College Football

The Huddle: Week 10

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Welcome to The Huddle, in which the college football writers at No Coast Bias share their thoughts on the season so far, and what’s yet to come. Join us each week as we cover the most interesting stories, compelling matchups, and of course, updated playoff picks each week. Let’s get to it.

Most interesting thing from last week.

Taylor Venema: The Committee rankings are finally here, and apparently they really like Texas A&M. It’s pointless (but oh so fun) to read too much into these first rankings, as we all recall that Oklahoma and Ohio State sat in the mid-teens at this point in their Playoff runs. Which teener looks best positioned to grab one of the four spots? Maybe one with two losses. Keep an eye on Auburn or LSU if they topple ‘Bama, or Wisconsin if they can win out the regular season and Nebraska stumbles.

Brian Hall: Texas made a brief return to the spotlight by knocking off undefeated Baylor and maybe (probably not) saving Charlie Strong’s job for next season. The Longhorns have underperformed in 2016, but if they can improve defensively, they could be a ten-win team next year.

Derek Hernandez: Ohio State continuing to live on the edge. How close are we to Urban having another health “scare” given his team’s recent struggles?

Chris Hatch: **Homer Alert** **Homer Alert** Mine is that Nebraska and Wisconsin demonstrated admirably that the Big Ten is fully, definitely (probably) the best conference in college football. I know Paul Finebaum would be scorn-staring at me and his callers would be foaming at the mouths like zombie cannibals, listing for my doom. But I think that’s the truth.

Doug Palmer: So many close games. We’re getting into the home stretch of the season when injuries and fatigue start to really affect teams. The favorites generally came out on top but the grind is starting to show and it’ll separate the good teams from the great in the next couple of weeks.

Game you’re overreacting to the most from last week.

Taylor: The Louisville Cardinals have to be thrilled with their season and Lamar Jackson’s inevitable Heisman trophy, but also have to be pretty miffed that they won’t get a shot at the national title because they’re logjammed behind Clemson in their division. If there was ever a team that might warrant Playoff inclusion despite a lack of a division title it would be 2016 Louisville . . . but in order to do that they’ll need to go scorched earth on every opponent the rest of the way, and recent results against Duke and Virginia aren’t what the doctor ordered.

Brian: Washington had an excellent win over a tough ranked opponent, and it didn’t even get them into the current playoff committee rankings, which is baffling. I’m not sure the Huskies will go undefeated this year, but apparently they’ll have to if they want to get some love from the committee.

Derek: Wyoming vs. Boise State. Yes, that game. Given what Craig Bohl did at NDSU and how Boise is no longer the juggernaut they were under Chris Peterson, did we just witness the passing of the torch in the Mountain West?

Chris: Washington defeating Utah on the road. My coaching man-crush and his Utes are a VERY tough out at home and for Washington to go there and pull out a “W” to match the one on their helmets is super impressive. To the CFB playoff committee? Not so much, I guess.

Doug: Undefeated is not good enough? The Playoff Standings will always be a hot topic of debate but I’m not sure how Texas A&M gets in ahead of Washington right now. I have a conspiracy theory that the CFP Committee likes to hedge their bets on upcoming games and the whole “clean slate every week” is bunk and this just adds fuel to the fire.

Game you’re most excited to watch this week.

Taylor: In a week with only two games matching up ranked teams, I’ll instead celebrate the return of Tuesday MACtion. When your school finally fires its crap-ass coach it’ll be one of these guys whose door they’ll back up that dump-truck full of money, so get to know them now.

Brian: Alabama/LSU – I’ve already made it clear that I want Ed Orgeron to win this game and be given the LSU job, and while I don’t think that can happen, I’ll be holding out hope anyway.

Derek: Wyoming vs. Boise State. Yes, that game. Given what Craig Bohl did at NDSU and how Boise is no longer the juggernaut they were under Chris Peterson, did we just witness the passing of the torch in the Mountain West?

Chris: Washington defeating Utah on the road. My coaching man-crush and his Utes are a VERY tough out at home and for Washington to go there and pull out a “W” to match the one on their helmets is super impressive. To the CFB playoff committee? Not so much, I guess.

Doug: Undefeated is not good enough? The Playoff Standings will always be a hot topic of debate but I’m not sure how Texas A&M gets in ahead of Washington right now. I have a conspiracy theory that the CFP Committee likes to hedge their bets on upcoming games and the whole “clean slate every week” is bunk and this just adds fuel to the fire.

Your playoff as of right now and why.

Taylor: 1. Alabama, which wisely elected not to play football this week. 2. Michigan, which probably thinks it should have beaten Sparty by a lot more. 3. Clemson, which should stroll into the Playoff with no real challengers left on the schedule save for an ACC Championship Game. 4. Washington, which survived its first REAL test of 2016.

Brian: 1. Alabama 2. Michigan 3. Clemson 4. Washington

Just missed: Ohio State, Louisville, Texas A&M

The committee actually put a team that never even looked in control against the only really tough opponent it’s played this season in the playoff picture over a team that is undefeated in a Power Five conference and has looked fantastic through eight games. You could make a case for A&M jumping Louisville (it’d be a bad one, but you could make it) but the Aggies over the Huskies makes less than no sense. Michigan didn’t stomp on sparty’s throat like we thought, choosing instead to call off the dogs, but they’ve still looked consistently more impressive than Clemson. And ‘Bama is ‘Bama and would have to lose to even be considered dropping from the top spot.

Derek: Bama, Michigan, Clemson, Washington

My beef with the REAL CFP rankings – A&M? Really? They obviously benefited from a schedule that looked tough on paper, but by the end of the season those quality wins won’t look so good.

Chris: 1) Alabama. 2) Michigan 3) Washington 4) Clemson. I know what you’re thinking: “Chris, you’ve had basically zero consistency in your poll with teams seemingly changing positions at random.” AND YOU WOULD BE CORRECT. BECAUSE COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS INSANE THIS YEAR. Also, in less capitalized stories: I don’t think you can logically move A&M past Washington until Washington loses.

Doug: 1. Alabama – just the best-looking team so far. 2) Michigan – the offense is still missing something but the defense is a world-beater. 3) Clemson – as long as they keep winning, they’ll keep this spot. 4) Washington – because an undefeated team is still more impressive to me than a 1-loss team.

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