Mississippi State’s upset of Texas A&M just a few days after the first College Football Playoff rankings was a good reminder: When it comes to the selection committee’s top 25, “controversies” often don’t last long.
The Aggies were a surprising fourth ahead of unbeaten Washington in the first CFP rankings, but they won’t be in that spot anymore.
Fans will have to find something new to complain about on Tuesday – which probably won’t be too tough.
Week 10 featured one early upset in Starkville with playoff race ramifications and another Notre Dame loss to Navy, increasing Fighting Irish frustrations.
Thoughts, takedowns and takeaways from the first post-playoff ranking Saturday of the season.
1. There is still business to take care of for both No. 1 Alabama and No. 11 Auburn, but it is now all lined up for a winner-take-all Iron Bowl on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
2. In the last two years against the Crimson Tide, LSU star Leonard Fournette has rushed for 66 yards on 36 carries. Maybe the NFL will be easier for the future first-round pick.
3. Beating Alabama would certainly have boosted the probability of interim head coach Ed Orgeron landing the LSU job. But a loss doesn’t disqualify him. If the Tigers can run through Arkansas, Florida and A&M, Coach O could still make a good case.
4. Here’s how fast and drastically things can change in college football: Texas A&M entered Saturday in the playoff discussion. The Aggies head into next week’s home game against Mississippi having lost two straight SEC games and in danger of seeing a 6-0 start turn into a disappointing season.
5. The run defense, which has been an issue for the Aggies in recent years, has regressed in recent weeks. It is one thing to give up 287 yards rushing to Alabama. It is quite another to allow Mississippi State to go for 365. The biggest issue, though, for the Aggies going forward is the health of Trevor Knight‘s shoulder.
6. The team that benefited most from Mississippi State’s upset was No. 11 Auburn. The Tigers, who slipped past Vanderbilt, did not control their path to the SEC championship because of an earlier loss to A&M. Now they do.
7. So who will be the committee’s new No. 4? Probably Washington, but Ohio State gave the committee something to think about against Nebraska.
8. Also still very much in play is a winner-take-all Michigan-Ohio State game on Nov. 26. The Saturday after Thanksgiving might be better than championship weekend this season.
9. Notre Dame once won 43 straight games against Navy. Now Navy has won four of the last 10 meetings.
10. Before we talk about how bad things are for Notre Dame, how about some much-deserved praise for the Midshipmen and coach Ken Niumatalolo? Niumatalolo, who is Mormon, very publicly considered the BYU opening last season, but decided to stay put. He could not be a better fit at Navy, but it would be fascinating to see him in a job where he had access to elite talent.
11. Now about Notre Dame. The Irish are 3-6 and would have to beat Army, No. 23 Virginia Tech and USC to get bowl eligible. Good luck with that.
12. The unraveling of Baylor’s season seems to have started. Players know they are playing for coaches who won’t be around next season.
13. If you are a Baylor assistant coach, tying yourself to former coach Art Briles might not be the best career move.
14. Weekly Charlie Strong stock report: Trending up. The conventional wisdom in Austin is Texas leadership would prefer to keep Strong and even seven victories might be enough. That would be two wins better than last year. The Longhorns are now 5-4. Remaining games: No. 14 West Virginia at home next week, at Kansas and TCU at home.
15. Weekly Lamar Jackson march to the Heisman Trophy update: No change. The award is still Jackson’s to lose.
16. At this point we should just talk about which other players can earn an invite to New York for the Heisman handout. D’Onta Freeman of Texas popped up on the radar last week and only continued to surge against Texas Tech.
18. Deshaun Watson only needed to play a half against Syracuse. No. 3 Clemson said he was held out of the second because of a sore shoulder but he could have played. Which makes complete sense, but downplaying injuries is as much a part of college football as bands at halftime. It is a situation worth monitoring in Death Valley.
19. Michigan State lost to Illinois , which has to qualify as rock bottom for the Spartans in this nightmare season. But wait! Rutgers at Michigan State next week. Both are 2-7 and 0-6 in the Big Ten.
20. Speaking of dumpster-fire seasons: Arizona (2-7, 0-6 Pac-12) is in danger of going winless in the conference for the first time since joining what was then the Pac-10 in 1978.
21. Could make a good case for Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst being the Big Ten coach of the year. He has pieced together an offense, leaned hard on a salty defense and helped the Badgers push both Ohio State and Michigan.
22. Jim McElwain‘s first 22 games as Florida coach: 16-6. Will Muschamp‘s first 22 games as Florida coach: 15-7.
23. It will be difficult to keep Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham off the AP All-America team.
24. And that’s enough said about the SEC East.
25. Tommy Tuberville‘s time in Cincinnati could be winding down. The Bearcats dropped to 4-5 and are going to have a heck of time getting bowl eligible. At 62, Tuberville seems like a candidate to “retire,” especially after getting into it with a fan after Cincinnati lost to BYU on Saturday.
Republished with permission from the Associated Press.