College football Week 15 takeaways
The Conference Championships are set, and playoff berths and other bowl spots will be on the line. The ACC Championship between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson is the headliner, and one of two rematches we'll be watching (No. 10 Oklahoma vs No. 6 Iowa State is the other). No. 1 Alabama will play No.7 Florida in the SEC and NO.14 Northwestern plays No. 4 Ohio State for the second time in three years in the Big Ten. No. 9 Cincinnati will try to solidify a New Year's Six bowl at a minimum, while other G5 teams will try to help their own cases. Update: The Sun Belt Championship has been cancelled.
The Wildcats lost to Arizona State 70-7 last weekend, leading to the prompt dismissal of Kevin Sumlin after three seasons. The Wildcats finished the season 0-5 and were really only competitive against USC. We'll see if the next coach has better luck.
UCLA on the rise
There were many questions about Chip Kelly's future with the Bruins, but I think they've shown growth this year. UCLA is 3-3 and in 3rd place in the PAC-12 South. They obviously want to be higher than that but with a win this weekend, the Bruins will match last year's win total in five less games.
Just when Florida needed a win the most, the Gators couldn't pull it off. The defense repeatedly gave up big plays to an LSU offense that had been struggling most of the year. It's not all doom and gloom for Florida, but this likely ended the Gators' playoff bid.
Rutgers no longer a joke?
In the first year under the second stint of head coach Greg Schiano, the Scarlet Knights are 3-5 with a chance to win a fourth Big Ten game on Saturday. That's -- more than they've won since joining the conference in 2014. They've gotten key contributions from transfers and had chances to win other games against Michigan and Illinois. No, Rutgers is not a good team, but it is no longer seems to be a laughing stock either.
What could've been if JT Daniels began the season
I've never been a big Daniels fan, but imagine if Georgia didn't have to solve all their questions at quarterback to start the season? The Bulldogs are still ranked No. 9 with a 6-2 record, but maybe that improves if Daniels plays from the beginning. The offense certainly seems to be hitting its astride with him running the show. And don't even get me started on if Jamie Newman had stayed.
Mac Brown is building something at UNC
We all expected the offense to show out on Saturday, but the Tar Heels defense put on a tremendous performance. They held one of the most prolific offenses in the country to just 26 points. If Mack Brown gets that kind of performance every week in the future, the Tar Heels are going to be dangerous.
PAC-12 Champ does not deserve playoff consideration
I've seen and heard a lot of people making an argument for the PAC-12 champ being a playoff contender. They'll say, "Well, if Ohio State can get in at 6-0, then why can't USC?" The answer is very simple. While both teams have played a lesser number of games than the rest of the field, Ohio State simply looks far better than their opponents, and USC doesn't. The Buckeyes have cruised to wins in most weeks, while the Trojans have had to claw their way to wins against weaker competition.