The College Football Playoff was set. Four Power 5 conferences each had one unbeaten team, with a clear path for each. Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Washington would march into the semifinals, breaking the longtime truth that a college football season can only bear a couple of undefeated teams.
Days before Week 11 really got going, Bill Connelly openly tried to jinx the season by pointing out how few contenders and big upsets we'd had to that point.
The jinx worked. Just look at all this nonsense:
- No. 2 Clemson lost to Pitt, 43-42, thanks to a kicker named Blewitt, weird officiating, and the turnover margin, three to one.
- No. 3 Michigan lost at Iowa, 14-13, and the game was even more gruesome than that score. Iowa's punter was its best first-half offensive weapon, and I'm only barely joking.
- No. 4 Washington lost to No. 20 USC, 26-13, due to surging Trojan talent and a kid who might already be the Pac-12's best QB.
- The last time AP Nos. 2, 3, and 4 all lost on the same day was in 1985, per ESPN, when Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh lost at Iowa.
- No. 8 Texas A&M continued its fall from No. 4 in the season's Playoff rankings debut, finishing 0-2 against the state of Mississippi after freshman QB Shea Patterson's 29-28, miracle-comeback debut for Ole Miss.
- No. 9 Auburn lost to rival Georgia, 13-7, giving even bigger rival Alabama the SEC West title. Two former Bama defensive personnel members were key to UGA's win, and the knife really can't twist any deeper here.
- No. 14 Virginia Tech lost to Georgia Tech, 30-20, despite the Jackets trotting out much of their second-string offense.
- No. 17 North Carolina lost to Duke, 28-27, turning Heels fans toward basketball.
- In Division III, the longest regular-season winning streak in college football history was snapped as John Carroll beat Mount Union.
- UNLV beat Wyoming in a triple-overtime game that came one score shy of the all-time FBS scoring record.
- No. 10 Penn State went from trailing CHAOS TEAM Indiana by 10 with 16 minutes to go to having a better Big Ten Championship path than Ohio State.
- No. 6 Louisville went from trailing Wake Forest entering the fourth quarter to winning, 44-12, and being the country's most fascinating team to watch during Tuesday night's Playoff rankings reveal.
- No. 13 Oklahoma State and Texas Tech had an 89-point shootout, as you'd expect ... that ended in OSU's favor on a missed extra point.
- Texas took No. 16 West Virginia to the wire, with fans in attendance getting false hope at the very end due to a telestrator accident.
- No. 23 Washington State, which opened the year by losing to an FCS team and a midmajor (a good FCS team and a good midmajor, yes) is now in sole possession of the Pac-12 North lead.
- Hawaii's coach got so mad during a blowout loss to Boise State, he had his sideline benches removed.
- The Penn State-Indiana broadcast spent a solid two minutes on a group of kids who were trying to get their footballs out of a tree, and viewers were riveted.
- Air Force, FAU, New Mexico, Troy, and USF all had game-winning scores in the final minute.
- Rutgers somehow found new depths.
- North Dakota State talked justified trash to the University of Michigan.
- KANSAS DID SOMETHING COOL AND EFFECTIVE. (And lost, sure.)
- UCF is bowl-eligible after going 0-12 last year, Eastern Michigan is bowling for the first time since 1987, and IDAHO IS BOWL-ELIGIBLE IN ITS SECOND-TO-LAST-EVER FBS SEASON.
- And the following statement is entirely true and accurate with only a couple of weeks still to go in the regular season:
Your two unbeatens left in the country are Alabama and WESTERN MICHIGAN!!— WMU Football (@WMU_Football) November 13, 2016
Thank you, college football. We needed this.