Yes, heading into Saturday it was "Separation Saturday" but with the way the games played out, it should have been called nail-biter Saturday. Games that shouldn't have been close were a lot closer than expected and made a lot of people uneasy. While the day games gave us high-scoring contests in the LSU vs Alabama and USC vs Washington turned into track meets. So where does that leave the Playoff Rankings? Let's take a look.
Ole Miss - Coming in at 10 in the Playoff Rankings, Lane Kiffin and company still had a lot to play for and with a showdown next week against Georgia, the Rebels had a potential trap game against the 5-4 Aggies from Texas A&M. Jaxson Dart played well throwing for 387 yards and two scores. He showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make the throw under pressure and help lead his team. On the ground, Quinshon Judkins led the way with 102 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Judkins played with a physicality and ran over a few defenders to gain key yards for the Rebels. Final Ole Miss 38 - Texas A&M 35
Oklahoma - Ranked ninth in the rankings, Oklahoma had the final meeting with Oklahoma State in the "Bedlam" series before the Sooners jumped to the SEC. Records and rankings seem to go out the window in rivalry games and this one was no different. With Dillon Gabriel leading the Sooners' offense going 26/37 for 344 yards and a touchdown, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State had an answer in Ollie Gordon II who ran for 137 yards and two scores on 33 carries. With the loss, the Sooners drop in the playoff rankings and find themselves on the outside looking in on the Big 12 championship game (currently looking like Texas and Oklahoma State). Final Oklahoma State 27 - Oklahoma 24
Alabama - Ranked eight coming into their battle with LSU, the Crimson Tide have their sights set on the SEC Title and getting into the Playoffs. The first step in that plan, beat LSU. With this year's Alabama team getting off to a slow start as they looked for their identity, their defense has led the way this season. Quarterback Jalen Milroe became the first Alabama quarterback to run for four touchdowns in a game. Alabama and LSU had a battle in the first half before Caleb Downs, Dallas Turner, and the Crimson Tide's defense took over. Final Alabama 42 - LSU 28
Texas - The seventh-ranked Longhorns had a game against Kansas State in a game that would go a long way toward shaping the Big 12 Conference Championship game. With a win, both teams would find themselves in control of their destinies and in a good position to be in the championship game. Texas starting Maalik Murphy in place of Quinn Ewers (injury) for the second straight week went 19 for 37 for 248 yards and a touchdown. The Longhorns led on the ground by Jonathan Brooks who ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Quarterback Will Howard battled throughout the game for the Wildcats throwing for 327 yards and four touchdowns on 26 of 42 passing. Final Texas 33 - Kansas State 30 OT
Oregon - Despite a slower than expected start, Bo Nix led the sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks to a 63-19 dismantling of the Cal Golden Bears. With Oregon wanting to keep pace in the Pac-12 and make a rematch against Washington happen in the Pac-12 title game, the Ducks needed this game and couldn't afford to look ahead to their clash with USC on the 11th. Nix, playing in his record 56th career college game led the offense with 386 yards and four passing touchdowns. Nix also added two scores on the ground. Final Oregon 63 - Cal 19
Washington - The Huskies entered into their clash with USC looking to gain some separation with the rest of the Pac-12 as they move towards a Conference title game opportunity and keep their hopes alive for a birth in the college football playoffs. In an expected track meet, it did not disappoint, using a balanced attack, Michael Penix Jr. (256 yards and two touchdowns) and Dillon Johnson (256 yards and four scores) led the way for the Huskies. USC entered the game looking to re-establish themselves in the discussion for the Pac-12 championship as well as play spoiler for the hopes of the Washington Huskies. Caleb Williams led the offense with 312 yards and three passing touchdowns while Austin Jones led the rushing attack for the Trojans with 127 yards on 11 carries. Final Washington 52 - USC 42
Florida State - In what could have been a trap game for the fourth-ranked Seminoles, their game against Pittsburgh. The game became more challenging as Jordan Travis and the Seminole's offense were without the top two targets in Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson for the game. However, as the saying goes, good teams find ways to win and the Seminoles did that. Travis (360 yards, two total touchdowns) and Trey Benson (97 yards and a touchdown) led the offense. With the top two receivers out, Ja'Khi Douglas stepped up and led the way with 115 yards on six receptions for FSU. Final FSU 24 - Pitt 7
Michigan - The third-ranked Wolverines continued their winning ways with a game against Purdue. In what was expected, the Wolverines ran away with the win over the Boilermakers. In the Wolverine's final game before their road trip to Happy Valley and a date with Penn State next week. JJ McCarthy (335 yards) and Blake Corum (three touchdowns) led the offense. With the Nittany Lions getting a win and keeping their hopes for a conference title alive, next week will be the first test for the Wolverines as they take on their first-ranked team. Final Michigan 41 - Purdue 13
Georgia - The second ranked Bulldogs had their first of three straight games versus ranked opponents with a battle at home against Missouri. With the Bulldogs playing without Brock Bowers, it provided an opportunity for Ladd McConkey and others to step up in the offense led by Carson Beck (254 yards and two touchdowns). Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton led the rushing attack for the defending champs with both averaging just under 5 yards per carry. Tigers running back Cody Schrader gave the Bulldogs fits at times, only finding the endzone once, he ran for 112 yards and came up with some key yardage for Missouri. Next up for the Bulldogs, a top ten matchup with the Rebels of Ole Miss. Final Georgia 30 - Missouri 21
Ohio State - The Buckeyes traveled to New Jersey for a date with Rutgers. The Buckeyes got off to a slow start as Rutgers kept pace and was leading at the half 9-7. The Buckeyes regrouped led by the efforts of TreVeyon Henderson (128 yards rushing, 80 yards receiving, and a touchdown) and all-world Marvin Harrison Jr. (two scores on four receptions). Tommy Eichenberg led the Buckeyes defense with 12 total tackles. For the Scarlet Knights, Kyle Monangai led the offensive efforts averaging 6.6 yards a carry (159 total yards) on the day. Final Ohio State 35 - Rutgers 16
With the new playoff rankings coming on Tuesday, there shouldn't be too drastic of a shakeup, with Alabama possibly making the biggest jump as they had the best win versus a ranked LSU team, could they jump to six and leapfrog the Texas team that beat them early in the year? I think they do.