Kentucky lost 27-3 to Georgia to extend the losing streak to 4. I watched most of the game and didn’t see enough good play from Kentucky to make me happy. Kentucky next travels to Nashville to play Vanderbilt.
On the undefeated front, 5 of the 11 undefeated teams entering the week left with a loss. LSU, TCU, Michigan State, Memphis, and Toledo all suffered their first lost of the season and seriously hampered their national championship aspirations. The last 6 undefeated teams are:
- ACC – Clemson
- Big 10 – Ohio State & Iowa
- Big 12 – Baylor & Oklahoma State
- American – Houston
Since no more than 4 of the teams above can remain undefeated until selection Sunday it’s time to look at other teams that have a chance of breaking into the top 4. Alabama is already in it and Florida, Oklahoma, and Michigan State are the only other teams I think completely control their own destiny, meaning if they win out, they will be in the top 4.
Alabama was in the top 4 and just beat the number 2 team, putting themselves firmly in a control their own destiny position. They would need to beat ranked Mississippi State and Florida which are strong enough opponents to ensure they won’t drop if they keep winning. Florida has a longer road, but would need to beat Florida State and likely Alabama in the SEC Championship game to win out and I think a 1 loss SEC champion would jump a couple teams and enter the top 4. Oklahoma has a longer road than Florida, but would have to beat 3 ranked teams, undefeated Baylor and Oklahoma State and a 1 loss TCU to run the table, which I think would be enough to crack the top 4.
Just outside of that are the teams that need a little help, led by Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisiana State, Utah, and Michigan State. Stanford is in the driver’s seat of this group because they have games remaining against Notre Dame and a 1 loss Utah. I just don’t think they’ll jump over an undefeated Clemson or Ohio State, or pass a 1 loss Alabama, which means they are fighting for the final spot in the top 4. I think that spot would go to Baylor, Oklahoma State, or Oklahoma if one of them wins out.
Notre Dame is in the unfortunate position of likely jumping into the top 4 this week, but may be passed if one of the contending Big 12 teams if they win out. Utah would need to beat a 1 loss Stanford team after Stanford beats Notre Dame to put themselves in the best possible position, but would still need a little help. LSU is a long shot, but being a 1 loss team with your only loss being to Alabama could put them in the top 4 with a lot of help. Michigan State would need to beat Ohio State in a couple weeks and Iowa in the Big 10 Championship Game, but I don’t think that would be enough to jump enough teams to get in the top 4 without help.
My prediction for the top 4 when the poll is released this week is Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, and Notre Dame. I could see Alabama being second, but think enough committee members will keep an undefeated Ohio State ahead of a 1 loss Bama to keep Ohio State ahead.