Multiple Upsets Throw Playoff Picture Out the Window

By Doran Grieshaber, Sports Writer 

This past weekend, the College Football Playoff picture was turned on its ear by multiple upsets against top ten teams. On paper, this week seemed like it wouldn’t have much of an effect on the national rankings as nearly every team in the top 25 was playing an unranked opponent. However, Saturday was filled with upsets as the second, third, and fourth ranked teams in the country all received their first loss of the year.

Second ranked Clemson lost to unranked Pittsburgh, third ranked Michigan lost to unranked Iowa, and fourth ranked Washington lost to number 20 USC. The second, third, and fourth ranked teams have not all lost in the same week since 1985. These upsets could vastly change the landscape of the College Football playoff and have opened the door for multiple other teams.

The Michigan Wolverines lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday by a score of 14-13. Michigan took a 10-0 lead, but it was trimmed to 10-8 by a Hawkeye safety and a touchdown and a failed two point conversion. The two teams traded field goals to give Michigan a 13-11 lead. Iowa kicked a field goal as time expired to give them the 14-13 victory.

Clemson also lost by one point by a score of 43-42. Clemson and Pittsburgh traded scores all day and the game was tightly contested throughout. The outcome was the same as it was for Michigan, as Pittsburgh kicked a field goal with six seconds remaining in the game to take the lead. Washington had the largest deficit of the three losses, although it was to a top 20 team. The Huskies took an early lead with a field goal, but after that the Trojans kept a lead for the entire game and won 26-13.

Losses by these three teams have opened up a path for Ohio State and Louisville, while Michigan retained a spot at number four. Louisville needs Clemson to lose to Wake Forest because they lost to Clemson head-to-head but they still have a shot at making it into the playoffs. Ohio State moved into the second spot in the top 25 this week, but needs Penn State to lose if they have any hope of winning the eastern division of the Big 10. However, Ohio State could still possibly stay in the top four without playing in the Big 10 championship because they have been so dominant in most games this year. They exhibited this in their 62-3 win over Maryland on Saturday. Washington and Clemson still control their own destinies, and are definitely not out of the playoff picture just yet, but the upsets this week mean that the College Football Playoff will be filled with drama and these last few games will be crucial for more teams than originally thought.