Five things we learned from college football week 12

College football week 12 didn’t offer much, but more can still be learned. Here are five things we learned from the games in week 12:

1. USC the much better team, Rosen the better quarterback

college football week 12

Sam Darnold (Photo by nydailynews.com)

USC beat UCLA 28-23 to finish off a 10-2 regular season. The Trojans are in the Pac-12 Championship and are likely at least going to be in a New Year’s Six bowl game. There is no doubt that USC is the better football team, but this game was marketed as a duel between top quarterback prospects, and probably rightfully so.

Josh Rosen had a great game that saw him throw for 421 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He literally had to carry his team to keep them close, something he is very used to. He showed in this game that he is the much more polished quarterback.

Sam Darnold threw for 264 yards and an interception. The most impressive thing he showed off was his scrambling and athletic ability. He may have a higher ceiling than Rosen, but he showed that he has a lot of developing to do before he gets to that point.

2. Jonathan Taylor can produce against good competition

Taylor had a tall task this week going up against the Michigan defense. He started off slowly, but ended up thriving. The freshman finished with 132 rushing yards. He did have a 56 yard run, but in the second half he started running more consistently.

For Wisconsin to have any shot to beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game, Taylor has to produce. Taylor should be able to get near 2,000 yards on the season and is a serious Heisman contender, but he had yet to prove it on the big stage. Now, Wisconsin knows they can lean on him in tough games.

3. UCF will a chance to prove themselves

College football week 12

McKenzie Milton (Photo by hawaiiprepworld.com)

The UCF Golden Knights have been snubbed by the College Football Playoff committee with their rankings so far. They are undefeated and actually, up through last week, had a better strength of record than Wisconsin. While they will not make the CFP, they should be getting more serious attention.

For UCF, it all comes down to the last two games of their season. First they get to play their rival USF, who has just one loss on the season. If they win that game, they get to play what will likely be a one loss Memphis team in the AAC Championship Game. Memphis is ranked currently and moving up. This gives UCF two great opportunities to show the world what they’ve got. If they win both, they are going to a New Year’s Six bowl game.

4. Bill Snyder is going bowling again

Kansas State got a big upset win over Oklahoma State this week. Oklahoma State will likely not be in the Big 12 Championship Game because of the loss. Just when everyone starts to doubt Snyder, he gets his team ready to go and they pull off the upset win.

Snyder is now going to his 19th bowl game as the head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats. This is an impressive feat, given that Kansas State was atrocious before he got there and he is in his second stint as head coach for the university at age 78. This year will help him into 12th place all by himself for bowl game appearances by a coach.

5. Late season cupcake games need to end

Yes, playing FCS teams funds their athletic department, but the games are not fun to watch.  College football is in the heat of a great playoff race and it is all interrupted to play FCS teams. The drama that has built up for weeks, just took a pause in week 12 and is expected to pick back up for rivalry week. There should be a way around this, whether it’s hosting the games at another time (early in the season), or just as an exhibition.

All teams in the top ten won this weekend and it has nothing to do with the quality of the teams, it has to do with the quality of the competition. If college football wants to really draw in the most viewers, it can do so by not having its best teams schedule cupcake games in November, a time when fans are supposed to be getting ready for bowl and playoff season. While it likely won’t be fixed for a while, if at all, it made week 12 very mundane and should be corrected for the future.

 

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College Football Playoff bracketology 11/19/17

This week of the season was not very eventful with a bunch of cupcakes on the schedule. The bad games this week will prep college football fans for a great rivalry week that has a lot of good matchups. Here are how the teams rank before the big weekend:

Playoff teams

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0)

College football bracketology

Jalen Hurts (Photo by gridironnow.com)

Alabama won big over Mercer (FCS) this weekend. It was an easy game, in which Alabama even held out some of their players as a precaution. Hopefully they are at their best for rivalry week.

The wins over LSU, Mississippi State and Texas A&M are solid, but Alabama lacks a big win. Still though, with the undefeated record, the Crimson Tide will stay in the top spot in the rankings.

Rivalry week is here and Alabama has a chance for a great win over Auburn.

This week: at 6 Auburn Tigers

2. Clemson Tigers (10-1)

The Tigers didn’t have a problem with The Citadel (FCS). Clemson rolled 61-3. They look primed for big things in the next few weeks.

Clemson has some of the most impressive wins in college football, especially their win over Auburn. Their victories over Louisville, Virginia Tech and N.C. State also add to their good resume and help them stay in the second spot.

They will have a small test against South Carolina on rivalry week.

This week: at South Carolina Gamecocks

3. Miami Hurricanes (10-0)

Miami is one of the few teams that played a decent team this week. Although they trailed Virginia for much of the game, they scored 30 unanswered points to run away with the game. They played like they did before the last two weeks, which is up and down with the level of their competition, for most of the time against Virginia.

The Hurricanes have jumped up to this spot in the rankings and will stay here because of their performances in recent weeks. Wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame aren’t quite as impressive as the wins Clemson has overall. They should still feel confident though, as they will get to play Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.

Unfortunately Miami doesn’t play one of its biggest rivals this week, but they should be able to get the win to stay undefeated.

This week: at Pittsburgh Panthers

4. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1)

Oklahoma had a conference game this week, but it was still an easy game, as they played Kansas. While there was a lot of extra-curricular activity, the important thing is that Oklahoma won 41-3.

With good wins over Ohio State, Oklahoma State and TCU, Oklahoma is in a good position. They are already in the Big 12 Championship Game and if they win out, they will be in the CFP.

The Sooners will get a tough game this week, albeit not against a rival.

This week: vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

First four out

5. Wisconsin Badgers (11-0)

The committee decided to put the Badgers at number five last week, so they will likely be ranked at five again. This week Wisconsin got a win over a decent Michigan team. Michigan has a good defense, but really shouldn’t have been ranked in the top 25.

Beating Michigan still gives Wisconsin another solid win, but it won’t be enough to get into the top four, yet. The wins over Iowa and Northwestern are nice, but if Wisconsin wants to make the CFP, they will need to beat a really good team.

The Badgers’ rival is Minnesota, so they will likely go into the Big Ten Championship undefeated.

This week: at Minnesota Golden Gophers

6. Auburn Tigers (9-2)

College football playoff bracketology

Kerryon Johnson (Photo by al.com)

Auburn started slow against UL Monroe, but picked it up and ended up winning 42-14. This sets up another great Iron Bowl that will have CFP implications.

The Tigers have big wins over Georgia and Mississippi State. Their losses to LSU and Clemson aren’t that bad either. If Auburn wins out, they will be a CFP team.

If the Tigers can win this week, they will be rewarded with a chance to play Georgia again in the SEC Championship.

This week: vs. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide

7. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1)

The Bulldogs bounced back from their loss to Auburn very well by beating Kentucky 42-13. Kentucky is a solid win for Georgia, but ultimately the important thing is that they won, as they still control their own destiny.

Georgia’s wins over Notre Dame and Mississippi State are both good. The loss to Auburn is something they will want to avenge if possible. If they win their rivalry game and the SEC Championship Game, they are in the CFP.

Can Georgia shut down Georgia Tech’s triple option this week?

This week: at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-2)

Notre Dame won a tough game over Navy this week to stay in the top ten. While it was one of the tougher games that a top ten team faced, the Fighting Irish should’ve played better.

Wins over Michigan State, USC and N.C. State have kept Notre Dame this high in the rankings. It will be hard for the Fighting Irish to make the CFP, but not totally impossible.

Bryce Love and Stanford are on the schedule for the last week of the season, so Notre Dame better be ready for a physical game.

This week: at 22 Stanford Cardinal

Next four out

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2)

College football playoff bracketology

Urban Meyer (Photo by newsok.com)

It has been an up and down season for Ohio State, but this week they destroyed Illinois. With the win they kept their small CFP hopes alive.

The Buckeyes have beaten Michigan State and Penn State for some really good wins. The two losses are holding them back. If they can win out, which includes a victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Ohio State will be very close to the cutting line, one way or another.

The big game is this weekend for Ohio State. Throw records aside for how big of a rivalry game this is. Ohio State hasn’t struggled with Michigan much in the 21st century, but anything can happen.

This week: at 24 Michigan Wolverines

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-2)

Penn State beat Nebraska pretty easily this weekend. The Nittany Lions are pretty much out of the CFP picture, but getting another ten win season is nice.

James Franklin has to hope for absolute disaster and chaos to happen to make the CFP. It would take some upsets in the final week of the regular season and some during conference championship week to make it even slightly possible. All Penn State can do is win this week and then wait and see where the chips fall.

Ten wins should be the expectation when they take on Maryland this weekend.

This week: at Maryland Terrapins

11. USC Trojans (10-2)

The Trojans finished off their regular season with a win over rival UCLA. They get a nice week off to prepare for the Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC probably has a better chance of making the CFP than some teams ahead of them (Notre Dame, Penn State). It all depends on how they play in the Pac-12 Championship Game and if the teams above them hold to form. They are rooting for Washington State to win the Apple Cup, so they can play them in the Pac-12 Championship for another solid win.

A week off before a conference championship is unique, but can USC make the most of it and win the Pac-12?

This week: Bye

12. TCU Horned Frogs (9-2)

TCU was able to beat Texas Tech pretty easily, despite not having quarterback Kenny Hill. If they can beat Baylor in the final week, they will get a chance to play in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The Horned Frogs need some help to make it into the CFP. Beating Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game would be a nice start, but it will not be enough on its own. It will likely take: USC losing in the Pac-12 Championship, Ohio State winning the Big 10 and much more to go their way.

They should be focusing on what they can control and winning the Big 12 would be a great feat for TCU.

This week: vs. Baylor Bears

 

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Five things to watch for in college football week 12

After a few good weeks of quality football games, week 12 in college football looks pretty mundane. That doesn’t mean that good games won’t happen, it just means that it will be a surprise. Here are five things to watch for in week 12 of college football:

1. Jonathan Taylor against Michigan’s run defense

College football week 12

Jonathan Taylor (Photo by dailycardinal.com)

Jonathan Taylor has had a great freshman season for Wisconsin. He, like the rest of the Badgers, haven’t really been tested yet, but will be this week when they play Michigan. The Wolverines aren’t a great football team, they don’t have a win over a team above .500, but they will still challenge Wisconsin. As bad as it may sound, this might be the toughest challenge of Wisconsin’s regular season.

Taylor has 1,525 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns already this season. With a strong finish, he can eclipse the 2,000 yard mark on the season. Not only can he be one of the best players in Wisconsin’s history, he is currently on pace to be the college football’s all-time leading rusher. Taylor will be getting a lot more Heisman recognition if the Badgers are able to win out, but he has already surpassed all expectations this season.

Michigan may not be the best team this season, but that is mostly because of their offense. Their defense ranks ninth in the country in points allowed per game. The Wolverines also have allowed the ninth fewest rushing yards in the country this season, making it a difficult matchup for Taylor. Can Taylor continue to produce against a solid defense.

2. Josh Rosen vs. Sam Darnold

UCLA and USC meet in their annual game, although it likely won’t be too competitive. USC is playing good football again, while UCLA is struggling to make a bowl game. The best thing to watch in this game is the quarterback play.

Josh Rosen has had a solid season that has helped him stay in the running to be one of the top draft picks this year. He has thrown for 3,094 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His team isn’t very good, but the competitive juices will be flowing for Rosen and the Bruins.

USC is playing good football, even though Sam Darnold is having a rough season. He has turned the ball over a lot with plenty of fumbles and 11 interceptions thrown. Darnold has actually played his way out of being the first quarterback selected in the 2018 draft, but will want to prove new doubters wrong against another top level prospect.

3. Bret Bielema’s last game (or two)

Arkansas is 4-6 this season and another loss takes them out of bowl eligibility. Bret Bielema has not been great as the head man of the Razorbacks, with a terrible SEC record and a losing record overall. With a loss this weekend, Bielema is likely going to have to find a new job.

Mississippi State comes to town to take on the Razorbacks. The Bulldogs have a lot to play for still, as they can still make a New Year’s Six bowl game. Arknasas, on the other hand, almost lost to FBS bottom feeders, Coastal Carolina at home, so it should be a relatively easy win for Mississippi State.

Without a win, resulting in no bowl game, Arkansas will likely move on from Bielema after the game, or at season’s end. The Arkansas administration has already gotten rid of athletic director Jeff Long, so the next athletic director will likely want their own people. The only question is: How many SEC jobs are going to be open by the end of the season?

4. Mike Riley’s last few games at Nebraska

College football week 12

Mike Riley (Photo by mlive.com)

Nebraska’s athletic director has had to answer question about Mike Riley’s status as coach, which isn’t a good sign. What is worse is that all he can say is that Riley deserves to finish the season. That means he is likely gone after the season and Nebraska is yet another big program that will be looking for a new head coach.

If Riley has any thoughts about saving his job, he needs to win the last two games of the season. The problem is that those two games are going to be tough. This week they play at Penn State, while next week they get to take on Iowa at home. Both of these will likely be losses for the Cornhuskers.

It was a short tenure at Nebraska for Riley, but since they fired Bo Pelini after continually getting eight wins, firing Riley is the right call.

5. Blowouts

This week is filled with games designed to be blowouts with rivalry week coming up. While blowouts usually aren’t great to watch, some of the games could result in a broken scoreboard due to how many points are scored. Can anyone break 70 this week?

Oklahoma plays Kansas in a game that is pretty self-explanatory. Baker Mayfield will get a chance to pad his Heisman campaign with some explosive plays. Ohio State plays one of the worst power 5 teams, Illinois. It should be a good way to get the offense clicking before the game against Michigan.

Throw in a lot of teams playing FCS competition and the week will have plenty of blowouts. Try to tune into the limited amount of good games this weekend and prepare for rivalry week.

 

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College football week 12 picks

Joe DiTullio and Rob Doerger make college football picks for week 12, which includes all games involving FBS teams. There have been plenty of touchdowns, sacks and big plays with more to come. Here are the picks for the week:

Away Home Location Rob Joe
Central Michigan Kent State Dix Stadium, Kent, OH C. Mich CMU
Ohio Akron InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH Ohio Ohio
Eastern Michigan Miami (OH) Yager Stadium, Oxford, OH Miami (OH) Miami
Western Michigan Northern Illinois Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL NIU NIU
Toledo Bowling Green Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, OH Toledo Toledo
Buffalo Ball State Scheumann Stadium, Muncie, IN Ball St Ball St
Tulsa South Florida Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL USF USF
Middle Tennessee Western Kentucky L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY WKU WKU
UNLV New Mexico Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM New Mex NM
Mercer #2 Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL Bama Bama
#6 TCU Texas Tech Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX TCU TCU
Virginia #7 Miami Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL Miami Miami
Michigan #8 Wisconsin Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI Wisconsin Wisconsin
Louisiana Monroe #10 Auburn Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL Auburn Auburn
#16 Mississippi State Arkansas Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR Miss State Miss State
#18 UCF Temple Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA UCF UCF
SMU #22 Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN Memphis Memphis
Minnesota #25 Northwestern Ryan Field, Evanston, IL NW NW
Cincinnati East Carolina Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC ECTC UC
Texas West Virginia Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV WVU WVU
Rutgers Indiana Memorial Stadium , Bloomington, IN Indiana IU
Delaware State Florida State Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL FSU FSU
The Citadel #4 Clemson Memorial Stadium , Clemson, SC Clemson Clemson
Pittsburgh #17 Virginia Tech Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA VT VT
Rice Old Dominion S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA Old Dom ODU
Fresno State Wyoming War Memorial Stadium , Laramie, WY Wyoming Wyoming
#21 Iowa State Baylor McLane Stadium, Waco, TX Iowa St ISU
Arizona State Oregon State Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR Arizona St ASU
Charlotte Southern Mississippi M. M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS So Miss USM
Louisiana Tech UTEP Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX La Tech La Tech
Western Carolina North Carolina Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC UNC-CH UNC
Hawai’i Utah State Romney Stadium, Logan, UT Utah St Utah St.
UMass BYU LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT BYU BYU
Texas State Arkansas State Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR Ark St Ark State
South Alabama Georgia Southern Allen E. Paulson Stadium, Statesboro, GA USA USA
Kentucky #1 Georgia Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA Georgia Georgia
Navy #3 Notre Dame Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame, IN ND ND
#5 Oklahoma Kansas Memorial Stadium , Lawrence, KS Oklahoma Oklahoma
Illinois #13 Ohio State Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH OSU OSU
Margin of victory 52 43
Kansas State #15 Oklahoma State Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK OK State Ok State
Purdue #20 Iowa Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA Iowa Iowa
San Jose State Colorado State CSU Stadium, Fort Collins, CO Col St Col St
Syracuse Louisville Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY Louisville Louisville
Georgia Tech Duke Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC GT GT
Maryland #12 Michigan State Spartan Stadium , East Lansing, MI Mich St MSU
Nebraska #14 Penn State Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA Penn St PSU
Wofford South Carolina Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC SC SC
UAB Florida Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL UAB UF
Houston Tulane Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA Houston Houston
Coastal Carolina Idaho Kibbie Dome, Moscow, ID Idaho Idaho
New Mexico State Louisiana Cajun Field, Lafayette, LA ULL ULL
Army North Texas Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX Army Army
#24 LSU Tennessee Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, TN LSU LSU
Arizona Oregon Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR Arizona Arizona
Texas A&M Ole Miss Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS Ole Miss TAMU
Boston College Connecticut Fenway Park, Boston, MA BC BC
Marshall UT San Antonio Alamodome, San Antonio, TX Marshall Marshall
Florida Intl Florida Atlantic FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, FL FAU FAU
#23 NC State Wake Forest BB&T Field, Winston-salem, NC Wake NC State
Missouri Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN Mizzou Mizzou
UCLA #11 USC Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA USC USC
California Stanford Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA Stanford Stanford
Air Force Boise State Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID Boise Boise
Utah #9 Washington Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA Washington Washington
Nevada San Diego State SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA SDSU SDSU
Gameday Guest Picker (Madison, WI) Ron Dayne Ron Dayne

College Football Playoff bracketology 11/12/17

College football just gets crazier and crazier. In this edition of the college football bracketology, things are a bit different as a result of the games this week. Here are the top teams in college football for this week:

Playoff teams

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0)

One of three remaining undefeated teams from a power five conference, Alabama got the job done again, getting a win over Mississippi State. The Bulldogs kept it close and were actually leading late, but could not hang on for the win. Alabama got a balanced effort and calmly came back to win.

The Crimson Tide are clearly going to be the number one team when the rankings come out on Tuesday. They haven’t lost and have played a much better schedule than the other two undefeated teams from power five conferences. Their best wins are over Mississippi State and LSU. They may not have the best wins, but being undefeated this late in the season gets the number one spot.

Alabama has one easy and one tough game left in the regular season and they need to win the latter to get into the SEC Championship Game.

This week: vs. Mercer Bears (FCS)

2. Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Baker Mayfield (Photo by usatoday.com)

Oklahoma got another great win when they dismantled TCU this week 38-20. Baker Mayfield and the offense are rolling on all cylinders. The best defense in the Big 12, TCU, couldn’t stop them and it looks like no one can. The Sooners genuinely look like they could be the best team in the country right now.

Now, Oklahoma has three top tier wins, over Ohio State, Oklahoma State and TCU. The loss to Iowa State prevents them from being the number one team. With their great wins, Oklahoma takes the number two spot in the rankings and control their own destiny for the CFP.

Oklahoma, like Alabama, has one game that will be easy and one game that won’t be.

This week: vs. Kansas Jayhawks

3. Clemson Tigers (9-1)

The Tigers beat Florida State this weekend, in what many years would’ve been a good win. This year however, the win is not that impressive. It was close for a lot of the game, but Clemson ended up pulling away 31-14.

Clemson has plenty of quality wins, which has helped them stay ahead of some of the undefeated teams. Their win over Auburn looks really good after Auburn upset Georgia. With other solid wins coming over Virginia Tech, Louisville and others, Clemson has earned the number three spot. The majority of their wins have come over teams that can make bowl games.

With the win over N.C. State and the results this weekend, Clemson has locked up a spot in the ACC Championship Game.

This week: vs. The Citadel (FCS)

4. Miami Hurricanes (9-0)

Miami got the biggest win they have had since the early 2000s. They destroyed Notre Dame 41-8 and are now back in big time college football. The defense showed its speed and athleticism by stopping Josh Adams and the Notre Dame offense. They made some first round draft picks on the Notre Dame offensive line look bad and are now in the CFP picture.

The Hurricanes have a great win over Notre Dame and a win over Virginia Tech that looks worse after their loss to Georgia Tech. They are carried by their win over Notre Dame and their undefeated record, but now that they have locked up the ACC Coastal, they will get a chance to prove themselves against another CFP contender in Clemson.

The remaining schedule for Miami slots them against two average or below average ACC teams.

This week: vs. Virginia Cavaliers

First four out:

5. Georgia Bulldogs (9-1)

Georgia lost to Auburn this week and slides down four spots in these rankings. They didn’t look good in the game, losing 40-17. It was a tough game to win at Auburn, but the Bulldogs looked bad and need to step it up in the next couple of weeks to make the CFP.

Although they lost this week, Georgia can still make the CFP without much chaos happening. They still have good wins over Notre Dame and Mississippi State to fall back on. Every FBS team they have played can still make a bowl game. If Georgia can win out, they will be in the CFP.

They play two solid teams in their last two regular season games, but should be able to win out until the SEC Championship Game.

This week: vs. Kentucky Wildcats

6. Wisconsin Badgers (10-0)

Wisconsin won a big game against Iowa and showed how tough they can be. They won 38-14 and did not allow Iowa to score an offensive touchdown. Iowa is now 6-4 so the win will likely not go as far as they hope, but it was a dominating performance that made the Badgers look good.

The Badgers look better as a result of Northwestern turning it on in the back half of the season. The problem is they have two decent wins, one over Northwestern and one over Iowa. The undefeated record has gotten them to number six in the country, but they have no margin for error.

With two Big Ten games left, Wisconsin needs to bring their “A” game every week.

This week: vs. Michigan Wolverines

7. Auburn Tigers (8-2)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Kerryon Johnson (Photo by al.com)

Auburn helped create some chaos in the college football landscape with their win over then number one ranked Georgia. They played their best game of the season in their 40-17 win. They may have two losses, but they control their own CFP destiny with games against Alabama and a possible rematch with Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

The Tigers lost to LSU and Clemson, but the wins and possible future wins have Auburn in a great position. With wins over Mississippi State and now Georgia, Auburn has the best case out of any two loss team. If they keep winning, it will make the committee’s decisions very interesting.

They have one easy game and then the Iron Bowl before the possible SEC Championship Game appearance.

This week: UL Monroe Warhawks

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-2)

The Fighting Irish lost another game to a top tier team this week. They stood no chance against Miami by the time halftime hit. Losing that big won’t do them any favors with the committee, but at least it came at the hands of an undefeated and good football team.

Notre Dame lost to two of the best teams in the country, which will count for something with the committee, even if they got blown out in one of the games. They still have some solid wins over Michigan State, USC and N.C. State. It will be hard to get back into the CFP without a conference championship game to play in, but in college football, never say never.

They play Navy and Stanford in the next two weeks, so Notre Dame has to remain focused and hope for some losses from the teams ahead of them.

This week: vs. Navy Midshipmen

Next four out

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-2)

Ohio State seemingly can’t figure out what team they are this season and followed up a loss with a big time win over Michigan State 48-3. Michigan State had risen up the rankings to number 12, making it another good win for the Buckeyes, but it might be too little too late.

The Buckeyes have the two losses to Oklahoma and Iowa, with the latter really holding them back. Iowa is just 6-4 now. Ohio State does have two good wins, over Penn State and now Michigan State, but they have to finish strong in orderto keep their CFP hopes alive.

They get Illinois before their regular season finale against Michigan.

This week: vs. Illinois Illini

10. TCU Horned Frogs (8-2)

The Horned Frogs lost to Oklahoma by 18 this week to get their second loss of the season. TCU looked outmatched and now has some serious work to do to get back in the CFP picture.

TCU beat Oklahoma State and West Virginia for solid wins, but the problem is the Big 12 beating up on each other. Three teams are tied for second place and a chance for the Big 12 Championship. TCU currently holds the tie-breaker over these two, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, so they should be able to make the title game if they take care of business.

If they can hold off two of the teams in the bottom half of the Big 12 standings in the last two regular season games, TCU will get a rematch with Oklahoma.

This week: at Texas Tech Red Raiders

11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-2)

Oklahoma picked up a big win over Iowa State that helps their case for the CFP and also significantly improved their chances of making the Big 12 Championship Game. The Cowboys won with a controversial finish, but it still counts as a win.

The Cowboys’ two losses, to Oklahoma and TCU, can prevent them from making the Big 12 Championship Game, so they need some help to win a conference championship. In terms of a CFP resume, they have beaten both Iowa State and West Virginia.

They won’t pick up much love playing the two Kansas teams in the Big 12 to finish the season, so they really need to make the Big 12 Championship Game.

This week: vs. Kansas State Wildcats

12. USC Trojans (9-2)

USC picked up another win, this time against Colorado. The Buffaloes aren’t the same team as last year, but could still make a bowl game.

The Pac-12 is likely out of the CFP, but USC holds its best chances. USC has beaten Arizona and Stanford for solid wins and will likely have a tough time picking up too many more solid ones. The Trojans  need a lot of help.

USC has one more regular season game left and then the Pac-12 Championship to prove themselves. It likely won’t be enough.

This week: at UCLA Bruins

 

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Heisman watch 11/5/17

Now that the college football season is through ten weeks, the Hiesman Trophy race is becoming a lot more clear. Here are the top players that should be on the “Heisman Watch” after the weekend’s good slate of games:

6. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona

Heisman Watch

Khalil Tate (Photo by yahoo.com)

The electric quarterback has come on strong for the Wildcats. He only made his fourth start of the season against USC and once again showed how valuable he is, even in a loss. He threw for 132 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but was able to do some more damage on the ground. Tate rushed for 161 yards and another score.

He has now rushed for over 1,000 and passed for just under 1,000 yards on the season. Tate is the man that  has sparked a good season for Arizona. It would be a stretch to see him win the award, but if he keeps up at the current pace he is on track to be in contention to at least be a finalist.

Season stats: 930 passing yards, 8 passing TDs, 61.2% completion, 5 interceptions, 1087 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs

5. Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame

It is unfortunate that Adams got injured and had to leave the game against Wake Forest and as a result loses a chance for another big game. That’s how it goes in college football though. He managed to rush for 22 yards on five carries. His team was able to win without him, which is always good for a Heisman campaign.

Adams has been the master of long runs this season as he has had several runs of at least 50 yards for touchdowns. He benefits from a great offensive line, but he does a lot of damage after contact. Ultimately if he wants to win the award, he needs to play in the last three games of the regular season and put up a lot of good numbers.

Season stats: 1,191 rushing yards, 82 receiving yards, 9 total TDs

4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Heisman Watch

Jonathan Taylor (Photo by dailyherald.com)

Taylor is having an amazing freshman season for the Badgers and that continued on Saturday against the Indiana Hoosiers. He finished with 29 carries for 183 yards and one rushing touchdown. The Badgers remain undefeated, but Taylor lacks a “Heisman Moment”, as they haven’t played in any big games thus far.

On the season, Taylor has rushed for 1,368 yards already. He is gaining yards as a freshman at the same pace and even faster than some of the all time greats. Taylor needs to continue racking up the yards and have Wisconsin win most if not all of their remaining games to have a shot to win it.

Season stats: 1,368 rushing yards, 41 yards receiving, 12 total TDs

3. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Love sat out the game against Oregon State, which hindered his chance to break some serious records, like the all-purpose yards in one season record. He did play this weekend against Washington State and had his worst game of the season totaling 69 rushing yards and one touchdown. His team also lost, which sets him a little further behind.

The thing that keeps Love his high in the rankings is his gaudy stat line. He already is approaching 1,500 yards, even with sitting out the Oregon State game. He very well could have 2,000 yards rushing at season’s end. Love needs to get to 2,000 yards rushing to win the award, but should be able to get invited with his current stat line.

Season stats: 1,456 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards, 12 total TDs

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Yes, Barkley and Penn State have really slowed down, while number one on this list is picking it up. The Nittany Lions lost to Michigan State for their second straight loss, which damages Barkley’s campaign a little bit. More importantly though, he only had 63 yards rushing and 33 yards receiving in this game with no touchdowns.

Barkley has fewer than 1,000 rushing yards, which is alarming considering one of the quarterbacks on this list, Tate, has 1,000 yards rushing in four starts. One thing Barkley brings to the table is versatility, as he has over 500 receiving yards on the season and also has two kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also has some highlight plays that make him look like he is a created player in a video game. He needs to pick it up down the stretch and see Baker Mayfield stumble to win the award.

Season stats: 864 rushing yards, 502 receiving yards, 14 total TDs

1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Sooners got another big win, defeating Oklahoma State in Stillwater. It was a high-scoring game which afforded Mayfield the opportunity to let the ball fly. The win helps the Heisman case, but the stats are just downright crazy. He threw for 598 yards and five touchdowns to help lead his team to victory.

Mayfield still has a few games left, including a possible Big 12 Championship Game, but already has 3,226 passing yards. He is lighting up defenses and has the Sooners in place to make a run at the College Football Playoff. His “Heisman Moments” at Ohio State and at Oklahoma State also help improve his case for the Heisman. The crazy thing is, he still has a few big games coming up to further his case for the Heisman.

Season stats: 3,226 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 71.7% completion, 5 interceptions, 181 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs

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College Football Playoff bracketology 11/5/17

There were plenty of ranked matchups this weekend, which means that these rankings are changing yet again. The College Football Playoff committee will rank the teams on Tuesday once again and this is how they should rank the teams. (All rankings in the “this week” section are based on AP Poll ranking)

Playoff teams:

1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0)

The Bulldogs remained undefeated by beating South Carolina 24-10. It may not be the biggest scoring margin of all time, but Georgia controlled the game and had a good game on both offense and defense. Jake Fromm is remaining efficient, while the many talented running backs help move the chains. The defense is dominant.

With the committee ranking Notre Dame at number three last week, they obviously value Georgia’s win over them pretty highly. Mississippi State is also moving up the rankings and Georgia blew them out. The rest of the wins have been pretty mundane, but those two wins help carry the resume.

Georgia still has a few tests left this season and are not a guarantee to win out, although they are playing like the best team in the country.

This week: at 10 Auburn Tigers

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0)

College football playoff bracketology

Jalen Hurts (Photo by gridironnow.com)

Alabama also had a win that wasn’t by the biggest margin, but was controlled by them the whole time. They beat LSU 24-10 in a very tough, physical game. The Crimson Tide remains undefeated and a lock of a top two team when the committee comes out with their rankings.

After Florida State’s fall this season, this is Alabama’s best win of the season. Their wins over Colorado State and Texas A&M are their next most impressive. Alabama has looked like a great football team and blows out inferior competition, making them deserving of the number two spot.

Their are still a few games that will be difficult for the Crimson Tide that need to be won in order to get to the SEC Championship Game.

This week: at 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1)

The Fighting Irish battled injury, but were able to hold off Wake Forest 48-37. Wake Forest is likely going to a bowl game, so the committee will value the win a little bit. This was one of the easiest games that Notre Dame has in the back of their schedule and they were able to get the win.

Notre Dame still has only one loss to Georgia by one point, but they also have some impressive wins. Their win over Michigan State looks better after they upset Penn State this week. They also have wins over top 25 teams in North Carolina State and USC. There is no doubt that Notre Dame is one of the top four teams on Tuesday again.

More toughness remains in the Notre Dame schedule as they have another big matchup this week.

This week: at 7 Miami Hurricanes

4. Clemson Tigers (8-1)

Clemson was able to hold off a late come back by N.C. State to win 38-31. The Tigers racked up another win over a top 25 team, which should help them hold their spot in the CFP rankings for the week. Their defense needs to be addressed, as they allowed the most points all season to the Wolfpack.

Their win over Auburn is looking better as the weeks go on, while their wins over Louisville and Virginia Tech look worse. Clemson gets the nod in the rankings over Oklahoma for beating a lot of quality teams rather than just a few big wins. Every team on their schedule, besides Kent State, has a chance to become bowl eligible. At this point in the season that is an accomplishment.

The Tigers’ schedule eases up down the stretch, so they may lose ground to other teams who play in more marquee games.

This week: vs. Florida State Seminoles

First four out:

5. Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)

Oklahoma has the best pair of road wins in the country after they won in Stillwater on Saturday. In a high scoring affair, the Sooners were able to shut Mason Rudolph down on the last drive to secure the victory, 62-52. Their playoff chances look really good if they can win out.

The Sooners now have big road wins against Oklahoma State and Ohio State. On top of those they have solid wins over Texas Tech, Kansas State and Texas. Their loss had looked better, but Iowa State just lost to West Virginia. Don’t be surprised if Oklahoma jumps into the top four this week, but their two marquee wins now have two losses and are leaving people questioning how good of teams they are.

If the Sooners win again this week they will be in the top four for sure in the next edition of the rankings.

This week: vs. 8 TCU Horned Frogs

6. Miami Hurricanes (8-0)

College Football Playoff bracketology

Malik Rosier (Photo by twitter.com)

Sound the alarm and cue up the smoke, because Miami is back. The Hurricanes got a big win at home over Virginia Tech 28-10. This drastically helped out a lackluster case to the committee despite Miami being undefeated.

This win is the best on the season for the Hurricanes and with a few more wins, can help propel Miami into the CFP. They also have wins over Toledo, a very solid MAC team that has just one loss, and a .500 Georgia Tech team. They haven’t lost, so if they win out they are in, but a lot more football is left to be played.

Miami has one more tough test in the regular season that needs to be passed this weekend. After that, it’s all about avoiding upset bids.

This week: vs. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

7. TCU Horned Frogs (8-1)

TCU got a win over a Texas team that always seems to fall just short of big upsets. Their defense stepped up again, only allowing seven points. The balance of good offense and defense is what makes this team so good.

Their win in Stillwater over Oklahoma State looks less monumental now that the Cowboys have also lost at home to the Sooners. The Horned Frogs also have solid wins against West Virginia and Kansas State to help their case. The loss to Iowa State likely won’t hold the Horned Frogs back too much going forward if they take care of business.

For a chance to really bolster their resume and keep their hopes for the CFP more real, TCU has to win this weekend against a very tough Oklahoma team.

This week: at 5 Oklahoma Sooners

8. Wisconisn Badgers (9-0)

Wisconsin looks good, but that’s about all you can say about them. They beat a sub-par Indiana team that is likely going to miss a bowl game, 45-17. The Badgers are tough and physical, but have yet to be tested by a challenging team.

The problem for their case to be in the CFP is that their biggest wins on the year are over Northwestern and Florida Atlantic. Their win over Northwestern is looking better now that the Wildcats are on a four game winning streak. In order to climb up the rankings, other teams need to lose and the Badgers have to beat a good football team.

The Badgers may get their stiffest test of the season when Iowa comes to town, as the Hawkeyes are brimming with confidence after blowing out Ohio State.

This week: vs. 25 Iowa Hawkeyes

Next four out:

9. Washington Huskies (8-1)

College Football Playoff bracketology

Myles Gaskin (Photo seattletimes.com)

The Huskies are slowly making their way back up in these rankings by continuing to win, even if it isn’t against the greatest competition. This week they beat an Oregon team that is trying to fight it’s way to bowl eligibility. To be fair, Washington did blow them out 38-3.

Washington played an awful non-conference schedule and is now paying for it. They beat a 6-3 Fresno State team, who is better than expected, for their only decent non-conference win. In conference they are beating .500 teams or below. They need some help to move up higher in these rankings.

Fortunately, Washington gets a chance to play a few games that should help their case in the last three weeks of the season.

This week: at Stanford Cardinal

10. Auburn Tigers (7-2)

Auburn is an intriguing two loss team that can inflict the most chaos over the last three weeks of the regular season that college football has ever seen. This week though, they defeated Texas A&M, who is a solid team even if the rumors continue to swirl around Kevin Sumlin.

The Tigers have two road losses, one to Clemson and one to LSU. Neither of those is a terrible loss. To go with their decent win over the Aggies, Auburn also has beaten Mississippi State, who is also moving up the CFP rankings. Auburn will get a chance to improve their ranking by playing the top two teams in the country over the last three weeks.

The schedule is tough for Auburn, but if people want the most chaos, Auburn is the team to root for.

This week: vs. 1 Georgia Bulldogs

11. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2)

Ohio State ran into a buzz saw in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes looked like they were going to get a sizeable win, but then kept their foot on the pedal to blow out the Buckeyes. The loss knocks Ohio State down quite a bit in the rankings, but they are lucky in that a lot ranked teams lost this week.

The Buckeyes have now lost to both Iowa and Oklahoma and don’t have many great wins on the season. They do have a win over Penn State, which isn’t as good after the Nittany Lions lost to Michigan State. Ohio State is likely eliminated from the CFP and needs some serious disarray to even come close to the top four.

The next few weeks features some opportunities for some good wins for the Buckeyes if they can get back on track.

This week: vs. 13 Michigan State Spartans

12. USC Trojans (8-2)

USC has made their way back into the rankings this week after defeating Arizona 49-35. Arizona was a newly ranked team that hadn’t lost with new quarterback Khalil Tate under center. The Trojans are in a position much like last season and might be in store for a New Year’s Six bowl.

The Trojans have wins over Arizona and Stanford now, but both teams are fringe top 25 teams. Their losses, to Notre Dame and Washington State, are both to good teams, but it is always hard to make a case to the committee with two losses. USC is another team that is hoping that absolute chaos happens to help them move up in the rankings.

With their win over Arizona, USC likely now will clinch the Pac-12 South. They won’t have any more opportunities until the Pac-12 Championship Game to make a statement, so they will be scoreboard watching a lot the last few weeks of the season.

This week: at Colorado Buffaloes

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College Football Playoff bracketology 10/29/17

The season has officially gone bonkers. There is still a lot of football left to play, but these rankings will reflect how the committee should rank the teams. The committee’s first rankings come out this Tuesday.

Playoff teams:

1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0)

Georgia has finally made the jump up to number one. The Bulldogs were able to destroy Florida 42-7 to get through two-thirds of their season unbeaten. Florida isn’t a great team, but Georgia looks like a dominant team and has a great case to be the number one team.

Their win over Notre Dame is continuing to look better as Notre Dame shoots up these rankings. Mississippi State will also be in the committee’s initial rankings at 6-2 and Georgia destroyed them. The other wins for the Bulldogs aren’t great, but they are undefeated still, which goes a long way.

Every single game left for Georgia will be tough in different ways, but they look like one of the best teams in football.

This week: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

The Crimson Tide were off this week and were able to prepare for a couple crucial games at the end of the season.

Alabama doesn’t have any great wins. Florida State has completely fallen off. Texas A&M is an ok win, but they just lost to Mississippi State to fall to 5-3. Their best win might be over Colorado State, who is 6-3 and will probably finish with eight or nine wins. They still have played some decent teams, which is more than a lot of undefeated teams in these rankings can say.

Can the Crimson Tide stay undefeated through three more tough games?

This week: vs. 19 LSU Tigers

3. Clemson Tigers (7-1)

Clemson beat a decent Georgia Tech team this weekend in the rain. Defending the triple option is never easy but they were aided by a bye week last week and the weather. They needed to get back on track after their only loss of the season to Syracuse.

Even with the loss to Syracuse, Clemson has a great case to be a top four team. Their wins over Auburn and Virginia Tech are still very good. The win against Louisville looks worse, but is still a solid road win. Heck, even their wins over BC, Wake Forest and the recent victory over Georgia Tech help their case.

The Tigers will have one of their stiffest tests this weekend against N.C. State, who is coming off of the loss to Notre Dame.

This Week: at 20 N.C. State Wolfpack

4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)

College football playoff bracketology

Brandon Wimbush (Photo by indystar.com)

Another week for Notre Dame and another big win for the Fighting Irish. This week they were able to pull away from N.C. State in the second half. The Wolfpack were rated at number 14 in the AP poll, but likely won’t drop too far as a result of the loss.

Notre Dame’s loss by one to Georgia makes them look like they can compete with any team in the country, which will appeal to the committee. They also have some solid wins over Michigan State, USC and now N.C. State. Michigan State did lose to Northwestern this week, but that is just their second loss of the season. USC got back on track with a domination of Arizona State 48-17. With those three wins and the one point loss, Notre Dame is right on the cut line for the top four.

More tests still remain for Notre Dame, but they have put themselves in a good position after week nine of college football.

This week: vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

First four out:

5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1)

The Sooners put up a lot of points and beat an average Texas Tech team. They have looked sluggish as of late,which will scare some committee members, but looked better in this game.

How good does the Sooners’ win over Ohio State look now? With Ohio State stepping up big time, Oklahoma’s win has them right back in the CFP picture. They beat out Ohio State because of their win head to head. Their loss to Iowa State looks  a lot better now that Cyclones upset TCU. Their wins over Texas, Kansas State and Texas Tech are decent, but won’t turn any heads.

Oklahoma has a back-loaded schedule that they will have to get through.

This week: at 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Urban Meyer (Photo by usatoday.com)

Ohio State has been the loser and winner of two of the best college football games of the season. This week they had an unbelievable comeback win over Penn State and won 39-38. The Nittany Lions were ranked highly and the win drastically helps out Ohio State’s case to be in the CFP.

So they lost to Oklahoma and beat Penn State, but the Buckeyes don’t have too much more going on. The best team they have beat outside of Penn State is a 6-2 Army team. Other than that they have beaten average Big Ten teams or worse. The good news for Ohio State is that if they win out, they likely will be in the CFP, which is something only a handful of teams can say.

More big games are coming for the Buckeyes in the last third of their schedule.

This week: at Iowa Hawkeyes

7. TCU Horned Frogs (7-1)

TCU drops as a result of their loss to Iowa State this weekend. The Cyclones are on a tear and were able to win at home 14-7. This loss is bad for TCU, but they still can make the Big 12 Championship and play their way back into the top four teams with some help.

The Horned Frogs still have a great win that came on the road over Oklahoma State. With the Cowboys winning every other game of the season, it sets TCU up nicely. TCU also has nice wins over Kansas State and West Virginia. The problem for TCU might be that they will have to play a team for a second time in the Big 12 Championship.

Oklahoma is still on the schedule, but TCU should be able to win any other game on their schedule.

This week: vs. Texas Longhorns

8. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1)

Penn State played Ohio State tough, but ended up losing 39-38. It was a great effort on the road, but they could not finish off the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions move way down and have to hope for a lot of help to make the CFP.

James Franklin’s squad moves down as a result of the loss and the lack of big wins on their resume. They beat Michigan, who is a borderline top 25 team. They got wins against Iowa and Northwestern, but those teams are just barely above .500. All they can do is keep winning and take the help of other teams ahead of them losing.

The Nittany Lions have another big game this weekend against Michigan State.

This week: at 24 Michigan State

 

Next four out:

9. Wisconsin Badgers (8-0)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Jonathan Taylor (photo by athlonsports.com)

Wisconsin got another easy win this week to stay undefeated, which is about their only case to the committee at this point. They got a victory over Illinois 24-10.

The Badgers have won games against two teams that are over .500: Florida Atlantic and Northwestern. Their wins over teams that are .500 include Maryland and Nebraska. They play some tougher teams down the stretch, but when it’s all said and done, they have to run the table.

Games still remain against Iowa and Michigan, which will be their best games to show to the committee what they can do before the conclusion of the regular season.

This week: vs. Indiana Hoosiers

10. Miami Hurricanes (7-0)

Miami got another close win this week, but it did not make them look too good. They beat North Carolina 24-19, which will do nothing for their case in the CFP committee’s eyes. North Carolina is now 1-8 on the season and a good team should have blown them out.

The problem with the Hurricanes is that they don’t have any good wins. They have beaten Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Toledo and Duke. Toledo is their best win. They beat the Rockets 52-30 and Toledo is now 7-1, while receiving votes to be in the top 25.

Everyone will find out if Miami is for real in the next two weeks when they take on Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

This week: vs. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies

11. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1)

The Cowboys outscored West Virginia 50-39 to take their winning streak to four games. West Virginia was ranked at number 22 in the AP poll and is a solid win. The problem is that the Big 12 is beating up on each other, which will result in a lot of these wins to look worse as the season goes on.

Oklahoma State dropped the game to TCU, but doesn’t have too many wins to make up for it. They have solid wins over Texas Tech, Texas and now West Virginia. Like the other teams in the Big 12, they have some key games down the stretch and a tough rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The next two weeks are going to be brutal for the Cowboys, as they play Oklahoma and Iowa State.

This week: vs. 8 Oklahoma Sooners

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1)

Virginia Tech has worked their way back into these rankings after beating Duke 24-3. Duke is 4-5, but is on a five game losing streak and likely won’t be bowl eligible, meaning the win won’t do much for the Hokies. They moved up as a result of other teams losing.

The Hokies have solid wins over West Virginia and Boston College, but that’s about it. They lost at home to Clemson, but were able to stay close, losing 31-17. Virginia Tech still needs to probe they can beat a very good team before the committee will move them too much higher in the rankings.

Fortunately for Virginia Tech, they will get the chance to play a good team this weekend.

This week: at 9 Miami Hurricanes

 

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College Football Playoff bracketology 10/22/17

The top four is still the same after the action played out in week eight, but there were some more results that changed the lower end of these rankings. Here is how the teams should be ranked after week eight:

Playoff Teams: 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

The Crimson Tide got another blowout win this week, routing Tennessee 45-7. It may not have been a win over a successful team, but Alabama looks really good, which means a lot to the committee too. If they can keep controlling games like this they will be at the top of the rankings when the committee release their initial rankings next Tuesday.

Alabama has their decent wins so far, but none of the teams they have beaten are currently ranked. They will get this ranking because of their game control, dominance and because they have beaten a lot of solid teams, even if they aren’t ranked. Wins over Texas A&M, Colorado State and Vandy will all likely end up being wins over bowl teams.

The schedule does get tougher from here on out, as Alabama plays at least two ranked teams, depending on how things change.

This week: Bye

2. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)

Georgia didn’t play this weekend, but were able to retain their number two spot in the rankings.

The Bulldogs still have some really solid wins and deserve the number two spot. Their win over Notre Dame looks more impressive now that the Fighting Irish dominated USC. They also have recorded wins over an Appalachian State team that is on their way to a 10 win season, a solid Mississippi State team and a tricky Vanderbilt team.

Of their five games left, Georgia has three rivalry games. They should be favored in each game, but anything can happen in rivalry games.

This week: vs. Florida Gators (in Jacksonville, Florida)

3. TCU Horned Frogs (7-0)

TCU did exactly what they were supposed to and blew out Kansas. They won 43-0 and set records for the defensive performance. While this won’t do much for their resume, the look like the most balanced and best team in the Big 12.

The Horned Frogs have beaten two teams that are still ranked and have one of the best wins of the season: at Oklahoma State. The Cowboys haven’t lost since, so TCU has a great case to be in the top three teams. Their other big win over West Virginia also looks pretty good, as the Mountaineers will be moving up the rankings again this week. Add those two wins to a decent road win over Kansas State and you have one of the most battle tested teams in the country.

Their are still some tough games on the schedule for TCU, including Oklahoma, but the key is to make sure they make the Big 12 Championship Game even if they suffer a loss.

This week: at 25 Iowa State Cyclones

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Trace McSorely (Photo by: nbcsports.com)

Penn State destroyed a Michigan team that had been struggling. That was their first win over a ranked team this season, but Michigan isn’t ranked any longer. They controlled the game and look like a playoff team.

The reason why Penn State is still number four is that they haven’t beaten too many good teams. The win at Iowa looks worse now that the Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern. The win over Michigan won’t be as much of a statement with Michigan likely trending downwards. The good news is that Penn State looks like one of the top two or three teams in the country and the committee will appreciate that.

One game down on the gauntlet of a three week schedule for Penn State, two more to go. If they win in Columbus this week they will move up the rankings into a more secure position.

This week: at 6 Ohio State Buckeyes

First Four Out:

5. Clemson Tigers (6-1)

The Tigers got a bye week to regroup after their tough loss on the road to Syracuse. A lot of the future of this team depends on the health of Kelly Bryant, so the next few weeks will show people a lot as far as how healthy Bryant is.

Losing to Syracuse still hurts their resume, but Syracuse is putting up good fights against good teams. The committee tends to care more about wins than losses and Clemson still has a lot of impressive wins. The wins over Virginia Tech and Auburn are still very good wins and the win at Louisville is still solid.

There are still some tough games left for Clemson, but they still have a good resume and if chaos happens could get in the CFP with two losses.

This week: at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Nyles Morgan (Photo by: thesportsbank.net)

Notre Dame dominated USC in a way that no one saw coming. They were the more physical football team and ended up winning 49-14. The Trojans ended up falling to number 21 in the rankings as a result of the game, but it is still a very good win for Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish have this win to pair with their huge road win over Michigan State, which looks better by the week. In every win on the season they have physically dominated their opponent and it has shown up on the scoreboard. With their only loss coming to Georgia, Notre Dame looks like one of the best football teams in the country.

If people don’t like Notre Dame being this high over undefeated teams then: A. Those undefeated teams need to play someone. B. Notre Dame will have a chance to play their way into or out of the CFP with the remaining schedule, because it is brutal.

This week: vs. 14 N.C. State Wolfpack

7. Oklahoma Sooners (6-1)

Lincoln Reilly got a nice bonus in his first year after the Sooners became bowl eligible. They were able to come back and beat a tough Kansas State team on the road. The Wildcats are under .500, so this win won’t do much, but it was a tricky game and the Sooners were able to avoid a second loss.

Oklahoma has the win at Ohio State to keep them this high in the rankings. Ohio State has continued to win and make Oklahoma look better. If the Buckeyes can beat Penn State this weekend it would help more. The Sooners’ wins over Texas and Kansas State should look better with time as well. Even the Sooners only loss on the season looks better, as Iowa State cracked the top 25 this week.

The last five games will have four tough matchups and a cakewalk, so the Sooners have to be ready to go.

This week: vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

8. Miami Hurricanes (6-0)

Miami keeps on edging out wins in close games. This week they avoided a second straight upset bid from Syracuse and won the game 27-19. They may not be winning in a good-to-watch fashion, but they are getting the job done.

So what separates Miami from Wisconsin? A win over Toledo. That’s how bad of schedules these two teams have. Toledo is not a bad team by any stretch and will likely be ranked by the end of the year, but that is the only team getting votes in the AP Poll that either team has beaten. The Hurricanes get the nod for now over Wisconsin, but these rankings get updated every week for a reason.

Miami will find some separation in a few weeks when they get to play Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in back to back weeks.

This week: at North Carolina Tarheels

Next Four Out: 

9. Wisconsin Badgers (7-0)

College Football Playoff Bracketology

Jonathan Taylor (Photo by: thedailyherald.com)

The Badgers got another win, which is all they can do. This time they beat a Maryland team who is on their third string quarterback due to injury. Wisconsin won 38-17, which is what they should have done.

Wisconsin has only beaten two teams that have a record above .500, Northwestern and Florida Atlantic. They will need to beat stiffer competition than that to make it into the CFP.

The schedule gets a little tougher going forward, but it couldn’t get easier. There will be games against Iowa and Michigan to prove themselves before the Big Ten Championship Game.

This week: at Illinois Fighting Illini

10. Washington State Cougars (7-1)

Washington State had to play in the rain, but got a win over a Colorado team that is now .500. They won easily, 28-0. This was just the win that the Cougars needed to get back on track.

Their win over USC looks worse now, but it is still a solid win. They also have a win over a Boise State team that they can hang their hat on. Both are good wins. Their loss to Cal was pretty embarrassing, but there is still hope if they can handle their difficult Pac-12 schedule.

This week the Cougars’ high-powered offense will be in a shootout with an Arizona team that has Khalil Tate making plays all over the field.

This week: at Arizona Wildcats

11. N.C. State Wolfpack (6-1)

The Wolfpack had a bye week to prepare to their back-loaded schedule.

N.C. State have wins over Louisville and Florida State that probably were thought more highly of a couple of weeks ago. Other than those, their win over Marshall is nice, but their resume needs to have some bigger wins on it for the Wolfpack to move up.

The next two weeks will tell the world if N.C. State is for real or not.

This week: at 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1)

Virginia Tech won big over North Carolina, 59-7. North Carolina isn’t very good, but the Hokies looked good.

The Hokies still have just the loss to Clemson. They only have one win of note coming at the expense of West Virginia, who is now number 22 in the rankings. There are about eight or so teams that could easily slide into this spot, but Virginia Tech has the best win so they get the nod.

Justin Fuente’s team will get a few more chance for marquee victories in the coming weeks, to enhance their status in these rankings.

This week: vs. Duke Blue Devils

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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:

Playoff Teams:

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)

College football playoff bracketology

Damien Harris (Photo by saturdaydownsouth.com)

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)

College Football Playoff bracketology

Jake Browning (photo by thenewstribune.com)

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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