Michigan Wallops Washington 34-13 to Win National Championship
The game never really seemed in doubt, although Washington had moments of momentum and kept the score within 7 points most of the game, the Michigan defense stole the show and the Wolverines walked away with a resounding 34-13 victory. The process of updating the Billingsley Encyclopedia will begin in the next few weeks and all of the files should be updated by early to mid March.
Washington and Michigan Will Play For Championship
Houston's NRG Stadium will host the 2023 National Championship Game Monday January 8. Washington and Michigan both qualified for the final in dramatic fashion. In the Rose Bowl Michigan topped the Tide in overtime 27-20 and in the Sugar Bowl Washington held off a furious Texas rally to nip the Longhorns 37-31. Billingsley's projection for the title game will be posted tomorrow.
Navy Comeback Falls Short
In one of the most dramatic finishes in the 124 year history of the series Navy fell inches short of the Army goal line as time ran out. After controlling the game for 4 quarters the Army defense was unable to stop the Midshipmen on their last drive until a powerful goal line stand on 4th down with inches to go. With 1 second on the clock the Black Knights took a safety and the game ended Army 17 Navy 11.
Nation Awaits CFP Rankings
The Championship Games are in the record books and chaos reigns in college football after Alabama defeated two time defending National Champ Georgia 27-24 Saturday afternoon. Three teams maneuvered their way through the 2023 regular season unbeaten and will no doubt finish #1,2,3 in some order, but the 4th place will be the hardest decision the playoff committee has ever had to make. Three teams, all 12-1, have a legitimate argument for the #4 position. The just released Billingsley Report shows Alabama rising to secure the final spot, edging out Georgia followed by Ohio State with Texas coming in at #7. The Longhorns certainly have a good claim considering they beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa in September, but the Horns later lost to arch rival Oklahoma and Alabama sailed on to 11 straight victories playing a more difficult schedule. Still, the CFP is known to place a lot of value to head to head competition so it's going to be interesting to see the final results scheduled to begin releasing ay 11 AM this morning CT. The Bowl matchups will be released throughout this afternoon.
Rivalry Weekend closes out Regular Season
Although the Army/Navy game officially closes the regular season, the Conference Championship Games are all set with the final piece of the puzzle falling into place this morning when the Mountain West announced Nevada-Las Vegas will host Boise State for the title crown. Friday night Liberty will host New Mexico State for the C-USA title while Oregon and Washington will play for the Pac 12 crown in Las Vegas. Saturday morning games find Texas and Oklahoma State battling for the Big 12 Title in Arlington along with Miami (Ohio) and Toledo squaring off in Detroit. Afternoon games include Boise State at Nevada-Las Vegas, Georgia and Alabama in Atlanta, SMU at Tulane, and Appalachian State at Troy. The night games are Michigan and Iowa in Indianapolis and Louisville and Florida State in Charlotte. The four teams selected for the CFP will be announced next Sunday morning. Expect some major surprises if Alabama beats Georgia or Iowa beats Michigan. Projections post Monday.
Washington Nips Oregon State 22-20
The much hyped game of the day out on the West Coast lived up to it's billing as Washington escaped a furious upset bid by Oregon State, finally prevailing 22-20. The Huskies forged a comfortable 22-10 lead at the half but the second half was all Beavers, pulling to within 2 points before Washington's defense stiffened just enough to seal the victory. Washington remained unbeaten at 11-0 and earned a spot in the Pac 12 Championship game. Around the Nation: Louisville beat Miami (Fla.) 38-31 to secure a spot in the ACC Championship game against Florida State. Iowa put together a late TD drive to down visiting Illinois 15-13 and won the Big 10 West Division. The Hawkeyes will meet the winner of the Ohio State/Michigan game Saturday for the Big 10 Crown. Oklahoma survived their first ever trip to Provo, Utah with a 31-24 squeaker over BYU sparked by a 100 yard pick six by the Sooner defense. Georgia inched closer to #1 Ohio State in this week's Billingsley Report with a 38-10 thrashing of Tennessee in Knoxville, and New Mexico State pulled a huge upset on the Plains at Auburn, surprising The Tigers 31-10. Projections post Monday.
Missouri Destroys Tennessee 36-7
Rocky Top took their show on the road to Columbia Saturday and ran across a den of hungry Tigers. Missouri, 8-2 on the season, with losses only to Georgia and LSU, clearly established themselves as the second best team in the SEC East. Around the Nation: The game between Florida State and Miami (Fla.) felt like the good ole days as the two battled for 4 quarters with the Seminoles coming out on top 27-20. North Carolina and Duke went thru 2 OT with the Tar Heels out lasting the Blue Devils 47-45. Michigan finally played a worthy opponent and proved they are deserving of a Top 5 ranking. The Wolverines topped Penn State in Happy Valley 24-15. Texas held off a furious TCU rally to nip the Horned Frogs 29-26. Oklahoma got back on the winning track in a big way, running all over West Virginia 59-20. Washington took a giant leap toward the PAC 12 Title game with a 35-28 win over Utah. Oregon is right on their heels with a solid 36-27 win over USC., but don't settle in on the Huskie / Duck rematch just yet. Red hot Oregon State has a lot to say about that. The Beavers next two games are with Washington and Oregon. Georgia just obliterated Ole Miss 52-17 and a shout out to the ever improving Auburn Tigers who traveled to Fayetteville and trounced the Hogs 48-10. Projections post Monday.
Texas Survives Kansas State in 33-30 Thriller
The first half was all Longhorns and it appeared to have all the makings of a runaway, but Texas miscues ignited the Wildcats who fought back to tie the game 30-30 and send it to overtime. Texas took a 33-30 lead and Kansas State, forced with a 4th and goal, opted not to try a field goal to tie and force a second overtime. Texas stopped the 4th down try with a stout goal line stand, securing the victory. Around the Nation: Oklahoma State sent Oklahoma packing to the SEC with a 27-24 win over the Sooners in the last Bedlam game. Kansas went on the road to Ames and squeaked by the Cyclones 28-21. Clemson potentially salvaged their season season with a 31-23 upset over Notre Dame. Army stunned highly favored and undefeated Air Force 23-3 in Denver. Washington handed USC their third loss on the season with a 52-42 win in the Coliseum. Arizona continued an upward trend with a 27-10 win over UCLA. The Wildcats are now 6-3 on the season. Georgia moved to 9-0 with a 30-21 win over Missouri, lifting the Bulldogs to #2 in this week's Billingsley Report behind Ohio State. Alabama moved closer to the SEC West Title with a 42-28 victory over LSU, and Ole Miss hosted the Aggies and nipped Texas A&M 38-35. Projections post Monday.
Kansas Surprises Oklahoma 38-33
The Sooner's hopes for an undefeated season and a shot at the college football playoffs evaporated in the cold misty rain in Lawrence, Kansas Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks came to play football, jumping out to a 14-0 lead. The Sooners fought back and the game went back and forth with multiple lead changes, but Kansas took the lead with 55 seconds left and held on as Oklahoma furiously moved down field on what looked like might be another miracle win, only to see the ball overthrown in the end zone as time expired. Kansas broke an 18 game losing streak to the Sooners. The game is one of the greatest in Jayhawk history and sets Kansas up for a possible run at the Big 12 Title. Around the Nation: Louisville dominated a good Duke team 23-0 and plants the Cardinals among the elite teams of the ACC with a 7-1 record. Ohio State traveled to Madison and came away with a 24-10 victory. The win solidified The Buckeyes #1 ranking in this week's Billingsley Report. Penn State survived a powerful upset bid by Indiana, finally securing a 33-24 win. Texas destroyed BYU 35-6 while Kansas State was dismantling Houston 41-0. Oklahoma State finally pulled away from Cincinnati for a 45-13 win. The Cowboys and Sooners meet in Stillwater for the last Bedlam Game next Saturday. The Ducks traveled to Salt Lake City and dominated Utah 35-6. Arizona scored a late TD to nip visiting Oregon State 27-24. Georgia beat Florida in their annual rivalry game in Jacksonville 43-20. Tennessee outlasted Kentucky in Lexington 33-27. This weeks projections will not post until Tuesday.
Florida State Surges Past Duke
The Blue Devils gave the Seminoles all they could handle before Florida State took control in the 4th quarter to come away with a 38-20 win. North Carolina and Clemson were not so lucky. Virginia, 1-5 on the season, and heavy underdog, shocked the undefeated Tar Heels 31-27, while Miami (Fla.) took down visiting Clemson 28-20 in 2OT. Ohio State solidified their position as the #1 team in the Billingsley Report with a hard fought 20-12 win over Penn State. Michigan destroyed in state rival Michigan State 49-0, but still remain outside the Report's Top 5 due to a very low strength of schedule rated #105 out of 133. Oklahoma and Texas both barely escaped the upset bug. The Sooners survived UCF 31-29 by way of a failed two point conversion try and the Longhorns stopped a 4th and inches try by Houston to nose out the Cougars 31-24. Toledo took control of the MAC with a 21-17 road win at Miami (Ohio). Air Force took the first step in winning the Commander in Chief Trophy with a 17-6 win at Navy. Arizona State took PAC 12 leader Washington to the wire, eventually falling 15-7. USC was not so lucky. Utah nipped the Trojans on a last second field goal 34-32. It was USC's second loss in a row. Alabama stormed back to score 27 points in the second half after trailing Tennessee 20-7 at halftime. The Tide danced to a 34-20 win after holding the Vols scoreless in the last two quarters. Projections post Monday.
Washington Edges Oregon 36-33
In a epic battle between bitter rivals, meeting for the last time as members of the PAC 12, Washington outlasted the Ducks 36-33. Oregon missed a 43 yard field goal as time was running out that would have sent the game into overtime. The win propelled the Huskies to #2 in this week's Billingsley Report and squarely adds Washington into the conversation of potential playoff contenders. Around the Nation: One week after beating Notre Dame, Louisville tasted their first defeat, falling on the road at Pittsburgh 38-21. North Carolina remained undefeated, keeping pace with Florida State. The Tar Heels handled Miami (Fla.) 41-31 while the Seminoles blasted Syracuse 41-3. The Rock Chalk Jayhawk train suffered a derailment in Stillwater as Kansas fell to surging Oklahoma State 39-32. Notre Dame hosted USC and burst the Trojans undefeated bubble. The Irish dominated the game 48-20 giving Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams their first loss of the year. Air Force moved to 6-0 with a 34-27 win over MWC contender Wyoming. Alabama survived a scare by the Razorbacks, nipping Arkansas 24-21 and Tennessee held off stubborn Texas A&M 20-13. Billingsley Projections post Monday.
Sooners Edge Longhorns In Red River Rivalry
A confident proven Texas team ran into an Oklahoma team hell bent on proving last year's 49-0 humiliation was a fluke. The result was one of the greatest games played in series history. Every time Oklahoma gained momentum and pulled ahead Texas fought back, eventually taking the lead on a 47 yard field goal 30-27 with 1:17 remaining. But the Sooners were not to be denied traveling 75 yards to score the winning TD with 15 seconds remaining. The 6-0 Sooners jumped all the way to #8 in this week's Billingsley Report. With a long season ahead the loss did not take Texas out of playoff contention. The earlier season win over Alabama still factors heavily and a rematch with Oklahoma in a conference championship game is possible. Kansas might have something to say about that though as the Jayhawks rebounded nicely after their loss to Texas by smashing UCF 51-22. Kansas hosts Oklahoma in a few more weeks. Around the Nation: North Carolina cruised to a 40-7 win over a good Syracuse team and Louisville stole the National stage Saturday night by shocking Notre Dame 33-20. Ohio State struggled early with undefeated Maryland but finally pulled away for a comfortable 37-17 win. Michigan destroyed Minnesota 52-10 and Nebraska finally got a Big 10 road win by beating Illinois 20-7. Maybe Matt Rhule is the right fit after all. Wyoming is making a beliver out of me after a 24-19 win over Fresno State. The Cowboys only loss is at Texas. USC hosted Arizona and was oh so lucky to come away victorious. The Trojans survived 43-41 in 3 OT. Georgia finally put together a solid game and demolished unbeaten Kentucky 51-13. Texas A&M hosted Alabama and fell short to the Crimson Tide 26-20. Projections post Monday.
Late TD Lifts Ole Miss Over LSU
In the highest scoring game in this long storied rivalry Mississippi edged LSU 55-49. The Rebels now stand at 4-1 with the lone loss at Alabama. The Tigers fell to 3-2. Around the Nation: Duke came alive in the 4th quarter to take a 14-13 lead over Notre Dame only to see the victory slip away on a late Irish TD. Notre Dame prevailed 21-14. Surprising Louisville moved to 5-0 with a 13-10 win over NC State. Clemson rebounded with a 31-14 win over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Maryland moved to 5-0 by blasting Indiana 44-17. The Terrapins play #1 Ohio State next week. Texas and Oklahoma nicely set up next week's Red River Rivalry with big wins over Kansas and Iowa State respectively. Both teams will go to Dallas undefeated at 5-0. Washington survived a scare at Arizona, nipping the Wildcats 31-24. Oregon State kept pace in the race for the PAC 12 crown by cruising past previously unbeaten Utah 21-7. USC survived a furious second half rally by Colorado, hanging on for a 48-41 win. Auburn took Georgia to the wire but a late score by the Bulldogs lifted Georgia to a 27-20 win in the Deep South's oldest rivalry. Missouri is now 5-0 after pummeling Vanderbilt 38-21 as well as Kentucky who beat Florida 33-14. Billingsley Projections post Monday.
Ohio State Shocks Notre Dame 17-14 on Late TD
Ohio State raced to a 10-0 lead at the half only to see the Irish fight back and forge ahead 14-10 late in the 4th quarter. With less than 3 minutes remaining Notre Dame had the lead and the ball, but the Irish could not make a first down to seal the win. Instead the Buckeyes created losses on two plays and forced Notre Dame to punt. The Buckeyes masterfully moved down field and scored a touchdown with 1 second left on the clock. The sellout home crowd was stunned. The game will be an instant classic and the win moved Ohio State to #1 in this week's Billingsley Report. Around the Nation: Florida State traveled to Death Valley and came away with a 31-24 OT thriller over Clemson. North Carolina struggled with Pittsburgh early but pulled away for a 41-24 victory. Surprising Duke, now sitting at 4-0 blasted Connecticut 41-7. Penn State rolled over previously unbeaten Iowa 31-0. Kansas moved to 4-0 after topping BYU 38-27. Air Force and Fresno State remain unbeaten. The Cadets beat San Jose State 45-20 while the Bulldogs overwhelmed Kent State 53-10. The leaders in the Pac 12 are beginning to emerge as the top teams begin to play one another. Washington State hosted Oregon State and nipped the Beavers 38-35. Utah soared to a 14-0 lead and held on for a 14-7 win over UCLA. Oregon showed Colorado no mercy in a 42-6 shellacking of the Buffaloes. Alabama scored a big 24-10 win over previously unbeaten Ole Miss and LSU squeaked past Arkansas 34-31. Missouri played Memphis in Saint Louis in the battle of the Tigers with Missouri holding on for a 34-27 win. The projections will be posted Monday.