Glad to be home again after an extended time away.
We start at the white out Happy Valley between Big 10 powers Ohio St and Penn St. The Nittany Lions used some big plays to hold a 26-14 lead with 8 minutes left. Dwayne Haskins threw two TDs, aided by some nice runs by the WRs, to take a 27-26 lead late. Penn St then faced a 4th and 5, and then inexplicably called an inside zone read. The Buckeyes easily stuffed the run to preserve the win. In the post game conference, the arrogant James Franklin proclaimed how "great" his program was but not elite. Uh coach, great teams do not squander 12 point leads late.
Notre Dame made a statement win smoking Stanford at home 38-17. QB Ian Book, previously unknown to anyone but ND fans and his family, threw for 4 TDs. We all thought that Brian Kelly was doomed in South Bend, but he has rallied his team into a legit playoff contender. With Michigan playing well, the Irish look pretty good at this point.
Dabo Swinney had an eventful week. Senior QB and previous starting QB Kelly Bryant decided to transfer after learning that he lost his job to highly regarded frosh Trevor "Thor" Lawrence. Bryant is taking advantage of two rules, the grad transfer and the new four game redshirt rule, so that he can start elsewhere. Meanwhile, Lawrence takes on a Syracuse defender head on and cannot play. Enter Chase Brice, really unknown except to the most avid Clemson fans, who rallies the Tigers late to beat Syracuse 27-23.
I was proud of the Gators again as they outlasted Miss St in Starkvegas 13-6. Feleipe Franks has become a serviceable SEC QB and Dan Mullen, returning to an emotional crowd after coaching there 9 years, had the perfect scheme. The Gators are still flawed and need elite players, but I will take 4-1. Kentucky beat SC at home 24-10, and the Gators loss to them, while not great, does not look nearly as bad.
As for the playoff, Alabama is the overwhelming favorite. To me, Ohio St is the next best team. Georgia is very good, but not as good as last year. Clemson I feel the same, but their path within a weak ACC makes them almost a sure thing. Lincoln Riley at OU is the new offensive genius as they score and score again no matter who is playing.