Sadly, we just enjoyed the second-to-last full week of the college football regular season. On the bright side, it was a good one, so let’s take a look at the top headlines.
The Oregon Ducks are the latest team to be knocked out of the College Football Playoff conversation. Oregon suffered a stunning loss to Arizona State, giving up 24 unanswered points at one point and ultimately losing 31-28. Oregon had already clinched the Pac-12 North title, so it still has a chance to win a conference championship. However, a second loss will keep the Ducks out of the CFP.
Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Utah held serve by beating Arizona 35-7. The Utes will play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game if they beat Colorado next week. They also have a chance at the CFP if they can then beat Oregon and win the Pac-12 title.
However, Oregon’s loss might hurt their chances, as it makes a win over the Ducks in the conference title game a little less impressive.
One Step Closer
In the biggest game of the day, Ohio State fended off a comeback attempt from Penn State to beat the Nittany Lions 28-17. The win locks up the Big Ten East division for the Buckeyes, who will face the winner of next week’s Minnesota-Wisconsin game in the Big Ten Championship Game. Ohio State is now two wins away from securing a spot in the CFP.
There was some concern for the Buckeyes when quarterback Justin Fields went down with an injury late, but Ryan Day indicated afterward that he’ll be fine.
One week after Baylor and Oklahoma faced one another in a Big 12 showdown, the rematch has officially been scheduled. Oklahoma held off TCU in a 28-24 win while Baylor took care of in-state rival Texas 24-10.
Both teams have now clinched a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game two weeks from now at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. However, both teams need a lot of help to get into the CFP.
South Florida Kings
In one of the biggest upsets of the weekend, Florida International beat Miami 30-24, taking home South Florida bragging rights. The Hurricanes outgained FIU by over 100 yards, but hurt themselves with three turnovers.
After falling behind 16-0 early in the third quarter, Miami was never able to make it all the way back. It’s the first time in four meetings that FIU has beaten its intra-city rival. The win also makes the Panthers bowl-eligible and should be particularly sweet for longtime Miami coach Butch Davis, who now coaches FIU.
End of an Era
There might be a changing of the guard in Northern California. Cal upended Stanford 24-20 on a late touchdown run by quarterback Chase Garbers. It was Cal’s first win over Stanford since 2009.
More importantly, it makes the Bears bowl-eligible while making the Cardinal 4-7 and no longer capable of qualifying for a bowl game. This will be the first time since 2008 that Stanford doesn’t play in a bowl game and the first time under David Shaw.