It happens every year, and it finally happened this weekend. Yesterday was upset Saturday in college football, with 3 of the 4 top ranked teams going down in flames like a giant molotov cocktail to the College Football Playoff rankings. It was the first time the 3 of the top 4 ranked teams all lost in the same weekend since 1985.
Michigan, Clemson and Washington all suffered their first loss of the year, which will cause a major shakeup in the rankings on Tuesday, and changes the calculus for which teams have the inside track to the Final Four.
Here’s a rundown of the big losers from the weekend, and how it all went down.
#2 Clemson finally pays for their mistakes – When it comes to underperforming expectations this year, the conversation begins and ends with Clemson. After a year filled with underwhelming wins and near losses, the Tigers finally coughed up their first game of the year against Pitt yesterday. Dabo Swinnney’s decision to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Pitt 35-yard line, with less than a minute left in the 4th quarter, was a dud. It’s great if it works. It didn’t. The result was a game winning 48-yard Pitt field goal as time expired, and a self-inflicted loss that should bounce Clemson out of the playoff discussion.
ICYMI: Here’s Pitt Kicker Chris Blewitt’s Game Winning 48 Yard Field Goal to upset Number 2 Clemson 43-42 pic.twitter.com/bSKp2vUWzT
— Donald (@BurghPSUFaninPA) November 13, 2016
#3 Michigan can’t handle the Hawkeyes – Jim Harbaugh and Michigan were undefeated and crushing the competition on Alabama type levels. All signs pointed to the Wolverines heading into their showdown with Ohio State without a loss. Last night against Iowa was just one of those nights. The Wolverine offense wasn’t rolling and couldn’t put Iowa away. The Hawkeyes managed to hang around in a low scoring, ugly game, punctuated by a game winning field goal and a 14-13 upset. Michigan isn’t out of the playoff picture. If they win out, they should still be in.
#4 Washington meets Sam Darnold – USC quarterback Sam Darnold is the truth. Darnold outplayed Husky Heisman hopeful Jake Browning, who threw 3 picks, in a decisive 26-13 Trojan victory. Chris Peterson and youthful Washington’s entry into the national conversation was a surprise, and the Huskies will be loaded with returning starters next year. It’s disappointing, but Chris Peterson is ahead of schedule in the big picture.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 13, 2016