A Look Around the Country

Upsets Galore Causes Huge Playoff Shakeup

Welcome to my weekly column, A Look Around the Country, which will highlight notable games from the week before and week ahead as well as the Heisman and Playoff race. Special features include an in-depth look at the Buckeyes, as well as a Michigan update, mainly for folks to bask in their misfortunes. As always, feel free to comment with your own opinions and I hope you enjoy!

Down goes Alabama, Auburn, and USC in what was the first weekend this season that featured a number of huge upsets. The Big Ten now has the top two ranked teams in the country in Ohio State and Michigan State but the Big 12’s TCU and Baylor are not far behind.

Notable Games Last Week

LSU 45, Auburn, 21

The Bayou Bengals looked very impressive in their dismantling of Auburn on Saturday and that is reflected in my rankings below. At this point in the season, LSU is my favorite to win the SEC and grab a berth in the Playoff. Auburn, on the other hand, should enjoy themselves in the Gator Bowl.

Notre Dame 30, Georgia Tech 22

Even after losing Malik Zaire and many others for the season, the Irish were able to take down perhaps the ACC’s best team in Georgia Tech. Notre Dame has slowly improved every week and despite their injury problems is slowly working its way up the polls. Clemson and USC still loom but they are starting to feel like the Buckeyes did last year…a team of destiny.

Stanford 41, USC 31

The Pac 12 race got a lot more interesting as the Trojans lost to the team they always seem to lose to when they’re good: Stanford. I had USC in my playoff to start the season but it appears that I might be wrong. Maybe my prediction was one year too early.
Ole Miss 43, Alabama 37
The upset of the year so far came in the form of Ole Miss taking down the Tide for the second year in a row. I hadn’t been impressed with Alabama yet anyway, but this just solidified that. Ole Miss is now a favorite in the SEC and their game with LSU on November 21 might be the game of the year in the South.

Big Games this Week

Western Michigan at Ohio State

After a completely underwhelming offensive performance against Northern Illinois, the Buckeyes hope to be much better against another MAC foe. The big headline now is who Urban Meyer is going to choose as his permanent starting QB. I think JT is our guy (I’ve been saying that since January) but if I had to guess, both are going to play this week. Luckily, the Silver Bullet Defense has been playing better than anybody else in the country and as long as they continue to do that, we should be fine. Stay tuned to MOTSAG for more coverage on this week’s game.

Saturday, September 26 at 3:30pm on ESPN2

UCLA at Arizona

An early season Pac 12 showdown pits two relatively underrated teams against each other. UCLA QB Josh Rosen has turned himself into a Heisman candidate but Rich Rodriguez (our old buddy) has brought resurgence into the Wildcat program. The winner of this game could really solidify a high ranking headed into October.

Saturday, September 26 at 8pm on ABC

Utah at Oregon

The other Pac 12 showdown of the week features two teams in transition. The Utes are undefeated and a win against the Ducks would go a long way toward a playoff campaign. Oregon needs to keep winning to make Michigan State’s resume look better and I expect that to happen this weekend.
Saturday, September 26 at 8:30pm on FOX
That is it for this week’s big games. If you have to go to a fall wedding, I hope it was scheduled for this weekend.

Saturday, September 26, 8:30 PM on FOX

Michigan Update

Michigan was able to take down 1990s basketball power UNLV over the weekend and are now sitting at 2-1. BYU comes to Ann Arbor and I expect them to take down the Wolverines. That QB situation is just not good.

Heisman Watch

Leonard Fournette, LSU: +

Derrick Henry, Alabama: E

Trevone Boykin, TCU: E

Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State: E

Connor Cook, Michigan State: +

Cardale Jones, Ohio State: –

My Playoff if the Season Ended Today

*Editor’s Note: This will be a volatile poll every week based on performance in the past week and resume to date, very similar to the Playoff Committee.

1. Ohio State (beat Northern Illinois, plays Western Michigan)

2. Michigan State (beat Air Force, plays Central Michigan)

3. LSU (beat Auburn, plays Syracuse)

4. Baylor (bye week, plays Rice)

Just Missed the Cut

5. Ole Miss (beat Alabama, plays Vanderbilt)

6. Notre Dame (beat Georgia Tech, plays Umass)

7. TCU (beat SMU, plays Texas Tech)

8. Georgia (beat South Carolina, plays Southern)

9. UCLA (beat BYU, plays Arizona)

10. Clemson (beat Louisville, bye week)

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