College Football Week 7 Winners and Losers Amid Growing Parity and Hypothetical 12-Team

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College Football Week 7 Winners and Losers Amid Growing Parity and Hypothetical 12-Team

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Could 2023 See the Implementation of a 12-Team College Football Playoff?

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As we near the halfway mark of the current four-team format’s final season, it’s increasingly apparent that the timing of the playoff expansion may have missed the mark. With at least 10 competitive teams eyeing the national title, it’s evident that a 12-team playoff in this season could have brought more excitement and engagement. Considering the current competitive landscape, here’s a glimpse of what the playoff field might have looked like, with the potential for four extraordinary quarterfinal games.

1. Michigan Wolverines (7-0)

Michigan has emerged as the front-runner in college football, showcasing unparalleled dominance in the current season. Anticipated to lead the initial set of College Football Playoff rankings on October 31, the Wolverines recently secured a commanding 52-7 victory over Indiana. Impressively, they have outscored their first four Big Ten rivals by 149 points, maintaining a stout defense that has yet to allow any opponent to score more than 10 points all season. With a solid performance, this might just be the season for Michigan to break through to the national title game, overcoming previous setbacks in the semifinals.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)

The reigning two-time national champions, Georgia Bulldogs, secured a 37-20 victory over Vanderbilt, despite star tight end Brock Bowers sustaining what appeared to be an ankle sprain in the initial half, sidelining him for the remainder of the game. The team’s recent performances have shown increasing strength, particularly following their early triumphs over South Carolina and Auburn. As they head into their off week, anticipation builds for their highly awaited clash with Florida, with no clear signs of Georgia faltering in the regular season.

3. Washington Huskies (6-0)

Washington Huskies face a challenging path ahead in November, yet their remarkable achievements in the current season deserve recognition. Michael Penix Jr.’s outstanding four-touchdown display in the thrilling victory against Oregon solidified his frontrunner status for the Heisman Trophy, as long as the Huskies continue their winning streak. The powerful duo of Penix and Rome Odunze continues to shine, with Washington’s robust defense consistently making crucial plays.

4. Florida State Seminoles (6-0)

Florida State Seminoles’ noteworthy victories over LSU and Clemson position them well for the final first-round bye in our hypothetical playoff structure. Their convincing win over Syracuse showcased Jordan Travis’ remarkable performance, contributing a passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns, while Keon Coleman’s exceptional nine catches for 140 yards further highlighted the team’s offensive prowess. Coleman’s impactful presence, following his transfer from Michigan State, has significantly bolstered the Seminoles’ offensive strategy, complemented by a resurgent FSU defense in recent weeks.

5. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0)

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The Oklahoma Sooners, fresh off their notable triumph over Texas in Week 6, utilized their weekend off to further regroup. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel’s return to form has energized the offense, while the defensive unit’s substantial progress has been one of the standout transformations in college football this season. Holding opponents to an average of just 14 points per game, the Sooners’ defense has demonstrated a marked improvement from their 2022 performance, which saw them concede an average of 30 points per game. However, Texas remains the only team to surpass the 20-point mark against them this year.

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)

The Ohio State Buckeyes secured their most commanding victory of the season over Purdue, dominating with a 41-7 win. Despite facing setbacks with key players like TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams sidelined due to injury, the Buckeyes exhibited their resilience, buoyed by a stellar defensive performance. Running back Dallan Hayden’s standout display further fortified Ohio State’s offensive prowess, while Kyle McCord’s steady improvement at quarterback continues to be a key asset for the team.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0)

The upcoming clash between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 8 promises to shed light on both teams’ true potential. Penn State’s comfortable victory over UMass served as a preparatory tune-up, highlighting the team’s defensive prowess and prompting a closer examination of its passing game’s explosiveness. Quarterback Drew Allar’s impressive three-touchdown performance underscored the team’s offensive depth, albeit with room for improvement in yards gained per attempt. Penn State will need to unleash a few significant plays against the Buckeyes to secure a vital victory.

8. Texas Longhorns (5-1)

The Longhorns, sharing a conference rivalry with the Sooners, appear to be on a potential collision course for the Big 12 title game. Despite an off-week, Texas remains a formidable contender, having showcased an impressive display over the initial five weeks of the season. While Week 6 saw a slight stumble, their overall performance suggests a strong likelihood of an 11-1 regular season finish.

9. Oregon Ducks (5-1)

A potential playoff match between Oregon and Texas adds excitement to the season, given Oregon’s resilient performance against Washington. Dan Lanning’s calculated fourth-down decision demonstrated the Ducks’ competitive spirit, underscoring their resilience in a tight contest. Although the decision didn’t yield the desired outcome, the Ducks’ formidable presence in the Pac-12 race remains resolute.

10. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1)

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The Alabama Crimson Tide’s unyielding determination has been critical in maintaining their lead in the SEC West. Quarterback Jalen Milroe’s impressive performance paved the way for a hard-fought 24-21 victory against Arkansas, highlighting his steady growth as a starter. Supported by a formidable defense, Milroe’s development continues to shape the team’s overall strategy, although questions persist regarding the team’s ability to navigate potential high-scoring encounters, particularly against opponents like LSU.

11. North Carolina (6-0)

Devontez Walker’s impactful presence in the UNC offense was evident in the Tar Heels’ recent win over Miami, where his three touchdowns steered the team to victory. UNC’s consistently high-scoring performances, with at least 30 points in each of their first six games, underscore the team’s offensive prowess. Notably, the team’s strengthened defensive capabilities have bolstered their overall performance, amplifying their competitiveness as they progress through the season.

12. Air Force (6-0)

Air Force’s exceptional performance this season has positioned the team as a formidable contender within their division. Despite a challenging matchup against Wyoming, the Falcons’ resilience and effective scoring strategy secured a hard-fought victory, accentuating their robust form and demonstrating their potential as a rising force in collegiate football.

Reference:

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/college-football-week-7-winners-and-losers-how-would-a-12-team-playoff-look-this-season-with-parity-abound-042147975.html

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