It’s the most wonderful time of the year...and no we’re not talking about the holidays. Those suck. We are talking about the College Football Playoff push, which we will celebrate every Wednesday from now until the end of the college football season and/or human civilization by determining the top four CFP losers in America. Crying allowed, whining encouraged, BYOWhiskey.
[Law & Order sound effect] Week 3: Only one thing to say about this weekend’s college football insanity:
Here’s how everything looks this morning, amidst the smoldering rubble of the week three CFP rankings.
1.) Alabama: Hunted by its nemesis…
2.) Clemson: Who apparently didn’t lose to Syracuse after all, followed by…
3.) The U: Who are definitely back, and finally…
4.) Oklahoma: Who leap into the top four—just like we said they would—after crushing TCU this weekend.
As you probably noticed, after a static week two, half of last week’s top four are nowhere to be found, which makes the losers bracket all the more heartbreaking (read: compelling) today. Dry your snotty tears and let’s begin.
Did you know UCF is still undefeated after smoking American East foes UCONN 49-21 on Saturday? Well, neither does the committee apparently, putting them at #15 behind eight two-loss teams and JUST ahead of three-loss Mississippi State. I don’t want to spend too much time on this because, well, it’s UCF, but come on, at #15 in late November, there is literally no playoff path for the Knights, one of three remaining undefeateds in FBS
3.) Notre Dame
Let’s be honest, the result—a 41-8 primetime hiding at the hands of a historic rival—hurts more than the egg-faced tumble to #8, but with two-losses and no conference championship game on the horizon, the fight is just about over for the Irish. They can take heart in the fact they’re still ranked ahead of Ohio State (who many believe is right back in this thing), but if the Buckeyes go out and crush Michigan in 10 days time and then beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, it won’t stay that way for long.
2.) The Pac-12
With Washington’s second loss to Stanford on Friday night, the bell has well and truly tolled for the Pac-12, whose playoff hopes were already running on fumes in the middle of Death Valley on the hottest day of the year. Somehow, despite the fact no non-insomniac watches the games and perennial powerhouses like USC and Oregon continue to sputter, the Pac-12 has placed a contender in the final four in two of the first three seasons, but it would take a band-on-the-field miracle for it to happen again this year.
For the first two weeks of the College Football Playoff rankings, the Bulldogs were riding high on the SEC hog, ranked number one in the nation and licking their slobbery chops in anticipation of an undefeated vs. undefeated showdown with Alabama in the SEC championship game where the loser would probably still make the final four anyway. Then the Auburn murmurs began. Then EVERY SINGLE pundit on College Gameday picked a Tigers upset. Then they actually went out and did it, walking all over Georgia 40-17 on Saturday afternoon. Now one-loss Georgia has plummeted all the way to #6, one spot behind—wait for it, here’s the real kicker—two-loss Auburn, who now have a chance to knock off a struggling Alabama squad next weekend and put a serious dent in the resume of Georgia’s best-remaining opponent. Sick burn, committee. Sick burn.