Hope Hurts the Most

The College Football Playoff Hope-O-Meter: Week 4

September 23, 2019
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Michigan at Wisconsin
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Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to the unveiling of perhaps the greatest technological innovation of our time: THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF HOPE-O-METER! Over the course of the 2019 season, we will put our ultra-violet spectrum of college football emotion to the test, processing each weekend's scoreboard—and it's array of hopes, dreams, and delusions—to determine the state of the all-important CFP push. Here's where things stand as of today...

Fall is officially here and a stacked week four is officially in the books. From here on out, it’s pedal-to-the-metal in the ol’ college football Camaro, but first we need to talk about Georgia surviving, Michigan dying, and what another wild Saturday says about the emotional state of the student section in your heart.

Mortal Lock

Welcome to the promised land, Dawgs fans: The Mortal Locks section of Hope-O-Meter. Why could possibly go wrong? On Saturday night, you edged choke artistes Notre Dame thanks to a pair of INTs from Ian GoodBook. It was a one-point victory in primetime over the worst primetime program in college football, buttttt a win is a win, especially over a top-10 non-conference opponent, which the committee loves that more than Harry loved Sally. The best part, though, is the fact that while it’s tough from here on out for third-ranked Georgia, it’s still doable. A neutral site matchup with Florida and a road trip to Auburn will be tricky, but they won’t see the likes of LSU and Alabama until the SEC Championship, which is the can probably lose provided it’s their only loss. Give this team the SEC runner-up gift card to Golden Corral and chances are they’ll be feasting at the CFP buffet as well.

Cautiously Optimistic

How good are the Badgers? How bad is Michigan? Are these actually the same question? Through three quarters on Saturday, Wisconsin were working on a season shut-out, up 35-0 against Michigan in what was supposed to be one of the games of the week. Then both their starting safeties got ejected for headhunting and Michigan managed to make it kinda, sorta respectable. Don’t let the final fool you, though. Wisconsin eviscerated the desperation-mode Wolverines, even with three of their best players—those aforementioned safeties and running back Jonathan Taylor, who missed large chunks of the game with cramps—cooling their heels in the locker room. So how good are the Badgers? A road trip to the Horseshoe on October 26th, which will pit their number-one scoring defense against Ohio State’s number-three scoring offense, should tell us everything we need to know, but for now there's reason for hope.

RELATED: LSU lineman murders Vandy lineman, celebrates mid-play, then ends another life moments later

Rightfully Pessimistic

I can hear you now, Tigers fans! Auburn just beat a top-20 Power Five school for the second time this season, how dare you! And yet, they’re still ranked behind Oklahoma and Ohio State whose best wins this season came against UCLA and Indiana respectively. In fact, just last week rumors were flying around that Dallas Renegades of the XFL head coach Bob Stoops was in line to take over Gus “Hot Seat” Malzahn before they had even played A&M, let alone beat them. Needless to say, Auburn are the Rodney Dangerfield of college football right now—they get no respect. Unfortunately respect matters in the eyes of the pollsters. Reputation matters. Perception matters. Nielsen ratings matter. Football is like fourth or fifth down the list, and unless Auburn somehow take three of four off Florida, LSU, Georgia, and Alabama in the coming weeks, the football just ain’t going to cut it in 2019.

Fugghedaboutit

Remember when we circled Michigan vs. Notre Dame on our calendars way back when the season began like three weeks ago? Well you can go ahead and free up some apple picking time on October 26th, because both the Wolverines and Fighting Irish were both booted from the College Football Playoff conversation with extreme prejudice this weekend. Notre Dame put up a fight—albeit a very boring one—but Michigan were absolutely rolled at Camp Randall, spelling not only the end of the Wolverines National Championship aspirations but also, eventually, Jim Harbaugh’s reign as Khaki Enthusiast and Chief. Backup quarterback Dylan McCaffery was nearly decapitated on Saturday while subbing for the hilariously ineffective Shea Patterson and is now in concussion protocol with Michigan staring down Iowa, Penn State, and Notre Dame in three of the next five weeks. A three-loss season is not out of the question, and while it's not what Michigan fans hoped for, a three-loss season wouldn’t might be exactly the kind of “Harbaugh Year” this program needs.

Doggiest College Football Moment of the Week

Bulldog inception. That is all.

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