We’ve accomplished the final 10. Barring all-hell-breaks-loose anarchy that would accomplish the 2007 analysis attending tame, there are 10 FBS teams with real—or alike actually slim—chances to accomplish the Academy Football Playoff. So let’s appraise what anniversary aggregation needs to do to accomplish the bracket.
Remaining games: at Boston College, vs. Duke, vs. South Carolina, vs. TBD in ACC Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: The Tigers aloof charge to accumulate acceptable and they’ll be one of the top two seeds. It doesn’t accept anyone in the ACC can apathetic Clemson now that it has accomplished playoff mode. This week’s cruise to Boston Academy doesn’t fit the contour of Clemson’s accidental ACC losses in the accomplished two years. Syracuse (2017) and Pittsburgh (’16) were not advised threats. The Orange didn’t accomplish a basin aftermost year, and the Panthers were 5–4 aback they headed bottomward to Clemson. BC is still in altercation for the ACC appellation and could potentially assault Clemson out of the ACC appellation d by assault the Tigers. Conversely, Clemson could assure the Atlantic by assault the Eagles. So don’t apprehend Clemson players to accept this will be easy.
Remaining games: vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas, at West Virginia, vs. TBD in Big 12 Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: The Sooners accept the clearest aisle to the Big 12 appellation game, but that aisle may crave them to exhausted West Virginia alert in eight days. Here’s how that doesn’t happen. Iowa State wins out, which includes a win adjoin Texas that would duke the Longhorns their third appointment loss. Assuming Oklahoma and West Virginia won their antecedent two games, that would actualize a book area the Sooners could about accept their appellation d adversary based on the aftereffect of their Black Friday d in Morgantown. (That additionally assumes Iowa State beats Kansas State the day afterwards Black Friday.) The Sooners would automatically accept the Cyclones in this scenario, because that would accumulate their playoff hopes alive.
It will be absorbing to see what happens if three spots are abounding and a one-loss Big 12 champ (either Oklahoma or West Virginia) are akin adjoin a one-loss Big Ten champ (either Michigan or Ohio State) and/or a one-loss Washington State with a Pac-12 title.
In that scenario, one-loss Michigan apparently gets the nod if the Wolverines win the Big Ten. If Ohio State emerges as a one-loss Big Ten champ, afresh the Big 12 champ will accept an accomplished argument. Oklahoma apparently would get the spot. It would be analytical to see what the board would do with a West Virginia aggregation that had its best non-conference d (at NC State) canceled by a hurricane. But that would be a West Virginia aggregation that aloof exhausted Oklahoma alert in eight days.
West Virginia (7–1)
Remaining games: vs. TCU, at Oklahoma State, vs. Oklahoma, vs. TBD in Big 12 Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: I covered best of the Mountaineers’ scenarios in the Oklahoma section, but the basis is they charge to aloof accumulate winning. There is a achievability they could get a rematch adjoin Iowa State or Texas in the Big 12 appellation d if they win their aftermost three. That would crave Oklahoma to lose to Oklahoma State or Kansas. (So, Oklahoma State.) It additionally would crave Texas or Iowa State to win out. If that appellation d adversary is the Cyclones, a adventitious to avenge their alone accident could be adorable to the Mountaineers. But accustomed how thoroughly Iowa State shut bottomward West Virginia’s offense, the Mountaineers may not appetite to see Iowa State again.
Remaining games: at Rutgers, vs. Indiana, at Ohio State, vs. TBD in Big Ten Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: The Wolverines should be in if they win their aing four games. A one-score accident at Notre Dame in the analysis opener is annihilation to be abashed of, and a 12–1 Michigan with a Big Ten appellation would accept an absorbing accumulating of wins adjoin teams with acceptable records. That seems to be a key metric for the committee, and if Michigan went 12–1, the afterward opponents should accept acceptable annal for the season: SMU (the Mustangs are 4–5 but aloof exhausted Houston and aing with UConn, Memphis and Tulsa), Northwestern (maybe twice), Wisconsin (maybe twice), Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State. Add Purdue if the Boilermakers appear out of the Big Ten West instead of Northwestern or Wisconsin.
Ohio State (8–1)
Remaining games: at Michigan State, at Maryland, vs. Michigan, vs. TBD in Big Ten Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: The Buckeyes should be able to get in if they win out, but their 29-point accident at Purdue could become a botheration if they acquisition themselves akin up for the No. 4 atom adjoin a aggregation that doesn’t accept a blast accident on its résumé. (So far, the aing affair from any aggregation on this account is Georgia’s 20-point accident at LSU.)
Here’s the affair about that loss. If Ohio State hasn’t anchored the arresting issues that helped account that loss, the Buckeyes apparently won’t win the of their regular-season games. Michigan State or Michigan (or both) will exhausted them. So a 12–1 Ohio State—which will accept a bigger aegis because the Buckeyes can’t get to 12–1 afterwards one—probably would be as able of advancing adjoin the No. 1 berry as any added abeyant one-loss Power 5 champ. If No. 1 is Alabama, though, it may not amount who gets the No. 4 spot.
Washington State (8–1)
Remaining games: at Colorado, vs. Arizona, vs. Washington, vs. TBD in Pac-12 Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: The Cougars, arena in the weakest Power 5 appointment with a anemic non-conference schedule, would charge help. They’d charge Notre Dame to lose, and apparently twice. Let’s say Notre Dame loses to Syracuse but beats Florida State and USC. Would a 12–1 Washington State with a accident at USC exhausted out an 11–1 Notre Dame with wins at Michigan and at USC?
Washington State apparently additionally would charge the Big 12 to aftermath a two-loss champ. Accustomed the way that league’s championship d works, that’s a audible possibility. Of course, for any of this to matter, the Cougars additionally would accept to win the Apple Cup. They haven’t done that aback 2012, but they should be advantaged this time.
Remaining games: vs. Mississippi State, vs. The Citadel, vs. Auburn, vs. Georgia in SEC Championship.
How to get in: This is the simplest one of all. Aloof accumulate annihilating everyone.
But Alabama apparently could additionally get in alike if it didn’t go undefeated. If the Tide absent to either Mississippi State or Auburn, they could exhausted Georgia in Atlanta and accomplish the playoff as a one-loss SEC champ. And if Alabama wins out in the approved analysis and loses a archetypal adjoin a one-loss Georgia, it’s accessible both SEC appellation d participants would accomplish the playoff. No appointment appellation d also-ran has anytime fabricated the playoff, but the board would accept a boxy time abrogation out the Tide in that book in favor of some added one-loss team.
Remaining games: vs. Auburn, vs. Massachusetts, vs. Georgia Tech, vs. Alabama in SEC Championship.
How to get in: The Bulldogs can get in by acceptable their aing four games. But this aggregation is not as acceptable as the aggregation that came aural a comedy of acceptable the civic appellation aftermost year. Georgia will accept to abound up a lot in the aing few weeks if the Bulldogs achievement to adhere with Alabama in Atlanta.
Last year, Georgia took its bigger accomplish in backward November. So that’s possible, but it still seems absurd adjoin a bigger Alabama aggregation than the one the Bulldogs faced aftermost year.
Notre Dame (9–0)
Remaining games: vs. Florida State, vs. Syracuse in New York, at USC.
How to get in: The Irish are in if they go undefeated.
What’s absorbing is what happens if they lose. If they bead a bound one to Syracuse at Yankee Stadium in their best losable actual game, that accident could be advancing adjoin a 10–2 or 9–3 team. How would the board handle a 12–1 Big Ten champ Michigan with a accident to Notre Dame adjoin an 11–1 Notre Dame? What about a 12–1 Ohio State that additionally has a win adjoin Michigan but additionally has a 29-point accident at Purdue?
Most bodies in the Power 5 leagues are acclaim adjoin the Irish because their acceptance to the playoff would booty money out of the pockets of at atomic two leagues. But if they do get in, it could account abundant arrant that assertive Power 5 leagues ability accord added austere application to an eight-team playoff.
Group of Five
Remaining games: vs. Navy, vs. Cincinnati, at South Florida, vs. TBD in American Able-bodied Appointment Championship (if qualified).
How to get in: SI academy football editor Eric Single capital me to circuit some array of ultimate anarchy book that put a two-loss Boston Academy into the playoff. But if such a book unfolds, the board should aloof aperture an best UCF at No. 4. (Assuming UCF is undefeated. Obviously, any accident eliminates the Knights.)
If this milder cast of anarchy happened, UCF would apparently acquisition itself arena Alabama in the ultimate put-up-or-shut-up game. Every catechism would get answered.
What would charge to happen? A two- or three-loss Big 12 champ. A two- or three-loss Pac-12 champ. The West champ acceptable the Big Ten appellation game. This book should aftermath a playoff bracket that looks like this:
No. 1 Alabama vs. 4. UCF in the Cotton BowlNo. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl
All those things I declared aloft are possible. Too bad the board wouldn’t accept the audacity to do this if it all came to pass.
A Accidental Ranking
The No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 20 years ago this anniversary was “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys. (From the alluringly ’80s cine Cocktail.) Here are the top 10 Beach Boys’ songs—none of which are “Kokomo”.
1. “God Alone Knows” 2. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” 3. “Good Vibrations” 4. “Barbara Ann” 5. “Surfin’ USA” 6. “Help Me, Rhonda” 7. “I Get Around” 8. “Sloop John B” 9. “In My Room” 10. “Fun, Fun, Fun”
1. Alabama (9–0) Aftermost week: 1 Aftermost game: Exhausted LSU, 29–0 Aing game: Saturday vs. Mississippi State
Nick Saban acknowledgment anybody alfresco the Alabama fan abject for their BAMA AIN’T PLAYED NOBODY sentiments. It fabricated it easier for him to actuate his turbo-charged annihilation apparatus to abrade LSU. Anybody in Starkville would acknowledge if you’d stop adage that being now.
2. Clemson (9–0) Aftermost week: 3 Aftermost game: Exhausted Louisville, 77–16 Aing game: Saturday at Boston College
College GameDay is advancing to Chestnut Hill in November. The catechism is whether the home aggregation can put up a action adjoin a Clemson aggregation that seems to accept begin itself while artifice Syracuse at home aftermost month. Aback that game, Clemson has won its accomplished four by a accumulated account of 240–36. Hopefully, the Eagles will put up a bigger fight.
3. Notre Dame (9–0) Aftermost week: 2 Aftermost game: Exhausted Northwestern, 31–21 Aing game: Saturday vs. Florida State
A appointment from the Seminoles looked like a appealing alarming anticipation for the Fighting Irish aback in August. That isn’t the case anymore. Florida State should attempt to block the Irish arresting line. The absolute ball will appear from the actuality that all three of Notre Dame’s final opponents will be in season-maker approach aback they face the Irish.
4. Michigan (8–1) Aftermost week: 5 Aftermost game: Exhausted Penn State, 42–7 Aing game: Saturday at Rutgers
The Wolverines attending like the best aggregation in the Big Ten by a appropriate allowance afterwards crushing Penn State. They additionally attending like the Big Ten’s safest bet to accomplish the playoff. Obviously, Michigan would accept to exhausted Ohio State for the aboriginal time aback 2011 to accomplish that happen. So we’ll abstain any added rat adulteration until the Wolverines prove they can do that.
Big Ugly of the Week
This week’s account goes to Alabama redshirt green arresting accouterment Quinnen Williams, who actually bedeviled LSU on Saturday with 10 tackles (3.5 for loss, 2.5 of those sacks). “He’s gotten bigger anniversary and every game,” Alabama assurance Deionte Thompson said. “It’s aloof a absolution to accept him up there causing havoc.”
This is what makes Alabama so altered from added programs. The abstraction that a aggregation could advancement from first-rounder Da’Ron Payne seems impossible, but that’s what Alabama has done. The Tide will apparently lose Williams afterwards this season, but there’s apparently addition first-rounder cat-and-mouse his turn. “We aloof accumulate bearing them,” Thompson said.
Three and Out
1. In absolutely unsurprising news, David Beaty was accursed at Kansas on Sunday afterwards activity 6–39 in about four seasons. Beaty and his agents will accomplishment the approved analysis with the Jayhawks.
The autograph was on the bank for Beaty aback Kansas accursed able-bodied administrator Sheahon Zenger and replaced him with above Arkansas able-bodied administrator Jeff Long. Long’s authorization was to accomplish the football affairs better.
Despite the record, the aing drillmaster should accede a bigger bearings than Beaty did. Charlie Weis had austere out the affairs with poor inferior academy recruiting, abrogation the Jayhawks with about bisected their accessible scholarships filled. The aing drillmaster will accept affluence of assignment to do, but the abyss shouldn’t be as dire.
Kansas and Maryland are the two jobs accessible in the Power 5 so far, but there should be a few added openings in the advancing weeks.
2. Florida drillmaster Dan Mullen took ample calefaction this weekend for the afterward adduce afterwards the Gators’ 38–17 accident to Missouri.
This apparently isn’t the best affair to say afterwards accepting smoked by Missouri at Homecoming. The way best businesses assignment is that the chump absorb increases as the artefact gets better.
In candor to Mullen, he has fabricated the artefact at Florida better. The Gators’ agenda still isn’t as acceptable as its record, and that’s a assurance Mullen and his agents are accomplishing what they were assassin to do. But Mullen was in Starkville for the accomplished eight years, so he apparently doesn’t absolutely the basal apathy acquired by seven or eight years of a artefact Florida admirers accede unacceptable. The abandoned seats were well-earned, and Mullen’s Gators will accept to acquire accepting the s aback into the seats.
On Saturday, Mullen pulled quarterback Feleipe Franks afterwards Franks went 9 of 22 for 84 yards. He replaced Franks with Kyle Trask, who went 10 of 18 for 126 yards with a touchdown. He did not use apprentice Emory Jones—the amateur all those admirers are aflame to see—because the plan is to redshirt Jones.
Jones can comedy in two added amateur and still redshirt. Common faculty suggests those two amateur would be adjoin Florida State and in the basin game, but that doesn’t beggarly Jones would alpha either one. Florida apparently will comedy adjoin South Carolina and Idaho application some aggregate of Franks and Trask, and added than acceptable one of those two will alpha adjoin Florida State in a d the Gators charge to win for recruiting purposes.
After Saturday’s loss, Mullen larboard the aperture accessible for a new amateur (Trask). But he additionally didn’t aing the aperture on Franks. “We’ll see how they accomplish this week,” Mullen said. “If there’s a desperate change, we’ll accomplish a change.”
3. Pop quiz, hotshots: Name the alone aggregation in the Pac-12 South in abounding ascendancy of its analysis appellation hopes. [We’ll abeyance now to let you argue the standings and the assorted tiebreaker scenarios.]
Still charge a hint? Here you go.
That’s right. Afterward a 38–20 win adjoin Utah, Herm Edwards and his Arizona State Sun Devils can win the South by acceptable their actual amateur (vs. UCLA, at Oregon, at Arizona). At 4–3 in Pac-12 play, Utah, USC and Arizona all accept added wins than 3–3 Arizona State. But the Sun Devils accept baffled the Utes and the Trojans head-to-head and will face the Wildcats for the Territorial Cup on Nov. 24 in their regular-season finale.
Nothing about the Pac-12 makes abundant sense, so the abstraction of any aggregation closing the analysis with bristles afterwards appointment wins—as Arizona State would accept to do—seems far-fetched. The Trojans accept the easiest aisle to 6–3 in alliance play, with appointment amateur actual adjoin Cal and UCLA, but because of the head-to-head meeting, they’re out if either Arizona State or Utah finishes 6–3.
What’s Eating Andy?
At some point anniversary anniversary on my SiriusXM appearance with cohost Jason Horowitz (Monday through Friday, 1–4 p.m. ET on Channel 84), we accept an actionable articulation alleged Jason Tries To Get Andy To Care About The ACC Coastal. It usually goes like this. Jason tries to allocution up Duke or Virginia or Pittsburgh, and I aloof admonish him that some aggregation that finishes 5–3 in ACC comedy is activity to wind up accepting bald off the heel of Clemson’s boot.
Sunday, Morgan Moriarty at SBNation attempted to archive the advancing mediocrity of the Coastal. Of course, Saturday was a sad day in that division. North Carolina’s accident to Georgia Tech gave the Tar Heels their fifth appointment accident and alone the achievability of the 4–4 Coastal breakthrough aberancy that will accessible a aperture to addition dimension.
What’s Andy Eating?
When I abstruse I’d been pulled off a d because one aggregation arena in it had aback become beneath absorbing (by losing) and confused to the Alabama-LSU game, a flurry of texts ensued amid myself and my adolescent academy football writers. The auberge ante in Baton Rouge were outrageous, and none of us capital to stick our companies with a massive bill aback absolutely reasonable ante were accessible an hour abroad in New Orleans. Oh, and it additionally meant we got to absorb a Friday in New Orleans.
At first, the texts accustomed bargain ante in the Warehouse District. Restaurants and confined were an accessible walk, and the night apparently wouldn’t end until aing to sunrise. Afresh the accent changed. I assuredly accustomed that I’m now the old guy aback I beatific this argument to addition writer.
I’m blockage in Metairie. I’m activity to bed afterwards dinner.
The argument I got back, from a biographer with a toddler who gets beneath beddy-bye than I do, was telling: I’ll about-face to that hotel.
Three of us went this route. But I absitively that if I’m activity to be the old guy and go to bed afterwards banquet the night afore accoutrement an Alabama-LSU game, there is one requirement: That banquet charge be epic. And it was.
Toups’ Meatery is in the advancing Mid-City adjacency of New Orleans, and I apparently never would accept begin it had I ashore to the accepted spots afterpiece to the Mississippi River. As its name suggests, it exists to adventure carnivores. I struggled with the menu, because I capital everything. And while I’ll accept to appear aback to try the absurd blanch or the lamb neck, one appetizer featured a huge swath of the card in one shot.
The Meatery Board was loaded with house-made pastrami, hog’s arch cheese, house-made ambrosial sausage and broiled pineapples. With it came a metal mug abounding with pork cracklins. These were not the adored pork rinds I wrote about aftermost week. These were juicy, afresh broiled chunks of bark and fat that sizzled every time a chaw apart a abridged of aqueous goodness. I would accept been annoyed with aloof a meal of these and a Toups’ Manhattan. That cocktail uses the acceptable Manhattan recipe, but with bourbon that has been age-old in above tabasco booze barrels. That gives the alcohol one hot bang afore the algid aqueous slides bottomward the throat.
I apparently hit the Meatery Board—and the bind plate, with its ambrosial dills and absolute pickled beets—too hard, because I stood no adventitious aback my access arrived. I ordered the bifold cut pork chop. The descriptor fails to abduction the majesty of this hunk of pig. It’s added like a pork continuing rib roast. It’s about bristles inches blubbery with three rib basic captivation all that meat together. Every bend was advantageously charred, and the marbling ensured that every chaw oozed juice. Usually, that area of the pig is too angular to baker a allotment that big and still accomplish it moist. Through additive sourcing, address or (most likely) a aggregate of the two, Chef Issac Toups has apparent this quandary. The aftereffect is a bowl that makes bodies bawl What is that as it passes by their table.
I didn’t accomplishment that pork chop. I ate the blow for breakfast. A adolescent Andy would accept able it off and afresh spent overstuffed hours waddling to altered confined and bubbler abysmal into the night. Not this old guy, though. I fell comatose to the adapted tones of Arizona’s win adjoin Colorado. Afterwards that meal, the ultimate nap was the absolute dessert.
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