The chaos keeps on coming in this wild simulated season and I honestly can’t get enough of it. The playoff field still has so many various possibilities and this week was a major reason why. I’ll explain. (NOTE: We also messed up and only picked seven games this last week.)
Games of Note and Predictions
#9 Ohio State 33 #22 Nebraska 26
-Scott: Ohio State 47, Nebraska 24
-Gavin: Ohio State 54, Nebraska 21
Well, the Huskers gave OSU all they can handle. However, the Buckeyes avoided a second straight loss, which most likely knocks them out of the Big Ten and Playoff race. Nebraska fans seem fed up with moral victories, but I can’t blame them. It’s been a long time since the Huskers notched a signature win. If they can knock off Wisconsin and Iowa, they have a good chance to win the West, still.
#12 Iowa State 31 – #10 Texas 19
-Scott: Texas 27, Iowa State 24
-Gavin: Texas 35, Iowa State 28
Despite both Gavin and I’s doubts, the Cyclones escape the battle of one-loss teams victorious in Jack Trice. With that, ISU has a clear track to reach the Big XII title game now. On the other hand, Texas has plenty of rooting interests moving forward. The schedule is favorable, but they don’t hold the tiebreaker against Oklahoma or Iowa State. ISU vaults right back into the playoff discussion with this impressive home win.
#2 Texas A&M 35 – #7 Auburn 22
-Scott: Texas A&M 31, Auburn 14
-Gavin: Texas A&M 42, Auburn 17
With most likely the division on the line, TAMU showed up yet again, and this look’s like Jimbo Fisher’s best team ever. While the Aggies finally allowed over 20 points in a game, this one was never really in doubt for too long, thanks to a great first quarter of football. TAMU is one win away from punching its ticket to Atlanta, but they have the #1 seed in mind in the CFP. Auburn’s loss shouldn’t distract you from the wonderful season they’re having. Look for this team to reach the New Year’s Six despite the setback.
#17 Washington 37 – #21 Oregon 33
-Scott: Oregon 33, Washington 27
-Gavin: Oregon 35, Washington 17
In the preseason, lots of Washington fans didn’t understand why the hype around the Oregon Ducks was so much louder than any that the Huskies had. They proved it out on the field Saturday. While each team had lost early, the Huskies had the inside track, considering the Ducks slipped up in the Rose Bowl. Both offenses showed out against quality defenses, but Dylan Morris made one too many plays for Oregon to stop them, and it’s looking like UW will reclaim the North after last year’s COVID debacle. Before that though, they have a possible title game preview with ASU next week in Seattle.
Florida Atlantic 27 – Marshall 13
-Scott: Florida Atlantic 34, Marshall 28
-Gavin: Marshall 24, Florida Atlantic 21
FAU was the premier program in C-USA under Lane Kiffin’s watch, but it looks like they’ve gotten back to near the top under Willie Taggart. Marshall needed a win to keep pace here, but the Owls have rattled off five straight, and an undefeated conference season looks to be very much in the cards. Marshall needs everything to go right for them to have a chance still. FAU should clinch the East next week.
#1 Clemson 45 – Louisville 20
-Scott: Clemson 42, Louisville 24
-Gavin: Clemson 38, Louisville 21
As Clemson busted out the orange britches, a division title was once again in reach. While Cardinal Stadium provided a tough test to a young quarterback early on, Clemson found their stride right before the half, and dominated from that point on. The Tigers earned their seventh straight conference championship berth, and no one has really come close to knocking them off in 2021. This team looks like that frontrunner for the natty. Louisville has a solid rebound opportunity next week in Syracuse.
#18 TCU 43 – Baylor 10
-Scott: TCU 36, Baylor 21
-Gavin: TCU 31, Baylor 28
While Baylor was trying to catch their rival in the standings, TCU wanted no part of it whatsoever. The Frogs throttled the Bears, earning their seventh win, and staying alive in the Big XII race as well. This sets up a massive game in Stillwater next week against the Pokes, where Gary Patterson and company can’t afford a loss. Regardless, this is a great season for TCU after struggling a bit in recent seasons. Baylor will play their third straight ranked team next week by hosting the Sooners, coming off a bye. I’m willing to bet the Bears quest for bowl eligibility will have to wait another week.
#23 Northwestern 25 – Iowa 11
-Scott: Iowa 20, Northwestern 6
While I doubted my Cats’ offense, I should’ve doubted the Hawks’ offense even more. With the win, NU defeats Iowa for the fifth time in six tries, and puts Iowa in a tough spot to try to win the division. Their loss is Northwestern’s win, as they control their own destiny to repeat in the West.
San Diego State 34 – Hawaii 32
-Gavin: Hawaii 28, San Diego State 27
Oh, so close. Gavin nearly predicted another major upset in the Ching. SDSU remains in the division hunt, while Hawaii is almost certainly out of the picture. UH still has bowl chances though, and with the 13 regular season games, I would advise the Bows to go 2-1 the rest of the way.
Our Pick Results
Scott: 5-3 (61-28 on season)
Gavin: 4-4 (57-32)
Other Games of Note
Akron 41 – Ball State 35
While the Zips upset BSU to earn their second win of 2021, this result, along with other MACtion gave us a six-way tie for the MAC West. EVERYONE IS 3-2!
Stanford 16 – #13 Utah 10
In a massive shocker, Stanford somehow controlled Utah’s electric offense all night. This puts Utah’s playoff chances at zero.
Duke 31 – Pittsburgh 11
Pitt is lost at the moment, having lost three straight games after starting 6-0. This one’s an embarrassment for Pat Narduzzi.
North Texas 30 – Southern Miss 19
While UNT knocks Sothern Miss off of the top tier in C-USA West, they still have UTSA to battle down the road. Regardless, the Mean Green keep on impressing.
#11 Oklahoma State 25 – West Virginia 22
OK State survived a major scare in Morgantown, and a win is a win. WVU had already upset TCU, and I’m betting they get someone else in the last few weeks. The Cowboys are in a three-way tie atop the standings.
Wake Forest 38 – #3 North Carolina 36
Just when someone else in the ACC besides Clemson is thought of as elite, this happens. Wake went into Chapel Hill, in a rare non-conference game, and knocked off the Heels from the ranks of the undefeated. No one saw this coming, and this was the exact opposite of what happened in real life. UNC is still alive, but they have no margin for error now, even against Clemson in the ACC title game.
#16 Alabama 51 – LSU 24
While LSU has sputtered this year, this game still means a lot. Bama came ready to play in this one. They’re definitely hitting their stride now, and had they not lost two games early on, I think they easily make the CFP.
#14 Georgia 44 – Missouri 0
Georgia clinches the SEC East with this one, and the defense is really starting to round into form. If they can play like this moving forward, I think they can really challenge A&M in Atlanta. Mizzou is still searching for six wins and a bowl.
Fresno State 21 – Boise State 20 (OT)
It’s rare to see, but Boise is in danger of missing a bowl. They fall to 4-5 on the 2021 campaign, and give Air Force a much-needed game lead in the standings. Fresno, with the win, remains in the conference title hunt. I see a massive Thanksgiving showdown between Fresno and SJSU for the division.
Tulane 37 – UCF 33
We were waiting for a little bit of chaos in the AAC, and we got it. UCF falls to 4-2 in conference, and Tulane might be able to have a shot at this. The big winner with this result: Houston. They take a game lead on the Knights with three weeks to go, and they don’t play one another either. The Cougars and Bearcats are most certainly the front-runners.
USC 36 – #4 Arizona State 28
Not only one Top 4 team lost in UNC. Two did. ASU had been escaping by the skin of their teeth in a few cases, and it finally caught up to them. USC has been largely struggling as of late, but the defense found something this week, and forced five turnovers in this one. Kedon Slovis finally showed some of his great talent, as ASU’s playoff chances take a crushing blow. The Sun Devils need to win out to have a shot.
Nevada 37 – San Jose State 24
The West division is shaping up to be a big one, as we already have analyzed Fresno’s loss. Now, SJSU suffered their first loss of the conference schedule. This should be an interesting battle down the stretch, and Nevada is making a late push towards some meaningful November games.
That’s just about it, after an upset-filled crazy weekend of college football. Be sure to check all of the updated scores, rankings, standings, and blog posts, and follow us out on Twitter! @ncaafbsim