CFB Playoff: Teams that hurt themselves, Week 2

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The weekly installment of teams that tripped over the cracks in the sidewalk is back for another week. Readership ballooned to close to 30, I think, meaning it’s only fair to that 0.000000027 percent of all readers who enjoyed the first go-around.

As mentioned last week, you can win and appear on this list. Winning and not hurting yourself in the playoff race are not mutually exclusive events because in the end, this is a tournament that gets its participants ultimately from opinion.

And as always, I don’t dislike your team. Sometimes it just doesn’t play well.

5. Boise State

Basically, losing any games effectively ended any shot the Broncos had at going to the playoff. They can still do one of those New Year’s Six games, but when you measure it against their ultimate possible goals, it’s like your girlfriend saying, “I was thinking about you on the way home and how I know you wanted a few beers for the game, so I got you a 12-pack,” and boom: Keystone Light.

Add the sting of losing on a fourth-down heave to a team that has already hit its decade-long quota of “Hail Marys” as of two weeks ago, and it’s just a bitter pill to swallow.

4. Mississippi State

The logic works like this: if you win the SEC West, there’s a good chance you’re getting in a playoff. All isn’t dead yet, but it certainly got run over by a car and was left on the side of the road. MSU gave chase to LSU in the second half, but you can’t grill the chicken halfway through and expect it to be edible.  Also, it’s law in Mississippi that cattle rustling is punishable by hanging. I have no idea what’s going on in Mississippi, but as far as the Starkville portion is going, it likely isn’t going to the playoff. I just hope LSU didn’t rustle any cattle on the way out.

3. Oregon

Losing to Michigan State wasn’t a complete death knell, but Oregon didn’t look great in the process. The Ducks needed a special teams touchdown to hang tight, and other than the first drive and the second to last, the offense was pretty flaccid considering the team name is Oregon. The best parts of the night were the constant shots of the Oregon fan wearing a Nike “Fast as Duck” shirt, which is the most blatant “play on a curse phrase turned into something more G-rated” you’ll ever see. Seeing as it’s an out of conference game, this loss didn’t kill the Ducks, but folks will remember it in December.

2. Tennessee

In Tennessee, it’s illegal to catch a fish using a lasso. Never mind the fact that if you CAN catch a fish with a lasso, you deserve your own television show and any single female you desire; in Tennessee, they punish you with some jail time. At any rate, it’s damn near impossible to do, a lot like blowing a 14-point lead in Neyland … which they’d never done until Oklahoma this past Saturday. I know a lot of folks are high on Tennessee, but they smack as a bit too young for major moments. Oklahoma, in this instance, is the fish. Big Game Bob isn’t having any lasso action.

1. Arkansas

Man, this has a decidedly SEC flavor to it for some reason. At any rate, you just simply can’t lose to Toledo at home. The rub with Oregon is that losing out of conference doesn’t kill the Ducks, simply because they can still win the conference. So can Arkansas, but losing to a MAC team and losing to a (Michigan State) team whose two and three deep can win the MAC are different things. It’s a brutal loss for the Hogs, who had a real chance in a jumbled but talented SEC West. Folks don’t forget losing to MAC schools at home.

Trust me. I root for Michigan.