Aug. 18, 2015
CFP Race - Week 10 - Top Teams Bulldoze through Competition
Quick note before we start, the number five and six teams represent the teams that were formerly called "in the hunt."
6. Ohio State (62-3 win over Nebraska)
The Buckeyes nearly overtook Louisville this week, but Nebraska is not as good of a team as their ranking indicated, not to mention they had no identity on offense after starting quarterback, Tommy Armstrong Jr. was knocked out of the game.
Urban Meyer’s boys looked back to normal after a rocky past two weeks. J.T. Barrett returned to form going 26 of 38 passing the ball for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Curtis Samuel continues to be underused, but managed 178 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 touches. If the Buckeyes do make the playoffs it would do them good to give Samuel more touches.
There’s one more chance for Ohio State to burst into the playoffs, and that is in their final game against Michigan. A win there would guarantee them a playoff ticket.
5. Louisville (52-7 win over Boston College)
This was exactly the kind of showing Louisville needs to have a chance at the playoffs. They scored quickly and often, averaging just over a minute of possession time on their six first half scoring drives.
The ever entertaining Lamar Jackson was unstoppable on the air and ground. He scored seven total touchdowns, including two electrifying touchdown runs of 69 and 53 yards. Jackson gained 416 of Louisville’s 515 total yards, showing just how important he is to this offense.
As I said last week, the best chance the Cardinals have at the playoffs is running up the score on their lesser competition. It’ll be hard to ignore a team that regularly scores over 50 points per game. Louisville will certainly have the chance to do just that next week against Wake Forest.
4. Washington (66-27 win over California)
Similar to the rest of the teams on this list, Washington blew the doors off their competition. The Huskies put on a clinic offensively, racking up an astounding 704 total yards.
Jake Browning turned in one of his best performances of the year, passing for 378 yards and six touchdowns. John Ross and Dante Pettis were the biggest benefactors of this offensive explosion, combining for 14 receptions, 312 yards, and three touchdowns.
Washington is making a convincing case for the playoffs, reeling off blowout after blowout. However, the lack of a win against top-ranked competition could cause them to get leapfrogged by the end of the season.
3. Clemson (54-0 win over Syracuse)
Although Clemson took home the victory, their star quarterback, Deshaun Watson was forced out of the game in the second quarter with a bruised shoulder. However, before he left, Watson scored three touchdowns and Clemson held a 23-0 lead.
Even after Watson’s departure, their aerial attack continued to put up numbers. Deon Cain led the Tigers in receiving with five catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The Clemson defense really showed up in this game, pitching a shutout and holding Syracuse to just 277 total yards.
It should be smooth sailing for the Tigers the rest of the way. What’s most important is making sure that Watson is healthy come playoff time.
2. Michigan (59-3 win over Maryland)
This one was never even close. The Wolverines scored on all but one of their drives against Maryland. They moved the ball at will, piling up 660 total yards, their highest total of the season.
Wilton Speight had one of his best games of the year, passing for 362 yards and two touchdowns, he also added a score on the ground. The rushing attack was led by De’veon Smith who carried the ball 19 times for 114 yards and three touchdowns.
The big game is quickly approaching when Michigan takes on Ohio State on November 26 in a game that will make or break their season.
1. Alabama (10-0 win over LSU)
This was an old-school, grind it out kind of game. Neither side looked like it was going to break, until a 12 play, 90 yard touchdown drive by Alabama in the fourth quarter to break the deadlock.
The Crimson Tide stuck to the run throughout the game and eventually just wore out the LSU defense. As a team, they rushed 51 times for 216 yards. Jalen Hurts continues to surpass all expectations, accumulating 221 total yards and rushing for the sole touchdown of the game. He is a dangerous runner whose style matches up perfectly with the bruising Alabama rushing attack.
Although Alabama always looks dominant, you get the sense that this year there won’t be any slip-ups. This team has shown it can win any type of game, an essential asset with the potential teams they’ll face in the playoffs.