CFB Playoff: Five teams that hurt themselves, Week 3

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Hopefully, your team is on the other list, but in case not, never fret … we’re still in the part of the season where obvious things like “winning” and “losing” define these lists. There’s very little psychology beyond that at this point.

5. Alabama

I know, I know, Alabama is awful at football now. Just ask the national media. The takes are hotter than “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” Mila Kunis these days. Truth is, while losing to Ole Miss sucks, it’s like being the protagonist in an action movie and taking the first few bullets to the (insert non-fatal appendage) that only adds to the legend when you start blowing away bad guys on a busted leg or whatever. Alabama is still pretty damn good, still has a chance to play for a title, and probably still needs to win out. Grave dance at your own risk.

4. Wisconsin

Things are grim for the Badgers now after the Big Ten West not named Northwestern continues to look sketchy and then the shine was rubbed a bit off of Alabama. That’s how this list works. Even winning out now, it’s reasonable to question whether or not the Badgers would get in. That’s not a good feeling. Then again, so long as you win out and beat Ohio State/Michigan State … you probably have your shot. Still, out of conference games are pillars of perception, and Wisconsin’s took a minor hit.

3. Georgia Tech

While the remainder of the ACC took last weekend as the proverbial “get through a bad meal without insulting the cook” as Florida State and Clemson fended off lesser teams on short weeks, GT ended any title talk about them by being outclassed against Notre Dame. The Irish keep winning and taking their women, the ACC might reconsider letting them into the party in the first place. For all the talk of how difficult GT is to prepare for on a short week (and an emotional one for the Irish considering injury and last second heroics the week before), GT was mostly non-competitive.

2. BYU

The undead finally decided to rest. Give BYU all the credit in the world. Unlike most teams, they’ve taken no weeks off since the season started in terms of their schedule. Eventually, actually playing good teams every week catches up, and it did against UCLA. Considering how the playoff committee seems to view non Power 5 teams, it’s probably the end of any playoff dreams for the Cougs, but they’re without question in play for a New Year’s Day bowl game. Up next? No rest for the weary. At Michigan.

1. Southern California

Stanford is that one liquor the guy who can drink anything for whatever reason pukes on every time he has it. We all have the, “I can drink anything … but don’t give me cheap tequila” friend. Stanford is said liquor. Two weeks after looking barely lucid against Northwestern, the Cardinal posted 41 on USC and the Trojans’ offense was stuck in the mud for 31. It’s a bad loss from a conference perspective, and while not a death knell, is certainly a perception-changer for a team that seemed to be on track to go the other way. Thus marks only three wins versus the Cardinal since Jim Harbaugh and the 41-point underdogs talked wise to Pete Carroll and his pseudo-NFL talent roster lo those many years ago.