Week 7 - Boise State, Nebraska, and WestVirginia are still unbeaten.
By Martin Magers
Close calls for potential playoff teams.
Ohio State and Clemson both needed overtime to put away their opponents on Saturday. The Buckeyes overcame a 16 to 6 halftime deficit to beat the Badgers on the road in Madison. Beating a good Wisconsin team on the road kept the Buckeyes at #2 in the AP poll and solidly in playoff contention. The Tigers, however, dropped a spot to #4 in the AP poll, flipping positions with Michigan. Frankly, Clemson should have lost this game in regulation as NC State missed a chip shot field goal attempt, and it’s simply not a good look for the ACC’s most likely representative in the playoff. Clemson’s resumé now includes 6 point victories over Auburn and Troy, and a 7-point overtime win over NC State. If the Tigers win out, they’ll most likely still make the playoff, but nothing is certain at this point in the season.
Alabama. Looks. Good.
It’s probable that Tennessee was overrated. Any team can lose any week. Alabama probably has a flaw. These are all true statements, but it’s a relatively safe bet to put money on the Crimson Tide rolling to another national championship in January.
Boise State keeps climbing.
Most considered Houston the only legitimate non-Power 5 conference team to have a shot at the playoff this year, which obviously ended with their loss to Navy. With Boise State now 6 and 0 and sitting at #14 in the AP poll, maybe it’s time to start talking about them. The Bronco’s strength of schedule isn’t terrible, but it’s also not great. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have any match-ups with legitimate top 10 teams this year. They would certainly need the top teams in the Power 5 conferences to take some big losses, but it’s not entirely impossible for them to make the playoff.
Nebraska remains unbeaten.
With the majority of Big Ten hype being focused on Ohio State and Michigan, Nebraska is quietly setting itself for a run at the playoff. The Cornhuskers beat a decent Indiana team on Saturday in Bloomington to improve to 6 and 0. With a home game against the horrid Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday, Nebraska should be 7 and 0 before they finally have road games against Ohio State and Wisconsin. The safe bet is probably on the Buckeyes and Badgers in those games, but Tommy Armstrong and a good Nebraska defense could make things interesting.
The last time the West Virginia Mountaineers were truly relevant, Rich Rodriguez was still winning football games, Pat White was still playing quarterback, and Barack Obama was winning his first presidential campaign. No one, including die hard Mountaineer fans, thought Dana Holgerson’s Mountaineers would compete for the Big 12 championship this year. However, with the Mountaineers now 5 and 0 and with Baylor and Oklahoma traveling to Morgantown later this year, WVU has an outside shot at winning the Big 12 and making the playoff.