Statement Saturday lived up to its name as the playoff picture began to take shape after some important match-ups took place on November 3rd. These games determined the SEC East and West winners, knocked LSU out of the playoffs, made Michigan the clear front runner for the Big Ten, and dismantled Florida’s, Texas’, and Penn State’s seasons.
The biggest takeaway from this past weekend is that Alabama showed they deserve to be the #1 team in the country after having been criticized for their “cupcake” schedule. They routed #3 LSU, whom many believed were back to their former glory, 29 to 0. The so-called “DBU” stood no chance against Bama’s high-powered and talented offense, especially with linebacker Devin White suspended for the first half because of a controversial targeting call that resulted in his ejection in the second half of LSU’s last game. The Tigers desperately needed to win this game to potentially clinch the SEC West and keep their playoff hopes alive, as no two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff. This win for Bama means they’ve clinched the SEC West and will face Georgia, who beat Kentucky to win the SEC East, in the conference championship game.
For once, the biggest event in Kentucky in November wasn’t about horse racing. It was a college football game. Georgia took on Kentucky in the most important football game in Lexington in years. The Wildcats watched their SEC champion hopes disappear as the Bulldogs ran their way to a win. Although Georgia secured the SEC East, Kentucky should be proud of the strides made by their team this year and that they are now both a basketball and football school. Several teams, most notably Florida, Texas, and Penn State, saw their once-promising seasons come to an end as each recorded their third loss. Florida was defeated by unranked Missouri while Texas lost a heart breaker to #13 West Virginia when quarterback Will Grier converted a two-point conversion to take a one-point lead with 16 seconds left. #14 Penn State was blown out by #5 Michigan at The Big House.
The convincing win for Michigan over PSU will propel them into the Top 4 and, possibly, a playoff berth. It means that Michigan holds onto first place in the Big Ten East and controls their own destiny to the Big Ten Championship and CFP. Winning their last three games, especially the last one at Ohio State, means those two goals become a reality, and maybe most importantly, Harbaugh keeps his job.