Alabama is good. Can we all agree on that? The shellacking they put on LSU last night was ridiculous. Tua Tagovailoa, despite throwing his first interception of the season, added to his Heisman resume. He looked human for a half, then adjusted well to put the game away. It was a bit odd seeing him play in the 4th quarter for the first time this season.
I now have Clemson, Notre Dame, and Michigan to close out my playoff teams, with Alabama easily being the #1 seed. Clemson dominated a depleted Louisville squad with the second largest ACC margin of victory ever. They won by 61 points, covering the 39.5 spread with ease. They also hit the over by themselves. This will be a tough team to beat.
Notre Dame is in my playoff right now simply because they are undefeated and have played a fairly impressive schedule. If I’m being honest though, they are the least impressive 9-0 team that I can remember watching. Not taking anything away from what they have accomplished, they’re undefeated, but I’m not totally sold yet. How they play in their last 3 games could very well change my mind though.
Michigan absolutely embarrassed Penn State yesterday afternoon. The Wolverines are on a Revenge Tour this season and they are not letting up one bit. The way they are playing right now, they look like they could beat anyone…….except Alabama. Their defense is insanely good and Shea Patterson has gotten comfortable with the offense. With WR Tarik Black back, this opens up the vertical game and opposing secondaries are not looking forward to taking the field at this point.
We also have a few teams that could slide in, but they need help. Oklahoma and West Virginia will likely be playing for the Big 12 Championship. The winner could get into the playoff if Michigan or Notre Dame loses. Georgia needs to win out and they would still need help. Washington State, even if they win the PAC-12, is another team needing assistance from one of the teams at the top. And I’ll throw UCF in there for those that want them in the conversation. Do I think they get in? Not at all, even if they run the table. I don’t think they belong on the field with any of the top 4 teams right now. It would get ugly fast. They also still have Cincinnati on their schedule. UC looks really good, but it’s hard to judge them because of their light schedule. Very reminiscent of their basketball team. 30 wins in the regular season, bounced in the 2nd round.
There are some big games down the stretch that will be a key factor in how this washes out. The Michigan/Ohio State game is going to be huge. OSU showed once again yesterday how vulnerable their defense is, especially their secondary. The SEC Championship game will feature Bama and Georgia. Georgia needs this to have any hope at all. Notre Dame is 2 weeks away from facing Syracuse. They better not take this team lightly. Eric Dungey has this offense firing on all cylinders.
Although the playoff picture is clearer now, there is still a lot of football to play. If the top 4 teams win out, the answer will be all too clear. One loss by any of them will just throw a wrench into the mix. But this is what we live for, right? Kick back and enjoy it.