After only one team escaped champioship weekend undefeated last year, two unbeaten programs remain flawless this season. Western Michigan held off Ohio in a tightly-battled MAC title game Friday night while Alabama continued to shine as the undisputed top team in the nation with a blowout win over Florida in the SEC championship game on Saturday.
Here’s an updated look at the two remaining undefeated programs entering bowl season:
No. 1 ALABAMA (13-0)
Week 14 recap: The Tide ran past the Gators 54-16 in the Georgia Dome thanks to another outstanding defensive performance and a balanced rushing attack that gained 234 yards on the ground. After Florida opened the game with the first touchdown, Alabama embarked on a dominating 33-2 run lasting well into the second quarter. That run included a pick six return by Minkah Fitzpatrick and a blocked punt return taken for another Tide touchdown.
Remaining games: TBD
Outlook: Alabama's postseason outlook remains to be an apparent lock for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff. The Tide ran through its difficult conference schedule and should be in line for the top spot in the Peach Bowl.
In the driver's seat or in need of some help: Is there any doubt Alabama won't enter the Playoff as the No. 1 seed? Anything is possible, but with another dominating victory to clinch the SEC title, Alabama will be the overwhelming favorite to take home a second straight national championship come the new year.
No. 17 WESTERN MICHIGAN (13-0)
Week 14 recap: It wasn't easy but Western Michigan now has the title of MAC champion after a narrow 28-23 defeat over Ohio in Detroit. Ohio had a chance at ending the Broncos' undefeated run but linebacker Robert Spillane came up with the game-clinching interception with just under a minute left in regulation to clinch the hard-fought victory. Newly-dubbed NCAA all-time receiving yards leader Corey Davis finished with nine catches for 155 yards including a key 70-yard touchdown in the second quarter to open up the lead. Zach Terrell finished 19-of-31 with two touchdowns in the victory. The win marks WMU's third ever MAC title.
Remaining games: TBD
Outlook: The Broncos finish their tremendous season 13-0 and now await their fate heading into bowl season. WMU had many convincing wins early on and a few close calls against tougher conference opponents down the stretch but appear primed for a major opportunity in the postseason.
In the driver's seat or in need of some help:
Western Michigan appears to be in the driver's seat for an appearance in this year's Cotton Bowl. It's likely to come down to the Broncos and Navy, if the latter can pull off an AAC title win in impressive fashion Saturday against Temple. The New Years Six invite will go to the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion, which should be Western Michigan after its win over Ohio. But the Broncos must wait to see how Navy fares and how the Playoff committee stacks it up in the final Playoff rankings.