Okay, I did not see that coming! I mean who really did? The number of top 25 teams that lost this week surprises me, but it’s not that shocking because we get it every year. How many will lose in week five? How about them bouncing back?
Of those eight teams that lost was the Central Florida Golden Knights who had the longest active winning-streak in the regular season snapped in their 35-34 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers.
We also saw Arizona, Utah, TCU and Washington State loss to unranked opponents. Michigan, Texas A&M and Notre Dame lost tough games against ranked opponents.
This makes for an interesting rest of the season as most of teams likely knocked themselves out of the playoffs already. Despite Michigan losing, they could still make playoffs if they do what they are suppose too. But let’s see about the rest of the teams as we take a look at this week’s top games.
Top 25 vs. Top 25:
10 Notre Dame versus 18 Virginia
Notre Dame fought hard to try to upset the No. 3 team in the country, Georgia. They looked to have the Georgia Bulldogs beat early in the first half with their tough defense until Georgia found a way to open up the run game and take over.
Unfortunately, with that loss, Notre Dame’s chances of making the playoffs are very slim despite still being a top 10 team. A win against an undefeated ranked opponent like Virginia might help them a little bit, but I could also hurt them.
See Virginia isn’t expected to finish in the top 25 anyways. They still have to play some of the better competition in the ACC like Clemson, so this game is important if they want to stay relevant! Can the Cavaliers fight the Irish and knock them out for good?
17 Washington versus 21 Southern Cal
It’s interesting the type of impact BYU has on the PAC-12 this season. I three of their first four games, BYU has played Utah, Washington, and USC. BYU has lost to both utah and Washington, but beat USC.
Why is that important? Well because USC might have lost to BYU, but they have beaten Utah and Stanford. If you think about, USC might be able to beat Washington too. But Washington crushed BYU after their loss to California and QB Jacob Eason showed why he’s the best in the PAC-12.
Who will come out on top in a very important game that could decide who wins the PAC-12?
Bounce Back Games:
Arizona State versus 15 California:
If their win over Michigan State a few weeks ago, Arizona State looked to take advantage of their own destiny.
Unfortunately, they lost to a nail-biter to Colorado and have been knocked out of the top 25.
This week isn’t going to be any easier as they have to face a ranked Cal team that has already beaten Washington and made a big statement with their defense and it could be the same this weekend.
20 Michigan versus Rutgers:
Michigan took a huge loss to Wisconsin in a big conference game that raises major concern for the Wolverines. They were one of the favorites to win the Big Ten, but this loss has set them back.
They will need a big win over Rutgers to bounce back which we all hope should happen. Despite the loss, Michigan isn’t eliminated from playoff contention yet. They have plenty of more tough games to go, but they can’t let this one get away from them.
22 Central Florida versus ConnecticutCentral Florida did something they haven’t done since 2016 and isn’t nothing good. Central Florida lost their first regular season game since 2016 after finishing top 10 in each of the last three years. Central Florida had the nation’s longest winning streak in the regular season snapped against the Pittsburgh Panthers of all teams. It was a late touchdown that put the Panthers ahead 42-41 and beat the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights will look to get back on track with a win over Connecticut as they start to enter conference play.
19 Utah versus Washington StateLike I mentioned above, Utah lost to USC and this put them out of the possible chance at the playoffs. I mean honestly speaking, the only team in the PAC-12 that may have a chance in the PAC-12 is Oregon. But the Utah Utes are looking to bounce back from their loss against the Trojans with another tough game against a conference opponent.
23 Texas A&M versus ArkansasTexas A&M will definitely not be in the playoff hunt as they have already lost to Clemson and Auburn. They also have games against LSU, Alabama and Georgia, so they will be more focused on trying to be bowl eligible by seasons end.
This game against Arkansas should help them bounce back from a rough start to the season as we continue to go through this season’s journey with them.
Games of Interest:
8 Wisconsin versus NorthwesternAfter a huge win over Michigan, Wisconsin has joined Ohio State as the favorite in the Big Ten and this could be a good season for them.
This game is a trap game for Wisconsin as they lost to Northwestern last season and everything went down hill from there.
If Wisconsin gets by Northwestern they only have a few more tough opponents left before being able to find themselves in the conference game and possibly battling Ohio State for a playoff spot.
6 Oklahoma versus Texas TechThis is expected to be an offense shootout like most games in the Big XII are. With both teams coming out of a bye week, they have had enough time to prepare for each other and we are looking at forward to see Jalen Hurts lead the Sooners to another win as they look to make their third straight playoff appearance.
But can Texas Tech really pull off this upset, they honestly don’t look the same without coach Kliff Kingsbury. They are still a good team, but that energy isn’t there and maybe they will find it against Oklahoma, but still look forward to having a good game here.