What We Learned: Week 11

b1gMichigan State’s Defense is Good.  This isn’t really something new we learned, but we have confirmation.  The Spartans did such a good job on Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes that Ohio State players were complaining about the playacting and ball distribution after the game.  The headline story from the game was all about Ezekiel Elliott’s post game comments, but it should have been about the defense.  Elliott implied he didn’t get enough yards because the play calling was bad.  It may have been, but it was also because Michigan State is very good.  Speaking of which,

Ohio State isn’t the same team as last year’s playoff team.  Last season Ohio State meandered through the regular season winning all but one game.  They didn’t look like a playoff team most of the year.  All of a sudden, they caught lightning in a bottle.  The last three games of the season, the Buckeyes were the best team in the country.   This season Ohio State has looked more like the pedestrian regular season team than the elite playoff.  After Saturday’s loss, they probably won’t have the opportunity to turn it on in the playoffs.

LSU fell apart.  What if every question mark your team had was answered in theLouisiana_State_University_(block_logo).svg negative?  That’s pretty much what has happened to LSU.  When the first playoff rankings came out the Tigers had arguably the best resume in the country.  Their wins over Florida and Mississippi State were as good or better than anyone else’s.  But, the Tigers still had questions.  Now we know the answers, and they’re bad, very bad.  LSU has lost three games in a row, by double digits.  Things are so bad no the bayou they are considering canning a 100-win, national championship coach and paying him $15,000,000.00 to go away.  This fall was quick.

Don’t Bet on Arkansas. Lines are out for most of this weekend’s games.  Take a look at the Razorbacks.  You may think you have them figured out; you don’t.  Is there a more unpredictable team in the country?  No one thought they would go win at Ole Miss and at LSU, then lose at home to Miss State.

2015-05-27_05-36-18-PMArkansas-Razorback-LogoSome games it looks like the defense is going to be as good as last year.  They held Alabama to 27 and LSU to 14.  Then they gave up 52 and 51 to the Mississippi schools.  I’m pretty certain they are going to beat Missouri handily, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Georgia Tech is the Most Disappointing Team in America.  The poor, poor Yellow Jackets have had a rough year.  In August there was a significant amount of chatter about GT being a Top 4 playoff contender.  They returned enough talent to compete to win the ACC.  It hasn’t worked out that way.  Injuries and bad breaks have wrecked the Tech season.  Georgia Tech is 3-8 and can only hope for an upset against Georgia to salvage anything of this year.

hFAmbhIh_400x400The Pac-12 is still around.  You can be forgiven if you’ve forgotten about the Pac 12.  Oregon removed themselves from national championship conversation early in they year.  Each team that seemed to rise from the group to national relevance, disappeared just as quickly.  The conference has been out of playoff contention for a few weeks now, but they will have an effect.  This week Stanford plays Notre Dame.  The Cardinal can knock the Irish out of the playoff or give them the quality win they need to justify their Top 4 ranking.  Other than that, you can feel free to forget about the West coast powers.

About Billy Koehler

Billy Koehler is the founder of ThirdDownDraw.com and a contributing writer at DixielandSports.com. He has been covering college football since 2006. You can follow him on twitter @billykoehler.
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