Alabama Only Top Four Survivor


CFP Rankings Reshuffled By Historical Week

By John Ventola

Elvis proclaimed it in ‘50s lyrics, and ten years later Cassius Clay boasted he had done it after beating Sonny Liston. While Presley wailed that he was “all shook up,” and the soon to be Muhammad Ali bragged that “ah have shook up the world,” nothing in recent memory can compare to the upheaval seen last week on both the national political and college football stages.

Shook and shock share more than lookalike and the same page in Webster’s. The victories of Donald Trump, Iowa, Pittsburgh, and Southern Cal last week have shaken the political ranks, and the college football rankings. Shaken, not stirred!

Top ranked Alabama rebounded from a tough 10-0 defensive battle with LSU two weeks ago to put thirty first half points on Mississippi State. The Tide crushed the Bulldogs 51-3 to capture the SEC Western Division title and set up December 3rd reservations for Atlanta to defend last season’s SEC championship. Nick Saban and the Tide are on a roll!

No. 2 Michigan was upset by Iowa, 13-11, while Pittsburgh stunned No. 3 Clemson 43-42 when Panthers place-kicker Chris Blewitt drilled a 48-yard field goal with six seconds remaining. Clemson’s special team defenders sure missed a chance to be creative and protect their unbeaten season when they lined up and failed to holler, “hey Blewitt, don’t blow it”. Not that this blogger encourages bad sportsmanship, but it was right there for them to use.

Southern Cal defeated fourth-ranked Washington 26-13 to complete the unusual day that saw three of the top four teams in the country suffer their first losses of the season.

Once beaten Ohio State took advantage of the losing trifecta, moving up four spots to second in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Buckeyes crushed Maryland 62-3 and seem to have overcome offensive problems which led to their loss to Penn State.

Michigan’s close loss to Iowa dropped it to third while Clemson’s defeat moved it down one spot to fourth. The Ohio State—Michigan matchup will drop one of the Big Ten powers out of CFP contention, while one-loss Washington must run the table to move up from its current sixth-ranked position. Husky chances to return to the top four were improved when fifth-ranked Louisville took it on the chin Thursday night, losing 36-10 to Houston.

Leading Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson completed 20 of 43 passes for the Cardinals, but fumbles and erratic play doomed Louisville to a 31-0 halftime deficit. While the team will tumble further down the rankings next week, Jackson’s overall body of work will at least get him to New York for the Heisman ceremony.

The final weeks of regular season and conference championship action should be interesting as Alabama and the teams mentioned above attempt to survive and move into the Final Four of collegiate football, the College Football Playoffs.

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