NCAA Football Report (Week 9)

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It is now November and in college football that means one thing as the College Football Playoff is right around the corner.

The CFP rankings are about to come out and the debates are about to begin regarding who deserves a spot in the coveted top four.

It is officially the second year that everyone will be watching closely to see who is ranked where in the first weekly CFP rankings.

Last year the CFP put together what looked to be a great top four and turned out to be a surprising playoff when the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes took home the title.

Yet despite the success there were plenty of complaints about the first year of the playoff.

The biggest came after the final rankings were revealed and two teams were left out of the playoff when many thought at least one should be in the top four.

The Baylor Bears and TCU Horned Frogs were sitting just outside the playoff in the last rankings after at least one had been in for most of the CFP rankings.

Both teams finished the year with only one loss in a fairly competitive conference, the Big 12.

Meanwhile the big conferences took the top four with the SEC, Pac 12, ACC, and Big Ten all being represented.

The issues that many had, was the simple fact that the expectation for the playoff was to give more teams a chance to play for a championship.

By more teams many fans meant teams from the smaller conferences who had always been so close but never been able to find their way to the championship.

Teams like Boise State, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, and Kansas State all had great years during the BCS but none appeared in the National Championship.

Instead they were overtaken by teams from the Power Five conferences who sometimes had one loss to the smaller school’s no losses.

The BCS frustrated plenty of people as they believed that the best teams didn’t necessarily get the call because they weren’t from a bigger conference.

There is some logic to these decisions though as teams from bigger conferences have tougher schedules because they are facing better in-conference competition.

Therefore they earned top spots even if they suffered one loss as opposed to smaller schools who faced little competition on their way to an undefeated season.football-sidebar

Regardless of the reasoning people wanted a change and wanted to give more teams a chance to play their way to the championship.

The first year gave teams that chance but for some it didn’t do the job that it was intended to do.

Baylor or TCU making it may have made some critics happy but to put one above the other made no sense.

Last year both had one loss with the Bears beating the Horned Frogs and the Bears losing to West Virginia.

It was a difficult decision and in the end both teams were left out forced to play in other big bowls.

This year there are plenty of people hoping to see either of these two teams in the top four and judging by the AP polls so far they have a chance.

Of course there is no doubt that Ohio State should remain the top team in the country as they have yet to lose and have been #1 since the start of the season.

Beyond that the debate can begin about any other team being included in the first rankings.

Clemson has been great this year and they may find their way to the top four with signature wins and an undefeated record.

The LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide could both make it in the top four before they face off in Week 10, where the loser will likely fall out of the top four.

Baylor or TCU could find their way in for at least the first rankings while they prepare to face-off on the 27th.

There are some outside shots as well with Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Stanford all needing to win every other game and see teams ahead of them lose.

The CFP rankings are about to arrive and with it comes the debate about who deserves to be in and who deserves to be out.

More than that though the rankings mark the final stretch where games become like playoff games as a loss is the end for any team with everyone pursuing the top four and a spot in the playoff.

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Key Scores:
#11 Florida Gators 27 – 3 Georgia Bulldogs
– The World’s Largest Cocktail Party was not the same tough battle that is used to be as the Georgia Bulldogs were not up for the challenge against their long-time rivals with the Gators took an easy win in the latest chapter of this classic rivalry

#15 Michigan Wolverines 29 – 26 Minnesota Golden Gophers
– The Battle for the Little Brown Jug was far more interesting than the Wolverines wanted it to be as they had just dropped a heartbreaker to Michigan State and almost dropped another until the Wolverines defence made a goal line stand to preserve their lead

Miami Hurricanes 30 – 27 Duke Blue Devils #22
– In a week where a lot of the top teams took a bye week there were not many upsets as the only one came thanks to the Hurricanes who beat the Blue Devils with a controversial seven-lateral kick return to score the winning touchdown

#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 24 – 20 Temple Owls #21
– The Temple Owls had their biggest test in one of their best seasons in program history and they proved a lot in shutting down a potent rushing offence but not doing enough to prevent their first loss of the season

Next Week:
#17 Florida State Seminoles vs. #3 Clemson Tigers (Saturday November 7th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The ACC will likely come down to these two teams and they get their first shot at each other with the Tigers attempting to stay undefeated and likely in the top of the rankings while the Seminoles look to climb back up the rankings

#5 TCU Horned Frogs vs. #12 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Saturday November 7th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Horned Frogs are sitting just outside the top four in the AP Rankings and are hoping that they can find their way into the playoff as they take on the Cowboys in what should be a Big 12 shootout between two good offensive teams

Navy Midshipmen vs. #15 Memphis Tigers (Saturday November 7th; 7:00 pm; ET)
– The Tigers are the team that so many people want to see make their way to the college playoff but they need a lot of help to do it and will need to keep winning including this game against an always tricky triple option from Navy

#4 LSU Tigers vs. #7 Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday November 7th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The SEC has been one of the toughest conferences in the league and although both of these teams have a chance at the playoff after the game one will need a lot to get back as the Tide try to shut down Leonard Fournette in a big game with massive playoff and SEC implications

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