By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg
It was termed “Statement Saturday” and a Statement Saturday it was indeed. Favorites rolled in big time matchups while others still in line for the College Football Playoff survived to fight another weekend.
The only teams that saw their playoff hopes really come to an end were Kentucky and LSU, which both lost to fellow playoff contenders Georgia and Alabama, respectively.
Here’s this week’s good, bad and ugly.
The Good: Michigan. Penn State is a good team with a lot of talent. The Nittany Lions had suffered two nail biting losses to conference opponents in back-to-back weeks before struggling to wins over Indiana and Iowa. Michigan passed its second major test of the latter part of the season and the Wolverines pummeled Penn State early and often. Barring something catastrophic Michigan will be 10-1 heading into Columbus at season’s end.
Honorable Mention: West Virginia. Will Grier threw a strike to Gary Jennings Jr. to pull the Mountaineers within one and then scrambled into the end zone on a 2-point conversion to win it. West Virginia and Oklahoma now hold the two spots for the Big 12 Championship game, but will still face each other at the end of the regular season first.
The Bad: Ohio State. A win’s a win, but the Buckeyes needed a bit of a rally to hold off a two-win Nebraska team with a true freshman quarterback. At the end of the day Ohio State still has a pathway into the playoff, but that’s not the performance Buckeye fans were looking for the week before a road trip to a scrappy Michigan State team.
Honorable Mention: Utah. The 18-point loss to Arizona State is only half the problem. The Utes lost quarterback Tyler Huntley for the season due to a broken collarbone. Utah still leads the Pac-12 South with tiebreakers over USC and Arizona, but getting there without Huntley will be a tall task to overcome.
The Ugly: LSU. The Tigers’ longest running play of the game was 11 yards. They finished with 12 yards total. LSU had no answers for Alabama’s defense and Tua shined again in a shutout win for the Tide.
Honorable Mention: Louisville. At this point it’s laughable how this team’s losing games. Giving up 61 in a game is one thing. Losing by 61 is another. The Cardinals have given up more than 50 points four times already and have three games against ranked teams to close out the schedule. 2-10 is not out of the question for Louisville.