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Thoughts on Week 10 in College Football

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It's not really the Morning After a Baylor game, so we're going with a Thoughts post, instead.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Before we get to anything else, we need to talk about ...

The Big News:

This week, Baylor will welcome the #15 (as of this moment, it should go up) Oklahoma Sooners to McLane Stadium for a primetime ABC game on Saturday night after hosting ESPN's College GameDay for the second time in two years that morning.  This is Baylor's chance to make a HUGE statement to the entire CFB world against a team that has bounced back from their Texas loss in a BIG way and looks as good as any team in the country the last few weeks.

As for GameDay, my guess (and it's purely a guess) is that we'll see ESPN choose a spot in the heart of campus rather than over by McLane.  I say that partly because they've already done that, and partly because I know it was a close decision last year.  Watch out for Fountain Mall, Burleson Quad near Old Main, and a couple of other spots to be under consideration.  We should find out relatively early in the week.

We're finally starting to see some separation in the CFB ranks, and both the Heisman and CFB Playoff pictures are starting to crystallize.

CFB Playoff:

Potential crazy scenarios wherein nineteen different teams lose on the same week aside, it seems like the following teams are in if they win out (and winning out seems likely):

  1. Clemson -- With FSU out of the way, UNC looks like the only major test left for the Tigers, and that's assuming both teams get to the ACC Championship game.
  2. Alabama -- The first CFB Playoff ranking having 2 SEC teams in the Top 4 basically ensured that whichever of those two won out would make it.  That team will be Alabama now that Ole Miss lost to Arkansas and cleared their path to the SEC Championship Game.
  3. Ohio State -- I have less confidence in the Buckeyes to win out with MSU, Michigan, and potentially Iowa left on their schedule than I do Clemson or Alabama, but if they do it, they're in.

Assuming those things happen, the fourth spot is where things get crazy.  Right now, that spot is probably occupied by Notre Dame, who was #5 last week just ahead of Baylor.  But with Oklahoma State's big win over TCU, formerly #8, it's possible that they could make a big jump.  I don't think it's at all likely that Baylor gets up there unless and until we beat Oklahoma this week, and I'd put my money on Notre Dame.

The big question will be what happens if Notre Dame wins out (making their only loss the rain game at #1 Clemson) and either Baylor or Oklahoma State does, too.  I have to think/hope that the undefeated Big 12 Champ will get that spot, but it's far from certain.  That may be a little pessimism shining through.

The Heisman Trophy:

With Trevone Boykin throwing 4 picks and losing yesterday in Stillwater, and Leonard Fournette gaining 31 yards on 19 carries against Alabama, the presumptive favorites for the Heisman Trophy stumbled in big ways, opening things up behind them.  It's still possible that either one could jump back in, particularly Fournette.

But looking beyond those two guys, I really think this year's Heisman is going to come from the following players:

  • Clemson QB Deshaun Watson -- The QB of the best team in the country is a virtual lock to be considered in the running, and right now that's Watson.  It also helps that his numbers are looking really good lately.
  • Alabama RB Derrick Henry -- Got the better of Fournette last night and will get a ton of attention as Alabama continues to dominate.
  • FSU RB Dalvin Cook -- His team isn't as good as the others, and that will hurt him.  But Cook has been amazing.
  • Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey -- Doesn't get the attention he deserves because he plays on the West Coast.
  • Baylor WR Corey Coleman -- Believe it.  He has 20 TDs in 8 games, giving him 4 more before the Heisman voting to break the NCAA record.  He'll get at least 5 more chances overall.  He needs 8.

There are other names like Ezekiel Elliott from Ohio State and Marquise Williams from UNC that may deserve consideration, too.  Right now, my guess is that Watson/Henry are the "favorites" with Coleman slightly behind.

Mark Seymour's Top 10:

Finishing out the Top 10 in some order:

College Football At Large:

  • With TCU, Michigan State, and Memphis all losing yesterday, we're now down to six undefeated teams in Baylor, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Iowa, Ohio State, and Houston.  That's still a lot, but two of those six have to lose before the end of the year (because Baylor-OSU definitely play, and tOSU-Iowa will play unless one of them loses beforehand).  These things tend to work themselves out, is what I'm saying.
  • I watched virtually all of the TCU-Oklahoma State game yesterday, and I was extremely impressed with the way the Cowboys played.  They challenged TCU vertically over and over again to great effect with James Washington, and when it looked like TCU might make a run late, OSU put the clamps down on them again.  Even before he lost Josh Doctson to an injury of as-yet unknown severity (unknown to me, at least), Boykin never really looked comfortable.  Remember, that injury occurred with TCU down 28-9, so it's not like that happened and then things got a lot worse.  TCU was probably already going to lose.
  • At this point, TCU reminds me in so many ways of our 2013 team except that they had their injuries early, and we had ours late.  This game, in particular, seemed like a mirror image of the Stumble in Stillwater from that season, except Bryce Petty didn't throw any pick-sixes (or near pick-sixes).
  • Oklahoma will come into town off a predictable 52-16 beatdown of Iowa State that had just about everything working for them.  Our game with them is apparently something they've thought a LOT about over the last year, so expect them to be ready for a war.
  • I mentioned it above, but Ole Miss losing yesterday really helped the SEC.  Because of their win over Alabama earlier this year, Ole Miss actually had the inside track on being the SEC West rep in the championship game.  That could have dealt a huge blow to Alabama's Playoff chances, had they not even played in their own conference championship game.  Now it's fine.
  • I hope Texas A&M is enjoying paying Sumlin $5 million to score 10 points against an Auburn defense that hasn't been good this season at all.  I'm seeing a lot of Aggies say things about their emperor not having any clothes, which reminds me that self-realization is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • The nightmare scenario for the Big 12 seems pretty obvious: if either of our undefeated teams lose and the three teams I talked about above plus Notre Dame win, we won't make the CFB Playoff again. 

So we should probably just win out and not worry about it!

Tweets Tweets Tweets Tweets Tweets Tweets:

Seriously.

I've seen people suggest Chip and Joanna as our Guest Pickers for this week, but I just don't see it. No inside information, though.

Have a good Sunday, everybody!