Welcome back to another edition of the college football playoff watch! We are officially a third of the way through the season and the chase is just heating up! This week I’ll breakdown each conferences outlooks as well as rank the teams in each conference based of their resumes to date.
This is the best conference in America and all these teams control their own destinies to the playoff. They have a real strong argument for two teams if both the title game participants are undefeated.
Auburn (28-20 Win)- What?! Blasphemy not to have the Tide #1?! Well the Tigers resume to date is the most impressive in the country! The conference road win over Texas A&M last week and the neutral site win over Oregon jump them to the top of the rankings.
LSU (66-38 Win)- Still no Tide?! A high flying offense and an out of conference road win over Texas is more impressive then anything Alabama has put on paper…yet.
Georgia (23-17 Win)- seeing the theme? Play someone out of conference Alabama! Again an out conference win over a top 10 Notre Dame last week jumps the Dawgs over the Tide.
Alabama (49-7 Win)- None of this is Alabama’s fault, they would sign on the bottom line to play anyone but facts are facts right now and the Tides schedule is softer then the rolls of toilet paper they carry around everywhere!
Florida (34-3 Win)- The Gators are the shakiest of this group, they have lost Franks for the year and the offense is still hit or miss in Gainesville. October 5th through November 2nd will tell us if they sink or swim. The run starts with Auburn in the swamp, trips to LSU and South Carolina, and then the cocktail party against Georgia.
The second best conference top to bottom, but don’t let quantity be confused with quality when it comes to the playoff talk. Ohio St. and Wisconsin control their own destinies, everyone else is going to need some help or luck.
Ohio St. (76-5 Win)- I think the Buckeyes are the class of the conference right now, their resume isn’t impressive and that haven’t played a stellar non-conference schedule but they have buzz sawed everything in their path so far.
Wisconsin (35-14 Win)- as impressive as the win was over Michigan Saturday we are still left to wonder, how good is Michigan? But a ranked versus ranked win in the fashion that they did it in, is still impressive.
Penn St. (Off)- after the Pitt escape, I’m left to wonder is this offense good enough to win the big 10? October 12th through the 26th should give us the answer. Trips to Iowa and Michigan St. sandwiched around a visit from Michigan.
Iowa (Off)- after the narrow escape against Iowa St. they had the week off. They are very similar to Penn St. is the offense enough to stack up to Ohio St.? They miss the Buckeyes this year on the schedule. Games against Penn St., Wisconsin, and Michigan still loom large.
Michigan (35-14 Loss)- What?! You can’t be serious after that loss?! I debated back and forth all day to leave them in or take them out! But here are the facts. They have the name clout, they have a remaining schedule that still has quality wins on it, and if they run the table and win the Big 10 championship, their resume will be a good one. Now, can they? We will see.
The Clemson invitational. I just don’t see anyone in this conference in the same league as the Tigers.
Clemson (52-10 Win)- The Tigers scored an impressive out conference win over Texas A&M. They have hammered the rest of their opponents and look to be on a repeat mission. I don’t see anything stopping them from a playoff spot.
Virginia (28-17 Win)- Didnt I just say nothing in Clemson’s way? Well Virginia has a chance to jump on the national stage this week against Notre Dame. Technically they aren’t in Clemson’s way, because they miss each other in the regular season. Run the table and beat the Tigers in the title game and Virginia as an undefeated power 5 conference champion is in the playoff.
Oklahoma is the best team in the conference, but Texas has been battle-tested. This conference is a two horse race but Texas can’t afford another loss and with the potential of playing the Sooners twice increase those odds.
Oklahoma (Off)- The Red River Rivalry game on October 12th is the game of the year in the Big 12. Oklahoma needs to be really careful because a loss to Texas and the Big 12 might get left out altogether. Their unimpressive out of conference resume and a down year in the Big 12 means the Sooners cant afford a slip-up.
Texas (36-30 Win)- A tough out of conference home lose to an SEC contender isn’t a death nail in the Longhorns playoff hopes but a second loss to Oklahoma and they can forget the playoffs and just hope they can spoil the Sooners season in a Big 12 title game rematch.
They are in the worst shape of all the conferences to get in the playoff. I still believe Oregon has the best shot but they have to run the table and get help at this point.
Oregon (21-6 Win)- neutral site loss to an SEC contender in week 1 shouldn’t be a problem in the room if they run the table and win the title game. However the conference is killing itself by beating up on each other. They could have a lot of ranked wins but they could also slip up and then the PAC 12 is out of the race.
Utah (30-23 Loss)- OUT- They got caught against USC and they just don’t have the name clout or strength of schedule left to make a serious run at the playoff.
Independent/Group of 5:
Notre Dame is the only serious college football playoff contender out of this group. I list the others for the New Years 6 spot.
Notre Dame (23-17 Loss)- A road loss to an SEC contender doesn’t put the Irish out of the hunt. The name recognition and a good schedule keeps them in for now. 11-1 Notre Dame will still get consideration from the committee but they need to run the table and get help.
Boise St. (30-19 Win)- An out of conference win versus Florida St. and a Mountain West conference championship gets them the group of 5 spot.
Appalachian St. (34-31 Win)- Great win last week versus North Carolina vaults them on to the radar. They have a trip to South Carolina November 9th. Win that, go undefeated, and win the Sun Belt and might be an interesting debate between them and Boise for the New Years spot.
Central Florida (35-34 Loss)- when you self proclaim to be national champs and then lose to Pitt, your out!
What? Seven? Thought this was the top 6?! Yea I know but these are the real contenders for the college football playoff in my mind right now, so 7!
- Ohio St.
There you have week 4 of the college football playoff watch. Stop over to overtimeheroics.net and sign up for the forums and give us your thoughts! You can also follow me on Twitter @Steelcurtainpeh.