By: Nick Jacquin, Sports Writer
It was yet another crazy weekend in college football as many of the top teams battled it out in rivalry games with a lot on the line in their quest to making the College Football Playoff. The number two Miami Hurricanes were upset by unranked Pittsburgh, likely putting them on the outside looking in, while third ranked Clemson won easily over South Carolina and the fourth-ranked Sooners from Oklahoma defeated West Virginia. However, the biggest game of the weekend was the annual Iron Bowl between top-ranked Alabama and number six Auburn.
Just two weeks after beating then number one Georgia, the Auburn Tigers appeared to be ready to take down the top team in college football. They got after it from the beginning and did not look back. They took the lead with under five minutes to play in the first on a jump pass touchdown out of the wildcat from running back Kerryon Johnson to Nate Craig-Myers.
Alabama was able to answer with a touchdown of its own just two possessions later when quarterback Jalen Hurts orchestrated an efficient drive, capped off by a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy to make it 7-7 with 8:31 to play in the second. Auburn would add a field goal as time expired in the half to go into the break up 10-7.
The Crimson Tide received the second half kickoff and they got to work. With the help of a 31-yard run from Damien Harris, Alabama took the lead when Bo Scarbrough broke loose for a 21-yard run for his eighth touchdown of the season.
Auburn responded with another field goal from 44-yards out. After a quick three and out from Alabama, the Tigers put together a 12 play 69 yard drive that ended with a short touchdown from Johnson to put them back on top. From there, the Tigers never looked back.
On the ensuing kickoff, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs returned it 55 yards to give the top-ranked offense in the country great field position at the Auburn 39-yard line. However, Hurts fumbled a few plays later, putting Alabama in a tough spot as the third quarter came to a close. Auburn responded with another score to make it 26-14, which would end up being the final.
With their second win versus a top-ranked opponent, Auburn appears to be in the driver’s seat as they will head to the SEC Championship next weekend in a rematch with Georgia. Meanwhile, Alabama must wait to see what the CFP Committee ultimately decides following the championship games.
Clemson and Oklahoma will likely get into the playoff if they win their conference championships, as well as the winner between Auburn/Georgia. What remains to be seen is will the committee go with an undefeated Wisconsin team, who has played a relatively weak schedule in the Big 10, if they are able to defeat Ohio State next week? Or, will one-loss Alabama reach their fourth straight CFP? This is certainly something to keep an eye on when the teams are announced on Sunday.