Is it possible to only have one truly elite team in college football this year? The only impressive team week in and week out has been Georgia. The landscape of college football feels similar to the 2007 season but with less random teams at the top of the rankings. We do not have USF or Kansas ranked number two but each week every team is on upset alert. Let’s talk about Week 10:
The Big Ten has the Best Receivers in the Country: Purdue’s David Bell, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba all went over 200 yards yesterday and were vital in their team’s victory. This trio leads the Big Ten in receiving yards with Bell leading the way crossing 1,000 yards yesterday. The Big Ten also had stud receivers such as Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Michigan State’s Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor, Nebraska’s Samori Toure, and Maryland’s Rakim Jarrett. The list goes on and every team has to be ready for the opposing wide receivers.
Texas, All Brakes, No Gas: Remember a few weeks ago when Texas nearly beat Oklahoma? That same team managed only seven points against Iowa State and were run out of the building in Ames. Texas only gained a total of 205 yards which is Steve Sarkisian’s worst offensive performance. The Longhrons have now lost their last four games and is now in danger of not making a bowl game. The Longhorns will need to win two of their final three games which include match ups against Kansas, at West Virginia, and against Kansas State.
The Return of the Spoilermakers: Purdue may be the most confusing team in the country. They now have two wins against top five teams while also having three losses. First they spoiled Iowa’s season when they were ranked in the top five and now they defeated Michigan State to give the Spartans their first loss. Purdue travels to Ohio State next weekend and the Buckeyes should be put on notice. The last time Purdue and Ohio State met was the infamous 2018 game where Purdue upset the Buckeyes. Can Purdue upset their third top five team this year?
Bearcats Survive, Dreams in Peril: Cincinnati needed a goal line stop to secure their victory at home against Tulsa. Cincinnati fumbled the ball inside their own five yard line with under two minutes left in the game. Luke Fickell’s team held on and won the game but how will the committee view the game? Cincinnati needs to be impressive while also needing other teams to lose in order to have a chance at the playoff. The Bearcats could have ranked games vs SMU and Houston remaining which would increase their odds. If Notre Dame keeps winning they will continue to help Cincinnati’s resume.
ACC Eliminated from the Playoffs: Wake Forest lost a heart breaker to North Carolina which ended their hopes of making the playoffs. Wake Forest lacks a signature win to allow them to opportunity to lose a game while still having a chance at the playoffs. Every other team in the ACC has two losses which has been a death sentence for playoff resumes. According to fivethirtyeight.com Wake Forest still has a chance if they win out but they will need losses from other power conferences which may still not be enough. Pitt and NC State are currently the only ranked teams in the ACC which leaves very few opportunities for Wake Forest to impress the committee.
How Hot is Dan Mullen’s Seat?: Florida had preseason expectations of competing for an SEC Championship and now they are fighting to become bowl eligible. The Gators will need to beat Missouri or Florida State in order to reach a bowl game (provided they beat Samford). Mullen is also 4-8 in his last 12 games. If we want to give Mullen the benefit of the doubt, two of those games were against Alabama and one was a bowl game against Oklahoma where he was missing numerous starters. The loss to South Carolina is inexcusable. If Mullen finishes 7-5, the administration could look to move in a new direction. I believe Mullen needs to win out in order to keep his job.