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Week 5 Playoff and Heisman watch

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0)

Last Week: W – Kentucky – 34-6

alabama-crimson-tide

Quarterback Jalen Hurst had a big game connecting with wide receiver Calvin Ridley, but Alabama stuck to it’s roots of being a power-running team with a shut down defense. Once the Crimson Tide committed more to running the ball they started to impose their will on Kentucky and pulled away for a huge win.

2. Clemson Tigers (5-0)

Last Week: W – Louisville – 42-36

clemson-tigers

Faced with the biggest game of their season, Clemson came up big with a victory over the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville looked like they were becoming the team to beat in the ACC, but the Tigers relatively limited Lamar Jackson and had a huge performance from their own Deshaun Watson to re-claim superiority.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0)

Last Week: W – Rutgers – 58-0

ohio-state-buckeyes

Let’s be clear about this, It’s almost a coin flip between Ohio State and Michigan for the Big Ten’s spot in the four-team playoff but only one of those teams will get in (it is possible, but not at all likely that two teams from the same conference do). Michigan has the best victory on their resume right now with their win over Wisconsin but while the Badgers are very, very good, they just did not show enough to project them as the victors in the horseshoe at the end of the regular season; meaning Ohio State projects in the Big Ten title game and as the champion. JT Barrett is the big reason why. He led a completely one-sided effort against Rutgers. Certainly the Scarlet Knights are not very good, but a 58-0 shutout win over any conference opponent is ridiculously impressive.

4. Houston Cougars (5-0)

Last Week: W – Connecticut – 42-14

houston-cougars

It is going to be incredible difficult for a ‘Group of Five’ team to make the playoffs in place of one of two conference champions but this Houston team is pretty special and with Stanford being upset by Washington and the Big 12 not looking like they have a single worthy competitor, the Cougars slip in after Greg Ward Jr. totals five touchdowns against the Huskies.

Rose Bowl: Michigan Wolverines (5-0) vs. Washington Huskies (5-0)

Michigan has shown very few flaws in their first five weeks, so when we say their running game hasn’t been strong enough for us to believe they can beat the Buckeyes, it’s really nitpicking. But it is also honest. Michigan is a great team, but just seems a tad behind Ohio State still so they bump down into the Rose Bowl, where they project to meet Washington. The Huskies have been here for a while, but now they are here as the projected Pac-12 champions after completely demolishing Stanford as the stand-alone Thursday game. That game puts them incredible close to the playoffs, but they will sit here for a bit more.

Sugar Bowl: Tennessee Volunteers (5-0) vs. Baylor Bears (5-0)

Tennessee got an important victory at Georgia, though they still have not overly impressed at any point this season. Next week’s game at Texas A&M will be massively important but while the Volunteers aren’t winning beautifully, they are getting tough victories. Baylor meanwhile continually inflates their record with victories over cupcakes, but they are at least 5-0 and selection committee is going to like that, at least enough to be in the Big 12’s selected bowl game tie in.

Orange Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (4-1) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-0)

Louisville has to be sick right now because they blew their big chance to show they were the best team in the ACC. Being in the Atlantic division with Clemson it does not seem very possible or likely they could jump the Tigers. They still could possible get into the playoffs if they win out, but right now we have then in the Orange Bowl as the ACC’s representative. And there we project them to meet Nebraska. The third Big Ten squad it up in the air between Nebraska and Wisconsin. With that clash later in the season happening in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers get the edge.

Cotton Bowl Bowl: Texas A&M Aggies (5-0) vs. Stanford Cardinal (3-1)

Texas A&M gets back into the selected bowl game picture but next week will be massively important against Tennessee for the second-spot in the SEC. For this week, though they are in the Cotton Bowl. And there they project to play Stanford. The Cardinal had a massively disappointing appearance against Washington on Thursday. Simply, they haven’t been playing all that well, but they certainly have a chance to bounce back. Last year they were a two-loss Pac-12 champion.

Dropping Out

wisconsin-badgers

Wisconsin Badgers (4-1): Wisconsin has the ability to get back into the projections over Nebraska, but with that game against them happening in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers get projected in. If Wisconsin upsets Ohio State, though, they’ll pretty much guarantee themselves a spot back in.

Florida State Seminoles (3-2): A close loss to North Carolina has ended their playoff hopes. It is hard to imaging the Seminoles beating Clemson at this point either, which is what they absolutely would have to do to make a big bowl game.

On the Cusp

miami-hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes (4-0): Miami has scheduled themselves a 5-0 record, but they have looked pretty solid in the early part of their season. The key to them breaking into selected bowl games will getting through a very tough stretch of games coming, including Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh the next five weeks.

North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1): North Carolina gets back close to the picture with an impressive win at Florida State. If they can carry that success into wins over Virginia Tech and Miami, they’ll get into one of the big bowl games.

Key Week 6 Games

Oklahoma Sooners (2-2) vs. Texas Longhorns (2-2): This classic rivalry may not directly change the standings next week, but down the line it could have some pretty big implications. In the Big 12, where there are no divisions or a championship game, every win matters. Texas can kiss their hopes good bye if they lose and fall to 0-2 in the conference while Oklahoma would stay near the top with a victory.

North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1): With as loaded as the ACC is, it is not at all crazy to see three teams out of the conference get picked by the selection committee for something. The Atlantic Division champion will probably end up as the conference champion, but this game will have a big part in deciding which team wins the Coastal division.

Texas A&M Aggies (5-0) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (5-0): Which team is the second-best team in the SEC behind Alabama? This game will tell us that.

Miami Hurricanes (4-0) vs. Florida State Seminoles (3-2): The Seminoles may have lost their chance at getting into one of the big bowl games with their loss to the Tar Heels but this will be Miami’s chance to show if they are capable of fighting for one of the big bowl games, a nice aspect to a classic rivalry game.

Heisman Watch

lamar-jacksonLamar Jackson – QB, Louisville

101/170 (59.4%), 1625 Pass Yards, 14 Pass TDs, 4 INTs, 688 Rush Yards (7.5 YPC), 14 Rush TDs

JT Barrett – QB, Ohio State

70/102 (68.6%), 888 Pass Yards, 14 Pass TDs, 2 INTs, 205 Rush Yards (4.7 YPC), 3 Rush Tds

Deshaun Watson – QB, Clemson

110/181 (60.8 YPC), 1,302 Pass Yards, 14 Pass Ds, 7 INTs, 211 Rush Yards (4.3 YPC)

Greg Ward Jr – QB, Houston

99/140 (70.7%), 1,325 Pass Yards, 8 Pass TDs, 2 INTs, 178 Rush Yards (2.8 YPC), 5 Rush TDs

Donnel Pumphrey – RB, San Diego State

750 Rush Yards (7.7 YPC), 8 Rush TDs, 11 Rec, 74 Rec Yards (6.7 YPC)

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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