In the world of football, it was just another week. The College Football Playoff committee released another set of rankings — but again, it’s entirely meaningless until Dec. 6. And we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, or as I like to say, “Turkey and Football Day,” but the game outcomes aren’t going to make a tremendous difference, at least at this point in the season.
The NFL has remained pretty uneventful in 2015. It’s the teams at the bottom that have created the most excitement and it’s because we are all looking to see who could be the team to knock New England or Carolina off the high horse.
The Panthers dominated their Thanksgiving game against a struggling Dallas Cowboys team that has been looking all season to make a comeback. Dallas thought that if it could take down the undefeated Panthers, playoff hopes would be reunited. But if a win were at all possible, the Cowboys knew they needed quarterback Tony Romo.
Romo returned last week to pull off a not very impressive win, but a win nonetheless against Miami. The starting QB missed seven games after suffering a collarbone break against the Eagles on Sept. 20.
Thanksgiving wasn’t all so giving to the face of the Cowboy franchise; Romo went down and stayed down following a sack by the Panthers. It has been reported that he will miss the remainder of the season, so Cowboy fans, if you haven’t already done so, say so long to the playoffs.
The only game that was exciting on turkey day was the Chicago Bears vs. the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were definitely the favorite going into the game, but I can’t say I’m all that surprised by the Bears’ 17-13 win. Since the Packers fell to the Broncos on Nov. 1, Green Bay has won one of five games.
After Week 5 of NFL play, this season was turning out to be pretty interesting. We had five undefeated teams. But after Week 6 there were only four, and now we are left with two.
Following the top tier we had six teams with 3-3 records, which although being subpar were second tier considering there were 18 teams with losing seasons by Week 5. The average in years past was 13.5.
Since Nov. 1, the league’s second-tier teams look much better than 3-3, with 8-2 and 7-3 records. The third tier are no longer the teams playing losing football, but we can’t exactly say they are playing winning football either.
The game to watch this weekend is New England at Denver. Can the Broncos be the ones to pull off the upset? The remainder of games should either be complete blowouts or have the ability to shake up the middle of the pack.
College football definitely has all my attention right now. In Week 10 we went from 11 undefeated teams to Week 13 where only two are left standing, Clemson, No. 1, and Iowa, No. 3. Every week has been exciting with big wins and big losses, and in the last three weeks we have seen such an array of different teams in the top 10, I’m on the edge of my seat to see what goes on this weekend.
We have five matchups between top-25 opponents with four having strong promise to spark great change in the top 10 once again. The conference with the most on the line this week is the Big 12.
This weekend brings on state rivalries for the Big 12. Baylor, No. 7, at TCU, No. 19, kicks off first, and on Saturday No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State will meet.
Baylor is the favored team in the Texas state matchup, but TCU almost pulled off an upset at Oklahoma last week, 30-29. If the Bears beat the Horned Frogs, they have a chance at moving up in the College Football Playoff rankings, but they are heavily dependent on those ahead of them to secure a playoff spot. Because the Big 12 doesn’t have a conference championship, Baylor has one more regular season game next week, against a Texas team that has not brought much to the table this season other than a win over the Sooners.
Oklahoma is the Big 12’s best chance at not being snubbed by the CFP committee for the second year in a row. Following their one-point win over the Horned Frogs, the Sooners jumped from No. 7 to No. 3. However, the 10-1 Sooners need a win at the 10-1 Cowboys to remain in playoff conversation. The Cowboys fell to Baylor 45-35 on Nov. 21. Prior to the game the Cowboys were the only undefeated team left in the conference. If Oklahoma State wins, it has a good argument to make the playoffs, especially if Baylor wins as well.
The Notre Dame at Stanford game also has the ability to cause some distress in the top 10. No. 6 Notre Dame is trying to make a claim for the playoffs but without a win over No. 9 Stanford that all but goes down the drain. The Pacific-12 has lost all playoff hopes with its conference champion most likely being a two-loss team.
After falling 17-14 to the Michigan State Spartans, No. 5, the Ohio State Buckeyes, No. 8, are out of the playoff conversation. The Buckeyes head to the Big House with hopes to take down the Michigan Wolverines, No. 10. Urban Meyer and his defending national champions need the win in order to stay in the top 10 and prove that they are still worth talking about. If the Wolverines pull off the win, the Jim-Harbaugh-is-Michigan’s-savior train will ride straight into next season.
Iowa headed to Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday to take on the unranked Cornhuskers. Nebraska’s biggest game this season was their win over the Spartans on Nov. 7. Other than that the Cornhuskers had been struggling to get something going all season.
Though Lincoln is known as one of the hardest places to play in the Big 10 and it knew it could deliver the upset following a win over MSU, Iowa still won 28-20.
The Hawkeyes were already the Big 10 West champion having secured their conference championship bid a few weeks back. They most likely be playing Michigan State on Dec. 4.
No. 2 Alabama plays Auburn and No. 1 Clemson plays South Carolina. The top two teams in the NCAA are predicted to win, but in sports we all know that on any given day, any team can win. So pull out your chips and dip and get comfortable. We have two more weeks of college football that are bound to be action-packed.