BLITZING SEVEN: Big Weekend of Playoff Implications Kicks Off a Month Of Marquee Match-Ups
1. Bedlam and Miami-Virginia Tech Headline Games to Watch: This weekend we get what are essentially two elimination games as #13 Virginia Tech travels to #10 Miami and #11 Oklahoma State hosts #5 Oklahoma in the game simply known as Bedlam. Don’t be surprised if under-appreciated Virginia Tech walks out with a big win. In Bedlam these two teams feature high-powered offenses so expect fireworks and for OU Quarterback Baker Mayfield to be the difference.
2. Remaining Playoff Contender Match-ups: On Monday we mentioned 13 teams that are still in the playoff hunt. The top 4 today may look very different after a number of games among those 13 contenders are played. And don't forget potential conference championship games.Here are the remaining scheduled (and potential) contender match-ups left on the schedule.
#1 Georgia (SEC Title Game)
#2 Alabama (SEC Title Game)
#3 Notre Dame 11/11 at Miami
#4 Clemson (ACC Title game)
#5 Oklahoma 11/4 at Oklahoma State, 11/11 TCU (Big 12 Title Game)
#6 Ohio State (Big Ten Title Game)
#7 Penn State (Needs help to get to Big Ten Title Game)
#8 TCU 11/11 at Oklahoma (Big 12 Title Game)
#9 Wisconsin (Big 10 Title Game)
#10 Miami 11/4 Virginia Tech, 11/11 Notre Dame (ACC Title Game)
#11 Oklahoma State 11/4 Oklahoma (Big 12 Title Game)
#12 Washington none—including Pac 12 Title Game
#13 Virginia Tech 11/4 at Miami (ACC Title Game)
3. More Games to Watch #7 Penn State at #24 Michigan State: This could be a tricky one for Penn State. Michigan State has a stout run defense so expect Penn State to lean on the pass game. If the rain and wind kicks up, Michigan State’s stadium is a tricky place to throw the ball consistently. Michigan State has three legit big wide outs and a mobile quarterback to test PSU’s defense. With only one conference loss and games against Penn State and Ohio State left the Spartans still control their own destiny for a Big Ten East Title.
4. More Games to Watch #4 Clemson at #20 NC State: This is a battle for divisional supremacy. NC State has yet to lose a game in conference play and a win here would put them in the driver’s seat. A Clemson loss would eliminate them from playoff contention and put them 2 games behind the Wolfpack in the loss column. Last year Clemson needed OT to beat NC State in Death Valley.
5. Turning back The Clock: While we turn back the clocks Saturday night, Jim Harbaugh has already turned back the expectations clock by playing redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters. It's a good move for Harbaugh because a young quarterback creates hope in the future. If Michigan finishes 8-4 with losses to Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State the new QB creates excitement for what may come.
6. Georgia and Miami Was a Win-Win: When Mark Richt was forced out at Georgia there were a lot of people who felt that he was a strong coach with a lot left to give the game of college football. With Richt at the helm Miami is now back in the Top 10. Georgia is #1 in the country with their Coach Kirby Smart. Both teams are beating expectations and this looks like a rare win-win deal for both parties.
7. Clinching: Three of the 8 Power-5 Conference Division leaders can clinch a title game spot in the first weekend of November. To make rooting (and potential travel) plans for Georgia, Wisconsin and MIami fans easier here are the two-step scenarios:
A. #1 Georgia wins the SEC East if they beat South Carolina and Ole Miss beats Kentucky.
B. #9 Wisconsin wins the Big 10 West with a win at Indiana and a Northwestern win at Nebraska.
C. #10 Miami clinches the ACC Coastal by beating #13 Virginia Tech and a Georgia Tech win over Virginia.