College Football Playoff Outlook: Week 11

Story posted November 8, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Loughin

With three matchups between top 10 teams this weekend, Saturday is shaping up to be one of the best and most important days of the college football season. Let’s take a look at how some of the top teams fare going into Week 11.

1. Alabama

The Tide remain at No. 1 after a victory over No. 19 LSU 24-10, to stay at the top of the SEC West with a 9-0 record.

Even though the game was never really in doubt, the Tide were not at their best and struggled to move the ball against an LSU defense which played one of their best games of the season, allowing just 299 yards.

A true mark of a championship team is to win games when not performing well, and Alabama has done that year after year, game after game, and this season is no different. Wins over Texas A&M and Colorado State exemplify that thus far.

Injuries may pose a problem for Alabama down the stretch as they lost middle linebackers Shaun Dion Hamilton and Mack Wilson for the season. However, the Tide’s depth on defense and a strong running game should ensure Alabama keeps on winning.

2. Georgia

The Bulldogs also pulled off a 24-10 victory at home, holding off South Carolina, to move to 9-0 atop the SEC East.

Quarterback Jake Fromm threw for two scores while tailback Nick Chubb racked up 111 total yards in a rather underwhelming performance for the nation’s 23rd-best scoring offense.

Georgia will continue to rely on shutting down opposing offenses, as the Bulldogs’ defense has been outstanding this season, allowing just 254 yards per game. Georgia’s defense will face its toughest test this weekend, traveling to Auburn to face a dangerous offense.

Jordan-Hare Stadium provides one of the best atmospheres in all of college football, and will be a hostile environment for the Bulldogs to play in. This is the biggest game of the season for the Tigers, and they are going to bring their very best against an undefeated team.

Look for this game to be a defining moment in Georgia’s season, and if the Bulldogs play their best football, Auburn will be outmatched, and Georgia will be well on their way to the SEC Championship Game.

3. Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish held off Wake Forest this weekend, 48-37, on their way to a seventh straight victory.

Quarterback Brandon Wimbush and star running back Josh Adams suffered injuries, but should be ready to go in the game of the weekend at No. 7 Miami.

The rivalry between these two football-breathing schools is finally the focal point of college football once again, and brings back the days of the infamous 1988 “Catholics vs. Convicts” game, when Miami and Notre Dame were ranked No. 1 and No. 4, respectively.

Notre Dame has faced some tough tests thus far, only falling to Georgia, and this team has one more hurdle to get over before they can cement their place in the College Football Playoff. Josh Adams needs to continue performing at the Heisman level he has been playing at all year, as he is ninth in the country in rushing yards.

This game is a must-watch, and if the Irish can pull off the win in Miami, they will only add to their already impressive resume, and make themselves virtually impossible to keep out of the CFB.

4. Oklahoma

Bedlam lived up to the hype on Saturday, and so did Baker Mayfield, throwing for 598 yards and five touchdowns, as the Sooners beat No. 11 Oklahoma State in a shootout, 62-52.

While their defense is questionable (83rd in the nation), the Sooners offense (first in the nation) can match up against anyone. Baker Mayfield has the offense firing on all cylinders, with no signs of slowing down. Oklahoma can get it done in the air as well as on the ground, led by a strong offensive line that is getting healthier each week.

The Sooners have put themselves in prime position to win the Big 12 after an upset earlier in the season versus Iowa State. They control their own destiny, and will play a make-or-break game this weekend when No. 6 TCU comes to town.

The Horned Frogs possess one of the country’s top defenses, and will force Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma to be at the top of their game. This matchup is another can’t-miss game, and look for the Sooners to battle it out and outscore TCU in Memorial Stadium.

5. Clemson

6. Miami

 

Alex Loughin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arl5607@psu.edu.