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Georgia Bulldogs Running Back Zamir White (3). (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire)
November 18th, 2021
We are already into Week 12 of the college football season, which means there are only two weeks of regular games left before conference championship weekend.
As we approach season’s end, here are the top stories from around the country in this edition of the NCAAF Notebook.
The College Football Playoff committee has created plenty of discussion and will continue to do so over the next few weeks, but the futures odds tell the story of what will almost certainly come to pass as we close out the season.
Georgia is the odds-on favorite to win the national title, and even with a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs will be given an opportunity to compete for the title.
Alabama, with one loss, is the second favorite, which hints at the possibility that even with a defeat to Georgia, the Crimson Tide would likely still hold onto the No. 3 playoff spot and not be forced to play Georgia in back-to-back games in the semifinal contest.
Ohio State is the third choice to win the title and are favored to win the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are the only team with comparable talent to the SEC’s two powerhouses.
Beyond the top three, the odds to win the championship spike sharply.
Oregon, Cincinnati, and Michigan are all significant longshots, which tells us they are not only fighting for a playoff spot, but one that guarantees a matchup against Georgia.
Despite the chaos of the season and all the Top 25 upsets we’ve witnessed, the cream has still risen to the top.
Last week we saw Nebraska cut ties with four assistant coaches and restructure head coach Scott Frost’s contract to keep him in Lincoln.
It was a prelude to head coach termination season, which is officially underway, as Virginia Tech's Justin Fuente is out after six seasons in Blacksburg.
Fuente could never turn the corner for what has always been a proud and unique program, and he struggled to find an effective quarterback to lead his offense year over year.
Breaking: Virginia Tech and Justin Fuente have mutually agreed to part ways, the school announced Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/zmUk7ysEND— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 16, 2021
Breaking: Virginia Tech and Justin Fuente have mutually agreed to part ways, the school announced Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/zmUk7ysEND
Miami head coach Manny Diaz is taking plenty of heat, as well, as is Florida’s Dan Mullen. Both teams have disappointed in major ways in 2021.
Steve Addazio at Colorado State has made bad decisions on a bad team, and David Cutcliffe at Duke is putting out one of the worst products in the Power 5.
Many programs will probably give their coaches an extra year of leniency due to the turmoil that 2020 created, but don’t be surprised if a few more big announcements come over the next two weeks, as teams look to get a jump on the coaching carousel.
Not all division races will be decided this weekend, but several notable conference races could come to a celebratory conclusion on Saturday.
Wake Forest has a chance to win the ACC Atlantic crown, Utah can claim the Pac-12 South, and Alabama can win the SEC West. For true fans of the sport, let us not forget UTSA and the Conference USA West race, as well.
Wake Forest gets a big signature win over NC State at home.With their 6th ACC win, the Demon Deacons control their own fate in the Atlantic division.Wake's final two games:@ Clemson@ Boston College pic.twitter.com/BpQcSAbL1Y— The Athletic CFB (@TheAthleticCFB) November 14, 2021
Wake Forest gets a big signature win over NC State at home.With their 6th ACC win, the Demon Deacons control their own fate in the Atlantic division.Wake's final two games:@ Clemson@ Boston College pic.twitter.com/BpQcSAbL1Y
Georgia and Oregon are the two notable teams that have already earned their division title, and some teams will not get an opportunity to settle things until next week.
This Saturday will give several successful teams a chance to claim glory.
There are so many good games this week that it is impossible to settle on just one. Michigan State versus Ohio State is the best matchup in terms of rankings, but the spread is 19 points. Alabama also plays ranked Arkansas, but that spread is 21.
From both a gambling and fan perspective, there are two intriguing matchups between other playoff contenders.
SMU (8-2) travels to fifth-ranked Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats, while third-ranked Oregon has to play Utah on the road.
The Pac-12 matchup will be a must-watch, as the Utes are three-point favorites and will have an opportunity to eliminate the Ducks from championship contention.
It should be a close, well-contested matchup with plenty of national implications, and it's going to make for an excellent atmosphere that reminds you just how exciting and impassioned this sport can be.
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