Saturday, December 3, 2016

Five Takeaways From the Championship Weekend

            The most nerve-racking weekend has come and gone, with teams clinching their spots in the playoff while others fall out from the Group of Six. Here are a few takeaways from this weekend.

  1. Washington Deserves To Be In: First, I'd like to apologize to Chris Petersen and crew for doubting the Huskies. I didn't expect Washington to throttle #8 Colorado the way they did in the Pac-12 Championship. A 41-10 drubbing of the Buffaloes not only solidified their resume, but it gave the Huskies a valid argument over a school like Michigan (a school with a 'razor-thin' difference from Washington). The Wolverines had trouble with the Buffaloes at the Big House until Colorado's starting quarterback Sefo Liufau got injured in the third quarter of that game. Anyways, Washington deserves to be in and they might not even be the fourth seed. 
  2. The Big Ten's Not Getting Three (Probably Not Even Two) Teams In: With Washington's win, getting the proposed three teams into the playoff mix is out of the question. Regardless of who's winning the Big Ten Championship, Ohio State's getting in. The Buckeyes have four wins against teams in the current Top Ten. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State and Michigan while Penn State lost to Michigan and Pittsburgh. There's a good possibility the committee will keep it at all one-loss teams. 
  3. Alabama Doesn't Need A Lot Of Offense To Drub You: The scary thing about the Crimson Tide isn't that they can put up points on you in a hurry. It's how they do it. Alabama has 14 non-offensive touchdowns on the season. The Tide picked off Austin Appleby three times in the first half of the SEC Championship, including one pick returned for a touchdown by Minkah Fitzpatrick. They also blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.
  4. Temple Just Saved The Committee (And The System) From A Big Headache: There was talk of how a potential Navy win in the AAC Championship game would 'paralyze the bowl system' considering the Midshipmen play a game against Army a week after. However, none of that will matter since the Temple Owls ousted Navy, 34-10. With a Temple win, Western Michigan should be rowing the boat to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.
  5. Even With The Big Ten Championship, Penn State Won't Likely Get In: The Nittany Lions needed a convincing win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and while they did win the game, it took a Badger collapse to make the Penn State win possible. To make matters worse, Clemson won (barely) the ACC Championship and Washington left no doubt in the Pac-12 Championship. It's likely that Ohio State will get in over Penn State, with the Nittany Lions probably headed to the Rose Bowl or another Group of Six bowl.
Final Ranking Prediction:
  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Ohio State
  4. Washington
Photo Courtesy of Seattle Times

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