College football week 8 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are five things learned from college football week 8.
1. Wisconsin is Out of the CFP Race
Teams can lose games and still be considered for the College Football Playoff (CFP). It’s all about how they look and who they’ve beaten. Some losses are so bad though, that teams can’t overcome them. Ohio State was left out of the CFP due to a loss to Purdue. Wisconsin is now out of the race after losing as 31 point favorites on the road at Illinois.
The Badgers were having a solid season and came into the week undefeated with a win over Michigan under their belts. They were even leading this game by a comfortable margin in the second half and just could not close the door. Illinois kicked a last second field goal and Lovie Smith received a little more job security because of it. Losing to a team like Illinois, who may not make a bowl game, will leave Wisconsin out of the CFP most likely, almost no matter what happens the rest of the way.
2. Oregon is Back in the CFP Race…Barely
The Pac-12 was thought to be out of the CFP race after a rough start. That is probably still ture, but Oregon has a slight chance of working their way back into the conversation. This week they beat a ranked Washington team on the road to extend their win streak to six games.
With their only loss coming to Auburn, Oregon could run the table the rest of the way. They won’t pick up too many more quality victories in Pac-12 play, which could hold them back. Oregon will need some help, but more chaos could happen.
3. Penn State has a Championship Defense
Penn State defeated Michigan 28-21 on Saturday night for a second-straight big win. Last week, the win over Iowa on the road showed Penn State was for real. This week, the win over Michigan has showed that they have a “championship-level” defense. That is what James Franklin said after the win and he’s right.
The Nittany Lions allowed 21 points to Michigan, but that only brought their yearly average up to 10 points allowed per game. Does a championship-level defense guarantee a championship? No. Michigan had a great defense last season, then got torched by Ohio State. The Nittany Lions could suffer the same fate if they don’t come to play against the Buckeyes later in the season.
4. SMU and Cincinnati Frontrunners for New Year’s Six Bowl
Early on Sunday morning, Boise State was defeated by BYU in Provo. The Broncos were undefeated and ranked 14th in the country. Following a win over Florida State in the opening game of the season, the prevailing thought was that Boise State would be in the New Year’s Six Bowl Game as a group of five conference representative. That may not be the case after the loss.
The two highest-ranked teams from the group of five this week will be SMU and Cincinnati, both out of the American Athletic Conference. SMU is undefeated at 7-0 after dismantling a physical Temple team. Cincinnati survived against Tulsa, which means their only loss is still at the hands of Ohio State. The two teams will not meet in the AAC regular season, but could play in the conference championship game. If these two teams falter, Appalachian State would seemingly be the next team in line to take the spot.
5. There are Still a lot of Undefeated Teams
It is rare that this many undefeated teams make it this far into the season. That means that college football fans are in store for a fun end to the season. There are 10 teams that have still not lost a game this season. Everyone knows about Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU and Penn State, but there are other teams that have surprised.
SMU is 7-0 with a win over TCU under their belts. Minnesota has been able to grind out wins to get to 7-0. Baylor is still undefeated and looking to stay in the Big 12 Championship Game picture. Appalachian State is one of the best Sun Belt teams of all time. They will be hoping for other group of five teams to slip up so that they can be present at a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
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