The committee told us how it viewed the Lady Bears, placing them at No. 9 overall. And Louisville has easily beaten both Notre Dame and Oregon.
While Louisville stayed put, some other teams suffered considerable setbacks since Thursday’s reveal. Tennessee and Rutgers each lost twice. The Lady Vols consequently fell from fifth overall to 11th. The Scarlet Knights are now No. 5 seed after being slotted at 15th overall by the committee. With three losses in its past four games, the magic of Rutgers’ nonconference season might be wearing off, and a big fall could be on the horizon with two games against Maryland and one each against Michigan and Ohio State still to come.
Quick. Name the starting quarterbacks in the first game of the weekend. (Answer: Connor Cook and Brock Osweiler.) The Raiders will be going with Cook after their season of destiny became a dumpster fire when MVP candidate Derek Carr broke his leg and backup Matt McGloin suffered a concussion. Over on the Texans’ side, Osweiler has failed to live up to the expectations of his gargantuan contract, but don’t read too much into his heated sideline exchange with Coach Bill O’Brien last week. O’Brien has been known to do that with quarterbacks.
The Texans have had a devastating injury of their own, losing J.J. Watt after three games. Still, they have the league’s best defense. That and playing in the less-than-competitive AFC South, where they edged the Tennessee Titans for the title, helped compensate for an offense that is ranked 29th. The Raiders may have a 12-4 record but are 3-2 in their last five games.
The Vikings don’t hold back in letting Keenum throw downfield, because the deep ball is an integral part of their offense. With a terrific, speedy wide receiver duo in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, both of whom came up monumental against the Saints, the Vikings will take their shots against the Eagles’ cornerbacks, which are Philly’s weakness. Keenum will need to use his mobility to buy time against a good edge pass rush to make those plays.
For Foles, the key is protecting the ball and getting it out quickly. Even with what the Vikings have at linebacker, safety and corner, Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Zach Ertz can be difference-makers with their size, hands and athleticism. Holding the ball too long against the Vikings’ unpredictable mix of pressure and coverage looks will spell doom for Foles.