SPORTS COLUMN: College Football Playoff drama building after week 9

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker racked up five touchdowns in the Spartans’ 37-33 win over Michigan Saturday. (MSU Athletics)

Big 10 Equals Big Matchups. To kick Saturday off No. 6 Michigan faced No. 6 Michigan State in what would produce a classic. Although Michigan struggled to turn the redzone opportunities into touchdowns for much of the first half yet found themselves up 30-14 with 6:47 left in the third quarter. The Spartans running back Kenneth Walker would go on to score his third, fourth, and fifth touchdown run of the game, going on a 23-3 run to finish the game and the comeback. The 37-33 win over the Wolverines has shot MSU up to No. 3 in the nation, while Michigan is now dependent on outside help to make their first college football playoff bid. 

In one of the best rivalries in college football Penn State traveled to Columbus to try and know off No. 5 Ohio State. The rivalry would not disappoint as it came down to the very end. Overall, the Buckeyes struggled much of the night to convert in the redbones. Ultimately, they were forced to kick four field goals. One touchdown came from 38 yards out and another came on a 57-yard fumble return moments later. Nevertheless, Ohio State got the win, and their playoff hopes remain alive, while Penn State has dropped their third straight.

Down goes #……. Saturday took down nine ranked teams, with six of those coming to unranked opponents. While none were shocking it has proven the theme of this season: The gap between the good and great is virtually nonexistent. No. 9 Iowa fell to Wisconsin. No. 12 Kentucky fell to Mississippi State. Pitts, SMU, San Diego State, and Iowa State all caught losses as well. Typically, the drama is saved for November, but it came early this year and October delivered one of the most memorable months to memory. 

A Darkhorse has arrived. It’s not a secret anymore. Auburn is looking to make a playoff run. A couple weeks ago Auburn began to pop up on the radar and they entered a matchup Saturday against No. 10 Ole Miss. With Matt Corral banged up Auburn ride a big first half into a 31-20 home win. Auburn and Alabama are headed towards a four-round playoff of their own in the Iron Bowl, where the winner will likely be facing off against Georgia in the SEC Championship with a playoff spot on the line. Auburn, however, will yet another test this week against No. 14 Texas A&M. 

The Lone Duck. Oregon is the only PAC-12 that cracked the first College Football Playoff ranking. While the Ducks have no major hurdles in their way, they will be facing four teams in November at or above .500 that will be looking for the upset.  

The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party: Free Gator. Georgia continued its dominance, this time breaking the will of Florida in a matter of minutes. In a game that looked to be competitive Georgia scored 21 points in a matter of 2:16 to end the half up 24-0. Florida shot themselves in the football and ended any chance of an upset with turnovers at the end of the half. Georgia is rolling and nothing looks to stop them any time soon. 

Interesting Week 10 matchups: While there aren’t any other big matchups this week there will certainly be some great games. Liberty will be traveling to Ole Miss for the Hugh Freeze bowl. The Tennessee-Kentucky game serves as a very interesting matchup. TCU will be facing rival Baylor after firing Coach Gary Patterson, who has led their program the last 20 years. And Alabama will get a chance to get revenge against a struggling LSU team that won a classic last time they came to Tuscaloosa.

Copyright 2021 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.