NCAA Football Report (Week 14)

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It was championship week and there was plenty on the line as teams battled for their conference titles

For some, it was going to be a massive accomplishment as they continued to put in a great year and were trying to get titles that were long out of reach.

For others though it was their absolute last chance to impress the committee and earn one of those four coveted spots.

A championship in one of the power five conferences has proven to be a good way to get a top four spot.

Without a title, it can be tough to get the attention of the voters although this year has bucked that trend.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were sitting in second place after beating Michigan during rivalry week and yet that would be their last game of the season.

The Buckeyes were not in the Big Ten championship game and yet it seemed like they would be in the playoff.

For the first time in the short history of the playoff, a non-championship seemed like they were going to have a chance at the national championship.

Instead, Penn State and Wisconsin were looking to prove to the voters that the winner of the Big Ten deserved to be in the playoff.

The Nittany Lions took home the Big Ten title and waited for the rankings to see if they could jump that high up with an impressive comeback win against Wisconsin.

The voters had their say and the Nittany Lions couldn’t make the move with the Buckeyes remaining in the top four.

It wasn’t entirely bad for Penn State as their Big Ten win earned them a spot in the Rose Bowl but they still will be one of two Power Five conference champions not to find their way to the playoff this year.

The Big Ten was one of the more interesting stories during championship week but there were three other teams in the top four all playing their final games with their playoff hopes on the line.

On Thursday the unexpected playoff team got their chance to prove that they belonged in the Pac-12 Championship.

Washington was on nobody’s radar this year as the Pac-12 was expected to be the usual suspects but two teams not used to being in that position found themselves there.

The Washington Huskies and Colorado Buffaloes were looking to take the title with the Huskies having plenty to lose.

They were ranked in the top four heading into the championship game while the Buffaloes looked to spoil the season and earn a spot in a major bowl game with a win.

The Huskies took care of business though as they easily got by the Buffaloes and with the win they remained in the top four.

The Huskies will move into the playoff for the first time after taking the Pac-12 championship and getting a shot at the National Championship.

They will be in tough as the most unexpected playoff team faces the most expected playoff team.football-sidebar

The Alabama Crimson Tide came into their SEC Championship as one of the top teams in the country which has become a familiar position for them.

They took on the Florida Gators and despite an early battle the Tide took an easy win that was sure to keep them on top of the rankings.

When the rankings arrived the Tide were once again at the top remaining at the top for the majority of the season.

They will take on the Huskies in the Peach Bowl as the biggest underdog possibly in the history of the playoff, which is only three years, tries to knock off the kings.

The next match-up was to be determined though as the ACC championship would have had a serious impact on the final four.

The Clemson Tigers were holding up a spot but they were not necessarily solidly in their third place position.

A loss against the Virginia Tech Hokies was sure to kick them out of the top four giving another team the opportunity.

The Tigers played much like the Tide in that they easily got passed the Hokies taking the win and their second straight ACC championship.

That helped them move to second place where they will be the home team in Fiesta Bowl against the Buckeyes.

The playoff is set with three championship teams and one non-championship team all looking to get that national championship.

For three of these teams, it is not really anything new as they have been a part of the playoff before.

Then there is the Huskies who could very well surprise everyone with only two games until a national champion is determined.

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Key Scores:
Washington Huskies 41-10 Colorado Buffaloes
– The Pac-12 Championship is used to seeing teams like Stanford and Oregon but this year it was two teams that hadn’t been there for a while and although the Buffaloes had a good season they couldn’t overcome the Huskies

Western Michigan Broncos 29-23 Ohio Bobcats
– The Broncos have been one of the few smaller programs to truly surprise everyone this year and with their close win over the Bobcats to take the MAC Championship they earned themselves a showcase in the Cotton Bowl against Big Ten runners up, Wisconsin

Oklahoma Sooners 38-20 Oklahoma State Cowboys
– The Big 12 still doesn’t have a championship game but Bedlam was as close as they could come for now as the Cowboys and the Sooners fought for more than bragging rights with the Sooners taking the win and the Big 12 title

Penn State Nittany Lions 38-31 Wisconsin Badgers
– The Big Ten championship was an interesting one for the implications in the playoff and although not much changed the Nittany Lions found their way back to take the win and a berth in the Rose Bowl

Next Week:
Navy Midshipmen vs. Army Black Knights (Saturday, December 10th; 3:00 pm ET)
– The traditional end of the season is here as the two biggest service schools face-off for another time with both teams circling this game on their calendar every year as the most important game of their seasons

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