College Football Playoff bracketology 10/8/17
Some of the teams from last week’s rankings had big results that will really change up these rankings from last week. Here are how the teams stack up after week six:
1. Clemson Tigers (6-0)
Clemson won a hard fought game against a solid Wake Forest team this week. Unfortunately, starting quarterback Kelly Bryant had to leave the game with a leg injury. True freshman Hunter Johnson came in and played flawlessly, but Bryant’s health is worth keeping an eye on for the next few weeks.
Their win over Louisville looks worse after the Cardinals lost to NC State this weekend, but their win over Auburn is looking increasingly better. With wins over Louisville, Auburn and Virginia Tech, Clemson has definitely done the most this season thus far.
With a non-threatening game against Syracuse and then a bye, Bryant has time to get fully healthy before coming back.
This week: at Syracuse Orange
2. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)
The Crimson Tide won a game against Texas A&M in a game that was closer than expected. The final score was 27-19, but the Aggies did score a touchdown with under 20 seconds left to play, so Alabama controlled the game. If they keep winning there is no need to rack up any style points.
Although a lot of their wins aren’t against the greatest teams, they have only played one bad team, Fresno State. To go along with that, they have dominated their competition making it look easy. Purely based on the eye test, they are right up there with Clemson.
They may not have been truly tested yet, but the back of the schedule should provide some tough games.
This week: vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
3. Georgia Bulldogs (6-0)
Georgia won big over a Vanderbilt team that has now lost three in a row. The Bulldogs have stuck with Jake Fromm and it has paid off for them so far. They are playing tough, physical football and look like they will take the SEC East easily.
Their win over Notre Dame looks better every week and they have a lot of solid SEC wins. Their only win over a bad team is Samford, barring Tennessee getting much worse. Add in the fact that they have won these games with a backup quarterback, maybe not anymore, and it just makes what they’ve done more impressive.
The Bulldogs get an easy game and a bye week and look like they will still be in a good position at the end of those two weeks.
This week: vs. Missouri Tigers
4. TCU Horned Frogs (5-0)
The Horned Frogs kept their undefeated season alive by beating number 23 West Virginia by seven. TCU’s defense came up big time to limit one of the best scoring offenses in the country to 24 points. They look like the best team in the Big 12 and will be tough to deal with.
With their win this week paired with their wins over Arkansas and Oklahoma State, TCU has a very impressive case. The win over Oklahoma State is one of the few best road wins on the season. While their win over Jackson State is not going to help, beating SMU was a solid victory.
In the coming weeks, TCU has to get ready to play the teams from Kansas, which are manageable games.
This week: at Kansas State Wildcats
First four out:
5. Washington State Cougars (6-0)
Washington State got an impressive road win this week over Oregon. The Ducks were without their starting quarterback, Justin Herbert, but they still have a talented team. The Cougars won the game pretty handily too, winning by 23 points.
The win this week really helps, as they only have a few other good wins this season. Beating USC was a huge reason why they are in this spot, but they also beat Boise State. The Broncos lost to Virginia, but Virginia is looking better as the season goes on.
There are a lot of big matchups in the Pac-12 North to be played for Washington State, but they are in a great position right now.
This week: at Cal Golden Bears
6. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0)
Penn State traveled to Evanston to take on Northwestern in an early game, but it didn’t faze them. The Nittany Lions took the lead early and never looked back. Saquon Barkley was bottled up for most of the game and Penn State was still able to find a way to win big.
The fact of the matter is that Penn State has not beaten a team that has been ranked at any point since the season started. They have decent wins over Pitt, Iowa, Indiana and now Northwestern. They will need to play and beat somebody tougher in order to make the cut for the playoff.
The Nittany Lions are off this week as they prepare for their back-loaded schedule.
This week: Bye
7. Washington Huskies (6-0)
The Huskies clobbered Cal this week to get to 6-0. The defense was unrelenting as they won the game 38-7. While this isn’t the biggest win, Cal is better than expected this season.
Washington is a team that has played an awful schedule. They look dominant, but their best win is over Colorado. They will need to make the most of their big games against the Pac-12 North, because with their schedule, they don’t have much margin for error.
Before they get to the Pac-12 North, the Huskies have to take on a couple of teams from the Pac-12 South.
This week: at Arizona State Sun Devils
8. Wisconsin Badgers (5-0)
Following the Huskies is another team that also has scheduling issues. The Badgers were able to beat an average Nebraska team, but it was on the road in a hostile environment. Their running game is in full swing as Jonathan Taylor rushed for 249 yards.
With their best wins being over Nebraska and Northwestern, Wisconsin still has a lot of work to do. The problem is the Big Ten West is very weak. Their hopes to get into the CFP are contingent on them making the Big Ten Championship game and winning, because with this schedule they won’t get in otherwise.
Like before, the Badgers have a lot of easier games coming up on their schedule.
This week: vs. Purdue Boilermakers
First four out:
9. Miami Hurricanes (4-0)
Miami is still hurt by being two games behind some of the teams higher on this list. They won their rivalry game with Florida State for the first time in the last eight tries. It was a good road win, even though Florida State is 1-3 this season.
While their win over Bethune-Cookman isn’t going to do them any favors, their other wins are solid. They beat a very good MAC team in Toledo and a solid Duke team. With more games played, comes more opportunity in these rankings and Miami will see that benefit if they continue winning.
They have a few big ACC games left on their schedule to make their move up the list.
This week: vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
10. Oklahoma Sooners (4-1)
Oklahoma lost this week in a stunner to Iowa State. The Sooners defense allowed scores on five straight second half possessions in order to allow Iowa State to win the game. They had a chance for a game winning drive, but were unable to come up with an answer.
While losing to Iowa State is not a good look, the committee has been known to overlook losses in favor of good wins. Their win at Ohio State is still one of the best wins of the season and can’t be forgotten. While they don’t have much margin for error, at this point they still have a good case to be in the top 12.
The Sooners have to get ready for a big rivalry game this weekend, that has the chance to help or ruin their season.
This week: vs. Texas Longhorns (Neutral Site)
11. San Diego State Aztecs (6-0)
The Aztecs just keep winning, which is all they can do. This week they defeated UNLV by a wide Margin. This win doesn’t really help their case, but they did look good dominating the football game.
It’s going to take an absolute doomsday scenario to get the Aztecs in the CFP, but their resume thus far is good. They have beaten Stanford, Arizona State and Northern Illinois, who are all solid teams. Stanford is back in the top 25 now and really bolsters the Aztecs’ case to be in the top 12.
San Diego State has a big game this weekend that should draw some eyes their way.
This week: vs. Boise State Broncos
12. USC Trojans (5-1)
There are honestly a lot of teams who haven’t separated themselves who are worthy of this spot. The Trojans were able to blow out Oregon State this week and move up in the rankings because of other teams sliding out.
Their win over Stanford has to be recognized, now that it looks like Stanford is going on a roll. Their win over Texas is also looking better by the week. They only have one win over a sub .500 team, coming this week to Oregon State.
The Trojans have a couple of big games in the next few weeks and can capitalize on them to move up in the rankings.
This week: vs. Utah Utes
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