College football just got its closest thing yet to a 2016 mayhem Saturday, with four unbeaten teams falling in late October, leaving us with just five in FBS.
Wisconsin knocked off Nebraska late, Charlie Strong bought himself time by wrecking Baylor, Oklahoma State beat up West Virginia, and Wyoming's dancing after beating Boise State for the first time ever.
Below, updated College Football Playoff picks and bowl projections, with the top of the postseason looking more eerily established as time goes on. Always trust in college football to provide chaos, but we're running out of opportunities for it to strike this year's group of early rulers.
Elsewhere, Clemson survived at Florida State amid a call that has Jimbo Fisher raging, Lamar Jackson added his Heisman MomentTM, and Washington passed its first actual test of the year.
To the bowl game picks, and then a bunch more stuff from Saturday! The year's first official Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday night, which should help change up next week's edition of projections.
|College Football Playoff|
Dec. 31, Glendale, AZ
|Clemson||Michigan||Playoff rankings top 4|
Dec. 31, Atlanta
|Alabama||Washington||Playoff rankings top 4|
Jan. 9, Tampa
|Alabama||Michigan||Fiesta winner vs. Peach winner|
So, like, yeah, that's super obvious. Those are the last four unbeaten Power 5 conference teams, a tidy one per non-Big 12 league.
The thing is: it's even more stratified than it looks, at least until conference championships. It's easy to see how any of the four could absorb a loss, as long as it's not to a specific division contender.
- The exception is Clemson, which can now lose one regular season game and likely still make it in.
- Auburn or LSU could still stop Bama, but would have to win out.
- Michigan's game at Ohio State would count as the division championship, if OSU didn't lose again beforehand, so that remains on course to be the regular season's most important game.
- And Washington-Washington State could be the same for the Pac-12 North, albeit without Playoff stakes for the Cougars.
But otherwise, it's not easy to see exactly how things shake up. So we'll wait.
To be honest, the dream scenario at this point is for all four to hit the Playoff at 13-0. Can you imagine? Ain't gonna happen, but that's why it's a dream.
|New Year's Six bowls|
Jan. 2, Arlington, TX
Jan. 2, Pasadena, CA
|Ohio State||Utah||Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1|
Jan. 2, New Orleans
|Oklahoma||Texas A&M||Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1|
Dec. 30, Miami
|Louisville||Wisconsin||ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND|
And there's the other undefeated team, WMU, in as the New Year's Six bowls' mid-major autobid. With Boise State no longer undefeated and the AAC fresh out of one-loss teams, WMU is the easy favorite here. And its win over Northwestern is becoming decent, with NU taking Ohio State to the wire and probably making a bowl.
The others are set up according to the committee's top-ranked teams from certain conferences. WMU-Wisconsin would probably be more fun than WMU-whoever, since the Broncos already have two Big Ten West wins this season and would deserve a shot at the division's best team, but the Badgers ranking behind an LSU team they've beaten doesn't seem too likely, if records are comparable.
|Conference selection order, not based on standings|
Jan. 2, Tampa
|Penn State||Florida||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8|
Dec. 31, Orlando
|Nebraska||Tennessee||Big Ten 2-4/ACC vs. SEC 2|
Dec. 31, Jacksonville
|Miami||Kentucky||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
Dec. 30, Nashville
|Indiana||South Carolina||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
Dec. 30, Memphis
|Texas||Georgia||Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8|
Dec. 30, El Paso, TX
|Pitt||Arizona State||ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5|
Dec. 30, Tucson
|Air Force||Troy||MWC vs. Sun Belt|
Dec. 29, San Antonio
|Oklahoma State||Washington State||Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2|
Dec. 29, Charlotte
|Virginia Tech||LSU||ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8|
|USF||Ole Miss||American vs. SEC 9|
Dec. 28, Santa Clara, CA
|Iowa||USC||Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4|
Dec. 28, New York City
|North Carolina||Maryland||ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7|
Dec. 28, Orlando
|Florida State||West Virginia||ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3|
Dec. 28, Houston
|Baylor||Arkansas||Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8|
Dec. 27, Tempe, AZ
|Texas Tech||Stanford||Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7|
|Heart of Dallas
|Army*||WKU||Big Ten vs. C-USA|
Dec. 27, San Diego
|Minnesota||Colorado||Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3|
Dec. 27, Annapolis, MD
|Georgia Tech||Houston||ACC vs. American|
Dec. 26, Shreveport, LA
|Kansas State*||Temple*||ACC vs. SEC|
|Wake Forest||Cincinnati||ACC vs. American|
Dec. 26, Detroit, MI
|Boston College**||Northwestern||ACC vs. Big Ten|
Dec. 24, Honolulu
|Idaho*||Hawaii||C-USA vs. MWC|
Dec. 23, Mobile, AL
|Toledo||South Alabama||MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2|
Dec. 23, Fort Worth, TX
|TCU||Navy||Big 12 vs. Navy|
Dec. 23, Nassau
|Tulsa||EMU||American vs. MAC|
Dec. 22, Boise, ID
|Ohio||Wyoming||MAC 2 vs. MWC|
Dec. 21, San Diego
|BYU||San Diego State||BYU vs. MWC|
|Memphis||Southern Miss||American vs. C-USA|
|SMU||Akron||American vs. MAC|
|Boise State||UCLA||MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 6|
Dec. 17, Montgomery, AL
|CMU||Appalachian State||MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3|
Dec. 17, Orlando
|UCF||Georgia Southern||American vs. Sun Belt|
Dec. 17, Albuquerque
|MTSU||New Mexico||C-USA vs. MWC|
|UL Lafayette||LA Tech||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA|
* = filling another conference's spot
** = here at 5-7 thanks to APR scores
More stuff to know!
- Michigan State tried to score two meaningless points to send a message. Michigan scored them instead.
- The lights literally went out on Mark Dantonio after the game. He seemed to recognize the metaphor.
- Here are Michigan State fans on ESPN chanting "f*** Jim Harbaugh." That sentiment probably still stands.
- One Wolverines star says UM took the foot off the pedal against Michigan State. That'll be remembered.
- Is Clemson this year's 2013 Auburn/2014 Florida State? You know, the team that just cannot be put away?
- Swag of the Week honors go to Dalvin Cook, who found time on one touchdown run to both wave bye bye to Clemson's defense and break the tape like a sprinter.
- We are all this FSU fan who's not in the mood for this Clemson fan's high five.
- Just the important stuff from Florida-Georgia: a fan became a tailgate god by climbing a lofty tentpole,UGA's QB drilled a pylon from 55 yards away (seriously the Dawgs' best offensive play of the day). andpolice hauled off $500 in plastic liquor bottles from just one tailgate. The Gators won easily.
- Every QB who's ever thrown for 400 or more yards against Auburn has lost. Chad Kelly joins the list.
- These Virginia fans had the presence of mind to reenact the Sad Virginia Fan meme immediately after Lamar Jackson stole their souls. That's incredible.
- A former Longhorn tight end dressed up as Hot Seat Charlie Strong for Halloween. Um, about that!
- Tennessee is now 0-5 against Will Muschamp.
- A South Carolina player was ejected for this Double Dragon-lookin' two-punch combo.
- Notre Dame is 3-5, but was nearly 2-6 after almost blowing a 20-point lead to Miami.
- Penn State responded to letdown talk and an early scare by heaving 62 points at Purdue.
- Washington State came back from 21 down against Oregon State to keep Rose Bowl hopes alive.
- Texas Tech-TCU went to double overtime. That makes sense. But only 34 points in regulation? What? (TCU lost after this wayward field goal.)
- Funniest thing of the week might be the Oregon punter's frantic acting job on this fake punt.
- The Ducks are still in rough shape on the year, but they've got a record-tying QB of the future now.
- Two morons at Nebraska-Wisconsin had the following as a costume: Donald Trump lynching Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
- Hello, here's a Division II, triple-lateral, Piesman touchdown by a former Mizzou player. (Mizzou could've used the points against Kentucky, which is still second in the SEC East.)
- Frank Caliendo's nine lightning-round impressions on College GameDay: actually good!