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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


NCAA takeaways, Week 9: Big 12 falls out of playoff contention, Wisconsin plays crasher, Western Michigan makes a move


It was moving day in Week 9 of the college football season. Many teams saw their stock rise, and others fell after a weekend in which four previously unbeaten teams recorded their first losses of the season. Below are the weekend’s top takeaways.

And then there were none

For the Big 12, a conference that saw its top teams struggle early in the season and fall out of playoff contention, things just got worse. Both Baylor and West Virginia, the conference’s remaining undefeated teams, fell to unranked opponents and saw their playoff hopes go up in flames Saturday.

West Virginia shot itself in the foot one too many times, as the Mountaineers had three turnovers leading to 17 points for Oklahoma State, which was the ultimate difference in the game. Meanwhile, Baylor was locked in a back and forth battle with a Texas team that has been the furthest thing from impressive this season.

After both recorded losses and moved out of the top 10, it’s unlikely that either team could climb back into contention for a spot in this year’s playoff. The Bears have faced only one team with a winning record this season in Oklahoma State. West Virginia has had a very weak schedule this season and as a result, both schools will pay in the long run.

A one-loss team from the SEC, ACC, or Big Ten would make a much better case for a spot in the playoff.

Party crashers

The Wisconsin Badgers have crushed another team’s playoff hopes, with No. 7 Nebraska becoming the latest victim. Wisconsin entered the fourth quarter with a 17-7 lead before Nebraska railed and forced the game into overtime, which was the Badgers’ second overtime game in three weeks. But this time, Wisconsin was able to recompose themselves and find a way to stay alive in the race for the Big Ten West division title.

The New Year’s six

Houston’s awful month of October opened the door for other non-power five conference teams to take their spot in an all-important New Year’s six bowl game.

Then-No. 13 Boise State suffered its first loss of the season Saturday thanks to a late safety at the hands of Wyoming. Navy, a team that beat Houston, had a late comeback fall short against South Florida. Though both Boise State and Navy lead their respective divisions, the case for both teams to be in a New Year’s six bowl seems more of a long shot.

No. 17 Western Michigan is left as the lone front runner for what would be a historic bowl game for the program. Ranked for the first time in school history, the Broncos have shown no sign succumbing to the pressure. Seeing as they are the only remaining unbeaten in the non power five conferences, there is a very real chance for the small MAC school to be playing a nationally-televised game at the start of the new year.

Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter.

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