upsets as that would make life so much easier in deciding.

 

Playoff Hopes Almost Killed in Death Valley

Going into week 5, Clemson was all the media could talk about. Clemson was going through massive changes as coach Dabo Swinney announced freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, would become the new starter which resulted in graduate quarterback Kelly Bryant deciding to transfer out of Clemson. Kelly Bryant, was Clemson’s starting quarterback last year who took them to the college football playoff semifinal and had a 16-2 college record while propelling Clemson’s offence with his great running ability. With Kelly now gone, the weight of the program and the hopes of another national championship were now on the 18 year old freshman. Clemson was now low on quarterback depth as after Trevor, there was not many more great options. Third string quarterback Chase Brice now turned backup, had very little playing time and rarely received any reps in practice. So going into Saturday Clemson was going against Syracuse which was a redemption match for them as Syracuse handed Clemson their only loss last year and the Tigers were out for revenge. Everything was looking well and then late in the second quarter, Clemson’s worst nightmare came true. While running a quarterback scramble, Trevor ran down the left side line and took a hard hit to the “upper body area.” Now thrown into the spotlight, it was Chase Brices job to help lead Clemson back being down 16-7. Chase started of a little shaky but eventually settled in converting a clutch forth down throw to Higgins and a nice first down run to save the game and eventually go on to barely win with 45 seconds left 27-23. Clemson did have to heavily rely on Travis Etienne in the game as he contributed 203 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns and their amazing defence to help them win. Dabo Swinney told media, Trevor Lawrence participated in practice on Monday and is likely to be ready for Wake Forest next week. Hopefully this will be the only speed bump for Clemson is the year but one thing they have shown is they have the capability to win even without their starting quarterback.

The biggest game of week 5 would have to have been #4 Ohio State vs #9 Penn State. This game was amazing, as it was Penn State’s white out game as 110,889 fans gathered in Beaver Stadium all dressed in white while waving white pom poms. The game was so anticipated and hyped up that students camped out for a week in order to get the best seats they possibly can to cheer on their Nittany Lions. The stadium was electric, deafening and all around the best atmosphere college football has to offer. Penn State also brought out 145 of their potential high school recruits to the game to show them what it’s like to be a Nittany Lion. Penn State was almost able to cap off a perfect night however they did not convert on a two point play and made a super confusing fourth down and five call to run the ball. This resulted in them coming up short losing 26-27 and making their playoff hopes a lot harder. Overall, watching this game live was one of my favourite moments of the year as a fan of college football and I look forward to watching next years white out game.

Looking ahead to week 6 we have the big game of #6 Notre Dame going on the road to play #24 Virginia Tech. This will be Notre Dame’s final real challenge of the season as the rest of the teams they play in the season aren’t very good and they should be able to win out if they survive the clash against Virginia Tech. I predict Notre Dame to keep rolling behind quarterback Ian Book and they win 34-23.

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