Welcome back to the college football playoff watch! Now that we have whittled some of the contenders, I’ll be breaking teams down like the committee and giving you my top 16 contenders. So let’s dive in!
16 through 9: “Need Help” Group
16. Washington- I’ve had the Huskies out since their loss but they have really looked good the last two weeks and an 11-1 conference champion will get consideration in the room, so they stay in… for now.
15. Michigan- I know, I know! A win against Rutgers isn’t anything special but they still have a schedule with a ton of potential “big wins” including Ohio St. to end the year. I don’t see it but right now it’s all about their potential.
14. Texas- They have one of the best losses in the country and a date with Oklahoma next week. Win that one, and they have a chance. Lose it and it’s spoiler role for them.
13. Notre Dame- The fighting Irish got back on track with a convincing win over a ranked Virginia team. A loss to Georgia between the hedges isn’t a death nail in the Irish’s playoff hopes.
12. Oregon- The best team in the PAC 12 right now. If they can run the table and win the conference, a neutral site loss in week 1 won’t matter all that much in the room.
11. Iowa- The Hawkeyes avoid Ohio St. on the schedule and have enough “big games” inside the conference to deserve consideration if they win them all.
10. Penn St.- The Nittany Lions absolutely smashed the Terps, but they are a carbon copy of Iowa in my eyes: enough big games to do something with, but can they?
9. Florida- The Gators start their gauntlet run through the SEC this week when Auburn visits the swamp. I just don’t think they have the firepower or depth to make it through without a loss.
First Four Out:
8. Wisconsin- Blasting Michigan has vaulted them on the national scene again. We have seen this movie before, except this time we get to see Ohio St. against Wisconsin in the regular season.
7. Clemson- Close your eyes and act like you didn’t know Clemson was the defending national champions. Now open them, do they really belong in right now? Obviously an undefeated Power 5 Conference Champion will make the playoff, but slip up and Clemson is out.
6. Oklahoma- The Sooners have done what they needed to do up to this point. The rivalry game versus Texas is the game of the year in the Big 12. The SEC will play itself out and if the Sooners handle business they will be in the college football playoff.
5. LSU- They control their own destiny, beat Alabama, win the SEC, make the playoff. Easier said then done with a secondary with major questions.
4. Ohio St.- It was really close between them and LSU, but the Buckeyes have looked fantastic and are the class of the Big 10 right now.
3. Alabama- Same story as the Buckeyes. They have ran over their competition but there is cause for concerns for the Tide, that defense is very suspect.
2. Georgia- Their win against Notre Dame might be the best out of conference win that anyone has. The Dawgs offense needs to pick it up if they expect to beat the likes of Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio St. in potential playoff matchups.
1. Auburn- The top slot goes to the Tigers right now, it’s all about the resume. Two best wins and a chance for a top 10 road win this week.
3 SEC teams in the playoff final four?! Relax. The SEC is going to have its own mini playoff throughout the season and will work itself out. I do think if both the SEC championship game opponents are undefeated they have a great chance of getting two teams in. The teams with the easiest paths are Clemson and Oklahoma. Ohio State controls it’s own destiny; avoid the head scratching loss and they are in.
So there are my thought on the college football playoff watch. Stop over to overtimeheroics.net and sign up to the forums and tell us your thoughts! You can also follow me @SteelCurtainPeh on Twitter.