LSU bounces back and upsets Georgia at home. Auburn says goodbye to national relevancy. Here are the winners and losers from Week 7 of the 2018 NCAA season.
Week 7 was the week of the upset in major college football. Four top-10 teams all fell this weekend, as Georgia, West Virginia, Washington and Penn State all took an L. So expect the top-10 of the AP Top 25 Poll to look vastly different entering Week 8.
LSU should be firmly in the top-10 after crushing Georgia in Death Valley. Though Iowa State and Michigan State may not even garner a top-25 ranking after beating West Virginia and Penn State, respectively, potentially Oregon could move up seven spots from No. 17 to No. 10 after beating Washington at home.
Two other top-25 teams fell to unranked opponents as well. Auburn suffered its third loss of the year, as Tennessee got its first SEC win of the season. Virginia upset Miami in Charlottesville to improve to 4-2. Maybe Bronco Mendenhall’s team is good enough to crack the top-25 next week?
Here are your winners and your losers from the week that was in college football.
LSU crushing Georgia in Death Valley – Winner
It was the biggest game of the week down south, but LSU found a way to prevail over visiting Georgia. While many expected it to be a close game in Death Valley, it wasn’t, as LSU beat the brakes off Georgia from opening kickoff through the final whistle.
Even though the Tigers fell to Florida on the road last week, we have to respect the job that head coach Ed Orgeron is doing. LSU has proven that it can hang with the best teams in the Power 5. Look for the Tigers to build off this momentum through the gauntlet that is their October schedule.
Caring about what Auburn does the rest of the year – Loser
This is not a good time to be an Auburn fan. Not only did they suffer their third loss of the season, but it was their second SEC defeat in as many weeks. To make it even worse, it was against SEC East bottom-feeder Tennessee.
While this is a win that Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt can absolutely build his program on, are we sure Gus Malzahn is doing all that he needs to do to win down on The Plains? Honestly, it doesn’t matter because his buyout would be an insane figure. Unless you ride high with War Eagle Nation, there’s no reason to pay attention to Auburn the rest of the year. The Tigers are cooked.
Florida’s case as a legitimate SEC East contender – Winner
After falling in September at home to Kentucky, Florida has now rattled off four-straight SEC wins. They eventually beat out divisional foe Vanderbilt in Nashville to improve to 6-1 on the year. The Gators will be on their bye next week, as they approach their annual affair down in Jacksonville versus Georgia.
With Florida, Georgia and Kentucky all suffering one SEC loss, it looks to be a three-team race for the division title. Kentucky may have a one-up on Florida, but Georgia still has to play both teams in the coming weeks. It should be an exciting time in the SEC East, as Florida has emerged as a serious contender in this college football division.
Wisconsin looking really rough… – Loser
Remember when everybody and his brother picked Wisconsin to make the Playoff? Yeah, that was a terrible idea, as the Badgers have dropped another game, this time in a rout to Michigan. The Badgers could still win their division, as the Big Ten West looks to be the worst division in the Power 5.
Wisconsin is struggling to pass the football with Alex Hornibrook as their quarterback. We’re not even sure where Michigan stacks up in the Big Ten East, but Jim Harbaugh’s team crushed the Badgers in Ann Arbor. Expect the Big Ten Championship to be a total snooze, as the East winner will likely throttle Wisconsin or whomever comes out of the West.
Dwayne Haskins making a case for the Heisman Trophy – Winner
Ohio State cruises to 7-0 as the best team in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have been a top-four team since the start of the season. A big reason for this has been the great play of first-year starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins. He’s now starting to make his push for the Heisman Trophy.
Haskins completed 33 of 44 passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Ohio State was no match for Minnesota and the Buckeyes won comfortably. As Ohio State continues to win, expect Haskins to improve his résumé and probably find his way to New York City in early December for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
Penn State’s home field advantage versus divisional foes – Loser
It’s not happy in Happy Valley right now, as Penn State sees its College Football Playoff dreams be dashed before Halloween. Though in the top-10 this past week, the Nittany Lions will see them fall way out of it, as they lost their second game of the season.
Sure, losing at home last week to Ohio State isn’t the end of the world. However, losing at home in back-to-back weeks with their most recent defeat to an unranked Michigan State means one thing: Penn State is just playing for pride the rest of the way. Beaver Stadium’s home field advantage is now in flux. Not sure if this team is going to win 10 games this season any more.
Notre Dame winning ugly to stay perfect – Winner
Could it be a bit of a reach to say that Notre Dame is a winner by barely surviving at home versus Pittsburgh? Yes, but this is the type of game Notre Dame of old would lose. The Fighting Irish will likely need to stay perfect to reach the College Football Playoff for the first time, but are still on track to do so.
Good teams beat up on bad teams, but great teams find ways to win when nothing is working. Lesser teams would have fallen at home to Pittsburgh, but not the Fighting Irish. They improve to 7-0 and will climb up higher in the AP Top 25 Poll with Georgia losing ahead of them.
Washington’s College Football Playoff dreams – Loser
At the beginning of the year, we all thought that Washington was the crème de la crème in the Pac-12. Well, now they’ve lost a second game on the year, this time to Oregon. Their loss to Auburn in Atlanta looks worse by the week. Washington’s College Football Playoff dreams are dead.
But even more than that, it looks more like the Pac-12 could get left out of the Playoff for the third time in five years. The conference’s best bet at this time is undefeated Colorado, who still has to play division rival USC in Los Angeles. Oregon is improving, but Washington isn’t anywhere near as good as we thought they were.
Iowa State looks good in black – Winner
While West Virginia fooled us into thinking the Mountaineers’ were a top-10 team, we have to give a tip of the hat to their Week 7 opponent in Iowa State. Though the Cyclones only got back to .500 after this upset victory over West Virginia, they looked good doing so.
Not only has this team found its confidence from a year ago under promising head coach Matt Campbell, but the Cyclones looked fantastic in their all-black jerseys. Winning big at home versus a top-10 team at night in Jack Trice Stadium. How can you not love that? Great win for Iowa State.
Nebraska blowing another one, this time in overtime – Loser
It’s nothing new that Nebraska is horrible. However, the way in which the Cornhuskers lost to Northwestern is just another chapter in the absolute nightmare of a first season back in Lincoln for head coach Scott Frost.
Nebraska was about to win its first game of the season on Saturday. Up on Northwestern in Evanston, Nebraska lost by a field goal in overtime. The Cornhuskers now have to win out to be bowl eligible now that they’re 0-6. It’s beyond embarrassing to see a blue-blood of Nebraska’s caliber struggle this badly week in and week out.
It was absolutely a week chock full of upsets in major college football. Four top-10 teams bit the dust, while the College Football Playoff picture got a tad more clearer. All we know is that we don’t know what’s coming next, which keeps this sport’s regular season so exciting.