One big one came for Notre Dame, who went from starting the season unranked to end up number 1, almost dropping one to USC, who started the season at number 1 and ended up unranked. The Irish pulled it out, though, so they remain set to play in the National Title Game, against the winner of the SEC Championship Game, which will either be 2 Alabama or 3 Georgia. Number 4 Florida was hoping for one of those teams to lose this week, but they’re out of the title hunt now.
Number 12 Oklahoma is hoping that they hold on this week, because if Number 17 Kent State can move up to number 16 by beating #21 Northern Illinois in the MAC Title Game, they may get a bid for the Orange Bowl.
Ohio State finished up the season undefeated, but they are under sanctions so they can’t play in the post-season this year, otherwise we’d probably not have an SEC team playing for the title. Things could get very interesting next year. This year isn’t done, though, so we’re going to have to hold on and see what happens in this round of conference championship games to see who ends up playing in what bowl, that way we’ll all be able to plan our New Year’s Eve/Day activities around what games we want to see.
On to the NFL, we see that this week the Eagles have found a running game, but sadly that running game fumbles a lot. Cam Newton looked like the Cam Newton of last year on Monday Night Football this week, going 18 of 28 for 306 yards.
Also doing well this week was Russell Wilson, who becomes the first rookie in NFL history with a passer rating higher than 125 for 3 straight games.
Kaepernick got the start again this week, taking Alex Smith’s job and producing another win for the 49ers, who are leading their division, this time against the Saints .
The Packers are sitting in the Wildcard spot right now, still knocked out of leading their division by the replacement ref debacle earlier this year.
Speaking of, the Seahawks are also looking for a Wildcard slot, as well as the Colts and the Steelers over in the AFC. Reports are coming in that Ray Lewis, who we once thought to be out for the season, could be back on the field by December 16th. If anyone can overcome and get in shape enough by then, it’s Ray Lewis. Roethlisberger also wants to try to play in the Steelers vs Ravens game Sunday, so we’ll see how that goes.
There can be a lot of clinches next weekend, given some different scenarios, with all division leaders and some Wildcards having potential to clinch depending on them winning and a few other teams losing. We’re getting close to the playoffs, and that’s when it gets really magical in the NFL, so keep watching!