Happy Monday, and welcome back, everyone! As always, I'm Holly, the Dog Who Writes About Football But Has Trouble Getting Credentialed. It's not what you think: they'd be totally fine with the fact that I'm an SB Nation blogger, but last season, I bit Jesse Palmer. Classic misunderstanding - I thought he was that Viszla that stole my ball at the park. He's just so pretty.
At any rate, let's get to reviewing the Week 10 happenings: I've got like an hour to kill before I bark at the UPS guy and go back to sleep. Y'know, blog life and all.
Week 10 looked like a big one on paper, and it didn't disappoint. The playoff picture received some new clarity, a few teams bolstered their resumes, and a few others fell on their ass like I did when I tried to run on the hardwood floors.
DABO'S DOIN' IT
All season, Clemson has looked like the most complete team in the country, but it had come with a big caveat: they still had to get past their perennial ACC Atlantic stumbling block, the Florida State Seminoles. The Noles didn't make it easy, surging ahead early behind the again-explosive performance of Heisman candidate Dalvin Cook, who went for 194 yards, including 75 on a game-opening touchdown run.
The Tigers clamped down like I do on a rope toy, didn't let go, and now they're going to be pooping strands of Seminole for three days. Their 23-13 victory was clear, decisive, and puts Clemson in the driver's seat for a playoff spot.
Still cats, but any cat that keeps Florida State out of the championship picture can't be all bad.
GOT MY EYE ON IOWA
They might not be as high on people's priority list as Clemson, but the Iowa Hawkeyes continued their surprising run this weekend, beating pesky Indiana behind, among other things, a dramatic and risky diving score by QB C.J. Beathard to reach 9-0 for only the second time in program history.
Some have criticized their schedule as soft, and question whether they're really a playoff-caliber team, but you know what I say? Who says soft is bad? I'm like a walking throw pillow. People love it. Embrace your fluffiness, Hawkeyes.
MEANWHILE, IN SPARTY NO
Spartyyyyyy. You said you weren't going to do this anymore. Hell, you just Clemsoned. They're not doing it anymore, so I guess someone had to do it?
I am not taking the fall for this mess. The rug is ruined, and I will rat your ass out.
I will say, though, Plaxico Burress has some intriguing ideas on dog referees. Fair warning: I am easily bribed.
I WANNA BE A COWBOY, BABY / RIDIN' AT NIGHT 'CAUSE I SLEEP ALL DAY
Did I just quote Kid Rock in a ham-fisted intro to talking about Oklahoma State? You're damn right I did. I'm 5 years old and know like 100 words. It appeals to my sensibilities. Also, I do sleep all day. "Ridin' at night" is when I squeak the hell out of my toy as soon as the baby goes to sleep.
What was I talking about? Right, Oklahoma State beat TCU convincingly, redrafting the Big XII title road map. There's a lot of settling to be done in the backloaded conference schedule, but suddenly it's OSU in the debate with Baylor and Oklahoma.
THE UNDERDOGS FADE AWAY
I've had a great deal of enthusiasm for the Group of Five challengers in the championship race - they're short on stature but big on pluck, just like me! The possibility of a playoff crasher became a lot narrower this week, though.
First, Toledo celebrated their debut in the first CFP Committee poll Tuesday by immediately losing that night to Northern Illinois. More critically for the outsider movement, though, #13 Memphis fell to Navy Saturday. Their chances of making the playoff were already reduced when their marquee win, OIe Miss, fell to Arkansas in a thrilling overtime shootout. But no G5 team's making the field with a loss. Houston remained undefeated with a tough win over Cincinnati, but their schedule's likely not going to be considered strong enough to make it in even if they run the table.
It's a shame.
IN BRIGHTER NEWS, SOME MID-SIZED WESTERN OR SOUTHERN CITY IS ABOUT TO BE DESTROYED
WASHINGTON STATE IS BOWL ELIGIBLE, EVERYONE HIDE IN THE BASEMENT UNTIL IT'S OVER. LEAVE THE LIQUOR ON THE PORCH AND MAYBE THEY WON'T BURN THE HOUSE DOWN LOOKING FOR IT.
SHORT LEGS, TALL ORDER OF THE WEEK
This is the place where, every week, I celebrate the exploits of someone under six feet tall, as a show of solidarity with my short-legged brethren.
So, I want to talk about 5'-10" Minnesota senior wideout KJ Maye, who pulled in 10 catches for 116 yards and a score in the Gophers' 28-14 loss to Ohio State, including a dramatic 57-yard play.
I wish I could talk about KJ Maye, but football is no fairytale world.
NICK SABAN, 5'-6" HEAD COACH, THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
[deep, deep sigh, the kind I do when I realize my guy's not giving me any more of the cheese he's cooking with]
We tried to be done with Bama. We thrilled in their loss to Ole Miss. (YES. WE ALL DID.) We had such high hopes for LSU. Leonard Fournette was going to continue steamrolling his way to the Heisman, and we were going to get a playoff without the joyless tax-collection-with-a-sledgehammer specter of the Crimson Tide's participation.
I'm going back to bed. There's a patch of sunlight in the kitchen that Alabama hasn't blotted out yet.