Sunday, November 13, 2016

Commentary: Crash and Burn Saturday Creates Chaos

     When November comes around, there is always a chance that chaos will show its ugly face and run amok over the college football landscape. I had brought this up about a week or so ago, but never did I expect it to come all at once, all in one weekend package. If chaos is your thing, there was nothing better. If you like things a bit more tidy, you were suffering a migraine all weekend just trying to keep up with what is now a completely fluid playoff picture. This was all far less complicated when we were only concerning ourselves with bowl slots.
    We should have known as early as Thursday that there were some demons running about on the gridiron. A North Carolina loss to Duke should not have rattled any cages, and for certain it largely did not, but it created a chance for Virginia Tech to simply beat Georgia Tech at Lane Stadium, something that was highly attainable, and the Hokies would lock up a trip to the ACC title game to play Clemson (in all likelihood). What transpired was that the Hokies trailed to the Yellow Jackets 20-0 at the half on the way to a 30-20 implosion at home, which stretched the ACC Coastal title another week.
     The ACC disaster did not end there. Clemson needed to win out to remain in the conversation for a playoff birth. They were by far the most vulnerable of the four remaining major undefeated teams (sorry, Western Michigan). Clemson had been running on a fuel called luck for weeks now, and there was always a shot of that luck running out, which, of course, it did on Saturday night at home, as Pitt kicked a FG with 0:08 remaining to run out of town with a 43-42 win under their belt, and now Clemson was left hanging as well. Even though Clemson had already beaten Louisville, Louisville now ranks ahead of them in many projections. It would seem that their out of conference strength of schedule would have something to say about that. Louisville never played an FCS opponent this season, while Clemson played South Carolina State. Oops. The ACC could still end up with a Clemson/Virginia Tech title game, but it could end up with a Louisville/North Carolina game as well, something that would totally seem out of left field.
     The Big 10 had such a disaster of a night, that Penn State now looks like a potential Big 10 East title holder, with help of course. Michigan was bitten by the chaos bug as well, as they largely flailed and missed at Iowa in a 14-13 loss that also ended with a last second field goal. Michigan now finds themselves in a three way tie for the East lead, and while they hold the tiebreaker against Penn State, a loss to Ohio State in the finale would hand it all to the Nittany Lions, of course only if Penn State wins out, because, as chaos would have it, Penn State beat Ohio State already. Even if the Buckeyes win out and beat Michigan, they would literally be handing the keys to the title game over to Penn State, if PSU wins out.
     Out West, the PAC-12 was not to be left out, as Washington, the fourth team in the playoff rankings, found a way to be absolutely inept at home in a 26-13 loss to USC. With that loss, it basically ensured that the PAC-12 would be left out of the playoffs, again. It also gave Washington State the upper hand in the North, and that is always a stinger in Seattle. If the Huskies lose one more game, and the Cougars even split their remaining games, the Cougars win out.
     Looking at other things that were never supposed to happen in 2016, Navy will likely win the AAC West over Houston, Wake Forest has a say in who wins the ACC Atlantic, Oklahoma is unbeaten in the Big 12 after a 1-2 start and Bedlam potentially has meaning, Minnesota could still win the Big 10 West (with a ton of help), Old Dominion could win 9 games, Notre Dame will go without a bowl with just one more loss, Army will go to a bowl with one more win, Miami (Ohio) could go bowling, while Bowling Green will not with just 2 wins, and Northern Illinois is already home for the holidays with 7 losses, New Mexico could win the Mountain West Mountain Division, Colorado could win the PAC-12 South, and nobody wants to win the dumpster fire that is the SEC East.
     The biggest bit of chaos that has ensued is...Paul Haynes of Kent State HAS STILL NOT BEEN FIRED!!!!!
     We still have three more weeks of regular season football before conference title games. God help us all!

No comments:

Post a Comment