Predicting when remaining Power 5 teams will lose to an unranked team
Last week, Wisconsin became the 48th Power 5 team to lose to an unranked team this season.
That leaves 16 more … and Alabama, which might not ever lose to an unranked team again.
Who falls first?
Here’s a prediction of when the remaining 17 Power 5 teams will lose to an unranked team.
They’ll lose in 2019
Indiana: Say this for the Hoosiers: They only lose to good teams, apparently. IU is 5-0 against unranked teams this season. It went 4-3 against such teams last year, including a loss in the finale against unranked rival Purdue. Their streak will end Saturday at Nebraska.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have 3 more chances, including 2 on the road, starting Saturday at Northwestern. Would it surprise me if Northwestern borrows some of its coach’s fire this weekend and springs a surprise? Not at all. The Hawkeyes should win, but they also finish the season at Nebraska.
Michigan: Michigan is 1 of 4 teams that haven’t lost to an unranked team since 2017. The numbers suggest the streak will continue to 2020, but it’ll be a lot more fun if the Wolverines stumble against Michigan State. It’s hardly unthinkable. The Spartans have won 4 of the past 6 in the series, including the past 2 in the Big House.
Minnesota: The Gophers won their first 3 nonconference games, all against unranked teams, by a combined 13 points. That included a double-OT win against Fresno State. Safe to say, Minnesota is the worst undefeated team in college football. They’ll have at least 2 chances to slip up and possibly 3 if Iowa loses to Wisconsin and falls out of the Top 25.
Texas A&M: South Carolina should have secured bowl eligibility by the time it rolls into College Station, but the Gamecocks might be even more dangerous if they haven’t. Why? They close the season against Clemson, which means beating Texas A&M could be a must. I think they get it done.
They’re safe until 2020 at least …
Auburn: Any chance Alabama falls out of the poll? No? OK, the Tigers’ streak is safe.
Baylor: The trip to TCU is worrisome. And who knows what the mindset will be if the Bears are 9-0 and lose consecutive games to ranked teams Oklahoma and Texas, and then finish at unranked Kansas. But we’ll give the Bears some credit and predict the streak continues.
Clemson: Based on the bad-mouthing I’ve read and heard recently, the Tigers are firm candidates to lose their next 5 games and should be thankful to make a bowl and get to fly to away games. In reality, the streak that started in 2017 will stretch well into 2020, and likely beyond.
Florida: The only legitimate stumbling block remaining is a trip to Missouri. The Tigers should be ranked and would be ranked except they have 2 of the strangest losses of the season. Of course, if Mizzou beats Georgia, the Tigers likely will be ranked again. Florida will end the season by beating FSU for the 2nd consecutive year. The Gators haven’t had a winning streak in that series since their 6th consecutive victory in 2009.
LSU: The Tigers’ streak started in 2017 (after the loss to Troy). Their Playoff hopes are not ending at the hands of an unranked opponent.
Notre Dame: The Irish have the 2nd-longest streak in the country, trailing only Alabama. They haven’t lost to an unranked team since 2016.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes only have 2 more regular-season games against unranked teams. One is Maryland. Nope. And as much fun as it would be to write about an OSU loss at Rutgers, the truth is the Buckeyes’ scout team could beat the Scarlet Knights.
Oklahoma: Jalen Hurts knows The Process. Losing to unranked teams is not part of it. The Sooners’ streak started in 2017 and isn’t ending any time soon.
Oregon: The Ducks are still holding onto very slim Playoff hopes. No way USC trips them up, right?
Penn State: I’d love to pull the trigger on a Michigan State upset this week, but the Spartans can’t score. Against good teams, anyway. The Nittany Lions also play Rutgers and Indiana, which is as close to a bye week as you can get.
Texas: The Longhorns’ streak nearly ended last week against Kansas, which should call into question their ability to put away just about anybody. We’ll give them a pass as they might have been peeking ahead to in-state rival TCU. Who could blame them? The Horned Frogs won 4 in a row until Texas won last year.
Safe until Nick Saban retires …
Alabama: Still angry about 2007, Alabama could beat unranked teams with its walk-on punter at quarterback.