Who will beat Ohio State and LSU?
Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019
There are two undefeated teams that have shocked me with how far they’ve gone into the season unblemished: Minnesota and Baylor.
The Gophers are churning their way through P.J. Fleck’s third season as head coach with an 8-0 start. Have they played anyone significant? Well, no, not really. They will play Penn State this Saturday and end the season against Wisconsin. The odds are high they finish 11-1 or possibly even 12-0 and face Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship. Coming off a 7-6 season in 2018, that’s exciting.
Baylor has had its fair share of low points the past few seasons. That goes without saying. But never would I have guessed the Bears would be 7-0 in 2019 and the only undefeated team in the Big 12. Baylor has had a few close calls and a huge fourth quarter comeback last week against Oklahoma State. Still ahead looms Texas and Oklahoma.
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Speaking of the Sooners… huh? What’s that? Is that another Top 5 team losing to an unranked opponent? It is! The domino effect is in full force. Starting with Georgia, a Top 10 team has lost to an unranked team every week: Georgia, Wisconsin, then Oklahoma. Misery loves company, they say, so welcome to the party, Badgers and Sooners.
The Badgers didn’t have a good time last Saturday, either. They were eviscerated by Ohio State 38-7. However, Justin Fields didn’t look as sharp as usual against a semi-competent defense that did a good job pressuring him. What started out as a promising season for Wisconsin is now more than likely over as far as the pursuit for a playoff spot goes. They can return to the Big 10 Championship and gain redemption against the Buckeyes, but I don’t think even that will be enough to cement a Top 4 spot for the Badgers. Also, I find the likelihood of anyone other than LSU or Alabama beating Ohio State to be quite low.
Over in Ann Arbor, Notre Dame laid a big, fat egg. Despite a slow start, Michigan was in full control from beginning to end and ran the Fighting Irish off the cold, sopping wet field. This might be the biggest win Jim Harbaugh has had as coach of Michigan, honestly. The Wolverines have lost to two Top 15 teams, but the win over Notre Dame gives this team some newfound life. It’s now a race to the end of the season, where Michigan can only hope its momentum from this game will build up to a win over Ohio State on Nov. 30.
Down south, LSU squeaked out a win against Auburn. Amazingly, Auburn put itself in quite a few good situations to leave with a win, but the perfectly bounced onside kick landed in the wrong Tigers’ hands. Now, No. 1 ranked LSU will play No. 2 Alabama in two weeks for a SEC West Championship.