Hind sight now shows it was very much a win and you’re in situation for the Utes, and unfortunately the Ducks had something to say about that. Utah didn’t bring their A game, at least it seemed that way at least. But looking at the stats for the game, and it was actually a pretty evenly matched game. I was in the unfortunate situation of playing a Christmas concert rather than being able to watch the game, so my view on this game (for the most part) is based off the couple moments I did see prior to half time, and the stats for the game. But before I delve into my feelings on that whole thing, lets check out the final CFP rankings for the season.
Alright, so due to the limited number of games played, and some… over reactions (in my opinion) things are a bit more messy this week than they were last week.
Only 13 teams in the goldilocks zone, last week there were 17. I have some explanation of where the biggest moves in the later paragraphs.
The three overrated teams this week are Bayler in third. Why does the loss not affect their ranking? Honest question. Sure they took Oklahoma to overtime. But they still lost, right? I’m not saying drop them 6 or 7 spots. Shoot, put them ahead of Utah. But no movement? Sure whatever. Moving on to Cincinnati, who is tied for the most overrated, and they have been hanging out in this zone for far too long. Now the bearcats did drop for their loss. A spot. One. Again, I’m not looking for 6 or 7. But, really, one spot? When they have not been in the top 30 in efficiency ever, all season long. Maybe you’re noticing a theme here as well. And tied for the most overrated is Virginia. Now this little rant is not intended as a slam on them, but once again they dropped one spot! One measly spot. And this one wasn’t even close! 62-17 loss. Yes it was to Clemson. But why on earth does that warrant a spot in the top 25? Oh, right, because the NY6 bowl has to go to the highest rated team in the conference, which can’t be Clemson cause they are going to the playoffs. So keep Virginia ranked artificially so they can meet that tie in. My eye roll can’t be big enough.
Now for the underrated teams. Wisconsin comes in at #3. They move into the underrated category this week for two reasons. #1 - their loss somehow also did not affect their ranking - though that would have made them more underrated. #2 - their efficiency rating moved up to #5 past Utah. So again, loss, and no movement. Check. #2 underrated is Utah. Yep. That "embarrassing" loss dropped them 6 spots in the rankings. Below 2 teams that didn’t even play in their conference championship games. Got it. But like I have been saying all along, you gotta win to get the credit. And #3 is still Alabama.
Since Florida didn’t move the still get a gold star. Yeah!
Alright, my little opinion on the game that I didn’t get to really see. Passing yards equal, exactly equal. Huntley did throw as many interceptions in this one game as he had all season. I know one came in the end zone. Offensively, that was the biggest hit statistically. Rushing Utah was a 120 yard disadvantage there. I understand Verdell had two touchdown runs in the fourth, one for 70ish, and another for 40ish. Say the defense stops those 2 runs and gives the offense a bit more time on the field, Utah maybe puts it into overtime. So two plays on defense had 2 plays that hurt them statistically. Utah struggled mightily on third down, getting only 4 of 14, but did you know Oregon had the exact same stat. Yup, 4 of 14 on 3rd. Penalties, Utah only had 8 for 48 yards. I don’t know the timing, just the totals, so I can’t say how they affected drives. Oregon had 12 for 95. Utah even won the possession battle at 30:40 to 29:20. Not huge but they had it. So, to say this was an embarrassing loss, I would personally disagree. Disappointing, certainly! Disheartening, definitely! But far from embarrassing. The teams were even, outside two offensive plays and two defensive plays, Utah was right there with Oregon. Still an amazing season, with an opportunity to play yet another game still. I’m excited for the seniors to move on and for many of them to have some great opportunities at the next level. I’m excited to see what next year holds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Utah back in the hunt for the championship game again, even with all the talent they are losing on the defensive side of the ball. The only real competition in the south will be USC, maybe a bit from ASU. But don’t be surprised if Utah is playing Oregon again in next years’ championship game. Maybe with better results.