We’re almost at the halfway mark of the college season, as this is going to be week 7 of the 14 week season (including championship weekend). The Red River Rivalry did not disappoint, as Oklahoma scored the winning touchdown with 15 seconds left to defeat Texas. Notre Dame saw their playoff hopes disappear with their loss to Louisville. Miami lost a game they had no business losing, as all they had to do vs. Georgia Tech is take a knee and the game would have been over. Instead, they decided to run the ball, fumbled, lost it, and Georgia Tech scored the game winning touchdown. Alabama almost joined them, but they pulled a Homer and won despite not taking a knee when Texas A&M had no timeouts and they got a first down inside of 2 minutes. So without further ado, here are the games for week 7 that matter to the playoff chase:
ACC: Louisville Duke and North Carolina are all ranked in football. You don’t think of football when you think of them. You think of basketball. These basketball powers are surprising everyone. Louisville should easily defeat Pitt, as should Duke vs. NC State. If Miami hadn’t blown it vs. Georgia Tech, their matchup vs. North Carolina would have been a battle of 2 5-0 teams. The Tar Heels have shown they’re legitimate this year. Look for them to win. Traditional power Florida State is ranked #4 and should have no issues this week with Syracuse.
Big 12: Texas-Oklahoma lived up the hype and it came down to the end, with Oklahoma winning 34-30. The Big 12 is a 2-horse race between the two of them. Despite the loss, Texas is still very much alive in the playoff chase, due to their win over Alabama, and the likely chance that they’ll get to face Oklahoma again in the Big 12 Championship Game, which would give them another quality win. Both of them are off this week.
SEC: It’s looking like it’ll be another Alabama vs. Georgia showdown for the SEC Championship Game. Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC East until they lose a game, but that probably isn’t happening this week vs. Vanderbilt. In the SEC West, while not playing the flawless football that has defined Alabama for the last decade, the Crimson Tide are starting to hit their stride. Look for them to win vs. Arkansas. The only other team with a chance to play in the SEC Championship Game is LSU. They would have to win out, which includes defeating Alabama. The other 2 1-loss teams in the division, Ole Miss and Texas A&M have already played Alabama. It’s highly unlikely Alabama loses 2 conference games. I’m going with LSU over Auburn.
Pac-12: Oregon vs. Washington is the game of the week, and site of ESPN Gameday. USC vs. Notre Dame is the other game of the week and site of Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff. In the final year of the Pac-12 as we know it, there are 7 ranked teams. UCLA vs Oregon State is the other marquee matchup this week, with the loser eliminated from the playoff chase. I like Washington, Notre Dame, and UCLA to win this week.
Big 10: This is still a 3 horse race between Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State. Penn State faces UMass before their showdown with Ohio State next week. Michigan hosts Indiana, while Ohio State makes their 3rd trip to state of Indiana this year to face Purdue. Penn State and Michigan should have no issues with their opponents. Meanwhile, West Lafayette has been a house of horrors for Ohio State over the years. Despite Ohio State’s shaky play this year and their history at Purdue, look for Ohio State to win. On the Brian Ferentz watch, due to a nepotism clause in his contract, in order for the coach’s son to keep his job, the Hawkeyes must win at least 7 games this season, and score at least 325 points in 13 games, for an average of 25 points per game. Points from the defense and special teams count towards the total as well. Iowa is 5-1, and through 6 games they have scored 131 points, putting them 19 off the pace.