What a wild and wonderful weekend in college football. Sure, outside of THE GAME there really weren’t any terrific games, but sometimes that happens. Nearly every favorite won over the three day college football feast, that started on Thanksgiving and poured long into Saturday night. The status quo was preserved on the final weekend of the regular season, but now it is Championship Saturday and the real fun begins.
Alabama, Clemson, and Washington
The three amigos hanging around in the top 5, none were expected to lose and they did not disappoint. Alabama looked particularly impressive in their Iron Bowl win over rival Auburn. Auburn might be the second best team in the SEC, and that game displayed whom far the conference has fallen. Three years ago this would have been a slugfest, but it is now clear that the SEC is Alabama and then everyone else.
The Clemson Tigers have been a difficult team to figure out this season, but were able to easily dismantle a rebuilding South Carolina squad that has been searching for offense all season. With the departure of Steve Spurrier, it could be a long time before this in-state rivalry could be competitive again.
Washington did the most to help their cause this weekend among the teams ranked from 3 to 7. Michigan lost a double overtime game to their archrival, but Washington smoked a ranked Washington State team in the Apple Cup. The Huskies looked very impressive are dominating the 1st half with a final score that was much closer than the actual game.
Peppers won the B1G Defensive Player of the year award, and while he may have been the most electrifying player in the conference he wasn’t the best on defense. He was exposed a number of times by Curtis Samuel and other Buckeyes in the their biggest game of the season. Make no mistake about it, Peppers is a dynamite playmaker with the ball in his hands, but he has some serious limitations in man coverage.
Very few experiences in life live up to their perceived hype. The 2016 Edition of THE GAME was a terrific exception. It was an old fashion slugfest that would have made Woody and Bo proud. In an era where rarely less than three wide receivers are ever seen on the field; Michigan deployed two and three tight end set nearly every play. While Ohio State lines up in the spread, there was no debate over their game plan. Quarterback JT Barrett carried the ball 30 times himself with the Buckeye offense rushing it 50 times as a unit.
It was a defensive battle that featured two of the nations best defenses, and it was a defensive score that allowed the Buckeyes to crack the goose egg on the scoreboard. Both lines defensive lines are stacked with future NFL talent and each won their share of battles.
However, in the end it was Jim Harbaugh who lost his composure and it affected his team in the fourth quarter.
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