Consider, a two-loss group hasn’t ever claimed a place within the School Soccer Playoff.
Of the 20 groups that experience participated for the reason that CFP introduced in 2014, six had been undefeated and the opposite 14 had a unmarried loss. With that during thoughts, a number of groups that these days stay within the playoff dialog face tricky, must-win instances this Saturday. In a different way they are able to kiss their CFP hopes good-bye.
Integrated in that staff are No. Eight Notre Dame, No. Nine Auburn and No. 13 Wisconsin, every of whom might be at the street this weekend in opposition to a ranked opponent. Auburn’s shuttle to stand No. 2 LSU (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS) and Wisconsin’s talk over with to No. Three Ohio State (midday, FOX) are the marquee video games on a loaded weekend slate, with a number of different key matchups additionally wearing playoff implications:
- No. Eight Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan (7:30 p.m., ABC): If Notre Dame wins on Saturday, it’s going to most probably end the common season at 11-1. ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index provides Notre Dame (5-1) a 62.2% probability of profitable at Michigan (5-2) and not anything less than an 83.1% probability of thrashing any of its last fighters (Virginia Tech, Duke, Military, Boston School and Stanford). Notre Dame has misplaced 4 instantly in Ann Arbor and is 1-7 there courting again to 1993. Via profitable out, an 11-1 Notre Dame with a unmarried, slim loss at Georgia would have a robust playoff résumé.
- No. 6 Penn State at Michigan State (3:30 p.m., ABC): Undefeated Penn State (7-0, 4-Zero Large Ten) would now not essentially be eradicated through a loss at Michigan State (4-3, 2-2), however the Nittany Lions nonetheless have street video games last in opposition to fellow unbeatens Minnesota and Ohio State. The margin for error is miniscule, specifically for the reason that CFP committee has now not seen the Large Ten champion’s agenda power favorably over the last two years.
- Washington State at No. 11 Oregon (10:30 p.m., ESPN): Oregon (6-1, 4-Zero %-12) seems to be to be the %-12’s best candidate to finish the convention’s two-year CFP drought, specifically after surviving in opposition to Washington on Saturday. The Geese have gained six instantly since shedding their opener in opposition to Auburn, 27-21, and must be preferred to win every in their last video games. Those are the forms of eventualities that Mike Leach is outwardly constructed to smash. Washington State’s trainer has led the Cougars to 4 instantly wins in opposition to Oregon, two of which got here in Eugene. The Cougars (4-3, 1-3) appear to have pulled out of a three-game tailspin, having simply defeated Colorado 41-10 on Saturday.
- Cal at No. 12 Utah (10 p.m., FS1): Utah (6-1, 3-1 %-12) is the one different %-12 group that has any probability as a CFP contender, and a few severe mayhem would most probably need to happen for the Utes to obtain severe attention. However, a one-loss Energy 5 champion would most probably be within the combine, particularly if a 12-1 Utah defeats a up to now one-loss Oregon within the %-12 name recreation simply sooner than variety time. Utah opened as a 17.5-point favourite over Cal (4-3, 1-3), which has misplaced 3 instantly since quarterback Chase Garbers went down with a shoulder damage on Sept. 27. On the other hand, those groups’ grinding kinds may create the low-scoring instances that may permit Cal to compete. If Utah struggles to transport the ball Saturday, the Utes might be on disappointed alert.
Here’s a breakdown of the place issues stand coming into Week Nine of faculty soccer season:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. Nine Auburn at No. 2 LSU (LSU -11): Whilst Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) looks as if a CFP longshot as a result of the trouble of its last agenda (the Tigers until should face LSU, Georgia and Alabama), LSU merely desires to hold its unbeaten mark into the Nov. Nine showdown at nemesis Alabama. The Bayou Bengals (7-0, 3-0) would then probably revel in their highest probability but to make this system’s first playoff look. However first they are able to’t lose at house to Auburn – one thing no LSU group has achieved since 1999.
Similar to the oddsmakers who set LSU as a double-digit favourite on Saturday, ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index additionally initiatives LSU because the most probably victor, giving Ed Orgeron’s group a 66.3% probability to win. The rationale? It’s the country’s No. 2 scoring offense, after all.
Led through a Heisman Trophy contender in quarterback Joe Burrow, LSU averages 50.1 issues in keeping with recreation, trailing simplest FBS chief Oklahoma (50.4). LSU additionally trails simplest Oklahoma in yards in keeping with play (9.55 yards to 7.87) and ranks fourth in explosive performs (50 performs that lined 20 yards or extra), indicating that Auburn’s stout protection could have its palms complete on Saturday afternoon.
If Auburn is to have any probability at Tiger Stadium, it’s going to be as a result of one of the vital country’s nastiest defensive strains creates brief fields for Bo Nix and the offense with turnovers. Simply as Marlon Davidson did with a strip sack a couple of minute into Saturday’s 51-10 romp over Arkansas:
Davidson and celebrity take on Derrick Brown are in a position to obliterating offensive recreation plans, and they’ll wish to wreak havoc as soon as once more on Saturday with a view to give a move protection that ranks 68th nationally (224.7 ypg) any probability in opposition to LSU’s high-flying assault.
If that is to grow to be a aggressive recreation, it most probably comes all the way down to the quarterbacks: Auburn’s good fortune at slowing down Burrow, plus one thing reminiscent of competence from its personal QB. Nix can’t manage to pay for to accomplish like a clumsy freshman, as he did in Auburn’s lone lack of the season, a 24-13 defeat at Florida (11-for-27 for 145 yards, 1 TD, Three INTs).
Justin Fields vs. Wisconsin’s protection: Even after Wisconsin’s disappointed loss at Illinois averted this from turning into a matchup of 2 unbeaten groups, Ohio State-Wisconsin nonetheless ranks a few of the weekend’s maximum necessary video games.
It is going to function two of the country’s maximum spectacular defenses – Wisconsin leads the FBS in scoring protection (7.6 ppg) and overall protection (193.Nine ypg), whilst Ohio State is moment in each classes (Eight ppg, 229 ypg) – and two of the highest offensive performers.
Wisconsin operating again Jonathan Taylor is destined to grow to be one of the vital Large Ten’s all-time main rushers, however Wisconsin’s offense is nowhere close to as dynamic as Ohio State’s. The extra intriguing matchup right here will worry how smartly the Badgers fare in opposition to dual-threat Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields has posted a General Quarterback Ranking of 90 or higher in six of Ohio State’s seven video games, together with a 95.7 in final Friday’s 52-Three win at Northwestern. He has finished 70.7% of his passes for 1,492 yards, 22 TDs and 1 INT, plus he has rushed for 8 extra rankings. Fields and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts are each chargeable for 180 issues, tied for moment within the FBS in the back of simplest LSU’s Burrow (188).
Wisconsin’s protection seems to be difficult sufficient to provide the Badgers a shot in opposition to any group they face, even if Ohio State is the primary true check to that assumption. As early 14.5-point underdogs, the Badgers (6-1, 3-1 Large Ten) know their fading playoff hopes are at the line in opposition to a streaking Ohio State group (7-0, 4-0) that has defeated fighters through a median of 41.7 ppg so far. Forcing a handful of mistakes from the Buckeyes’ celebrity quarterback would lend a hand Wisconsin’s motive immensely.
LSU QB Joe Burrow vs. Auburn: Seven video games into the 2019 season, Burrow is already LSU’s single-season passing landing chief with 29. With the final of his 4 scoring passes in Saturday’s 36-13 win over Mississippi State, Burrow (25-for-32, 327 yards, Four TDs, Zero INTs) vaulted previous Matt Mauck and JaMarcus Russell for the college document. The following two video games – in opposition to Auburn and Alabama – will decide whether or not Burrow hangs round as a major risk to win the Heisman. Burrow used to be dominant in opposition to a stellar Florida protection on Oct. 12, however he hasn’t confronted a defensive entrance any place close to as nasty as what he’s going to see in the following few weeks.
Ohio State QB Justin Fields vs. Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s loss to Illinois got rid of one of the vital luster from this matchup, however the Badgers nonetheless may rank as the hardest protection Fields will face this season. He and the Buckeyes have rolled over each and every opponent so far – maximum lately Northwestern on Friday evening. In Ohio State’s 52-Three win over the Wildcats, Fields went 18-for-23 for 194 yards, Four TDs and nil INTs.
Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts vs. Kansas State: In but every other just about flawless efficiency, Hurts finished 16 of 17 passes for 316 yards, Three TDs and nil INTs in Saturday’s 52-14 rout of West Virginia whilst additionally speeding 10 occasions for 75 yards and two extra rankings. So long as he remains wholesome and Oklahoma helps to keep profitable, Hurts is at minimal a Heisman finalist at this level. Via seven video games, he has finished 74% of his passes for two,074 yards, 20 TDs and three INTs whilst additionally speeding for a team-high 705 yards and 10 rankings.
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa vs. Arkansas: The level of the excessive ankle sprain Tagovailoa suffered in Saturday’s 35-13 win over Tennessee used to be motive for main worry in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s offense used to be now not specifically efficient with out the junior celebrity taking snaps, and after present process surgical procedure to fix the injured ankle on Sunday, his standing for the LSU recreation is unclear. Tagovailoa finished 11 of 12 passes for 155 yards and an interception – an ill-timed turnover on the Tennessee purpose line – sooner than rolling his proper ankle all over the second one quarter. He walked to the locker room below his personal energy, however didn’t go back to the sport. Keep tuned.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne vs. Boston School: Even supposing his group nonetheless looks as if a certain wager to achieve the playoffs, Lawrence’s much-discussed interception problems will have ended his Heisman probabilities. He tossed two extra Saturday in a 45-10 victory over Louisville, giving him six alternatives in opposition to 11 TDs this season. That’s now not horrible, however Lawrence’s numbers light compared to the ones of main applicants Tagovailoa, Burrow, Hurts and Fields. Etienne is likewise at the outskirts of the Heisman dialog, even if a couple of extra performances like Saturday’s dominant effort in opposition to Louisville – 14 carries, 192 yards, 1 TD – may put him again within the combine. He ranks 10th within the FBS with 781 speeding yards.
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor vs. Ohio State: Saturday’s 24-23 loss to Illinois put a large dent in Wisconsin’s playoff hopes and most probably ended Taylor’s possibilities of profitable the Heisman. He ran 28 occasions for 132 yards and a TD and misplaced a fumble in opposition to Illinois, giving him 957 speeding yards (3rd nationally) and 15 TDs (T-1) this season. Non-quarterbacks already face lengthy odds to contend for the Heisman. Non-quarterbacks who don’t achieve the playoff mainly don’t have any probability.
BY THE NUMBERS
1: Via hammering Louisiana-Monroe 52-7 on Saturday, then-No. 24 Appalachian State turned into the primary group from the Solar Belt Convention ever to win a recreation as a ranked membership. Ultimate week, the Mountaineers turned into simply the 3rd Solar Belt group ever to be ranked within the Related Press Most sensible 25. They climbed to No. 21 on this week’s ballot, the very best score for each the App State program and for any Solar Belt group.
6: Six ranked groups misplaced in a wild Week 8 (No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 14 Boise State, No. 16 Michigan, No. 17 Arizona State, No. 22 Missouri and No. 25 Washington) and 4 extra got here shut. No. 7 Penn State, No. 12 Oregon, No. 15 Texas and No. 23 Iowa all held directly to win through lower than a landing.
6: Virginia Tech beat North Carolina 43-41 Saturday in six beyond regular time sessions, the longest recreation in ACC historical past.
10: There are 10 undefeated groups last: Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Penn State, Baylor, SMU, Minnesota and App State. ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index provides Clemson a 71.2% probability of profitable out within the common season, highest a few of the last unbeaten groups, adopted through Ohio State (48.6%), Oklahoma (34.4%) and Alabama (30.1%).
12: North Carolina’s 4 losses have come through a mixed 12 issues: through six in opposition to Wake Woodland, through 3 in opposition to Appalachian State, through one in opposition to Clemson and through two to Virginia Tech. Mack Brown’s Tar Heels are actually 3-Four total.
30.5: Illinois beat Wisconsin as a 30.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Illini’s win used to be the largest disappointed through a Energy 5 group since 2017 and the second-largest in Large Ten historical past in line with ESPN’s David Hale.
100/200: With 203 receiving yards and 104 speeding yards in Saturday’s 47-17 rout of Tulane, Memphis freshman operating again Kenny Gainwell turned into the primary FBS participant since 1997 to document 100 speeding yards and 200 receiving yards in the similar recreation.
125: Arizona State had long gone a document 125 instantly video games the place it scored double-digit issues sooner than Saturday’s wet 21-Three loss to Utah. The dominant Utes restricted the Solar Devils to 136 yards of overall offense and held quarterback Jayden Daniels in take a look at. The freshman celebrity went 4-for-18 for 25 yards and one interception in opposition to Utah after averaging 268.Three passing ypg within the first six video games.
569: Consider previous this season when Texas’ defensive backs wore t-shirts sooner than the LSU recreation proclaiming that Texas, now not LSU, produces the country’s highest choice of defensive again skill? It didn’t move specifically smartly that evening for the Longhorns’ DBs, who had been again and again torched through Burrow and the Tigers’ receivers. Issues haven’t long gone significantly better since. Lowly Kansas rolled up 569 yards of overall offense in opposition to Texas on Saturday, with Carter Stanley passing for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns. Longhorns stars Sam Ehlinger and Collin Johnson led a last-minute power that Cameron Dicker capped with a 33-yard, game-winning box purpose on the buzzer. The trio’s heroics in Texas’ 50-48 win overcame a fourth-quarter meltdown through the Texas protection.
3,264: Utah’s Zack Moss rushed for 99 yards on 25 carries in opposition to Arizona State, pushing his occupation speeding overall to a few,264 yards, a brand new Utah document. Moss eclipsed Eddie Johnson’s occupation document of three,219 yards.
Three ranked-versus-ranked video games this week: No. Eight Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan, No. Nine Auburn at No. 2 LSU, No. 13 Wisconsin at No. Three Ohio State
1 Energy 5-versus-Energy 5 recreation: Notre Dame at Michigan
25 Energy 5 convention video games: ACC (Miami at Pittsburgh, Syracuse at Florida State, Virginia at Louisville, Duke at North Carolina, Boston School at Clemson), Large Ten (Wisconsin at Ohio State, Iowa at Northwestern, Illinois at Purdue, Penn State at Michigan State, Maryland at Minnesota, Indiana at Nebraska), Large 12 (Oklahoma at Kansas State, Texas at TCU, Oklahoma State at Iowa State, Texas Tech at Kansas), %-12 (USC at Colorado, Arizona at Stanford, Arizona State at UCLA, Cal at Utah, Washington State at Oregon), SEC (Mississippi State at Texas A&M, Auburn at LSU, South Carolina at Tennessee, Arkansas at Alabama, Missouri at Kentucky)
Thursday, Oct. 24
No. 16 SMU at Houston (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Friday, Oct. 25
USC at Colorado (Nine p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Saturday, Oct. 26
No. 13 Wisconsin at No. Three Ohio State (midday ET, FOX)
No. Five Oklahoma at Kansas State (midday, ABC)
No. 20 Iowa at Northwestern (midday, ESPN2)
No. 21 Appalachian State at South Alabama (midday, ESPNU)
Miami at Pittsburgh (midday, ESPN)
Mississippi State at Texas A&M (midday, SEC Community)
No. Nine Auburn at No. 2 LSU (3:30 p.m., CBS)
No. 6 Penn State at Michigan State (3:30 p.m., ABC)
No. 15 Texas at TCU (3:30 p.m., FOX)
Maryland at No. 17 Minnesota (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Arizona at Stanford (3:30 p.m., %-12 Community)
Syracuse at Florida State (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Indiana at Nebraska (3:30 p.m., Large Ten Community)
Oklahoma State at No. 23 Iowa State (3:30 p.m., FS1)
South Carolina at Tennessee (Four p.m., SEC Community)
Duke at North Carolina (Four p.m., ACCNX)
Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama (7 p.m., ESPN)
UCF at Temple (7 p.m., ESPN2)
Boston School at Clemson (7:30 p.m., ACC Community)
No. Eight Notre Dame at No. 19 Michigan (7:30 p.m., ABC)
No. 24 Arizona State at UCLA (7:30 p.m., %-12 Community)
Missouri at Kentucky (7:30 p.m., SEC Community)
Cal at No. 12 Utah (10 p.m., FS1)
Washington State at No. 11 Oregon (10:30 p.m., ESPN)