UNDER THE RADAR: College Football Playoff Field is WIDE Open, Heisman Market: QBs Soar & Who Can
1. The College Football Playoff Field is Still Wide Open: Much like the extra wildcard team in baseball kept more teams in the hunt, so too has the college football playoff. Right now there are legitimately 13 teams in the hunt with one undefeated long shot making it 14.
ACC: Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech
Big 12: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU
Big 10: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State
Independent: Notre Dame
Pac 12: Washington
SEC: Alabama, Georgia
Needs a Lot of Help: UCF
2. A Frightful Scenario: The most controversial scenario would be an undefeated Alabama team losing a close game to undefeated Georgia. Might they still get in? If that happens and Notre Dame gets in there will be 3 power-5 conference champions on the outside looking in.
3. Heisman Trophy Market--QB Stocks Soar: After a month of soaring RB stocks a couple of QBs were big gainers in week 9. Stanford’s injured RB Bryce Love did not play and Penn State’s Saquon Barkley finished with 41 yards on 21 carries in an upset loss. Meanwhile Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield threw for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 22 point win over Texas Tech. Add to the QB list Arizona’s Khalil Tate who ran for 158 yards and passed for 275 more in a rout of #15 Washington State and rushed for 840 yards in October alone. In Saturday's Heisman matchup against Penn State, Ohio State QB JT Barrett gained 95 yards rushing and completed 33 of 39 passes for 328 yards and 4 TDs. What really stands out was the 4th quarter where Barrett hit 13 for 13 passes for 170 yards and 3 TDs while Barkley had 6 carries for -5 yards and 1 kickoff return for 8 yards.
4. Why Barrett, Mayfield and Love Can Make the Best Case: They can present the most compelling evidence by having the biggest games left to state their case. Heisman voters pay attention to the marquee games. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley has Michigan State this week at noon and then three games against bad teams. If Love gets healthy he has games against Washington State, Washington and on the last week against a resurgent Notre Dame. Baker Mayfield has Oklahoma State, TCU and West Virginia. JT Barrett has games against Iowa, Michigan State and Michigan. All three of those players' teams also control their path to their conference Championship games adding another big game.
5. Divisional Imbalances: Speaking of conference championship games it brings up the subject of divisional imbalances within conferences. Which conference has the biggest imbalance in the head to head inter-divisions games? The Answer is the SEC. SEC West teams are +6 wins in head to head matchups over the SEC East. The Big Ten East is +5, The ACC Atlantic is +3 and the Pac 12 South is +2.
6. Screen Shot of The Week: Here is an intentional wardrobe malfunction from the West Virginia/ Oklahoma State game. Should someone tell the FCC to fine ABC for showing nipple on national television?