No change when it comes to the remaining undefeated teams in College Football through week 10 of the 2014 season (Mississippi State, Florida State, Marshall), but due to other results, there’s no doubt the playoff picture and eventually the committee rankings are going to see a shift in the top 4.
The big game of this weekend took place in Oxford, where Ole Miss probably bowed out for good from the playoff race as it seems to be. Auburn came to town and did what Alabama failed to do a few weeks ago, and winning the number 3 vs number 4 SEC West duel, scoring a fourth quarter touchdown to pick a 35-31 win, improve to 7-1 this season while the Rebels lost for the second week in a row, which might also mean a rise in the rankings for Auburn at the expense of Florida State or the Bulldogs.
Why would Mississippi State drop? They probably won’t, at least not in the AP Poll, but the numbers there don’t matter as much anymore now that the committee rankings are coming out regularly. But the Bulldogs, like other teams this season, found it difficult to get rid of Arkansas. The Razorbacks fell to 4-5 this season, including 0-5 in the SEC, but they’re a much better team than their record suggests, scoring the first 10 points of the game before giving up 17, with a 69-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Fred Ross in the fourth quarter deciding the game.
Arkansas aren’t in the picture for anything besides a bowl game (Need to win twice against LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri), but it’s still interesting to see how difficult it is for Bert Bielema to turn this ship around. He has now lost his first 13 SEC games as the Razorbacks head coach. Who knew the departure of Bobby Petrino, followed by the disastrous John L. Smith tenure would put the program back so much after it became the perennial #3 in the division, maybe the conference?
Florida State pulled off a very big win before the weekend began. It might not be enough to stay number one, but beating Louisville on the road is no easy feat when the Cardinals entered the game as the best defensive team in the nation. Jameis Winston isn’t flawless, but he keeps pushing and pulling his team back from behind and difficult situations. That was the last difficult test for the Seminoles in their conference. Maybe the ACC championship game will offer a different kind of challenge.
And maybe Florida will be able to end the run the Seminoles are on. The Gators, out of nowhere, shook up the SEC East and beat Georgia 38-20. This is a Florida team that struggled badly on offense in every possible way against a Bulldogs team that’s still missing Todd Gurley but looked very good while making their way up the division’s path towards the conference championship game. The Gators won’t make it to that game (probably), but suddenly, with a 4-3 record and an idea on how to run their offense (hint: just run), they might provide some sort of challenge to the formidable Florida State, and via that game, possibly shake up the entire playoff picture.