Four teams in the top ten tanked this weekend. Doesn’t anyone want to play Alabama????
Both Washington teams lost, as well as Auburn, but the shocker of the weekend was the Friday the 13th horror flick that played out in the Carrier Dome starring an unranked Syracuse team.
While you might think that would end the Tigers’ hopes for a repeat title, think again.
Just like Jason continues to resurrect himself film after film, Clemson is poised to return to greatness; to arise from the ashes like a football Phoenix.
Clemson dropped all of FIVE spots in the AP poll. FIVE!
Let’s look at other teams and how a loss affected their top 10 ranking:
Florida State opened the season with a loss to #1 Alabama. Is there shame in losing to a number one team? No. But it did cost them 7 places as they plummeted from 3rd to 10th. Of course, the Seminoles are now unranked, but that level of discredit was not evident after one game.
Ohio State. The Buckeyes only dropped four spots, but that was to a team that was highly ranked at the time (Oklahoma.)
The rest of the nation does not fair so well with losses.
Southern Cal dropped 9 spots after losing. Oklahoma dropped 9 spots despite their victory over the Buckeyes earlier. Michigan dropped 10 spots after their loss to a now ranked Spartan team. Washington State and Washington both dropped 7 spots. And Auburn, bless their little hearts, fell 11 spots after losing this past weekend.
So where is this love for Clemson coming from? Do they pass they “eye test?”
Before the bye week, there was a lot of talk about whether a one-loss Georgia team (the presumptions being that Georgia wins out but loses to Alabama in the SEC title game) could jump an undefeated Nittany Lion team for a spot in the playoff. I guess now the Bulldogs will have to worry about Clemson jumping them (assuming PSU wins out!)
Which reminds me . . . Penn State has the first installment of a critical three game series of challenges.
As in The-M. The Big Block M that marches across the field to the victors valiant.
The guys with wings (but not a prayer) on their helmets (did you know that some maxipads have wings too?) come to Beaver Stadium for a 7:30 PM game.
The weather? Meteorologists are calling for White Out conditions.
The betting line was 11 points favoring Penn State this morning.
The key to this game is simple really. Penn State has to find a way to score against the Michigan defense. Period. Michigan has shown nothing offensively all year to suggest that they will put up many (any) points against the PSU defense. The wolverines best hopes for an upset hinge on a combination of their defense scoring (pick six or scoop and score), a red zone defense that forces Penn State to kick field goals we can’t make, or a poor day by McSorley that allows the front line to bottle up Barkley. Success in any one of those goals probably won’t be enough to win. But two out of three could be disastrous for the Nittany Lions. Multiple turnovers and missed field goals would be a nightmare.
Yet, I am very optimistic. I’m not sure we’ve played our best game yet. There is a lot of room for some improvement in things which are very improvable. The bye week allowed us to evade the horror-filled losses that other top teams suffered, and allowed us to heal and work on our weaknesses.
We will know Saturday if we pass the eye test.