Week 3 - The Big 12 Is Already Out of The Playoff
By Martin Magers
Notre Dame is done.
After nearly making the college football playoff last season, the Notre Dame faithful had high expectations for this year’s team. Quarterbacks Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer were supposed to lead a high-scoring offensive attack behind a strong offensive line, but the defense was largely a question mark. Three games into the season, Notre Dame now owns two losses and sits outside the Top 25 poll, thanks in large part to its defense. Granted, Texas is certainly improved from last year, and Michigan State will once again be in playoff contention, but losses to both teams leave Notre Dame firmly out of playoff contention. The Irish will be playing for pride from here on out.
How good is North Dakota State?
A knee jerk reaction to Iowa’s loss to North Dakota State would be that Iowa was overrated, but as Lee Corso always says, “Not so fast, my friend!” Firstly, it should be kept in mind that Iowa was one play away from making the playoff last season. Secondly, North Dakota is really, really good. It’s easy to dismiss FCS teams, but North Dakota State would beat a lot of FBS teams. North Dakota State has won the FCS championship five years running and produced 2016 first round draft pick Carson Wentz (who threw for 2 touchdowns in his NFL debut last week). Regardless, Iowa still controls its destiny as it opens Big Ten play against Rutgers this coming weekend.
Florida State loses big.
It’s not simply that Florida State lost to Louisville on the road, it’s that Louisville absolutely destroyed them. While Lamar Jackson was putting up video game-type stats against the Seminole’s defense, Deondre Francois and Dalvin Cook struggled to get anything going. Florida State will need help if it wants to win the ACC and make the playoff.
Alabama pushed to the wire.
Ole Miss has had Alabama’s number the past two years, but the Crimson Tide rallied back this time. Though Alabama remains unbeaten and atop the polls, Ole Miss certainly exposed some weaknesses.
Forget about the Big 12 making the playoff.
After Oklahoma was handled by Ohio State and Texas lost to Cal, it’s safe to eliminate any Big 12 team from serious playoff consideration. The lone undefeated Big 12 teams are Baylor and West Virginia, but even if one of them wins out, which appears unlikely, there is no guarantee they’d be in the playoff; the Big Ten, SEC, and ACC all appear poised to send at least one team each, and Houston is in the discussion as well.