There were no surprises or big changes in the playoff picture yesterday in college football. The top 4 teams will remain the same while a few teams on the outside made somewhat of a push to strengthen their resume. Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Michigan are still the teams at the top……….for now.
Alabama shut out Mississippi State in a fairly easy SEC matchup. Clemson went into a hostile environment and disposed of Boston College, winning by 20. Notre Dame dismantled a bad Florida State team and Michigan beat an even worse Rutgers team. Not only did these 4 teams win their games, but they all covered the spread too. With 2 weeks to go before conference championships, these teams need to stay focused more than ever before.
Alabama has their yearly to-do with The Citadel next week. I’ll never understand this game. Ever. They close the season with Auburn. Clemson has conference foe Duke before closing out the season against South Carolina. Notre Dame will face Syracuse and USC to close out their season. Syracuse will be a tough test for the Irish, or they should be, at least. Michigan needs to make sure they don’t look past Indiana this coming weekend. The week after, they face Ohio State in one of the most legendary rivalries in all of sports. The Buckeyes have not looked good as of late, but you know they’ll rise up for this game.
There are 4 more teams that I see as teams on the cusp just waiting for someone ahead of them to fall. Georgia needs to win out, including the SEC championship game against Alabama. That’s their only hope of getting in. Most experts have Oklahoma as a team that can get in, but I honestly don’t see it. Their defense is horrible and they have squeaked by a couple teams that they should have beaten easily. Washington State is the PAC-12 king of the hill. My opinion is that they need Georgia, Michigan, and Notre Dame to lose before they are even mentioned as a possibility. West Virginia can win out to put themselves in the best spot. I think they get the nod over WSU, but they still need help with the previously mentioned UGA, ND, and UM losses.
This brings us to the last 3 teams that have had their names thrown out there. All 3 need miracles at this point. LSU is out, barring a collapse of almost every team ahead of them. Ohio State, even if they beat Michigan and win the Big Ten championship, is almost certainly out as well. So what about UCF? Ok, what about them? You can’t play in the American Athletic and expect to be considered a contender, not with a 4 team playoff. If it was 8 teams, I throw them in. I just don’t see anyone taking them seriously with that conference and that schedule. Impressive winning streak, but play someone.
This is where we stand with just a few weeks to let it play itself out. It was somewhat of a lackluster day yesterday with only a few games raising any interest. That will change over the next 2 weeks. The playoff will shape itself right before our eyes. Fan bases from teams on the outside will cry about an 8 team playoff while the fans from the top 4 will merely snicker and adopt a sense of superiority. Be careful though, only one team will be left standing.