In preparation for the 2nd week of this season’s College Football Playoff Rankings, I want to give my opinion on every team in contention for the Final 4.
What can I say, Alabama has beaten every team they have faced in a convincing fashion. In what will likely be their biggest test of the season, the Tide routed the seemingly solid Louisiana State Tigers 29-0. Though they are set for a SEC Championship rematch vs. Georgia, ‘Bama has given me no reason to pick against them. The Crimson Tide will be the 1st seed in the Playoff.
The Bulldogs have life once again, after a huge week for the SEC. The championship game has been set, and it will give Georgia the opportunity to take on Alabama, likely for a spot in the playoffs. ‘Bama’s win over LSU and a big win over Kentucky are acting as saviors for Georgia’s championship aspirations. Personally, I don’t see the Tide losing before the Playoff begins, but a Georgia win would put the committee’s decision criteria to the test. Unfortunately, I think Georgia miss out on not only the SEC title, but a chance at playoff redemption.
Once again, the clemson Tigers are overrated, but will make the Playoff regardless. Though they currently own a win vs. 13 ranked Syracuse and play 17 ranked Boston College this week, those teams are VASTLY over-ranked. Joel Klatt of FS1 brought up recently, that the ACC has the only positive disparity between CFP Committee rankings, and the computerized and coaches rankings. Teams in the ACC are ranked an average of SIXTEEN spots higher in the CFP than other polls. This is done in order to make Clemson’s schedule seem palatable, but is very dangerous to the integrity of the Committee, as well as something that needs to be addressed immediately. Clemson will make it as a 2 seed coming out of the worst conference in the Power 5, with 0 quality wins. They will be walloped by whoever the 3 seed is, whether it is OSU, Oklahoma or Michigan.
Michigan has looked very good in these last few weeks, and if they are able to run the table then they will make it into the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history. They are coming off of a decisive win over 14 ranked Penn State. For the first time in the Urban Meyer era, I am a little bit nervous about beating the Harbaugh led Wolverines. They are currently hitting on all cylinders, and it will take a team with more talent (OSU) who play a perfect game of football to end this team’s playoff dreams.
Ohio State- 8-1
This is the other team from the B1G that still holds hope of making the Playoff. With just 1 loss, the Buckeyes are very much still in the running for the 4 seed of Final 4. The only stipulation; OSU must beat a very hot Michigan team. Fortunately, the game is at home for Ohio State, which means that the “Best Damn Fans in the Land” will be there to cheer on a Buckeye team that needs all the help they can get. I think that the Bucks and Coach Meyer can pull this off, I have OSU as my 4th and final seed in this season’s playoff.
Oklahoma is a very interesting team in the scope of the CFP. Their only loss coming against a top 15 team, and they still may not make the playoff. They will play West Virginia, and a loss takes them out of not only playoff contention, but also out of the running for the Big 12 Title. I do think that they will end up as 1 loss champions, and the committee will need to choose between a 1 loss B1G champ and a 1 loss Big 12 champ. My gut is that they take the stronger strength of schedule, which will depend on the final rankings before Bowl Season.
West Virginia- 7-1
In a very similar situation to Oklahoma, the Mounties must win out to make the Playoff. In a better situation however, they do not need to win the matchup against OU to compete for the Big 12 Championship. They hold the tie-breaker against Texas, and a loss vs. the Sooners will just lead to a rematch during Championship Weekend. I do not think that they beat both Oklahoma and Texas in back to back weeks, therefore, sorry Mounties but your championship aspirations are as good as gone.
Independents/Group of 5:
Notre Dame- 9-0
Notre Dame, though overrated, do have one HUGE win over the 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines. The thing to take away from that victory is that the Wolverines of week one, and the Wolverines which just DESTROYED Penn State. This is a team which have maybe one quality win, and a team which will have to play Syracuse this week after almost losing to unranked Northwestern. Regardless, they will likely make the Playoffs as the 3-4 seed, and either beat Clemson, or lose to Alabama.
I’ve said it all along, and will continue to say it. A 4 loss Power-5 team is better than an undefeated Group of 5 school 95% of the time. I believe that the Auburn matchup was a fluke last season, and stick by that fact that UCF should not even be ranked on the same scale as these Power-5 teams. To the UCF fans, schedule a decent slate of opponents and then talk to me about the Playoff, but until then, anyone with a brain and 1 good eye can see that the Knights are not a contender in Division 1 football.
Washington State- 8-1
Wazzu is having one of the best seasons in the school’s recent history, starting off with a blazing 8-1 start. While this may seem impressive, the Cougars have just 1 ranked opponent on their schedule, and that is a poor-performing Washington Husky team who are on a down year. Personally, I think that the Mike Leach led Coug’s have a 0% chance to make it into the CFP. It would take a series of miracles for them to have a spot opened up for them, and I don’t see the 5-10 scenarios that would have to happen, panning out. Sorry Wazzu, maybe next year.