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The Crimson Tide has been the best team all season long and are favored to win it all as they should. As for the SEC Championship Game, it was over before it started. Even with Alabama getting off to a slow start, they eventually flexed their muscle in crushing Florida. The running game was good, the passing game was not. Not to worry though, the defense was lights out after giving up an opening drive touchdown and scored one themselves. Special teams got into the act and scored on a blocked punt return. Can Washington give Alabama a good game?
The Tigers held on against an underrated Hokie team while quarterback Deshaun Watson carried them to victory. Clemson needs to get running back Wayne Gallman going if they are going to advance in the playoffs. The defense bent but did not break in the end. This unit needs to tighten it up against the pass. Ohio State will certainly push them to the limit. Should be a great game.
The Huskies dominated the Buffaloes in the PAC 12 Championship Game. If there was any doubt they belonged in the playoff, it was erased, they earned their invitation. The passing attack was non-existent but the running game was on. The defense was near perfect, smothering Colorado’s offense. They have a monumental task ahead of them taking on Alabama.
The Buckeyes benefited from not playing, even after I dropped them two spots. Some will argue they did not deserve to be in the playoffs. I disagree. Head-to-head only matters when teams have the same record. Sorry Penn State fans. Ohio State is one of the four best teams in the country. They will have their hands full against Clemson. Sure to be a classic matchup.
The Nittany Lions finished off a miraculous regular season in style, fittingly coming back against the Badgers after being down 28-7. Quarterback Trace McSorely was awesome making all the necessary throws. The defense got stingier as the game went on. I know they are disappointed in not making the playoffs but a trip to the Rose Bowl against a very hot Southern California team is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Wolverines knew they would need a ton of help in order to make the playoffs and it did not happen. They had their chance but squandered it to Ohio State. Now, can they focus after being disappointed on facing a rejuvenated Florida State Seminoles team in the Orange Bowl? This is an intriguing matchup between two great coaches and programs. A lot of talent will be displayed on the field.
The Sooners took care of business against their rival Cowboys. The game was not as close as the score suggested either. It was an efficient, well balanced attack that Oklahoma State could not stop. Running back Samaje Perine was spectacular, rushing for 239 yards. The defense had an issue stopping the run though. Not a good sign with the Auburn Tigers coming up in the Sugar Bowl, but will the Tigers be able to tame this Sooner offense?
The Mountaineers just got by the Bears. The running attack led the way as the passing game struggled mightily. The defense held up despite giving up 400 plus total yards. They offset that by forcing four turnovers. The season continues in the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. Only a win will make this a successful season.
Last week-Not ranked
The Broncos complete an undefeated regular season with a win over the Bobcats in the MAC Championship Game. It was not pretty but they got it done. They deserved to be in my Top 10 with two victories over Big Ten teams. Being from a non power five conference usually means no love in the polls. Western Michigan gets their chance to get some major respect against a top tier Big Ten team in Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.
The Badgers suffered a tough loss against the Nittany Lions. They simply collapsed after leading 28-7. The passing game could not keep the defense honest as Penn State stacked the box late. With the running game slowed down, all momentum was lost and they were dominated in the second half. Now they have to regroup and play a pumped up Western Michigan team out to prove themselves.