College football Week 14 takeaways
Four conferences have their matchups set for their title games, and the Big Ten has one of its two teams determined. No. 2 Notre Dame will have a rematch against No. 3 Clemson in the ACC. No 1. Alabama takes on No. 6 Florida in the SEC. No. 9 Iowa State will have a rematch of a thriller from earlier this season against No. 11 Oklahoma. No. 25 Louisiana and No. 18 Coastal Carolina will square off in the Sun Belt. No. 14 Northwestern has clinched the Big Ten West and will face either Indiana or Ohio State depending on the Buckeyes' eligibility. It looks like Cincinnati and Tulsa will meet in the AAC Championship as well. Other conference matchups are still TBD. Conference championship weekend is Dec18-19. There will also be other games involving non-champions that day.
Best game of the year?
After Coastal Carolina saw Liberty cancel, it pulled together a last minute game against No. 13 BYU, and boy did these teams deliver. A back-and-forth game saw BYU go into the half with a 14-13 lead. The Coastal defense did a great job containing the explosive BYU offense all game, holding the Cougars to a season-low in points. The Chanticleers capitalized on a Tyler Algeier fumble with a field goal, then drove down for a touchdown after forcing a punt. BYU got one last chance to take the lead, but wide receiver Dax Milne was stopped at the one yard line as time expired, giving Coastal a 22-17 win and ending the BYU playoff conversation.
Coastal Carolina enters the NY6 picture
Because of that game, Coastal Carolina should leap BYU when the rankings come out later today. At 10-0, the Chanticleers have two games remaining and have clinched a spot in the Sun Belt Championship. If they finish undefeated, they should get plenty of consideration for an New Years Six bowl game, although they'll have stiff competition from Cincinnati.
Iowa State (and Oklahoma) may have a playoff shot
It's a bit of a long shot, sure, but both these teams are ranked highly enough in the playoff rankings to have a chance to sneak into the field. Iowa State is rightfully ahead of Oklahoma because of a head-to-head win, but the Sooners could avenge that in the Big 12 Championship. They would also need a few teams in front of them to slip up, but there's a small glimmer of hope.
Alabama could run the table
Of all the teams that Bama has played, it was Ole Miss who gave it the biggest scare. That game seems to awaken the team, which has proceeded to blow out every opponent since then, including what was then No.3 Georgia. Florida is the biggest challenge remaining. While the Gators have some mismatches, the Crimson Tide offense is on too much of a roll.
PAC-North coming down to final week
Oregon was probably the favorite going into the season, but the Ducks have dropped two in a row and sit behind Washington. Luckily, Washington lost to Stanford over the weekend, setting up a play-in game between the Ducks and Huskies in Eugene this weekend.