Winner: Alabama: Of course, 'Bama won big against lowly Mississippi State 51-3 on Saturday. But they were winners in another sense. #9 Auburn went down to Georgia by a score of 13-7, leaving the Crimson Tide to clinch the SEC West heading into the Iron Bowl. Now they can get ready for the SEC Championship with less pressure on the Tide.
Winner: Duke: College basketball season is back and what better way to kick it off than beating your hoops rival in a football game? The Blue Devils upset #17 North Carolina 28-27, aided by a good trench game that amounted to 207 team rushing yards and three touchdowns. Joe Giles-Harris also had a monster game for Duke, amassing 16 total tackles and a tackle for loss. It was Duke's first conference win this season during a year that has been rather forgettable for the Blue Devils.
Winner: The Shake-Up of the System: First, Clemson went down. Then, Washington got tripped up by USC's defensive line. Then, Michigan was upset (in spite of covering the pink locker rooms up) by Iowa. Did I mention that #9 Auburn lost? It was a weekend with a complete shake-up of the system that breathed new life into teams like Ohio State and Louisville. Speaking of Clemson...
Loser: Clemson: All of those close calls seemed to have foreshadowed issues for the Tigers, as they were upset at home by Pittsburgh by a score of 43-42. Despite DeShaun Watson throwing for 570 yards and three touchdowns, he also threw three picks in the game. Now a couple of those picks weren't his fault since his receivers ran the wrong route at times. However, such costly errors along with 50 team rushing yards and nine penalties for 101 yards let a Panther team that was 3-for-11 on third down back into the game. This was another game that Clemson should've won. Instead, the Tigers let Pittsburgh bite them in the ass.
Loser: Baylor: With more dirt coming up involving the gang-rape scandal at Baylor involving Art Briles pulling a Joe Paterno, the Bears were dark horses to make the playoff. Suddenly, there in a free fall. First, Seth Russell suffered a gruesome leg injury (he had a QBR of 34.4, a lost fumble, and two interceptions in the game prior to the injury). Then they get blown out by 21 points to #11 Oklahoma, who's suddenly back on the rise. Now there are growing calls for Baylor's football program to be suspended for their misconduct regarding the gang-rape scandal.
Loser: Mount Union's 112-Game Winning Streak: This legendary streak came to a close as the D-III powerhouse fell to John Carroll 31-28. The Ohio school hadn't lost since 2005 and the loss was in the OAC Championship in Alliance, Ohio. To understand the magnitude of Mount Union's dominance, the last time they lost was when George W. Bush was beginning his second term and the White Sox were the other Chicago team that won the World Series.
Other Winners: Iowa schools, Michigan State finally winning, Wisconsin's playoff hopes, USC
Other Losers: Jake Browning, Being the fourth-ranked team in the playoff, Virginia Tech, Auburn's playoff hopes
My Playoff Four:
- Ohio State