The week 11 schedule featured many games, but there was only one that mattered. The days leading into LSU versus Alabama, had the entire football nation anticipating a contest considered by many as the game of the century.
With the committee revealing their top four playoff teams earlier this week, the results of
Saturday's games held major implications for teams in the top four, and those positioned outside. In summary, the playoff picture became more clear after this week of football.
What We Learned In Week 11
- The Game of the Century -
Alabama stumbled out of the gate with two uncharacteristic fumbles by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, which LSU was able to convert into points. Things were going the Tigers way until Jaylen Waddle's 77-yard punt return for a touchdown got the Crimson Tide on the board. From that point, the Tigers completely dominated the first half of the game, scoring 32 points.
Then the third quarter happened and the Crimson Tide took over by scoring twice, and relegating Joe Burrow's offense to no points, setting the stage for a thrilling fourth quarter.
The last quarter of the game helped justify the 'game of the century' moniker, as both teams
traded points like boxers in a heavyweight fight. When we all though LSU had put the game late in the contest, Tagovailoa hits Devonta Smith for an 85-yard touchdown to pull within five. In the end, Alabama did not have enough to beat LSU.
This contest was one of the most defining games of the decade. For LSU, they became the second team in history to beat four AP Top-10 teams in one season; the last team to accomplish this feat was the 1987 Miami Hurricanes. Depending how on the outcome of their remaining games, LSU likely clinched a playoff spot after this win. For Alabama, although their playoff position may have been salvaged thanks to Minnesota, their road to a sixth consecutive CFP appearance just got tougher.
Penn State and Minnesota engaged in one of the most competitive contests of the season. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, when your quarterback throws three interceptions in a game, it is a recipe for defeat. For the Gophers, they remain undefeated.
Chase Young's absence did not affect Ohio State one bit against Maryland. If anything, his presence would have made the result more lopsided than it was. The Buckeyes are for real.
A win is win. This was the moral of the story in Baylor's victory over TCU. The Bears produced only six points during regulation; once in overtime, they took over and won.
The post Willie Taggart era in Florida State started the right way, with a convincing victory against Boston College.
Once again, SMU was engaged in a wild shootout, this time against East Carolina. They prevailed mainly due to the efficiency of their quarterback, Shane Buechele.
Star running back Jonathan Taylor was all the offense Wisconsin had and needed, as they pulled out a hard-fought victory over Iowa. After his performance Saturday, he should not be ignored in the Heisman Trophy race.
Heartbreak seems to be a theme for Michigan State. On this day, they surrendered a 21-point lead and lost their contest to Illinois. At this point, they would not even qualify for a bowl game.
The Miami Hurricanes have a bright future with freshman quarterback Jarren Williams. On Saturday, Williams accounted for six touchdowns as they blew away Louisville in their contest.
Clemson game against NC State was over after the first series of the game. Despite this hardly being a signature win, Minnesota's win over Penn State may have vaulted them in a playoff position.
Even with Georgia's win over Missouri, their playoff hopes remain in limbo. For Georgia, winning their remaining games and reaching the conference championship, which would likely feature LSU or Alabama is a must. A win in the conference championship may present a strong case for a playoff spot.
Week 11 Honor Roll
Clyde Edwards-Helaire - Running back (LSU) Joe Burrow - Quarterback (LSU)
Shane Buechele - Quarterback (SMU) LeVante Bellamy - Running back (W.Mich)
Rashod Bateman - Wide Receiver (Minnesota) Mohamoud Diabate - Linebacker (Florida)
Antoine Winfield Jr.- Defensive Back (Minnesota) Jonathan Taylor - Running back (Wisconsin)
Kedon Slovis - Quarterback (USC) Kylen Granson - Tight End (SMU)
Davonta Smith - Wide Receiver (Alabama) Xavier Jones - Running back (SMU)
Kyle Trask - Quarterback (Florida) Sam James - Wide Receiver (West Virginia)
Hamsah Nasirildeen - Safety (Florida State) Shane Buechele - Quarterback (SMU)
Rakeem Boyd - Running Back (Arkansas) Amon-Ra St. Brown - Wide Receiver (USC)
Tua Tagovailoa - Quarterback (Alabama) Tanner Morgan - Quarterback (Minnesota)