Week 15 college football review: What we learned from an inspired LSU performance

Justin Fields of Ohio State prepares to throw a pass.
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Matthew Lowrimore

NCAAF · 1 year ago

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Matthew has been with Pickswise for a while now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passions are college football and UFC, and those are the sports he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will put in the research to try and achieve this.

Week 15 of the 2020 college football season is in the books, but this past weekend gave us a much clearer picture of how the College Football Playoff might get selected. One team in particular blew any chance to clinch a spot and a reversal of a previous ruling kept the Big Ten in the mix. Let’s look at a few takeaways from this past weekend’s slate of games.

Florida is not ready for a National Championship

The Gators had already clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game heading into this past Saturday’s game against the LSU Tigers. This Florida team has been electric all season, averaging 41.2 points per game. Their quarterback, Kyle Trask, is putting up monster numbers and having a legit Heisman type campaign. He was even the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy for stretches of this season. All the Gators had to do was beat a rebuilding LSU team and they would have had a chance to play their way into the College Football Playoff. At least that was their projected path to the top four.

Clearly the Gators were looking ahead because they did not play well against the Tigers. Sure, their offense put up 34 points, but their defense struggled again. Defense has been an issue for the Gators this season. This performance also gives us an idea of how they might look against Alabama in the SEC Championship. If the Tigers can score 37 points against this defense, should we expect the Tide to put up 40+?

A performance like this proves to me that Florida is not ready to take that next step. Dan Mullen did not do a good enough job preparing his team for this game and now Florida has a meaningless SEC Championship in terms of the College Football Playoff picture.

Ohio State clearly got their way

It was all but official that the Ohio State Buckeyes chances to play for a National Championship and a Big Ten Championship for that matter were down the drain because Michigan was forced to cancel their game this past weekend. This was due to the Big Ten ruling before the season that “A team must play at least six games to qualify for the Big Ten title game”. The Buckeyes had become ineligible because they only played five games. However, a last second reversal of their own rules by the Big Ten now allows the Buckeyes to play in the title game. Assuming they beat Northwestern, they will be 6-0 and will all but likely make the top four.

So even though Indiana lost to the Buckeyes, they would have played Northwestern for the chance to be Big Ten Champions. This obviously would have helped with recruiting, among other incentives. Basically, the Big Ten took away the Hoosiers’ chances for silverware for following the rules they set. I am by no means saying that it was Ohio State’s fault that they had several games cancelled. Though, I do not think the Big Ten should have reversed their ruling for one team.

It does not seem fair to change the rules at the last second and punish a team for playing the required amount of games. If the Buckeyes were not involved in this dilemma, this reversal probably never happens. It was likely just a tactic to get the Buckeyes into the playoffs.

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

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