CFP contenders lose in tough weekend games

By: Nick Jacquin, Sports Writer

Source: usatoday.com

As the college football season winds down, many teams are fighting for the chance to play in the annual College Football Playoff to determine the best team in the nation, and ultimately the National Champion.  This past weekend was undoubtedly the biggest weekend for many teams to make their case as to why they should be one of the final four teams.

Many top ranked teams faced tough matchups and there were a couple of upsets that ultimately changed the landscape as to who will play in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.  The top-ranked team in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs faced off against the tenth-ranked Auburn Tigers.  Notre Dame, who came into the weekend as the third best team in the country, played the seventh-ranked Miami Hurricanes.  Lastly, in a battle of teams looking to get into the final four, number five Oklahoma squared off against number six TCU in a Big 12 matchup.

The matchup of Georgia-Auburn was one many experts were looking forward to, so they could determine the legitimacy of Georgia’s undefeated season.  However, Georgia did not show up for the game on Saturday afternoon.  The Bulldogs had to travel to the tough environment of Jordan-Hare Stadium and they were routed by Auburn by the score of 40-17.  Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson had a huge game, rushing for 167 yards to go along with 66 yards receiving.  Georgia star running back, Nick Chubb struggled in the game, recording just 27 yards on 11 carries.   

In a battle of two of the top Big 12 teams, Oklahoma showed why they are deserving of playing in the CFP.  Led by Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield, the Sooners did not disappoint.  Mayfield was 18-37 passing for 333 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-20 victory.  He was able to make spectacular plays throughout the game but the biggest performance came from OU’s Rodney Anderson.  Anderson recorded 290 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns to put the Sooners in a good spot to enter into the playoff after Georgia’s loss.

Lastly, College Gameday’s game of the week pitted two Top-10 rivals, which was controversially named “Catholics vs. Convicts” in 1988.  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish came into the game with a great chance of making the playoff if they could leave Miami with a victory.  However, Miami had other plans.  In front of a sold-out crowd of 65,326, the Hurricanes destroyed the Irish, 41-8, showing the committee that they are worthy of being considered for the playoff.  Miami continued its undefeated season but will likely face Clemson in what will be a tough matchup in the ACC Championship.

It was undoubtedly a crazy weekend for college football featuring the top teams in the country.  While Miami and Oklahoma showed the committee they are capable of being considered for the playoff, there are question marks surrounding Notre Dame and Georgia.  It will be a long shot for the Irish to make the playoff as they lack the ability to play for a conference championship.  However, Georgia remains in the hunt as a win vs. Alabama in the SEC Championship could lead to some tough decisions regarding the CFP.