Week 6 of the college football season certainly didn’t disappoint.
Here are five things that happened on Saturday that could affect the College Football Playoff picture.
MORE: Full Week 6 scoreboard
Texas just hangs on against Oklahoma
No. 19 Texas defeated No. 7 Oklahoma 48-45 Saturday in one of the most entertaining games of the year.
The Longhorns were rolling most of the day. Sam Ehlinger accounted for five touchdowns (three rushing), Lil’Jordan Humphrey shredded the Sooners’ secondary, and Tom Herman’s defense kept the Oklahoma offensive attack under wraps — for the first three quarters, anyway.
Lincoln Riley dialed up some incredible vertical passing calls in the fourth quarter, and Oklahoma would tie the game at 45. Kyler Murray accounted for five scores on his own, and Marquise Brown caught nine balls for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
But Cameron Dicker nailed a game-winning field goal with under a minute to play for the Longhorns, who could find themselves in the top 10 of the AP Poll on Sunday. Oklahoma, meanwhile, should fall out of the top 10, and its College Football Playoff hopes took a massive hit. The Sooners can make it with one loss, but there might not be enough quality teams left on the schedule to rebound even if they do run the table.
Florida upsets LSU
No. 22 Florida took down No. 5 LSU on the day Tim Tebow was inducted into the Florida Ring of Honor. And the Gators did it with defense.
Florida held the high-flying LSU rushing attack to a respectable 4.4 yards per carry, while Joe Burrow threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. The Gators scored 13 fourth quarter points to seal the victory.
LSU was 5-0 coming into the game with wins over Miami and Auburn. All things considered, 2018 has been a success thus far for the Tigers. But the schedule isn’t getting any easier. LSU has to face Georgia next week and Alabama two weeks after that. Both games are in Baton Rouge, but yikes.
LSU’s path to the Playoff before today: take care of business against Florida, split the Georgia and Alabama matchups, and they’d have had a shot. Now, LSU will likely have to sweep Georgia and Alabama. To say it won’t be easy would be a gross understatement.
Tua goes wild… again
This guy. Tagovailoa went 10-for-13 for 334 yards and four touchdown passes against Arkansas, averaging a whopping 25.7 yards per attempt and posting a 99.6 QBR.
He looks like the lefty Drew Brees. Alabama’s defense was surprisingly ordinary against the Razorbacks, allowing 31 points. But the game was never close, and Tagovailoa still hasn’t played in a fourth quarter.
He now has 1,161 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions on the season and is looking like a future Heisman winner. This is what Alabama looks like when it has the best quarterback in the nation. And it’s awfully, awfully scary.
Auburn takes loss No. 2
No SEC road game is easy, as Mississippi State proved against Auburn. The Bulldogs stifled the Tigers 23-9, handing Auburn its second loss of the season.
That likely dashes its Playoff hopes; Auburn lost to LSU earlier this season, and LSU’s loss to Florida doesn’t help for strength of schedule purposes.
The Auburn offense struggled. Jarrett Stidham averaged less than six yards per pass attempt. The running game was efficient, but the Tigers only ran it 21 times; that’s not the kind of ratio we’re used to seeing out of Auburn football. Mississippi State, on the other hand, ran the ball a whopping 57 times and controlled the clock from start to finish.
With Kentucky’s loss, it’s looking like Alabama and Georgia are by far the two most likely SEC teams to reach the College Football Playoff. No surprise there.
Notre Dame dominates Virginia Tech in Blacksburg
No. 6 Notre Dame went in to Virginia Tech and won in decisive fashion. The Hokies have one of the best home atmospheres in college football, but the Fighting Irish proved to be too much.
Notre Dame is a scary team with Ian Book at quarterback. He’s not flashy, but he gets the ball where it needs to go, and the Fighting Irish have outstanding weapons. The defense has been really solid all year.
Look at the schedule, and Notre Dame has a smooth road to the College Football Playoff. The Fighting Irish’s toughest remaining road games are at Northwestern and USC, and they’ve banked wins over Michigan, Stanford and Virginia Tech.
Notre Dame should be expected to win every game from here on out. Week 6 was supposed to be the toughest test, and the Fighting Irish passed with flying colors. We’ve seen this movie before — Notre Dame was in Playoff contention deep into last year, too, before falling off a cliff. But Brian Kelly’s squad has all the necessary ingredients to be one of the final four teams standing. Time to go do it.