– Mike Tolsma
Tonight the playoff committee reveals its first of a series of playoff rankings for the College Football season. These rankings differ from what the AP and Coaches release week in and week out as this is a committee who are taking all the “contenders” body of work up to this point and ranking their top 10. Of course, if you’re not familiar with the new playoff system in college football…go watch some film from last year.
1) LSU – The Tigers may have played the toughest schedule in college football so far, and it does not get any easier. Wins against Mississippi State, Auburn, South Carolina, and Florida are impressive and boosts their resume into number one seed discussion. Left on their schedule? A road date with Alabama, Ole Miss, and a home tilt with Texas A&M. If LSU survives with only 1 loss count on Leonard Fournette and Co. to have a matchup in the playoff.
2) Ohio State – For as much as it pains me to say this (I am a Michigan St. fan) the Buckeyes look like a dominant force at times. JT Barrett is back on the shelf because he thought it was a good idea to drink and drive AFTER winning back the starting QB job from Cardale Jones. Indiana should have beaten them if it wasn’t for some abysmal play calling on the Hoosiers last drive but other than that the Buckeyes have looked relatively dominant (excuse the hiccup against Northern Illinois). Their season comes down to November 21st, a home game against my Spartans. The winner of that game should pave way to a playoff berth – but watch out for the Wolverines. They are not the same pushover we have seen the last 3-5 years.
3) Clemson – The ACC scares me. I really don’t think it is that good so I can’t really figure out how good Clemson is. From the blind eye they are extremely impressive and only getting better as the season and opponents get better. 58-0 wins against Miami on the road won’t be ignored by the committee. Other than that though an unflattering win against Notre Dame earlier in the season and sneaking by a Louisville team 20-17 still sits there. All will be forgotten if they take care of business against (17) Florida State at home this weekend. For now they are 3rd, with a potential to be in the 2nd spot.
4) Baylor – Art Briles and the Baylor Bears have one of the most high octane offenses I have ever laid my eyes on, scoring 60 or more in 5 (!!!!) straight games (Lamar, Rice, Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia). Baylor took advantage of a weak schedule to get off to a 7-0 start, but are now walking into a gauntlet down the home stretch without quarterback Seth Russell, who had successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his neck. The keys to the Benz are now in the hands of freshman Jarrett Stidham as he will have the pleasure of facing off against Kansas St., (14) Oklahoma, (12) Oklahoma St., (5) TCU, and Texas to end the season.
First Two Out:
Michigan State – Say what you will about Michigan State’s fluky, yet incredibly unreal victory in Ann Arbor two weeks ago. A win is a win and it seems as if this season will be coming down to the Spartans and Buckeyes, with the winner moving onto the playoff. The winner will most likely move onto the Big Ten title game against Iowa and I don’t see the Hawkeyes matching up well against either OSU or MSU. Al Davis said it best: Just win baby.
TCU – Sorry TCU, the Big 12 kind of stinks and your offense doesn’t have the gas the Bears use. Grab a win against Oklahoma St next week and the Sooners after that, maybe I will work with you. If they head into the Baylor game undefeated and Baylor stays perfect as well, they will be playing for one of the four spots in the playoff. Take it to the bank.
– Mike Tolsma (@Tolss22)