The first college football playoff ranking is in the books. Last week I made my predictions here. I agreed with the outcome for the most part. Clemson, LSU, and Ohio St. are all worthy of being in the top 4. What did surprise me was the respect for the SEC as Alabama with 1 loss was ranked ahead of the unbeaten teams still hovering around like Baylor, TCU and at the time Michigan State. The committee respects the SEC unlike any conference, and that is a trend to be aware of moving forward. Here are my rankings as we head into the second week of the College Football Playoff rankings.
1) Clemson (9-0) – Last week I questioned what exactly the Tigers were. The ACC isn’t exactly a schedule gauntlet so it was a must for the home team to win on its turf against Florida St. 23-13 was the final but it was the 4th quarter that proved to be the difference. Tied at 13 heading into the quarter, Clemson pulled away and cemented themselves as the number 1 team in the land.
2) Alabama (8-1) – Respect. That what this pick is all about. The committee respects the hell out of the Crimson Tide. I guess this could be the only issue with a system where a committee of people makes the decisions. There is a human bias in play and the eye test will tell you the Tide are a great football team that had one off day. The more Ole Miss continues to sputter, (they are now unranked after losing to Arkansas in overtime) the more you would think it hurts Alabama but the committee will love their win in dominant fashion over the Tigers from LSU rather than hating their loss against the Rebels. If Bama wins out I can see them finishing as the number 1 seed.
3) Ohio State (9-0) – This team is eerily familiar to last year’s Jameis Winston led Florida State squad. They are still really good, with elite playmakers (GIVE ZEEK THE BALL DUDE!) and yet continue to flutter around the 2-3 spot in rankings with most people acting like they aren’t the defending champs and still unscathed. They deserve to be in the top 2, but these ugly wins against teams like Minnesota (it was 0-0 with 5 minutes left in the first half) and Indiana (brutal play calling Hoosiers) has me wondering about the Buckeyes. Sober up JT, see you November 21st.
4) Baylor (7-0) – After scoring about a gazillion points a game in their first 6, Baylor stepped back and only won by a touchdown against Kansas St, 31-24. Baylor deserves to be in a top 4 spot as they have the best offense in college football. Until they are slowed down they shouldn’t leave these rankings. With that said, the next 3 games are the season for the Bears. Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and TCU are the next 3. Win all three of those and well, you’re golden Pony Boy.
First two out:
Notre Dame (8-1) – A pretty convincing win over Pittsburgh has Notre Dame on the fringe of the Playoff and waiting to pounce whoever takes a loss. Something about this Irish team makes me think we will see them in the final 4 sooner rather than later.
Oklahoma St. (9-0) – Ok St. is a power. They beat TCU by 20 at home and now as a reward get to face off with Baylor. If they beat Baylor, there is a good chance I will be talking about the Cowboys as a number 1 or 2 seed in the playoff and not just sneaking in. Congratulations to the Big 12 for figuring out how to solve not having a championship game. A back loaded schedule gauntlet for the top 4 teams in the conference? Genius, I tell you! Get your popcorn ready folks, we are just getting started.
PS -Michigan State got SCREWED by the officials and everyone knows it. For the 3rd straight week the NCAA officials have completely missed the ball on something relevant. Kudos to them!
– Mike Tolsma (@Tolss22)