Winner: North Dakota State: The Bison upset #13 Iowa on a game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired. King Frazier had 16 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown as the 13-time FCS champions got their sixth straight win against an FBS opponent. The Bison held the defending Big Ten West Champs to 231 total yards while running for 239 team rushing yards. NDSU even got some love in the AP poll, receiving 74 points in the latest poll.
Winner: Lamar Jackson's Heisman Hopes: The star quarterback at Louisville needed a statement game against #2 Florida State to be seriously considered in the Heisman race. Jackson responded in a big way, running for 146 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. He also went 13-20 while throwing for 216 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Jackson's play this season has suddenly propelled the Cardinals into playoff talks.
Winner: Clemson: After back-to-back close calls to start the season, Deshaun Watson and #5 Clemson needed to come out strong in their next game (even against an FCS opponent). Clemson responded in a big way, routing South Carolina State by a score of 59-0. Watson only threw three incomplete passes and Ray-Ray McCloud had a couple touchdown catches. Clemson was up 45-0 at halftime, a deficit so big that both sides agreed to shorten the second half to 12 minutes. Another benefit from this game: the Tigers got to rest most of their starters in the second half, giving them a little more time to prep for a Thursday night game at Georgia Tech. FSU's loss to Louisville also opened an opportunity for the Tigers in the ACC.
Loser: The Big 12's Postseason Hopes: The Big 12's dark horse, #11 Texas, lost on a controversial play to California, 50-43. Before that, #14 Oklahoma got wrecked by #3 Ohio State in Norman by a score of 45-24. #21 Baylor won big against Rice, which is nice. However, Baylor's schedule is weak enough that the Bears will need an undefeated run to be strongly considered for a playoff spot. Kind of the same thing for TCU, except the Horned Frogs already have a loss on their record (41-38 to Arkansas last week). As for Oklahoma State? They got screwed on a botched call a week ago. The Big 12's early misfortune and ineptitude have opened the door to a Pac-12 team (Washington or Stanford) or Houston possibly getting into the playoff.
Loser: Wisconsin: It seems like that big first week win at Lambeau over LSU was a mirage. The Badgers barely survived against Georgia State by a score of 23-17. Wisconsin allowed 269 passing yards to the Panthers while gaining 213 passing yards of their own. Now the Badgers' next three games will be against Top-Ten ranked teams with two of those games being on the road.
Loser: Oregon's Two-Point Conversion Attempts Against Nebraska: #22 Oregon did something completely unusual to the game of football: try for the two-point conversion on EVERY touchdown. They outgained Nebraska in total yards (482-428) and didn't turn the ball over unlike the Cornhuskers. The reason for why they lost? Those two-point conversions. The Ducks went 1-5 on two-point conversions in a 35-32 loss at Nebraska. Maybe the Ducks should start recruiting a kicker or actually trying the extra point?
Other Winners: Western Michigan against the state of Illinois, the Michigan State Spartans, Christian McCaffrey, and the Ohio State Buckeyes' young players.
Other Losers: Florida State's dignity, the Georgia Bulldogs, Chad Kelly, and USC/Notre Dame's playoff hopes.
My Playoff Teams:
- Ohio State