COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF STANDINGS
When Tua Tagovailoa went down in such obvious pain during the second quarter of the game against Mississippi State in Starkville, the odds for Alabama winning the SEC title, or even qualifying for the CFP Finals, took the proverbial nose dive. When later that evening it was announced that Tua would need surgery to repair his wounded hip and would be out for the remainder of the football season, bowls and all, the odds dipped once again.
The Crimson Tide went on to defeat Mississippi State easily by a final score of 38-7 with backup quarterback Mac Jones at the helm although only 3 points were scored in the entire second half of the contest. So easily if fact that the CFP committee has put Alabama in 5th place in the NCAA Football standings right outside the realm of the top 4 teams in the country headed by LSU.
The Tigers of LSU retained their number one status this week by beating arch rival Ole Miss, aka the University of Mississippi, at home in Oxford in front of Archie Manning and other SEC dignitaries scattered about the stands. After playing in the 102,000+ seat Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, the football facility on the campus at Ole Miss looked like a high school sports field.
The Rebels put up 37 points and some stiff competition featuring freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee whose slippery running style broke through the Tigers defensive line again and again until he had accumulated 212 yards on the ground resulting in 4 touchdowns to add to his 123 yards gained passing in an outstanding performance by a young man whose future looks bright in the SEC.
But the Tigers offensive was relentless and continued to score with Joe Burrow throwing for 5 touchdown passes himself and amassing an impressive 489 yards through the air and another 26 on the ground, and finishing with 58 points. Needless to say bettors who picked the over 66 in this one went home smiling although those who took the Tigers at -21 ended up with a push.
Elsewhere the games were a bit more one sided all the way. Even with quarterback Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes looking past Rutgers to their next 2 games against the #8 Penn State Nittany Lions at home and then taking on #13 Michigan at Ann Arbor, they managed to defeat the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers at their home field in Piscataway, New Jersey by a final score of 56-21 and thus remain as the #2 team selected in this weeks’ CFP standings.
Clemson had the easiest day of them all by soundly defeating Wake Forest by a final score of 52-3, thus retaining their #3 spot in the CFP standings for another week. Clemson also has the easiest path to finish the season with only one away game against neighboring South Carolina remaining to be played after enjoying a bye in week 13.
Far and away the best contest of Week 12 of NCAA College Football action had to have been the contest down at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama when the highly ranked Georgia Bulldogs came to town to take on Coach Gus Malzahn and his Auburn Tigers.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm passed for only 110 yards, but managed to score 3 touchdowns in the process. In the end it was the tough ‘Dawgs defense that won the game for Georgia holding the resilient Auburn team scoreless for three quarters before allowing only 14 points in the 4th quarter and securing a 21-14 victory for the Bulldogs in a highly entertaining SEC battle.
The 7-3 Texas A&M Aggies are outside of the CFP playoff plans but could have serious influence in those plans as they will next travel to Athens to take on mighty Georgia Bulldogs as 13.5 point underdogs. Then the Aggies will be in Baton Rouge to take on the #1 ranked LSU Tigers. Two tough games for the guys from College Station, both away and both played as underdogs. However, be assured that both LSU and Georgia are well aware that any team coached by Jimbo Fisher should at no point be under estimated.
Look forward to another exciting finish to this years’ College Football Playoffs.