A Look Around The Country

Welcome back to my weekly column, A Look Around the Country. I’m highlighting notable games from the previous week, the week ahead and of course, the Heisman and Playoff race. Special features include an in-depth look at the Ohio State and a Michigan update, mainly for folks to bask in their misfortunes. Feel free to comment with your opinions, I hope you enjoy!

Notable Games Last Week

Ohio State 42, Michigan 13

The Buckeyes looked like the team we all thought they would look like this season during a complete dismantling of Michigan in the Big House. Zeke Elliott was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and will likely be in New York for the Heisman ceremony. At this point, Ohio State will need some help to make it back into the playoff. If either Clemson or Alabama lose, I think they are in. If both of those teams win, then the Buckeyes will likely be headed to the Rose Bowl where they will play the winner of Stanford-USC.

Stanford 38, Notre Dame 36

Down goes the Irish. The Cardinal kicked a game winning field goal which knocked Notre Dame out of playoff contention and likely into the Fiesta Bowl. Stanford will play USC in the Pac 12 Championship with potentially a chance for the Playoff.

Oklahoma 58, Oklahoma State 23

Boomer Sooner. Oklahoma has looked as good as anyone down the stretch of this season and with their win over the Cowboys, are now in the playoff. The only thing Oklahoma has to worry about now is where they will be seeded and who they will play.

Big Games This Week

SEC Championship: Alabama vs Florida

This game was more fun to watch 6 years ago, but I digress. Alabama rolls into Atlanta being a huge favorite over Florida, a team who was embarrassed by Florida State last week. I expect Nick Saban to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry about 50 times and win by about 30. The Tide will clinch their spot in the playoffs yet again.

Saturday, December 5 at 4pm on CBS

Pac 12 Championship: Stanford vs USC

USC has played well down the stretch and now find themselves in the Pac 12 title game where they will go against Stanford, a team that has not been kind to them the past eight years or so. Both teams were preseason playoff favorites yet were dismissed after early season losses. They have been able to handle all kinds of adversity and are now a win away from the Rose Bowl. I think USC wins by 3.

Saturday, December 5 at 7:45pm on ESPN

ACC Championship: Clemson vs North Carolina

The top ranked team in the land will have one more test before heading to the playoff. Clemson has been the most consistent team all season but North Carolina has been coming on strong as of late with many experts picking the Tar Heels to complete the upset. If Clemson is upset, I see Ohio State making it as the final team yet again. If not, then Clemson will be number 1 and playing their semifinal game at the Orange Bowl.

Saturday, December 5 at 8pm on ABC

Big Ten Championship: Iowa vs Michigan State

Who had this matchup in Indianapolis back in August? With a playoff spot on the line, the Hawkeyes and Spartans will battle it out at Lucas Oil Stadium in a de facto Playoff quarterfinal. Iowa is undefeated but with the way Michigan State is playing, it will be hard to pick against them. The loser of this game will likely drop below Ohio State and out of Rose Bowl contention with a New Year’s six bowl still possible.

Saturday, December 5 at 8pm on FOX

Michigan Update

See ya next year in Columbus.

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. Clemson

2. Oklahoma

3. Iowa

4. Michigan State

Just Missed the Cut

5. Alabama

6. Ohio State

7. Stanford

8. Florida State

9. Notre Dame

10. North Carolina

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