Way Too Early College Football Playoff Predictions
Is your favorite college team on the playoff radar with a chance at the title?
With four weeks in the books, the new College Football Playoff picture is starting to come into focus. It seemed like an excellent time to get a pulse check on which teams would be in if it were decided today and which teams would be wishing their was an 8-team system.
At this point, a lot of teams have yet to play their toughest games. But, the rankings seem to be settling in and that means pole positioning.
WHO IS IN?
With another convincing win this week, the Sooners are looking tougher and tougher each week. It helped to beat West Virginia in a more “convincing” manner than Alabama had back in week 1. With an easier schedule than other top teams, the Sooners are in the driver’s seat. With a great balance of offense and defense, the Sooners will be tough to beat.
Banged up, but they survived the tougher than expected Washington State. They will need to find a way to shore up the O-line before they face the gauntlet of Arizona, UCLA, and Washington. For the time being, the Ducks can still refer any doubters to the dominating win over former playoff-bound Spartans.
Alabama Crimson Tide
“Sloppy, sloppy win” best describes last week’s win over a tough Florida. A cynical person might mention that the Gators were Nick Saban’s boys’ first real test of the year (all due respect West Virginia). This might be the weakest Tide team in years, but they are still really, really good. They are still trying to figure out their stars … but will need to hurry up before the schedule gets much tougher. #10 Ole Miss is up next week with another four ranked teams on deck.
Florida State Seminoles
The debate of “what happens if FSU loses without Jameis Winston?” went to “is FSU more deserving because they can win without Jameis Winston”? Beating Clemson gives the Seminoles two quality wins so far, but their tough schedule might still be used as a first year precedent by the playoff committee to set an example for future years. They are still beatable by conference foes Louisville, Miami or Virginia but it is not likely. Top ten Notre Dame will be their biggest resume builder or destroyer.
WHO IS OUTSIDE LOOKING IN?
There isn’t a team on Baylor’s schedule that the Bears can’t handle easily. Well, except Oklahoma. An upset will be needed to get into the playoffs.
The sunny boys in LA haven’t looked so hot lately, but they are still perfect and still in control of their own destiny. Like Baylor, a showdown with a higher ranked opponent will be needed (Oregon).
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Okay, the win against Michigan doesn’t look so impressive in retrospect. They need to prove they are real before they will get an invite at this point.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
Auburn Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, Ole Miss Rebels, Mississippi State Bulldogs
The carnage of the SEC will knock some very viable candidates out like a demolition derby. Somebody survives, but good luck trying to pick one after the first five minutes.
ONE LOSS TEAMS IN WAITING
Michigan State Spartans, South Carolina Gamecocks, Stanford Cardinal, Wisconsin Badgers
These teams each lost to worthy opponents, but only two one-loss teams will get into the playoffs, at most. They will have to keeping winning and racking up a great resume. Any more losses will make for a quiet January… well, except for … ya’ know… doing homework.
DARK HORSE CANDIDATES
No matter how good the Cougs may be, they won’t face anyone that vaults their status high enough… right?
Arizona State Sun Devils
With UCLA sputtering and the Trojans dropping easy games, it is very possible that ASU sneaks out of the Pac-12 South and earns a trip to the Conference title game.
Nebraska Cornhuskers & Penn State Nittany Lions
If the Big 10 is going to have representation in the playoffs, it is going to have to be a (currently) lowered ranked team that runs the table. That leaves the unlikely Nittany Lions and Big Red.
Because we should all keep hope alive for our alma maters… especially when they are 4-0.
Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch or “like” CraveOnline Sportson Facebook.
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