Ole Miss is Out and Other Big Stories from Week 10
One contender may have played its way into the playoff while another got knocked out. Here are the highlights from Week 10.
Florida State May Have Punched Its Ticket
Florida State certainly hasn’t been as dominant as last year, winning by an average of 15.6 points per game this season as compared to 42 in 2013. But the defending champs have still shown the ability to make plays when they need to and might have just punched their ticket into the playoffs. Down by 21, Jameis Winston showed why he is the defending Heisman winner, throwing for 401 yards and touchdowns of 68, 47 and 35 yards to lead the Seminoles to a comeback win at No. 25 Louisville.
The Noles will not face another ranked team this season and are heavy favorites to be one of the top two seeds going into the playoff. Assuming no more FSU stars get arrested between now and then.
TCU Isn’t Far Behind
Three weeks ago, TCU’s national title hopes seemed to take a big hit when they collapsed in the fourth quarter against Baylor. But this week, they put themselves squarely back in the mix with a fourth quarter comeback of their own on the road at No. 20 West Virginia.
The Horned Frogs have a tough matchup next week against No. 9 Kansas State in what could be a play-in game for the college football playoff. But if they can get past that, they should be able to coast against three remaining opponents with a combined record of 8-17.
Ole Miss Suffered the Most Painful Loss of the Season
Everyone knew that a second loss would likely knock a team out of playoff contention. So the No. 4 Rebels’ loss to Auburn will leave a bad enough taste for Rebels fans. But the way it went down will make things decidedly worse. Trailing 35-31, Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell appeared to have a 20-yard catch-and-run touchdown to put the Rebels on top with just 1:30 today. But replay showed that Treadwell fumbled the ball just short of the end zone and it was recovered by Auburn, the second Ole Miss fumble inside the Auburn 10 of the quarter. Even worse, Treadwell suffered a season-ending broken leg on the play.
There’s pain. And then there’s having-instant-replay-take-away-your-championship-hopes-while-a-star-player-is-carted-off-the-field pain.
Anyone Proclaiming SEC Dominance Hasn’t Watched the East This Year
Yes, I get it that the SEC West has the best teams in college football. But the East is a complete train wreck. That deep thud you heard on Saturday was Georgia laying a giant egg in a 38-20 loss to lowly Florida. Gators quarterback Treon Harris threw for just 27 yards, but that’s all it takes when the Bulldogs will let you rush for 418. And that was only slightly uglier than South Carolina falling in overtime to Tennessee.
Don’t look now, but the SEC East could well be represented in the conference title game by a team that lost at home to Indiana. It doesn’t get much lower than that.
Oregon Exorcised Some Demons
On Halloween weekend, it seemed appropriate that Oregon faced some ghosts from its past.
In each of the previous two years, Stanford upset a Ducks squad ranked either first or second and knocked them out of title contention. But this year, No. 5 Oregon got a measure of revenge with a 45-16 beatdown of the Cardinal. Marcus Mariota had another solid game for his Heisman campaign with 343 total yards and four touchdowns. The Ducks rolled up 525 yards of offense on a Stanford defense that had been giving up less than 251 per game.
Oregon goes on the road next week to No. 17 Utah but, assuming they can pass that test, should be able to coast into the PAC-12 title game.