It was championship week and it came with a rematch between the Tigers and Fighting Irish. A game that came with possible playoff positions on the line. It also had many hoping for another game like the one they had on November 7 that saw them go to double overtime before Notre Dame got the win 47-40.
Other things that this week brought was closer games than expected in the SEC and B1G games, an undefeated needing a last second field goal to stay that way and more cancellations due to Covid. It was another weekend that had some good, some bad, and some ugly.
No. 3 Clemson
Since losing the game to the Fighting Irish back in November the Tigers had to hear about how good Notre Dame was from not only their fans but their head coach Brian Kelly and quarterback Ian Book. Both of which guaranteed another win over them when they met in the ACC championship game. To say the Clemson players took offense to that would be an understatement and they seemed to come out on a mission. After Notre Dame took a three point lead (their only lead of the game) the Tigers took control, winning 34-10 on a night that Trevor Lawrence showed why he is expected to become Clemson’s first #1 overall pick in the next NFL Draft. One thing that made a huge difference was back in November the Fighting Irish had 518 total yards of offense and in the championship game they were held to 219. Then you take into account that in the first matchup Tiger RB Travis Etienne was held to 28 rushing yards and in the championship game he went off for 124 rushing yards and a touchdown.
No. 5 Texas A&M
The Aggies took it to Tennessee 34-13 and feel they deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff. Their only loss came against No. 1 Alabama earlier this season. Texas A&M ends the season at 8-1 on a day that saw Aggie QB Kellen Mond go 26 of 32 for 281 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher stated after their game that he feels his team definitely deserves to be in and he feels his team can play with anybody.
How can you put the undefeated No. 1 Crimson Tide on the list of the Bad? The reason is because the SEC championship game seemed to have no defense involved in it. The two teams combined for 1,067 total yards and 98 total points. Every time it felt like Alabama was getting ready to pull away Florida would come storming back. For those that tuned in expecting to see some good old fashioned SEC defense, sorry, those do not exist this season.
The Trojans had an opportunity to not only finish undefeated but also win the Pac12 championship against Oregon and keep their name in the conversation for the playoff. That was spoiled by Oregon when they beat USC 31-24. It was going to be a long shot for the Trojans to get in to begin with but that is no longer on the board and USC has also now stated that they have decided they will not accept a bowl bid this year.
Many expected the Buckeyes to roll against Northwestern but that really did not happen. Ohio St QB Justin Fields, who was expected to challenge Trevor Lawrence for the Heisman trophy before the season began, went 12-27 for only 114 yards and two interceptions on the day. The Buckeyes climbed on RB Trey Sermon’s back and he carried them to the win with 331 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. Ohio St won the game 22-10 and now will wait to see if half of wins others have had this year will be enough to keep themselves in the top four.
The pandemic has caused so many issues this year and many like postponements, cancelations, and moving game venues. The latest came Saturday when it was announced that one of the semifinal locations, the Rose Bowl, would be changed due to Covid-19. It will now be played in Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas.