West Virginia fell to Oklahoma State, which was unsurprising, but still spelled the end of an 6-0 season for the Mountaineers. Baylor lost to Texas in Austin by one point in the latest installment of the “Has Charlie Strong Actually Been Fired Yet?” saga. Taken together, those results have essentially ended the Big 12’s hopes of a playoff team this season, barring some insanity in the other Power 5 conferences.
The implications of Nebraska losing to Wisconsin are a little less clear-cut. The Cornhuskers took their first loss against Wisconsin but still maintain control of the Big Ten West, for now. Nebraska still has to play Ohio State, Minnesota, Maryland and Iowa. If Nebraska wins out and takes the conference title game, the Huskers will make the playoff. If they drop one of those games, Wisconsin will be in pole position to take the division and attempt to play spoiler for the Buckeyes and Michigan.
Speaking of which, the class of the Big Ten survived their own scares on Saturday, with Ohio State edging Northwestern and Michigan beating unranked Michigan State by nine. At this rate, one of those teams is almost certain to make the playoff, barring a loss in the conference championship game.
In the ACC, Louisville survived Virginia, 32-25, keeping its glimmer of playoff hopes alive, despite Clemson downing Florida State, its last major threat, 37-34. The Cardinals can only win the ACC if Clemson drops two of its remaining four games, but could still make the playoff if Washington drops a game or two. The Huskies beat Utah by seven on Saturday and will likely edge Louisville for a playoff spot by winning out and taking the Pac12.
In the SEC, Tennessee somehow lost to South Carolina, giving great hope to Florida, which beat Georgia handily. If the Gators win two of their last three conference games, against Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU, Tennessee will have lost its best shot at an SEC Championship Game berth in years.
What they’re saying nationally
- Alabama is tops of the AP poll and Coaches poll, again. Here’s our Marq Burnett’s AP ballot.
- USA Today’s George Schroeder: ‘The Playoff picture is clear. For now.’
- Bleacher Report’s playoff projections put Alabama in Atlanta against a familiar opponent.
- College GameDay is headed to Baton Rouge on Saturday.
- AL.com has a list of the 10 things Alabama fans hate. I was going to complain about this list making Alabama fans sound like crazy curmudgeons, but then I read the comments and y’all get what you deserve.
- The Baton Rouge Advocate responds with 10 reasons LSU fans hate Alabama.
- The passing game and offensive efficiency topped Alabama’s open week to-do list.
- Alabama’s draft class boasts seven projected first-round picks.
- Avery Johnson has picked up some coaching lessons from Nick Saban and Mark Cuban.
- Alabama is unanimously on top of the SEC Country Power Poll.
- Alec Shirkey’s New Year’s Bowl projections place Alabama against Washington in Atlanta.
- A loss in the Iron Bowl (I know, perish the thought) could create a messy three-way tie in the SEC West.
- In recruiting news, the top JUCO linebacker de-committed from Alabama for academic reasons.
— FunnyMaine (@FunnyMaine) October 30, 2016
I just want to point out that the University of South Alabama, from Mobile, didn’t need Alabama to handle its business against Mississippi State, like a certain school from Birmingham. 251 represent.
Built By Bama
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2016
- At this point, Vernon Hargreaves must see Amari Cooper about to dunk on him wherever he goes. Cooper finished with 173 yards on 12 catches in Oakland’s overtime win over the Bucs.
- Former Alabama, current Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed has launched a GoFundMe for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in his North Carolina hometown.
- Forward JaMychal Green posted 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist in 39 minutes of the Grizzlies’ overtime win over Washington.
- Julio Jones had just 3 catches for 29 yards in Atlanta’s 33-32 win over Green Bay.
- Marcell Dareus had 4 tackles, including two TFLs, and a sack in Buffalo’s 41-25 loss to New England.
— Reuben Foster (@reubenfoster_FG) October 28, 2016
Alabama’s defense reimagined as The Purge. I choose to believe that Reuben Foster made this himself over fall break.
Around the Capstone
- Women’s golf finished sixth at the Landfall Classic, Alabama’s last tournament of the fall slate.
- Volleyball was swept by Tennessee at home on Friday and Kentucky on Sunday. It will travel to Texas A&M on Thursday.
- Men’s golf will head to the prestigious and unusual Cypress Point Classic, a match play tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif.
- Soccer opens SEC Tournament play against Texas A&M on Monday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Watch on SEC Network.
- A men’s tennis freshman is making promising progress at a USTA futures tournament.
- Women’s tennis posted a strong showing at its own Roberta Alison Fall Classic.
- And finally, cross country finished in fifth place for the men and sixth for the women at the SEC Championships.