Hess: Boilermakers shock the world against Buckeyes (column)
On College Football
Colorado suffered its second straight loss of the season and after starting the season 5-0, the Buffs could be at risk of not having a winning season.
It sounds crazy with such a fast start, but the only guaranteed win left on the schedule is next week against Oregon State.
The Buffs will have to travel to Arizona before hosting ranked teams Washington State and Utah. The final regular season weekend against California may decide if Colorado has a winning season or a .500 one.
What started like a potential Rose Bowl season has turned into a likely Cactus Bowl invite.
Of course, that could all change since the Buffs are still in the running to make the Pac-12 Championship Game, but the team is trending in the wrong direction.
In other Pac-12 news, the conference was eliminated from playoff contention with Oregon’s loss to Washington State. The Cougars may still have only one loss, but the Pac-12 has cannibalized itself so much that Washington State doesn’t have a premier game left on its schedule to jump from No. 14 in the AP Poll to top four by the selection committee.
Purdue’s win over Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 20, was not only the biggest upset of the weekend but easily the biggest upset of the season.
Purdue entered the game as 12.5-point underdogs and came away with a 49-20 win over the Buckeyes. The 29-point margin of victory is the third largest margin of victory by an unranked team over a team ranked No. 1 or 2 in AP poll history. Only Arkansas’ 31 point win over No. 1 Texas in 1981 and Holy Cross’ 43 point victory over No. 1 Boston College in 1942 were larger.
Now with only Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame as the only unbeaten contenders, a 1-loss team is going to make the playoff.
Teams will be comparing resumes to make the playoff and Ohio State is going to have the worst loss. It will be hard for the Buckeyes to make up for such a loss, but they do have a matchup with top 10 Michigan at the end of the year.
Let’s take a look at five 1-loss Power 5 teams and their chances to make the playoffs:
The Bayou Bengals only loss is to 6-1 No. 9 ranked Florida. LSU has one of the biggest wins of the season when they took down UGA, 36-16, and that should definitely look good on their resume, but if they can’t beat Alabama on Nov. 3 then they will be out of the SEC Championship race and out of the playoff race.
Michigan’s touchdown loss to Notre Dame at the start of the year isn’t looking so bad right now. The Wolverines are looking like a serious contender to the playoff and The Game against Ohio State could end up being a play-in game for the playoff. One of the two rivals will make the playoff if they win out.
The Longhorns’ season-opening loss to Maryland is one of the most perplexing games of the season. Maryland’s other wins on the season have come against Townson, Bowling Green, Minnesota and Rutgers. Not exactly powerhouses. The good news for Texas is they have wins against TCU, USC and Oklahoma, but the Longhorns might have a rematch against the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Georgia’s loss to LSU is one the Bulldogs can live with, but if they are going to make the playoff it will be for the games ahead of them. ESPN’s College Gameday will be on hand for the biggest game this weekend when Georgia plays Florida. That game will just be the start for the Bulldogs, who will have to play Kentucky the following week. If UGA is the eventual SEC champion, they will have wins over Florida, Kentucky, Auburn and either LSU or Alabama. That will be enough to make the playoff.
The Sooners may have a chance to avenge their loss to Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game, but the Sooners will have to beat West Virginia to get there. That game is on the final weekend of the year and will give the winner a huge boost in the polls.
Other than the Florida-Georgia game, there are only two other games featuring two ranked opponents. Iowa will travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State and the Hawkeyes have an outside chance at the playoff, with a virtual lock to play in the Big 10 Championship Game against either Michigan or Ohio State.
Washington State will play Stanford Saturday night and with the way the Pac 12 has been going this season, expect Stanford to pull off the upset.