College Football Playoff picks1.
The path for a two-loss playoff participant looks quite a bit clearer after Saturday afternoon.
Wisconsin (9-0): The Badgers are unbeaten, but also hamstrung by a weak non-conference schedule and playing in the Big Ten's weaker division (and not facing Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan State in cross-division games).
After the first release of the rankings this season, Hocutt said "the committee gave a slight edge to Georgia (for No. 1) due to their win on the road against a very strong Notre Dame". Still a good season underway for Notre Dame - a big turnaround from past year - but being so rudely dispatched from the title hunt hurts. After getting blown out by Iowa, the Buckeyes' playoff hopes are gone - and maybe the BIG's as well. The rebuttal to the rebuttal: If there's enough carnage in the next couple weeks, yes.
Stock up: Auburn. On the strength of their big win against Georgia, the Tigers hop up to No. 6.
1, Alabama (10-0), 2, Miami (9-0), 3, Clemson (9-1), 4, Oklahoma (9-1). Even with road losses to Clemson and Louisiana State, they could be semifinal material.More news: Former WCVB Boston Anchor Unruh Says Spacey Sexually Assaulted Her Son
Saturday's win over Syracuse ensured Wake Forest will play in a bowl game for the second year in a row under coach Dave Clawson. They've yet to play a ranked team.
Army has eight victories in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1984-85 after its 21-16 defeat of Duke. Quarterback Malik Rosier completed 15 of 24 throws for 137 yards and a score, with the ground game accumulating 237 yards and three touchdowns. It could claim the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy for the first time since 1996 next month. Each of the past six years, the victor of that game went on to win the ACC championship.
UCF doesn't play in a power conference, despite the best efforts of the American Athletic Conference to consider itself as such.
Auburn (7-2): Yes, Auburn can still make the playoff with two losses. The Trojans find themselves in a good position. The Bulldogs have already clinched the East, practically lapping the field. The Coastal leader No. 7 Miami has a nonconference game against No. 3 Notre Dame, but the Hurricanes can still the division if Virginia Tech (at Georgia Tech) and Virginia (at Louisville) lose. Two weeks later, the Tigers would recreate history in their own backyard against #1 Alabama on Chris Davis' "Kick Six" before downing Missouri in the SEC Championship game. That number shrinks in Big Ten play down to 5.5 points, so taking the Spartans makes all the sense in the world. Don't let anyone fool you: If Wisconsin wins out, it will have a spot in the playoff set aside, although it certainly didn't hurt the cause that the Buckeyes looked so impressive routing Michigan State, setting up a Big Ten title game that gives the Badgers another shot at a statement win. Don't count on it.
While this isn't a matchup of top-25 teams, it's impossible to overlook the implications of another key ACC showdown between Florida State and Clemson.