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Week 13 Recap

by Big Al

While we didn't have much in the way of last-minute excitement, it was a very entertaining weekend with plenty of games that were in doubt until late. And it was rivalry week, which is always worth the price of admission.

Ole Miss 31 - Mississippi State 28

Ole Miss kicked things off with an upset win that wrapped up a Mississippi State year that started off well, then never found any traction. Dan Mullen is leaving, as pretty much everyone expected sometime or another. He was too big of a name with too much success to stay at MSU, and he needed to get someplace else where he could have a chance to have less, erm, variable success.

UCF 49 - USF 42

And just like that, UCF is a viable contender for the playoffs. This was their biggest win of the year and, while certainly not an unignorable statement, was at least an emphatically made one. I don't think the playoff committee can entirely ignore an undefeated UCF. They will climb in the rankings this week.

Ohio State 31 - Michigan 20

Ohio State also made a statement, and that is that they are still in charge in the Big Ten East. Michigan gave it a run, but the Buckeyes figured out what they were doing and got it done. And it helped that their backup quarterback showed that he is nobody to be sneezed at. He's good. However, it should be noted that Michigan would have had a much better chance if they hadn't been playing quarterback roulette all year, mostly due to injury. The Wolverines have some soul-searching to do between now and the bowl game, though.

Auburn 26 - Alabama 14

Auburn looked very, very good here. They were a complete team on both sides of the ball. From what I saw, they looked a lot more dominant than the final score. They are the real deal and, if they can get by Georgia for the SEC championship, they are a shoo-in for a playoff spot. I have no idea how they got two losses, but that team I saw out there was better than a two-loss team.

I don't really know what to say about Alabama here. Alabama looked bad out there. I think injuries have taken too much of a toll on the Crimson Tide. And Jalen Hurts can't do it all by himself, not that he wasn't above trying. Sadly, he needed to.

Oklahoma 59 - West Virginia 31

Oklahoma is halfway to the playoffs. They have one more game to go, and it is not going to be easy. A rematch against TCU looms. We'll talk about that later, but good job Oklahoma for getting this done.

LSU 45 - Texas A&M 21

And then Kevin Sumlin was gone. Still not sure how it went wrong, but it did. He had the Johnny Maziel years, but that was kind of it. He couldn't capitalize on that success. Though the return of Alabama in full force pretty well put a hard cap on that anyway. All the same, he will be missed.

Stanford 38 - Notre Dame 20

Notre Dame seems to be having an extended Miami hangover. They lost something in that game, and it was more than just the game. They don't seem like the same team as before that game. I'm not denying that they are good, because they are. But they aren't the same Notre Dame as earlier this season.

Stanford, meanwhile, may not be contending for national honors, but they are right back in the Pac-12 race with a berth in the championship game. David Shaw is good at this.

Washington 41 - Washington State 14

And speaking of teams that aren't themselves from earlier this year, I give you Washington State. What on earth happened here? Aside from an unholy butt-kicking, which I figured out all on my own. Washington clearly was not happy about their play earlier in the year, but seems to have figured a few things out. A very impressive win.

Pittsburgh 24 - Miami 14

Wait... what? You're kidding me, right?

It's hard to overstate the importance of this result which... um... actually didn't affect much of anything. In the conference or nationally. Beat Clemson next week and Miami is still ACC champions and still in the playoffs. So good for Pitt, great win, and they are and should be rightly proud of this win. But Miami can be somewhat forgiven for looking ahead.

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