Posted on November 14, 2022
Washington and Oregon staged a thriller in Eugene, with the Duck loss essentially eliminating Oregon from the playoff.
Entering the weekend, the Pac-12 was sitting pretty with three teams having a clear path to get into the CFP.
Now the Conference will need some crazy things to happen over the next three weeks for USC to land a Playoff berth, in addition to the Trojans running the table.
Those three potential wins for USC would be over UCLA, a resurgent Notre Dame, and then their opponent in the Pac-12 Championship—not an easy three-week stretch.
The Big 12 and TCU were the winners of the week.
By holding serve in Austin the Horned Frogs solidified their spot in the top-four and the Conference looks poised to get their champ into the mix—provided TCU takes care of their business the next three weeks.
Tennessee was also a big winner, both on the field and in getting help by way of losses to Oregon and UCLA, which seems to have put the Vols in the driver’s seat to grab the Four Spot in a few weeks.
We have said for a few weeks things will settle down as the games are played and we have certainly seen that.
My latest playoff predictions:
1. Georgia Bulldogs 10-0 (Last week 1)
Last Week: Won at Mississippi State 45-19
Georgia picked up their 10th win of the season. It’s the fifth time the Bulldogs have won at least 10 games in Kirby Smart’s seven seasons in Athens.
The Dawgs have won 25 straight regular season games and 17 consecutive SEC regular season games.
Georgia has not allowed a first-quarter touchdown this season, outscoring opponents 95-9 in the opening stanza of the game.
Next Week: At Kentucky
2. Michigan Wolverines 10-0 (2)
Last week: Beat Nebraska 34-3
The last time Michigan opened 10-0 to start a season was 2006.
Blake Corum ran for 162 yards, his seventh straight 100-yard game the longest streak for a Wolverine since 2018.
In their last five games, Michigan has outscored opponents 117-3 in the second half.
Next Week: vs Illinois
3. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Indiana 56-14
Ohio State ran for 340 yards vs. the Hoosiers while putting up 662 total yards against a woefully bad Indiana team.
The Buckeye win over Indiana was their 28th in a row over the Hoosiers, the longest win streak over an opponent in Big Ten history.
It is the 71st straight game the Buckeyes have scored at least 20 points, the longest streak in FBS history.
Next Week: At Maryland
4. TCU Horned Frogs 10-0 (4)
Last Week: Won at Texas 17-10
The win over the Longhorns was TCU’s fifth this season over a ranked opponent, tied with Tennessee for the most ranked wins this season.
Sonny Dykes is the first coach in TCU history to begin his tenure with 10 straight wins, he is also the first coach in Big 12 history to accomplish that.
TCU has now won eight of its last 11 vs Texas and is 5-1 in its last six trips to Austin.
Next Week: At Baylor
5. USC Trojans 9-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Colorado 55-17
USC remained perfect against Colorado with their 16th win in 16 meetings with the Buffs.
It was the fourth straight game the Trojans scored at least 40 points.
At 9-1, Lincoln Riley is off to the best start to a coaching career at USC since John Robinson also opened the 1976 season 9-1.
The Trojans did lose Travis Dye to a leg injury, however, and his production will be missed for the remainder of the season.
Next Week: At UCLA
6. Tennessee Volunteers 9-1 (7)
Last Week: Beat Missouri 66-24
The Vols put up a school-record 723 yards of offense on the Tigers.
The 66 points scored were also the most UT has scored in an SEC game ever.
Hendon Hooker accounted for 405 total yards and four TDs as the Vols offense got right after the loss to Georgia.
Next Week: At South Carolina
7. LSU Tigers 8-2 (9)
Last Week: Won at Arkansas 13-10
Harold Perkins had eight tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles as LSU got a rivalry win over the Razorbacks.
The win coupled with the Ole Miss loss allowed the Tigers to secure the SEC West and punch their ticket to Atlanta.
Josh Williams averaged 6.6 yards per touch with 131 total yards on the day.
Next Week: vs UAB
8. Utah Utes 8-2 (10)
Last Week: Beat Stanford 42-7
Utah got their 14th straight home-field win as they end the season 6-0 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Utes now have won 25 of their last 26 in Salt Lake City. Tavion Thomas ran for a career-high 180 yards.
Utah recorded five sacks against the Cardinal.
Stanford had just 22 rushing yards, marking the fourth time this season that Utah has held an opponent to under 50 yards rushing.
Next Week: At Oregon
9. Clemson Tigers 9-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Louisville 31-16
Clemson rebounded from their first loss of the season with their 39th consecutive win at home.
That streak will carry into next season as the longest in the nation and the longest in ACC history.
The last time the Tigers lost in Memorial Stadium was in 2016. Clemson has not lost back-to-back games since 2011.
Next Week: At Miami
10. Alabama Crimson Tide 8-2 (13)
Last Week: Won 30-24 at Ole Miss
Alabama improved to 10-0 in games following a regular season loss.
Nick Saban is now 28-2 all-time vs his former assistants.
Bryce Young has 7,471 passing yards in his career, the third most in Alabama history.
The win was the 27th road win over a ranked opponent in Saban’s career, the second most ever, trailing only Bobby Bowden’s 33.
Next Week: vs Austin Peay
11. North Carolina Tar Heels 9-1 (14)
Last Week: Won at Wake Forest 36-34
At 6-0 in conference play, the Tar Heels are off to their best ACC start since going 8-0 in 2015.
The win clinched the ACC Coastal for the Heels.
Drake Maye threw for three TDs and ran another one in. He has now accounted for 39 TDs on the season.
Maye’s 34 passing TDs are the second most in a single season in UNC history.
Next Week: vs Georgia Tech
12. Oregon Ducks 8-2 (5)
Last Week: Lost to Washington 37-34
Oregon had scored at least 40 in eight straight, and had won 23 in a row at Autzen stadium—but both of those streaks are no more.
Also, most likely gone is any shot the Ducks may have had at the CFB Playoffs. But a Pac-12 title is still very much at hand.
Oregon ran for 313 yards against the Huskies.
Next Week: vs Utah
13. Penn State Nittany Lions 8-2 (15)
Last Week: Beat Maryland 30-0
Penn State was too much for the Terps on both sides of the ball.
It was the Nittany Lions’ first shutout of the season, but their eighth since the 2014 season.
Penn State held Maryland to 134 total yards, their best defensive output since 2019.
PSU limited the Terps to just three yards of offense in the first quarter.
Next Week: At Rutgers
14. UCLA Bruins 8-2 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Arizona 34-28
A week ago, the Bruins opened up a lead and let ASU make it close. This time the Bruins started slow and played catch-up vs. Arizona for most of the night.
Zach Charbonnet ran for 181 against the Wildcats, the eighth straight Pac-12 game he has topped to the 100-yard mark.
Next Week: vs USC
15. Mississippi Rebels 8-2 (11)
Last Week: Lost to Alabama 30-24
Quinshon Judkins ran for his 15th touchdown in the loss to Alabama to set the freshman record for TD runs at Ole Miss.
Judkins ran for 135 on the day.
Defensively, the Rebels held Alabama to 317 yards of offense, the fewest the Rebs have allowed to Alabama since their 2012 meeting.
Next Week: At Arkansas
16. Washington Huskies 8-2 (22)
Last Week: Won at Oregon 37-34
It was a thriller in Eugene!
Michael Penix threw for 408 yards and two touchdowns as Washington stopped a 13-game losing streak against ranked Oregon teams.
The last time the Huskies knocked off a ranked Duck team was 2002.
Next Week: vs Colorado
17. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7-3 (19)
Last Week: Beat Navy 35-32
Notre Dame was outscored 19-0 in the second half, but the Irish had built a big enough lead to hang on.
The Fighting Irish blocked their seventh punt of the season vs. Navy, the most of any team in the nation.
Notre Dame has now blocked a kick in five straight games.
Next Week: vs Boston College
18. Central Florida Knights 8-2 (18)
Last Week: Won at Tulane 38-32
UCF built a 24-7 lead on Tulane and held on as the Green Wave mounted their comeback.
The Knights ran for 336 yards on a good Tulane defense.
The win puts the Knights in a three-way tie with Cincinnati and Tulane for the AAC with UCF owning wins over both of them.
Next Week: vs Navy
19. Kansas State Wildcats 7-3 (23)
Last Week: Won at Baylor 31-3
Kansas State went to Waco and left with its largest road win over Baylor since 2002.
Deuce Vaughn topped 100 yards on the ground for the sixth time this season and has run for 1,081 yards on the year.
He becomes the third player in K-State history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Next Week: At West Virginia
20. Oregon State Beavers 7-3 (25)
Last Week: Beat California 38-10
The Beavers got their 10th win in their last 11 games at Reser Stadium.
Oregon State held Cal to 53 yards of offense in the first half. Anthony Gould returned his second punt for a TD.
He is one of just two players in the nation with multiple punts returned for a TD this season.
Next Week: At Arizona State
21. Florida State Seminoles 7-3 (NR)
Last Week: Won at Syracuse 38-3
Florida State’s defense did not allow a touchdown for the second consecutive game.
The Seminoles limited SU to just 160 of total offense with 86 of those coming in the fourth quarter when the game was no longer in doubt.
Jordan Travis completed 21 of his 23 pass attempts for the Noles.
Next Week: vs Louisiana
22. Tulane Green Wave 8-2 (16)
Last Week: Lost to Central Florida 38-32
The Green Wave lost for the first time in five games in what was the first game between a pair of ranked teams hosted by Tulane since 1949.
Michael Pratt threw three TD passes, giving him at least one TD pass in 30 of his 31 games.
Next Week: vs SMU
23. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 9-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Southern Miss 26-23
The Chants opened a 17-0 lead after one quarter only to enter the half tied at 17.
Sam Pinckney went over 100 yards receiving for the fourth time this season with a 106-yard effort.
CCU is 31-4 since the start of the 2020 season. Coastal registered 10 tackles for loss in the game.
Next Week: At Virginia
24. Oklahoma State Cowboys 7-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Iowa State 20-14
The Cowboys return to my Top 25 following a win over Iowa State.
OSU forced three first-half turnovers and forced five for the game, the most they have forced since 2020.
Oklahoma State won at home for the 14th straight game, the longest streak in program history.
Next Week: At Oklahoma
25. UT-San Antonio Roadrunners 8-2 (24)
Last Week: Beat Louisiana Tech 51-10
The Roadrunners rolled over LA Tech enroute to a 6-0 mark in CUSA.
UTSA has now gone 18-3 in their last 21 conference games and 23-5 in their last 28 played overall.
This was the 28th straight game UTSA scored at least 20 points.
On the defensive side of the ball, UTSA recorded 10 passes defended with seven breakups and three interceptions.
Next Week: At Rice
Dropped Out: Liberty, Texas, NC State, and Illinois
Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.
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