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Who can stop Alabama? Could Michigan get revenge on Notre Dame? What’s next for Kansas & Louisville?

Who can stop Alabama? Could Michigan get revenge on Notre Dame? What's next for Kansas & Louisville?

Who is the most important menace to Alabama?

Prime-ranked Alabama traveled to Baton Rouge to take on the No. Three LSU Tigers in a stadium that many groups discover troublesome to go away with a win. Not Alabama although. Nearly as good as LSU has been this season, the Tigers have been a double-digit residence canine because the third-ranked staff within the preliminary School Soccer Playoff rankings revealed final week. And Alabama coated by greater than twice the purpose unfold. LSU dismantled Georgia not so way back, and Alabama rolled by way of them with relative ease regardless that Nick Saban needed to play Tua Tagovailoa and different key starters within the fourth quarter, a real rarity this season.

Alabama has now performed 540 minutes of school soccer this season, and has trailed for simply 70 seconds. Even on an evening when Alabama failed to attain on their opening drive and Tagovailoa was intercepted for the primary time all yr, this recreation was not often unsure as a result of Alabama is simply that rattling good. It’s astounding simply how one-sided this rivalry has turn out to be. From 2000 via 2007, LSU was 7-2 towards Alabama.

The 29-Zero win by @AlabamaFTBL over LSU was the most important shutout win by any group over an AP Prime 5 opponent within the common season since 9/22/1990, when Washington beat No. 5 USC 31-Zero.#RollTide

— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) November Four, 2018

Alabama is the most recent member of the 900-win membership with tonight’s win at LSU. They be a part of Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas.

Next in line is Nebraska (895), adopted by Notre Dame (894) and Oklahoma (891). All ought to occur next yr. Penn State (884) in all probability on maintain till 2020.

— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) November Four, 2018

So after a 29-Zero drubbing of LSU on the street, the query now turns into if there’s anybody that can stand as much as Alabama and provides them an actual battle.

Texas A&M and LSU have come the closest to doing so this season, they usually have misplaced by a mixed rating of 74-23. Take into account Saban was the top coach at LSU from 2000 to 2004, which not so coincidentally is when LSU gained an higher hand within the collection (Alabama had gone Eight-2 towards LSU within the 1990s). It’s additionally no coincidence Alabama started dominating the collection as soon as Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. After going 2-Three towards his former faculty, Saban has coached Alabama to eight straight wins over LSU, beginning with the 2011 season’s BCS Nationwide Championship Recreation when LSU couldn’t even cross midfield towards the Tide. Alabama has additionally shut out LSU in two straight video games in Baton Rouge.

Simply once you thought LSU may rating, Alabama says NOPE!

— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) November Four, 2018

The highest two candidates left on the market look like fairly apparent. Georgia, who’s now locked right into a date with Alabama within the SEC Championship Recreation (already), will get the primary actual crack at making an attempt to take down Alabama, until you consider Mississippi State can roll into Tuscaloosa and put all of it collectively to offer Alabama a scare, or when you assume Auburn stands an opportunity on the street with as inconsistent as they’ve been this season. Georgia has definitely not taken a steep drop off from their SEC title run and nationwide championship look final season, and a revenge state of affairs in Atlanta must be a mighty check for Alabama earlier than the playoff.

Clemson is the opposite well-liked candidate, and for good purpose. Clemson seems to have hit their stride since their shut name with Syracuse. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers can play the identical fashion of protection LSU was able to enjoying towards Alabama, however Clemson presents the type of offensive expertise that LSU was missing. Ought to the 2 packages meet within the School Soccer Playoff for a fourth consecutive season, Clemson might fare higher this time than they did of their assembly final yr within the playoff semifinal.

No matter you do, don’t even take into consideration beginning up the “Could Alabama beat an NFL team” dialogue, as a result of that’s simply absurd and the reply is a powerful “No.”

Are all of us nonetheless so positive Alabama couldn’t beat an @NFL workforce? Actually? #notsure

— Dave Denholm (@TalkSoccer) November Four, 2018

And should you needed one other utterly ridiculous take on Alabama, this one might have taken the cake this weekend…

Tua Tagovailoa is overrated. Tim Tebow with a barely higher arm, and nothing greater than a product of all of the expertise round him at Alabama.

— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) November Four, 2018

Michigan’s protection can be enjoyable to observe towards Alabama as nicely, though the Wolverines would probably fall into the identical drawback with their offense that LSU did.

Will Michigan’s revenge tour get an encore vs. Notre Dame?

Shea Patterson and Michigan have improved since opening the yr in South Bend. Coudl the Wolveriens get a second shot on the Irish this season? Photograph credit score: Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports activities

There’s been an excellent quantity of dialogue starting to brew about Notre Dame and Michigan because the playoff rankings have gotten related. I are likely to consider Michigan is a greater workforce than Notre Dame at this level within the season, however till the Preventing Irish lose a recreation someplace alongside the road, the Wolverines might not be capable of move them within the rating. However is the dialogue value having anyway?

Notre Dame followers will stick to 2 arguments right here. The primary is obvious- the Irish are undefeated. The second is the head-to-head win in Week 1 towards Michigan.

Michigan followers will counter that the Wolverines are improved since that season opener (they’re, however so is Notre Dame) and that the Maize and Blue are enjoying higher general than Notre Dame proper now.

I are likely to agree with that final Michigan argument, and assume that’s part of the rationale why I’d be okay seeing Michigan ranked forward of Notre Dame. And as a stickler for considering head-to-head outcomes ought to have some critical weight within the occasion of shut calls, that’s robust for me to simply accept. For the report, I’ve and can proceed to rank Notre Dame forward of Michigan so long as the Irish are undefeated.

However what occurs if Notre Dame slips up? Ought to a one-loss Michigan transfer forward of a one-loss Notre Dame when the Irish beat the Wolverines head-to-head?

In that state of affairs, I feel there’s a robust case for elevating Michigan because of the high quality of the wins general. Two key wins for Notre Dame have dropped in worth like Enron inventory. Virginia Tech and Stanford might have been prime 25 groups when Notre Dame performed them (Stanford was No. 7 within the AP ballot and Virginia Tech was No. 24 the next week), however the Cardinal simply dropped to 5-Four and the Hokies have fallen to Four-Four, and neither workforce is ranked in both main ballot this week or final week’s playoff rating. Michigan, in the meantime, has a few wins over groups ranked towards the underside of the AP prime 25 (No. 21 Penn State and No. 24 Michigan State) and an enormous recreation with No. Eight Ohio State is arising in a number of weeks. Notre Dame is left banking on their one win towards Michigan and probably No. 13 Syracuse in a number of weeks. Then once more, Syracuse might hand Notre Dame their solely loss.

Whereas I discover the dialogue enjoyable to have with Michigan and Notre Dame followers, it might not find yourself mattering, as each might nonetheless handle to get into the School Soccer Playoff. And that would imply Michigan will get an opportunity so as to add another appointment to their season-long revenge tour. Michigan has already defeated three Huge Ten groups who defeated them a yr in the past — Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State — and the revenge tour is heading to Columbus on the finish of the season. What higher method for Michigan to wrap up their revenge tour than a playoff rematch with Notre Dame to deliver this theme full circle?

UCF is the category of school soccer within the state of Florida

It might not have been the prettiest of wins for UCF on Friday night time in Orlando when the Knights needed to maintain off an enhancing Temple program, however a win is a win in school soccer. And UCF has now gained 21 consecutive video games. It doesn’t matter what you consider their declare to a nationwide title or the place they match within the playoff dialogue, you must respect profitable that many video games in a row. It’s a exceptional profitable streak UCF has going and we’ll see simply what number of extra the Knights can tack on to it.

UCF is probably not in an influence convention, it doesn’t matter what the AAC needs you to assume, however the Knights are driving mighty excessive within the state of Florida proper now. Think about the data of the opposite school soccer packages over the course of UCF’s present 21-game profitable streak:

  • UCF: 21-Zero, AAC champion,Peach Bowl victory, teaching change
  • Florida: 10-10, no bowl look, teaching change
  • Florida State: 11-11, gained Independence Bowl, teaching change
  • Miami: 15-7, misplaced Orange Bowl
  • South Florida: 17-Four, gained Birmingham Bowl

Now throw this into the equation:

Yesterday was the primary day in soccer historical past that Florida, Florida State, U. Miami, and USF all misplaced on the identical day.

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November Four, 2018

IF Miami does not rally vs. Duke, this would be the third time within the final 40 years that Florida, Florida State and Miami all lose on the identical day. Others: Oct. 30, 2004 and Oct. Eight, 2011. (Additionally occurred final weekend, simply not on similar day.)

— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November Four, 2018

That is the primary time that Miami, Florida and Florida State have all misplaced on two consecutive weekends.


Ever ever.

Ever ever ever.

— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November Four, 2018

Florida has improved this season, and I nonetheless consider Miami and Florida State have some good potential within the years to return. However for proper now, UCF is putting whereas the iron is scorching they usually need to be acknowledged as one of the best soccer program within the Sunshine State in the present day. How lengthy it lasts stays to be seen, however stay within the second UCF. You’ve earned it.

What’s next for Kansas?

David Beaty was having his most profitable season in his fourth yr at Kansas, however that wasn’t sufficient to save lots of his job. Photograph credit score: Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports activities

Kansas introduced head coach David Beaty won’t be returning to the sidelines in Lawrence after this season. Though Beaty won’t depart this system till the top of the season, it appeared a training change was going to be imminent with new athletic director Jeff Lengthy employed by the college. Until Beaty managed to point out some indicators of enchancment with the soccer workforce this season, it was wanting probably a change would occur quickly.

The information of the teaching change comes as Kansas has gained probably the most video games in a season underneath Beaty with a month to play (three wins), however a report of 6-39 up thus far is troublesome to get previous. However one should ask what precisely was Kansas anticipating at this level beneath Beaty? Contemplating this system he took over, what was the bar for success by the top of the fourth season, and have been there not sufficient indicators of enchancment this season?

However in fact, crucial query now turns into what precisely does Kansas do next? Is there a coach on the market that can are available and rework Kansas into one thing it solely has turn into to be as soon as each 15 years or so?

Bret Bielema has been thrown round a bunch ever since Lengthy — who employed Bielema at Arkansas — took the Kansas job, however Bielema in all probability isn’t going to return to teaching school soccer at Kansas when he nonetheless has sufficient cache to obtain curiosity type another potential suitors (I feel Maryland can be a great match, for instance). Les Miles has additionally been a fast and straightforward identify to throw round, however that may solely be a short lived repair for a program in determined want of getting a coach able to construct one thing with an id that can be based mostly on altering the best way the sport is performed somewhat than making an attempt to maintain up with the remainder of the Massive 12. Merely put, Kansas must embrace a unique id, one that may stand out and drive groups across the convention to play in another way from the wide-open air raid offense that was on show within the West Virginia-Texas and Oklahoma-Texas Tech video games this previous weekend. Kansas gained’t sustain with that.

Triple-option could possibly be one method to give it a shot, particularly after witnessing what Military was able to doing at Oklahoma earlier this season, and there are a handful of coaches that could possibly be good matches to offer that a shot within the Huge 12.

It’s additionally value mentioning Kansas is making a training change at a time when Kansas State might be going to be making a change someday quickly with Invoice Snyder persevering with to climb up there in years. Getting this rent proper is an absolute should for Lengthy, particularly after Iowa State appears to have made a superb rent with Matt Campbell.

Is Bobby Petrino the next to go?

He in all probability ought to be. Louisville is regressing shortly as a program. Keep in mind simply two years in the past when No. Three Louisville and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson took eventual nationwide champion Clemson right down to the wire? Quick-forward to immediately and the Cardinals are already ineligible for a bowl berth this season after struggling a 77-16 loss at Clemson this weekend.

Louisville’s solely two wins this season have come towards Indiana State and Western Kentucky, and this isn’t even one of many good years for the Hilltoppers. The season began out with a 51-14 pounding in Orlando towards Alabama, however few actually gave that end result a lot thought contemplating how good Alabama was anticipated to be (which, in fact, they’re), however Louisville has additionally been pounded by Georgia Tech (66-31) and Wake Forest (56-35) earlier than attending to the Clemson debacle. Additionally they misplaced to Virginia by a rating of 27-Three and misplaced to a woeful Florida State staff, 28-24, at house.

It’s in all probability time to maneuver on from Petrino, however the issue could possibly be there isn’t sufficient cash to purchase a method out of the contract. Nicely, there’s all the time cash within the banana stand.

Military retains Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for first time ever

If Kansas and Louisville are wanting for a brand new head coach, Military head coach Jeff Monken might definitely be a candidate value monitoring. After taking Military to back-to-back bowl victories for the primary time since 1984 and 1985, Monken already has the Black Knights eligible for a 3rd straight bowl recreation following Military’s win over Air Pressure this weekend. It will mark the primary time in program historical past Military will play in a bowl recreation in three consecutive seasons. The win over Air Drive made just a little extra historical past for the Military program too, because the Black Knights retained possession of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the primary time in program historical past.

Military will maintain the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy in West Level for one other yr. Photograph credit score: Danny Wild/USA TODAY Sports activities

The CIC Trophy is a three-way trophy to the winner of the annual collection between Military, Air Drive, and Navy. If one academy wins their video games towards the opposite two, the trophy is theirs to maintain till it should go to a different victor. Military gained the trophy for the primary time since 1996. However by defeating Air Pressure on Saturday, Military has already created a worst-case state of affairs of a three-way tie with Air Pressure and Navy. Per the trophy’s custom, within the occasion of a tie, the earlier yr’s winner retains possession of the trophy. So even when Navy beats Military on this season’s Military-Navy Recreation, the Black Knights will get to maintain the trophy for one other yr.

Military is now in place for a bit extra historical past as nicely. Military has by no means gained 10 video games in consecutive seasons. At 7-2 with two FCS opponents arising (Lafayette and Colgate) earlier than dealing with Navy in Philadelphia, Monken positive has an opportunity to make some extra historical past with Military. The potential of the primary 11-win season in Military historical past can also be on the desk now as properly.

UTEP will get within the win column

4 weeks in the past we had 4 FBS packages and not using a win this season. Then UCLA gained their first recreation of the yr. Then Nebraska picked up a win. San Jose State obtained off the bench final week, leaving simply UTEP to discover a win this season. On Saturday, the Miners dug in and acquired their first win of the yr with a 34-26 win over Rice. The win snapped a 20-game dropping streak for UTEP.

UTEP did have some shut calls this season, so a win appeared sure to occur for them sooner or later. A 27-20 loss to New Mexico State, a 27-24 loss to North Texas, and a 31-24 loss to Louisiana Tech confirmed UTEP might hold round. Rice was simply the right opponent to seek out the win, because the Owls have only one win this yr, a 31-28 victory over Prairie View A&M within the season opener.

With no extra winless groups in school soccer this season, we can focus totally on the unbeatens, of which there are 4 remaining on the FBS degree: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and UCF.

North Dakota State and Mount Union clinch playoff berths

There could also be a couple of extra weeks of normal season FBS school soccer to type via, however the seasons are coming to an in depth and getting ready for the playoffs on the decrease ranges of school soccer. Not surprisingly, a few acquainted names for those that take note of these ranges are already booked for their respective playoffs this season.

North Dakota State, the defending FCS nationwide champions and winners of six of the final seven FCS nationwide titles, clinched their spot on this yr’s FCS playoff by clinching the Missouri Valley Soccer Convention title this weekend. The Bison are the top-ranked workforce within the FCS and simply dispatched of Bo Pelini and Youngstown State, with the Penguins actually struggling this yr. The one different FCS staff that has grabbed an automated qualifier for the playoff this season is Colgate out of the Patriot League. That is Colgate’s first look since 2015.

On the Division Three degree, Mount Union is certainly one of 12 groups to have clinched a berth within the D3 playoff area. Mount Union is not any stranger to the D3 playoffs, as they’ve performed for the nationwide championship 20 occasions since 1993, profitable 13 of these titles. Because the No. 1 group in D3 and driving the nation’s longest profitable streak in all of NCAA soccer (24 video games, take that, UCF!), the Purple Raiders will certainly be the favourite to win all of it once more this yr. However they may have some stiff competitors from perennial powers like Wisconsin-Whitewater, Mary Hardin-Baylor, and St. John’s. All three have additionally clinched an automated spot within the D3 playoff subject.

D3 playoff berths clinched (per @d3football):

Berry (SAA)
Brockport (E8)
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (SCIAC)
Eureka (NACC)
Husson (ECFC)
Martin Luther (UMAC)
Mary Hardin-Baylor (ASC)
Mount Union (OAC)
St. John’s (MIAC)
Trine (MIAA)
UW-Whitewater (WIAC)
Whitworth (NWC)

— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) November Four, 2018

Perhaps it’s as a result of I went to a Division 2 faculty, however I actually do encourage you to take a look at a number of the playoff motion going on at these decrease ranges. The standard gained’t be nearly as good because the FBS degree, in fact, however the ardour and locals are really what makes school soccer nice.

Who’s In?

Alright, let’s do that, and with out a lot delay since I’ve already taken up a great portion of your time.

Right here’s who I’d have as my prime 4 as of this second in time:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Michigan

As a result of the season doesn’t finish as we speak and there are some huge video games nonetheless to be performed within the common season and the convention championship weekend, right here’s how I’m at present projecting the School Soccer Playoff area:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. West Virginia
  4. Ohio State

I’m about able to go together with the concept West Virginia will win the Huge 12 which might include the Mountaineers operating the desk this month in Huge 12 play after which taking down Texas for a second time within the Massive 12 championship recreation. It is going to be a house win towards a prime 5 Oklahoma that may increase West Virginia on the finish of the yr to be in a win-and-in state of affairs within the Massive 12 championship recreation with only one loss.

I additionally consider Ohio State will discover a approach to beat Michigan State this week after which play their greatest recreation shortly within the common season finale at residence towards Michigan, dumping the Wolverines within the loss column for the second time this season and thus eliminating Michigan from the playoff image and giving a one-loss Huge Ten champion Ohio State the ultimate spot within the playoff.

Georgia gained’t get in because of a loss to Alabama within the SEC Championship Recreation, and Notre Dame shall be unable to get by Syracuse within the Bronx. Sorry UCF. Even and not using a loss, the Knights nonetheless gained’t get an invitation from the choice committee with an undefeated Alabama and Clemson and one-loss champs within the Massive Ten and Huge 12.

Not this yr.

Group of 5 Image: Welcome again Mountain West Convention

It wasn’t so way back the Group of 5 slot within the New Yr’s Six was clearly going to be going to the champion of the American Athletic Convention. Which will nonetheless be the case if UCF goes undefeated, however the Mountain West Convention is firmly within the hunt now with a pair of rising and rising contenders in Fresno State and Utah State.

Listed here are my prime 5 New Years Six contenders from the Group of 5 proper now:

  1. UCF
  2. Fresno State
  3. Utah State
  4. Cincinnati
  5. UAB

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