For just a moment, I thought Al Davis was still alive. After last week’s article, there was a “Just win, Baby!” comment or something like that. Well, we see how that worked out. Perhaps the assumption was that WVU was going to roll through the Big 12 unscathed. You know what happens when you assume. You’re usually wrong.
After one month of this season, it appears that we could be looking at another season like 2007. After the 13th week of that season, WVU sat at #2 in the country with one loss on their record. LSU ultimately won the national title with two losses. There were no dominant teams that season. There were a bunch of good ones, but they all had weaknesses. That’s how I see this season at this moment in time.
One week ago, many were down on Alabama after their week 3 loss to Mississippi. They lost by six points in a game where they committed five turnovers. However, after their annihilation of Georgia, they are back in the discussion as one of the best teams in the country. If WVU doesn’t turn the ball over against Oklahoma, it could have been an entirely different game. All they can do is fix it and move forward.
While I don’t include WVU’s games in these pieces, they still need to take care of their own business. Unfortunately, they didn’t last week. You can’t count the Mountaineers out of a playoff berth yet. There is still plenty of football to be played. The loss to Oklahoma combined with the devastating loss of Karl Joseph this week means that it’s going to be a tough row to hoe.
On the bright side, two of the desired outcomes from last week came to fruition. North Carolina defeated Georgia Tech and Clemson beat Notre Dame. WVU needs chaos and now I give you five games that the chaos would be desirable in.
WHO: Georgia Tech at #6 Clemson
WHEN: 3:30pm ET
WHY: Clemson did most everyone in the country a favor last week by knocking off Notre Dame. One more loss by the Irish and they are unlikely to sit once the music stops in this game of musical chairs. Georgia Tech has been one of the bigger disappointments nationally in the 2015 football season, but they can’t be overlooked. Running the triple option, the Yellow Jackets are always a threat to upset due to the difficulty of defending them. The game is typically a difficult one for Clemson, whether favored or not. Tech has won five of the eight games since 2007, including a 28-6 win last season. Clemson is one of the ACC’s limited shots at the playoff and even one loss in this weak conference could be fatal.
WHO: Arkansas at #8 Alabama
WHEN: 7pm ET
WHY: Anyone that denies that the Crimson Tide are a blue blood that receives the benefit of a doubt either doesn’t know college football or is an Alabama fan. Or both. A second loss for Alabama would have them already teetering on the edge of missing the playoff. If that second loss came at the hands of a team that lost to Texas Tech, it’s nothing but good for the Big 12 and WVU. Arkansas hasn’t shown enough to instill confidence that they can pull off the upset in Tuscaloosa, but stranger things have happened. All you have to do is go back to 2007.
WHO: #23 Cal at #5 Utah
WHEN: 10:00pm ET
WHY: College Gameday will be in town for this game and a Cal upset would shake some things up. Many on the national scene are still using Utah’s victory over Michigan as a selling point to their power. Losing to a Cal team that while undefeated now, will likely lose some games, will pull luster off the Michigan win. Utah has more speed bumps on the schedule and if they don’t trip up this week, the potential exists for later losses.
WHO: #10 Oklahoma vs. Texas (in Dallas)
WHEN: 12:00pm ET
WHY: The Sooners now have a game on WVU and will likely need to lose twice. Due to this, they will likely be weekly guests on this list. While a Texas victory seems highly unlikely, it IS a rivalry game. I know that I needn’t remind the Mountaineer fans what can happen in a rivalry game.
WHO: #4 Michigan State at Rutgers
WHEN: 8:00pm ET
WHERE: Big Ten Network
WHY: This game just edged out Maryland at Ohio State to make this list. That is because Rutgers has the better shot at an upset. Rutgers hosts and Maryland plays on the road. Also, Maryland has the added distraction of the rumors that Saturday’s game might be Randy Edsall’s last as the head coach at Maryland. Despite their high rankings, neither Ohio State nor Michigan State has performed well enough to instill confidence in most that they are upper-echelon teams. A loss by the Spartans to a 2-2 Rutgers team could be the first in a line of dominoes to fall that could leave the Big Ten out of the college football playoff.
Pull your seatbelts tight and enjoy Saturday’s games. If the season so far is any indication, it’s about to be another crazy weekend of college football.