NCAA Football Report (Week 10)

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The first rankings are out in the new playoff era as teams finally got to see where they stand in the playoff committee’s rankings. As much as the rankings before meant a lot to the teams they truly didn’t mean all that much in the end as the AP and Coaches’ poll has no bearing on the College Football Playoff. That is the end goal of every team in the NCAA as they all hope to find their way to the playoff and eventually to the National Championship. The only way to get there is to prove to the new committee that they belong in the top four of the division. The first rankings saw Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, and Ole Miss sitting in the top four. If the NCAA season were to end after last week these would be the final four teams to compete for the National Championship. That is the wonder of the NCAA though as the rankings in the first week mean absolutely nothing in the end. The schedules are just getting good for most teams and many of the top ten in the CFP rankings could find themselves on the losing end of a game in the near future. As important as these rankings are for teams to determine if a team has a chance at the playoff it is all about where the team finishes and not about where they start. As the season creeps closer to the end there is little time remaining for many teams to find their way to the top four in the CFP rankings. For the top four teams it is all about trying to remain at the top and get through the endless challengers that will try to unseat them. They sit in the spots that every team wants to be in and in every game teams will try to beat them and show that they deserve recognition. Every game for these top four has become a championship game as they will get every team’s best and they no longer have a break. One team already realized that the hard way this past week when they took their second loss of the season. The Ole Miss Rebels were one of the teams that rose out of nowhere this year to become one of the hotter teams in the nation. Along with Mississippi State they rose to prominence after beating big name teams but the Rebels have fallen recently. After a loss to the lower ranked LSU Tigers the Rebels still found themselves in the top four of the CFP rankings. A week after getting that last playoff spot the Rebels fell to the #3 team in Auburn. The road will not get much easier for them either as they take on the spoiler loving Arkansas Razorbacks, who have pushed many of the top teams to the brink this year, and Mississippi State in their biggest game of the year. Meanwhile the team that beat them in Week 10 has a rocky road themselves after earning the #3 spot in the first CFP rankings. The Auburn Tigers took a loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs earlier in the season but since then have remained near the top and have their own road to climb. After beating Ole Miss they took out one of their toughest opponents but have plenty more to go with Georgia and Alabama in the Iron Bowl left to go for their season. Meanwhile the Bulldogs sat at the top of the original CFP rankings and will travel through Alabama and Ole Miss in their last game of the year. By far the easiest route for any of the original four will be the Florida State Seminoles who do not face a ranked team again this year and could easily find their way into the playoff if they avoid any trap games. The path is not going to be that easy for any one though as every team will come out to beat them and if they can it will shock the playoff and give any of the other teams waiting for a shot a chance to move into the playoff. That is the importance of the first rankings but in the end nothing else matters as everyone must concentrate on their own season as the battle for the playoff truly begins with the CFP rankings now out.


Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
Mariota is has not really received the respect he deserves in the Heisman race as Prescott remains a popular pick for most. He is still getting consideration though and should be at the top of the list after another great performance where he accounted for four touchdowns on the night. He continues to be the most consistent QB in the group and is doing it all with a patchwork line that he will continue to try to overcome next week against Utah.
Stats (9 Games):
68.1% cmp (71 att)
2,541 yds (410 rsh yds)
26 TD (7 rsh TD)
187.2 rtg

2. Melvin Gordon, RB (Wisconsin)
Another 100+ yard game keeps Gordon near the top of the Heisman rankings as he remains the best running back in the NCAA right now. He continues to build space between him and the other contenders and once again a week without Todd Gurley doesn’t hurt. He will try to keep the streak against Purdue as he hopes to make it six straight games with over 100 yards.
Stats (8 Games):
173 att
1,296 yds
7.5 avg
18 TD

3. Everett Golson, QB (Notre Dame)
It was not the best performance from the Irish as they were pushed to the edge by Navy but Golson shone. Despite a late game interception that made the match much closer than it needed to be Golson accounted for 6 touchdowns on the night. He put the team on his back and if the Irish hope to make the playoff he will need to do the same including in their biggest game of the year against Arizona State next week.
Stats (8 Games):
62.8% cmp (78 att)
2,311 yds (272 rsh yds)
22 TD (7 rsh TD)
149.0 rtg

4. Dak Prescott, QB (Mississippi State)
Stats (8 Games):
61.1% cmp (137 att)
2,025 yds (725 rsh yds)
16 TD (10 rsh TD)
157.8 rtg

5. Amari Cooper, WR (Alabama)
Stats (8 Games):
71 rec
1,132 yds
15.9 avg
9 TD


CFP Rankings:
1. Mississippi State Bulldogs (1)
2. Florida State Seminoles (2)
3. Auburn Tigers (3)
4. Oregon Ducks (5)
5. Alabama Crimson Tide (6)
6. TCU Horned Frogs (7)
7. Kansas State Wildcats (9)
8. Michigan State Spartans (8)
9. Arizona State Sun Devils (14)
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10)
11. Ole Miss Rebels (4)
12. Baylor Bears (13)
13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (15)
14. Ohio State Buckeyes (16)
15. Oklahoma Sooners (18)
16. LSU Tigers (19)
17. Utah Utes (17)
18. UCLA Bruins (22)
19. Arizona Wildcats (12)
20. Georgia Bulldogs (11)
21. Clemson Tigers (21)
22. Duke Blue Devils (24)
23. West Virginia Mountaineers (20)
24. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (–)
25. Wisconsin Badgers (–)
– Last Updated November 4


Key Scores:
#1 Mississippi State 17 – 10 Arkansas Razorbacks
– The top team in the nation remained undefeated but it was not easy as the target is on their back and the Razorbacks used it as motivation as they have all year after pushing teams to the brink at every turn

#3 Auburn Tigers 35 – 31 Ole Miss Rebels #4
– The Rebels were given a chance despite their first loss of the season against LSU as they were put in the playoff but their first test as a member of the official playoff teams did not go well after losing to the Tigers who defended their spot in the top four

#7 TCU Horned Frogs 31 – 30 West Virginia Mountaineers #20
– The Horned Frogs were just coming off of an 82 point outing while the Mountaineers were coming off of a 34-point outing in a matchup thought to be a shootout and it was with the Horned Frogs keeping their playoff hopes alive with a last second field goal

Florida Gators 38 – 20 Georgia Bulldogs #11
– The Bulldogs have not had their best season and it only got worse this week as the Bulldogs lost one of their biggest games falling to Florida in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party ending any hope of them making the playoff


Next Week:
#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #9 Arizona State Sun Devils (Saturday November 8th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Fighting Irish came it fairly low in the first CFP rankings with the criticism being that they did not have a signature win yet and this game could be that signature win but it will not be easy against a very good Sun Devils team

#7 Kansas State Wildcats vs. #6 TCU Horned Frogs (Saturday November 8th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Horned Frogs remain in the hunt for the playoff after a close win and they will look to remain close to the playoff with another big win against a top ranked team who are coming off of a big win of their own

#5 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #16 LSU Tigers (Saturday November 8th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Tide are trying to climb back into the playoff after dropping out of the top four in the first rankings and they will take on the Tigers who have proven to be a force in the SEC despite their bad start to the season

#4 Oregon Ducks vs. #17 Utah Utes (Saturday November 8th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Ducks continue to march towards the playoff as they take on one of the best teams they will face this year in the Utah Utes who are trying to get some recognition with their biggest win of the year

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