UNDER THE RADAR: Michigan Trending Down? PSU's MVP, Va Tech's Playoff Path, Alabama's El
1. Michigan Trending Up or Down? Although Michigan lost a lot of talent last year, according to recruiting rankings they've stockpiled young players. However after starting last season 9-0 the Wolverines have gone 6-5 in their last 11 games. Surprisingly for Michigan they lack a big-time quarterback, running back or wide receiver. They will need to remedy that if they are to reverse the current trend. With a second conference loss they are going to finish without a Big Ten Title 13th straight season. That ties the longest Big Ten title drought in school history.
2. Is McSorley Quietly Penn State’s MVP? The past few weeks since Saquon Barkley’s big game at Iowa, one could argue it has been quarterback Trace McSorley who has been Penn State’s MVP. As teams have loaded up on the running game, it's been the pass game that has enabled Penn State to win games against Indiana, Northwestern and Michigan. If Penn State is to continue to win they'll need McSorley to keep the level of play he’s reached.
3. Va Tech Quietly Sneaking Back into Contention: Don’t look now but after a 59-7 stomping of UNC, Virginia Tech is among the pool of teams with a very real path to the College Football playoff. While they’ve already lost to Clemson, if the Hokies win their next five games (including trips to Miami and Georgia Tech) they will get a berth in the ACC Title game. A win there over likely opponent Clemson would give them a great shot at a playoff spot. While Virginia Tech winning out is a big if, it does show you how wide open the playoff race still is at this point in the season.
4. Other Quick Kicks: Army is bowl eligible for the second straight year so hats off to the Black Knights. Notre Dame handled USC and is a very real playoff contender. Miami’s road to the playoff takes a week off before a game at UNC and then big back to back home games against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
7. Screen Shot of the Day: Alabama’s goal-line and short yardage package is aptly named. The Crimson Tide’s "Elephant" group has eight linemen including 6 offensive linemen and 2 defensive linemen who play the two fullback positions. The gross weight of the 11-man Alabama Elephant package is 3,175 pounds (over a ton and a half). It’s not quite the African Forest Elephant's average weight of 5900 pounds but it's big enough to move the Tide into the end zone.