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Week 10 Playoff and Heisman Watch

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0)

Last Week: W – @ LSU – 10-0

alabama-crimson-tide

All of a sudden Alabama has some doubters because they struggled to score points against LSU, but that criticism is rubbish. Their victory over a heated rival and a resurgent LSU team showed that the Crimson Tide are the most well-rounded team in the country with the ability to win a shootout or a hard-fought defensive battle. Give some major credit to their defense for shutting out the Tigers in Baton Rouge; not an easy task at all.

2. Clemson Tigers (9-0)

Last Week: W – @ Syracuse – 54-0

clemson-tigers

It’s 2a and 2b really with Clemson and Michigan right now, but the Tigers keep the number two spot with a big shutout of Syracuse even after they took out a lot of their starters when it was a blowout. That showed just how deep Clemson is.

3. Michigan Wolverines (9-0)

Last Week: W – Maryland – 59-3

michigan-wolverines

In some ways, you can argue that Michigan is the best team in the country and you wouldn’t sounds crazy, but that’s how top heavy this year is with Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Washington right now. The Wolverines stay at three but had everything going their way against a team led by their old defensive coordinator DJ Durkin. Wilton Speight threw for 362 yards and two touchdowns. Deveon Smith had 114 yards and three scores on the ground. Their defense completely shut Maryland down, even on the ground, which is the one area the Terps have been doing well in this year.

4. Washington Huskies (9-0)

Last Week: W – @ California – 66-27

washington-huskies

Any doubts about the Huskies has to go away when they dominated California in Berkley. Jake Browning threw for a ridiculous six touchdowns while John Ross had over 200 yards receiving and Dante Pettis topped 100 yards, each with three touchdown receptions. But it wasn’t only their offense getting the job done; their defense picked off Davis Webb, one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, three times on their way to the blowout.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) vs. Utah Utes (7-2)

The Buckeyes solidify their spot at least as the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl representative with a 62-3 drubbing of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but also with that dominant of a victory over a team as highly as Nebraska was, they make a playoff selection very possible. Ohio State could still win the Big Ten, but if Michigan remains ahead and wins in Columbus later in the season, this huge victory has to keep teams like Washington and Clemson on alert, because if they slip up at all, the Buckeyes have a great case to slip back into the playoffs.

The Utes, meanwhile, remain as the Pac 12’s representative in the Rose Bowl, but they aren’t nearly the clear-cut No. 2 team in the conference. In fact, Colorado or Washington State both have great cases to be made to be in this spot, but we’ll leave the Utes here because bye week’s shouldn’t drop a team.

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

It was a tricky decision to put Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl over Auburn right now because clearly, Auburn is playing better football. However, unless the Tigers shock Alabama, the two teams should be projected to have the same conference record and the Aggies beat the Tigers at Auburn. That win has to mean something and keeps the Aggies slightly ahead. There just isn’t any room for error for them.

Oklahoma’s win over Iowa State and keeps them well ahead in the Big 12. Baylor has completely dropped out of the race with another loss, Oklahoma State is still stung by that questionable loss to Central Michigan, and their loss at Baylor, but the fact that neither they nor West Virginia have anything close to respectable strength of schedules, the Sooners should clearly be the Big 12’s top pick. Baker Mayfield continues to quietly, yet loudly sneak back into the Heisman picture with another four touchdown game, his fourth-straight with at least four touchdown passes.

Orange Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (8-1) vs. Auburn Tigers (7-2)

Lamar Jackson hasn’t had a down moment in his Heisman push and against Boston College he had seven more touchdowns. Boston College isn’t a good team, but they’re in the ACC and it was a blowout. Louisville is securely the second-best team in the conference behind Clemson.

Auburn is playing very well and gets into one of these bowl games after a slow start to the season and even if they lose to Alabama later in the year they should still remain in one of these big games as long as they don’t have a misstep somewhere else.

Cotton Bowl Bowl: Western Michigan Broncos (9-0) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (7-2)

It was against a cupcake opponent, but Western Michigan has to play their conference opponents. At least they completely dominated Ball State 52-20, leaving little doubt that they are the best ‘Group of Five’ team right now.

Wisconsin get the spot in as the last at-large team. Somehow the Minnesota Golden Gophers actually lead their division over them and Nebraska, but that shouldn’t stand too much longer. Wisconsin’s two close loses to powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State are the only blemishes on their record and they are barely bleminishes.

Dropping Out

nebraska-cornhuskers

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2): A loss that bad at Ohio State makes it impossible to even keep the Cornhuskers in the rankings as an at-large participant. They are clearly a big step below the elite teams in their conference.

On the Cusp

washington-state-cougars

Colorado Buffaloes (7-2): Colorado is right on Utah’s heels for that spot in the Rose Bowl with a third-straight win. They still don’t have a signature win yet, though, which does hurt them, but their defense has been very, very good this year.

Washington State Cougars (7-2) Like Colorado, the Cougars are are on the heels of Utah for that spot in the Rose Bowl. It’s nearly impossible to think a team could recover from a loss to a sub-FCS team like the Cougars have done since suffering a week one loss to Eastern Washington. They then followed it up with a loss at Boise State, but have one seven-straight games with their most recent one being a 69-7 beating of Arizona.

Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2): Penn State is playing some incredible football right now and have to be put in the picture of a big bowl game. They’ll need some help though. They won’t have an opportunity for another signature win as their last three games at against bottom of the barrel teams in the Big Ten, but they could be 10-2 with a win over the Buckeyes when they were the N0. 2 team in the country, and riding an eight-game winning streak by the regular season’s end.

Key Week 11 Games

Oklahoma Sooners (7-2) vs. Baylor Bears (6-2): The Sooners should pick up another Big 12 victory against a spiraling Baylor team but Baylor still have the ability to be dangerous offensively and if they do then the entire Big 12 will be shaken up.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-2): It’s hard to know what to think of Nebraska right now, and it’s hard to really know what to think of Minnesota right now, but the winner will be right in the thick of things with Wisconsin in the lead of the Big Ten West.

Washington Huskies (9-0) vs. USC Trojans (6-3): If Washington is for real they should really put it on USC, and they should be expected to do that, but USC is that kind of tough team that can pull off these kinds of road victories.

Heisman Watch

lamar-jacksonLamar Jackson – QB, Louisville

170/288 (59.0%), 2,753 Pass Yards, 26 Pass TDs, 6 INTs, 1,181 Rush Yards (7.3 YPC), 19 Rush TDs

Jake Browning – QB, Washington

149/220 (67.7%), 2,273 Pass Yards, 34 Pass TDs, 3 INTs, 4 Rush TDs

Deshaun Watson – QB, Clemson

204/317 (64.4%), 2,497 Pass Yards, 24 Pass TDs, 10 INTs, 370 Rush Yards (3.9 YPC), 2 Rush TDs

Baker Mayfield – QB, Clemson

193/271 (71.2%), 2,912 Pass Yards, 31 Pass TDs, 6 INTs, 3 Rush TDs

Jabrill Peppers – LB, Michigan

53 Tackles,13.5 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 7 QBH, 1 FF, 158 Rush Yards (8.8 YPC), 3 Rush TDs, 257 PR Yards (17.1 YPR), 1 PR TD, 182 KR Yards (26.0 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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