Georgia, Ohio State move up

Kristopher Nichols
October 31, 2017

No. 2 Penn State (7-1) lost to No. 6 Ohio State 39-38. Georgia (8-0) follows behind them, then Ohio State. Now the SEC has the top two ranked schools in the country, possibly setting up the conference for two 12-0 teams to meet in the SEC title game. Georgia takes Penn State's spot and is on a collision course with No. 1 Alabama to play in a SEC Championship Game for the ages.

Penn State might have seen their hopes of going to the College Football Playoff disappear when they blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead to Ohio State.

With November approaching, it can be said that we are now well into the college football season.

McShay and I discussed Notre Dame last week, so you know where I stand.

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But the what-ifs involving Georgia and Notre Dame could be in play for a while. Next: at No. 16 Michigan State, Saturday. The Fighting Irish boast quality road victories over Boston College and Michigan State, and the last two weeks humbled Southern California and North Carolina State by a combined 56 points. And their other two games (at Northwestern; at Iowa) aren't exactly guaranteed losses. Plus, this is a ranking for right now, and I think the Buckeyes - and particularly quarterback J.T. Barrett - are much better than they were in September. Badgers fans have a right to complain as the team is 8-0. Most telling for Clemson: wins over Auburn and Virginia Tech, the latter emphatic and on the road. Experts and analysts have all kinds of different ways that they break down teams and figure out who they believe belongs in the top four by the end of the year, but it seems like an bad lot of work for something that will be controversial pretty much every time.

Compared to the teams' meeting previous year, which aired opposite the Cubs clinching their first National League pennant since 1945, overnights increased 52% from a 4.5.

Here's a key stat to file away: In the first three years of the College Football Playoff, three unbeaten teams and nine one-loss teams have made the field, but no teams with two or more losses. This is more of a physical offensive line than I can remember seeing in years at Georgia, and Kirby Smart has this program well ahead of schedule.

Notre Dame is 3-1 against teams now ranked in the top 25 with the third win coming on the road against Michigan State. Keep in mind that Ohio State-Michigan's double-overtime duel previous year drew a 10.4 overnight for ABC; the Buckeyes and Wolverines were #2 and #3 respectively in the College Football Playoff ratings heading into that one (and #1 and #2 in the AP poll when they met in 2006, which drew a 13.0).

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