Unofficially, half the playoff field got decided on the season’s second-to-last Saturday. Alabama is getting in whether or not it beats Florida in the SEC championship game. Ohio State is getting in regardless of the fact it did not win its division. Their resumes are that much better than everybody else’s.
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The Sooners play for the 10th Big 12 championship of Bob Stoops’ 18-year tenure Saturday against 9-2 Oklahoma State. QB Baker Mayfield and WR Dede Westbrook try to earn a trip to New York.
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Trojans star Adoree’ Jackson put on a Heisman audition against Notre Dame, scoring touchdowns of 55 (punt return), 52 (pass) and 97 (kick return) yards. USC remains alive for a Rose Bowl berth.
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Penn State (10-2)
Following their breakout 24-21 win over Ohio State on Oct. 22, The Nittany Lions’ offense averaged 46.4 points over their last five games. Give credit to markedly improved QB Trace McSorley.
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Colorado’s defense held Utah star Joe Williams to just 3.7 yards per carry, and Kenneth Olugbode’s game-swinging scoop-and score typified the Pac-12 championship-bound Buffs’ remarkable rise.
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Minnesota hung with Wisconsin for 3.5 quarters before the Indianapolis-bound Badgers pulled away. Jazz Peavy continues to be their big-play guy, breaking a 71-yard run to set up the go-ahead score.
The Huskies came out and throttled rival Washington State on Friday as QB Jake Browning busted out of a recent slump. My only quibble with U-Dub is its lack of high-caliber (Top 15) wins.
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The Wolverines went to double-overtime on the road against my No. 2 team. They’ve beaten my Nos. 6, 7 and 8 teams. Their defense held Ohio State to 4.0 yards per play. They’re still a top four team.
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The Tigers rebounded from their Nov. 12 loss to Pittsburgh by posting consecutive blowouts of 6-6 Wake Forest and South Carolina. QB Deshaun Watson threw six TDs against the Gamecocks.
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Ohio State (11-1)
The Buckeyes survived Michigan thanks to a ball-hawking D that set up or scored 14 of their 17 points in regulation. They finish the regular season with a 3-1 record vs. committee Top 10 teams.
The Tide did not allow a touchdown in the month of November. ... You read that right. Texas A&M was the last foe to reach the end zone, back in the third quarter of the teams’ Oct. 22 meeting.