The 11-0 Washington Huskies have beaten all comers this season. They are one of the six unbeaten teams remaining within the 133-team FBS group. The others (alphabetically) are Florida State, Georgia, Liberty University, Michigan, and Ohio State.
However, Washington can claim a win over a team with a 10-1 record (Oregon). That keeps the Huskies as the top dogs in the SwampSwamiSports.com College Football Top 25 for the week ending November 18, 2023.
Just four teams will make the College Football Playoffs. There is still a chance we could have four unbeaten teams vying for the national title this year.
If Florida State (ACC), Georgia (SEC), Washington (Pac-12), and either Ohio State/Michigan (Big Ten) should win their respective conference championships, a stellar foursome of unbeaten titans would emerge.
There might be zero unbeaten teams remaining in a few weeks, too!
It would take Oregon to beat Washington for the Pac-12 title. Alabama would need to end Georgia’s unbeaten season to grab the SEC Championship. Iowa (yes, that team with the worst offense in the FBS) would need to stun either Ohio State or Michigan in the Big Ten title game. Florida State is heading to rival Florida without their injured starting quarterback, Jordan Travis. He is out for the season with a leg injury. The Seminoles’ leader will also miss the ACC title game against surprising Louisville, too.
What about unbeaten Liberty?
Even if the Conference USA Flames should win out, the national voting media still won’t move them into the College Football Playoffs due to a perceived weak schedule (Note – has anyone looked at Michigan’s schedule this year?). The Flames still have an outside chance to pocket millions of dollars in a New Year’s Day bowl game if 10-1 Tulane of the AAC should fall to UTSA in the AAC championship game this Friday (2:30PM on ABC).
A Tough Week for the James Madison Dukes
James Madison University rejoiced as the ESPN College Football Game Day crew descended upon the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia last Saturday. Then, things got worse. A few days before the game, the NCAA denied JMU’s second appeal requesting that the second-year FBS program (then 10-0) to play in a post-season bowl game this year. Under an unnecessary old NCAA rule (when 20 fewer bowl games existed), a team which is playing-up from the FCS level to the FBS level is ineligible for bowl games in its first two years in the top division. JMU was left out of bowls in Year 1 (going 8-3) and is being left out again this season.
Last Saturday afternoon, the Dukes football team fell behind early to Sunbelt rival Appalachian State but rallied to force the game into overtime. Alas, App State (now 7-4) prevailed in the extra period to end JMU’s unbeaten season.
All is not lost for the Dukes – yet. In one of the NCAA’s strangest rules, there is one final possibility that JMU could play in a bowl game. If there are not 84 teams (42 bowl games) with a 6-6 record or better, then the NCAA would be forced to allow teams with a 5-7 record to be permitted for bowl selection. Apparently, that would lift the ban on James Madison, too. Go figure.
The New Mexico State rampage continues!
A few weeks ago, I highlighted the amazing rise of Conference USA’s New Mexico State University. These Aggies are now 8-3 (compared to 7-4 for that team of Aggies in Texas). In fact, the New Mexico State Aggies beat the SEC’s Auburn Tigers in Alabama 31-10, while Texas A&M’s Aggies beat Auburn 27-10 in College Station earlier this season.
For their trip to the Alabama Plains last weekend, the New Mexico State Aggies not only bagged a win over an SEC team, they earned $1.8 million for the appearance!
LSU’s QB5 – That Jayden Kid – is being pushed too hard for Heisman
Your SwampSwami and his lovely wife visited Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge for Saturday’s game between LSU and Georgia State. Though we were seated in the stratospheric East Upper Deck, the chance to view LSU’s dynamic quarterback, Jayden Daniels, was worth the trip. He appears even more elusive on the run than what you see on television. He would have made a terrific point guard for the LSU basketball team.
Though Jayden Daniels is a wonderfully talented athlete, my biggest issue has been that LSU has been willing to feature this talented quarterback to the excess recently. A record-setting 600-yard total offensive performance against Florida was needed for victory. Saturday night’s six touchdown passes and two touchdown runs by Daniels against a Sunbelt foe was purely to push him for a Heisman Trophy. There was no reason for him to have been in the game for most of the fourth quarter Saturday night – other than to add a few more touchdowns to his total.
A wonderfully talented player and a fine young man, Jayden Daniels still plays for a three-loss LSU team. He is competing against the quarterback of an unbeaten Washington team (Michael Penix, Jr.) and the signal-caller for one-loss Oregon (Bo Nix). Even Joe Burrow wouldn’t have won the Heisman Trophy if his LSU team had three losses during his final season.
Let’s now take a look at this pre-Thanksgiving SwampSwamiSports.com College Football Top 25 for the week ending November 18, 2023!