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Week 9 Playoff and Heisman Watch

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

Last Week: Bye Week


Alabama got to sit at home this weekend and enjoy a bye, but it was a well deserved week off. The previous three weeks saw the Crimson Tide playing nationally-ranked opponents Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M. And none of them were particularly close games. Alabama is clearly the most dominant team in the country, but the schedule doesn’t let up much. They have to play at a resurgent LSU next week.

2. Clemson Tigers (8-0)

Last Week: W – @ Florida State – 37-24


The Tigers have hit their stride after a slow start to the season. Maybe some games are still closer than teams might want out of the No. 2-ranked team, but wins over what seemed to be an unbeatable Louisville team and now in Tallahassee against a very well-coaches and talented Florida State team. The Tigers are the clear class of the ACC.

3. Michigan Wolverines (8-0)

Last Week: W – @ Michigan State – 32-23


Before the season started this was one of the games we all circles on our calenders but with Michigan State’s struggles it was expected to be a lopsided game. Michigan State had more success against Michigan than Rutgers or Illinois, but the wins over Penn State and Wisconsin continue to look impressive. Even the win over Colorado looks more and more impressive as the season goes on.

4. Washington Huskies (8-0)

Last Week: W – @ Utah – 31-24


The Utes put up a great effort against the Huskies but Washington came up with the huge win. They trailed 17-14 in the second half but the Huskies mounted a comeback to get the key victory. With Washington State continuing to win PAC 12 games as well, the Huskies have no room for error.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) vs. Utah Utes (7-2)

Ohio State didn’t do themselves any favors by barely edging a truly mediocre Northwestern team but the fact of the matter is they still very much feel like they are one of the best teams in the country and their win over Wisconsin keeps them ahead and in as the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl team.

And while the Utes lost to Washington, it was a very close game and actually Utah went up in the AP poll after it. The PAC 12 is having an overall down season, but the despite conference records, the Utes are better than Washington State and get the Rose Bowl spot.

Sugar Bowl: Texas A&M Aggies (7-1) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (6-2)

Okay, a win over New Mexico State isn’t inspiring at all, but they did absolutely dominate the cupcake. Still, they have proven themselves as the second best SEC team right now and get the Super Bowl spot. However, they have a lot of competition with LSU, Auburn and Florida all on their heels.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has proven their projection in this game the past few weeks as they remain unbeaten in Big 12 play with a complete slaughter of Kansas. Baylor and West Virginia were really their only competition for the spot but both of those teams lost while Baker Mayfield led the Sooners to a blowout with four touchdowns.

Orange Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (7-1) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (6-2)

Lamar Jackson magic helped the Cardinals avoid being upset by Virginia. With 13 seconds left he hit Jalen Smith for a 29-yard touchdown to win the game. It was Jackson’s fourth touchdown of the game. It maybe was troubling how much they struggled, but road conference games are always tough. Louisville, however, found a way to win the game.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, jumped back into one of these really big games with a win over Nebraska, once again establishing themselves as the third-best team in a completely dominant Big Ten conference.

Cotton Bowl Bowl: Western Michigan Broncos (8-0) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-1)

Navy and Boise State both lost so now when we’re talking about the best Group of Five team we have to say it’s the undefeated Western Michigan Broncos. They had a bye, but the losses suffered by their top competition moved them into the Cotton Bowl.

Even despite Nebraska’s loss to Wisconsin, they are still pretty clearly a great team. Florida, Auburn and LSU could all be considered for this game, but the Cornhuskers are still in charge of the Big Ten West and it would be very difficult to keep a division winner from a powerhouse conference like that out of one of these huge bowl games.

Dropping Out


Navy Midshipmen (5-2): The Mids defense really let them down against South Florida. The Bulls rushed for over 400 yards against them with five touchdowns on the ground; three Bulls topped 100 yards. Navy trailed 28-0 after the first quarter and while they lost by only seven points, the game was never that close. That loss completely took them out of ‘Group of Five’ Champion contention.

Baylor Bears (6-1): Baylor finally met a respectably difficult opponent and suffered a loss. Baylor’s No. 8 ranking was artificially created by wins over bad teams; it’s generally what they’ve done the past few years. Now they’ve suffered a loss and are in a position where they will really have to prove themselves with wins over the good teams coming up on the schedule (at Oklahoma and West Virginia) before getting back into any sort of selected bowl game contention.

On the Cusp


Florida Gators (6-1): Florida has nicely rebounded from their loss at Tennessee with three-straight wins. Their win over the Georgia Bulldogs and Kentucky Wildcats have solidified the Gators as the top team in the SEC East. Any SEC division champion will be heavily considered to be in a bid bowl game.

Auburn Tigers (6-2): Auburn’s two losses have been against two of the very best teams in the country and both of them were intense battles. This Tigers team has now won five-straight games with lop-sided wins over Arkansas and Ole Miss.

LSU Tigers (5-2): LSU just pulled off another huge win over an SEC opponent. Since LSU fired Les Miles and Ed Orgeron took over they have really taken off. But they still have a huge, huge Mountain next week – Alabama.

Key Week 10 Games

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa Hawkeyes: Don’t sleep on Penn State. This team is back to the glory they only new before everything fell apart in 2011. They havewon four-straight games and completely blew out Purdue. Granted, Purdue isn’t great, but that followed their upset of the Ohio State Buckeyes. If they can beat an always tough Iowa team by a big margin them maybe we’ll have to start looking at the Nittany Lions as a real contender for a selected bowl game.

LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide: LSU would be 0-7 going into this game it would be intriguing. The great LSU-Alabama rivalry should provide us with another great game. Alabama is obviously the big favorites, but LSU looks like a completely different team right now from earlier in the season. With the new life they’ve been breathing, who know what we could get out of this game.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Two powerhouses in the Big Ten will go at it, in central Ohio with the loser likely out of the playoff and rose-bowl hunt. Nebraska is coming off their first loss of the season, and Ohio State is coming off a close win. Anything can happen in this one.

California Golden Bears vs. Washington Huskies: Washington has no room for error and while they will be the favorite over California, the Golden Bears have had some very good quarterback play and will play in the comfort of their own home stadium.

Heisman Watch

lamar-jacksonLamar Jackson – QB, Louisville

158/271 (58.3%), 2,522 Pass Yards, 22 Pass TDs, 5 INTs, 996 Rush Yards (6.8 YPC), 16 INTs

Jake Browning – QB, Washington

130/192 (67.7%), 1,895 Pass Yards, 28 Pass TDs, 3 INTs, 4 Rush TDs

Baker Mayfield – QB, Oklahoma

168/237 (70.9%), 2,584 Pass Yards, 27 Pass TDs, 5 INTs, 3 Rush TDs

Deshaun Watson – QB, Clemson

191/301 (63.5%), 2,328 Pass Yards, 22 TDs, 10 INTs, 331 Rush Yards (3.8 YPC), 1 Rush TD

Jabrill Peppers – LB, Michigan

48 Tackles, 12.5 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 6 QBH 139 Rush Yards (8.7 YPC), 3 Rush TDs, 15 PR, 257 PR Yards (17.1 YPR), 1 PR TD, 6 KR, 168 KR Yards (28.0 YPR)

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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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