- Oklahoma Sooners (10-1, 7-1)— The Sooners getting a defense would be like Alabama having Tua.
- West Virginia University Mountaineers (8-2, 6-2)—Last week sucked, but the Mountaineers still have everything they set out to accomplish this season in front of them.
- Texas Longhorns (8-3, 6-2)—Texas dominated ISU and if I wasn’t a homer, I’d rank them above us but this is WVU blog, so horns down.
- Iowa State Cyclones (6-4, 5-3) — Where have we seen this movie before? Oh, right last year.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-5, 3-5)—Oklahoma State beat WVU and Texas and was a dropped pass from beating Oklahoma. They also dominated Boise State. But against lesser competition the Cowboys played down to their opponents. What a strange season.
- Kansas State Wildcats (5-6, 3-5)—Last week I said KState getting to bowl eligibility would be the most Bill Snyder thing and well, here we are.
- TCU Horned Frogs (4-6, 2-5)—When the conference came out with this schedule, I have to imagine they assumed this could be a play in game for the conference title (weird that WVU vs Oklahoma and Ok Lite vs TCU is happening on the final week, while Texas is playing [checks notes] Kansas); instead TCU is fighting for a bowl.
- Baylor Bears (5-6, 3-5)—Speaking of fighting for a bowl! Baylor just missed a chance to lock up a bowl against TCU and now gets a slumping Texas Tech which..
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-6, 3-5)—So it’s sort of hard to know where this Tech team would be without a punctured lung, but on the otherhand this seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Raiders under Kliff. He only narrowly avoided the axe last year due to the size of his buyout. Losing to Baylor would seemingly seal his fate.
- Kansas Jayhawks (3-8, 1-7)—Kansas put up 40 points on the Sooners and face Texas with nothing to lose. Can they send Beatty out with a win?
Last week shook things up a little, but also solidified things at the top.
College Football Playoff.
Alabama is now in the position of being able to lose out and still likely get in. Clemson is likely in pretty good shape, though a loss to South Carolina or Pitt would be the sort of chaos the media craves. Notre Dame seems like a lock as well, baring USC doing something hilarious.
Which brings us to the race for #4. Georgia has the most straight forward path, but not the easiest. They simply need to beat Alabama. Michigan, likewise, has a fairly simple path though likely mutually exclusive with Georgia’s — winout. Oklahoma and Washington State have much more complicated paths, and at this point I am going to guess Ohio State would too. The committee has routinely ranked Michigan ahead of both OU and Washington State, and though they both have opportunities to secure wins against Top 25 teams in back to back weeks, so does Michigan. You can make an argument, I am sure, that either is more deserving than Michigan but the committee clearly doesn’t think so. If you’re Oklahoma you ideally would like to see the winner of Michigan/Ohio State lose to Northwestern, because I don’t think you want to be on that cut line. For Washington State, you likely need the above to happen and Oklahoma lose.
- Orange Bowl: #1 Alabama vs #4 Michigan
- Cotton Bowl: #2 Clemson #3 Notre Dame
New Year’s Six
As noted previously, the Rose and Sugar are “contract” bowls, and I have Washington State facing Ohio State in the former and Georgia and WVU in the latter.
UCF is now all but destined for its Group of 6 appearance. Where they might end up at? Well that’s uh, interesting. There seems to be a lot of talk that the Peach Bowl would like a UCF vs Florida game, and I am sort of inclined to the think that would be interesting, but that’s dependent on Oklahoma not winning the Big XII. which you’ll note I am not forecasting. That means instead they’d be in a position to take a 10-2 top 10 LSU instead of Florida and no one cares about UCF vs LSU so the Peach Bowl goes with wholly undeserving Penn State. That would likely ship UCF to the Fiesta Bowl to play Oklahoma in what I can only assume would end with like 2000 total yards of offense.
- Rose Bowl (PAC-12 vs Big Ten): Washington State vs Ohio State
- Fiesta Bowl (at-large vs at-large): Oklahoma vs UCF
- Sugar Bowl (Big XII vs SEC): WVU vs Georgia
- Peach Bowl (at-large vs at-large): Penn State vs LSU
Big XII Contract Bowls
This aged well:
- Valero Alamo Bowl (Big XII vs Pac 12): Texas vs Utah
- Camping World Bowl (Big XII vs ACC): Iowa State vs NC State
- Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Big XII vs SEC): TCU vs Missouri
- Autozone Liberty Bowl (Big XII vs SEC): Oklahoma State vs South Carolina
- Cheeze- It Cactus Bowl (Big XII vs Pac 12): Kansas State vs Arizona
- Lockheed Martin Armed Forces (Big XII vs AAC): Baylor vs SMU