NCAA Football Report (Week 8)

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These are the weeks that can change an NCAA football season for good, although it doesn’t look like it from a first glance.

This week many top teams took a bye and didn’t schedule any games to give their kids a rest.

It is an essential time to do that as the first part of the season is over and after this week the real work is set to begin.

Anyone that was playing this week didn’t really schedule a big challenge either as unranked teams were taking on ranked teams in almost every game.

This week and next will be weeks without some of the best teams in the nation as they prepare for the long haul through November that will determine the playoff.

November is an essential part of the NCAA season as the four weeks in that month can be the make-or-break moment of the season.

For much of the first part of the year teams have scheduled opponents that they know that they can beat.

There are always the few teams that have scheduling against top teams due to availability or conference schedules but for the most part they schedule teams that will give them wins.

They use the first part of the season to climb up the rankings with big wins and hope to avoid any major upsets.

If they can do this they enter November in good standing but the easy part of the schedule is now gone.

November is the time where the best teams in the conference face-off as the conference races wind down.

This is the time where teams look for those signature wins that won’t be easy but will boost their standing in the rankings.

The toughest games are coming up and they will change the look of the rankings as every week might see new members of the top four.

So those weeks are important for the playoff race but these weeks where teams face their last weak opponents and many teams take time off could be just as important.

For one these weeks provide a lot fewer distractions for the voters and the committee as the good teams that are playing have a lot more focus on them.

If they don’t play well and play close to a team that doesn’t have playoff hopes it could damage their standing in the initial CFP rankings.football-sidebar

More than that though is the fact that a loss to a weak team right now is devastating to playoff hopes.

There is just not enough time to earn a spot back in the playoff after a loss with only a few weeks remaining in the season.

Teams that might have lost earlier in the year have had their chance to pile up more wins and move back into the hunt.

Teams that lose now do not have the same amount of time as that loss will be fresh in the minds of all of the committee members who determine the CFP rankings.

It is a challenging week because a loss does hurt but at the same time it is tough to get up for some of these games when the big teams are just ahead.

With groups of young players it is tough to get them to focus on the game at hand when they are looking at the game ahead.

Sometimes it is just tough for a team to get up for a game that is not supposed to be too tough as the intensity can be lacking.

That seemed to happen this week to the Florida State Seminoles who took on an unranked team but one of the best at upsetting good teams in Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets are a triple-option team and that is tough to prepare for when every week you play regular defences.

Still the best teams can prepare properly and overcome the issues while others fall under the confusion that the type of offence provides.

The Seminoles lost their game against the Jackets and for the loss, their first of the year, they were sent out of the top ten.

With five weeks left it is going to be near impossible for the Seminoles to get to the top four unless a number of teams falter in front of them.

They are the perfect example of a promising team losing at the wrong time in the season and they likely won’t be the last as only a few weeks stand between teams and the playoff as every game becomes that much more important as the season moves on into November.

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Key Scores:
USC Trojans 42 – 24 Utah Utes #3
– Utah made plenty of headlines last week when they moved into the top four in the country but that high was ended this week when the Trojans showed that they might not be ready to play in the playoff handing the Utes a big loss

#6 Clemson Tigers 58 – 0 Miami Hurricanes
– The Tigers proved something this week as they continued their undefeated season and this time shut down a decent team in Miami as their offence went off for 58 points while their defence was unstoppable in a win that moved them within the top 4

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 22 – 16 Florida State Seminoles #9
– The Seminoles were in tough against a team that loves to upset big teams but it wasn’t until the last play of the game that they took the lead as a blocked field goal was returned for a touchdown to end the Seminoles’ hopes of a playoff appearance

Ole Miss Rebels 23 – 3 Texas A&M Aggies #15
– The Rebels seemed to be out of the picture but they made sure they threw a wrench in the plans of the Crimson Tide a win against the Aggies has made the fight for the SEC West that much more interesting

Next Week:
#19 Ole Miss Rebels vs. Auburn Tigers (Saturday October 31st; 12:00 pm ET)
– If the Rebels can take this they will move ahead of the Tide in the SEC West standings and they would love to upset the Tide once again but the Tigers are not going to be beat without a fight as the Rebels try to climb back to a good bowl game

#11 Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs (Saturday October 31st; 3:30 pm ET)
– The World’s Largest Cocktail Party gets underway again and although the Bulldogs are not ranked and without their star player there are never any guarantees when it comes to big rivalry games as this game will have massive influence on the SEC East

#3 Clemson Tigers vs. NC State Wolfpack (Saturday October 31st; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Tigers now seem close to opening November inside the playoff and they will look to do just that but they need to get by the wolfpack and avoid looking ahead to Florida State who they play on November 7th with massive ACC and playoff implications

#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #21 Temple Owls (Saturday October 31st; 8:00 pm ET)
– It is one of the few games between ranked teams during the week as the Irish get back to work after receiving a two-spot bump in the rankings and now having the ability to make a run as long as they can win-out including the rising Owls

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