It was one of those insane November Saturdays when everyone lost. It feels like we get two or three of these every year, and at the end of the season, the impact of these results reverberate even further through the sport’s history.
AP Top 25-ranked No. 2 Michigan lost at Iowa, No. 3 Clemson lost at home to Pittsburgh, and No. 4 Washington fell at home to USC. All three teams were undefeated, all three teams fell to cross-division rivals, and it was the first time that Nos. 2-4 in the AP Top 25 have lost in the same day since 1985.
Jim Harbaugh was the quarterback of an undefeated, No. 2-ranked Michigan team when it visited Iowa, then No. 1, on Oct. 19, 1985. Harbaugh lost to that Iowa team just like his own players did in 2016 — in a close, low-scoring game because of a late field goal.
But that wasn’t all that happened on Oct. 19, 1985. No. 3 Oklahoma lost to Miami, and No. 4 Arkansas lost to Texas. It feels like there’s a crazy “everyone loses” Saturday every year, but one with three top-four teams losing on the same day hasn’t come around in three decades.
The interesting thing is whether it will greatly impact the College Football Playoff race. Michigan and Washington still have huge rivalry games at the end of the month, and Clemson now needs some help to make sure that it can hold onto its spot in the playoff as a hopeful ACC champion. It was a historic shake-up in college football that left Alabama being dominant as the only certainty in this 2016 season.