We have arrived at the penultimate week in the 2021 College Football season. Typically this week is reserved for some tune up games before a rivalry game or big game to end the season.
*Note* During the season if I miss a certain game in my recaps, simply email (CFBNumbers@gmail.com)or DM on Twitter (@CFBNumbers) and I will happily provide you any number related thing you desire.
Also, I use Expected Points Added rather frequently in these recaps. If you need help digesting the decimals, I wrote about how to make it easier to read EPA/Play numbers.
Houston 31 - Memphis 13
After an opening week loss to Texas Tech, Houston has ripped off 10 straight victories in rather convincing fashion to earn a place in the AAC championship game. The Cougars are the last remaining hurdle for Cincinnati’s College Football Playoff bid, and it’ll be a tough hurdle to climb. Houston has been smothering teams defensively, and Friday was no different as they allowed -0.211 EPA/Play. Houston has been gliding under the radar this season, but they’ll get their chance to dash the Bearcats playoffs hopes in two weeks.
Ohio State 56 - Michigan State 7
The Buckeyes just flat out annihilate Michigan State, ending their playoff hopes and B1G Championship dreams. OSU QB CJ Stroud had himself a Heisman type performance: 432 Passing yards, 6 TD’s, 73.7% success rate and a 0.752 EPA/Play. Ohio State has a really good chance to jump Alabama and become the No.2 team in the country. Next up: The Game vs Michigan.
Michigan 59 - Maryland 18
Speaking of Michigan, they easily handle Maryland and snuff out any ideas of a stumble before Ohio State. The Wolverines were efficient offensively, and QB Cade McNamara looked sharp. On paper this will be one of the best Michigan teams under Jim Harbaugh. Even with a loss to Ohio State, this should be considered a successful year for Michigan football. Im not going to say that to any Michigan fans, but feel free to if you want a lengthy conversation.
Cincinnati 48 - SMU 14
We have been waiting all year for that dominating Cincinnati Bearcat performance, but that moment has finally arrived as they body SMU. Efficient and successful on offense, and held a highly explosive offense to around 3.5 yards per play. The Bearcats have the ever formidable UConn Huskies, and then the big one: The AAC championship game against Houston.
Notre Dame 55 - Georgia Tech 0
♫You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout im telling you why, Notre Dame could make the… playoffs♫
Notre Dame easily handles Georgia Tech, and is still sitting at one loss, that being to Cincinnati. The offense has continued to improve with QB Jack Coan, which was a question coming into this season for the Fighting Irish. Forcing nearly 20 expected points off turnovers was certainly a positive for the Marcus Freeman led defense. Notre Dame has one more test this season: a woeful Stanford team that does have trap game potential as they did beat Oregon earlier this season.
Alabama 42 - Arkansas 35
A little bit of an interesting box score here as Alabama beat Arkansas. It was a very close game, and Alabama’s defense is starting to show some cracks heading into the crunch time of the season. Offensively everything is running according to plan and QB Bryce Young is looking more and more confident with every passing game. It will be interesting to see if the committee drops Alabama to 3 in favor of Ohio State. Alabama has the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship game against Georgia left of their plate. Will we see business as usual for Alabama and see them in the playoff?
Clemson 48 - Wake Forest 27
For the first time this season, Clemson had a highly efficient offense to compliment their elite defense. Unfortunate for Wake Forest as it happened during the week they play the Tigers. Clemson knocks off Wake Forest and hands them their first ACC loss of the season. Wake Forest was disjointed offensively, and need to iron out some issues in order to not choke away their ACC championship hopes. They simply need to win next week against Boston College and they’re in the title game.
Pittsburgh 48 - Virginia 38
Pittsburgh takes down Virginia in a high flying ACC shootout to clinch their spot in the ACC championship game. QB Kenny Pickett was his usual efficient self, and the Panthers were able to continue to establish their dominance through the air. Pittsburgh will have to wait and see who they get to play in the ACC championship: the Vegas favorite Wake Forest, next in line NC State, or an improbable rematch against the Clemson Tigers.
Wisconsin 35 - Nebraska 28
Another close, one possession loss for Nebraska. They are 5-19 in one possession games in the Scott Frost era. Statistically that is a miracle considering how high variance the game of football can be. Offensively the Cornhuskers performed pretty well against a stout Wisconsin defense. It didn’t turn into a win so understandably the Nebraska faithful is frustrated.
Wisconsin is currently on a 7 game winning streak and is one win away from clinching the Big Ten West. This is a pretty remarkable turnaround for a team that looked rather lost and hopeless in the beginning of the year.
Utah 38 - Oregon 7
According to the good people in Vegas, this technically wasn’t an upset, as Utah was favored in this matchup. According to the CFP rankings, this was an upset as Oregon was the 3 seed and in position to make the playoff had they won out. This game felt like it was over before it started, and Utah gave Oregon zero chances to make this a ball game. Oregon has been eliminated from the playoff, as is the Pac-12 for another year.
Power 5 QB Performances
Group of 5 QB Performances
If you’re wondering where your QB is, they either did not reach the minimum play requirement, or there was no ESPN QBR data available at the time of this graph creation.
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