MI is in the playoff - for now

Heather Diaz
November 10, 2018

No. 18 MSU will take on No. 1 Alabama at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (WCBI) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. "Their two losses come against No. 1 Alabama, on the road to Florida". West Virginia 10. Ohio State 11.

Mississippi State, Alabama's opponent this week, is ranked No. 16.

That was a disappointing loss for the Tigers in Baton Rouge, but they ran into a supremely-talented team.

It wouldn't hurt if the Buckeyes also picked up another loss along the way, potentially to Michigan State this weekend.

The Irish finish with three winnable games, but no locks. Notre Dame also has one tough game left vs. ranked Syracuse, on November 17. So both teams have one loss, but West Virginia has the best win, the best loss, and it has played the more hard schedule. Winning out, including at Ohio State, puts Jim Harbaugh's team at 12-1 with a Big Ten title.

That's especially true at the very top of the rankings with the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers leading the way.

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Listen, I know that when it comes to the bottom of the rankings, it's hard to find worthy teams, but it's much more difficult to look at this Auburn team and deem it as one of the 25 best in the country.

Check back after three more regular season games and the SEC championship tilt with No. 1 Alabama for the final rankings that matter for the Bulldogs.

- Washington State. Sure, Ed Orgeron vs. Mike Leach would be fun.

The weather did the Mountaineers no favor by forcing the cancellation of West Virginia's game at North Carolina State in September. While their defense has been impressive, this is an offense that has wholly underwhelmed throughout the entire year, even seeing quarterback Brian Lewerke get benched on numerous occasions in recent weeks.

In conclusion: There are more opportunities for teams to lose, so the new normal is likely somewhere between this season's seven ranked three-loss teams by Week 10 to last season's three.

If the season ended Tuesday, Alabama and MI would meet in the Cotton Bowl, and Clemson and Notre Dame would play in the Orange Bowl. The Wolverines enjoyed the latest stop on their revenge tour, demolishing Penn State and improving to 3-0 against teams that beat them last season - Wisconsin, Michigan State and the Nittany Lions.

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