13 Weeks of College Football: Here’s what we know

After 13 weeks the college season has started to take shape. The question of “Who’s In?” still remains.


Photo by Brayden George on Unsplash

The Tide look Strong as ever. They are by far and away the number one team in the country and no squad appears to be able to knock them off.

Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State.  If the playoff were to start tomorrow, they would be in.  Alabama, for the thirteenth straight year, has reached the number one spot on the AP poll and has stayed there after a dominating 42-13 win in the Iron Bowl over Auburn.  Notre Dame reached the second spot following their heart-stopping double overtime win against the then number one ranked Clemson in week 10. Clemson has moved up to third after a commanding win against Pitt.  Ohio State is now in fourth which has been caused by their lack of games due to COVID-19 cancellations.

The season looked in doubt, but the NCAA and it’s member schools pulled through to get it off and running. Through 13 weeks, setbacks and surprises have taken place, but there has still been football during these incredibly tough times. Credit: Will Outten

BYU has been the big surprise of the season thus far as the No. 8/8 Cougars look poised to pounce on a mistake by one of the top four and make their way into the playoff, although, they are in the midst of a month long gap between games.  No. 7/7 Cincinnati has looked good throughout the season and cemented their case for a playoff spot after beating UCF 36-33 last Saturday.   The No. 14/14 Chanticleers from Coastal Carolina have put an extremely tight grip on their lead in the Sun Belt Conference as the Chants beat Texas State by a commanding score of 49-14.  The shock of the season, however, has been Northwestern.   The 5-1 Wildcats are still in prime position to make the Big Ten Championship after a loss to the still struggling Michigan State on Saturday.

As football has been put on hold throughout most of the country, the coaches at Shenandoah University prepare to put on a camp so they can see what the future may hold. The Hornets are expecting their season to begin this upcoming spring. Credit: Will Outten



As many good teams as there have been, many more teams have struggled this year.  Michigan is off to one of the worse starts in program history posting a 2-4 record through their first six games thus far after losing to the winless Penn State team. That PSU squad was off to a program worst 0-5 start in their 133 year history.  Another team that has had a surprising season is the No. 10/11 Indiana Hoosiers.  After taking their first setback against the Buckeyes of Ohio State last week, they are still poised to have a shot at the Big Ten Championship.  With the Buckeyes facing the possibility of not playing enough games to make the championship, Joey Sims was asked his take on whether or not the Hoosiers would deserve to make the playoff.  He said, “No chance unless they win the division and the Big Ten Championship which I don’t think will happen.”  Those Hoosiers have also been hit with a major setback as QB Michael Penix, Jr. is out for the season following a torn ACL suffered in Saturday’s game against Maryland.  Following his injury, their hopes at a run to the playoff have nearly diminished.

The Tribe from William and Mary are among the many smaller schools being hurt by the pandemic. They do get to open up their season on March 6 against Richmond.

Like SU, the Tribe from William and Mary have had their season pushed back until the spring. They are set to begin play on the road March 6 against Richmond. Credit: Will OuttenIn the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), seasons are beginning to form and come together.  Spring Football, which used to be reserved for one inter-squad scrimmage for the teams, is looking to become a reality for a shortened season.  Division II and III schools are also facing the same issues with only few games having been played in these divisions thus far.  The Trine University Thunder have only played two games, but have been dominant in both.  They defeated Adrian 44-27 and blew out Manchester by a score of 37-0.  With the spring schedules still rolling out across the country, it remains to be seen how this season could possibly affect the FCS, DII, and DIII playoffs as there has been no true plans announced for the latter two.

As we approach the end of the fall season and the beginning of bowl season, the question of “Who’s in?” is still just as tough to answer as ever before.  With 11 teams still in with a shot at a playoff birth and less then a month to go, the decision of who will be the top four competing in the playoff on New Years Day in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl still has yet to come close to being answered.