With this being the first year of a 4 team playoff system College Football is wild and crazy this year. Unbeaten teams have fallen and only a few are left. Several key games are still left which will change the rankings and the 4 teams picked for the first ever playoff. Here is my rankings:
1. Mississippi State–Their resume is too good to ignore. But they have 2 brutal road games at Alabama and Ole Miss also the potential SEC Championship game. A loss is very possible in their future and depending on when that loss comes It will impact their playoff hopes.
2. Florida State–The defending champs always find a way to win. But can they keep having these close calls? They were out played against Notre Dame but still managed to win. A loss will knock them out of the playoffs for good since their remaining schedule is very weak. Also beware of Jaemis Winston. Great player on the field. But an absolute jerk off the field. One more mistake can get his suspended.
3. Ole Miss–They won their signature game already against Alabama. The remaining schedule looks favorable with home games vs Auburn and the Egg Bowl. At LSU is their last road test. The SEC is tough especially with the conference championship game. Just like Miss St if they are going to lose a game when will it be and is their time to move back up in the standings.
4. Alabama–As much as I hate to put them here they are probably the best of the 1 loss teams. A second loss should eliminate them. I don’t care how good the conference is. There are still several one loss teams who play in power conferences that should get in over a 2 loss Bama team including Florida State if they should stub their toe. But Bama has Miss St and Auburn still on the schedule.
5. Auburn–Their loss was to the number one ranked team so they get the 5 spot in my rankings. I feel very secure in saying they won’t be in the top ten by season’s end. With 3 of the most brutal road games on the schedule against Ole Miss, Georgia and Bama man that’s hard to deal with. if they ever run the table now that would be some feat.
6. Notre Dame–A lot of people hate ND. But their loss was to the second ranked defending champion Seminoles. They don’t have a signature win but they did out play FSU and deserve to be considered among the best teams in the country. 2 losses would eliminate them and they have 2 tough road games still left at Arizona State and USC.
7. Oregon–The Michigan State win is still going to carry water with me. The loss to Arizona doesn’t look so bad anymore. Oregon can and probably should run the table here and that will put them in the playoffs. A second loss would be fatal.
8. Michigan State–Their only loss was to Oregon. They still have Ohio State and Michigan on the schedule. Maybe Michigan straightens themselves out by then but it is a rivalry game and we have seen stranger things. I do expect the winner of the MSU/OSU game to win the conference with one loss and that could put them in the playoffs.
9. Kansas State–Their loss was to Auburn. 2 brutal road games left vs TCU and Baylor. The knock against K State is that they can’t score enough to beat these high scoring teams. Bill Snyder’s teams won’t beat them selves and they were 9-0 a couple of years back before losing their first game. It will be hard to stay with one loss
10. Ohio State–I have them as number 10 because Urban Meyer had to break in a new QB. If Braxton Miller did not get hurt they beat Virginia Tech. However a brutal November schedule awaits them. With trips to MSU and Minnesota plus the home game vs Michigan that is 3 tough games. Urban Meyer knows how to win these games.
Georgia–They have a very favorable remaining schedule with Florida and Auburn at home. The only road game is at Kentucky and the SEC Championship game. Losing Todd Gurley has not hurt this team. This team can easily run the table all the way to the championship game but a most formidable opponent would be awaiting them.
TCU–Rebounded nicely after that crushing loss to Baylor. The Kansas State game is at home. The rest of the conference is down. The trip to Morgantown to face West Virginia can be tricky. They too can run the table.
Baylor–After that great comeback win vs TCU they lost a tough one to WV. I watched that game and there was so many penalties called in fact I felt Baylor got the bad end of the whistles. Baylor has tough games left. At Oklahoma won’t be easy. OK State and K State are both at home.
Ok. The most we can have is two undefeated teams after the Egg Bowl is played Thanksgiving weekend. Of course both those teams can lose before we get to that game. I think they both lose a game before then. I also think FSU could lose a game in Jaemis Winston gets in trouble again. If he plays then I expect them to keep winning. But who can really predict that. I say it is 50/50 he stays out of trouble. So my top 4 looks like this
1. FSU if Jaemis does not get suspended
2. Oregon will run the table and get into the playoffs
3. Notre Dame will also run the table and get into the playoffs.
4. Here comes the hard part. I believe no one will be undefeated in the SEC Conference. I can actually see the winner having 2 losses. Now does the committee pick a 2 loss SEC team over a one loss Big Ten team especially if it is Michigan State who lost to Oregon who could be in the playoffs. if MSU is selected and depending on the seeding we could be looking at 2 rematches which I am sure no one wants to see. Especially the MSU/Oregon game. And of course that would mean no SEC team gets in which we know won’t happen. But it is very possible all these SEC teams can have 2 losses including Georgia. Does a 2 loss SEC team get in over a one loss ND or Oregon or Michigan State?
That is the question. I think Bama with 1 loss will play Georgia with 2 losses in the SEC Championship game with the Dawgs winning that game to ensure all SEC teams have 2 losses. My 4th pick is going to be Michigan State and we will then hear the SEC cry about strength of schedule.