What we learned on another crazy Saturday:
1) Sorry, Florida State, but Alabama is No. 1.: I heard from a bunch of Florida State fans who were not happy last week when Oregon jumped the Seminoles into the No. 2 spot in the CFP Rankings. Well, FSU fans are really not going to be happy this week because I think Alabama is going to jump over the Seminoles into the top spot after the Crimson Tide’s 25-20 victory against No. 1 Mississippi State. Florida State (10-0), the only undefeated team left in the rankings, had to rally again, this time from a 16-point deficit (twice), to beat a very average Miami team on the road 30-26. Florida State’s best wins are Notre Dame (7-3) and Clemson (7-3) and both teams lost Saturday.
Florida State will be in the playoff if they run the table and win the ACC Championship game. But the Seminoles just haven’t earned the No. 1 seed with their play on the field.
2) Mississippi State should not drop below No. 4: Yes, Mississippi State’s non-conference schedule is not good. But the Bulldogs went to No. 5 Alabama and lost by five. They dominated Auburn at home and LSU on the road. If the Bulldogs finish 11-1 they deserve a spot in the playoffs.
Here are my top six after Saturday’s games: 1. Alabama, 2. Oregon, 3. Florida State, 4. Mississippi State, 5. Baylor, 6. TCU.
3) Florida AD Jeremy Foley had no choice; he had to let Muschamp go: In many ways Florida’s stunning 23-20 OT loss to South Carolina in the Swamp was a microcosm of life the past two seasons for Muschamp. The Gators had the game under control if they can make one lousy first down. Two blocked kicks later South Carolina wins in overtime. It was Muschamp’s 13th loss in 22 games. He’s a good man and a good coach. They just got in an offensive hole in Muschamp’s first season and never climbed out. If I’m Foley my first three calls are to Dan Mullen, Bob Stoops and Rich Rodriguez.
4) Despite the loss of Todd Gurley, you don’t want to play Georgia right now: When Georgia is good, the Bulldogs can beat anybody (See Auburn 34-7). When they are bad, they can lose to anybody (see Florida 38-20). I’ll never be able to explain Georgia’s loss to Florida on Nov. 1. But Georgia’s rout of Auburn was impressive enough to give every team in the SEC West that could face the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game something to think about. Holding Auburn to 292 yards and seven points is unheard of. Now Georgia (6-2) has to get to the Georgia Dome, which only happens if Missouri (8-2, 5-1 SEC) loses one of its final to games to Tennessee or Arkansas.
5) Ole Miss can get to the SEC Championship game: Auburn’s loss to Georgia gives Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2) a chance to reach its first SEC Championship game. Here’s how it happens: Ole Miss wins its last two games on the road at Arkansas and at home against Mississippi State. Auburn upsets Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss all finish at 6-2 in the SEC. Ole Miss would have beaten both Alabama and Mississippi State and thus wins the tiebreaker and the trip to the Dome.