And so, we’ve reached the end, beautiful friends. The last duff’ning has been Duff’d!, and all the teams who avoided it (or avoided it the least, as it were), are now in playoff position. But before we move into the postseason, it’s time for the Championship Week Duff’d It! Rankings, honoring the teams who spent week 14 blowing their last shot at the playoff. (If it makes any of them feel better, the Duff’d It! Rankings were knocked out after week 2.)
Duff’d It! Rankings, Week 14
3. Auburn. Auburn was so close to the playoff this year. They’d gotten over the hump and finally defeated Alabama! All they had to do was beat Georgia, a team they’d already beat by 23, to win the SEC and get in. Instead, they’re in the Peach Bowl and both the teams they beat are in the playoff. Ultimately, nothing the Tigers did mattered, so congratulations to Auburn for winning the Kierkegaard Existentialist Team of the year!
2. Wisconsin. Bravo, Badgers! Everyone has their part to play in the theater of college football, and you played yours - the one who is defeated but puts up a mighty effort - perfectly. Now you’re out of the playoff, and so is Ohio State, opening the door for THE ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE, STAKING THEIR CLAIM TO THE PLAYOFF JUST AS GOD HIMSELF INTENDED, PAWWWWWWWWWWL
1. Miami. The Hurricanes walked into Bank of America Stadium Saturday looking to score their first touchdown in a conference championship game. They left still looking to do that, and remain behind Duke on the all-time ACC championship game points rankings. But hey, coach of the year, right?
SEC Conference Plays of the Week
It’s the world’s first hail mary 2 point conversion! It’s also giving me horrid trauma flashbacks to watching Ted Roof defenses.
Sure, let’s ride off into the sunset with another DeSean Jackson tribute. You can never go wrong with the classics. This was the exclamation point touchdown in FAU’s Sun Belt conference championship win over UNT; now everyone else will get to hold the trophy and John Franklin III will have to stick with his imaginary championship belt.
Employee of the Month of the Week
McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF
Championship games require championship performances, and no one was a one man champion this weekend like UCF’s McKenzie Milton: 494 yards and five touchdowns on a 28 for 40 passing day, plus eleven carries for 68 yards and another touchdown. That’s six touchdowns, and UCF needed all of them (plus a few more) to knock off Memphis in what was easily this year’s most exciting conference championship game. Sure, he had three picks in there as well, but that just added to the excitement! What more do you want??
So congratulations, McKenzie Milton! Your reward is a trip to the Peach Bowl against a very unhappy Auburn team. Could UCF have made it into the playoff if they’d been 13-0? Maybe, but they ducked Georgia Tech earlier in the season, so now we’ll never know.
Thanks to everyone who read and supported the Duff’d It! Rankings over the past five seasons. This edition of the rankings will be my last. It’s been a blast, y’all. Just remember: the Duff’d It! Rankings isn’t a place - it’s a people.