As long as Boise State remained unbeaten it was almost a forgone conclusion the Broncos would represent the Group of Five in the New Year’s Six arrangement in the College Playoff format, but Brigham Young’s 28-25 dramatic win changed all assumptions in a flash. Boise State certainly remains in contention, but a host of other team’s aspirations certainly became more realistic. In the AAC, undefeated SMU and one loss Cincinnati, Memphis and Navy all took a giant leap forward as well as the Sun Belt’s undefeated Appalachian State. In the Mountain West, Boise must contend with fellow conference member San Diego State who also sports only one loss. I wouldn’t even count out C-USA’s Louisiana Tech and UAB out of contention. Both have only one loss.
Around the nation: Double digit underdog upsets dotted the landscape over the weekend. Georgia Tech surprised Miami (Fla.) 28-21, Illinois shocked the college football world by beating Wisconsin 24-23 on a last second field goal, UCLA went on the road and beat Stanford 34-16, Pac 12 cellar dweller Oregon State stunned California in Berkeley 21-17 and Vanderbilt topped visiting Missouri 21-14. Penn State took a leap in the Billingsley Report this week, moving from #7 to #3 based on a big win over #12 Michigan. The Nittany Lions took a 21-7 lead and held on for a 28-21 win in “White Out” conditions at University Park. Kansas scared the bee jabbers out of the Longhorns, falling 50-48 in Austin. Texas survived the upset with a Cameron Dicker field goal as time ran out. Surprising Baylor, Minnesota and SMU all moved to 7-0 on the season, making for some interesting conference races as we move into the second half of the season. Oregon took a giant leap forward toward the Pac 12 North Division crown with a 35-31 win over Washington in Seattle. The 6-1 Duck’s lone loss came in the season opener to Auburn. The SEC continues to dominate the Top 10 with LSU, Alabama, Florida and Auburn all scoring easy wins over the weekend, but the Nation’s eyes turn to another showdown coming next Saturday as the Billingsley Report’s #8 Auburn Tigers travel to Baton Rouge to take on the #1 Bayou Bengals of LSU. Sure to be a dandy.